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This 82 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 82 ( 1 [2] 3 > >     
How to get from #3 to the #1 spot.
Finally made it to #3 ... just two spots to go.
JackR




msg:3118092
 12:14 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

My site is one year old tomorrow and this week I've made it to #3 for my primary keyword. This is showing across all DCs and is already bringing traffic from around the world.

The folks who have the #1 spot have been there for years and have a huge amount of organic search traffic. I know this because they do not advertise anywhere but are extremely successful.

Can anyone who has been in this position advise me what factors influence the top three placements? The reason I ask is that:

I know that Age of domain is relevant, but ...

#1 site: Online Since: 01-May-2003
#2 site: Online Since: 20-Aug-2001
My site: Online Since: 13-Oct-2005
#4 site: Online Since: 01-May-2000

... Judging from the above, age of domain is clearly not the most important factor.

Backlinks:

#1 site: 699
#2 site: 158
My site: 1760
#4 site: 710

Page Rank:

#1 site: PR5
#2 site: PR5
My site: PR6
#4 site: PR5

Site: Pages

#1 site: 575
#2 site: 2,060
My site: 230
#4 site: 705

Given the above, I can no specific indication of what the Big G is looking for.

Your thoughts would be most welcome.

[edited by: JackR at 12:49 pm (utc) on Oct. 12, 2006]

 

goubarev




msg:3118795
 8:10 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

a year old PR6 site? Either your really good (YouTube style) or you bought some good links... Call me cynical, but I think your success has something to do with being #1 on Adwords. Also in my opinion, being #2 is better than #1...

To answer the question (How to get from #3 to the #1 spot) - I think this might have to do with "types" of links that you have.. no easy fix here...

[edited by: tedster at 8:29 pm (utc) on Oct. 12, 2006]

JackR




msg:3118859
 8:50 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Actually goubarev, it's a combination of webmastership (not my own admittedly), and paid links. I don't think that Google is stupid enough to award a PR6 to just any site that buys a few links - do you?

The site in question has been polished, polished again, and then polished some more. It's already on design number two and a third, brand new design is being developed as I write this. How many sites do you know of that have had three complete overhauls in year one?

Types of links clearly are of great importance and I would say that the acquisition of said links - more than any other single factor - are the reason that the site is where it is today.

weeks




msg:3118871
 8:59 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

ashear hit the nail on the head: Look at the competition at this level and see what the top sites are doing differently.

All of the advice here is very good for getting into the top 5 or 10 and if you have not done all of them then by all means try it, but when you fighting for #1, you have to study those who have you beat.

From what I have seen, there is some weight given on G and Y to how long the site has been listed. That's a guess, but if true that means you have to have patience, too.

Kufu




msg:3118925
 9:32 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't think that Google is stupid enough to award a PR6 to just any site that buys a few links - do you?

That is exactly how stupid Google is. I see it happen all the time.

coburn




msg:3118929
 9:33 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

JackR: To know what you need to do, you need to tell us how you went about getting your links. To look forward to balancing out your links, you need to tell us what you've done in the past.

Search engines can't see your great design. Their spiders only see your code. So how does your code look? Long pages? Use tables or only CSS? Content near the top?

[edited by: tedster at 9:53 pm (utc) on Oct. 12, 2006]

trillianjedi




msg:3118937
 9:36 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't think that Google is stupid enough to award a PR6 to just any site that buys a few links - do you?

PR is 100% related to inbound links, so yes you can buy a PR6 very easily and quite cheaply. PR is not awarded, it is calculated.

That in itself will not, however, guarantee you a #1 listing (overnight).

TJ

decaff




msg:3118948
 9:44 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

JackR

I'd agree about age of links, but certainly not about relevancy. I have more high-quality 'relevant' links than the other sites mentioned.

The inbound anchor text is a primary factor, on that we agree. 99% of my inbound links use a combination of primary keywords - this is not true for the majority of links to the other sites....

If you have been "purchasing" links..(as you claim)..count on this...if Google has discovered that a site is selling links (they can do this with simple pattern matching and comparing historical markers related to the inbound/outbound link structure of a site...etc..etc..)...
...then many of these "purchased" links may simply be discounted towards your overall "authoritative" calculation for your sector/target keyword(s)...the site that retains the top spot..may have acquired (overtime) a much more natural set of inbound links with a broader mix (LSI) of anchor text variables...

If your inbound anchor text is highly predictable across your inbound links..then this could also trigger a filter...as Google will be able to determine that this set (or subset to your site) of links were purchased...(thus the highly specific inbound targeted anchor text)...

