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Competitor Has Edge In Search Engines - Help!


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#1 Jged

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 10:26 AM

I have been selling alarms off my website (drop-shipping) for about 5 years now to bring in extra pocket-money and noticed that in the past 6 weeks a new competitor has leap-frogged my website in google for the main keywords and got to position 2 on the opening web page of Google. Since then orders on my website have dropped of substantially.

About 6 weeks ago I noticed that they had about 35 inbound links and my site had 47 but when I checked via Yahoo site explorer a couple of days ago the number of links to their website had jumped up to 73. Admittedly a lot of their links are from one highly relavant website (there must be least 25 separate links on one website alone).

There is no doubt that this company has the money backing for some serious SEO. Am I right in believing that ultimately it is the overall number of links to ones website that will propel a website high in the search engines?

I have been submitting my website to about 10 to 12 directories every 6 months or so which has allowed it to maintain a reasonably high position in the search engines.

Is there anything that I can do to stop them muscleing on taking the revenue from my website?

Any help appreciated,
Jged

#2 jonbey

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 12:45 PM

73 links is not "serious SEO", especially if 25 are from one site. Have you checked the whois of that other site? Maybe it also belongs to them. Sounds like you are operating in a niche with almost no competition if you have been top of search with just directory links.

#3 EGOL

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 03:07 PM

73 links is not "serious SEO", especially if 25 are from one site. Have you checked the whois of that other site? Maybe it also belongs to them. Sounds like you are operating in a niche with almost no competition if you have been top of search with just directory links.

Yes, yes.... I really agree with this. In fact, if they tie into major money expect another website to be leapfrogging very soon.

This competition sounds low enough that an authoritative site can add a new page and "BAM" ... be at topSERPs the next morning. Or, they can create a new page and hit it with links from other sites that they own and be there just as quickly (which is what they might have done here).

To get this position back you need to get very serious about SEO and very serious about improving your website...

I would get to work on some very high quality content - best-on-the-web - about your product... articles, a video, free pdf instructions... anything that will set your site above every other currently in this niche and any other that might show up in the future.

I would also revisit my on-page optimization. It is possible that there is something you can do to kick it up a notch?

I would get the 30 day free membership at SEOmoz, read all of their free SEO guides, run their page analysis tools.

I would also examine my site for possible duplicate content, be sure that I don't have thin content, fix any canonicalization problems, etc.

I would assess this competitor. Is it really a big brand or is it a Joe Schmoe who might not have major resources to put into it (but don't underestimate the resources and skill of a savvy affiliate or a small hungry biz)? This might let you know what you will be up against once you try to take the position back from them.

I would also look at my title tag to see if there is a value proposition or provocative addition that I could make to win clicks from the competitor above you.

Good luck... there is a lot you can do to fight back. It depends on how badly you want to get the position back.

#4 Jged

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 03:12 PM

Yes jonbey you are right - I have just checked on the other website and it is owned by the same company. Maybe I should create another website offering the same as my existing site and place links on each web page to my site as they seem to be doing?

It is anything but a niche market - there loads of companies offering the same units for sale. I should have also added that the site is also submitted to blogs, article websites etc.

#5 Jged

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 06:18 AM

Hi EGOL,

I have taken onboard all your commnets - very helpful thanks and will look into all the points that you raised.

If it is simply a case of quantity of links, should I start now to build up my overall links from 47 to more than 73 in one fell swoop if that would help??

Can you also explain what is meant by "...fix any canonicalization problems"

I was in fact starting to redesign the website - would a new website help in anyway?

Jged


sorry about the samll text !

Edited by A.N.Onym, 21 November 2011 - 10:31 AM.
Edited to increase font


#6 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 02:00 PM

Well, the good news here is that Yahoo! Site Explorer is shutting down so you'll be less distracted by unnecessary link counting.

#7 EGOL

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 04:18 PM

If it is simply a case of quantity of links, should I start now to build up my overall links from 47 to more than 73 in one fell swoop if that would help??

My recommendation is all about better content, a better website and better on-page SEO.

canonicalization

How many ways can your homepage (and other pages on your site) be displayed?

yoursite.com
www.yoursite.com
yoursite.com/index.html
www.yoursite.com/index.html

all of these should redirect to a single URL.

#8 A.N.Onym

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 07:07 AM

It's not simply the amount of links, but the "quality" of links:
- how strong/promoted the websites that link to you are: the harder it is to get a link from a website, the better (usually, but not always)
- how relevant they are to your topic: how targeted traffic would it send to you, if you published an article there? Would the visitors link to your site, too?
- how relevant is the anchor text of links: is it descriptive with 3-5 relevant words or just "click here"?
- which pages they link to (i.e., the ones that you want to promote or a random page or a page that links to the page that you want to promote).

One of the most important things to do is to:

I would get to work on some very high quality content - best-on-the-web - about your product... articles, a video, free pdf instructions... anything that will set your site above every other currently in this niche and any other that might show up in the future.

