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Hi fellow Warriors!

Can someone please help me make sense of something (SEO related)

A little over a month ago I built 2 perfectly optimized sites (using highly recommended WSO "systems" that are hot-sellers here on WF)

I built and bought some good quality back-links for these sites. By all accounts, both my sites should already be getting good to great Google ranking. However, both of my sites still have a ZERO rank & are therefore still INVISIBLE! Now, I have been told (by experts) that my sites are well optimized and that I must just be patient & continue building back-links since Google only updates their ranking quarterly - I have no problem with this but here the thing that "bugs" me:

Today a potential client approached me (the supposed SEO expert) to "help them with their site" When I looked at it (URL = Kloof e-Learner Training Centre | Just another WordPress.com site) I was astounded to discovered that its appears on Google's page 1 (and in almost top position for both of its main keywords!) What really "kills" me about this is that:
a) the site is a "home made" wordpress blog (that's not even self-hosted!)
b) it has no on page optimization
c) it has no off page optimization (at least not as far as I can see)
d) the site has almost zero content!

In my humble opinion this contains absolutely nothing that could get it on page 1 of Google.....yet its right there laughing at me

How is this possible? can anyone help me make sense of this? This really makes me wonder if SEO (and other SEM methods) isn't just a complete waste of time (or am i missing something?)

Thanks and I am really looking forward to some expert feedback

Regards,
Stephen Strydom
#hoax #seo
  • Profile picture of the author M Thompson
    when you built your site you say you built and bought some backlinks...

    How many??

    Don't you think it would be suspicious to google to have 1000 backlinks suddenly appear for a new site with no traffic??

    Try to make everything seem natural..
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    • Profile picture of the author dark witness
      my first question would be whats sort of competition analysis have you done. Whats the competition like for their keywords compared to the competition of yours ?

      looking at the site, ya it is kind of crap with nothing going on, but if it's in a niche with a load of other crap sites with very little in terms of on page seo or backlinks, then it would not take them much to rank either.

      What exactly is their main keyword ?

      When you say your site has zero rank are you talking about their page rank because that really does not mean much in the short term of ranking a site. if your competing sites are PR 4 or 5 or more then ya, it can be difficult sometimes. However if they are like pr 3 or 2 then i never have any trouble ranking with a new website with PR0 or none.

      I think.. and this is just my guess, but I think key to your little problem is the keyword you are targeting. The question about backlinks comes into it as well
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      • Profile picture of the author stephen620924
        Thanks for the reply,
        I can assure you that I did top notch keyword analysis (as I said before, I followed an extremely thorough system that's is currently being offered as a WSO to research and build the sites - According to the expert who sells the system my site is very well optimized and "should do well") Admittedly I do not have enough quality back-links yet but despite this, there seems to be no reason why why my site should still have a zero rank after almost a month
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      • Profile picture of the author stephen620924
        Hi and thanks for taking the time to reply to my thread!

        Since I followed the exact formula set out in the WSO I have absolutely no doubt that a) My keywords are well researched and perfectly selected b) My on page elements are almost perfect and c) I already have more quality back-links than any of the sites that are competing for the same keyword on google page 1

        I am checking with SEO Quake and this tells me that my site's google pagerank is still n/a
        perhaps I am missing something?
        Regards,
        stephen strydom
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      The other site you mentioned that has #1 rankings... How competitive are their keywords?

      I could rank for "A mysterious purple asteroid hits Venice Beach on Thursday" if I really wanted to, but I don't think anyone is searching for that.

      A few other things.

      On-page optimization means almost nothing. Title tags, URL, and H1 tags are about the only thing that are important.

      PR also means almost nothing. I have sites with a PR of 0 that have top rankings ahead of PR 3's, 4's, and 5's. Don't focus on it. Focus only on your ranking. PR does not bring you traffic. A zero rank does not mean your site is invisible.

      Where does your site actually rank in Google? Page 2? Page 7? Where is it?
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      • Profile picture of the author stephen620924
        Thanks for the reply.

        I checked with SEO Quake - it tells me that my site's page rank on google is n/a.

