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2014 Ranking Factors

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by tyang, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. tyang

    tyang Registered Member

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    I'm sure everyone has come across niches like this and wonder why some sites don't rank above others.

    ranking-factors.jpg

    Based on the information above site #7 should be ranked #1 and yet it still manages to be placed below sites that clearly don't deserve to be ahead. Clearly there is more ranking factors than just backlinks, social media, domain age, and on-site seo as site #7 wins all these categories hands-down. FYI site #7 is managed by a large SEO agency using a very powerful network (they've bought sites in upwards of $2k for backlinks, I know because I've bidded against them and followed the domain weeks later).

    So I dug a little deeper into site design and performance:
    site #1 had an old crappy layout - think classic HTML with ASP
    site #7 responsive wordpress theme - WIN

    Page speed according to gtmetrix.com is pretty similar. - TIE

    Backlinks:
    site #1: very few but more natural links, prob. all natural and a few local citations/directory types.
    site #7: The usual local citations/directory w/ a private PBN network from a large seo agency. - WIN

    These are not my sites so I have blurred it out. PM me is you'd like to do some analysis yourself.

    What gives? anyone want to chime in on theories why site #1 is ranking above #7?
     
  2. jon_xx_x

    jon_xx_x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This is a really poor thread.
    We have no idea what keywords each site is targetting. From the links of the metrics it looks like it's not even a very popular keyword anyways, so it makes it even harder to judge.
    We have no idea what kind of links site #7 has.
     
  3. funkybunker

    funkybunker Supreme Member

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    Are you sure the keyword you're looking at is more relevant to the younger site? Otherwise I'd say it's because Google is mentally challenged.
    That's my "I'm too sleepy to give a good answer" answer.
     
  4. tyang

    tyang Registered Member

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    I didn't want to out someones niche or sites but they are both targeting the same keywords. Example: Chicago Divorce Lawyer - not a hard keyword but just an example of what I see on a daily basis in all niches. Sites that should rank higher lose to sites with weaker SEO.

    I've said site #7 has the usual local citations/ directory along with a High pr network from a huge SEO firm.



     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
  5. tyang

    tyang Registered Member

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    Both sites are relevant to the niche. but site #7 has better on-page. So it should win this category.

     
  6. jon_xx_x

    jon_xx_x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Would have to see all the links to really give an opinion. Could still be a ton of crap links.
    That being said, who knows why some sites rank while others don't. I've posted about it a few times over the last couple months but I have a site in my niche wtih a handful of links and he's ranking above me and I have a bunch of really high authority links. The other guy shouldn't be in the top 50 even.
     
  7. tyang

    tyang Registered Member

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    Maybe it's not about links? that's where I'm trying to go. If you'd like to confirm I can PM the site to you but you'll see that site #7 clearly has wayy better links - not the cheap spammy links either. There must be another factor that we don't know - could be randomness but I've seen this multiple times in many niches.

     
  8. zigzag

    zigzag Registered Member

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    How does the interlinking look like? Which site has more pages on the same subject?
     
  9. tyang

    tyang Registered Member

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    you may be onto something, this is where site 1 wins.

    site #1 Interlinking is present with over 100 pages indexed - many pages with linkouts to authority sites.
    site #7 No real interlinking of pages - about 40 pages indexed

    This could be the reason site #1 is ranking higher - but still hard to fathom.

     
  10. PHPInjected

    PHPInjected Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Pretty sure you just fathomed it.
     
  11. tyang

    tyang Registered Member

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    in this case; maybe yes - but sometimes you see sites with little content outrank much larger - better optimized sites.

     
  12. crazedspyker

    crazedspyker Senior Member

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    Maybe the off-site seo for site #7 is too optimized in relation to it's on-page seo. There are many factors to consider, not just pure backlink juice (except for c&b sites).
     
  13. zigzag

    zigzag Registered Member

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    Site #1 is also an EMD, I think those still make a huge difference when it comes to local SEO as I see 2 other EMD right behind site #7 creeping in also.

    Have you actually seen this happen in other niches which are not locally SEO?
     
  14. tyang

    tyang Registered Member

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    I figured if it was over-optimized it woundn't be ranking at position 7 page 1 - I could be wrong. I'm gonna do some research on this, you have a good point.

     
  15. PHPInjected

    PHPInjected Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Both of these are good points. The fact that #1 is an EMD is still a large factor in todays ranking. Keyword relevancy in any capacity is a factor. I am not saying to stuff your keyword anywhere, but you understand.
     
  16. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator in Training Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    EMDs certainly play a role in ranking, although they aren't as powerful as they once were due to people abusing them.
     
  17. tyang

    tyang Registered Member

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    I'm sure EMD had something to do with it but not all since the #1 site only has a few weak backlinks and weak on-page. Maybe there is some kind of penalty site 7 was hit with because it looks like links alone won't move it. What I'm noticing across the board is google is paying less attention to on-page seo. Google is counting site authority into the rankings too heavily.

    Here's a good example: How can http://www.cnet.com/web-hosting/ be ranked better for "Best web hosting" than:

    http://www.webhostingsecretrevealed.net/
    or
    http://www.best-web-hosting.com/

    Both which are sites dedicated to this niche. Cnet's site along with a few others on the first page clearly shouldn't be there. Cnet's review is weak and useless I might add.
     
  18. makemybusinessboom

    makemybusinessboom Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    There are hundreds of ranking factors. There are only a few metrics you can analyze about the competition, and usually if you outperform on these metrics, you can surpass them in rankings. If you want to really determine ranking factors then you need to quantify a lot of metrics over the span of thousands of sites to get definitive data.

    Keep in mind there are different rules for different queries, based on CPC, volume, locality, etc.
     
  19. gazmo

    gazmo Junior Member

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    There are thousands of ranking factors. What you've written down is a poor guess based on limited information.

    But even if you only work on PR links as a ranking factor you'll be fine. Yes even in 2014 ...
     
  20. nikita12

    nikita12 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    You mention that site#1 is an EMD. I would suppose that Site#1 gets a lot of authority backlinks with the EMD as text. With enough of these, the search engines will treat the EMD as a brand name and always show it at the top.

    Using your example, if the keyword is "Chicago Divorce Lawyer" if the site ChicagoDivorceLawyer.com gets enough authority back links with anchor texts like "Chicago Divorce Lawyer", "ChicagoDivorceLawyer" or "chicagodivorcelawyer.com", the search engines may treat that as a brand name and when a user searches on the keyword, the search engines believe that the user is looking for the brand and show the result at the top. Assuming the website is good enough and not many users click back and onto the next set of results, the website can retain its rank. One tell tale sign is if the top 2 results are from the same domain.

    Another reason that site#7 may not rank well is as "tyang" pointed out, it may be over-optimized. Checkout phpbuilt's bhw thread of keyword optimization. Essentially he theorizes that there needs to be a balance of on-page and off-page keyword density. i.e if you are building links with keywords in them, your off-page keyword density goes up and you should ideally reduce your on-page keyword density to balance this out.

    P.S. I love these threads. Brings out the Sherlock in me.