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One year old large info site but only 150 visits a day
Do I need more than just patience?

 6:52 am on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I run a very large content site in a very competitive field that is now one year old. Our content is unique and well written but most of our referrals still come from google image search.

The site receives only 150 visits a day on average and has shown no real growth for three months.

I solicit some links, use no black hat seo and whilst there is a little duplicate content on the site, it is vastly outweighted by the original writing.

I have a yahoo and a regional dmoz listing but still the search strings are very vague and obscure.

Is it still just a case of playing the waiting game some more or is there something else we need to do? When do i rule out any sandbox penalties and accept that we just don't have enough links?



 10:39 am on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

So stopping the guy from getting crushed isn't supportive. I suppose if he sinks loads of cash into a naff idea and he blows it as a result, then that's okay as hosting is cheap. But then again it's not your money so what does it matter eh!

A few pages is a resource, yeah - just not a vast or good one. Telling newbies that a few pages of content and the right keywords will propel them to the top of the web is just crap, and the poor guy will most likely fall for it too - and FYI, web visitors will be brutal towards brand new web ventures or have you forgotten that. Maybe people don't care about sites failing as long as a site supports adsense, as that solve the problem - and after all another bad idea is just around the corner which can house adsense.

I urge you to not suggest any bad habits for newbies to pick up. And certainly not attack me for being straight with the guy.


 11:11 am on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

your code isnt validated, lots of errors that could do with fixing. i sent you a mail


 11:32 am on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have also taken a look and must admit there is some interesting content for the right person searching for it.


There is still a lot of work to be done with this site, on layout, design and code in particular.

The concept of the site is great, and I am writing this without knowing much about the competition, but too many topics available on the site stays uncovered (blank), which does not look professional.


 12:15 pm on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Exactly my point. To make something truly worthwhile and useful, a site craves content. Users ain't going to stick about looking at an empty site.

I can't stand sites that bear the unfinished look, and it annoys me if I can't find what I want fast, as that means I now have to search elsewhere. Surely I'm not alone with that statement....


 8:09 pm on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I urge you to not suggest any bad habits for newbies to pick up.

Which bad habits would these be perchance?

Nobody ever said a "few keywords" would propel anyone to the top but the quantity of pages you suggest as the only way to get ranked is also total crap. Ranking in my experiencie is based more on QUALITY than quantity so telling someone to crank out a million crap pages vs. a few quality pages is just wasting his time.

web visitors will be brutal towards brand new web ventures or have you forgotten that

Web visitors read it, bookmark it and link it if it has value, otherwise they move on and don't look back. That's QUALITY over quantity once again, and I try to make sticky sites.

I'll take 20 sticky pages over 200 teflon pages that users slide off any day of the week.

And certainly not attack me for being straight with the guy.

I didn't attack you but there must be some pangs of associated guilt if you thought otherwise. I was merely stating that there are more constructive ways of getting a point across than a couple of posts that were a bit terse.


 9:01 pm on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>>>Which bad habits would these be perchance?<<<<<<

Cast your mind back when you laughed at my theory about what constitutes a resource... Maybe when you speak to people you shouldn't mock them, especially when you seem to think that a couple of pages is the answer to web success.

>>>>>quantity of pages you suggest as the only way to get ranked is also total crap<<<<<<

I never even mentioned 'ranking' anything, or coerced or told anyone to crank out a million anything. Reread my post.

>>>>>Web visitors read it, bookmark it and link it if it has value, otherwise they move on and don't look back. That's QUALITY over quantity once again, and I try to make sticky sites.<<<<<<

Only if the site it majorly good, but I think you are referencing to panic striken, egotistical desperate 'webmasters' (anyone with a crap 1 page site) rather than important, brand name businesses - there is a major difference and they won't be interested in some 17 yr old kid working from his bedroom on his 4 page sale guide site or whatever site it is. Period!

Normal companies won't link out to naff sales pitch pages, but that's an argument for another day. Most of the web is pure junk anyway so what value are you talking about lol.

Associated guilt. Really from what? Commenting on your bad business advice, sorry - I don't feel guilty about what I said.

I got my point across, I think you should calm down a bit and think before you speak. Mentioning stuff like guilt and other accusations about me, is just so stupid - especially when I didn't even advise him on the things you tried pulling me up on.

Let's leave it at that.


 9:49 pm on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Okay, so thanks for EVERYONE'S responses. I don;t take any of it badly, it's all good feedback whether I take it on board or not.
It must be a reflection on the presentation or navigation of the site that some people perceive the site to be empty. The country guides all have over ten sections - maybe because the side bar doesn't change colour no one sees the various sections.
We haven;t put a discussion forum on the site precisely because traffic is so slight. Nothing is as depressing as an empty forum. But i suppose we could start with something more focused and pump up the responses ourselves...
The code is quite messy through the site - is there a way we can clean that up rather than by going through painstakingly by hand?
We knew from the start that it's avery competitive field. Yet it seems to us that all the travel guides available on the net are so mainstream and dull that there was room for an alternative take. We get a lot of feedback (generally either very enthusiastic or utterly outraged) and our hits to visits ratio is pretty high so when people arrive they do spend time. We had a link from an Israeli forum two months ago that sent us 3000 visits in one day.
Our feeling also was not to over-optimise the site and allow for a natural growth. That way we wouldn;t hit any trip wires years from now in google.


