Reading and analyzing the top 20 search results for “How to get rich.”
As I look around the web researching various topics I am stymied at the low quality web pages that often top Google’s search results. Oh sure they are fancy looking and usually reside on domain names owned by the big boy websites, but that doesn’t make the information any more useful.
Many times I chided myself that I should write a post critiquing the top 10 or 20 search results, but in a serious fashion that would be helpful to the reader. After all, if I did not make a serious effort to bring value to the reader I would be no different.
So I did it. I read virtually every word of the top 20 search results that Google served up for the keyword phrase “How to Get Rich” and wrote a short synopsis/critique of each one. Some were good, some not so good.
I don’t know how Google will treat this article. Will it penalize it for too many key words? Will it get slapped for having too much duplicate content? It will be interesting to see.
One important note- if you run a keyword phrase in Google and then run the exact phrase a few seconds or minutes later, the exact rankings will be slightly different in their order. Therefore if you search on the phrase “how to get rich” your results will very likely not be exactly the same as I got, but it will be very similar. For example, wikiHow was the #1 hit in Google for this phrase every time I ran it but after the first 5 or so hits, the page results would sometime flip flop.
The results in the top 20 search results were heavily weighted toward accumulating wealth through saving and investing over the long term vs. entrepreneurship I.E. starting a business. The only disappointing part of this is simply that investing is not the only way to accumulate wealth, and it is definitely not the fastest. My goal is to inspire people to innovate and create, products, services and business. So I tend to be partial to Entrepreneurship.
Just ask Bert and John Jacobs who built a $100 million T-shirt and Apparel Company based on a simple stick figure drawing. The brothers spent 5 years of their lives driving up and down the east coast selling T-shirts out of their old van before their business finally took off.
Or read up on Joe Poulin who built a website for a client’s luxury rental at age 17 and now at 33 heads up a $100 million luxury travel empire.
Where are these success stories in Google’s top 20 results? Yeah, I don’t know either but they are here on my website.
My rating system is non-standardized. The rating was whatever popped into my head after writing each review.
Each website is in the order as served up by Google at the time of my initial search.
To find my top three picks just scroll through. They are clearly marked. Hint, none are in the top 10 search results.
I had fun doing this, I hope you have fun checking out my comments and I hope you get something out of it.
I only linked to pages I felt were worth reading or checking out.
5 Smart and Effective Ways to Get Rick – wikiHow
As an information consumer I am not a big fan of wikiHow. Their advice is sound I presume but the entire site seems geared toward ultimate SEO (search engine optimization) with their numbered step by step formatting. I prefer exciting actionable information the average person can use. No doubt this is why they are the number 1 hit in Google for this phrase, in addition to being overall massive in size.
Their five steps start with “Investing” and continue with “Enrichment Through a Career”, “Reduce Living Expenses”, “Saving Money”, and lastly “Going Mortgage Free”. Each of these steps are broken down into additional steps for example; Under the step Enrichment Through a Career you are advised to excel academically, choose the right profession, get an entry-level job and work your way up.
Under the step Saving Money, you are advised to create a budget, cut expenses, downsize your house and spend your tax refund wisely.
While I can’t argue with their advice it is much more in line with the conventional go to college, get a good job, work had and invest your way to riches- way of thinking, than it is with gaining wealth through starting a business.
Rating - Mundane
The single most effective way to get rich- Business Insider
Written by Kathleen Elkins at Business Insider this is strictly an investing article; short, concise and to the point. It primarily quotes Ramit Sethi who has a bestselling book titled “I will teach you to be rich.” He also runs a popular website by the same name.
The crux of the article is that you do not need to make a lot of money to start investing. It is something the average person can and should do. There is no reason to get overwhelmed and as will all investing advice, the sooner you start the better.
No doubt this sound financial advice, but still falls in the “ho hum” category, at least in my book. While investing is certainly one way to accumulate a large amount of wealth there are much quicker ways.
Rating – Ho Hum
5 Habits of the Wealthy That Helped Them Get Rich- Entrepreneur.com
This article by Brandon Turner is based primarily on an interview with Jeff Rose, a millionaire, author and blogger at goodfinancialcents.com.
His writing will get your entrepreneurial synapses firing right away. It is short, but it really dives into the reasons some people get rich and some don’t. According to Mr. Rose wealthy people tend to do the following; They take risks, They invest in themselves, They associate with those they want to emulate, They have a dedicated morning ritual (I.E. they are disciplined and stick to positive daily habits), and They review their goals consistently.
