Real versus Artificial
On Being Real
Sites that are real and useful tend to get far more quality editorial links than bogus
sites. Even mildly interesting sites pick up links. Sure you have to give yourself a
push around launch time, but after that, most sites will float or sink based on how
interesting people think they are.
I have a personal rant blog that has about four subscribers, and yet a writer for Ziff
Davis added my site to his blogroll. It also has some other editorial links that I am
uncertain how it acquired, but exposure leads to more exposure. Being real means
your site will snowball quicker than cheesy passionless sites.
While I did not work hard to optimize my personal blog, that site still gets about
10% to 20% of the traffic that my main blog does while only requiring about 3%
of the effort, simply because it is real and many of the topics I post about on it do
not have many competing sites.
Why New Sites Cannot Compete With Old Ones in Google
You can look at search results and see a lead generation site at the top of the results
and do almost everything they are doing and still get nowhere. Why?
The answer is fivefold:
Domain history. Google trusts sites that have aged.
Link quality. Links used to flow much more easily than they do now.
If you try to replicate a competitor’s links, odds are you will not be able
to get a few of their most important ones. The editorial quality links
are the hardest to gain and pull the most weight in search results.
Since the web has more content on it now, and search is so much
more relevant, the quality needed to be linkworthy is much greater
than it once was. For example, if a site like SeoToday.com launched
today it would not be able to compete with all of the social SEO sites,
but because it is aged and well-integrated into the community, it sticks
near the top of Google’s search results.
Link age. In a similar fashion to how Google may trust older
domains more than new ones, they may also put greater weight on
Usage data. If a site has been serving visitors for many years, it will
take you awhile to build up that much usage data. Plus, a site that has
aged and has had many visitors has many more visitors who may be
willing to link to it.
Flipping the switch. Many high-profit, authoritative sites only had
the profit element added long after they became authoritative. Many
people, like me, only accidentally stumbled onto business models.
C# Raster - Modify Image Palette in C#.NET
Read: PDF Image Extract; VB.NET Write: Insert text into PDF; edit, C#.NET PDF pages extract, copy, paste, C#.NET to reduce the size of the picture, especially in paste picture to pdf; how to copy pictures from pdf to powerpoint
C# Word - Document Processing in C#.NET
Open(docFilePath); //Get the main ducument IDocument doc = document.GetDocument(); //Document clone IDocument doc0 = doc.Clone(); //Get all picture in document how to copy pdf image; copy picture from pdf reader
Some of the sites that later became highly commercialized may not
have been worthy of a link in their current form, but were easier to link
to when they were less commercial and there were fewer resources on
the web. You can visit Archive.org to see how most sites looked in the
There are four main ways around the problem of trying to rank new sites in
Waiting. Perhaps it is worth creating a few new sites, building them a
few, decent, quality links, and then letting them age. This is the boring
option, but eventually one of your channels may start to do well and
then you can pour more resources into it.
If you are starting from scratch with limited resources, it may also be
worth it to make your site lean towards being an informational/non-
commercial site so it is easier to link at. If a new site is not getting
many visitors, then the odds are pretty good it would not make much
money anyway. So make the site easy to link to and then after you get
link equity (and thus authority), introduce relevant commercial
elements to it.
If few people in your industry have useful, meaningful journals about
your topic, who do you think the media will find when they use search
engines to try to find information about it? You!
Buy an Old Site. One of the best ways to build a natural link profile is
to go buy an old, non-commercial site that is well integrated into the
web. Search for things related to your field and add words like history,
organization, or other non-commercial terms.
Some sites will go far cheaper than you would expect because an
owner may not be profiting from it and may not know what their
market position is worth.
Viral marketing. If you can bake viral marketing into your product or
website, that can help you gain many natural editorial links and a bunch
of usage data quickly. Sometimes the viral marketing bubbles up to
reach the mainstream news.
Within five days of accidentally launching a viral marketing campaign
(by announcing I was being sued), I ended up getting links from the
Wall Street Journal and many other mainstream sources. I also made
the Digg homepage many times due to things like creating an SEO
glossary, launching SEO for Firefox, and writing a page about the
history of search engines.
Niche: If an area is hyper-saturated, create your brand around a sub-
sector that is not yet hyper-saturated.
Rather than being yet another SEO, become an expert on link
building, viral marketing, or conversion.
Things Google Can Track
Has it changed ownership?
Has it expired?
How long has the site been live?
Is it about the same topic as older versions of it?
Where is this site hosted? Local hosts are good for local sites. Free
hosting sites or sites associated with spam might be a bad call.
Link History & Quality
Have links grown naturally over time?
If the link growth is spiky, were there also associated news spikes or
many pages generated on other blogs and news sites about this topic
around the same time? Was there a traffic spike to the site around the
time of the link spike?
Is the anchor text mixed up? Does the anchor text look natural? Is
the site’s current anchor text similar to past anchor text?
Are there a large number of deep links and many inbound citations
from quality sites?
Do any of the new citations come from new pages on old trusted sites?
That is how viral stories typically spread—most new links come from
new content, not people editing links into their old content.
Are any of the links from high-quality pages? Who links to the pages
linking to you?
