OK, I've had it: #1 Ranking for "Make Money Online"? Seriously?!

42 replies
  • SEO
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Search Google for "make money online" and you'll see this site ranked #1:

hxxp://www.101waystomakemoney.com

You'd think this site has some massive backlinking power and some crazy high PageRank backlinks to it, but you'd be wrong:

  • Only 4802 backlinks
  • Spyglass shows me mostly blog comments/paid links
  • Spyglass shows me no backlinks from pages higher than PR5
  • Spyglass shows me only 7 (!) of its PR4+ backlinks are dofollow
Now, I admit I'm not SEO guru, but something just doesn't seem right here.

There's big potential to figure something out about Google's algorithm here, because there must be some HUGE link or two that are propelling this site above the millions of "make money online" sites out there.

If anyone has SEOmoz's Open Site Explorer or MajesticSEO, maybe you could chime in. I'm aware that Spyglass only shows me 1000 links, so maybe there's some juicy stuff in those other 4000 links I'm not seeing.

Am I the only one stumped by this?
#make money online #ranking
  • Profile picture of the author paulgl
    You are stumped because you are barking up the wrong tree.

    You can have 1 backlink and rank #1.

    Everything you list has almost zip to do with a site being #1.

    There's a little thing called google love to many sites. And sometimes
    you cannot figure out why. It comes from various algorithms. You cannot
    look at 4 things, and say, gee, I don't get it.

    You don't know what kind of authority google thinks the site has.

    Here's google's algorithm:

    Keep doing things right and build authority, soon you may be #1 too.

    But their algorithm gives no guarantees.

    I can't figure out why people think a formula should mean #1, and a
    lack of a formula should mean NOT #1.

    There is no magic formula.

    The site has a sucky look, but is super-optimized for make money online.

    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author brandonbaker
      Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

      Everything you list has almost zip to do with a site being #1.
      So the PageRank of a page with a link on it "has almost zip" to do with ranking? So if a PR8 page links to your site, there is "almost zip" difference between that and a PR0 page linking to your site?

      Nofollow means "almost zip" compared to dofollow? Really?

      Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

      You cannot look at 4 things, and say, gee, I don't get it.
      I know the Google algorithm isn't just 4 things. I could sit here and list 949 things if that would make you happier, but I have better things to do with my time. I just wanted to list 4 that I thought were interesting.

      Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

      Here's google's algorithm:

      Keep doing things right and build authority, soon you may be #1 too.
      What is your definition of "doing things right"?

      Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

      I can't figure out why people think a formula should mean #1, and a lack of a formula should mean NOT #1.
      Maybe because we recognize that Google's SERPs are formulated through an algorithm, and not through 100 people ranking sites at their own whim. No one can truly reverse engineer the formula but by doing proper research on what is working and what is not, maybe we can have a chance at uncovering small samples of what the formula might contain.

      Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

      There is no magic formula.
      Agreed, never claimed there was.

      Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

      The site has a sucky look, but is super-optimized for make money online.
      And so are 1,000,000 others sites. What I'm trying to figure out is why this one is sitting at the top.

      Maybe one comment as to why you think the site is ranking #1 would be helpful as opposed to 10 comments on why you think my post was misguided.
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      • Profile picture of the author inter123
        There is only 2 sites there with significantly more backlinks, one has 28,000 and another with 6,000 links. And there is a couple with a 1000 more. Perhaps in comparison the links of the no. 1 site are more valuable then the others especially as many of the backlinks are relevant, coming fron Internet Marketing type sites.

        Just out of curosity, what makes you say the site is using paid links?
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      • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
        So the PageRank of a page with a link on it "has almost zip" to do with ranking? So if a PR8 page links to your site, there is "almost zip" difference between that and a PR0 page linking to your site?
        Dude, PR doesn't mean as much as it used to. It still matters, but not as much as you think. I believe their internal page rank system is what matters, not so much the public version.