My overall opinion of this article is that it is solid advice worth reading. No question that the ability to earn a lot of money starts with the mind. Both good and bad habits are the results of thought.
Rating- Solid Advice Worth Reading
How to Get Rich in 3 (Really Difficult) StepsInc.com
Writing for Inc.com John Warrillow offers three sound pieces of advice for anyone wanting to truly get rich, not just make a lot of money. I like the fact that the article is very accurately titled. The steps he outlines are “really difficult”, but they will lead to enormous wealth if one can succeed at pulling them off.
The three steps he outlines are; Ignore Your mother- do not become a doctor or a lawyer, Start Something- a business of course since 86 percent of investors with $50 million in investable assets are business owners, and lastly Get Liquid- build your business up and sell it (also known as an exit strategy.) The author cites two entrepreneurs who built up their business and sold it to Facebook for $19 billion as an example of this strategy.
It would be easy to dismiss this approach as too complicated or a strategy for high tech gurus. But may I remind you that Sara Blakely began her path to becoming a Billionaire when she cut the feet off a pair of panty hose. Not a very technical business startup, but one that made her one of the youngest female self made Billionaires in the world.
Rating- Money food for the brain!
How to Get Rich – Amazon.com
This search engine result is for the book titled How to Get Rich by the late Felix Dennis. I own a copy of this book and highly recommend it for anyone who really wants to know how people build wealth.
One read through and you will understand there is no real secret to making a lot of money, millions of dollars in fact, just hard work, tenacity, and a willingness to take risks. Felix Dennis has an incredibly direct way of writing that is as much entertaining as it is informative.
Originally from the UK, Dennis made his millions in publishing. He started out with small weekly publications on the streets of London but would go on to publish Maxim Magazine for Men and build his empire under the name of Dennis Publishing.
An accomplished poet later in life Felix Dennis mixes poetry, business philosophy, and hardcore entrepreneurial principles to give the reader the most realistic insight to getting rich that I have probably ever read. Highly recommended!
Rating- Necessary Reading!
10 Of The Laziest Ways You Can Become Rich – TheRichest
It is search results like this that motivated me to write about and rate search results. This article by TheRichest is pretty much a waste of a mouse click. Their suggestions are things such as, Be an heir or heiress to a millionaire, Buy a rare item at a yard sale and hope it is worth millions, Fill out surveys 24 hours a day, Sell all your stuff on ebay, and Marry someone who is very wealthy; pretty much online garbage better known as click bait than useful information. To put it bluntly, telling someone that the way to become rich is to be an heir to a millionaire is about as lame as you can be. Skip it.
Rating- Waste of a mouse click
The 20 Easiest Ways To Get Rich – Bloomberg
This search result is even more painful to endure than the TheRichest which came in one position ahead of it. To begin; Bloomberg uses a slideshow to tell their time wasting story in 20 separate slides. This has no value for the reader whatsoever. It’s only value is to the website owners because Google sees that you spent much longer on the site, (clicking through all those slides) and each slide undoubtedly counts as a pageview – sending the sites analytics even higher. In reality, I may be the only fool on the planet that suffered through all 20 slides.
This entire article is a repeat of what is contained in TheRichest article, only with 10 additional non-realistic, ridiculous ways to get rich such as; A bank mistake that adds extra zeroes to your account, Divorce a Beatle rock musician, Be Born Rich, Sue someone, or Settle a sexual harassment complaint against a big time CEO. Way to go Bloomberg. Way to clog up search results with useless information.
Rating- Waste of 20 mouse clicks and probably 15 minutes of my life
365 Ways To Get Rich – Forbes
Kudos to Forbes for a clever blog post that provides real information to the reader. Their 365 Ways to Get Rich are actually 365 investment tips from their 2014 Investment Guide. Most are only a single sentence in length so the information is precise and engaging. The very first tip is attributed to Sir John Templeton who advises: “Invest at the point of maximum pessimism.”
This search result is clearly for those following an investment strategy to accumulate wealth. For the investor this is a treasure trove of useful tips.
Rating- Worth the read if you are considering investments
“How to Get Rich” is Not How You’d Expect – The Dailyreckoning
This blog post is actually a review of the book mentioned above, “How to Get Rich” by Felix Dennis. Chris Mayer posted this in September of 2014 after Dennis’ passing on June 22, 2014. This article is a nice review of the book and the man. While reading it I was reminded of a passage in the book where Felix talked about “If you can actually count your money, then you are not really a rich man.” He explained that the really wealthy do not know how much they are worth. Felix Dennis could only guess that he was worth somewhere between $400 and $900 million.