AND don't forget that Google tracks usability...if the number one site continues to show an excellent traffic CTR (people aren't simply clicking on the number one link - either directly from the SERPs or perhaps using the "I'm feeling lucky" button when first entering the phrase...) and then abandoning their search immediately...then Google sees this site as the authority and highly valuable to their own efforts for revenue growth on the PPC side...

Stepping back to your orginal post:

I know that Age of domain is relevant, but ...

#1 site: Online Since: 01-May-2003
#2 site: Online Since: 20-Aug-2001
My site: Online Since: 13-Oct-2005
#4 site: Online Since: 01-May-2000

... Judging from the above, age of domain is clearly not the most important factor.

Backlinks: <= critical marker: Age, relevancy, stability, pace of acquisition, what factors are affecting the sites that are pointing into your site...etc..etc..

#1 site: 699
#2 site: 158
My site: 1760
#4 site: 710
NOTE: What pace are you acquiring inbounds vs. the pace of your main compeititors?

Page Rank: <= not much of a factor overall...

#1 site: PR5
#2 site: PR5
My site: PR6
#4 site: PR5

Site: Pages <= a web site that has a steady growth of pages overtime will tend to show involvement and interest in maintaining a relationship with its target marketplace...
...your balance of onpage count vs. your inbound link count may be softening your site a bit..remember..in Google's eyes it's all about historical markers ....

#1 site: 575
#2 site: 2,060
My site: 230
#4 site: 705

maherphil




msg:3118955
 9:49 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

A lot of great info on off-page factors that make a big difference, but check this out about on-page.

I was tracking a site that ranks in Goog for a 1 word keyword.

It was #1, then I changed the title of the site to include the keyword twice in the title to see what would happen and it dropped to #2.

So remember the on-page factors need to be studied. I'd recommend running some statistical analysis on the top 10 sites looking at things like keyword densities, tag densities, etc...

ken_b




msg:3118980
 10:05 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Since you just got your pages to #3, keeping them there, or even close, is probably as important a task than worrying about getting to number 1.

And it might be just as difficult as getting to number 1 to start with.

While you're working at maintaining those 33 spots you would be well advised to carefully study what the sites at #2 and 3 are doing to maintain there position.

All of which is easieer said than done.

goubarev




msg:3118987
 10:09 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't think that Google is stupid enough to award a PR6 to just any site that buys a few links - do you?

Yes, I do! In fact, I know few sites like that. Sites that have nothing, but few high-powered incoming links.

How many sites do you know of that have had three complete overhauls in year one?

Also know few. One of my sites went through 3 complete updates this year. And I'm not talking 230 pages - more like 1/2 million pages...

Can you get links from #1 and #2 sites? :c) That will put you in front of them...

coburn




msg:3118988
 10:10 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Have had a PM asking about CSS and code bloats effect on SERP ranking.

Have cleaned up code bloat on 2 sites that were ranking ok, and both rocketed within 3 days towards the top of the SERPs (Talking about G). The code bloat was the only change that was made. Removed the tables, and changed formatting over to CSS.

If you're wondering why - the SE's only see the code, not the design. So small wonder that if they have trouble finding your links and valuable content, they're going to give you a lower SERP position. Sorry not to have references to other posts providing proof of this. It's not a secret - or shouldn't be...

superpower




msg:3119010
 10:34 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm curious why nobody has mentioned (or maybe I missed it)...

- Is the primary keyword in your domain name? and,
- If so, is the primary keyword the entire domain name?
- Or is it something like (keyword)-reviews.com?

And how does this compare to the sites above you?

decaff




msg:3119011
 10:34 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Since you just got your pages to #3, keeping them there, or even close, is probably as important a task than worrying about getting to number 1.

This is correct..you will now be practicing the ancient art of "Defensive SEO"...very different from the "Offensive" side...

spaceylacie




msg:3119046
 11:13 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was about to comment about this earlier. I'm currently hanging on by a string to quite a few #1 rankings for various pages, on one my page is #1 out of 9,920,000, nearly a billion, for a popular key phrase. Getting there is only a small part of your worries, keeping the spot is much more difficult in my experience. Be happy with #3 while you add some more content and catch up with the other sites in this regards.

JackR




msg:3119110
 12:54 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

To know what you need to do, you need to tell us how you went about getting your links. To look forward to balancing out your links, you need to tell us what you've done in the past.
Search engines can't see your great design. Their spiders only see your code. So how does your code look? Long pages? Use tables or only CSS? Content near the top?

Well, I do have some paid links. NONE are marked as such at the point of origin and all have been chosen after careful research.

The industry relevant links have all been obtained through either paid directory listings or text/banner adverts on all the main directories/guides/entertainment sections in my industry.

