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Davidla

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Competitiveness Research

I am doing DD on a niche website for sale, ranked 3'rd for the main keyword. I am trying to figure out how volatile is his #3 position.

Considering the details bellow,what is the chance to lose that #3 ranking? ( Assuming all of the current SEO is legit, and regular future SEO will be made) what probable scenarios will cause the website to lose it's ranking?

This is the data on this keyword and website:

- Only the target website and the website ranked #10 have direct match in domain name. (most of the other website have only on page match, or broad url match)
- Website is 4 months old.

Here is a chart with SEO data:
 
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Brootal

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Guido- What would you recommend doing to learn proper keyword research and then sizing up the competition?

I seem to go for keywords that seem easy to hit when looking at them in Market Samurai, but have had little luck ranking for them.
 

semsniper

New Contributor
Jun 29, 2011
39
12
Washington DC
Thanks for your replies, guys.
My main pr page has droped from 3 to 2. But pr of the 4 other pages have grown from 0 to 2.
I cannot understand why the main page is down. Please any ideas why it's happened.

To answer this directly, it could be a few things.
- A few sites that link to you had their pr dropped
- As the Internet continues to grow and more sites go online, pr spreads out and many sites will drop a bit.
- Your actual PR may have been 3.1 & it dropped to 2.9 (so not really a big drop, but since the visible PR doesn't show tenth of a point, we won't know for sure)

One critical thing to remember.
Your PR rank does not directly affect how you rank in Google, so don't get too caught up in the numbers game. Remember, that PR is strictly a calculation of PR sites that link to you.
Instead focus on where you rank & what your analytics tells you (visits, pages, bounce, etc)
 

semsniper

New Contributor
Jun 29, 2011
39
12
Washington DC
I am doing DD on a niche website for sale, ranked 3'rd for the main keyword. I am trying to figure out how volatile is his #3 position.

Considering the details bellow,what is the chance to lose that #3 ranking? ( Assuming all of the current SEO is legit, and regular future SEO will be made) what probable scenarios will cause the website to lose it's ranking?

This is the data on this keyword and website:

- Only the target website and the website ranked #10 have direct match in domain name. (most of the other website have only on page match, or broad url match)
- Website is 4 months old.

Here is a chart with SEO data:
Hi David,

Generally, a bit tough to say how volatile a ranking is. It depends on how you continue the SEO and management of the site, as well as your competitors & any new sites that come on the scene. Obviously, if your competitors have taken note of your ranking, they will ofcourse challenge you.

One of the things that does concern me is the age of the site.
It's not uncommon for a new website to begin ranking pretty soon out of the gate, then a few months later drop into obscurity. Some may call this being sand-boxed. I'm not saying that will happen to this site, but it's certainly a possibility.

Another thing that concerns me is the number of pages indexed? Only one? am I reading that correctly?
Is that because there is only one page? I typically recommend at least 10-12 pages.

By having other pages they can help to support each other in terms of ranking.
These additional pages can also help you target other related terms. (I hate being tied to just one or a few keyword terms) for the reason mentioned above.

One other thing I should mention. Before you complete the purchase if that's your intention, be sure to get a copy of their analytics report. If they use Google Analytics, they can export you a pdf.
If it was me, I might ask them to give me read-only access to their GA account so that i can dig a little deeper than a pdf doc provides.

Once you have that, look for that keyword term & it's associated visits.
If it's only receiving 10 visits per month, then perhaps it's not as valuable a keyword as you or the seller thinks.

PS: Guido, sorry to hijack your thread :)
 
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Davidla

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Hi David,

Generally, a bit tough to say how volatile a ranking is. It depends on how you continue the SEO and management of the site, as well as your competitors & any new sites that come on the scene. Obviously, if your competitors have taken note of your ranking, they will ofcourse challenge you.

One of the things that does concern me is the age of the site.
It's not uncommon for a new website to begin ranking pretty soon out of the gate, then a few months later drop into obscurity. Some may call this being sand-boxed. I'm not saying that will happen to this site, but it's certainly a possibility.

Another thing that concerns me is the number of pages indexed? Only one? am I reading that correctly?
Is that because there is only one page? I typically recommend at least 10-12 pages.

By having other pages they can help to support each other in terms of ranking.
These additional pages can also help you target other related terms. (I hate being tied to just one or a few keyword terms) for the reason mentioned above.

