Overoptimization? No, Stupidity!

by paulgl
32 replies
  • SEO
  • |
I loved this gem of a story. If you people do not
read the real online IM news, you really are missing
out on the real world.

Anyway, here's my recap.

This guy owns a nut business. Online. Has the domain
nutsonline.com and had made quite an authority site.
Business was booming. He loved the thousands of free
visitors that buy from google search. His site was rocking.

Get this. It was a multimillion dollar business of seeling
nuts online.

But, the guy was not happy that he did not have the domain
nuts.com. In fact, it drove him nuts for years. Even trying to
track the person that owned it and was probably going to have
to pay $1 million or so for it.

He just could not live without nuts.com, thinking it would take
his million$ business to the even greater heights.

He gets nuts.com. Probably pays up the ying yang. But man
is he salivating the new traffic! SEO experts told him it would.
They said google would love it. That the type in traffic alone
would be worth it.

So what does he do? Something that even the most basic
warrior should NOT do. Obliterates his baby nutsonline.com
and transfers it over to nuts.com.

Can you guess the rest of the story?

Quote from the story:
The site, which had been averaging more than 30,000 visits each week from nonpaid Google searches, with traffic rising 5 to 10 percent a month, suffered a 70 percent decline in nonpaid Google traffic in the two weeks after the switch. Almost three months later, it was still down by more than 50 percent. The decline, Mr. Braverman said, cost the company at least 100 to 150 orders a day.
Sadly, the real truth is revealed by a real seo expert in the last paragraph:
Jay Bean, co-founder of OrangeSoda, an online marketing company in American Fork, Utah: "If you want an easy-to-remember URL, then you probably don't actually need to move your site. You could buy Nuts.com and redirect it to NutsOnline.com. No move is required, so you don't lose all the credibility and traffic you've built up. Overstock.com has done this several times: O.co redirects customers to Overstock.com without skipping a beat. The tragic thing is that in the eyes of search engines, the value of having Nuts.com versus NutsOnline.com is probably negligible."
I could just hear someone in the background saying, "Nuts to you!"

Hope you enjoyed that story, folks!

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/26/bu...ffer.html?_r=1

Paul
#overoptimization #stupidity
  • Profile picture of the author satrap
    Now, that's what I call "Over Optimized Stupidity"!
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Easy to call something stupid without thinking it through long term. I bet the name will pay for itself in no time. the annual revenue of the company is 20 million. Branding changes to an easier to remember name can easily pay for itself over years as a sound investment. It makes all other advertising much more efficient too. The name is much more memorable and will get more type in traffic. Further the whole debacle just gave him some sweet exposure. the site has already moved up in the search rankings and will probably move up the more the story makes it around the net.

      For the keyword its number one on bing and number two on Google - and no paul if you read here you will see there was nothing stupid about it. They did the 301 redirect just as Google advised

      Google Groups

      In fact they made a few other mistakes so it may not have even had anything to do with the name change perse.
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      • Profile picture of the author paulgl
        No, the stupidity was paying up the ying yang for a domain.
        It was not 301'd properly. In fact, the only 301 that should
        have been done was to 301 nuts.com to the established site.
        That's a big FAIL. He did it the opposite way. Obliterated
        the old site to point to the "new site." What did he
        expect? nutsonline.com should have been left alone. Exactly
        the way the MAN describes o.co did it. They did not obliterate
        o.com to o.co, but the other way around.

        But yes, it may pay off in the long run. I'm not sure how.
        The guy will lose zillions in business before that happens
        and take years to recover, if ever, the lost revenue.

        However, he did get a backlink from NYT, golden, and
        a boatload of publicity. Failure counts when given
        that kind of publicity.

        It also proves that type-in traffic is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overrated.
        You'd have to be nuts to type in nuts.com, except in fun.
        I would think that's a three stooges site.

