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Traffic volume - Is SEO a precise science or lucky guesswork?

     
8:59 am on Feb 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Is SEO a precise science or lucky guesswork?

I know fellow college (webmaster) whose website have enormous G. traffic (about 50k/d) without any effort from his side, regardless to SEO and basic rules about SE visibility.

His basic job is to steal content from the other sites, inserting a tons of keywords without any order and sense, website itself is full of tech. errors (CMS is pretty old) and no backlinks at all!.

So, he break every rule about SE visibility but still without any penalty from G., moreover the traffic constantly stay high.
8:27 pm on Feb 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It is both. Good science and research can and has uncovered weaknesses in the ranking algorithm. Good guesswork will enable you to prepare for future changes in the algorithm. Of course it is possible to be lucky and blindly launch a site and get lots of traffic. But rarely will pure luck work for a competitive keyword earning long term profits.
9:08 pm on Feb 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Traffic is just burned bandwidth without earnings.
10:09 pm on Feb 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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A leading mistake is to focus on traffic instead of earnings.
10:39 pm on Feb 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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In this case earnings is noticeably high (ADs are all over the pages) so that is not in question, the site exist because of earnings.

Somehow I think that G. have no strict policy at all or, wich could be more relevant, their algo have of lot of black holes.

BTW, this guy don't even use webmaster tools and G. analytics, no account at all...complete mistery.
10:52 pm on Feb 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My great uncle smoked 65 untipped cigarettes from the age of 16 until he died at the age of 97 from a broken hip caised by reaching for a frying pan just out of his normal reach.

Moral is that there is always someone who can break the rules and succeed. Unfortunately 99.9% of us fail miserably when we try to break the big rules.

SEO works, but only if you have intimate knowledge of the site being SEO'd and also the market that site occupies.
11:22 pm on Feb 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Somehow I think that G. have no strict policy at all or, wich could be more relevant, their algo have of lot of black holes.


Yes, I think it is likely that their algo has many holes that can be exploited.
12:24 am on Feb 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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In this case earnings is noticeably high (ADs are all over the pages) so that is not in question,


Sorry but it is in question. Ads all over the pages does not mean decent earnings, even if the ads are CPM. I am not arguing or quibbling with you. I am trying to give you the benefit of my experience. I am trying to help you improve.

High traffic plus ads on a page does not automatically equal earnings. Traffic is not the goal or a metric of earnings. Only earnings matter.

I knew a guy several years ago who had over a million unique visitors per month. His focus was on acquiring domains in niches with high traffic. But he earned very little off the traffic. Just one of my sites, with a mere fraction of his traffic, earned far more in a day than he was earning in a week.

Circling back to the topic, your friend's achievement may simply be a hollow one, with no substance. The reason is because ranking for traffic with low earning potential is fairly easy. Not an achievement or something to worry about.

What I'm trying to communicate is that high traffic is not an achievement. It is common to assume that high traffic plus ads on the page will nearly automatically result in earnings. But high traffic does not necessarily result in earnings.