One other thing I should mention. Before you complete the purchase if that's your intention, be sure to get a copy of their analytics report. If they use Google Analytics, they can export you a pdf.
If it was me, I might ask them to give me read-only access to their GA account so that i can dig a little deeper than a pdf doc provides.

Once you have that, look for that keyword term & it's associated visits.
If it's only receiving 10 visits per month, then perhaps it's not as valuable a keyword as you or the seller thinks.

PS: Guido, sorry to hijack your thread :)


Thanks for the response Semsniper.

Overall I reached the same conclusions you did, but the main X factor here for me is why do new websites get sandboxed? from what I've learned so far, it usually happens when some grey/black hat SEO is used (link farms, autoblogs etc). What other known reasons cause new websites to get sandboxed?
 

Jake

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It's not uncommon for a new website to begin ranking pretty soon out of the gate, then a few months later drop into obscurity. Some may call this being sand-boxed. I'm not saying that will happen to this site, but it's certainly a possibility.
This just happened to me. I was screwing around and created an affiliate site. Within 2 weeks I ranked between 5-7 on the front page. Approx 7 days later I fell to 400 something. My info(about) page ranks 40th somehow:smx3:

Sucks because I made a sale already. This happened after I made a post about being ranked on the front page in only 2 weeks lol
 

Toiletcake

New Contributor
Nov 4, 2007
118
13
Followup

Hey all,

I wanted to show everyone my 3rd update since Guido starting doing seo for my site. Its been 3 months of nice gradual work and you can see his efforts are working. My niche is a very competitive space as well.

April 14th- May 6th- July6th-

Keyword #5 Position 10 9 5

Keyword #6 Position 4 4 2

Keyword #7 Position 10 4 3

Keyword #8 Position 2 4 2

Keyword #9 Position 19 17 6

Keyword #10 Position 13 15 3
 
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semsniper

New Contributor
Jun 29, 2011
39
12
Washington DC
David:

No problem.
Grey/Black hat methods (when you're caught) is a bit different from being sandboxed.
If you have swayed to the dark side and Google has caught on, then you're getting penalized & rankings suffer & worse case scenario a complete de-indexing, until you have reversed or corrected it.

Getting sandboxed is not really a penalty. Most new sites get boxed, which is more about Google taking some time to figure out your site, making sure it is legit. The sand box was initially created to prevent scammers & spammers from creating one-off sites, rank them quickly & do their scam bit.

Jake: Yep, as mentioned, it's definitely not uncommon

Toiletcake: Nicely done. This is why we SEO's always preach patience. PS, nice handle lol
 
S

stranger

Guest
Semsniper, thank you for the real useful response.
Please my last question is;
Some pages of my website have urls with %20 and some others have - . Should i rename the pages with %20 or ones with - to do one standart at the website? Or don't touch it?
That's a stupid story why my site has both %20 and - urls.
 

semsniper

New Contributor
Jun 29, 2011
39
12
Washington DC
Semsniper, thank you for the real useful response.
Please my last question is;
Some pages of my website have urls with %20 and some others have - . Should i rename the pages with %20 or ones with - to do one standart at the website? Or don't touch it?
That's a stupid story why my site has both %20 and - urls.

Hi stranger,

Yes, definitely get rid of the %20 in the URLs and replace them with dashes (-).
You should also consider doing a 301 redirect from those old urls to the new ones, so that visitors from searches as well as search bots get to the new pages.

Do you have a Google Webmaster Tools account? You should also create an xml sitemap and upload it to there, which will help Google index those new pages a little faster.

Ofcourse don't forget to update links within your site too.
 
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S

stranger

Guest
Yes, definitely get rid of the %20 in the URLs and replace them with dashes (-).
Please tell me why %20 in urls is a bad idea.
Simple i have some articles in article directories with the backlinks to my %20 urls.
 

semsniper

New Contributor
Jun 29, 2011
39
12
Washington DC
Sorry for the delay, stranger.

Well, mainly '%20' has no meaning.
It's helpful to have keywords in the URL, as you probably know which helps you to rank for those terms.
A dash '-' is a separator that Google sees as a space.
So, if you have a URL like /fast-cars/ - Google sees this as 'fast cars'.
But if your URL looks like this /fast%20cars/ - Google will see it as 'fast%20cars' - It will be seen as all one word, which ofcourse doesn't make any sense.