Cultivating a good working relationship with the established players has certainly paid dividends.


PR is 100% related to inbound links, so yes you can buy a PR6 very easily and quite cheaply.

I can't disagree with you. Having actually bothered to think of a few prime examples, the value of PR is definitely not what it once was. Unless, of course, you're selling links.


If you have been "purchasing" links..(as you claim)..count on this...if Google has discovered that a site is selling links (they can do this with simple pattern matching and comparing historical markers related to the inbound/outbound link structure of a site...etc..etc..)...
...then many of these "purchased" links may simply be discounted towards your overall "authoritative" calculation for your sector/target keyword(s)...the site that retains the top spot..may have acquired (overtime) a much more natural set of inbound links with a broader mix (LSI) of anchor text variables...

I would like to elaborate further on this. 99% of sites in my industry purchase links in one form or another - generally 468 x 60 banner form. 99% of the main industry sites sell advertising space - they do not give it away. As such, I am not unique.

My inbound anchor text(s) have been carefully chosen and much research was done before link exchanges were offered/accepted.

The #1 site in my industry has many similar links - including several on irrelevant, high PR sites.

superpower:
I knew I had missed something from my original post. The primary keyword is indeed in my domain name (without a hyphen). The primary keyword is the (second) half of the domain name (eg 'BestQualityBlueWidgets.com).

The two sites above me do not have the keyword in their domain name.

superpower




msg:3119165
 1:41 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

A few more questions:

Do you have inbound links from .gov or .edu sites? (do your competitors?)

How often do you update the content on that page? and how much of it changes? vs. competitors?

Any major differences for on-page SEO/code/HTML/content between your site and the top 2 sites? ie. your page is 100k theirs is under 20k, you are using h1s they are using h2s etc.

Asianne




msg:3119200
 2:23 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I used to believe that it was quality over quantity, however the past 6 months have proved otherwise:

Facts on my site:
#3 position for top search keywords for 3 years now (Google +)
Retains great deal of backlinks from quality websites including .org

Facts on #1 Ranked site:
Links to my site in several content pages (bonus for me)
#2 site, offers only limited number of product compared to my products but has a 1 year lead on age of domain ( So I pass it off - even though my links are more abundant) - important note, this website is currently powered by door way pages, and yes I have reported it over and over again.

#2 ranked site then buys another website and buys banners from a major site which happens to provide content for Yahoo. The age of the banners is under 6 months. Google lists the backlinks under a link:www.url.com search etc.. for each location on Yahoo - so this equates to bonus + links on paid banner ads? (Confuses me but I figured I would see how this goes.)

Last month, the adopted site (under 1 year old powered by doorway pages) is ranked at #3 in my second major keyword over me at now #4 it
is only a matter of time before this one hits my spot on the top keyword. This site advertises on major sites and honestly my clients don't have the budget to fight it. So it's a waiting game.

it bugs me that google would allow banner ads which are basically bought links from yahoo as a way to increase link popularity. So quality over quantity - I doubt is truth for all.

powerfulponder




msg:3119253
 3:19 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

JackR, how competitive is this keyword? (how many pages are returned by Google in a search)

JoeHouse




msg:3119254
 3:21 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Here is a good one for you.

There is a competitor's website who is ranked number 3 on google out of 14 million plus results for my main industry keyword and his site has a pagerank zero(PR0). Totally White Bar on google tool bar.

This site use to have a PR7 about six months ago, however for the last 3 months or so it showing PR0. Their site fell out of the top 1000 for only one week then back to number 3 on google.

Now....I believe the only reason he is ranked so high is because he blows away everyone for inbound links.

What else could it be?

tedster




msg:3119271
 3:41 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

His PR could easily be back on the next export, too. It sounds like Google just exported the data from exactly the "wrong" moment time for his domain, right during that critical single week (whatever my have been going on.)

[edited by: tedster at 6:10 pm (utc) on Oct. 13, 2006]

shaadi




msg:3119358
 7:12 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

What counts is the anchor text for that keyword. Please do a seach allinanchor:keyword and you will know why :)

ispy




msg:3119369
 7:27 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

My suggestion would be not to change anything to try to gain the #1 spot. If you make the wrong changes it could end up looking like a new page and your listing could drop.

toothake




msg:3119380
 7:51 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

"toothake: Do you mean that I have too many backlinks for such a young site? "
YES.

toothake




msg:3119384
 7:56 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

With 30 links I rank for 1 keyword (a tourist island )at #11 out of 6.000.000 results ,site 1 year old PR 4 ,does that tell anything?