        Nofollow means "almost zip" compared to dofollow? Really?
        Shocked? I also believe nofollow still caries value.

        I think a lot of this has exactly to do with what paul said about the site being super optimized. Not everything is about the offsite work.

        Those might be the only links you see, but you should try to find out how many links are pointing towards those backlinks they have. I bet there is much more juice than you're aware of.

        Google is tricky though... The site is optimized... but you never know how many quality links are pointed towards their back links.

        I would worry more about what you're doing though, and see what you can accomplish yourself, instead of being worried about someone ranking when they shouldn't. Chances are they are doing SOMETHING right, and find that out! I wish I had the time to go through and analyze everything else but I don't. I would bet those backlinks though, have a pyramid of power pointing to them!
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  • Profile picture of the author dv8domainsDotCom
    would be impossible to say with 100% certainty, but there are too many non-traceable factors that lead to individual SERPs. focus on you! too much focus on "them" doesn't make YOU any money. Forwarded domains pass PR, too
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    • Profile picture of the author brandonbaker
      Originally Posted by dv8domainsDotCom View Post

      would be impossible to say with 100% certainty, but there are too many non-traceable factors that lead to individual SERPs. focus on you! too much focus on "them" doesn't make YOU any money. Forwarded domains pass PR, too
      Focusing on "them" has taught me half of what I know about SEO. Why try to rip your hair apart trying to understand SEO when the backlink profiles of a domain tell you what's working and what isn't? I recognize that on-page SEO is important too, but with the really competitive niches, it's the off-page SEO that sets sites apart. And if you think about it, that makes a lot of sense.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Barboza
    Probably there was a manual review from Google staff for that key term and they considered you have better value than the rest.

    It can happen. Google sometimes checks some things manually, and for a key term like that (a lot of spammers trying to get No. 1 for it) it just makes sense to me.

    In case you have relevant information there, I didn't read it
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
      Probably doesn't hurt that the site is 8 years old.

      Tina
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      • Profile picture of the author amo992
        It seems they have optimized for every single conjugation of the word 'make' juxtaposed with 'money' followed by most conceivable searches (i.e. 'online').

        It's interesting, how they performed offsite onsite and offsite SEO. Especially the backlink acceleration during Oct, 2010.

        However, there is something very sketchy about this site, which makes me think that it will be gone by the end of December or January at the latest.

        Originally Posted by TMG Enterprises View Post

        Probably doesn't hurt that the site is 8 years old.

        Tina
        How did you come up with that number? All my tools are labeling my query as an 'invalid.'


        Analyzing this site was quite helpful in developing my noobish SEO skills. Very interesting thoughts entered my head. Very interesting indeed.
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        • Profile picture of the author 52.ct
          Originally Posted by amo992 View Post

          It seems they have optimized for every single conjugation of the word 'make' juxtaposed with 'money' followed by most conceivable searches (i.e. 'online').

          It's interesting, how they performed offsite onsite and offsite SEO. Especially the backlink acceleration during Oct, 2010.

          However, there is something very sketchy about this site, which makes me think that it will be gone by the end of December or January at the latest.



          How did you come up with that number? All my tools are labeling my query as an 'invalid.'


          Analyzing this site was quite helpful in developing my noobish SEO skills. Very interesting thoughts entered my head. Very interesting indeed.
          101waystomakemoney.com is still number one on google as of today... about four months later.

          This is after the last Google farmer update.

          Check out
          make money online - Google Search
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Kovats
    Have you looked further into the source of the inbound links? What if there were 100,000 links with "make money online" pointing to one of his 4,000 inbound links? Follow the money...look further.
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  • Profile picture of the author dadamson
    Yeah there are a million factors to consider. The domain age has a huge implication in this. Also, the amount of time it has spent around the top of the SERPs.

    I also wouldn't be surprised if it was a manual Google audit to put this website here. Often with spammy keywords like this, and huge search volumes, it's worth it for Googles credibility to rank sites that are beneficial to the searcher on the first page. Thus blocking tacky spammy sites from getting all the visibility.