        I'm not sure if this is what you are asking me when you asked 'where exactly does your page rank in google" If not, could you please clarify - that's if if you don't mind of course
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    • Profile picture of the author stephen620924
      Thanks for the reply,

      as is said, I followed the exact formula that was suggested by the WSO and I havealso made sure that there's no sudden flood of suspicious looking back-links so this is definitely not the problem.

      regards,
      stephen strydom
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  • Profile picture of the author Doug Pretorius
    Originally Posted by stephen620924 View Post

    How is this possible? can anyone help me make sense of this? This really makes me wonder if SEO (and other SEM methods) isn't just a complete waste of time (or am i missing something?)
    I've come to the same conclusion. I have numerous pages on my site that regularly outrank pages with exact match domains and piles of backlinks, two of the most touted techniques to supposedly get good rankings. I think if any of these methods seem to work it's nothing more than coincidence, then someone turns it into a product and when no one can duplicate their success they say: "You have the be patient" or "Do more" or better yet "Buy my new method".

    I experienced the same thing with an offline business that attracts a lot of snake oil salesmen. Eventually I realized I just have to do things my own way because none of the 'methods to success' can ever be duplicated.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    Relax.

    I managed to get a #1 site in Insurance market with ONE page with Latim content.

    Glitch's happen.

    And as usual with glitch's... they go away from top spots pretty fast.
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  • Profile picture of the author ann1986
    This is just a share of the test we made. For this example I will use "loseweight.com" and keyword "movies"

    For the experiment we made the loseweight.com rank for the keyword "movies" and it did rank high in 1st page.

    The lesson here is that if you know what you are doing you can easily manipulate rankings.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbsb
    SEO itself is not a hoax. I know because I have gone from page 10+ to page 1 on extremely competitive terms in less than a year.

    SEO does not happen over night. Not without superhuman (possibly black hat) efforts or no competition. Even then it only happens as fast as the almighty google likes.

    Your WSO may or may not be a hoax. Without looking at the content of it I couldnt say one way or another.
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    • Profile picture of the author stephen620924
      Thanks for the reply!

      I am 100% sure the WSO is not a hoax - I have full confidence in the creator of the WSO and the methods he teaches. What concerns me is that despite doing everything right (and after more than 5 weeks!) my rank is still 0/10 so I am not sure if its Google taking their time or if or what I should be doing about the situation.
      Thanks again,
      stephen strydom
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      • Profile picture of the author dark witness
        Originally Posted by stephen620924 View Post

        Thanks for the reply!

        I am 100% sure the WSO is not a hoax - I have full confidence in the creator of the WSO and the methods he teaches. What concerns me is that despite doing everything right (and after more than 5 weeks!) my rank is still 0/10 so I am not sure if its Google taking their time or if or what I should be doing about the situation.
        Thanks again,
        stephen strydom
        well if it's the PR that your concerned about, I have read that google does not update the PR immediately. Do some research on it, but I have read in a few places that it's not updated every quarter or every few months. On thing is for sure it's not instant, not that I know of anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author Georgech
    Just wondering if you have checked whether the backlinks you have built have been indexed by Google? If not, there will be no link juice passed to your website. And, I suppose the zero rank that you are talking about is Zero Page Rank right? If you have built enough backlinks from high quality / high PR backlinks, the PR should rise. But to be honest, I don't care much about page rank as it's just 1 of the hundreds parameters Google considers to rank a webpage for specific keywords...
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    • Profile picture of the author stephen620924
      Thanks for the reply!

      I have checked & my back-links are definitely indexed by Google so I really give up

      Thanks again,
      stephen strydom
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      • Profile picture of the author mark@1to101
        There are two types of Google 'rankings'...

        1) PageRank (PR) which is what your concern seems to be.

        2) Where they place you in their search engine results for your targeted keywords.

        These two ranks are not necessarily related and you should only concern yourself with where your site is showing in the SERPs.

        PageRank does only get updated about once every 3 or 4 months, so it's absolutely normal that your site is still showing a PR of n/a. It will remain as n/a for next couple of months at least, regardless of what you do during that time.

        What position is your site ranking in the SERPs? If you're doing things correctly then you should be seeing that ranking steadily rise.

        If you want more specific advice then you'll have to let people know your site's url and your targeted keywords, though obviously you might well want to keep that information to yourself.
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        • Profile picture of the author stephen620924
          Originally Posted by mark@1to101 View Post

          There are two types of Google 'rankings'...

          1) PageRank (PR) which is what your concern seems to be.

          2) Where they place you in their search engine results for your targeted keywords.

          These two ranks are not necessarily related and you should only concern yourself with where your site is showing in the SERPs.

          PageRank does only get updated about once every 3 or 4 months, so it's absolutely normal that your site is still showing a PR of n/a. It will remain as n/a for next couple of months at least, regardless of what you do during that time.

          What position is your site ranking in the SERPs? If you're doing things correctly then you should be seeing that ranking steadily rise.

