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How can a domain rank that high with just a few backlinks?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by itwarrior, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. itwarrior

    itwarrior Junior Member

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    I just did a search for some different meds and I noticed that it's a lot of domains that ranks high with just a few backlinks. So how is that possible?

    Here is just one example:
    Search for cheap ambien, buy ambien, etc at google. You will find this domain in the top 5 results:
    buyambienonline dot org

    Can it be a 301 redirect trick from some old domain or?
     
  2. SEO Power

    SEO Power Elite Member

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    According to Majestic SEO, there are no redirects pointing to that site. You may want to verify that with Ahrefs.

    The backlinks could be from a PBN blocked from being crawled by link crawlers. Also, the domain is 1 year old, and that's enough time for a domain to rank well. Lastly, it was created when ranking in Google was much easier (mid 2013). At that time, I used to rank my sites on page 1 in 2 months or less.
     
  3. howard_hughes

    howard_hughes Elite Member

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    could be a lot of things..

    301 redirects, and backlinks hidden from bots, or really powerful pbns :)
     
  4. Renwaar

    Renwaar Newbie

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    Although it has been with the current owner since 2013, records show it has a history of being in the niche for a long time.

    Whois History 192 records have been archived since 2007-11-13
    Majestics historic index also show it has a long history of operating in the niche, had been cited on 'relvant'ish' websites and shows no evidence it has ever been used for anything else.
    External Backlinks 6,518
    Referring Domains 822
    Although with no evidence, I am also slightly curious as to whether the domain name and the use of 'buy ambien online' in articles and on websites regardless of who it was created by (such as those created by competitors), may even have a possible citation effect and relevancy boost to the website in question.
     
  5. rob1977

    rob1977 Power Member

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    Interesting point, why do you think competing article's etc would have a citation effect?

    This kind of goes against the direct linking principle, but I would be interested to hear your thoughts.
     
  6. Renwaar

    Renwaar Newbie

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    Although I am sure some will simply attribute it to the EMD bonus, it is something I have seen time and time again, particularly in small niches where there are other SEO's operating.

    I believe the general consensus is citations are a ranking factor and the best practice is to have your NAP in the same format wherever and whenever used. The truth is NAP is not relevant to every website as some simply do not have nor require a physical location and this has nothing to do with regards to the legitimacy of the business. I believe it then comes down to, is NAP the only form of citation?

    The very concept of citations as a ranking factor follows the train of thought that whatever is displayed in plain text can be interpreted and any mentions or references it makes makes to a particular company or website is given a brownie point. An example of such use of citations can be found in GSA with the addition of the 'Use Citation' option which opts to simply include your brand name to the post without any link.

    A case study carried out in 2012 and covered in SearchEngineJournal tested this theory (sorry can not post links, Google 'dejanseo seo-experiment-with-non-link-references') and found that Google would index URL's used only as a citation without any linking although could not achieve rankings with purely with citations. It must be noted it is a far from thorough case study but did raise some interesting points, especially in the readers feedback, one of which was citations are only a small part of a larger picture and would of had more effect on an established website with other positive signals. It also includes a sheepish video of Matt Cutts suggesting they do look at citations, but do not attribute any real value to them.

    It could be argued the value of branding and branding signals have increased tremendously since 2012 and are now more important than they have ever been. I guess the question is to what extent can Google differentiate between one referencing the brand 'CompareTheMarket' and you simply suggesting someone should 'Compare The Market'. With a 'brand' name such as buy ambien online it is not unthinkable that when Competitor A starts promoting their ambien articles most likely including the keywords buy ambien online Google also interprets this as a brand citation of the original buy ambien online website.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  7. rob1977

    rob1977 Power Member

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    Ah ok I see where your coming from, very interesting point,

    I'll read up on that ref you posted, it would seem logical, the way you explain it.

    Thanks
     
  8. bartosimpsonio

    bartosimpsonio Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Outing your competitor's domain because you can't outrank them?
     
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  9. lilmasta

    lilmasta Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    citation does plays an important role in SERP
     
  10. SEO Power

    SEO Power Elite Member

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    If that's the case, then the domain has never been penalised or has been penalised in the past and recovered from the penalty. I still think the backlinks helping it rank well are hidden (probably PBN links).
     
  11. mahnazkut

    mahnazkut Junior Member

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    I am also feeling like if your niche is small and not very popular, getting too many links on it looks very unnatural. So sites with less links and age will outrank you. Happened to my site . it might work like less links to less popular keywords but contentwise larger is better.
     
  12. itwarrior

    itwarrior Junior Member

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    Well some interesting thoughts here. So the links from the PBN are blocked from being crawled by link crawlers but not from Google then? In bing I just saw 5 backlinks. And when you search for the url you only got some stats pages.
     
  13. Renwaar

    Renwaar Newbie

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    To be honest, I highly doubt there is a PBN or any hidden links.