Oy, Google. Why do you do this to me?

I have a client who is very happy with the service I’ve provided him. Since I got started working on his site, he’s expanded the business considerably and still can’t keep up with all the customers he’s getting. He’s so happy, in fact, that he keeps telling me he doesn’t need me to do any more. He doesn’t even want me analyzing his traffic.

Now, I’m not going to waste my time having ClickTracks go through his log files just to satisfy my own curiosity, but now and then I’ll check up on some aspect of the site to see how it’s doing. Today, I was in Google Webmaster Tools, checking on a couple of sites and figured I’d have a quick peek at the data for this guy. When I went to look at his top clicked queries, I saw this:

Google top clicked queries

See that on the first line? It says the site is #4 for searches on mouse. Just mouse. The single word. That’s number 4 out of a total of 261,000,000 results. There are 11,500,000 results for pages with the word “mouse” in their titles. I know I’m good at what I do, but damn, that’s good.

Obviously, I just had to go to the SERP and see what pages we’re sharing the top five with.

Google results for mouse

Just look at that: two pages from Wikipedia, and two from Apple. That’s some serious company to be in. But where’s my client’s site in this fancy-schmancy neighborhood? No, I didn’t cut off the image before his page’s listing. See those three pictures at the top of the results? The first one — the cute little mousie backed into a corner — that’s from my client’s site.

Damn you, Google! Don’t call that the number four result. It’s just a picture. Yes, the page on which it’s published is optimized pretty well for the word “mouse”. So put that at number four! So, people who want a picture of a mouse land on his page. Do they call him? Do they hire him? No! All they do is look at the picture, probably steal a copy of it, and make his server work a tiny bit harder than it ought to.

This is just unfair. It doesn’t give him business, and it doesn’t give me bragging rights. Universal search. Feh.

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