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July 28, 2011

The Google First Page Lie and the Necessity For Creativity and Quality

Did you know the only businesses that make money on the Internet are those on the first page of Google?

Oh, you already knew that?

So you’re not the least bit surprised by my statement?

What’s that you say? You’ve been hearing for years how important it is to be on the first page of Google?

I see. So my statement just reinforces what you knew all along.

Well, that’s good. That’s very, very good.

Except for one thing…

It’s a BIG lie!

The Google First Page Lie

That’s right, it’s a big lie!

You Do Not Have To Be On The First Page Of Google To Make Money On The Internet!

I repeat…

You Do Not Have To Be On The First Page Of Google To Make Money On The Internet!

I’ll explain why in a moment. But first…a little history lesson in marketing.

Marketing lies didn’t just start with search engine rankings. Long before the advent of the Internet, businesses were climbing all over themselves trying to get the best ad placement in other types of major media:

The Major Media

* Newspapers
* Magazines
* Direct Mail
* Yellow Pages
* Radio
* Television
* Internet

Let’s touch on each of these briefly.


The prime real estate in a newspaper is the general news section. Followed closely by the sports and astrology sections. But what if you can’t afford prime placement? Does that mean your ad is doomed to failure?

Of course not. Ads in other parts of the newspaper can be successful as well. Heck, even the classified ads get read. The key is being creative enough to make your ad stand out, regardless of where it’s located.

For example, I remember reading a very interesting newspaper article about how lint balls in clothes dryers are extremely flammable and can cause major house fires. Only after reading the entire article did I realize it was an insurance advertisement placed by a local independent insurance agent.

That advertisement, designed to look like an article, definitely got my attention. By the way, that advertisement was buried way in the back of the newspaper with a bunch of other ads, and it still managed to stand out.


When it comes to magazine advertising, apparently size matters. According to Entrepreneur magazine, A two-page spread attracts about 25 percent more readers than a one-page ad. A full-page ad attracts one-third more readers than a half-page ad.

As far as ad placement is concerned, it really doesn’t matter whether the ad is located in the front of the magazine or the back in terms of the ability to get noticed.

But what about all those other ads in the magazine? Are they doomed to failure because of their smaller size? Of course not. Just like with newspaper advertising, even the classified ads get read. Again, the key is being creative enough to make your ad stand out, regardless of where it’s located.

Whenever, I think about magazine ads, I always think about Joe Karbo’s classic The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches. The secondary headline really struck a chord in readers: Most People Are Too Busy Earning a Living to Make Any Money.

Out of the thousands and thousands of magazine ads I’ve read over the years, that’s the one that continues to stand out in my mind all these years later.

Direct Mail

Even with sky high postage costs, a properly executed direct mail campaign still provides a solid ROI (return on investment).

Cooperative direct mail companies such as Valpak make launching a direct mail campaign easy and affordable, for even the most budget conscious small business.

So what exactly is cooperative direct mail? Cooperative direct mail simply means you share an envelope with 35-40 other advertisers. Sharing an envelope with other advertisers reduces your costs significantly.

Obviously, it can be a challenge to get noticed in an envelope full of ads. But one resourceful direct mail advertiser found a way around that problem. This was one of the cleverest and most effective direct mail pieces I’ve ever seen. It was a simple, light yellow postcard with black print that read:

“Dear David Jackson:

I’ve sent you a very special gift. It will be arriving in a few days in a light blue Valpak envelope. When you receive it, please sort through the envelope immediately and claim your free gift. Tape this postcard to your refrigerator as a reminder.”

I waited with anticipation for that blue Valpak envelope to arrive, and when it came, I tore it open, completely disregarding the dozens of other offers in the envelope and went fishing for my free gift. Talk about an advertiser jumping to the front of the line…brilliant!

By the way, in case you’re wondering what my free gift was, it was two free movie passes from a local furniture store. Did the free gift work? A month after receiving those movie passes, my girlfriend and I purchased a new living room set from that very same store.

Yellow Pages

Just like in magazine advertising, size matters. and all things being equal, a bigger ad does get a greater response, as well as the best placement. That being said, all things are rarely equal in marketing. And a smaller ad that uses basic copywriting fundamentals can be just as effective as a huge ad that is placed at the front of the category. Once again, the key is being creative enough to make your ad stand out in the crowd.

One yellow page ad in particular that stands out was that of a local pizzeria. The ad featured a picture of a flying saucer with the headline: Our Pizza is Out of This World!

Radio Advertising

When it comes to advertising on the radio, prime time is known as “drive time”, which is the time when most people are in their cars driving to and from work.

Morning drive time is typically 6 am to 10 am, and is traditionally the most expensive air time because that’s when more people listen.

Afternoon drive time, is 4 pm to 7 pm.

But what about all those other radio commercials that are aired at times other than drive time. Are they doomed to failure? Does anybody hear them?

The answer is an emphatic YES!

Millions of people listen to the radio at work, in the office, while exercising, in their homes, etc. And while drive time is preferable, it’s certainly NOT necessary to be successful. What is necessary, however, is being creative enough to make your radio commercial stand out…regardless of when it’s aired.

I heard this commercial when I was visiting relatives in
Houston Texas. That commercial sticks out like a sore thumb!


It goes without saying, prime time is the most coveted advertising time for advertisers. Prime time is weeknights and Saturday from 8 pm to 11 pm. Sunday prime time is 7 pm to 11 pm. But what about all those other commercials that air at times other than prime time? Certainly, they’re doomed to failure right?

Wrong! Many commercials do well in other time slots. In fact, late night television has been extremely successful for many businesses. Again, it’s all about being creative enough to make your commercial stand out regardless of when it’s aired.

I remember watching this TV commercial as a child. It still stands out in my mind.

So there you have it. Real life examples of companies that were creative enough to make themselves stand out – regardless of the competition – regardless of their ad positioning.

The Internet

Which brings me back to why being on the first page of Google simply doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because something exists that is more powerful than even the almighty Google. That something is called word-of-mouth advertising.

Word-of-mouth advertising is what caused visitors to flock to Alex Tew’s Million Dollar Homepage and enabled him to generate over a million dollars in income for himself.

If you are creative enough to come up with an idea that offers both value and quality, it will capture the imagination of visitors, and you will be the beneficiary of the type of game-changing word-of-mouth advertising that money just can’t buy.

Focus your time and energy on coming up with creative ways of getting your website found on the Internet. For example, chances are you didn’t use Google to find this website – although it is highly ranked. You either visit this site regularly, heard about it through word-of-mouth, or you’re a newsletter subscriber.

So, what does that prove?

It proves there are other ways of getting found on the Internet other than Google. There are other ways to stand out. Videos, e-books, newsletters, press releases social media, podcasts, seminars or a variety of other methods.

The point is, there are any number of ways you can get your website found on the Internet without being on the first page of Google. You are limited only by your own imagination and creativity.

If you’re not the creative type, or need some help coming up with creative ideas to promote your business, I highly recommend Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerrilla Marketing website.

In closing, while being creative may attract visitors to your website initially, at the end of the day, it’s quality content that will keep them coming back!

David Jackson is a marketing consultant and the owner of – Powerful, free marketing tips to help grow your business!