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

          No, the stupidity was paying up the ying yang for a domain.
          You are on one of your rants again about people being stupid. Fact is they have a 20 million dollar a year business. Thats not the stupid zone. If you told me you did I wouldn't believe it. No one is stupid. Companies make branding decisions all the time and drop hundreds of thousands of dollars. You are thinking small time not big time business.

          It was not 301'd properly. In fact, the only 301 that should
          have been done was to 301 nuts.com to the established site.
          That's a big FAIL.

          ehhh.... small time thinking again. If a company is building brand they want the company URl in the address bar to match the new branding. Less confusing. In the long run the 301 redirect is supposed to and probably has already brought all the juice and everything that was available from the nutsonline domain.

          But yes, it may pay off in the long run. I'm not sure how.
          The guy will lose zillions in business before that happens and take years to recover, if ever, the lost revenue.
          Nonsense. the site is ranking high now so the worse is over after about two to three months. Thats not zillions. Extremely likely he makes back the two to three month loss with increased synergy with an easier to remember brand.

          It hasn't even been established the name alone is what caused it if you actually read the thread where its discussed

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

          It also proves that type-in traffic is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overrated.
          You'd have to be nuts to type in nuts.com, except in fun.
          I would think that's a three stooges site.
          The domain isn't to grab random type-in traffic. You're right, that's over rated.

          It's there to build a brand that can be built-up away from the search engine including traditional offline methods such as print media, radio, TV; and social media and online advertising. That's when the short, memorable, and unambiguous domain name shows its worth.

          His mistake was hardly due to over optimisation. He had to make a business decision on whether the risk was worth the gain.

          Over the last couple of weeks this forum has been full of non-seo people saying people who rely on organic traffic need to diversify and yet this bloke does it - with a successful business - and gets laughed at for creating a brand which will remove his reliance on Google.

          And the overstock.com example is poor. Overstock.com has an established brand with their domain name. Those extra domain purchases would have been made purely to protect their online presence rather than a branding exercise. O.co could be anything!
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      • Profile picture of the author inter123
        Regardless of what happened, he still make more money then 99% of the world.
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        Easy to call something stupid without thinking it through long term. I bet the name will pay for itself in no time. the annual revenue of the company is 20 million. Branding changes to an easier to remember name can easily pay for itself over years as a sound investment. It makes all other advertising much more efficient too. The name is much more memorable and will get more type in traffic. Further the whole debacle just gave him some sweet exposure. the site has already moved up in the search rankings and will probably move up the more the story makes it around the net.

        For the keyword its number one on bing and number two on Google - and no paul if you read here you will see there was nothing stupid about it. They did the 301 redirect just as Google advised

        Google Groups
        Lol, I hope for the business owner it's not mostly porn traffic.

        Anyways, I would have never done a site wide transition all at the same time, no way in he$$ (not in a million years!)!

        If they seriously had to (personally I wouldn't) move the entire domain, they should have fallen back & regrouped after the domain purchase. IMO, the business owner got greedy for the new traffic that he expected from the new domain purchase & reacted without thinking clearly.

        IMO, they should have worked backwards from the worst performing keywords towards their best performing keywords, move pages in small groups, watch the SERPs, If all is well, repeat towards the best ranked keywords until the transition is completed.

        If it takes a year to transition the whole site, so what, your still getting the old traffic + new traffic.

        After reading the whole story on nytimes, all I was thinking was, those poor 80 employees, their livelihood is in the hands of a poor decision maker.

        Ultimately, they should have outsourced the entire project to a highly reputable professional that deals with full site transitions as a specialty.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          Lol, I hope for the business owner it's not mostly porn traffic.
          Actually they had that figured out before the purchase.

          Anyways, I would have never done a site wide transition all at the same time, no way in he$$ (not in a million years!)!.....If it takes a year to transition the whole site, so what, your still getting the old traffic + new traffic.
          Branding decision if you read it - not just a matter of domain. Like Paul you are thinking small time not corporate business. You can't advertise two brands for a year until you switch over. Thats not how its done in the big boy world.