I was also reminded of another great quote from the book; speaking of airplanes, boats and women Dennis said “If they fly, float or fornicate rent them don’t buy them.” Now you know what I mean when I said he has an incredibly direct way of writing that is also entertaining.
Rating- Nice read
How to Become Rich, and 24 Other Insights from Warren Buffett… Time.com/money
If someone worth $67 Billion knocked on your front door and said they were willing to come in, sit at your kitchen table and give you 25 of their best tips on life, success, and investing would you let them in?
That is exactly what you are getting with this article written by Dan Dzombak of the Motley Fool. Taken from years of Berkshire Hathaway annual meetings and shareholder letters, Dan breaks these tips up into three categories, Life, Investing, and Top five insights.
After reading through his 25 insights here is my top pick from each category;
On Life- “There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.”
On Investing- “I don’t look to jump over seven-foot bars; I look around for one-foot bars that I can step over.”
From the Top Five Insights- “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
Rating- Inspirational & worth a glance
How the young can get rich – Bankrate.com
This is strictly a retirement investing article predicated on the results of two retirement surveys. The article follows the investing strategies of two fictitious characters, “Early Shirley and Late Nate.” It can probably be summed up in two phrases, start early and compound interest. If you are a young person who likes crunching numbers this article will be a playground for you.
I guess it is in Google’s top 20 because Bankrate is a massively large sight that commands tons of attention from the googlebots. Doesn’t mean the information is earth shattering.
Rating- Nothing earth shattering here folks
10 things rich people know that you don’t – MarketWatch
The best line of this article is the sub title: “People don’t become wealthy by accident, here’s how they do it.”
I guess my problem with these “how to get rich” articles from investment sites is that they focus solely on investing, as if that is the only real way to become wealthy.
Look, I realize an investment site is going to write articles on investing, but if you put up a subtitle that says “Here’s how they do it” shouldn’t the story be a little broader than 10 basic investing tenets such as start early, maximize contributions, never carry credit card balances, live like your poor, etc.
How about an honorable mention for the entrepreneurs and risk takers who look for needs in the marketplace and find solutions through innovation. Maybe mention someone like Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armor, who set out to replace the cotton t-shirt and today has a net worth of about $3.2 billion. That’s all I’m saying..
Rating- Move along
My #3 Top Pick:
How to Get Rich (A Beginner’s Guide) – Investing for Beginners
This search result is for an about.com page that contains links and excerpts to a collection of articles about investing, saving, money management and wealth building. With titles such as “Secrets of the Rich”, “How Much Money Does it Take To Be Rich?” and “7 Things the Rich Do Differently Than You” there is lots of good information to absorb.
I dove into one article titled “How to Become Wealthy – Nine truths that can set you on the path to financial freedom” and was pleasantly surprised at the powerful advice I found within. This was a big picture article not just for the investor but for anyone struggling with money management. Great advice on how to change your thinking and subsequently your money habits. A great example of this is item #7 that encourages you to realize more money is not the answer. The author explains that if you cannot handle your money when you are making $18,000 a year what makes you think you can properly handle your money at $100,000 a year?
I thought this sight was well laid out with multiple topics on hot to get rich. It is definitely worth visiting and probably bookmarking.
The Six Best Ways to Get Rich… - Lifehack.org
This article is only about half as cool as the domain name Lifehack.org which is way cool. It is short and sweet and true to its title. I like the fact that they list “Starting your own business and eventually selling it” as the most proven way to become rich. Next is “Join a start-up and get stock followed by #3 – Exploit your skill as a self-employed expert.
They also have Property Developer listed as the number 4 way – something never mentioned on all those investment sites. No question that real estate and property development are one of the top ways to create wealth. Investing in stocks and shares is saved for the #5 position. I’m not sure how they decided this, but it is nice that someone in Google’s top 20 finally points out that starting a business is a quicker way to wealth than investing.
The article stumbles a bit at #6 where it lists “Inheriting Wealth” as one of the 6 best ways to get rich, as if you really have a say so in the matter. The author throws in a couple bonuses beyond the #6 mark such as Gambling – that’s a dud and Being an Inventor.