Your course of action is to create 301 redirects from the old URl to the new URL.
Robot spiders see the 301 as an official sign that the page has changed names which means link juice will follow through.
Once you do implement the 301 it is best to make the change on all your external links, if possible.

If you are on an apache server, you need a file called '.htaccess' (This file might already exist).
It needs to live in the root folder of your site.

And the code you would use to implement the 301 is:
You should probably create a couple dummy pages to test first before putting live.
 
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MikeM

New Contributor
Jul 11, 2011
8
6
Hello,

I don't know if this was addressed in this thread yet, but I have a few questions:

1) I know you own an SEO company, but would you consider your services "worth" it for a site that already has good on-page SEO and is connected to all major social media websites?
2) What are some warning signs I should look for when finding an SEO company?
3) Are there any specific industry questions I should ask them before hiring?
4) What is a fair going rate right now?
 
S

stranger

Guest
Well, mainly '%20' has no meaning.
It's helpful to have keywords in the URL, as you probably know which helps you to rank for those terms.
A dash '-' is a separator that Google sees as a space.
So, if you have a URL like /fast-cars/ - Google sees this as 'fast cars'.
But if your URL looks like this /fast%20cars/ - Google will see it as 'fast%20cars' - It will be seen as all one word, which ofcourse doesn't make any sense.

Thank you for your detailed answers.

I'm a little confused. A guy who designed me the site says %20 means a space. When i create a new page i write 'fast cars' but into a browser it looks 'fast%20cars'. Please your comments?
 

crockbar

Contributor
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Jul 5, 2011
31
25
Dallas, Texas
I actually just bought a website for hotel bookings...bought it for cheap too. There is a commission based on the leads and you actually book through other sites. I just did the basic stuff through google SEO and some other search engines. I am a newbie with this stuff. Any advice or help that anyone could give would be appreciated. The site is Hotel Gizmo | Finds The Best Hotel Rates Across The Web

I started also doing the basic stuff like setting up a facebook page and doing posts because I just launched the site. So right now I'm just seeking what other people have to say and recommend to increase traffic, SEO, etc...
 
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semsniper

New Contributor
Jun 29, 2011
39
12
Washington DC
Thank you for your detailed answers.

I'm a little confused. A guy who designed me the site says %20 means a space. When i create a new page i write 'fast cars' but into a browser it looks 'fast%20cars'. Please your comments?

Well, that's how the browser interprets the space by sticking in the '%20'.
But that's not how search engines see it.
That's not to say Google will toss URLs with a %20 into the trash bin. It will still be crawled and indexed, it just may not rank as high as if you had used the dash.

@mikemoseni - Are you asking me or the OP?

You'll get varying answers depending on who you ask, but I'll take a stab.

1) "good on-page SEO" can be somewhat subjective. For instance Guido things that H1 tags are not that important, but I disagree. You may think you have a well optimized site, but an experienced SEO can find additional improvements, not just on your current page set up, but also advise on site structure & the creation of new pages that can target either long tail terms, but also terms that you may not have thought of.

2) Ask lots of questions. Their answers can give you plenty of insight. For example, for me - when i reply to an inquiry or a client question, I try to avoid techy terms & use terms that the person can relate to & use plenty of explanations. Not everyone understands SEO, so if I've lost the person because they don't understand what I am saying, then they will never truly understand what I am doing.

Try to avoid pricing that is too cheap. Quite often "you get what you pay for" applies.

If you are US-based try to get someone where English is their first language. There are a Ton of outsourced companies from other countries popping up & although they can be good for certain types of campaigns, if their English is not their first language it will be easily identifiable in your content which will directly reflect on you and your business.

3) All firms are not equal & will not necessarily perform the same duties.
For example, some firms will demand full access to your site in order to make changes that they want to do.
And others will not. They will give you direction in the form of word documents & excel sheets & it's up to you or your developer to implement. I've been on both sides of these options.

Here are some questions to ask:

Will you edit my website’s content?
This relates to #2, whether they say yes or now, if they're not English-speaking you will probably not get the desired effect - The answer you get should be yes.

Do you work for any of my competitors?
This could be good and bad. Good, because they will understand your industry, but not so good because they can pass your campaign secrets to them. If the answer is yes, consider an NDA.

