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SEO Project – The Update

Posted by on May 7, 2009

For those of you who remember, I wrote a post on April 7th titled An SEO Project I’m Undertaking. I was going to try to raise my search engine ranking for three websites using traditional SEO techniques for certain keyword phrases.

A brief history first. I decided to undertake this after Khaled wrote me and had an idea on how I could do this. I figured I was ahead of the game generally, since one of my businesses is SEO related, but usually I work on sites that have pretty much nothing going for them at all, or brand new sites. I don’t do a lot with sites that, for the most part, are optimized for their own reasons.

In any case, I decided to try. Here are the results of that trial; they’re not pretty.

Starting with this blog, I said I was going to try to get ranked for the term “affiliate internet marketing.” At the time, I was only showing on MSN search, and in position 825. Now I’m only showing on Yahoo, dropping off MSN altogether, but in 231st position. That’s interesting, but not quite what I was shooting for, as I’m still nowhere in Google’s top 1,000.

What did I do? I went back through all my posts, all 400+, looking for everything in categories related to “affiliates”, “internet”, and “marketing”. Then I started all my internal linking, using the search term I wanted by slightly rewriting some copy, and linking to articles that helped support that term. This was the longest part of the project. It didn’t end up working, but at least if people decide to read any of the old stuff they’ll be linked to newer stuff also.

Next, for my SEO site, I wanted to get ranked for the term “internet marketing consultant.” Before I started, I came up 54th on MSN and 14th on Yahoo. Right now, I only come up on Yahoo, in 479th position. Man, that’s a royal drag. How the heck did I drop so far? No real idea on this one.

What did I do? I first wrote an article on what I thought an internet marketing consultant was. Then I went through my pages and added that search term to them, linking back to the article. That was pretty much it; I added the term to maybe 1/3rd of the pages on that site, including the meta descriptions and in meta keywords, which supposedly work better on other search engines than Google; nope, nada. Now, oddly enough, my Alexa ranking did go up, so it wasn’t a total loss.

The final attempt was for one of my monthly clients. I was hoping to move his rank up for the term food doctor I didn’t think I was going to be able to do much for him, since he doesn’t have a lot of pages, but I slightly rewrote his copy to fit that in better. Initially he was 106 on Google, 45th on Yahoo, and 60th on MSN. Now he’s at 110 on Google and 54th on Yahoo; MSN stayed the same.

So, what does this tell us about SEO? I’m not quite sure. Well, I am, and I’m not.

One, trying to change things with a blog that hasn’t been geared towards a certain topic in the past is difficult, and could actually be impossible, without some drastic rewrites and possibly killing some older posts; that’s just not going to happen.

Two, SEO onto itself isn’t always enough to start ranking for something new, something you’ve never tried to rank before. In this case, for my SEO site, I either needed to write more things about being a consultant and the internet in general than I actually have on the site.

Three, I also probably should have run an Adwords campaign, not necessarily to drive traffic to the site, although that’s a big part of it, but those impressions showing up on other sites with my link couldn’t have hurt.

Four, I didn’t have the time to try to incorporate a link building strategy into all of this, which might have helped. I tried doing it all with internal linking and changing copy; I think this experiment shows that’s not enough to conquer the world.

Anyway, that was a lot of work for a lot of nothing, and I don’t see myself trying anything like that again around here. Oh yeah; my Alexa ranking here stayed pretty much the same, as it did for my client’s site.


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31 Comments »

khaled:

Hi Mitch Its a good start, but need to be pushed now for offsite seo rather than on site, which should start to show some major benefit.

May 7th, 2009 | 9:17 AM
Mitch:

Well Khaled, I did do a little bit of offsite SEO, but it wasn’t the major push for this project. It all comes down to time, unfortunately, and, well, we all have to make some money, right? 🙂

May 7th, 2009 | 10:42 AM
KushMoney:

Wow, your on-site seo killed your rankings. I did a lot of on-site seo last month and this month for my blog and my rankings went up. I am on the first page of google for many keywords. I recommend using the wordpress plugin link demon.

