In 2013, Econsultancy ranked the top 100 digital agencies, based on income. We compared these rankings to Google’s own ranking of the top digital agencies for UK searchers. The degree of overlap was shocking, to say the least.
Only 3 of the top 100 earning agencies were considered worthy of being ranked in the top 20 (first two pages) on Google’s search results for the term “digital marketing agency”.
To give Google its due, we decided to check further, and broadened our search to cover more search terms that fall under the umbrella of digital marketing. These were the results:
|Search Query||Number of Real Top 100 UK Digital Agencies that Rank in Google’s Top 20|
|digital marketing agency||3|
|search engine marketing agency||5|
|online advertising agency||3|
|social media agency||2|
The search term that fared the best was “search engine marketing agency”, with 5 out of the top 20 sites listed actually ranking in the real world top 100.
So why is there such a vast difference between the real world and Google’s search results, especially in the field of digital marketing?
While it’s nice of Google to try and level the playing field for smaller agencies, is this necessarily what is happening here? Or are we just seeing yet another case of a bunch of people gaming the algorithm to come out on top?
One could make the argument that income isn’t a good indicator of the best agencies. But then should it really be so drastically ignored?
The full list of top 100 digital agencies, as ranked by Econsultancy, along with their presence on Google’s organic search rankings is shown below:
|Google Position for Keywords*|
|5||BAE Systems Detica||34,979,784|
|10||Wunderman Network UK||23,000,000|
|15||GSI Marketing Solutions||20,200,000|
|21||Tullo Marshall Warren||17,113,320|
|25||Grass Roots Group UK||14,500,000|
|33||Leo Burnett Group||9,000,000|
|42||Axonn Media Limited||7,391,720|
|44||The BIO Agency||7,100,000||2|
|45||The Big Group||7,090,000|
|72||Latitude Digital Marketing||5,082,000|
|73||Hugo & Cat||5,053,000|
|80||MSL Group UK||4,386,774|
|81||The Real Adventure||4,380,000|
|95||Five by Five||3,747,000|
|98||Mediaworks Online Marketing||3,500,000|
* Google rankings were analysed for the top 20 listings returned on each of the following search queries, which are similarly listed as column headings in the table above: digital marketing agency, seo agency, search engine marketing agency, online advertising agency and social media ageancy.