 10:05 pm on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Commenting on your bad business advice

The only bad advice is that which makes no money.

For instance, I wouldn't have advised anyone to make "The Million Dollar Home Page" which sounds stupid to me but turned out to be a brilliant marketing idea with lots of buzz. Fundamentally, based on our comments, both you and I would have probably told the kid that page was nuts and we'd both be wrong.

FWIW, a couple of my favorite ONE PAGE web sites are DNS Stuff (alexa ranks # 861) and CheckPageRank since I dont have the Google Toolbar installed, bringing me back to my original QUALITY over QUANTITY argument as one good useful page, whether it's a service or an article, beats hundreds of bad ones.

'Nuff said.


 11:33 pm on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

And weirdly we come up in the first couple of results for some quite competitive search terms on google images.


 8:10 am on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Things simply do not always work out as expected.

I currently have two sites that I am actively working on.

The main site has twice as many pages, pages on it take a lot more effort to write. It is regularly updated. The content is intrinsically expensive to write (beause of the work and skills needed to do it) and it is hard to find elsewhere - equivalent content is almost always subscription only.

The other site started as a section of the main site. It has fewer pages, and they were easier to write. Content is static and rarely changed

Guess which gets more visitors, adsense earnings etc?


 12:55 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi, like has been stated before your site is in a very competitive market. But donīt get discouraged, it will take you longer to get there but when you do it will be well worth it.

I would suggest you study the referal urls, what words are people searching for when they find your site. Take that as suggestion for new topics.

Your site is fresh, it has good angle and its name stick in memory. I donīt find it unoriginal as one said earlier but it looks a bit amateurish (which does not have to be a bad thing) and the front page is a bit cluttered. But all in all an impressive site after only one year, sure inspired the heck out of me.


 3:31 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I also checked you site.

My quick take:

1. Keyword Dilution / Keyword Spamming: although all subject matter is related to main topic, there is no concentration for a particular sub-topic on home page, at the same time your main keyword phrase appears to be repeated several times as ALT text and on-page text in the first 300pel of output...

2. Spelling and Markup Errors - you get "points off" for this.

3. ALT text parameter ommitted on many IMG tags

4. Mentioning "Paris Hilton" (even if it's a word play or joke) may result in "adult" or spam type rating.

5. no site map

I'm sure I could pick it apart more, and don't get me wrong --- you have a nice body of content on a popular subject. I like the site, the general idea and the articles appear to be original and interesting.

I think with some reorganization and work on link development you could grow your traffic.


 5:17 am on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

since you are getting most of your traffic from image searches, you should take advantage of it... monitize the page as mentioned, but keep in mind that image searches from google and yahoo typically frame the page, so put the important links and content where it'll be seen in that small frame... think of it as a doorway page.

and always put a logo or other url embedded in the picture area of every photo that you put on the 'net... otherwise, it belongs to who ever wants it, and once it leaves your site, no one will be able to follow it back... if someone likes your photo, and it has the visible url in the picture, they can type it into the browser to find similar photos.


 11:13 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

150 visits per day for a new site with no advertising is pretty good. I only average about 50 a day myself, and I don't advertise yet. I wouldn't worry - only worry when you spend 100's per month and only get 150 visits.

That's when you start worrying.


 3:11 am on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Greetings and Gidday from downunder tomthumb2000,

Welcome to WebmasterWorld.

Have you doubled checked your robots.txt and page meta?

Even after more than 9 years, I still occasionally forget to remove a "noindex" instruction on a beta or "for approval" page, and wonder why after seeing the bots visiting in my stats, the page/s in question still doesn't appear.

As someone also in "travel", I have no problems with my <400 page site, but then I started way back when, have content-content-content, in a highly targeted geographically localised market (with heaps of competition/cherry pickers/scrapers/scammers/spammers ad nauseum, because of the locality), with additional associated but not strictly travel info. (e.g. local history, birds and animals etc., and a personal passion niche subject sub site which is one of the top 5 sites on all the major SEs), which bring in additional links from non target markets as a result. (Hey, even these folk go on holiday though, right?)

I don't use frames, flash or other "bells and whistles" except where it's appropriate. Eye candy is compressed while still tasty, and the site code is mostly 4.x DTD tables, being updated slowly to tableless css. Lean and fast to load.

If you have good quality content, your robots.txt and individual page SEO/META, code and design is OK, then go to Jill Whalen's "High Rankings" web site, and pick the teeth out of her articles.

All other things being equal, you'll be an old hand in no time!

Hope this is useful, good luck,


 1:39 pm on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

400 pages isn't enough these days to pull in the serious traffic. But some are obviously content with scraping traffic for their adsense earnings each month, and that's fine. But do people really have to gloat about 700 page sites etc, when there are sites that easily exceed that number and beyond.

