Search marketing companies will know, and if ethical, tell you, that you do not necessarily have to compete against highly powerful websites to achieve search engine positions, but actually to compete against the real competition.
Wikipedia is a great example of this: they have very high returns for c90 percent of their pages and rank for all sorts of search terms in a plethora of different areas. The site has a very high page rank and good trust rank. To put this in context, a building contractor in Birmingham does not have to compete against such a site were it to appear, but to compete against those sited that are other real companies in their area.
Google and other search engines will return a spread of results including some information sites, such as the BBC or Channel 4, some price comparison sites, perhaps some government sites and also some companies.
This is a significant thing as people looking at a search marketing project (and we have heard them!) do sometimes think that they can not possibly compete on the front page of the search engines, as they will never have the link strength or levels of informative SEO copywriting or content that some of the high ranking websites have.
This is not the case at all – focus on which of your direct competitors are on that page and what their strengths and weaknesses are from a search marketing perspective. This is the root to good internet marketing and good SERPS that provide a return of investment.
If any consultants focus only on the strongest sites in the Top 10, and quotes you on this basis, in our view, that would not be ethical SEO. The focus should be on taking a spread of returns and looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the Top 10 and getting the client on the playing field. Contact Digital State Marketing for more information on this topic and for a no obligation quotation.