So, I'd either create that excellent content for your own website (i.e., 1 article in 2-4 weeks for research, creation, improvement) and promote it, or create a good article (1 week), guest publish it on a relevant blog, with links from an author bio, and promote it. The former is a long-term strategy on your SE traffic, the latter is a quick-way to promote your target pages for a few keyphrases, but that's it (unless you got lucky to get published on a very popular blog and you'd get more links to that article, than the article on your own website). I prefer the long-term variant, if the situation allows, but don't discount guest blogging: it's far better, than article distribution on article sites.

If you write for other sites a lot, consider using the rel=author attribute.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 22 November 2011 - 07:11 AM.


#9 Jged

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 07:06 PM

Thanks all for your replies - very helpful. It looks like I have my work cut out to try and get the website up the listings.

Just one more question, if yahoo site explorer is no longer available is there another way of reliably tracking (and preferably free) what my competitor is up to with their links?

#10 jonbey

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 04:21 AM

Blekko.com is not bad.

#11 A.N.Onym

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 06:29 AM

Open site explorer can be helpful, as well as Backlink watch, Majestic SEO, Blekko.

#12 glyn

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 04:33 AM

You can just use Google and Bing to find backlinks, but to do so well, you'd need some naughtyness in your tools archive.

#13 Jged

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 05:37 PM

I have checked this evening and the other website has now gained number 1 position and knocked off wikipedia which has had the number one spot for years! Come on this has to be serious SEO as they offer lots and lots of other different products as well (their web link at the top of Google shows the web page they have optimised) whereas my site is is virtually one dimensional in terms of the product it offers ?

I am but a small tiddler in a large pond compared to them and it seems that the more money that you have in the bank the greater the presence in the search engines (which I suppose was always going to happen at some point as we have been told in the past)?

My gut reaction was to create as many links as possible but I will run with your suggestions and try and create "quality links" instead. Where do I start with blogging? Have you any suggestions on where to submit articles? I am in the process of redesigning my website.

I am feeling somewhat deflated as it will have a huge impact on my finances.

#14 jonbey

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 05:50 PM

Submit your sites to directories if you have not done any. Check out Myblogguest, become a premium member and submit good articles. Hard to give any advice really without knowing the sites.

#15 Jged

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 06:11 PM

Sorry, when checking backlinks surely would it be more fruitful if I found out what links were linking to the actual web page in question rather than the domain itself or do I have this wrong ?

Any help appreciated,

#16 Jged

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 06:34 PM

Thanks Jonbey I will look into Myblogguest.

My last post mentioned whether I should check the overall number of links via the main domain name or check the web page of the competitor that now has top position in the search engines. I did both and 105 backlinks were found for the domain and well over a 1,000 backlinks were found. 70 of these it seems are normal links from normal looking websites but over a 1,000 backlinks were from this web page on: http://www.vongoo.co...740960?3cd0d2c0

They all seem to be exactly the same page link? Can someone explain what is happening? Surely this is pure spam and I would have thought Google would have got wind of this and penalised the site? At leas the links that I have built up over the years have been legit and hard work it has to be said.

#17 glyn

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:29 AM

I've popped sites out of the top spot with just a few links. It's about link quality. Stop focussing on the technical details and getting swamped down in data, or you will be in the same place today as tomorrow, and next week.

Set a deadline of 3 months, so you don't put yourself under stupid amounts of pressure, and do 10 minutes a day.

Glyn.

#18 A.N.Onym

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:11 AM

1. Both total domain links and page links count, but page links are more important, naturally, provided the domain doesn't have hundreds of thousands of links.

2. Focus on getting links that your competition won't be able to get, easily, at least.

We've already mentioned how to get links: create best of the web content and promote it.

You can also create awesome content for guest blogging and promote those articles. In fact, I'd promote every guest blog post anyway.

3. That they have a thousand links from a single website doesn't mean they count with Google.

Their advantage can come from any other links they have.

Right now, the only thing you need to know is that they have better links, than you do. So focus on getting better links and beat them off the top.

MyGuestBlog is a good place to start, indeed. But I'd also make friends with other people in the niche and author articles for them, if they agree that you'll link to your pages with active, no-nofollow links, from the author bio or even from inside the article, if you have stellar articles on your site already. In short, link to your articles from other articles and link to your money pages from the author bio, unless those money pages provide value to the articles that you publish and want to link from.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 01 December 2011 - 04:13 AM.


#19 jonbey

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 05:28 AM

Yeah, don't worry about that vongoo site, it is obviously designed purely for placing links so even if it is providing a service now there is no guarantee that it will last.

Just get yourself your own links. Rather than spending time analysing the competition, do your own thing. In an hour spent trying to figure out what the competitor has done you could knock up a few articles and submit them for guest blogging.



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