    Remember to concentrate more on your own site and building links as often as you can rather than picking peoples sites apart to find out their strategies. Although this can be very beneficial, it can also be a source of procrastination. Take action
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  • Profile picture of the author socialbookmark
    This domain is old and also two words of "make money online" are in the name of this domain and it helps it a lot. Also the number of backlinks is not a factor for ranking results. The quality of them is more important. Maybe only 1,000 backlinks of this website to be quality and it caused this domain to rank #1 for above keyword. Also the strategy this domain used for making backlinks even from blog comments is important and we don't know it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dellco
      This kind of anomaly is seen everywhere throughout Google and not just for this term. I've seen crap (and I mean crap) sites with just one page plus a contact page ranking very high almost overnight for good keywords; "best" part is, most of them are made with free hosting sites (like Blogger or Weebly)....

      And looking at their links showed them to be - Forum spam. Nothing more than a lot of forum spam!

      So now you know why so many here are posting one liners just to get links to their keywords in their sig....

      It is an anomaly, because Google stated that they hate thin sites, especially thin affiliate review sites, but they continue to rank many of these high, going against their stated "guidelines."

      The only thing you can learn from this is - It's definitely OK to break their so called "guidelines." Don't sweat it at all, and don't lose sleep over it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ashique
    It's always the QUALITY of backlinks that matters the most in gaining top ranking.

    Just like the fact, 18 links from PR5 pages = 16803 links from PR1 pages...

    ...a dozen of High PR (relevant) backlinks can really boost your ranking in Google SERPs for highly competitive keywords and you may not need to get thousands of low quality links.
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    • Profile picture of the author brandonbaker
      Originally Posted by Ashique View Post

      It's always the QUALITY of backlinks that matters the most in gaining top ranking.

      Just like the fact, 18 links from PR5 pages = 16803 links from PR1 pages...

      ...a dozen of High PR (relevant) backlinks can really boost your ranking in Google SERPs for highly competitive keywords and you may not need to get thousands of low quality links.
      Totally agreed, which is exactly why I'm confused. The site in my OP doesn't seem to have very many high quality links, at least given what Spyglass is telling me. This is why I'm wondering if anyone has access to the other backlinks pointing to his site.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ashique
        Originally Posted by brandonbaker View Post

        Totally agreed, which is exactly why I'm confused. The site in my OP doesn't seem to have very many high quality links, at least given what Spyglass is telling me. This is why I'm wondering if anyone has access to the other backlinks pointing to his site.
        By doing a "linkdomain" search in Yahoo! Search - Web Search for your site, I can see you've got over 12000 external links pointing to your site.



        And, 9987 links point directly to your home page (at the time of writing this).

        I'm aware Yahoo counts the no-follow links (in addition to counting do-follow links) when showing "linkdomain" results.

        I *think* the reason behind your top ranking might be due to having a greater number of relevant backlinks than your competitors possess.

        'relevant' = links coming from web pages containing the keyword phrase "make money online" not only in the anchor text, but also in the title tag, h1 tag, blog tag, etc. + linking pages also receiving external links containing the same keyword phrase.

        If you're really serious in figuring out the real reason behind your #1 ranking, you can try examining some of the high PR sites linking to you.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          I don't get this thread. When since did the number of backlinks have to do with anything?

          Its the quality of the backlinks not the quantity. The OP discounts paid links (and they might not even be paid) but paid links work unless or until they are discounted on discovery. So what if most PR4+s are nofollow? A whole pile of PR3s and 2s are not worthless.

          Finally no tool gives you all the links so the whole analysis is going to be off especially since the page indicates they are getting (whether paid or not) in content on page PR links.
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          • Profile picture of the author brandonbaker
            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            I don't get this thread. When since did the number of backlinks have to do with anything?