          After reading the whole story on nytimes, all I was thinking was, those poor 80 employees, their livelihood is in the hands of a poor decision maker.
          Probably all you were thinking but nothing in the article suggest that they are in any danger for just a two months drop off the serps from which they look to now have recovered. What do you think they are adsense marketers. LOL

          Poor decision makers building up a business to 20 million revenue and 80 employees. Yeah right. Holla when you and Paul hit 1 million. I got an ego too but I am not going to claim people pulling in a nice haul and hiring 80 people are silly slackers. Thats just ego building not reality.
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          • Profile picture of the author yukon
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            Actually they had that figured out before the purchase.



            Branding decision if you read it - not just a matter of domain. Like Paul you are thinking small time not corporate business. You can't advertise two brands for a year until you switch over. Thats not how its done in the big boy world.




            Probably all you were thinking but nothing in the article suggest that they are in any danger for just a two months drop off the serps from which they look to now have recovered. What do you think they are adsense marketers. LOL

            Poor decision makers building up a business to 20 million revenue and 80 employees. Yeah right. Holla when you and Paul hit 1 million. I got an ego too but I am not going to claim people pulling in a nice haul and hiring 80 people are silly slackers. Thats just ego building not reality.
            Obviously you didn't see the Overstock (O.co) example, that throws the whole branding theory out the window.

            Looks like you dreaming of brighter days, lol.

            Don't get hung up on what other peoples incomes are, it's not healthy.

            BTW, I do just fine.
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
              Originally Posted by yukon View Post

              Obviously you didn't see the Overstock (O.co) example, that throws the whole branding theory out the window.
              LOL you have lost your mind if you think that overstock proves companies shouldn't care about their brand particularly when that brand is shorter and easier to remember that the old brandname.


              Don't get hung up on what other peoples incomes are, it's not healthy.
              I'm not I am just assisting you in not getting hung up on calling people stupid in business who are running circles around you in internet marketing.
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              • Profile picture of the author yukon
                Banned
                Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                LOL you have lost your mind if you think that overstock proves companies shouldn't care about their brand particularly when that brand is shorter and easier to remember that the old brandname.

                I'm not I am just assisting you : D in not getting hung up on calling people stupid in business who are running circles around you in internet marketing. ; )



                You obviously don't have a clue about redirecting domains for traffic. An old established domain with traffic from redbicycles.com (example) would be profitable If it was redirected to amazon.com. Think before you type.

                Of all people on this forum & out of all the times you've personally blasted other forum members for accusing you of saying things you didn't say, show me where I said the business owner was stupid (I never said that).

                As you constantly say to others, stop grasping at straws.

                I have to laugh at the way your acting, as If you see gold or something because some guy you'll never know has a business with $20 million revenue. Your acting like your somehow associated with some other persons money.

                Keep dreaming Mike, keep dreaming.

                May all your dreams come true, ha, ha.
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                • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                  show me where I said the business owner was stupid (I never said that).
                  "Poor decision maker" "crazy stuff". Whats the difference?

                  Originally Posted by yukon View Post

                  You obviously don't have a clue about redirecting domains for traffic. An old established domain with traffic from redbicycles.com (example) would be profitable If it was redirected to amazon.com. Think before you type.
                  :rolleyes: You poor soul. Branding goes way beyond domain names and redirection for a corporation. You have no clue what the issues even are so there is no use in even discussing it further. The data from compete rebuts both you and Paul anyway. The site is doing fine and getting SUBSTANTIAL more traffic than last year. Theres no point to be made about SEO. The raw data rebuts the OPs premise.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I preach it all the time, If you have a ranked page/URL leave it alone.

    I hope this Warrior Forum member reads this thread, before they obliterate their business by messing with a lot of URLs on their old site.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/adsense-...k-traffic.html

    Buying new domains isn't the problem, the problem is people want to destroy the old domains, crazy stuff.

