Msg#: 4500010 posted 4:21 am on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)
A couple of months ago, I started a site targeting a certain keyword because after analyzing the site that was ranking #1, I realized it wouldn't be too hard to get the same backlinks it has. After about 1 month, the site was ranking on the 4th page. In the second month, I managed to get almost all of the backlinks that the site ranking #1 has got (a lot of the links from "resources" pages or similar), plus some more links from guest blogging on authority blogs. But even though the site has sufficient backlinks to rank on the first page, if not #1, the site is still ranking on the 3rd page (it hovers around #28 - #31). The keyword it's targeting gets 2400 local searches per month and 3600 global. Could the sandbox be to blame for its low ranking? All of the sites that are ranking above it have been around for over a year and most have been around for over 3 years. Should I just wait for my site to age more or should I keep building more links?
You are also seeing evidence that backlinks are a smaller part of ranking than they used to be. I'm seeing sites rank in the top five that have only 10% of the quality backlinks that others on the same SERP have.
I'd also encourage you not to go after every backlink that a competitor has. There is a chance that this would be noticed as "backlinks under your control" and therefore thepower of your links would be diminished.
Sure, do some of the same links - in some markets that is inevitable. But also develop your own core of backlinks, too. Google wants to see freely given, editorial backlinks - sites that link to you because they really vouch for you and not just because you made some arrangement.
backlinks are a smaller part of ranking than they used to be
I would probably put that slightly differently - backlinks are being evaluated in a very different way, which means that you can rank with far fewer links than might have been the case a few years ago.
Still fits with your advice not to go backlink chasing, though ;)