Being an Inventor- which often inter-meshes with starting a business and being an entrepreneur is a righteous way to become a millionaire; gambling works for some but you probably don’t want that as your number 1 plan.
Rating- Moderately informative
The Boring Secret to Getting Rich Time/Money.com
This search result written by Catherine Hawley of NerdWallet and posted on Time.com/Money is about a 2 minute read with a single powerful message.
If you want to be rich, “live below your means and re-define the meaning of rich.” Catherine tells us what we really know already, that most people driving fancy cars and living in nice houses are not really rich they are just in a lot of debt. But knowing this and getting it inside your head may be two different things.
Catherine suggests that being rich is having the extra money to make the life choices you want to make, such as traveling or spending time with friends, without the worry of money. She also makes the point that you will never save money or have money to invest if you do not live below your means.
I like the fact that this article focuses on one powerful concept which could be life changing for someone who successfully implements it.
But for the young aspiring entrepreneur who may still live at home, but is highly motivated to make money and create wealth, this article may not be the answer they are looking for. They are already downsized. This person needs inspiration. Look no further than the success story of Tina Aldatz and Foot Petals. From high school drop out to Millionaire business owner.
Rating- Honorable mention
Warren Buffett’s 10 Ways To Get Rich- Warrenbuffet.com
I think this article should be titled “10 guiding principles from Warren Buffet” instead. It is not really a how to get rich article but more of how to make good business decisions; such as be persistent, know when to quit, assess the risk, and know what success really means. This is great information for the big investor or someone already running their own company.
There is not much here for the little guy who is trying to figure out the best path forward to making money and creating wealth.
Rating- Hmmm, still thinking
Startups and Shit, How to get rich in tech, guaranteed
This article posted on startupljackson’s Tumblr blog is probably most appealing to the techy, hacker (programmer), or business major since it deals with getting rich in startups (companies just getting off the ground.)
Besides the catchy title it is apparent that the author has an in-depth knowledge of evaluating and working with startups. The main theme of the article is how to select a startup with the best chance of picking a good one. One in which you can grow with and potentially become wealthy through salary and stocks. Think of getting in with Google when it was in the startup phase.
Rating- A nice resource for the business or computer grad
My #2 Top Pick:
The Secret to Success? 7 Billionaires Tell You How to Get….
“If you use a credit card you do not want to be rich” says Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire Mark Cuban. Mark stresses discipline and saving every penny you can. In this article by Megan Elliot the reader is treated to seven big tips from seven billionaires.
The founder of KB Homes, Eli Broad, with a net worth of about $7 billion says this;
“No one ever made a million bucks by being cautious or timid or reasonable. I was 22 years old and recently married when I had the crazy idea that I should give up my career as a CPA and become a homebuilder. I didn’t know anything about building houses. Sometimes the craziest ideas are the ones that yield the greatest payoffs.”
This blog post is chocked full of powerful suggestions on how to create wealth from some of the richest men in the world. For the information consumer who wants to know what it takes to become rich, this is my number 2 recommended blog post of the top 20 search results Google offered up.
My #1 Top Pick:
What is the most effective yet efficient way to get rich? – Quora
Pay dirt baby! I did not expect to find one of the most well written, pointed articles for the topic how to get rich, in the form of a Quora.com answer. Granted, maybe I was equating Quora to Yahoo answers where you don’t expect too much.
This article in the form of an “answer” is the nitty gritty, the meat and potatoes of what you are looking for if you are searching for a path to wealth. In fact one section of the article is even titled The Nitty Gritty.
Written by Evan Asano, Ceo & Founder of Mediakix.com, it is easily my number one pick from the top 20 answers Google served up.
Some of the learning points discussed by Evan are; Learn relentlessly, Become a people person, Work hard and Take risks. But he gets more specific when he moves into the Nitty Gritty section such as; Get a job in a high growth industry, Become an expert, Create multiple income streams and Finally start a company.
By the end of the article you know it was written by someone who has already done it and is speaking from depth of experience.
Rating- Most awesome!
How to Get Rich – Edge.com
If you are searching for ways to make money this is probably not the information you are looking for. This webpage is more of a historical and philosophical talk on the creation of wealth, by noted scientist and author Jared Diamond.
Rating- Largely irrelevant for our purposes
So there you have it. I think the lesson here is that the best nuggets of information on how to get rich are not going to be found on page 1 of Google’s search results; more likely the bottom of page 2 and beyond. Just my opinion.