May 7th, 2009 | 11:34 PM
Mitch:

Actually Kush, I have to say I was surprised to be ranked for those terms to begin with. Sure, I write some articles on that topic, but it’s never been at the top of any of my centennial posts.

May 8th, 2009 | 2:08 AM
KushMoney:

Cool, I feel the same way about a few of my keywords. Sitting on the first page for keywords I never thought about ranking for. Good luck with your seo work.

KushMoney´s last blog post..My Top 3 Favorite Movies

May 8th, 2009 | 7:32 PM
almir:

what is link demon I have never heard of this before is this only for wp

almir´s last blog post..Review Of “The One And Only” Atomic Blogging 3.0

May 9th, 2009 | 10:04 AM
Sire:

Interesting Mitch. I reckon this will get your dander up considering all the hard work you put into this SEO stuff. You recall my Top Sofware Online site? Well, when I first googled, it didn’t show up until page 3 or something, now it’s number to on PAGE 1. Cool huh?

May 8th, 2009 | 2:18 AM
Mitch:

No, I don’t ever get upset over someone else’s success, Sire. Remember, I’m still number one for “book writing series”, so it does all depend on the search terms one wishes to use.

May 8th, 2009 | 2:25 AM
Sire:

Oh come on Mitch, you got to let me win one once in a while 😀 The least you could do was ask me what I did to get it there 😉

May 8th, 2009 | 2:33 AM
Mitch:

Heck, I figured if you wanted to tell that you’d share like Kush did. 🙂

May 8th, 2009 | 2:39 AM
Sire:

OK, all I did was use commentluv, only with a twist. I used the method I outlined in this post especially those also using keywordluv

May 8th, 2009 | 3:04 AM
Mitch:

Oh yeah, I remember reading that on your blog post.

May 8th, 2009 | 1:13 PM
Donace | TheNexus:

Well the progress is hampered at best!

I have been battling the niches and been testing out a number of link building programs to speed things up…

Though with ALL seo it takes time to see its effects. Days if not weeks and months.

Keep at it!!!

May 8th, 2009 | 2:35 PM
Mitch:

Thanks Donace. It was a grand experiment, not one that necessarily ends, but I wanted to put it out there, then see how it all worked. Since I do know some things about SEO, it proves, at least in a way, that it’s not an immediate change thing, no matter who promises it will be.

May 8th, 2009 | 5:03 PM
almir:

what kind of programs have you been using like link builder, 3 way links what exactly? I thought that many link building services are more about reciprocal linking than one way links?

almir´s last blog post..Review Of “The One And Only” Atomic Blogging 3.0

May 9th, 2009 | 10:19 AM
Donace | TheNexus:

I recently tested out blog comment demon; though my primary tool is traffic android.

May 9th, 2009 | 10:34 AM
Przywracanie Danych:

I think getting any keyword like “Internet marketing something” might be a bit hard – too many people in the niche and all of them try to get their site to the top in search engine results. Although it’s strange that you didn’t even break the first 1000 in google.

Przywracanie Danych´s last blog post..Wirusy Komputerowe

May 8th, 2009 | 10:26 PM
Mitch:

Thanks for your comment, Przywracanie. I have to admit that I was surprised that I didn’t at least crack the top 1000 myself; if I were so predisposed, I’d go through the entire spectrum to see just where I do pop out; heck, me being me, I still might do it. 🙂

May 8th, 2009 | 10:28 PM
almir:

Mitch don’t ever consider using adwords since you don’t want to waste your money on something that is necessarily needed.

almir´s last blog post..Review Of “The One And Only” Atomic Blogging 3.0

May 9th, 2009 | 10:01 AM
Mitch:

I wouldn’t use it to promote a website; unless I were a major corporation, or had a new product, it wouldn’t make any sense to do.