    Live & learn...
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  • Profile picture of the author paul nicholls
    crazy, but i think he would of learned his lesson

    i made this mistake a couple of years ago and i lost the traffic but not as much as this guy, he must be livid

    paul
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Lol, Wikipedia is ranking an internal page at #1 in Google SERPs for the keyword nuts.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Perry
    Greed does crazy things to people. I admire him for not being satisfied with what he was currently making (step one to making more!), but a failing grade for getting rid of all the groundwork laid by nutsonline.com.

    Kevin
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  • Profile picture of the author retsek
    It's easy to call him stupid, but I think he made the right move. Just for whatever reason, the transition didn't go off. I've 301'd sites before, following all the best practise and I know from experience that sometimes it goes off flawlessly and other times you wonder what the hell. Sometimes it's just how Google feels about the site in question. And that there is the problem.

    With the exposure he gets in the NYT, I hope Google takes a look at his case.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by retsek View Post


      With the exposure he gets in the NYT, I hope Google takes a look at his case.
      No need to the site is doing well according to compete. If you look at the graph you will see before the Christmas season (before his niche generally sees increased traffic) the site hovered at around 300,000 and in 2011 was doing about 246.000 in March

      nutsonline.com UVs for March 2012 | Compete

      This year with the new domain its hit 360,000 then 422,000 in March.

      nuts.com UVs for March 2012 | Compete

      ummmm... yeah 160,000+ over last year and a better more memorable name sure makes them stupid :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Looking at their current sales pages, they need to take their breadcrumb out of that ordered list, the current breadcrumb html code is useless as far as the SERPs.

    No breadcrumbs in the SERPs:
    site:nuts.com

    If done correctly they could have the exact same user experiance on the site + thousands of breadcrumb keyword/anchor-text links in the SERPs.

    I can fix that.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Originally Posted by retsek

    ....the thread title reads "Overoptimization? No, Stupidity!"
    If not the business owner's decision then who ? Who's stupid?
    What?

    I didn't create the thread or thread title.

    You ok, lol?
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  • Profile picture of the author Lyanna
    Yeah. It's true the big G just slapped my two money sites down hard but they are both #1 in Bing and Yahoo for a ton of long tails so I still get 300 unique visitors a day. No need to nuke those sites, IMO. I will just create completely new websites in the same niche with similar content but less optimized.

    I think its best to leave your site alone if it still earns money, even if its no longer the best so I won't do any funny redirects.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Dont know what all the fuss is about.

    The sites ranking 2nd and 3rd for the term 'nuts'
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Oh, and another thing.

    Since when is buyng a one word exact match domain an act of stupidity? :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author webinventaekhlas
    yes, I was think to buy two domain names. Most probably i will but I will use redirect my country domain to other domain which i bought from name.com for redirects. Sometimes country government could take that domain... So i will not upload a single file on my country domain! It's the basic to keep my business alive.....

    The above situation was not occured by country domain. But just to let other webmasters know I have shared what I am going to do...

    This is really a sad story I have read.... This site owner made a mistake and gave a very big price..... One mistake can make you poor in this virtual world.... I am getting it clearly after surfing many forums for long....
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  • Profile picture of the author Rache
    It's okay, he will be back in the game
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  • Profile picture of the author Steadyon
    It's interesting how in the PPC section of WF that there are a couple of people who seem to gloat at others mistakes or assume they are the bees knees (google it).

    Still, it helps draw out some discussion points...
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    The guy is smart. Now he's got viral attention and backlinks coming in to Nuts.com because of the story in the New York Times. He'll come out of this just fine.
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      Most of you are missing the point.

      If you really read the article, he wanted the domain to
      get some of the juice of type in traffic and EMD. Dumb.
      He obliterated the content and the dynamics of a whole
      site. You don't 301 a complete site like that. You work
      with it over time.

