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Search Engine Rankings

What are they?

Search Engine Ranking refers to the process search engines use to determine where a particular piece of content should appear on a search engine results page. A website or URL’s ranking for keywords or keyword combinations varies from search engine to search engine. Google, Bing, Yahoo! and every other search engine operator use their own method for calculating rankings. Each of them has developed its own protocols to rank sites for the purpose of searching and will sell rankings guaranteeing that a site will appear first in the top ten when a certain search term is used.

Why They Matter?

A good ranking will assist in gaining traffic from the organic search channel. The higher up a page ranks in the results for a search query, the higher the chance that the searcher will click on this result.

The goal of many website owners has been to maximize the ranking of their site. Optimization is a trial-and-error process that requires persistence and careful monitoring of the results. The teamwork of technical personnel and those involved in implementing the branding strategy is required.

The search engines generally seek to encourage relevance to queries and avoid search engine spam. Google, BING and Yahoo!, discourage excessive use of keywords, hidden text and links to and from other sites. Generally, significant emphasis is given to the number and quality of links to and from other sites, but the specific level of importance is not disclosed.

Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs can have an effect on search engine rankings. Programs may be entered into with the owners of “affiliated” websites who post advertisements relating to the brand owner’s products or services linked to the brand owner’s website. When an affiliate refers a customer who makes a purchase at the brand owner’s website a commission is paid. The activities of affiliates under such programs should be monitored to ensure there are no conflicts between their activities and the brand owners.

If you have questions, please contact me at

Goldman Sloan Nash & Haber LLP 480 University Avenue, Suite 1600 Toronto, Ontario M5G 1V2 Direct Line: (416) 597-3371 Fax: (416) 597-3370 Email:

These comments are of a general nature and not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a lawyer.

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