These 400 page sites, are they made up of 'full' A4 pages or do site owners just create 400 paragraph - and call each one 1 full page, I do think that is the case here.

Even if you have 400 A4 pages of text, that won't come close to scratching the surface of some sites. I myself created 91 half pages last month, all hand written and content invented by myself and no trickery or deception involved here.

Even if I created another 3 or 5 sections for my site, it still wouldn't increase my traffic by that much. I think that content only works, if there's sufficient advertising applied to either the whole site or specific sections.

I'll let you know when my traffic rush starts.


 9:15 pm on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't know...did I miss something or did this just get passed by-

>>>>I've managed to get around 25 one way inbound links from sites on topic<<<

25 links is only going to do you well in searches that produce no more than 2000 results. I see travel sites with 500-3000 inbound links. Even obscure sites need many, many more to rank in the serps.

Don't worry about pages validating- that has proven to be minor-
work on inbound links. From the higher pr pages the better.


 10:23 pm on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have around 3000 links, taking into consideration that at least 500 of those are duplicates (one site using many domains), and it gives me 3 keywords that rank at No1, and the rest put me in the top 20. I'd say that a couple of thousand links will do for starters, and are enough to rank well on.

I think people want perfection straight away, but it takes time and the right links to do it. I also feel people get way too hung up on creating 'pages', with the thinking being "If I create 1000 page per year, the that's 1000 links back to my site or 1000 results in the serps"

But 1000 results amongst millions is nothing, and it's taken an entire year to build these pages. There's a faster way of doing it and it has nothing to do with pages, content or link building...... But everything to do with balls.


 10:39 pm on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Imagine what this thread would be like if we actually did site reviews here at WW, but of course, we don't ... :)

This is a cool site from my perspective, and I doubt I fit into its primary target audience.

It may never slay the giants in its general category, but it doesn't need to in order to be reasonably successful.

The OP asked if it was a matter of being a waiting game of sorts, and that's probably a good perspective.

All that said, it's a site I'd tell my friends about. And maybe that's a clue, maybe push for more viral marketing.

Along with your marketing efforts keep working on the site and keep adding content.


 11:24 pm on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's target audience is webmasters - and sadly not proper company websites. I find the info basic - like the web, there's a lot of that, but I live in hope that one day someone might tell of their secrets that propelled their site to the top. But then again, I certainly won't be telling anybody mine, and I bet that any serious company wouldn't let it's secrets slip out either.

People may not like that, infact it may drive some nuts knowing that there is someone out there that knows exactly how to make a business grow, and yet they aren't willing to help for whatever reasons, but it's a fact of life that isn't going away anytime soon. But one thing this site does provide - and that's entertainment. The reason many hang out at forums is to attempt to get those secrets that will ultimately make them successful.

I personally prefer hard work. The cash from effort seems better when it's worked for.


 2:20 am on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>>>I've managed to get around 25 one way inbound links from sites on topic<<<

25 links might not be much, but lets not forget 'quality over quantity'.Check the anchor txt of those links and page titles they come from and if they have your keywords in them etc..a few well set links beat any hundred ones, and dont feel to bad to spy on your compition and see why they rank higher and compare it with your site.See if they have any weakness that you can use for your advantage or you might even find out what they have and you dont.


 1:49 pm on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yep, as long as links are good (quality) then ANY decent link will count towards recognition by Google.

Never forget that every link is free advertising - and that's what counts here, not some pagerank perception.


 8:02 pm on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> >> I've managed to get around 25 one way inbound links from sites on topic << <<

>> 25 links is only going to do you well in searches that produce no more than 2000 results. I see travel sites with 500-3000 inbound links. Even obscure sites need many, many more to rank in the serps. <<

I don't really agree with that statement about only being able to rank in a SERP of less than 2000 sites.

I helped out with a site that has only 50 incoming links, yet has ranked top 5 in a SERP of over hundred million results for years. Quality of link does help a lot, as did the on-page content, usage of headings, and having a good title and meta description.


 9:43 pm on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> 25 links is only going to do you well in searches that produce no more than 2000 results. I see travel sites with 500-3000 inbound links. Even obscure sites need many, many more to rank in the serps. <<

g1smd - I think he's talking about how many pages surfers will click through to find a website. For instance, his 25 results Vs 2000 results, or put it another way - how many pages do you wade through to find what you want. A site with 2000 bits of info/links will surely stand out more than the 25 one.

Many surfers won't go past the first page of results, but although it's a statistic that's unmeasurable, it's got to be taken as a possible fact, as finding stuff quickly is the norm. I wouldn't want to spend 2 hours searching for stuff, when the best results are on the first 3 or 4 pages.


 2:27 am on Dec 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I saw the quality over quantity proof on one of my own sites its #4 in google from over 2 million with just 5 links.But they all have the keyword in it, so you should just dothe work for some good quality links and not how many you can get.

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