I get different results when for the number 1 page when I use different computers and different wi-fi networks and different locations when using Ad Tool in Adwords
So can you actually be number 1 anymore. I understand that the big names are probably always going to be on page 1 wherever you are, but if you are a smaller player but your business is national, how hard is it going to be to get to number one for the whole country e.g The USA.
I get different results when for the number 1 page when I use different computers and different wi-fi networks ...
Yes, there are lots of factors that determine what appears in each search result—including location, and whether or not Google recognizes you (e.g. if you are logged in to your Google account)—in each case, Google serving up to you the results that it thinks you should get. Clients can easily be hoodwinked into thinking their site ranks number 1 in searches, when in fact it is only happening for them, on their own computer, because Google knows they like that site.
Darius, you are spot on. There is no such thing as a number one position - nor has there been for some time.
The point is that almost every search that's done on Google is personalised in some way. It would be quite unusual for two people to see identical results. Even the same person will get different results from day to day. So if you see a certain site at number one, that tells you nothing about what other people see.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't do all your can to promote your site. It's just that you'll need a better way of measuring your success than merely doing a sample search in Google.
I purchased a service called StrongSVN (and there are other similar ones) that allows me to get an IP address in different places around the world. This can help you have a better grasp of how google is ranking your site in different places. But that still doesn't tell the whole story because google is increasingly personalizing results for logged in users.
Google have dozens of different servers that provide the search results. When they update the order of the results the servers do not all get updated at the same time.
I have seen a web page set up that queries seventeen different specific Google servers for a particular search and between them you can get two different results from the same search displayed in that same web page for the one query. That has always applied even before Google started personalising results.
I guess it really depends on the niche, what keywords are being used, and all the other factors of SEO. I have a WWE Divas site and I don't think I could ever be #1 for the niche against the company's official website.