|To reach the #1 spot in search engines|
How to break into the top listings?
What can I do to reach the #1 spot in Google (I'm focusing on UK, so no point wasting time with the others)... or at least top3?
This is the situation:
I have a site that has been live for 18 months, but have only been doing serious link promotion the last 6 months. For 6 months I have been acquiring links at a rate of perhaps 5-7/week. In doing this I am making sure I get the same mixture of pr0-pr7 that my main competitors (top5 in Google for my keyword phrase) have, i.e. a few high pr, more mid pr and lots of pr0. I also made sure that the anchor text varies and targets the key phrase in 40-50% of the links (just as my main competitors). Just a handful links are reciprocal (to really relevant and high quality sites) while the rest is one-way links. Almost every link is coming from "link pages".
Doing this I made steady progress for 4 months, after which I was on page 1, ranked 6-8 or so. For the last 2 months there has been no progress in ranking. I'm still being ranked 6-8 for my key phrase.
I have heard other people say that the toughest bit is to break into the top5 or so... does that mean that I need more patience or do I need a different strategy to advance into top3 (and eventually #1)?
Do you think I need to get links originating from non-link pages? I mean, if I can get a prX link from a link page, and also from a "normal" page, is the link page link considered less valuable? That is really the only thing I can think of that could be my problem. The content is no problem (H1-tags, ALT-tags etc is covered...), I have a nice amount of text with just the right (same as competition) key words sprinkled throughout.
Ideas or comments anyone?
My suggestion is that a link from a "normal" page would look better in the eyes of Google than from a link page, as long as the link from the normal page was within content. It's all to do with relevancy, so clearly a link from within a paragraph of text related to the destination URL would look better to the bots than a link simply listed with 10's or 100's of other links that may or may not be remotely related.
I'd also suggests patience. One factor Google looks at for ranking is domain age. You mention you started your site 18 months ago, but haven't mentioned whether this is when you bought your domain. It might be worth checking when competitors domains were registered compared with yours.
It sounds like your doing the right things when it comes to link building in general. The reason the top 5 are harder to crack is because those are the people that have been doing it well for a while. It may just be a case of continuing what you're doing and waiting.
18 months is sufficient enough to acquire enough credibility to gain top rankings, in spite of the competitiveness of the keyphrase arena, provided that:
1. You cease trying to attain ranking by using search engine manipulation strategies, in your case, link building schemes (that have levelled out in their effectiveness anyway). There's much more to SEO than this, read up and practice.
2. You concentrate on deploying the highest quality optimized content and evolve your web presentation to continue to provide web content that is of the highest quality, is indisputably unique and is interestingly written. Content like this will draw in naturally generated incoming links. You'll no longer need to hunt links down and this type of off-site activity encourages your webpages to have the authoritativeness required to attain and sustain top positions, in any keyphrase environment.
I think I forgot to mention that the website is commercial, which means people are not very likely to link to the site because of any quality content. So just adding content and waiting for people to link to the site seems unlikely to work. To put it differently... natural links will only come after enough people visit the website and make a purchase (they are happy with), but this traffic is not going to come unless I'm reaching the top of the rankings.
|1. You cease trying to attain ranking by using search engine manipulation strategies, in your case, link building schemes (that have levelled out in their effectiveness anyway). There's much more to SEO than this, read up and practice. |
Exactly what did you have in mind? I have always got the impression that acquiring links was the most important bit...
Majik, link building IS important.
My assumption in my response was that you had covered off a lot of the onsite optimisation. My guess was that since you had managed to get to page 1 that your site must be optimised to a decent standard.
I also wouldn't have referred to what you were doing as a Search engine manipulation strategy as canadafred has suggested. You've hinted that most of your links are 1 way, with only a handful being reciprocal, and you've tried to vary anchor text.
This, in my opinion, is not manipulation ... it's just good link building. (assumes that you're not paying for all of these links?)
As you point out, waiting for natural links to commercial sites isn't always practical. It's not the same as having an information / article rich site which people can easily link to.
I work on my own sites and along side various search agencies, and all focus on links more than anything else once the onsite optimisation has been handled.
Specifically, since recent changes in Google, Press distribution (and the links it can generate) have a big impact. We saw one of our sites jump from page 25 to page 4 (where it has been consistently for 4-5 weeks now) on the back of 1 press release.
Thanks for your input. I also think that Google will (it must be the case, otherwise I don't know what they are thinking...) value links, that are not usual "link page" links, higher. I was thinking if I maybe should contact bloggers (nice quality ones and seem interested in my kind of products) and offer them a product for free, in return for a review on their blog (including links of course). My cheapest products cost $40, so even a cheap one is of some value.
Has anyone tried this? What was the general respons from those bloggers? Respons rate?
Don't underestimate the magnetic power of a well constructed webpage, regardless of its industry.
Why don't you focus for a while on amplifying the effectiveness of your own internal linking structure. A powerful internal linking structure is a far better catch than schools of mediocre incoming links.
Consider also, rather than pursuing additional unreliable link hunting expeditions, how about developing your own off-site influences. Yes, you can have off-site web content supporting your main webpages. Helpers that are completely within your control and whose existences you can indisputably justify.
Think, think. Be innovative instead of trendy; that's what it takes to outsmart the rest.
|Why don't you focus for a while on amplifying the effectiveness of your own internal linking structure. A powerful internal linking structure is a far better catch than schools of mediocre incoming links. |
pr sculpting you mean?
Outsourcing your SEO needs to someone else? On-Page and Off-Page SEO together would help alot...but just knowing there's millions of other webpages to deal with means it's harder to break into the #1 spot (I'm still trying :)
You can try services to do all your backlinking and off-page SEO work for you. My dad's company recently outsourced that work to someone else, and after 7 weeks, the web dev that works there apparently is excited that the website is starting to get some rankings (via Google Analytics)
[edited by: agerhart at 4:34 pm (utc) on Sep. 24, 2009]
remember that raising your pagerank gets exponentially harder at each level (2 to 3, 3 to 4, 5 to 6, etc...) so don't get disheartened :)