Can an unoptimized website be at a #1 position in SERPs?

61 replies
  • SEO
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Hi Guys,

We have a well optimized website with good page speed. One of our competior website was not optimized and also it has poor page speed.

But still the homepage of the competior website is in the 1st position. Almost for all the keywords, the homepage URL was ranked.
No other URL is shown for keywords.

How is this possible? Is there any technique to stay in #1 position for an unoptimized website?
#position #serps #unoptimized #website
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  • Profile picture of the author engine9
    I will say that please don't look at the particular page of the website of your competitor. Instead, check overall authority of the website and link building profile.
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  • Profile picture of the author rnaura
    this is the power of keyword research , onpage SEO and Off page SEO
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  • Profile picture of the author fastreplies
    Originally Posted by Wibits Web Solutions View Post

    No other URL is shown for keywords.
    Are you saying that there is only you and your competition showing up in SERP?

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  • Profile picture of the author lambertson
    There lots of answers from just high domain authority to some black hat schemes.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulgl
    You don't know what an optimized site is.

    Optimization has little to do with a site that wins #1.

    Most people don't even care.....

    Wannabes here always rattle off some laundry list of tired BS that they swear will take any site to the top.

    Then reality bites and they can't figure it out.

    Big sites like amazon break every single thing on a wannabe's list....

    You think just because you build it, and follow some list, then another site cannot possibly be better.

    Such hogwash. Completely clueless nonsense.

    In fact, your so-called, "optimization," is probably hurting you....

    You would never figure out why gasbuddy, zillow, kayak, ebay, wikipedia, et. al. keep winning.... with zero optimization that breaks every rule on your optimization list.

    Start concentrating on what matters. But then, you may never beat the other guy.

    The other guy is probably not even a competitor. People use the term "competitor" in a complete BS way.

    If the other guy knew you were talking crap, he'd be laughing his @$$ off... all the way to the bank.


    If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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  • Profile picture of the author cbpayne
    If its relevant to the search query, then why wouldn't it show up?
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  • Profile picture of the author Rank Watch
    The term 'Optimized" has become subjective in this day and age. What parameters did you consider before deeming it an "un-optimized" site?
    It's possible that they have done some phenomenal Keyword Research & great SEO (both off page and on-page)
    On the other hand, it's also possible that they might have incorporated some unethical(read Black Hat) techniques. In such a case, they won't be lasting that long on no. 1 position.
    I would advise you to not worry about them, and instead of that try focusing on bettering and improving your own site's SEO. If you do that ethically, there's more than chance that you'll be outranking them soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Markstylor
    yes its seems less without optimization not rank higher even not include in search.
    if any site rank without optimization only keyword basis it is also one type off on page optimization call keyword research which highly relevant to their home page url or its uniqueness.
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  • Profile picture of the author noopower
    Don't waste your time on optimization. Just make a really good site. Recently I launched a brand-new autosurf traffic exchange Traffic Miners. I haven't spend a minute to optimize it for Google - I just don't care about Google because I don't like marketing channels that are outside of my control.

    But I spent a lot of time to make my site much better in terms of usability than other sites in the niche. In less than two month after indexing it overranked all the 40+ competitors on the keyword "top autosurf traffic exchange" and almost all of them on "autosurf traffic exchange",. FRESH domain, TWO months, ZERO backlinks - FIRST place on the most important keyword. While some of my competitors run their sites for more than 12 years and have hundreds or thousands of backlinks.

