Sites that Don’92t Rank Well in Google (SEO)


Hi everybody,

Thanks for the great comments and feedback from the community about our search engine optimization tips. If you’re just now joining this thread, be sure to read over all my SEO tips so you can learn how to move your website up as high as possible in the SERPs.

Last week we talked about the importance of having keyword-rich domains. This week I felt it was important to discuss the fact that not all industries represent equal opportunity and I wanted to help you not get sucked into the trap of spending a lot of resources into a website that won’t do well in search engines.

Before I dive into the subject of sites that don’t rank well in search engines, it’s important to understand this important rule, which you must never forget:

You Work for Google

This means that even if you are self-employed and running the show, your success on the web depends on how well you are in tune with, and have respect for: Google (assuming of course that you depend on search engine traffic for the majority of your sales / leads).

Speaking of keeping in tune with Google, be sure to check out Matt Cutts’ blog, if you haven’t already. He’s the head of Google’s Webspam team, former software engineer who helped create the algorithm. The blog is great to read if you want to keep up with all current news going on with Google and how it can affect your site. Anything that is highly relevant to Google’s search algorithm will be on Matt Cutts’ blog.

If you recall, I mentioned in my first post that we would talk about the 15% of sites that didn’t rank well out of the 300+ I’ve optimized. A lot of what I’m going to say is intuitive, common sense stuff, but it’s important to put into writing nonetheless.

Websites that rank well have several things in common: Great content, well-optimized pages, and keyword-rich and/or aged domain names. So this means that as long as you have all these items your site will rank well no matter what you are selling, right? The answer is no.

This may come as a terrible shock to many of you but if you have a site related to any form of network marketing including but not limited to Amway, Quickstar, Melaleuca, Get Rich Quick, Work at Home, How to Make Big Bucks on the Web, Growth Pills, or anything similar to this’85sorry, you’re not likely to be found. I know I’m probably shattering somebody’s dreams right now, but please trust me.

Now hopefully the majority of you reading this have a legit service or product and you have a sound business plan. However, in case you are somebody just starting out and just want to sell something on the web to make big bucks, take a look at the images below.

(CLICK on image to enlarge)

The first image shows a simple search for “make money at home.” Notice the pages of results in Google. There are 710 million web pages in the search results, meaning that your website has to beat out all those web pages in order to be found. The second example for “Remy hair wigs” has significantly less pages of competition.

(CLICK on image to enlarge)

Now this does not mean that as long as the keyword you are targeting has less than a million results in Google that it’s a good idea. You have to first conduct keyword analysis, which we’ll discuss in the future.

The reason I showed the “remy hair wigs” keyword search example is because I optimized a site selling these and many other kinds of wigs earlier this year in January. It’s a high profit margin item with lots focused web traffic. Two months ago, I pulled up my client’s traffic / sales data and was delighted to see the site is getting over 11,000 unique hits per month and generating over $18k in monthly sales. Hmmm…just think if you owned 10 sites like that.

On the other hand, I could show you dozens of MLM, network marketing, and get rich quick sites that have done absolutely zero in sales or traffic. Now, you might say (as you should) “But wait, Art. SOMEBODY is ranking well for the keywords I’m targeting.” This is true. However…

If you take a look at the avg content, backlinks, domain age of the top sites ranking in the MLM space, you’ll be overwhelmed. Additionally, you’ve got millions of other competitors entering the same market as we speak – and MANY of these new competitors are building loads of heavy site content and backlinks. This is not to say that someday you can’t do it. Heck, Mary Kay made a fortune right? (Not online). It’s going to take vast amounts of cash, time, and energy to be successful with this kind of business model on the web because of your competition.

In summary, be smart and start with a legit product or service and it’s possible you’ll be in the 85% of websites that can do well in search engines (as long as you do all the other stuff we’re talking about here in the world of SEO).




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  • http://Nepallica.com Pritush

    i don't think age of domain have anything to do with ranking in google.

    • artenke

      Hi Pritush. There is overwhelming evidence that domain age does have a HUGE impact with ranking well in Google. What's your reasoning?

    • http://games.m7shsh.com f1 ‘c7′e1′da’c7′c8 f0 f1 ‘dd’e1′c7′d4 f0

      sorry but it realy do

      age with domain+fresh content = traffic from google

    • http://sprouticus.me sprouticus

      I would love to hear your thoughts on this as well. :)

      • http://Nepallica.com Pritush

        I bought domain nepallica.com from name.com 3month before , one of my post in at #1 in Google for term “Justin Bieber Jokes” the site at 2nd is goodreads.com which was registered in 2002 . so i think age of domain doesn't play that vital role .

        • artenke

          Ahh…Justin Bieber fan, eh? Just kidding. I like your website and it looks like you're getting some good traffic. But let's look closer at what's happening here with your keyword “Justin Bieber Jokes.”

          Reason 1: Limited Competition
          There's very little competition for that particular keyword. One indicator you can look at for competition is the Adwords Keyword tool under the ad competition column; also, this is an emerging keyword that didn't really get traffic a year ago. Notice the upward trends over time (see this screen shot):

          http://skitch.com/artenke/dhkax/google-adwords-keyword-tool

          Reason #2: You have the better optimized page
          To your credit, you've optimized your page much better than Goodreads. Your page title is concise and targeted to the keyword, you've got bold around your keyword in your text, your url is the exact phrase…excellent job!

          http://skitch.com/artenke/dhkss/justin-bieber-jokes-google-search

          But, watch out for other, more established sites that target this keyword as well as you've done. In the end, the older, more established site will win if all other things are equal. Be sure to check out the chart of the top 110 sites (out of 300,000+). They have domains that are 6.7 yrs old, on average (and they have a lot of content). See my post from a few weeks back http://blog.name.com/2010/09/search-engine-basics-for-small-businesses-seo/

          Please keep me posted on your site's performance; you're doing great targeting fresh topics and emerging content with well-optimized pages.

          • http://Nepallica.com Pritush

            thanks for your comments , limited competition may be reason i m on top, i'm still trying not to get dropped from the top. most of the visit on my site is with that help of that single post.

          • http://sprouticus.me sprouticus

            Hmm, so the secret to increased site traffic is to post about Justin Bieber? Good to know. ;)