Do you trust search results?

I’ve been meaning to write about the results from this poll for a long time – I’ve finally got around to doing it today.

forrester-trust1

I’ve been thinking a lot about these results and what surprised me the most is that people are willing to trust search results (which can quite easily be gamed/manipulated) over something like the printed press (which presumably wouldn’t endorse something if it was likely to backfire) or wikipedia (which is peer-reviewed/edited).

What this means is that you can take a promotional blog or website, say what you want on it and as long as at appears near the top of the search results for a relevant term, it automatically pre-qualifies just by being near the top of the search results.  That’s quite incredible when you think about it!

What this does show is that the effective search engine optimisation of your website isn’t just about generating new traffic to your website but also positioning yourself as a trusted source within your sector.  If you can get a top ranking position for your main search terms then you do not need to go through the hard work of showing your expertise.  Just by being in a top position then you are already thought of as an expert – rightly or wrongly!