Posted by Mitch Mitchell 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.