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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]

 

Terabytes




msg:3118130
 1:01 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

age of domain is clearly not the most important factor

that factor would not be the most important one, simply one facet of the overall scheme.

The number of pages would doubtfully give a clue either..the one with more pages clearly does not rank for #1...perhaps the #1 site content is better...

it all kinda boils down to the overall content of the entire site as a whole...if the 2000+ site has "fluff" pages (pages with no real benefit) then the number of pages clearly down not matter...

(IMHO) it boils down to the overall site content.
in this case anyway....

just my $0.02
Tera

[edited by: Terabytes at 1:01 pm (utc) on Oct. 12, 2006]

shogun_ro




msg:3118131
 1:03 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

For example Backlinks quality is important not the number.

Alex70




msg:3118132
 1:05 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

In my opinion is it never a matter of numbers but it is a matter of quality.

trillianjedi




msg:3118133
 1:05 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

they do not advertise anywhere but are extremely successful.

Sounds like an authority.

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

Authority.

What route did you take to get to #3?

TJ

toothake




msg:3118134
 1:07 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

"My site: 1760"
that is your prob mate.
You are too young yet.

Amarula




msg:3118138
 1:09 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

JackR

I have been watching you for some times and i have a little question.
You started buying backlinks thus inflating the cost of being in top positions, something the others didn't do. Now they have started too, getting exactly same links with exactly same anchor text.

So what will you do when they are credited for those links, what will you do if others start to do the same (and they do seem to be eager in following you)?

Also I'm pretty confident that people shop around and it does not make much difference if it's #1 or#3 or even lower.

[edited by: Amarula at 1:30 pm (utc) on Oct. 12, 2006]

mcskoufis




msg:3118154
 1:23 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I reckon that altering *slightlestly* your title, meta description and opening paragraph would give you a top 10... Maybe add another internal link to your navigation with your keyword within the link text...

PR is irrelevant (in my humble opinion) as I had a PR 2 site rank #1 for a very competitive keyword.

Another interesting observation is that you have many more backlinks than the others which makes me wonder...

Maybe what we know about SEO needs to be "refurbished"...

Patrick Taylor




msg:3118216
 1:59 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

On searches for other than a brand name (where #1 would be expected), for the top five results on page one my guess is that the page title, the snippet, and even the URL count for more than whether a page is ranked #1, #2, #3 etc. The topmost results are equally visible, so the most tempting click is the one to go for.

Actually, for some reason, I often tend to click below #1 - maybe I like to keep well clear of clicking the sponsored links which sometimes appear at the very top, or maybe there's something slightly (subconsciously) suspicious about the #1 result.

[edited by: Patrick_Taylor at 2:03 pm (utc) on Oct. 12, 2006]

srmark




msg:3118266
 2:39 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

The # of backlinks really doesn't mean anything - I can get thousands of backlinks in a flash. But can I get thousands of quality backlinks? That's the trick.

My guess is that the top two people have higher quality backlinks. Also, there are some (including me) who believe that the age of a link has something to do with its weight. So if you just got linked over from Wikipedia, it may not mean as much right away as it will in 1 year when that link is still there.

JackR




msg:3118298
 3:06 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wow, thanks for all your replies.

Terabytes: You've got it. Content is definitely king. Having tried several other strategies, content has been overlooked. I have someone who is due to begin work addressing this shortly.

trillianjedi: I do not wish to be specific about my industry, but talking of an 'authority' is not particularly straightforward, trust me. That said, it terms of SEO and onsite content, the #1 could be considered authoritative.

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

Amarula: When you say you've been "watching me for some time", I hope you're speaking metaphorically. You clearly seem to have a vested interest in what I do - and why. I can therefore either conclude that you're in the same industry, or that you want to be. Care to elaborate?

As far as others buying backlinks to 'get even' as it were, you might just be right. The difference however is that I will soon have a full time team working on this. More importantly, I have an unlimited budget and can outspend anyone in my industry.

srmark: I agree with your comments 100%. Quality, like content, is king. That said, I do have some of the best (and most relevant) backlinks that money can buy. Unless I'm missing something, I don't think that there are better sites to be linked from than DMOZ, The Yahoo Directory and most of the top ten sites in my industry.

decaff




msg:3118307
 3:11 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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

Age and actual relevancy of inbound links is what is doing it for the #1 site...

