I've been doing various types of research as I'm sure many of you are, and one thing that seems to perplex me that I can't figure out is, what is the REAL criteria that search engines use to determine ranking.
Supposedly, things like keywords, keywords in the url, content, backlinks, are all main contributors.
Let me tell you what I've been finding.
There are 2 websites in particular I am thinking of. One of them I will call "yourdomain.com". The other is "my-domain.com"
When someone searches for "your domain", yourdomain.com is #1 in google. It has less back links than the other sites on page 1, and it has no content other than a "coming soon" type of page. #2 on that page has far more content and both are PR3. The keyword phrase "your domain" has 116,000 sites in Google for that exact phrase.
For the second site, when someone searches for "my domain" (without the hyphen), my-domain.com comes up as #1. It is an older site that hasn't been updated in a very long time. #2 is a site with the same keywords without the hyphen (mydomain.com). It has far more backlinks. The keyword phrase "my domain" has 435,000 sites in Google for that exact phrase.
So what is going on here exactly? The only thing I assume is that the url name weighs far far more in these 2 cases than the content, especially with the first example. Also, both sites at #1 are older, so does the age of the site matter as well even if backlinks are not really up there?
Everyone says content is king but I'm not so sure now. And if the URL is a more significant factor, wouldnt simply using a URL like "yourdomain1.com" (added a 1 to the end) work just as well. I have done that before on a niche with only 3,510 competition, and I was #2 on google within a couple days. I did not really have any content up other than a sales page.
Hope that wasn't too much reading. Thanks in advance!