    So put more effort into making your site way better than your competition. If people will prefer your site, Google will prefer it as well
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  • Profile picture of the author Doug9
    Why should the Google algorithms be so stupid that they would think some web page that followed a formula for placement of all the key words be a better web site then one that didn't? They are a lot smarter than that.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Many factors go into SERPs. But creating helpful content, staying on topic and bonding with heavies in your niche to boost links in still reigns supreme. So if this cat did not optimize their site but did some serious creating and connecting they can rank at #1.
    Ryan Biddulph helps you to be a successful blogger with his courses, manuals and blog at Blogging From Paradise
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  • Profile picture of the author fastreplies
    Originally Posted by Wibits Web Solutions View Post

    Is there any technique to stay in #1 position for an unoptimized website?
    One thing that is always 100% works.
    Create website with only one thing in your mind, your Users

    If your users have no problems to navigate your site, enjoy time surfing it,
    easy time to read messages and directions, then trust me browsers will
    find juicy stuff and rely to Algo easy to understand content, making sure,
    you won't need to worry about "optimization" or whatever wannabe "Pros"
    are vomiting in their posts, telling you and others something that hardly
    is working for them and surely will never work for you.

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  • Profile picture of the author Jamel Hassell
    The google algorithm is nothing but bots so it is not perfect. However sooner or later when google updates its glitches that site might get penalized.

    On the other hand there is no definitive way of knowing how long that site will stay at number 1.
    On the flip side if the site gets optimized who knows how long it will stay in that position.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ember Leona
    Wowza Im a noob I didnt even know SERPs means search engine results page. But I learned that if I go to in firefox and right click on the search bar form I can save the search with a keyword like y and then search youtube directly from address bar (alt+d) like y art hollywood
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  • Profile picture of the author Sonu Graphics
    It seems that they do propper keyword research with great onpage and offpage SEO
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  • Profile picture of the author AskiKaOwnzYou
    Originally Posted by Wibits Web Solutions View Post

    Hi Guys,

    We have a well optimized website with good page speed. One of our competior website was not optimized and also it has poor page speed.

    But still the homepage of the competior website is in the 1st position. Almost for all the keywords, the homepage URL was ranked.
    No other URL is shown for keywords.

    How is this possible? Is there any technique to stay in #1 position for an unoptimized website?
    I'd say your competitor has one or two pages deep within their website that initially ranked well for a keyword or two, then that website traffic has helped rise your competitors website in pr (page rank) which has in-turn ranked all pages on your competitors website higher in the search rankings. You have to find those initial pages that have a high quality score on google for keywords and replicate them on your website, obviously changing the wording around so it's not plagiarism.

    Then because those pages on your website are newer, those pages should start to out-rank the competitors older pages and you should receive a nice boost in traffic to those pages, thus increasing your all around website page rank and assisting in over running your competition.
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  • Profile picture of the author NoahFlemings
    In theory, it can, but funds will need to be invested a lot
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    These days the only SEO I do is on-page keywords and meta and ensure there is a link from the homepage to the content and a link from the content back to the homepage.

    Speaking of my own sites.. there are only a few sites that are 'not' search engine optimized and are 'not' at the #1 position in Google, but they are on the first page of the SERPS and from time to time are at the #1 position in other search engines.

    I have sites that are 'minimally' SEO and almost never at the #1 position in Google. When they are in the top five positions that is because I added new 'relevant' content that contradicts and in-part supports external site's content in the #1, #2, etc. positions.

    A lot of times my content are backlinked from high-ranking sites that I contradict because we know each other and are always open to proved solutions and proposed solutions which makes for interesting conversations and food for more content.

    Believe me when I say that I am 'not' an expert, but I am conversationally close to certain industry people that think they are experts or at least the SERPs make them think they are experts, lol.

    So some sites that are 'not' optimized can be in the #1 position.
    In the minute it took me to write this post.. someone died of Covid 19. RIP.
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  • Profile picture of the author stephenchong
    Please don't look at the On page factors. May be the competitors has good backlink profile which help him in ranking well on the SERP. Please also look at the Webpages it has and the internal link structure make it a strong website.
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  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    There is multiple reason that can happen and the cause would probably decide if that is a temporary or permanent, if the other site is doing a gray or black SEO, it may help it temporary.

