SEO is sometimes driving me insane...i just dont get it

9 replies
  • SEO
  • |
I have some sites in the health niche where i want to rank for the main keyword of the disease/condition. In that niche i face ultra tough competition since for the disease/condition keywords Google's first page is full of authority sites like webmd, cdc.gov, medhelp etc..

I already do link building and whatnot on those sites for a while.

One of the sites which i am ranking is slowly climbing up, but still not on page #1.

Now, i am not a retard. I know how to use Micro Niche Finder, Market Samurai, i know how to do competition research. I can take a competitors site and analyze his links and use all my knowledge to see how he got his rankings.

For one site/keyword, one competitor is *blatantly* ranking on page #1 in Google for the keyword, i myself am on page #3 still and have a rough time to get to #1.

I cant see for the life of me WHY he is ranking on page #1 for this keyword. He has a sh*tty site with an affiliate popup and very little content.

(I have a nicely made wordpress blog and many articles and did all i can on-site SEO also)

I examine the competitor's links, he has less backlinks than me and all he has is profile pauls/angelas links. He has 150ish links and i have 300.

I have not seen ONE relevant link to him from any authority site related to the keyword, its just your standard paul's/angela from total unrelated sites.

His pathetic site is only 14 days older than mine, i just checked because i thought domain age might play a role. He has PR2 and i have PR1. Of course i dont have an idea why he has PR2 with only all those pauls/angela's links.

I am really totally stumped why he ranks on position #5 on page #1 for the keyword while i am trying to desperately trying to build HQ links from related sites, have more links, better content..etc.. of course i also had people do angela's/pauls for my site.

Sometimes it drives me crazy ;/
#driving #insanei #seo
  • "I cant see for the life of me WHY he is ranking on page #1 for this keyword. He has a sh*tty site with an affiliate popup and very little content.

    (I have a nicely made wordpress blog and many articles and did all i can on-site SEO also)"

    Sometimes it´s easier to rank with a sh*tty site. A 1 page X-Factor style site may reach the first page immediately. But if one would add an additional 20 pages to the homepage and submit a 21 page website, the home page would not rank on the first page immediately.
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Hi GeorgR,

      The number one rule of SEO is that search engines rank web pages not websites. So you need to compare individual pages not entire websites if you want to understand why you are being outranked.

      One of the disadvantages of a Wordpress blog is that the default configuration will constantly change the home page content. While this is good for fresh content it makes it a bit tougher to maintain a consistent ranking position. You can resolve this by configuring your blog to use a static home page.

      By now I'm sure that you have heard that search engines don't rank you by the number of backlinks, your experience is yet more evidence of this fact. This is a myth that is promulgated mostly by folks selling backlink services based on the number of backlinks they create. Many backlinks are completely worthless and some are very powerful, so a simply count of backlinks tells you very little. You have to assess the power of each individual backlink to accurately analyze your competitors backlink strength.

      Search engines rank web pages based on relevance, not quality of content. Backlinks will only help you rank if your backlinks increase your relevancy score for your targeted keyword. This is why relevant backlinks are essential for highly competitive keywords.

      Don't confuse relevant backlinks with backlinks from related topics websites, those are two different subjects. Again the #1 rule of SEO applies: Search engines rank web pages, not websites. It's the relevance of the page and especially the anchortext of your backlink that makes your backlink relevant. Website topic is mostly irrelevant.

      To summarize the answers to your questions:

      Search Engines Don't:
      • Rank websites (they rank web pages)
      • Rank pages based on the number of backlinks
      • Treat all backlinks the same
      • Rank based on quality of content
      • Allow irrelevant backlinks to influence Ranking
      • Use website topic to determine relevance of backlinks
      • Rank based on the amount of content on the page

      Search Engines Do:
      • Rank web pages (not websites)
      • Rank pages based on relevance
      • Value backlinks based on relevance of anchortext and page content
      • Weight backlink value based on PR
      • Allow backlinks to influence page relevancy
      • Allow outbound links to influence page relevancy
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Blaze
        Originally Posted by dburk View Post

        Hi GeorgR,

        The number one rule of SEO is that search engines rank web pages not websites. So you need to compare individual pages not entire websites if you want to understand why you are being outranked.

