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I started coming to this forum about a month and a half ago in the hopes of learning how to move our site from the depths of Google to the first page for that particular search term.
After reading tons of posts here, I have studied all of the top ten sites listed for our particular key phrase and gotten the same sites that link back to them to link to me, and then added several more (all PR5 or higher). I have added relevent ALT tags to our site images to make them more user friendly, reduced the size of all of our pages, and generally tried to make the site more usable.
Most of the changes I made were completed before Esmerelda and the site actually moved up to page 15, then to page 9. Now, the site is moving backwards. None of the backlinks we have added are showing, and my frustration is going through the roof.
I can't even count the number of times I have read the word "patience" on these forums, but it is difficult to sit back and see 2 pages of relevent material and then 13 more of NON-relevent material being published ahead of me.
Our site is not huge, only 300 pages in a small, but very competitive market. Our product is one of the best in this industry and our site is better than 95% of the other sites in providing real information to the consumer. We have not done anything spammy (unlike the #1 site in our keyphrase), hidden any text or links(unlike the #1 site in our keyphrase), we have not over used the <H1> tags (unlike the #1 site in our keyphrase), and have seriously tried to make the site better for the person reading it.
Any advise other than to turn off the computer for a few weeks? Is there any end to this madness?
>>I can't even count the number of times I have read the word "patience" on these forums
That's basically all we can do with search engine rankings, particularly Google now, but let's take another look at the title you chose:
>>>Discouraged new guy<<<
That title covers an issue a lot of us face in many different areas, so let's take our cue from it. There are a lot of areas any webmaster can get discouraged about, even aside from search engine rankings - design freeze where we can't get the creativity going, writers block for writing and creating content, marketing ideas, even discouragement in dealing with a boss or clients. Or maybe being discouraged with what we've been doing. Or just plain burnt out.
>>Any advise other than to turn off the computer for a few weeks? Is there any end to this madness?
Last week my computer turned itself off a few times - a safety feature that kicks in to avoid the processor going over a certain temperature and burning out. In that respect computers can be smarter than some of us are sometimes. ;)
Most all of us hit plateaus where we feel bored, unfulfilled, disillusioned, discouraged or burnt out in one way or another. How do we handle it? What can we do when we reach that point?
None of the backlinks we have added are showing, and my frustration is going through the roof.
A lot of us have the same frustrations - and I know you've heard this before - it takes time.
If you're confident that your site is clean and the top sites are using shady tactics then submit a spam report to Google. You can do this here: [google.com...]
Also - 2003 is going to be an exciting year for SEO. Yahoo will, most likely, drop Google and Microsoft is developing their own crawler based search engine. So Google's blanket rule may be coming to an end soon. :)
If you have a regular business you need to market it in areas other than the yellow pages. Google et al are fancy yellow pages and nothing more.
A web business is still a business and you need to market the business in a variety of ways.
Google is not the answer to making millions of dollars from a web site.
Any traffic I get from a search engine I treat as gravy.
Google isn't a good benchmark at the moment taking into account it's past six weeks or so.
There is no formula x or magic, move on - upwards and onwards :)
Sometimes we just need to walk away and not look, and come back to take a fresh look.
Last year, or maybe longer I asked for someone on this forum to take a look at my site and she spotted several problems I just kept overlooking day after day while trying to figure out what was wrong.
When all else fails, ask a friend in the know to take a quick look and you could be as surprised as I was.
As far as using Adwords and Overture, we do. That is why we want to move our natural listing up the rankings...PPC is just getting to expensive.
As far as a "shadow domain", we had just registered a new domain name (less than a month old) and were debating whether it would be more advantageous to use it, or the current one (productname.com). We certainly have not been trying to be devious. IF that would be causing our domain to slip again, I will have it stopped as of tomorrow until we decide what to do. Our reasoning behind it is simple. Many of the sites in our keyword category use a keyword-keyword-keyword.com domain like widget-software.com or software-for-widgets.com for instance.
Again, the frustration I am referring to is trying to make a good site for a good product and watch it sit there on page 16 of the serps with several pages of non-relevent or outdated sites sitting on page one or two.
Conard, I am more than willing to make postive changes, just don't know anybody. Our budget is tight. Anybody willing to take a look and let me know any obvious things we are doing wrong?
One of your single biggest difficulties is little more than timing.
Two months ago was just before update Dominic, which was not overly kind to many sites, and from posts here it appears many changes to content, backlinks, pr, etc. were not being worked into the mix until six to 4 weeks ago, and
for many, this seems to still be true.
I'll assume, perhaps incorrectly, that your changes are mostly less than 5 weeks in age, and came after you had done some reading and thinking on your original plan of attack.
I realize you indicated you were and are weary of calls for patience but in truth, two months time doesn't seem to be a lengthy period for climbing the serps. As you've undoubtedly read, these are not necessarily the best of times for many folks.
Good luck on seeing the desired results from your changes.
I have spent so much time tracking my competitors backlinks, studying there pages, building our backlinks, and just trying to figure out what they have been doing that I have not it has become a blur.
AFTER that time, however, feel free to start pounding the panic button. ;)
So, if there is a significant percentage of their database that is that old then you have a few months to wait before seeing the fruit of your hard work.
>>>ppc getting to expensive
Are you doing enough tracking to know which keyword produces the sale? Which search engine your buyers are coming from? Do you use a seperate 800 number for yellow pages, search engines, and PPC so you know which is producing the revenue and which is costing "too much money"?
Spending money - regardless of budget size - is never a solution in & of itself. It needs to be spent wisely and you need to track everything - if you don't know where the sales come from - down to the keyword! - then, you need to first start working on that.
Then, once you know where your revenue is coming from, you can stop wasting money on non performing marketing activities, and concentrate on the ones that produce.
There is an old quote several decades old that says, "I know 1/2 of my advertising is working - but I don't know which half." Now, if you eliminate the 1/2 of your advertising that isn't working - suddenly, your marketing budget becomes more productive AND you eliminate waste. Your margins increase, and you have more liquidity in your budget, sales performance is better, and the overall company will perform better because there will be less 'non productive time' among the employees.