    If the page showing up is well optimized, that might be more of a permanent (unless a well SEO work done on your site), if the site is doing a good off page SEO, it would still allow the site to beat your page on SERP
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  • Profile picture of the author Ettienne
    Originally Posted by Wibits Web Solutions View Post

    Hi Guys,

    We have a well optimized website with good page speed. One of our competior website was not optimized and also it has poor page speed.

    But still the homepage of the competior website is in the 1st position. Almost for all the keywords, the homepage URL was ranked.
    No other URL is shown for keywords.

    How is this possible? Is there any technique to stay in #1 position for an unoptimized website?
    Short answer, hell no, not for a decent keyword/phrase that's worth any money anyway. An unoptimized site will never rank well, and if by any chance they get lucky somehow (with sneaky tactics), it won't be for long.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stephen Paul

    Your question is very common. This is happening with everyone.

    But technically this is not possible to rank with out optimization but in real this is exist.

    There is not a particular reason to rank a website because Google considering many point to rank a website.

    So do your job and try to make all SEO checklist with Yes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ian5
    Google has many bots (each has it's own algorithm). Based on their evaluation your site has certain position. Your competitor site, perhaps, has better backlinks. I know that backlinks is one of 3 key elements in your site positions.
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  • Profile picture of the author jsc420
    Depends on the competition. I'm pretty sure an unoptimized website could rank for the exact match 'green furry hillbilly bikers on acid'
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  • Profile picture of the author New Tree
    Did you analyzed your competitor website and find how and why they are ranking? May be your competitor provides the true value with no optimized site for their users and attracts good amount of traffic comparing to yours. It could be a reason for staying at top.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nortus Fitness
    Yes! An unoptimized site can be on top ranking of SERP. Why? Google concern is providing the value to its searchers. If high amount of searcher sticks and interacts with that unoptimized site the chances of being at top is high.
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  • Profile picture of the author skylerjones2018
    Very difficult.Next to impossible.Probably your competitor has lot of backlinks.
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  • Profile picture of the author jobdollarr
    I followed the google brain update before the new algorithm appeared.

    Focus on your keywords and content.

    Then you also have to focus on content marketing
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  • Profile picture of the author Viral Thing
    I see this your question but depend on your seo mean two type sel of page seo and on page seo you can try correct seo for website and other matter is website matter for speed 90 to 91 websiite speed.
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  • Profile picture of the author EvilKnevil
    I would check their back link profile...probably some high authority domains being forwarded to that domain...etc. Also simply depends on the competition for the keywords
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  • Profile picture of the author bestworkers
    Maybe it happens because of PBN and i believe it'll be penalise earlier.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claudyou
    What do you understand through a website optimized, well optimized or not optimized?
    Since Dwell Time, there are many chances that they are relevant for your keyword(s) more than you are.
    Do they have more content? What about the backlink profile or offline branding?
    Pagespeed it's not all.
    I often meet many clients embracing this theory, they have better website than the others (because they are very subjective), but at all, after a complete audit you discover a lot of 'things' that competitor does much better and for a longer period.
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  • Profile picture of the author pankaj0008
    This is because your competitor website has good DA or It is old domain. Dont worry just do off page and you will get good result.
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  • Profile picture of the author metafever
    It's called "Negative SEO"

    This is very real and actually easy to do.

    Check this . . .
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  • Profile picture of the author Jumplead
    My guess would be that the 1st position website has better inbound links, from high authority, on topic domains.

    Try to analyse the differences.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel1000
    It depends on what you mean by "optimized." In a word, an unoptimized site from your perspective can crush it in the serps because they've optimized from another angle.

    Page speed isn't the most important factor.
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  • Profile picture of the author connectpos
    I think it's possible if the keywords is has low difficulty, and they have old enough domain, with lots of backlinks.
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  • Profile picture of the author prachigoyal
    Basically, it depends on the particular query that is relevant to that website. However, website speed matters in SEO but maybe the website is already optimized on basic parameters of SEO. If possible, please share both website URLs so I can check whether it is optimized or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cats Plugins
    Do you check the content of your website and the competitor, in addition, do you check the backlink to the website?
    These two factors affect the rankings of websites on the SERPs a lot.
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  • Profile picture of the author Janvi Arora
    May be the your competitor is more popular and getting good amount of clicks in Google SERPs compared to others. One thing is noticeable that the website is ranking only for homepage and not other sub pages. It is also possible the the domain is much older and have good amount to quality backlinks.

