Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Jenny Gomes on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Friday, February 13, 2015).

A 3 page website is organically ranking on the 1st page of google?

Hello Community

I have a technical question. How is possible it that a 3 page website made through a vistaprint (DIY by the owner) is organically ranking on the 1st page of google?

+Dave Elliott +Edwin Jonk  Could you please let me know the possible reasons?

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Jenny Gomes: Hello Community

    I have a technical question. How is possible ;it that a 3 page website made through a ;vistaprint (DIY by the owner) is organically ranking on the 1st page of google?

     ; Could you please let me know the possible reasons?
  • Lukasz Rogala: For which keywords? Mostly backlinks are the fuel for some rankings and keywords. if he is smart enough he hides his backlinks using .htaccess so crawlers can't see them. :)
  • Richard Hearne: Hi  ;

    The size of a site wont always correlate to its ability to rank well. Although larger sites generally enjoy more visibility, single page sites can often rank well if their content is high quality and, more importantly, if they have high quality inbound links from other websites.
  • Richard Hearne:  ;

    >> ;hides his backlinks using .htaccess so crawlers can't see them

    That's not how the web works I'm afraid. How can his .htaccess file stop crawlers seeing links on third party sites pointing at his?
  • Lukasz Rogala: If he is using PBNs he can easily hide every single link from crawlers.
  • Richard Hearne: And how would those links help then?
  • Jenny Gomes: I appreciate your views, but the concern is - the website has less backlinks as compared to websites that are ranking as well on the 1st page of google, still it outranked the other ones. Brand Name could be a factor, but still not convincing when i saw that website is ranking for multiple keywords.
  • Jenny Gomes:
    Even i would love to discuss more about "hides his backlinks using .htaccess so crawlers can't see them." How could you say that he is using PBNs.
  • Richard Hearne: &gt;&gt; <b>less backlinks</b>

    Quantity is not the factor you need to be looking at. <b>Quality</b> is the factor you need to consider (but this isn&#39;t easy).
  • Jenny Gomes:
    I agree but what about quality content?? As, i can see website doesn&#39;t have impressive content...
  • Lukasz Rogala: Guys, I think that you are misunderstanding the meaning of PBNs due to amount of articles hating the whole idea.

    Because I&#39;m doing a lot of SEO stuff especially for finance niche (loans, fast loans, cheap loans) I can see people are using a lot of different sources of backlinks to rank for this keywords.

    <b>It&#39;s all about the idea</b>. If you focus on quality of your blog network you can easily achieve rankings which allow you to sell products/get leads.

    By quality I mean:
    1. Different TLDs.
    2. Different CMS for domains (making everything on Wordpress is dumb enough)
    3. Different hosting accounts to get as much diversify as it is possible.
    4. <b>Quality</b> of content on each domain in network. Instead of writing 10 texts with &quot;fast loans&quot; keyword focus on topic-level content creation.
    5. Smart linkbuilding to each domain.

    I know that everybody in our market &quot;officially&quot; is making SEO for TOP 500 businesses listed by Forbes but guys - stay real. Some link building tactics won&#39;t get old.
    Google gets smarter - so we need too. I know, I know. Every business owner who is selling clothes should write an evergreen content about dresses which will be loved by users! It&#39;s so simple, even if you are yet another clothes store, right?

    I work with different clients, with different niches, with different budget and with different needs (some need steady results related to their long term goals, some are so small that they can&#39;t afford the tactics Moz probably will recommend, some don&#39;t give a sh#t about their domains and they are in love with blackhat).

    Still hating the idea? Okay. But how about so much popular guest posting? How is it different if I post to my blog network instead of MyBlog Guest network? ;)

    About the question Jenny - I&#39;cant tell it you now without any keywords listed but in general he could achieve this in various ways (regarding to the linkbuilding):

    1. Small but well planned PBN.
    2. Redirect 301 from other domain(s).

    But as I said, without any specified keywords I can&#39;t tell you where the magic ends. :)
  • Richard Hearne: Doesn&#39;t matter if it&#39;s a PBN or any other website, my question still stands:

    If you block search crawlers from seeing the links on a site how can those links have any value to third parties? If Google doesn&#39;t see the links they don&#39;t exist and cant pass any ranking benefits.
  • Lukasz Rogala: Ah, I knew it. By blocking &quot;crawlers&quot; I meant blocking every single crawler which <b>is not</b> a Google-bot. Now it&#39;s clear? ;)
  • Richard Hearne: Yep, that&#39;s now absolutely clear.

    But what do you think the chances are that a site published on a third party site builder, with only 3 pages, and targeting the massively competitive local Rochester Pet Grooming niche, is using PBNs to outrank all the competition?

    BTW while everyone in SEO isn&#39;t working for Forbes 500 listed clients, a few are.  ;Nothing to be ashamed of IMO :)
  • Federico Sasso: Hi  ;I&#39;m afraid I&#39;m missing something here, how can blocking non-google crawlers give you more value in G&#39;s perspective?
    (Sorry  ;for digressing from your question)
  • Richard Hearne:  ;I think the suggestion is that by blocking the links you limit third party link tools from identifying your backlinks/PBNs to prying eyes.  ;Nothing to do with Google per-se.
  • Dave Elliott: had a quick look at the site and it does seem strange that it is ranking well for local terms being that there is very little content that mentions rochester(for example). If i have the time i will have a more in depth look, but it might be simply that it is a new site getting a freshness bonus and that the terms aren&#39;t overly competitive or the competition doesn&#39;t have many links going to it.
  • Richard Hearne: It&#39;s more likely down to competition here. I see ; in SERP and they have very limited backlinks also. Then you look at ; and ; and you see far more links, but many of dubious quality.  ;Sometimes a site ranks well not due to it&#39;s own inherent strengths, but due to competitors inherent weaknesses.  ;Never discount your competition shooting themselves in the foot, combined with the higher probability that small businesses are prone to bad (outsourced) SEO.

    [Edit] Just noticed that some of those domains with bigger backlink profiles have a very high ration of NOFOLLOW links. Didn&#39;t think of checking that initially, but also very relevant here.
  • Greg Baka: Hi  ; - do you own or manage a site that the &quot;Happy Tails Pet Grooming&quot; site is now ranking above?
    If yes, then before exploring what trick they MAY be using, it is often better to first ask &quot;What is my site doing wrong that let them beat me?&quot;
    If you share your URL we can look and see if there is an obvious problem on your site...
  • Richard Hearne: to add to the list of possibilities, does the op have a <b>client</b> site that ranks lower?
  • Randy Milanovic: My 2 cents. is correct.
  • Greg Baka: Hi  ; - Seems I always thought that &quot;site that you manage&quot; was the same as &quot;client site&quot;. ; Are they different?
  • Richard Hearne: In my books yes.  ;You could be on an inhouse web team managing a site, but it wouldn&#39;t be a client site.  ;More often than not SEO &quot;agencies&quot; don&#39;t manage the site, but simply provide SEO services.  ;That&#39;s been my experience anyways.

    [Edit: added quotes around &quot;agencies&quot; to (hopefully) indicate I&#39;m talking about those that come here asking entry-level questions]
  • Randy Milanovic: Our agency covers SEO, social, marketing and website development. We take clients that are collaborative and open to long term working together. No one-offs! :-)
  • Dustin Watson: yes......silence is golden...:) 

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Friday, February 13, 2015).

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