Where did you run these numbers..?
Use Yahoo Site Explorer to get more specific information about inbound links (you can exclude all inbound links from within the domain itself)...and then see the quality of the inbound link anchor text <= this is critical...

Volume of inbound links vs. age/relevancy/stability of inbound links .. the latter leaves a stronger impression

ronburk




msg:3118318
 3:20 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have an unlimited budget

How strange. Usually people with unlimited budgets just put themselves on top with AdWords instead of futzing around with endless SEO.

trillianjedi




msg:3118337
 3:29 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I do not wish to be specific about my industry, but talking of an 'authority' is not particularly straightforward, trust me.

The same principles of "authority" apply in whatever industry. It's just relative to that industry.

Consider one (big) aspect of authority is a large quantity of topical articles deep within a site and lots of external sources (themselves of quality) deeplinking to them.

I suspect what you're actually saying is that's hard to achieve in your industry, as opposed to hard to determine "authority".

So if I were you I would be thinking laterally towards article writing and the linking of those articles. And the quality of those links need only be high relative to the industry norm.

That said, it terms of SEO and onsite content, the #1 could be considered authoritative.

Forget SEO. In terms of onsite content, consider why you think it's authoritative.

Then match it, but do it better.

TJ

trinorthlighting




msg:3118373
 3:45 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Add more quality pages that users will view. Content is king....

mattg3




msg:3118393
 3:56 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's impossible, that space is reserved for Wikipedia. ;)

JackR




msg:3118419
 4:11 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)


How strange. Usually people with unlimited budgets just put themselves on top with AdWords instead of futzing around with endless SEO.

Not strange at all ronburk. I already am at #1 using Adwords for all the main keywords in my industry. If I had wanted to have a discussion about the merits of using Adwords, I'd have posted it in the Adwords section.

Moreover, Adwords CTR is, IMO, lower than that for the #1 organic SERP.

trillianjedi: Let me clarify my earlier reply. You are 100% correct to speak of an authoritative site in terms of a site which is clearly a leader vis-a-vis providing high quality, relevant and contemporary information to the end user.

In my industry, these factors are absolutely not relevant. The end user is definitely not concerned with any of the above.

The #1 site in question can be considered authoritative only in terms of having held strong SERPs for a considerable period of time.

JackR




msg:3118424
 4:15 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

decaff:

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.

Amarula




msg:3118425
 4:17 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

"As far as others buying backlinks to 'get even' as it were, you might just be right. The difference however is that I will soon have a full time team working on this. More importantly, I have an unlimited budget and can outspend anyone in my industry."

Am somewhat puzzled as cannot see what's the point in an unlimited budget :
a tweak in the algo and you're off. Also there's no need to pay more for what could be done on a small budget, really it's not that competitive there.

[edited by: tedster at 8:32 pm (utc) on Oct. 12, 2006]

Terabytes




msg:3118438
 4:23 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

The #1 site in question can be considered authoritative only in terms of having held strong SERPs for a considerable period of time.

I believe that this works in a lot of sectors...if you've been #1 for a while...(like years)...you tend to remain there...

I have a term (been there for about 5 years now) that ranks #1. No matter what I do to that particular page, it continues to rank #1. (yes, i'm sure that if I replaced it with a blank page it would fall off) I wonder if that hurts startups, in the respect that since they don't have any real time online, it would be almost impossible for them to out rank a page with years of online time under it's belt....

what would it take to overtake a site like that?
by the time they get 5 years online, I've now got 10 years online...seems like a tough nut to crack...

(just a thought...)

subway




msg:3118446
 4:32 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I can no specific indication of what the Big G is looking for

AdSense, switch all the quality content on your index page for AdSense ads, or display AdSense ads every second paragraph. That'll get you to #1.

tedster




msg:3118455
 4:43 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Here's one thing I do in assessing the competition on a keyword. I first set my preferences to 100 results per page and do the keyword search. Then I go to the address bar, add &filter=0 to the end of the url and hit enter.

With the filtering off, there is no limit to the number of urls that can be returned from any one domain. If some competitor at #1 or #2 has a lot more urls than I do at #3 in that unfiltered SERP, then I start developing more content rather than going directly after links.

