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How this competitor is ranking with low quality backlinks?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by blackisgold, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. blackisgold

    blackisgold Newbie

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    One of our competitors is ranking at the top of the
    Google results in the UK for a very competitive key phrase.

    Their backlink profile is made of low quality links from affiliates, directories, aggregators, hosting websites, search results etc.

    Their backlinks types are:

    Do follow: 21 referring domains
    No Follow: 21 referring domains
    Redirect: 93 Referring domains
    Not site wide: 133 referring domain

    Total: 269 referring domains

    This website's on-page optimization is horrible! No high quality content found on the site.

    Can you help me understand why do they rank so well in Google UK?
     
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  2. starki

    starki Power Member

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    Hard to say without having a look, but by the high number of redirects, I'd say there is a lot more than you see at first glance/tier 1.
     
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  3. vikiendu

    vikiendu Regular Member

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    Maybe he got a lot of PBN links, which are invisible to link crawlers due to blocking on .htaccess or robot.txt
     
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  4. ulderen

    ulderen Newbie

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    I have to agree with starki. There is probably more than meets the eye.

    You should keep in mind that Google uses over 200 parameters other than links to rank sites. Maybe you shold consider if other things are effecting the rankings.
     
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  5. Ambassy

    Ambassy BANNED BANNED

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    The first thing that springs to mind is the 93 redirected domains.
    The site could easily be merged between plenty of old sites, thus preserving and combining their link power.


    On a side note:
    Vague questions like these will never yield answers that haven't already been provided in similar questions.
    You clearly didn't do your research nor did you provide us with enough info to give a conclusive response.

    Do a little more background work next time before asking your question.
     
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  6. Ambitious12

    Ambitious12 Elite Member

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    The quality of their link building would be good I guess.Thats the reason they can do well
     
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  7. blackisgold

    blackisgold Newbie

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    Thank you all for your replies, some of them make a lot of sense especially the PBN and the merged between plenty of old sites.
    The domain I'm talking about is 21.co.uk that ranks at the top of the Google SERPs for "Online Casino" as well as for "Online Casino UK".
    Is there anything else I can conclude about what made this domain to rank so well?
     
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  8. VeyronXS

    VeyronXS Junior Member

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    Very simple here,

    Your competitor must have hidden quality ones away from robots.

    Peace,
    VXS
     
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  9. akatfa

    akatfa Newbie

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    maybe they hidden some links from public viewers or my primary opinion is : those redirects have some crazy power for their website from 93 domains :) its that obvious .
     
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  10. blackcatburgular

    blackcatburgular Junior Member

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    looking at the robots.txt doesn't look like they are hiding links from crawlers:

    # robots.txt
    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /ajax/
    Disallow: /no-script
    Disallow: /login
    Disallow: /register
    Disallow: /not-found
    Disallow: /mobile
    Disallow: /keepalive
    Disallow: /settings
    Disallow: /logout
    Disallow: /?m=1
    Disallow: /?d=1
    Disallow: /*?adref=
    Disallow: /*?btag=
    Disallow: /*?aff_id=
    Disallow: /*?tid=
    Disallow: /*?CampaignID=

    On Ahrefs I can see that they have 132 RD which is more than you have said.

    The redirects you are talking about is from affiliate programs hiding the external link using something like Pretty Link.

    They could be spamming these redirect URLs to pass on authority through these but I would have to look into it deeper.
     
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  11. blackisgold

    blackisgold Newbie

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    Thank you all for your replies, some of them make a lot of sense especially the PBN and the merged between plenty of old sites.
    The domain I'm talking about is 21.co.uk that ranks at the top of the Google SERPs for "Online Casino" as well as for "Online Casino UK".

    referring-pages.jpg organic-traffic.jpg

    I've noticed that the amount of the referring domains almost doubled in two months and the amount of organic traffic they get grew six fold in two months.
    Is there anything else I can conclude about what made this domain to rank so well?
     
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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  12. blackisgold

    blackisgold Newbie

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    Thanks Black Cat, I now see in Ahrefs 147 RD, most of them are 302 redirects and thus do not pass link juice... so it's not clear at all how
    these RD help them at all.
     
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  13. blackisgold

    blackisgold Newbie

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    See my reply here:

    "Thank you all for your replies, some of them make a lot of sense especially the PBN and the merged between plenty of old sites.
    The domain I'm talking about is 21.co.uk that ranks at the top of the Google SERPs for "Online Casino" as well as for "Online Casino UK".
    Is there anything else I can conclude about what made this domain to rank so well?"
     
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  14. accelerator_dd

    accelerator_dd Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I could take a look if you want. Usually when you can't spot any strong links, they have a hidden PBN. However, 133 ref domains does look like they might have some legit popularity so I can't say for sure without looking at the profile.
     
  15. clevelandslim

    clevelandslim Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    My opinion is also the same. Maybe they use hidden links for backlink process
     
  16. Sristy

    Sristy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Don't go by that, there are so many other methods to hide the crawlers. There is an IP based crawler blocking which may not be seen by anyone else other than the admin himself and IP provider. He is definitely blocking the crawlers and smart enough to hide that too :D

    Else, the rankings are temporary and will go away in some time.

    Definitely, they are hiding the backlinks.

    EDIT: Just asking, have you seen Gambling Networks or Casino PBNs, they do a good job in hiding things from open internet except Google. Some even block yahoo and bing, ask me :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  17. blackisgold

    blackisgold Newbie

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    I just notice they do some other shady Black hat tactics, for instance, look at the following url suffix:

    /money.php?q=21-co-uk-casino-review

    Look it up in Google and you will see plenty of similar pages.

    The title meta tag of the page is "21 co uk casino review"

    The content is alternating between two content pages and there are texts mentioning their domain name
    but doesn't appear on the visible side only on the view source in the code, for instance the following text:

    "Before that other 21 co uk casino review has his pages on the transaction you may enter yet taken through..."

    So it's some kind of hidden citations.
     
  18. pandasfriend

    pandasfriend Junior Member

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    robots.txt is not the only way to hide PBN, they can do it using htaccess, the easy way to check is to pick one site you found suspicious, that looks like part of pbn, try loading it using ahrefs user agent and you will see.
     
  19. ServiceMonopoly

    ServiceMonopoly Registered Member

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    this is a good thread. So it looks like you need to build your self a high tech pbn to compete with this casino company. Is online casino legal in UK? the gangsters keep getting busted here for running them in the US
     
  20. newchoss

    newchoss Newbie

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    Ahrefs and the like do not report all available backlinks, not even those not blocked by users from crawling. Plus, if you add special links blocked from them, you get an idea.