          If you want more specific advice then you'll have to let people know your site's url and your targeted keywords, though obviously you might well want to keep that information to yourself.
          Hi mark-1to101!

          After reading your message/reply properly really I feel like a complete idiot (because I suddenly realized for the 1st time that I never fully understood the difference between page rank and SERP "ranking!")
          All along I was blinded by page rank instead of being more concerned about the position of my keywords in SERP (which it seems is obviously a more important factor) I cant believe that I could be this stupid after all this time!

          I just checked: my main keyword is "debt counsellors in cape town" and when i entered that keyword in google my site appears almost right in the top position (No 4 & No 5 to be exact)
          Is this mission accomplished or am i celebrating too early?

          Either way, thanks again for your great explanation of pager rank & SERP's it really opened my eyes

          And sorry for my ignorance to all my fellow warriors who have been so patiently trying to help me in this regard.

          I hope that soon I will know enough to return the favor!!

          Thanks again,
          stephen strydom
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  • Profile picture of the author kayfrank
    I think that long term it does. But recently one of my sites (after 2 weeks) ended up in position 5 but the url was for a photo attachment page which has no SEO on it at all! My home page which is optimised is nowhere to be found!
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    • Profile picture of the author Pastamania
      Hi mate


      I'm a professional SEO monkey for a web design agency as a day job, (Not going to name names in case a Google desk jockey is reading, but if you search 'Web Designers' we're usually in the top 10 depending on where your searching from, so the guy who taught me SEO knows what he's doing) so I really hope SEO is not a hoax. I like my job. I'd like to keep it. And not be homeless.

      Just on account of being a web agency, we get backlinks from every one of our clients, and we've been going for decades, so when we link out to our SEO clients, it means something. We've got a whole network of sites from bankrupted clients and the like which, although not as powerful, also have a lot of value.

      What I'm getting at is, we have some quality resources you can't buy, and a lot of experience as to what works and what doesn't.

      And, with all that, I still wouldn't expect to see results for even a mildly competitive keyword for the first 3 months at least. There's too many parts of the algorithm (such as clickstream data, for example) that it just doesn't have in those first few months to trust the content. If a site gets a large amount of backlinks from a range of sources, it may rank temporarily (Goog will think something newsworthy has occurred and give you a boost) but it'll pretty quickly vanish again.

      Now, I have been told (by experts) that my sites are well optimized and that I must just be patient & continue building back-links since Google only updates their ranking quarterly - I have no problem with this but here the thing that "bugs" me:
      Um, wha? Where the hell did that quarterly rankings idea come from? Actually, I've got an idea, but its wrong. Whoever your talking to isn't an 'expert' if they're saying this. I hate to say it mate but it sounds like you've been given some terrible advice.

      a) the site is a "home made" wordpress blog (that's not even self-hosted!)
      b) it has no on page optimization
      c) it has no off page optimization (at least not as far as I can see)
      d) the site has almost zero content!
      I had a look at it.

      a) Wordpress.com is a very strong domain. Domain quality is nearly, if not as important as individual pagerank. Wordpress is big enough that it probably has its own algorithmic exceptions, and depending on the content, being on wordpress might help more than hinder - especially information-type resources like an e-learning centre.

      b) Yes it does. In fact, from a code point of view, I can't find any fault with the site, besides being hideous and hurting my eyes.

      c) There aren't any tools that can give more than a 3-4 month old snapshot of backlinks. Webmaster Tools and backlink checker lies and, last I heard, Yahoo Site Explorer was being turned off following their merger with Bing for search. The SEOMoz toolbar is my usual tool for this. That said, I think your right-ish when saying there's no offsite link building. Except you forget, by being on Wordpress, they're in their directory. In all honesty, if they're beating you for a keyword based on that alone, there's probably no traffic in it. Have you done any traffic analysis? Are you sure there's something worth monitising if your plan works?

      d) Yup. But what it does have has been there a while and is 'settled'. Google distrusts new content - it knows they can't spider sites more than a few times a month in most instances. There would be nothing to stop a black-hatter ranking for a keyword and then replacing all their content with Viagra sales copy in between spidering otherwise.

      I'm working at the moment on a whole video course in SEO, on how we actual day-job professionals do it, that I'll point you guys towards once its up (I'm doing it out the goodness of my heart. Well. My affiliate accounts. But that will get converted into wine and chocolate, which is kinda good for my heart. Apparently). In the meantime, a few tips.