      This is his paranoia, like I've seen some warriors have:
      Fear of a hypothetical competitor gnawed at Mr. Braverman, and he raised his bid. "I found what he would take," Mr. Braverman said. "I was tossing and turning about this for a while and suddenly I said we have to do it. It was kind of a flawed rationale: if I'm already at this level, what's an extra 10 percent? I ended up coughing up more money, hundreds of thousands of dollars. But at the end of the day I thought about it from a defensive standpoint. What if a competitor got this. How would I feel?"
      Leading to this:
      Almost three months later, it was still down by more than 50 percent.
      This is not about an EMD. This is not about the value of the new EMD.

      This is about moving a site the wrong way. And paranoia.

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

        Most of you are missing the point.
        Sorry Paul you don't have one. This is just one of your many I am smart and everyone else is an idiot rant threads. You've complained about whining threads and here you are creating a whining thread with no substance and precious little SEO discussion. People can accuse me rightfully about arguing even about ego but right or wrong its on some facts and a point. This has neither. its just ego by itself.

        If you really read the article, he wanted the domain to
        get some of the juice of type in traffic and EMD. Dumb.
        You are displaying a lot of ignorance while calling people dumb. Did you read the article your self? It states very clearly here

        The more he thought about it, the more he realized that his biggest concern was that a competitor might swoop in and buy Nuts. “It’s fundamentally a better brand,” Mr. Braverman said. “They would be able to nibble away. Maybe in 10 years they could catch up with us.
        And furthermore he was right. In an advertising campaign against a competitor if your site was nutsonline.com and their site was nuts.com they would get a decent amount of traffic from people who watched your adverting and didn't remember the whole domain name.

        So it was a long term move not for EMD traffic but for BRANDING (which in case Yuke gets confused again refers to the whole company's marketing not just online redirection). I'm sorry but this is a problem on this board. Too many people don't think long term, they don't understand business and they think their small time experience is all there is.

        and your no one would type in the word nuts.com claim. Really Paul? I mean really? You think the whole adult world thinks porn when they think nuts? Heres a hint - The whole world is not 12 years old.


        He obliterated the content and the dynamics of a whole
        site. You don't 301 a complete site like that. You work
        with it over time.
        They had a two month switch over period and then charged into brand new highs in traffic according to the compete data which you have failed to address trying desperately to ignore the facts that don't fit your narrative.

        If you have their analytics data you can rebut me but you don't which is why you both ignore how the compete.com data completely destroys both your points? No? Then kindly tell us all how they are idiots and dumb and will lose what was it? "zillions"?:rolleyes: when their traffic now stands over 160,00 uniques over last year and their brand is easier to remember and type in? Don't go running away into another rant - Address the Compete data.

        You have no point. Not even a great SEO point. You can do a redirect to a new site. You and Yuke have no idea what you are talking about. Yes of course there can be some bumps on the road as you recreate structure (they even had a robots.txt issue) but it CAN be done. 301s can work in both directions and anyone saying otherwise doesn't have the first clue. Furthermore any change anyone makes to a domain name should be on the basis of long term NOT short term so a few months loss is irrelevant. Just the fact that a prospective customer will never be lost by typing in a shorter name than advertised has substantial value stretched over a ten year period.

        The moral of this thread is learn to think long term. A two months loss does not equate to bad business if it results in a much longer long term gain. oh and the other one is - don't call people dumb when you don't understand the issues involved and where the actual data proves your overall point very wrong.
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  • Profile picture of the author LiftMyRank
    You would think at that level of business he would of had correct advice presented to him on the issue before making a decision, almost hard to believe....
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    Thank you Mike for spanking Paul. He really needs it

    It must be tough trying to be the 'shock jock'
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  • Profile picture of the author smodha
    Give me a website with 20m turnover and you can call me stupid any day of the week!
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