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When the pool dries up

No more sites left in the niche to backlink



10:31 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The site i help run has held a steady position 2 or position 3 (it moves up and down between those 2 every month) for about 2 years now. When at position 2 only the "official" site for the common search term beats us, and thats to be expected, when at position 3 the gods of google smiled down on the wikipedia entry for that search term and moved them to 2nd place, thats also to be expected.

The gaming section my site covers is an old niche, been around for almost 2 decades and the site itself has been around for 3 years on the current domain and 8 years in total. The problem we have though is there is no more sites to link to or exchange links with and therefore no "natural" backlinks are appearing.

A competitors site has recently changed their URL as well to something VERY simmilar to ours. Our URL is widget-techs.com and theirs is widget-tech.com (as an example) very simmilar. They opened the site 2 weeks ago...its now rank 8th in google for the search term we are ranked 2nd for, and it took my site roughly 1 year of hard work and natural progression for google to get us where our competitor is now. The way the new site is going is something new to me...they are literally spamming the blogging sites.

The competitor site is asking everyone who has a blog to link from their blog to their new URL using the key search term as the anchor text. Is this now the way ya have to go once the pool of your niche sites dries up? Now i have to ask the visitors to link to our site in blogs just to beat down the competitor?

Any kind of advice would be great cause right now myself and the webmaster of the site are sitting here scratching our heads :(


1:59 am on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

There's plenty of untapped related/secondary markets. If you don't want to 'join them', then that's where you should go. Don't accept 'we're out of backlink places' as an answer. It's false.

You mention gaming. Got a poker site? Get some backlinks from blogs of poker players. Nothing wrong with that is there? Maybe companies that manufacture playing cards or poker chips. Game theory content, if done right, should garner you lots of links from .edu's and stuff.

And so on. Does that help? I work in a competitive niche and have still found oodles of crevasses and crannies where there's entire communities of solid places who'll give out backlinks....and even in 2007 I'm still the first person to get in there. Totally fresh meat :). So start thinking about any industry or community that 'touches' your niche in any fashion.


12:11 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

She doesn't run a poker site - so poker site links are of no use to her as they are unrelated links. Game blogs - eg: blogs that contain game stuff is an option, although you may have to do a fair bit of surfing to track down the correct ones, it might work - then again if your subject matter is 20 years old, it may be too much like 'old news', it may not work for you.

Your site is one of the better ones I've seen in a long time - seems to be very passion driven. It may be worth something in terms of traffic visiting it, maybe that can be monetised, but the official site will beat you, plus one or 2 others I've seen.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there are at least 40 game sites in direct competition with you. Not to mention all the other niche areas extracted from the main idea area, so you could just tap into all those links (if you haven't already). I just found a directory that lists all the sites in your area, so getting links from those is an option.

Good luck, but you have entered a very popular and already swamped niche area.

[edited by: Maxnpaddy at 12:26 pm (utc) on Oct. 19, 2007]


1:30 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Since their domain name is so similar to yours you may be able to go the cybersquatting route and take the domain from them based on copyright infringement.


3:44 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

So poker site links are of no use to her as they are unrelated links.

The poker sites were an example. The point is, related niches are plentiful, and most folks seem to miss them. That leaves a field day for someone who does some thinking.

There's got to be a bajillion RPG sites out there to look into. Anything gaming related works I would think. Xbox 360 sites might be a place to look. Fan sites - geesh there's got to be a million of them for that genre. Do some searches to find those nerds that talk Klingon.

Do an article on Gene Roddenberry's vision of the future (I think he had one) as portrayed through the movie and then see if there's any academics interested in that type of thing.

Fan sites for any of the actors in any of the series.

Do searches for anyone involved in any aspect of making any of the films. Who knows what you'll find there.

Write an article stating emphatically that the new one is better than the old one. Or that Kirk is better than Picard. Or Janeway. See if you can kick up some fuss over that.

Movie review sites might reveal some link possibilities. See if you can get a movie critic to take a break from movies and review your 'fun' site.

Game programmers sites. Better yet, if your server runs linux, do some searches on linux gamers or linux gaming programmers. Many times sites like that are all manner of authority. Lots of monster backlinks and they're still flattered if you ask for a link.

Individually they might not do anything, but hammering away at secondary things like that and eventually you'll find some niches that will yield up some links.


4:15 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

And have you sent an email to Will Wheaton yet? :)


5:03 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think we all know what site this is about since the mention of Gene Roddenberry.....

Poker linking to poker is on-target. Movie site/forum linking to poker site would be very off-topic indeed. I play poker online and the last thing I want to see is something unrelated in my face.

Academics? Huh? now this is just getting silly.

[edited by: Maxnpaddy at 5:14 pm (utc) on Oct. 19, 2007]


5:40 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

Not that I'm advocating it or anything, but...

Since the domains are similar, you COULD contact everyone linking to your competitor's site and say they mis-typed the domain and could they please update their link to point to your site. :)


10:40 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

lol. There was a thread around here a year or two ago where someone anonymously contacted their competition and advised them of a typo on their site. Their competitors corrected the typo and immediately dropped out of the serps for the mispelling. Gotta love social engineering.


6:58 pm on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Thanks for all the ideas folks. The site i help run (including all the staff) have been thinking too much of "inside the box" only linking and looking for links to the specific "gaming" sector, we havent even thought of the larger part of the franchise, especially the role players, theres literally thousands of role play sites out there, then the other branchises of "general" fan sites.

As for the other site getting a domain simmilar to ours, we just ignore them...we got 4 times more content spread over our site than they have, including a video hosting site and 10 times more downloads than they can possibly get. If folks want real content, they usually go to our site, the competitor site is full of ripped off content from several wiki's.


7:16 pm on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Are you saying the site in question is a business and not a hobby site?

I ask because I've been a big online gaming fan in the past and, always thought these sites where hobby sites

Fantastic site tho


1:40 am on Oct 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

hi centime, yes its v=basically a hobby site, it runs off donations like most large gaming sites do

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