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Banking with massive database-driven sites

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by jrbobdobbs, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. jrbobdobbs

    jrbobdobbs Junior Member

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    So Google has been down on these kinds of site for a long time, not just through Panda etc., but way before that, because they tend to basically produce a lot of thin/unoriginal content if done unimaginatively. But they get mentioned occasionally by IMers, and I know there are marketers running these kinds of sites for various purposes (not just for traffic, as part of private networks, for example).

    It's pretty low-quality stuff really, only... there are still gazillions of pages like this ranking last time I looked (just now), e.g. city/map/weather sites, and it's a volume game - sure there is not much traffic looking for the weather in some obscure village in Uganda, but in aggregate you should be pulling in a ton of traffic.

    So has anyone got any tips on running these/ranking with them?

    In case you don't know the type of thing I mean, here is an example - you can download a free list of all the cities of the world from here: http://www.maxmind.com/en/worldcities and import into SQL and create a site with a page for each city, with maps and other info mashed in from other sources.

    Another example: download the FreeDB CD database, hook it up with Amazon links, pull in Youtube videos etc. etc.

    It used to be that you could get a good flow of traffic to these kinds of site purely through the volume game and ultra-long-tail keywords (weather in Uganda village etc.). Problem these days is if Google hates on your site, then you ain't getting a sniff even of the long-tail traffic, you'll get zero traffic, even though Google will index all your 10 million pages. But someone is ranking for these, so come on, give us some tips :) Is it just about raising the authority of the site as a whole? Is it about "thicker" content, well-mashed content (not that most of the ranking sites have any of that)?

    Also, most of these sites are monetised with Adsense, and I am not sure if such thin sites are really approved of by the Adsense people, so how does that work?!
     
  2. HatIsBlacked

    HatIsBlacked Regular Member

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    you got data that is pretty much the same stuff you can get anywhere. unless if its unique or original, google isnt going to rank it if ppl dont see value in it. so it isnt about data, its about brand and possibly community.

    this is old school mashup presentation type of work. garbage in, garbage out. nine times out of ten, you are just wasting your time forcing something that just isnt there. besides, there is very little buy incentive from a informational point of view to monetize on.
     
  3. jrbobdobbs

    jrbobdobbs Junior Member

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    Sure, I understand what you are saying, I'm kind of thinking along the same lines - but SOMEONE is ranking for this crap still, right..!?

    OK, take a random search for our Ugandan village (random example, I have no connection with any Ugandan villages!), like "weather in Adjumani Uganda". Some of the higher-ranked results are the major weather sites, fair enough, but halfway down somewhere is this page: hxxp://www.fallingrain.com/world/UG/65/Adjumani.html - I mean, will you look at it! There's no community or brand, there's not even any CSS come to think of it! It's just, like you say, an old skool mashup, a pretty ropey-looking one at that. But this is mega long-tail, Google HAS to rank SOMETHING there, and though of course we are talking mega low-volume searches, too, it still must add up, as this site has 4 million pages registered! Even if each page only got one hit per MONTH I would take that..! So I still wonder if there might not still be money being made in this game? If that site can rank than any site can, surely..!

    Regarding monetisation, no, of course, it's just info-seeking, but that site has Adsense "user-interest" ads (remarketing) ads on it which might improve CTR a little, and anyway, well-targeted travel stuff might convert better ("Cheapest travel to Adjumani, Uganda" or whatever), or in my example with the CD database obviously people WOULD be interested in buying CDs via Amazon. Again, it's a volume game - even with 0.5% CTR and $0.05 CPC on my hypothetical 4 million pageviews is still a grand a month - again, not to be sniffed at!

    Well, just thinking aloud, I can always try it, but just wondering what's going on in that space now.