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"I was thinking about you all day today and what a great person you are."

"I wanted to be #1...After 2 months I reached the top position for my most popular keywords."


Above The Fold!

We Value Privacy

Quality Links Equal Profit

20 November 2005

Search Engine Business Models:

Search engines make money selling ads next to relevant search results. If the results are easy to manipulate relevancy plummets, searchers search elsewhere, and there is no reason to buy ads.

Probationary Period / Lacking Trust:

Google places many new sites through a probationary period where it is hard to rank for competitive terms. Unless a site has a good bit of quality linkage data (ie: citations from highly trusted powerful sites like CNN, Wall Street Journal, SlashDot or LockerGnome) it is going to be hard to rank for competitive terms unless you are willing to wait a long time.

Other search engines may not be inclined to rank new documents well until they have significant surrounding linkage data. With over 10 billion documents on the web to chose from why should they?

Quality Over Quantity:

Some people go the more is better route and try to get a ton of low quality spammy links, but usually the only person winning from link farms or spam software is the person charging you to use the service.

Before there Was an Interweb:

Some people get pissed when search engines do not rank new documents, but they should think of what the world was like before their was a web or search engines.

It usually takes time to build credibility and get established. Think of the slow traditional publishing process and how slow ideas spread before the web.

Why should search engines be obligated to offer people quick success at the risk of relevancy & their business models?

If a person is doing Earth shatteringly well at being cited by others they will probably rank quickly. Even if they do not need to rank well right away if most of the active channels about their topic are talking about them they will still get a ton of traffic anyway.

Need to Profit:

When sites are new some people view them as a loss liter until they make a profit. While I have limited background in economics, that is not how I view launching new for profit websites.


When you start working in a new field it is almost guaranteed that you are going to get paid less than what you are worth. Anything worth doing usually requires over investment off the start for minimal return. The first quarter of last year I made $900 profit in the whole quarter.

As time passes and your reputation establishes similar workload returns far greater profits. Right now I do not work any harder than I did about a year or two ago, but I make far more than I deserve just because that is how capitalism works.

Off the start you get ripped off, and then as time passes if you stick with it you get far more than you deserve.

A Huge Head Start:

If your market is worth being in you have to remember that competition is likely going to have a head start, and some of them are going to reinvest profits into marketing.

Some people get discouraged and quit before they ever have a chance to catch up. Think of all your efforts (and even errors) as a good thing. Think of how hard the competition is going to have to try if they want to catch you in the search results a year or two down the road.

Lilly White Link Love:

There are an unlimited number of ways to create profit or useful websites, but there are also an endless number of scams. Why would a person who LOVES your topic want to regularly visit or link at your site? Why would they trust you enough to vote for you?

Think of webmasters of established high quality sites as search editors. What could you do to make your site seem as clean and easy to link to as possible? If you were an editor for Google who covered your topic would you want to vote for your site if you were not affiliated with it? How could you change the publishing format, business model, or marketing mechanism to make your site easier to link at?

I recently gave a lecture at a local college about SEO. I mentioned that the less commercial a site looks the easier it is to get links to. The teacher cut me off and mentioned that when he launched his site he found it easy to get links because it was fairly non commercial when it launched. The links he got nearly a decade ago are still keeping his site near the top of the search results for queries like marketing even though he does not have much time to invest into updating his site.

Leveraging Authority:

If your site is commercial you have to spend a certain amount of time and money to compete. If your site looks non commercial or hobby like you can get the links far easier.

As long as you are not too spammy with how you change your site you can later leverage your link popularity for profit. Most of the link popularity will probably stick.

Unfair Advantage:

When doing competitive analysis it is easy to focus on why or how competing channels got links or coverage they may not deserve, but far more productive / rewarding to figure out how to get more links than you deserve.

  • Sometimes bias creates loyal readers and linkers (as scene in many political blogs).
  • Sometimes c ontroversy is the way to get links (like ThreadWatch).
  • Sometimes it is becoming friends with lots of others (like SE Roundtable).
  • Sometimes killer content is the key to the top of the results (like SearchEngineWatch).
  • Sometimes creating cool tools helps build link equity (like Digital Point).

There is no universal law to the top of the search results. You probably are not going to get to the top if you only copy the competition. Try to get some of their best links if you can and then look to create ways to make people want to talk about you. Leverage your skills and personality. It will be hard for your competition to get some of those quality links, and that is how you catch up in the search results - getting links that the competition can't.

- by Aaron Wall

We Value Privacy
This article may be syndicated in whole are part. Simply provide a link back to the original article or http://www.search-marketing.info. Please note that I do not usually update articles over time and the date last modified on article pages is usually referring to a navigational change.


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