      • You mentioned Black Hat link buying. Don't buy links until you've tried every white-hat trick. I don't do blackhat at work. For personal projects, often I don't need to (as others have said, Google PR is one itty bitty part of your rankings). Whitehat link building, link baiting, if you identify key directories and the like, often generates traffic off its own backs as well as link juice. Your 'trust' with Google will be improved if you've done a lot of whitehat, and you'll get away with a bit more spam should you need that extra kick over the competitors.
      • Set up social networking strategies. I've got one client who, while I'd love to claim credit for their success (And the accounts department do claim credit, for the record) are actually punching way above their weight as far as rankings go. It's down to their social marketing. Google loves the twitter at the moment.
      • Keep updating your content. New content will take a while to rank, true, but similarly Google dislikes abandoned domains and content.
      • If you are going to black-hat it, link anchor text is Goog's weakness-of-the-month. Just don't expect any project built around black hat link building to be anything more than a slash-and-burn, rank-getpaid-drop type money spinner.
      • Be patient. As a marketing method, SEO offers probably the best cost/buyer ratio out of anything online, but certainly ain't the quickest or most reliable. What's the profit/visitor? Is it high enough to support other marketing methods in the meantime?

      Hope this helps
      Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lucid
    It doesn't matter what you or any expert think where you should rank. It's where Google thinks you should rank, the algorithm's rules, that matters.

    Only one site can rank first at any one time. Always amazes me that site owners think they should all have that spot or that someone claims they can get you that spot. There are apparently over 100 components in the ranking algorithm, each with their own weights. Nobody knows all of them, much less how much weight each has, which can and does change.

    Others, just as laughable, think that once you get top spot, you should remain there forever, as if nobody else is trying to take it away from them the way they did to someone else. Sites don't exist in a vacuum.
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    • Profile picture of the author Defunct
      You have basically given no information so no one can help you.

      5 weeks isn't a long time by any stretch of the mind in SEO.

      The last personal site i did some SEO/Link building for was showing no results for 2 months and i randomly checked it the other day, now its in position 7.

      Just be patient.

      Also comparing different keywords are useless, clearly you are newbie and just want to see results, Google generally takes a bit of time.

      Do you even know if your links are indexed?

      What kind of links did you use? Blog commenting, profile links, articles?
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      • Profile picture of the author stephen620924
        Originally Posted by Defunct View Post

        You have basically given no information so no one can help you.

        5 weeks isn't a long time by any stretch of the mind in SEO.

        The last personal site i did some SEO/Link building for was showing no results for 2 months and i randomly checked it the other day, now its in position 7.

        Just be patient.

        Also comparing different keywords are useless, clearly you are newbie and just want to see results, Google generally takes a bit of time.

        Do you even know if your links are indexed?

        What kind of links did you use? Blog commenting, profile links, articles?
        Thanks for your reply!

        I am actually not that "new" but you are correct in your statement that I want to see results (isn't that what everyone wants?)
        I do agree however that I am probably too impatient.
        Both sites are review sites and I am reluctant to give more details of the sites for various reasons.
        All my links are indexed and are a mixture of blog comments, articles an more.
        Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with me.
        Stephen strydom
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  • Profile picture of the author ivanadee
    Hi...
    the best strategy is putting the keyword in domain. do they have the keyword in domain?
    or the second option is : that web has so much backlinks. Even if there is no optimization but if it keeps updated and get many links, it can be ranked for words in the website.
    dude,SEO still works.
    Just follow my simple way :
    1. choose low competition keywords (dont push ur self too hard. start with simple thing )
    2. put your low competition keyword as your domain
    3.bookmark your website/wordpress
    4. keep updated + do some simple optimization
    5. get ranked
    wish u all d best
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  • Profile picture of the author smorse1
    I guess one of the obvious things you may or may not have checked: Is this site built on Wordpress, and if so, have you checked to see if the switch is set under "Privacy" settings to allow search engines to find and index the site?
    Trust me, I have banged my head on that one a few times.
    Also, I have seen it take longer than a month for Google to index a site no matter what you do - ping, bookmark, backlink, etc...

    Good luck!
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  • Howzit,
    Sent you a PM.

    One thing I noticed though in the meantime is that the keywords in the main title of the Kloof page don't seem to have much competition -"Kloof e-Learner Training Centre" only has 33 competing pages. This could be why it's ranking pretty easily.

    Edit : Only saw that you have now found your site about Cape Town in Google - Cool.

    Drop me a line in the PM anyway if you want.
    Cheers
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