SEO - when doing the right things doesn't help you improve rankings

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  • 1. Reverse Engineering Competitors Rankings
    8/31/2010
    @wilreynolds
  • 2. 2
    3 steps
    Step 1 - Background on REAL client example
    Step 2 - How a losing SERP changed our process
    Step 3 - Turn data analysis into SERP improvement
  • 3. 3
    “Let’s
    get
    Busy”
  • 4. Client who has links from
  • 5. 5
    Client profile
    10+ years online
    .edu links from research
    4 million searches / month
    Newspaper / magazine links
    Some SERPS are adult category
    CEO is sought after by media outlets
  • 6. 6
    Competitive SERP
    Only 1 result in the top 10 of Google had a link from 1-2 of these quality magazine / newspaper sites
  • 7. Tee-Ball right?
    7
  • 8. This guy is gonna love me
    8
  • 9. 9
    What did those big media drops do?
    Let me show you…
  • 10. 10
  • 11. 11
    Nothing Like Getting your Butt Kicked
  • 12. 12
    To make you change the way you do things
  • 13. What I needed…
    Needed to bring in a vast amount of data on the top 10 sites for target keyword.
    Include big brands and exact match domains even though you won’t learn a ton from them
    More KWs = uncover trends
    Needed to be way more deep than PR & link tallies
    SEOQuake was not going to do it (poor mans)
    13
  • 14. 14
    Time to get some data
  • 15. Manual Aggregation
    80 factors
    About ½ come from OSE or are calculated by multiple OSE metrics
    Others come from
    Twitter*
    Delicious
    Alexa
    Majestic
    YSE
    Google webmaster tools
    15
  • 16. Manual Aggregation
    Factors
    # of links (excel limits at 10,000 – impacts %’s)
    Compare OSE, YSE, Majestic (conditional formats)
    Linking domains relative to # of links (sitewides)
    Linking domains w/o anchor
    Linking domains w/ domain name as anchor
    % of links with targeted anchor text
    % links from edus – ex: competitor
    16
  • 17. Factors to review
    Factors
    Domain age
    mR & mT
    Major 301 event (trigger by outliers)
    Steady growth (.edus/ high mT)
    % keywords in domain
    # of linking domains over 25/50 domain auth
    % of linking domains over 25/50 domain auth
    % of links over 25/50 domain auth
    17
  • 18. Manual Aggregation – Excel First
    18
  • 19. 19
    The output of this data aggregation looks like this…
  • 20. 20
    API’s and scripts make mistakes
  • 21. 21
    Use validation to catch them
    • When PR is over 10
    • 22. When # of OSE links > Majestic links
    • 23. When AC Rank puts a domain in the top 10% yet it is not in the top 40% mT/mR
  • Visuals, Visuals, Visuals
    22
  • 24. Visual Trends
    23
  • 25. Link analysis visuals
    Go from this
    24
  • 26. % Anchor text vs Brand Links
  • 27. Link analysis
    To this…
    26
  • 28. Importance of Visuals
    27
  • 29. So what did we learn from this experience?
    28
  • 30. Gameplan FIRST
    29
  • 31. Use analysis to uncover Un-Natural link building profiles
    Yourself & Your competitors
    30
  • 32. Un-Natural Works but is risky
    31
  • 33. 32
    Client who is at 20% the average of the top 10 is 2.5% - time to diversify
  • 34. Homepage link juice / domain authority on large sites does not really flow to article pages
    Authority links don’t add instant value
    Big sites paginate like crap and bury stories
    33
  • 35. What happens when you get exact match anchor texton a page 1 link from the homepage of one the most popular women’s magazines in the world…
    34
  • 36. What happens when you get exact match anchor texton a page 1 link from the homepage of one the most popular women’s magazines in the world…
    Nada
    35
  • 37. Refuse to take a butt kickin’ lying down
    36
  • 38. Here’s what we did about it…
    37
  • 39. Getting the links we NEEDED
    Sought out pages that don’t cycle content that have been around for a LONG time:
    Sponsors
    In Kind Donations
    Testimonials
    Supporters
    38
  • 40. You must socially promote the page where your link lives.
    Twitter
    Facebook
    Delicious
    39
  • 41. You must socially promote the page where your link lives.
    Queries in Twitter
    Queries in Forums [keyword phrase] + powered by vbulletin / phpbb
    Subscribe to search results in yahoo
    Yahoo Answers
    40
  • 42. Good homepage / evergreen page links
    Badges / Awards
    Watch the anchor text
    Wordcamp / other “camps”
    Edu discounts
    41
  • 43. Bad homepage / evergreen page links
    Bought homepage links in blogrolls with exact match anchor text
    Watched bought links on homepages of “cigarette sites” work like a charm
    phpdircetory link swaps working like it was 2004
    42
  • 44. What you learn from spammers
    Reverse engineering rankings lets you see how long spam and aggressive tactics last
    (actually watch the serps)
    43
  • 45. I see a site with only reciprocals + 2 kws in domain winning
    44
  • 46. 45
  • 47. I see localcleaning up spam with one of our clients who has the weakest link profile in the top 10 (not in the 7 pack)
    46
  • 48. Double D’s of SEO
    47
    D
    iversification
    efendability
  • 49. Manual Aggregation
    48
    Download the exact / phrase match counter - http://bit.ly/boiFGz
  • 50. Create your game plan
    49
  • 51. 50
    • Stop building links
    • 52. Build data on the top 10 and trend it (25 data points)
    • 53. Sign up for Majestic SEO, Raven, other tools with API’s
    • 54. Force yourself to practice excel
  • 51
    • Create visuals of how you are getting beat
    • 55. Create conditional formats to trigger un-natural patterns for you and your competitors
    • 56. Use conditional formats & trends to learn how long spam works
    • 57. Execute your tail off
  • Critical takeaway
    52
    Stop link building without a game plan…