Will you show me regular reports & what kind?
Obviously you will want to see what they're up to and the progress they are making

Do you offer guarantees?
This used to be a big problem. I don't see it as much now, but some upstart SEO companies were guaranteeing first place results. Some were even bold enough to say that they had a special relationship with Google or they knew someone there. It is possible that they knew someone. I have a few contacts there, but in no way, shape or form will that help an SEO campaign. Remember that Google is one big automated program, so no single person at Google can work some magic to make your site come out on top. The only guarantee I have ever given is that the client will have a better campaign than before i came on board. 95% of the time, if a campaign fails, it's because the client didn't follow my instructions.

How are your results & can you show me some examples?
Self explanatory, I think. You want to see examples of rankings, but more importantly you want to see trends and reports from their Analytics program.

What kind of Industry-specific people or websites do you follow?
This will give you some insight into how they keep up with the fast changing world of internet marketing.

There's a million more, but it's a start.

4) Asking cost, is like asking how long a piece of string is.
It definitely comes in all shapes and sizes.

For me, my regular gig & specialty right now is the Non-Profit / Charity sector.
My base rate is $150/hr but usually charge by the project. I typically won't touch a client unless they have a budget of at least $50K per year.

Obviously that's for large organizations. I do like to help the entrepreneur however, so I will pick up freelance gigs here and there. It helps keep me fresh and in tune. In this case, i never charge by the hour, just on a per project basis. And it preferably needs to be a full-scope project. If you were to ask me to do a link building campaign, I would just turn that down because it's too narrow a focus.

Again, answers will vary greatly.... whew! long post
 

kwerner

Bronze Contributor
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For me, my regular gig & specialty right now is the Non-Profit / Charity sector.
My base rate is $150/hr but usually charge by the project. I typically won't touch a client unless they have a budget of at least $50K per year.

Obviously that's for large organizations.


Question - Why would a non-profit or charity need to spend $50k a year on SEO services?
 

Davidla

Bronze Contributor
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May 30, 2009
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A few questions about different SEs:

1) Are there any special differences in SEO targeted to Google,Yahoo and Bing?

2) If a website got google slapped or sandboxed (not deindexed), are there reasons to assume a loss of ranking in Yahoo & Bing aswell?

Lets assume the website isn't doing anything frowned upon intentionally (like link farms, content cloaking, auto generating content etc).
 
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MikeM

New Contributor
Jul 11, 2011
8
6
@semsniper

AWESOME response! Thank you! You brought up a lot of things I would have never even thought of.

You think you have some technical bases covered and someone blows the hinges off your door haha!
 

semsniper

New Contributor
Jun 29, 2011
39
12
Washington DC
@kwerner
I should've specified that when I said 50K, I was speaking generally, not necessarily non-profits.
However, that said you wouldn't believe the budgets some of them have. Moving to the non-profit sector was a real eye opener for me, because many of them especially the bigger ones operate much like a for profit corporation.
They have rental costs, office costs, payroll and ofcourse marketing budgets.

@mikemoseni
No problem. SEO is kind of like the wild wild west!

@Davidla
1) There are lots of little subtle differences. Bing and Yahoo are very similar and will be the same once the merger is completed. The biggest difference is how Google treats links, it's a much more complex and indepth algorithm.

My usual advice is to concentrate on Google since they have the largest market share of search traffic, about 65% compared to yahoo and bing with about 14% each. Much of how you optimize for Google will transend to bing/yahoo who both tend to be quite a bit slower to index web pages.

2) No, not necessarily. Bing and Yahoo's penalty system is not so complex as Google. If you do feel you were sandboxed, just keep doing what you're doing... building your site, adding good content and link building.
 

BillyShears

New Contributor
Jun 7, 2010
19
1
Scottsdale, AZ
Hi there,

1st you get the search engines to notice your website. So I recommend bookmarking your site on popular social bookmarking platforms such as

Digg
Mixx
Reddit
Delicious
Mr Wong

That will get it indexed quickly.

Then I recommend settings up your social media profiles

Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
YouTube

Then find relevant communities ie Blogs, Forums and start posting in them and adding some value. Most forums will allow a signature link and a blog comment will link back to your site. Find other blogs in your niche contact the webmasters and offer content in exchange for a link back to your site.

Join an answer site such as Quora set up your profile and answer questions.

This will help get your name out and promote your site.

Thanks for all the info. This is my to-do list for tomorrow.
 
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hackersmovie

New Contributor
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Sep 19, 2011
95
5
Maryland, USA
A little help....

I posted this in another thread that may be bogus. So I figured I'd post it one that is NOT bogus....