JackR




msg:3119411
 8:35 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

superpower: No, I don't. My industry is not .gov or .edu friendly.

The homepage is modified several times per week. New pages are added every week.

No major differences between my site and those of my competitors. The only difference (although I doubt it is relevant) is that the #1 site and my site both have a large Flash header.

We both use H1s.

powerfulponder: Not particularly competitive - 2.9 million results. I'm in a very niche industry.

shaadi: Yes, the allinanchor: does count, but I do not believe it is always accurate. My site is returned at #8, even though I know it should be higher. I have far more relevant anchor text keywords than my competitors.

ispy: I tend to agree with you - to a point. I have modified the Title, the H1s, the Meta tags, and the homepage keyword text several times recently. It makes no difference at all - still stuck at #3!

toothake: When my promo guy initially suggested a major link-building campaign, my understanding of Google orthodoxy went out the window. BUT, he was willing to work on the site for months with no payment. "Pay me when it's done" he said. Needless to say, he got the job done, and I paid up.

He's now working on several new sites full-time.

My point is that what works for site A does not necessarily work for site B. If a given #1 site in a particular industry has a LOT of backlinks, I think site #2 needs a similar quantity - just to stay in the running.

NazaretH




msg:3119433
 8:59 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

We moved from #3 to #1 position after 2 years of being #3. How? We used to try hard before but couldn't make it, then we focused on current visitors - offered better service, added more features to the site, improved customer satisfaction, and a few days ago we were surprised to see our site at the top.

Hope this helps ;)

[edited by: NazaretH at 9:00 am (utc) on Oct. 13, 2006]

trillianjedi




msg:3119451
 9:15 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

No major differences between my site and those of my competitors. The only difference (although I doubt it is relevant) is that the #1 site and my site both have a large Flash header.

There is a difference, you're just missing it.

I still think you're thinking too much about SEO and not enough about authority.

TJ

wolfadeus




msg:3119492
 10:08 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

My first thoughts from reading the question (though some people have come up with this before):

- Age (seems like you grew "unnaturally" fast on links)
- Originality of content (build on this, add longer texts and forget about the 500-word-rule)
- Authority links from academic and government institutions

Assuming that your site is optimized in terms of accessibility and the ABC of SEO, it think it will probably come down to the two classics: content and links.

The 1 000 000 other factors might be alchemy and neglectable...

Good luck!

W.

coburn




msg:3119497
 10:10 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

JackR, some questions for ya:
1. What is your deeplink ratio? So far you've only talked about 1 page and 1 kw phrase.
2. What is the context of your competitors bl's versus yours? e.g. Do they have lots of text surrounding their link in a themed page without many more outbound links from related sites? Give me 1 of these over tens of anything else any day.
3. Why are you so hell bent on the short tail? What are you doing about the more lucrative long tail? Read up on Chris Anderson from Wired on this topic.

300m




msg:3119539
 10:48 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a question for anyone. Would i be correct to assume that what determines the competitiveness of a keyword is that number of results it returns?

I used to think that actually played a role in competitiveness, but began to think it did not play as much of a role.

I kind of use the thinking that the top 3 or 4 are what makes the keyword competitive. I have been very lucky on some strong keywords in my niche and many are in the top 3.

From my observations those in the top 3 can be there for very different reasons and they can even flux on a give data center that has different tewaks running on them.

One page might be the original domain that used that keyword. Another could be there for having a lot of links. Another could be there because they have the right mix of links, age, and content.

About a year ago i was ranked between 3-4 on any given day for a somewhat competitve keyword (competitive by my new understanding). I have been ranked #1 for some time now and I can say links were not the factor. Content was not the main factor, but did play a role. I really think that the reason i am ranking for that keyword has less to do with that and more to do with back end stuff, like a 301 redirect. None of the competition did a 301, or had a 301, but I decided to take the chance and do it.

After a year of high end stress of watching that big money page drop out of the index, i have been consistently holding the #1 and #2 position for that keyword.

So in closing, i think that age, links, and content do matter, but back end tweaking may also help you in the long run. Not short term.

Also, the amount of links that you have received over the past year must have sent some kind of signal to Google. Thats a lot of links over a short time frame, unless you are viral?

kartiksh




msg:3119546
 10:57 am on Oct 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

What counts is the anchor text for that keyword. Please do a seach allinanchor:keyword and you will know why :)

This could be. but we are with in top 3 for very competitive keyword since last 3 yrs and if we search with allinanchor:keyword we are no where in first 10 pages i checked.

Content is king.

[edited by: kartiksh at 11:02 am (utc) on Oct. 13, 2006]

This 82 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 82 ( 1 [2] 3 > >
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