        One of the disadvantages of a Wordpress blog is that the default configuration will constantly change the home page content. While this is good for fresh content it makes it a bit tougher to maintain a consistent ranking position. You can resolve this by configuring your blog to use a static home page.

        By now I'm sure that you have heard that search engines don't rank you by the number of backlinks, your experience is yet more evidence of this fact. This is a myth that is promulgated mostly by folks selling backlink services based on the number of backlinks they create. Many backlinks are completely worthless and some are very powerful, so a simply count of backlinks tells you very little. You have to assess the power of each individual backlink to accurately analyze your competitors backlink strength.

        Search engines rank web pages based on relevance, not quality of content. Backlinks will only help you rank if your backlinks increase your relevancy score for your targeted keyword. This is why relevant backlinks are essential for highly competitive keywords.

        Don't confuse relevant backlinks with backlinks from related topics websites, those are two different subjects. Again the #1 rule of SEO applies: Search engines rank web pages, not websites. It's the relevance of the page and especially the anchortext of your backlink that makes your backlink relevant. Website topic is mostly irrelevant.

        To summarize the answers to your questions:


        Search Engines Don't:
        • Rank websites (they rank web pages)
        • Rank pages based on the number of backlinks
        • Treat all backlinks the same
        • Rank based on quality of content
        • Allow irrelevant backlinks to influence Ranking
        • Use website topic to determine relevance of backlinks
        • Rank based on the amount of content on the page

        Search Engines Do:
        • Rank web pages (not websites)
        • Rank pages based on relevance
        • Value backlinks based on relevance of anchortext and page content
        • Weight backlink value based on PR
        • Allow backlinks to influence page relevancy
        • Allow outbound links to influence page relevancy
        Fantastic list there!

        I would try changing it to a static front page and then just keep building up some more backlinks to get those sub-pages ranking for the longer tail versions of that exact keyphrase.

        For example if your keyword was...

        black cat

        Then you would also want to rank your sub-pages for...

        black cat food
        black cat care
        black cat in a hat
        etc etc

        Will also mean your site will become a mini-authority for your main keyphrase and help each of them rank alike with normally alot less work too!

        Good luck and keep us posted

        Mark Blaze
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        • Profile picture of the author ingomkt
          This is interesting, since I have seen problems like this before as well. Sometimes you have these low quality sites that are just sticking to the top results for no apparent reason. How fast did you built your links? Sometimes Google just takes a long time till your efforts change your ranking. Even with constant link building in a low competitive niche it took one of my sites 6 months to get on the first page.

          I would love to hear someone who has a good answer for this phenomenon as well.
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          • Profile picture of the author dburk
            Originally Posted by ingomkt View Post

            This is interesting, since I have seen problems like this before as well. Sometimes you have these low quality sites that are just sticking to the top results for no apparent reason. How fast did you built your links? Sometimes Google just takes a long time till your efforts change your ranking. Even with constant link building in a low competitive niche it took one of my sites 6 months to get on the first page.

            I would love to hear someone who has a good answer for this phenomenon as well.
            Hi ingomkt,

            See my post above! ^
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            • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
              Google are cracking down.

              Over the last year and throughout the time Terry Kyle spent with his backlink experiment I noticed that it got harder and harder for me to get my content ranked. After realising this I've given up backlinking lately and taken to a more content driven approach.

              For you I'd say spending your time adding more content to your health niche site and ensuring onsite optimization is sweetened will be a much better move. Get going now while you've got your head start.
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              Started this stuff 2009. Time is what will teach you the skills you need.

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  • Profile picture of the author Glassjaw009
    Hey, great post. I can tell that you're frustrated. We all get a little bit frustrated sometimes. Here are some things to look at when analyzing your competitor's site and I hop e this helps. These are things that I've come to be aware of only after years of utilizing SEO on my sites.

    - are the competitor's backlinks of higher quality than yours?

    Even though they don't have as many as you do, it really only takes 1 link to rank a site. 1 link from a PR7 to one of my goarticles ranked it number 2 immediately. It's about quality over quantity. If you've got 300 blogspot comment links to your site, you're going to see a little value, but not as much as if somebody had a link from the Associated Press.