I use an SEO tool to upload my SEO content, I'm confused as to what I should put where. Here are the catagories for each .html page:

Site Settings (I believe these affect everypage on the site)
Header Code (within the <head> tag)
Footer Code (right above the </body> tag)

Title Tag

Meta Tags
Website Description
Website Keywords
(clickable options)
1. tell search engines to index this page
2. tell search engines to follow all links
3. search engines should revisit page every __ days
4. set webpage language: drop down with multiple languages default : english

Images
A list of web page images comes up with a field "Alternative Text" that I can change

Custom Meta Tags
Meta Name
Value

any insight would be outta sight - the develper gives you no instruction on how to use this software, unless you wanna fork over a ton of cash to watch some videos! No thanks! I'll figure it out, somehow...

Thanks in advance for any information....


EDIT: I already uploaded my site map and sent it to Google, Bing and Yahoo! - I also went in and manully submitted a few url's to Google through the Webmaster Tools - Indexing should be on it's way but, I know I should have had my SEO in place first, Live and Learn....
 

Incoan

PARKED
Oct 10, 2011
6
0
32
Hey,

-Vary or not vary internal links' anchor texts?
-I did read you said that if I were to web2.0 stuff, I would need to have completely unique content on them...
If my web2.0s have not completely 100% unique articles(one article rewritten multiple times), would they still be able to rank?

It seems that I can always just change the content to make it unique, but still. : )
-How to rank for UK visitors/German visitors? Same backlinking strategies, I presume?

Thanks!
 

Nonso

PARKED
Oct 15, 2011
4
0
Hey,

Thanks for your offer.

I wanna ask a question: I created a website but it can only be accessed with the http:// prefix not www. prefix : why is that and how can i fix?

Thanks

Nonso
 
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Luke12321

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
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Jul 27, 2007
662
206
North Carolina
Web 2.0's can rank with spun content, I have witnessed it before.

Hey,

-Vary or not vary internal links' anchor texts?
-I did read you said that if I were to web2.0 stuff, I would need to have completely unique content on them...
If my web2.0s have not completely 100% unique articles(one article rewritten multiple times), would they still be able to rank?

It seems that I can always just change the content to make it unique, but still. : )
-How to rank for UK visitors/German visitors? Same backlinking strategies, I presume?

Thanks!
 

billy

PARKED
Jun 5, 2011
38
0
36
Ok I have no problem optimizing keywords, I know how to do my keyword research, I know how to get good relevant content on the site. HOW IN THE HELL do I get back links. I mean I tried automating them, and went through a big thing with Google and almost got slapped. So I tried emailing 100's of websits and you may get 20 of those people to give you a backlink in exchange. Most of the people that come to my sites do not have a site of their own so they really dont care about linking to my site that they don't even have.

I get facebook likes all the time, but that really doesnt do much honestly. I get comments on facebook letting me know they like my site and they really appreciate the help and like the good job I have done. But again that is not getting backlinks.

I need a strategy to get many backlinks but not have to work non stop trying to them and I know there is an easier way.

I am willing to pay some legit services, but I have done this before and I was getting to many and Google didnt like that, and there was a big conflict between us that I dont want to go through again.

So any suggestions. Please.

I have a signature on other forums, not this one because it is not relevant to my site. But I am always posting to forums to get my backlink. I also read though that forums are not where you want to get the majority of your links and it takes a long time as well. So any suggestions?

Thanks!
 
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Luke12321

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Jul 27, 2007
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North Carolina
What I did with my site, was use a service called BuildMyRank.

It consist of writing 150 words snipets and you get one backlink. It worked pretty well with me as far as getting pages at least in the in the top few pages.

Some of the link services that get lower quality links, you have to be careful with. If you are going to use them, be willing to get the google slap. If you are going to use them, (I never have) but I would keep using them solid and not just quit over night, as I would imagine that would throw up a red flag to Google. 100 links per day then all of a sudden zero?

My strategy is to create quality web 2.0's, with spun content, including a image and maybe a video, then kill them with the lower quality link services, such as profile links, link pyramids, ect.

This way, you still get link juice passed to your money site, but really have little to no risk as far as a google slap because the links are going to a major site like wordpress, squidoo, ect. Because they are so established, it does not matter how many links get thrown at them, so that link juice is passed along without any risk to your money site.

Just a small strategy, but it has helped get my site a good start. FYI, using BMR you need to mix up your anchor text.
 

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