In fact, before I create just any old content, I check out what already exists in the market. It can often be quite simplistic and not really of much use to the visitor. So I look for gaps, for what kind of content visitors might appreciate -- and therefore, link to naturally. That accomplishes two purposes with one action on my part.

econman




msg:3118477
 5:00 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

WRT the concept of an "authority," if Google considers an authoritative site to be one that is clearly a leader vis-a-vis providing high quality, relevant and contemporary information to the end user, it really doesn't matter from an SEO perspective that in your industry, these factors are absolutely not relevant. Let's assume the end user is definitely not concerned with any of the above.

Let's assume you're right (I can think of at least a few obvious examples of niches where these standards might not apply, like like porno and online poker).

It doesn't really matter if you happen to be operating in an exceptional niche -- the advice you've been given is still valid.

Google doesn't design a special set of algorithms to deal with obscure exceptions to the general rule. Instead, Google designs its algorithms based on the general assumption that most of its users are searching for high quality, relevant and contemporary information related to the keyword they typed into the little box.

If Google were to follow the opposite approach, and try to list sites at the top of its results that offer the lowest quality, most irrelevant, and stalest information, it would lose users undermine its (very successful) business model.

So, take the advice you've already been given, figure out a way to add high quality textual content (related to your niche) deep within your site, and attract high quality links pointing to that high quality content.

econman




msg:3118515
 5:17 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Tedster:

Very interesting technique/suggestion.

Can you perhaps tell us more about how to interpret the results of modifying the search to remove the filter?

I just tried a simple test using a keyword I'm familiar with. I discovered wide variations of the number of additional pages that are displayed with the filter removed; the variation in added pages is not simply a function of the number of relevant pages on the respective sites.

With the filter removed, Google is displaying most of the relevant pages for some of the largest, oldest sites. Smaller, newer sites continue to only show one or two pages, despite the fact that these newer sites have dozens of other pages that are relevant to this keyword. (These are pages that tend to display near the top of Google's SERPs for longer keyphrases farther out the search tail -- keyphrases that include the intial keyword plus one or two additional keywords).

So, this filter technique is telling me something interesting, but I don't know enough to figure out how to interpret the pattern. It seems to be saying something more than simply how many other pages are on each site that are relevant to the major keyword in question.

Any further insights you can offer would be appreciated.

ashear




msg:3118554
 5:40 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would suggest looking at the #1 & #2 sites and try to understand how many of their pages are relevant for the keyword you are targeting. I find that this is a fairly important factor.

JackR




msg:3118561
 5:56 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

AdSense, switch all the quality content on your index page for AdSense ads, or display AdSense ads every second paragraph. That'll get you to #1.

- Adsense is not permitted in my industry.

tedster




msg:3118580
 6:13 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

[with &filter=0 added...] Smaller, newer sites continue to only show one or two pages, despite the fact that these newer sites have dozens of other pages that are relevant to this keyword.

Here's how I interperet that. The SERP is telling you that these "dozens of other pages" would not rank in the top 100, even if the 2-url limit is lifted. The first place I would look - not enough PR and backlink influence. Also consider every factor we talk about on the forum -- unique title tags and meta descriptions, no duplicate urls, etc.

If you've already got the goods when it comes to valuable and relevant content that the market would value, then make sure that "relevance signal" is as clear as you can make it.

ashear




msg:3118728
 7:40 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Tedster, good thinking. Adding that to my list.

CainIV




msg:3118767
 7:55 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's most likely not meta or title tags if you have taken time to do them properly.

Consider that upheaving and moving an 'authority' site is very hard work.

I would consider - better quality links to you from completely relevant themed sites. You may have alot of links, but examine - the linking page, the links around your links if there are others, the topic of the page, site etc

More content. Google simply loves content, and you have just over 1/2 of what one of the others has.

mrjohncory




msg:3118770
 7:59 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Any possibility your site is just *cooler* than the other ones, that you're really popular with the hip kids and more people click on your listing than other listings?

That's a thing that's been bugging me a lot lately as I see sites with crappy content at #1, sites with crappy code at #1, new sites at #1, sites with few backlinks at #1. Sometimes I look at the SERPs and just see stupid-popular sites at #1 for apparently no reason other than that people are LOOKING for it and Google's adjusting, throwing all the other rules out the window on the fly.

No? I'd like to give credit to "it's how well you mix all the different factors" but sometimes it just seems like Google's so into the "Zeitgeist" and pleasing customers that it'll 'auto-lift' certain sites out of the blue.

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