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Being an Ecommerce site is a bad thing for some keywords?

1:24 pm on Oct 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Over the last 8 months I've noticed a trend for a few of our keywords, mainly the most popular niche ones.

We are an ecommerce site that has a niche product. We have always ranked well and always worked to a 'white hat' approach to things, where content is unique and users are looked after, we have a very good social media presence and effectively blow the competing ecommerce sites out of the market.

Now when it comes to the "buy **** ******" keyword we rank well and continue to do so, however the niche "**** ******" keyword is the better searched, most competitive keyword and we ranked very well for this for some time.

Now for about 8 months we have seen a general decline of competing ecommerce sites ranking for this "**** *****" keyword, being replaced with your wikipedias and general well known blogs that have perhaps covered the niche in one article. Now some of the sites deserved to be replaced with these as their content is poor and the sites are generally bad.

The new sites have mediocre content, don't have backlinks, social media or anything else pointed at their particular articles that are ranking, yet they are ranking Page 1.

Finally this last month we have dropped off of the front page for the niche keyword.. Now not one ecommerce site ranks for this keyword and effectively have to use adwords.

We still rank the same for every other keyword especially the "buy" ones, but it feels like being an ecommerce site has punished us for certain keywords because Google knows we and other ecommerce sites have to purchase ads in competitive keyword areas to sell, while the blogs with worse content than (in particular) us rank well now. Thankfully we don't rely on Google, but it just got me thinking.

Has anyone else noticed this over the last 6-8 months at all?
2:00 pm on Oct 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to WebmasterWorld, tripps!

When you said your eComm site has ranked, was it the eComm page that has ranked or have you also got some informational pages on the site?

If you don't, and considering your observation above, it may be worthwhile to create a good informational page on your niche and see if you can get it rank.
4:00 pm on Oct 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the warm welcome, long time reader, first time poster I think they call it.

There are a mixture. The example in this post is an informational page with a click through to a an ecommerce page, however we also have ecommerce pages with in depth and unique content on that rank really well and some not as well. It just feels a lot to do with a market being seen and exploited, of course I'll always see it like that if I don't rank.
4:06 pm on Oct 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Tripps, it goes the other way, too. For some queries, most of Google's top 20 search results are from e-commerce sites even though the user intent was clearly "informational" and plenty of informational pages are available. (We aren't allowed to mention specifics, but certain types of reviews come to mind.)