            Its the quality of the backlinks not the quantity. The OP discounts paid links (and they might not even be paid) but paid links work unless or until they are discounted on discovery. So what if most PR4+s are nofollow? A whole pile of PR3s and 2s are not worthless.

            Finally no tool gives you all the links so the whole analysis is going to be off especially since the page indicates they are getting (whether paid or not) in content on page PR links.
            Well, by this logic we all might as well throw in the white towel because no analysis will ever yield anything valuable.

            I'm completely aware and in agreement with everything you're saying, but when you look at top ranking sites for competitive keywords, you usually see plenty of high PR dofollow links, and this site has very few (from what SpyGlass is showing me). Therefore, I thought it would be interesting to try and understand why it has such a high ranking despite having relatively few high PR links.

            Or do high PR links also have nothing to do with SEO? :rolleyes:

            Really, instead of saying what doesn't matter, I'd like to hear, for once, someone on this thread mention a single SEO factor that actually matters.
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
              Originally Posted by brandonbaker View Post

              I'm completely aware and in agreement with everything you're saying, but when you look at top ranking sites for competitive keywords,
              then do more looking. there are lots of terms that get good ranking with alot of middle range PR page links. Look if you want to think there is some mystery here then fine but don't pretend I didn't point out that it has good links and can rank on those.

              and no just because you can't see all the backlinks of a site does not make any analysis worhtless. the site gets plenty in content and decent on page PR links. You can surmise from the list that it gets far more than you can see with spyglass. Thats been pointed out to you by big Chris

              but hey if yiou haven't heard once what makes the site rank then you have your hands over your ears so why should anyone else bother.
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        • Profile picture of the author Big Chris
          Actually that site has over 10K backlinks if you viewing it in the yahoo site explorer.

          Site Explorer - Search Results

          When it comes to backlinks you have to dig deep. Looking at the first tier of links in yahoo site explorer or other software is just scratching the surface on the power of each one of those links.

          What I mean is lets say that one of those backlinks if simply a buffer site and that one buffer site has 1000 PR8 backlinks pointing to it then the site points to the main site.... the power of that backlink just got crazy strong...so you have to remember it's not JUST the backlinks but the juice of those backlinks that each one carries over the main site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cash37
    Get back to work.
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  • Profile picture of the author GrowTallerNiche
    Well, the links pointed to the links pointed to links matter etc... especially if they are the same keyword like make money online. How can you confidently do that though if most of the links are from blog comments and forums? It's a mystery...
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  • Profile picture of the author bfas
    Backlinking will account for most of the ranking, though as mentioned factors such as age, content, etc. do contribute.

    It is the overall "Total Backlink Value". PageRank is one of the main factors determining a link's value, but there are additional factors such as overall Trust & Authority of the link, how many other links are on that page, where on the page it appears ('editorial' vs. link list or sitewide, etc.), the anchor text, contextual relevancy, etc.

    A single PR-5 backlink can convey a pretty wide "Total Backlink Value" range.

    bfas
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  • Profile picture of the author un
    sort of off topic but that site makes really good use of adsense...even if there are 4 units.
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  • Profile picture of the author Clint Butler
    Brandon,

    Frankly I applaud your efforts in trying to understand the "why" concerning this site. I believe its important to understand what your going against when trying to enter a market.

    My thoughts are the following as to their number 1 rating.

    1. Keywords in the domain name
    2. Age of the domain
    3. Keyword density 5%-7%
    4. Backlinks (depending on the software or site your using to examine these some could be indexed while others are not so that is why your not seeing them)
    5. Consistantly updated content
    6. Adsense on the site (Showing google love by putting their ads up) (only a theory of mine but Google is a business so it only makes sense that showing them a little love by having their ads show couldn't hurt your rankings)
    7. On page SEO. (I am currently away from home, but I'm sure if I ran this site through IBP the SEO rating would be pretty close to 100%)

    Those are my thoughts, for what they are worth.