    - have you checked your competitor's backlinks of the backlinks?

    There is a common blackhat tactic (that I even use) called a link backrub. A link backrub is when you point 5 sites to your site then point 1000 links to each one of those sites. This combats the sandbox and having a volatile link velocity. Is it possible that each of your competitor's profiles is a link backrub?

    (I once saw an ezinearticles outranked me on the first page with only incoming links. When I checked the backlinks to THOSE links, I saw the backrub. Hundreds of links pointing to those, thus making them supremely powerful).

    - is there an on page optimization piece of the puzzle you're missing?

    keywords in meta?
    using h1 in articles?
    bolding key terms?
    unique content?

    Anyway, I hope this helps. It's always helped me to go over a virtual "checklist" if you will before I make any conclusions. Great question!
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  • Profile picture of the author searchnology
    Did you check the backlinks for his backlinks?...this is a sneaky way to create authority backlinks that normally would not be as powerful....I had a competitor who's YouTube channel was giving him a backlink. I didn't think it was worth much since it didn't have much PR and it hadn't been updated in over a year and a half. But the youtube channel page had quite a few backlinks which gave it more relevancy and authority.

    ...hard to say without seeing the site.

    Here's a tool that does a bit of backlink diagnosis Link Diagnosis - examine your link competition

    Good luck!

    Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

    I have some sites in the health niche where i want to rank for the main keyword of the disease/condition. In that niche i face ultra tough competition since for the disease/condition keywords Google's first page is full of authority sites like webmd, cdc.gov, medhelp etc..

    I already do link building and whatnot on those sites for a while.

    One of the sites which i am ranking is slowly climbing up, but still not on page #1.

    Now, i am not a retard. I know how to use Micro Niche Finder, Market Samurai, i know how to do competition research. I can take a competitors site and analyze his links and use all my knowledge to see how he got his rankings.

    For one site/keyword, one competitor is *blatantly* ranking on page #1 in Google for the keyword, i myself am on page #3 still and have a rough time to get to #1.

    I cant see for the life of me WHY he is ranking on page #1 for this keyword. He has a sh*tty site with an affiliate popup and very little content.

    (I have a nicely made wordpress blog and many articles and did all i can on-site SEO also)

    I examine the competitor's links, he has less backlinks than me and all he has is profile pauls/angelas links. He has 150ish links and i have 300.

    I have not seen ONE relevant link to him from any authority site related to the keyword, its just your standard paul's/angela from total unrelated sites.

    His pathetic site is only 14 days older than mine, i just checked because i thought domain age might play a role. He has PR2 and i have PR1. Of course i dont have an idea why he has PR2 with only all those pauls/angela's links.

    I am really totally stumped why he ranks on position #5 on page #1 for the keyword while i am trying to desperately trying to build HQ links from related sites, have more links, better content..etc.. of course i also had people do angela's/pauls for my site.

    Sometimes it drives me crazy ;/
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    of course i use a static front page...

    keywords in meta?
    using h1 in articles?
    bolding key terms?
    unique content?
    you bet!

    I really think i know plenty about how to set up a good WP blog and on-site SEO...for this specific site i also think that my content is at least "as good" as his, furthermore i have pages like contact us, privacy, terms etc. which he didnt even bother to have. If i make a site i put quite some work in it, i dont like low-quality sites since high quality + content will always pay off in the long run.

    At the moment it looks that HIS site is dancing a little, he is still page #1 but at the bottom..maybe i should simple give it more time.

    >>
    Did you check the backlinks for his backlinks?
    >>

    This would explain it. Because, to be honest, otherwise i am stumped. I know this keyword is hard to break #1 since i am ranking this site for months now...SLOWLY.....but there is just no fricking way that he gets #1 with this site and 100 angela/pauls links..without having done some tricky BH or other odd things with that site.

    If it were the case i should be able to rank 80% of whatever niche/keyword i desire simply by hiring someone for angelas's/pauls...and i KNOW its not that easy especially with such a keyword.
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