May 9th, 2009 | 11:15 AM

Mitch,
With the current set of meta keywords and keyword links on this blog it may be really difficult to rank well for the term ‘affiliate internet marketing’

For onsite SEO, you may need to reduce reduce your keywords from the current size of 9 (descriptive phrases) to 3 to 4 short phrases. Also move the phrase ‘affiliate internet marketing’ to the beginning. You might also want to write a page or two about ‘affiliate marketing’, internet marketing and link it from the navbar on top. Internal linking as you are doing is always good but need to have keywords on links. Also, at any time when somebody is browsing your homepage there should be at least 5-6 occurances of ‘internet marketing’ and ‘affiliate marketing’. This would mean that probably every other post you write should be about this topic. You may need at least these things to get a respectable ranking.

As for offsite, you will have to use the same term on your backlinks including comments.

Right now, your search ranks are diluted across many key terms.

Cheers,
Ajith

Ajith Edassery´s last blog post..A few things I learned about WordPress themes

May 10th, 2009 | 1:16 AM
Mitch:

Well Ajith, at this point we both know none of that stuff is going to happen. It was an interesting experiment, and when I went back I did select phrases that I linked to, sometimes rewriting the copy so that articles fit those keywords. It’s not supposed to matter what order you have your keywords in; heck, according to some folks, keywords in general aren’t all that important; it’s supposed to be content and linking.

And based on my stats, I’ve written on affiliates and marketing at least 25% of the time. I’ve done less than that on my business site and got myself on the first page.

And it was a great effort; I changed close to 20% of the pages on my site, and that’s only because some pages I’d already done the internal linking on. It just might not be a topic I’m meant to rank for; that’s okay, as it’s a crowded field.

May 10th, 2009 | 1:25 AM
wilhb81:

Mitch, in this case, don’t blame yourself, as there are many uncertain factors that we didn’t know in the SEO fields…

May 10th, 2009 | 2:56 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Wil. It was a lot of work, but I never beat myself up over a project I’m attempting. That is, unless it costs me a lot of money.

May 10th, 2009 | 2:57 PM

Hey Mitch,
I think you are like Thomas Edison. When asked how bad he felt after trying to invent the light bulb 999 times and FAILING each time, he said “I didn’t fail 999 times, I learned 999 ways that didn’t work.” (or something like that)
What you learned is that SEO isn’t easy or simple, and that you have to keep trying a lot of different things to find the very few things that work. I’d also give it a little time as I think sometimes results are delayed.
Keep it up! ~ Steve, the trade show guru

Trade Show Guru´s last blog post..Trade Show Exhibit Booths and SEO

May 11th, 2009 | 4:15 PM
Mitch:

Thanks Steve; equated with Edison. I like that, though I have to admit I’ve been shooting for Einstein, obviously indicated by my forgetting simple things lately. At least I can still drive. lol

May 11th, 2009 | 9:57 PM
Mitch:

I thought I’d share this with those of you who have already read this post. When I talked about wanting to rank for the term “internet marketing consultant”, I also wanted to be ranked for my home area, which I wasn’t. I just checked, and adding “Syracuse” to the mix, I’m now at #23 on Google, #19 on MSN, and #13 on Yahoo; so, something did finally work!

May 21st, 2009 | 5:04 PM
Rod@British Lions Rugby:

In my experience it can take quite a long time to see increases in rank – perhaps you haven’t seen the full effects of your changes yet? I also have to agree that you have to complement your on-page work with targetted link-building using your keywords as anchor text.

Rod@British Lions Rugby´s last blog post..British Lions to play under ELVs

May 21st, 2009 | 6:12 PM
Mitch:

You could be right, Rod; I had hoped for changes within the month, but maybe that’s the same kind of thinking clients sometimes have, which are somewhat unrealistic.

May 21st, 2009 | 6:53 PM
Ollie:

Too many links too fast can be a recipe for no progress. The more natural the linking pattern and the higher quality the links (PageRank of the linking page) the better. What do you think?

June 15th, 2009 | 1:33 PM
Mitch:

I think I agree. Oddly enough, it seems that, at least for my one business site, it has jumped up in the search engines, which is a pleasant surprise.

June 15th, 2009 | 6:07 PM