    Want to Future-Proof Your Online Business? Make Your Website SEO Friendly. Click here ->

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  • Profile picture of the author Castor Troy1
    Its sounds like kind of black hat activities they have done. By black hat strategies lots of things can be possible, but in organic way there must have to go with its authorized way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Parteet Kaur
    Could you be the more specific cause without any analysis nothing can't be proven and as for an optimized website with good page speed is one of the factors for getting on top of SERP's.If you could have provided more details like your URL and your Competitor's Website URL. Everything would be clear.

    However there are chances that they might be using blackhat techniques to get on top of SERP's but they won't be there for too long. As Google will eventually penalize their site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sysamic Japan
    Either you're trying to drive attention or you are misjudging your competitor's effort. Another possibility is if a domain age is more than 2 years and there is no niche competition on the Internet, chances are a good on-page SEO will do its work.

    I will suggest you better focus on optimizing your efforts for on & off-page SEO.
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  • Profile picture of the author SudiptoMaity
    There are lot of effort to stay on the rank no 1.I describe it in the following segments
    • On page (page speed is not a single thing to remain Page no 1 )
    • Quality of Back link (check their back link through Moz, SEMrush. Maybe they do activity on Niche site)
    • Social engagement (may be they has a large no of social follower and drive traffic to their money site)
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  • Profile picture of the author elifborch
    I think he is following Rank brain algorithm you must go through website audit and check whether he is falling under rank algorithm.
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  • Profile picture of the author jennytrump
    you can optimize your website by performing on page and off page seo
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  • Profile picture of the author embuh
    Find out what keeps the web competitor up, from link building, content, and more, also visit various SEO forums to add knowledge
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  • Profile picture of the author newton
    I agree with what most are saying, unoptimized on a few things just doesn't paint the whole picture.

    A site with poor load time but with hundreds of relevant backlinks will beat out a fast loading site with no backlinks.

    There are hundreds of ranking factors to consider, load speed and on page SEO are just a couple.
    Check Out My Blog For Affiliate Marketing Tips => Click Here <=

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  • Profile picture of the author Neonode
    Any site can reach #1 in google ranking on a keyword nobody else is ranking for.
    If you want to target a highly competitive keyword I'd recommend you to push 1000s of links if you don't want to optimize the site...
    It's not recommended though, you still need your visitors to do something on the site... otherwise it doesn't matter how many visitors you have.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ronish Baxter
    How can you say that #1 position for unoptimized website. Did you check your competitor's website? There are many tools available in market to check and analyse competitor's website. Just work on your site.
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  • Profile picture of the author squadron
    You sure? Try again from another computer after clearing browser cache or use incognito browsing.
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  • Profile picture of the author elifborch
    May be the content they focusing is worthy then the content you have written for your website because search engine wants unique content and also easily readable.
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  • Profile picture of the author jfambrini
    I've been seeing the same phenomena for the past year or so. Poorly designed Sites with zero backlinks and on page 1 and sites with tons of backlinks that load fast and are designed well are on page 2 and 3. More onsite and offsite optimization you do the farther you go from page 1. Adding additional backlinks hurt you even further so have now given up and waiting for RankBrain to change its mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author jfambrini
    Actually at least for Thailand sites I've been seeing a trend beginning in mid 2017 where sites with zero backlinks and zero offline and online optimizations are ranking higher than well established and well-optimized sites. Also seeing that top brands are doing extremely well even when they are not relevant which means the small guy who may be most relevant is on page 3 and 4. So the poster may have a point here.
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