    Regards,
    Clint Butler
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  • Profile picture of the author SEO ibiza
    the stats for the site from Linkscape as requested, it has a pretty strong link profile, you need to stop relying on info based on Yahoo, its useless on its own nowadays.

    URL Data for 101 Ways To Make Money – Learn How To Make Money Online**

    mozRank (mR): 5.25 out of 10
    • 90.56% from external links
    • 9.44% from internal links

    mozTrust (mT): 5.92 out of 10

    External Links:


    12,547 links from 1,403 subdomains
    Internal Links: 1,754 links

    Domain Data


    Domain mozRank: 4.68 out of 10



    Domain mozTrust: 4.88 out of 10



    External Links:


    15,026 links from 2,034 domains

    also note the higher trust than Mozrank score, that is key here.
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  • Profile picture of the author atrbiz
    They are making serious money from adsense, I can tell you that much. And in order to get ranked page 1 for that keyword, your going to need to put in a lot of time...
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  • Profile picture of the author IwebSeo
    Banned
    About this website (hxxp://www.101waystomakemoney.com) have unique content and they upload daily fresh content and google love fresh unique content and like this website that y this website get rank 1 in google.
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    • Profile picture of the author Crew Chief
      Please explain your theory behind your statement...

      Originally Posted by amo992 View Post

      However, there is something very sketchy about this site, which makes me think that it will be gone by the end of December or January at the latest.
      Oh, and gone where?

      [Grabbing popcorn] check

      [Grabbing Mountain Dew] check

      [Grabbing Pizza] check

      Giles, the Crew Chief
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Originally Posted by IwebSeo View Post

      About this website (hxxp://www.101waystomakemoney.com) have unique content and they upload daily fresh content and google love fresh unique content and like this website that y this website get rank 1 in google.
      Really? It looks like they have made only 1 post in the last 10 months. Do you consider that "daily fresh content"? :confused:

      Perhaps you have confused this blog with some other website?
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  • Profile picture of the author marieluy143
    is this serious? i think blogspot ranks first for the keyword..
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    • Profile picture of the author L41db4ck
      Originally Posted by marieluy143 View Post

      is this serious? i think blogspot ranks first for the keyword..
      ??

      When I search (Spain) 101ways is in second place. The site in first place has a staggering amount of links!!

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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    Traffic Travis analysis gives the site 13,102 backlinks. The site has a huge number of gov or edu links - 39. Out of the other top ten sites only one other site has 38 the other eight have the 0 or 1 0r 2 gov/edu links.

    Travis only gives it a C for on page optimization.
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  • Profile picture of the author georgelaurelle
    How much do you think that site is making???
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  • Profile picture of the author coolspot
    i have been on that site briefly a few times over the past 4 or 5 years. it was number one back then aswell, and looks like it has been all those years. maybe domain age / maturity plays a part?
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  • Profile picture of the author zac2
    Banned
    The website holding the #1 spot in Google for keywords make money/make money online changes quite a lot.

    Check the ranking in 8 weeks from now. I guarantee another site will be #1 and that site will be pushed down the page.

    It will not be #1 for long.
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    • Profile picture of the author Natlex
      Originally Posted by zac2 View Post

      The website holding the #1 spot in Google for keywords make money/make money online changes quite a lot.

      Check the ranking in 8 weeks from now. I guarantee another site will be #1 and that site will be pushed down the page.

      It will not be #1 for long.
      Well the post was made in november and we are in March now and it's the same website... Man, that website looks so spammy too, can't believe it's number one...
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    I think all of us at some stage have looked at a SERP and wondered how on earth a certain site is ranking so well. I saw one recently where there is NO logical reason why the site in question ranked at number 3 with its poor links, virtually no written content and not even a good domain/on-page relevance match.

    But what I did notice was that the site seemed unused, ie, people moaning on a forum about a lack of response. So I emailed them and offered them $100, and now I rank in position 3 with their site which pushes traffic to mine.

    Think outside the box ;-)
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