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Overcoming Big Brands: Anyone Successful?

     

Planet13

2:24 pm on Oct 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Hi there, Everyone:

On one of my sites (that usually gets most traffic during the Holidays), I noticed that, like many people here, I have dropped from the top one or two positions down to number 6 or 7, and have been replaced by the big brands of the world (amazon, ebay, n0rdstroms, zapp0s, etc).

Has anyone successfully overcome this?

My on page SEO (title tags, internal anchor text, etc) is far "better" than theirs (using the traditional definition of good on-page SEO). Some of my pages have more Facebook likes than theirs (despite their hugeness).

Thanks in advance. Time is short before the holidays and unfortunately it will be very hard to get links to those pages in the meantime.

aristotle

11:30 am on Oct 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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A lot of people type the names of big brands into the Google search Box. For example, a lot of people type in "Amazon books" instead of "books". This is one of the main reasons why Amazon ranks so high in searches for books. If you want to compete, you need to get thousands of people to type the name of your site into the Google search box on a regular basis.

deadsea

11:41 am on Oct 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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That is an interesting theory, aristotle. I'd imagine that if true, it would only work for single word head terms.

The sites that I'm seeing that beat the big brands have keyword domains for the search term. If the search term is two words, then having a domain name that starts with the first keyword seems to get sites in the serps right now. ex: search "widget foo" and a site like "widgetemporium.com" has a good chance of making the serps with the big brands.

netmeg

11:54 am on Oct 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Have you made the essential argument? Is the overwhelming reason someone should buy from you rather than from the bigger companies easily recognizable front and center on your site?

Planet13

6:13 pm on Oct 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Have you made the essential argument? Is the overwhelming reason someone should buy from you rather than from the bigger companies easily recognizable front and center on your site?


That is a work in progress. It is something I am SERIOUSLY examining now, and of course, might have to adjust / abandon current business model to come up with a compelling value proposition.

That is, of course, more of a mid-term / long-term STRATEGIC focus, since when you change your value proposition, often your entire branding efforts have to change, too.

In the meantime, trying to figure out for this holiday season why I rank above ALL the other independent mom and pop stores, but below the mega-brands of the world, is my pressing concern.

(My guess is that google has turned up the amount of page rank that flows from the home page of a site down to the product pages, while possibly reducing the value of page rank to individual product pages from external sites. Of course, I have ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE to prove this.)

I know I am asking for the proverbial "magic bullet" here, but I was hoping that someone might have recently accomplished it.

Planet13

6:18 pm on Oct 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



@ aristotle:


...a lot of people type in "Amazon books" instead of "books" [into the google search box]... you need to get thousands of people to type the name of your site into the Google search box on a regular basis.


You raise a good point here.

I don't know for sure - and I seriously doubt that ANYONE knows for sure - whether brand mentions in search queries are DEFINITELY being used for ranking. It sure seems like something that could be easily manipulated automatically using proxy servers.

Over in the link development forums, we often look at the role of citations (i.e., un-linked mentions of the site name, either with or without the www. prefix) as helping to boost ranking.

both of these things might have been dialed up in the google Algo lately?

Whitey

7:36 am on Oct 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@Planet13 - I think the brand name surely helps prejudice results, but there are some things to consider. Brands :

- have deep pockets to drive usability improvements
- are "talked" about
- are the originators of content ( sometimes ! )

Most folks i observe in competition with them struggle on several of these. Brands may have a head start with Panda -but is there anything that you can see where you can make your presence felt?

almighty monkey

3:08 pm on Oct 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Speaking on behalf of someone who SEO's 'Big Brands', but hasn't always, I'm not convinced Panda or any other part of the algorithm is any different for them than anyone else. We build links, we see rankings rise at the same rate, it's no different....well, the only difference between SEO'ing a brand and SEO'ing a one man startup's website is that there is already a strong domain-wide link profile in place, so we have a head start when chasing a keyphrase.

You want to know what the biggest advantages Brands have? A PR team.

PR Teams may not be trained SEO's in the technical sense, but every one I work with knows the value of a link, and they are (usually, some are rubbish) guided by SEOs as to what anchor text to put in there. So, they get anchor text optimised links from Newspapers, TV channel websites, magazine sites and the like. Obviously, we all know how valuable those are, on any measuring stick you can choose to make that judgement.

As ever, if you want to outrank a page, you need to have a better onsite content and better offsite metrics than the pages that are currently there. And if you want to have better metrics, you need to be matching or exceeding the effort of the people currently ranking. That's always been the reality of SEO. If your bumping up against a brand and you can't make the investment to compete....I'm afraid that's the reality of business, and has been since the dawn of time.
 

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