How are these two sites with low stats and un optimised <title> tags ranking so well ?

by massam
7 replies
  • SEO
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Im doing some keyword research and Ive found 2 anomalies for competitive search terms where sites with unoptimised <title> tags, poor backlinks and other stats, (compared to the other sites listed in the SERP) are out ranking everyone and claiming the #1 spot

The 2 search terms are :
Interior designers London - #1 new-id.co.uk - OSE info
Interior designer London - #1 nstudio.co.uk - OSE info

(interestingly they hardly rank at all for any modification of those search terms)

The only thing i could think of is that they both had some really good links using that exact anchor text, but ive been checking OSE for the past month both in the backlinks and the just discovered but couldnt see anything like that.

I conducted the SERP checking from a laptop with a broadband connection based in London, although im not very local to either of these locations im about an 8th of the cities distance away from one of those location and about half a cities distance away from the other. So i dont think its a local skew thats causing the SERP rankings.

For both sites i can see they had old domains which now redirect to the them :

New-id.co.uk = newidinteriors.com
Nstudio.co.uk = intarya.com

Although the intarya domain was quite strong with good backlinks (but nothing above par comapred to the other sites the nstudio.co.uk site is now outranking, the anchor text was mostly natural with only some keyword anchor text from PA1 pages.

The newidinteriors.com didnt seem to have a backlink profile, both PA1 and DA1.

Any idea what's going on here ?
#<title> #low #optimised #ranking #sites #stats #tags
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  • Profile picture of the author cbpayne
    1. PA and DA are NOT used by any search engine as a ranking metric
    2. They are relevant to the search query, so why would they not rank for it?
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  • Profile picture of the author jamie3000
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  • Profile picture of the author massam
    @ CBPAYNE

    - Agreed PA + DA are not used by search engines as metrics, but can be an indicator on what backlink quality data a search engine has on a site.

    - Although they are relevant to the search query looking at the sites, have un optimised <title> tags, and relatively weak backlink profiles, and they still manage to out rank competitor sites with much better on page and off page optimisation. Looking at the sites in relation to their competition i wouldn't say they have a better user experience, bounce rate or CTR either.

    @ michaelkoehler92 & jamie3000

    Is there a way to spot a PBN ? If they where using a PBN wouldnt they also be ranking for other similar search terms, eg. "interior designers in London" (only the addition of the word "in"). Also my understanding of a PBN (not that i know too much about them, is that they are essentially a bunch of sites which look to be 3rd party and un related, but in actual fact are all controlled by one person who uses them to build a network of links pointing back to one site. If this was the case wouldnt we be seeing more links in the Open Site Explorer search ?
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by massam View Post

      - Although they are relevant to the search query looking at the sites, have un optimised <title> tags, and relatively weak backlink profiles, and they still manage to out rank competitor sites with much better on page and off page optimisation. Looking at the sites in relation to their competition i wouldn't say they have a better user experience, bounce rate or CTR either.
      You have no idea what the backlink profile. 1) You are using Moz and Moz's backlink index sucks and 2) No backlink checker will ever find all the links that Google does (but Moz is one of the worst at it).

      One of the biggest ranking factors in local SERPs are citations. They probably are doing a good job with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author massam
    @mikefriedman

    Is it possible to get a better overview of their backlink profile; perhaps using some other tool. What i still struggle to get my head around, is how they rank for these search terms, but these search terms only with a tiny variation of the search term, they dont rank at all.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by massam View Post

      @mikefriedman

      Is it possible to get a better overview of their backlink profile; perhaps using some other tool. What i still struggle to get my head around, is how they rank for these search terms, but these search terms only with a tiny variation of the search term, they dont rank at all.

      There are certainly better tools out there like Majestic and Ahrefs. There is nothing that really does a good job of tracking citations.
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