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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
I have a small niche product with only a few competitors. This week I noticed that one of my competitors has gained A LOT in google rankings. Many of his keywords now rank at #2-#3 instead of #8-#10, overtaking my site and tanking my traffic & income.
I started investigating what happened and I found that someone (very likely NOT my competitor) has posted a project on freelancer.com, linking to my competitor's site in the project description. This description showed up on lots of freelancer.com pages indexed by google, giving my competition about 1000 backlinks for free. He had a few hundred links before, it really boosted him upwards.
Now what am I supposed to do? The freelancer project is closed, the link will disappear from freelancer.com search results and hopefully will not be found by google in the next crawl. Will he lose the ranking advantage when this happens or now I am pretty much forced to gain similar amount of backlinks to compete again?
Any ideas? Thanks a lot
It could be those links. But it also could be that your competitors site has not really moved at all. Often google shows a personalized result to you. And then you see something that is not really what the serps are for others. I use hidemyass.com for a quick check of this.
The personalized search is exaggerated even more if you are using chrome. It sometimes ranks sites higher when I am logged in just because I previously visited them.
Also google's rankings are different by country. try searching from a few different countries ips. And try google.ca google.co.uk etc. You will see they are different everywhere.
What C. Stark says about google's crazy ranking system now is true, which is partly why I take less interest in SEO than I used to.
When I DO want to get serious about SEO one old but proven technique is to get multiple backlinks from a large, established site that's trusted by Google...
Yes, that's a hint.
There are various methods:
- guest blogging (a post you write that is published in a high PR blog)
- articles or reviews
Create a list of web sites that may be interested in your argument, sort by PR, send a mail to them proposing your article.
In the past also signature in forums were ok but now google is quite suspicious about them and may penalize. Same issue for blog comments.
"Well I need more than a hint as I have no idea how to produce backlinks from high PR pages :)"
You just posted one...
I would be extremely surprised if backlinks from a single website are the major cause of a drastic change in rank. There could be a 100 other things going on that you don't know about, including Google algorithm changes.
If the system was that easy to game, lots of people would be doing it.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Andy, things like this are exactly what I used to do, back in my gray hat days :o)
You use something such as this:
Found where your competitor is getting their backlink juice from, then replicate them where possible, either directly such as offering a free guest blog post or comment on the same blogs or doing the same thing, such as getting a lot of .edu links or whatever they're doing to outrank you.
Asking for quotes for a redesign of your website, linked in the same way as the competitor? Well that's just low-hanging fruit. :o)
Will the links last for long? Nope, but there's no reason they'd hurt and in the meantime OP is losing money.
The very fact the links won't last is quite possibly why it's such a large loophole. Still worth doing though, because of the #1 is # effect, ie when you rank highly people tend to do a quick search and then link to you.
For example if you say 'I'm so tired of updating Adobe Reader, wish there was another way to read PDFs.." I might google "alternative pdf reader" and then say;
"Try this - http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/ "
What did foxit do that's so special to get that link? Nothing, beyond already being the #1 result. "Temporary" links that rank you high can still be valuable.
The longer OP stays out of the #1 position the stronger his competitor will become and possibly staying there, so I say yeah, give it a try.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Andy: "backlinks from a single site" - actually we are talking 1000+ backlinks. Any project you post on freelancer.com will be replicated under dozens of TLDs, show up on dozens of indexed search results under each TLD. Before that he had like 300 backlinks, now he has 1700+ and these aren't nofollow links.
People default to the first relevant search result it seems, I'm literally getting stomped. Those few of my keywords that are not affected (long tail) do not make sales.
Maybe I should report this to google, not like I expect them to take any action anytime soon.
Report what to Google? That your competitor is getting ahead of you and you are hurting? So what? Before, your competitor was the one hurting and you were ahead. You were fine with that. Now that the positions are reversed...
Why should you be the one ranking first and not him? Google doesn't owe you a specific position in the SERP. Your competitor is competing with you. Good for him.
Reporting to Google is pointless as there is no wrong doing here: Someone gave him links and he got ahead of you.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
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