Are any of the links from related pages that link to related resources or
have links from related resources? These links help identify what
communities a page or site belong to.
Do people actually follow any of the links pointing to the site?
Do people who visit your site stay for a while?
Has this site been losing many old citations from old trusted sites like
DMOZ and the Yahoo! Directory? If so, why?
What is the ratio of high-quality links to low-quality links?
Does it link out to quality sites or does it hoard link popularity? It is
typically hard to get natural citations to your site if you are not willing
to cite any other sites.
Does this site have sections of cheesy off topic reciprocal links or
other signs of link manipulation?
Content History and Content Generation Spikes
Is the content growth natural? For example, why would a real, quality,
twenty-page site gain 100,000 new pages overnight?
Do most pages have unique content?
Are pages so similar that the site is just an empty product database full
of duplicate content?
Is it an automated content generation or thin affiliate site? What is the
value add of the site? Why would someone want to bookmark it or
visit it instead of other sites in the same vertical?
Is the site well-themed or random in nature?
Is the site content biased toward information or commerce?
Is your writing natural? How does it compare to known spam sites?
How does it compare to known authority sites? How does it compare
to text in books Google has scanned?
Is the site brand new or does it have years of trusted usage data?
Data from Google Toolbars and Google Accounts
User acceptance via data gained from Google Analytics
User acceptance via user action after Google searches (or perhaps even
searches on other engines if you have the toolbar installed). If most
people click the back button right away, that is probably a bad sign.
Are people bookmarking your site?
If you have a feed, are people adding your RSS feed to their Google
Toolbar or Google Reader?
How frequently do visitors revisit your site?
How frequently is new content added relative to repeat visits?
Are people e-mailing each other or chatting about your site? Google
has Gmail and Google Talk. They could look at that information to
determine brand reach.
Are people searching for your site name or brand names frequently?
Is that search frequency increasing or going down?
Do people refine their query or use a different engine if your site is not
in the results? Do they eventually find their way to your site? Are the
search results incomplete without your site showing up?
Offline awareness can translate into online awareness.
Are people blogging about your site on Blogger or other blogging
Google also bought Measure Map, so they will further be able to track
temporal blogging activity and linkage data.
Google News can track news and citations about your site.
Are people e-mailing each other or chatting about your site?
Are you buying any keywords? What do visitors do after clicking on
ads linked to your site?
Are the keywords that this site targets expensive? Are they commercial
or informational in nature?
How many people are bidding on your keywords? What other types of
sites are buying similar keywords?
Commercial keyword markets may have additional algorithmic
relevancy elements than non-commercial or low-value terms.
What is the average lead value or conversion rate for sites in this
market? Google has Google Checkout, historical AdWords bid
amounts, search volume, Google Analytics, and AdWords conversion
data to help understand the size of a market.
Are people advertising for your brand? What are those sites related to?
What Sites You Visit Often
Do they have the same WhoIs data?
Are they known to spam search engines? Are they trusted sites?
Do they have trusted linkage data?
Are they topically related?
Do people visiting your site visit related sites often?
My Tinfoil Hat Theories…
Does Google Track All of the Above?
I do not want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, and I doubt Google actively
tracks and uses all the above for all domains. The point is, if they find it
computationally valuable, they can mix in any of those variables. The ones that do
not add enough value can get pulled right back out while other variables are tested.
As Google buys access to more and more data and control a larger portion of the
search market, they essentially become the default web host, tracking most things
that happens on the web (via their ads, toolbar, analytics, search products, and
other feedback sources like Google Reader and Feedburner). If Google can make
sense of all that data, they are going to be pretty hard to manipulate unless people
trust your site.
They are buying up dark fiber and creating better algorithms, while the cost of their
hardware is negligible when compared to their revenue. More and more people
are creating both fake content and exceptionally high-quality content every day.
Many businesses are getting marginalized from both edges.
Most new sites using the Digital Point Co-Op link exchange network get negligible
results from using it. Some older, trusted sites may pack more punch in using it,
but keep in mind that it may be risky to use.
It all comes down to earning trust, weighing risk vs reward, and computational
power. If your site has proved itself to be trustworthy, you can get away with
having more potentially negative signals, but you also have more to lose if you get
caught abusing your trust.
Building Quick Trust
The best ways to build lots of quality trust signs quickly are to do the following:
Give away useful information and services that people want.
Participate in the community.
Create a holistic marketing plan that creates brand evangelists.
If you build all of those things, you will get loads of search traffic, but search traffic
will not matter as much since you will also have other traffic streams. Plus, if
people like you and the search engines remove your site from their results, it may
hurt the search engine’s brand credibility far more than it hurts yours. Remember
the BMW story?
Is Your Site Future Ready?
Some companies, like Olive Software, are working at formatting offline content to
make it accessible online. Imagine if a search engine buys them and works out
deals with many publishers to bring offline content online.
Think about billions of quality offline articles, magazines, newspapers, and other
documents becoming searchable online. When people have the ability to search
through that information and link to it, those documents are going to be hard to
compete with on the relevancy front unless your site or business has a strong
brand, multiple reasons to link or deep link to it, or some social aspect to it.
Millions of spammy AdSense sites will die away as no longer being viable business
entities when higher quality content is readily available for free.
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested