What you are about to read may surprise you and will raise some serious questions, to be sure.
But, if you’ve spent the better part of a year optimizing your infographics and writing website content, read on for a coronary spasm.
Most of you have heard it said (over and over) that Content is King. You’ve been warned about bad backlink neighbourhoods, and for good reason.
SEO Reality Check:
You can put up zero content, have zero page rank and aim for zero relevancy and still land first page in Google. ~Tweet this~
Content might be king for your customers, but it’s not king in Google search results.
Relevancy might be helpful to your clients, but Google can’t read and if you’re not on the first page of Google, your customers won’t find you anyway.
Which is why I say, with some grief, and a little tongue-in-cheek, Backlinks are King.
Why Backlinks are King
Right now I want you to go to Google and type this in without quotes: “seo services”.
Scroll down the results until you get to this one, “seoboost.org”. You didn’t have to go far did you? Now take a good long look at the content on every page (this takes about 1 minute, unless you get distracted, staring at Lara Bingle.
You’re using one of the most competitive search terms in the marketing world and right up there in the top fold you find SEO Boost. They must be pretty Awesome, eh?
Last week, Rand Fishkin (whom I admire) did a white board Friday thing on the Question of Backlinks – are they losing their value?
Forget everything yo Mumma Told Ya.
Let’s do a little Back Link Analysis
SEO Services | Boost SEO.
Not bad. All good so far.
Home page: “Welcome to Boost SEO – Australia’s only exclusive SEO company. Because of our very high search engine rankings, we get a LOT of client requesting our SEO services.”
Key phrase appears at the end of their home page meta description. Almost all other pages (about 12 pages in all) on site have no meta description at all.
SEO Services, Boost SEO, Expert SEO Services, Best SEO Services, search engine optimisation services, seo services australia, SEO Company.
Hang on. I thought these didn’t count any more. In fact, I was told they could count against you. This is an SEO Company. What gives?
Headings on Home Page
- <H1>: Welcome to Boost SEO
- <H1>: Australia’s only exclusive Search Engine Optimisation company.
- <H1>: CLIENTS that all wish they were WORKING WITH US
- <H1>: Awards
- <H2>: Due to high demand we are not taking new customers until 5/03/2014
- <H2>: Please enter your details below and we will contact you shortly.
- <H2>: Who do you find more attractive?
- <H2>: Things we are good at
- <H3>: Lara Bingle
- <H3>: Miranda Kierr
- <H3>: Delta Goodrem
Hmm, barely a key word relevant to our search. Aren’t my H1 tags important for SEO?
We found 7 images on this page. 5 ALT attributes are empty or missing.
Or, as SEO Quake would say,
“Ouch! Your websites ratio of text to HTML code is below 15%. We suggest adding a lot more text to your website. You can strengthen your SEO by increasing the recurrence of keywords on your page and adding more text that pertains to your website’s content.”
Not found. I mean, what would be the point, anyway?
Found one! – phew!
Home Page Content
Totally irrelevant content for all but one paragraph which uses the keyword four times. Hey, Neil Patel, what’s up?
Isn’t longer content (2,000 words or so) the need of the hour if you want to rank well?
I ask these questions in all sincerity.
About Us, Blog, Contact Pages
Empty, meaningless and did I mention, empty? No signs of life here, except the claim that they have an office in every state.
But here is my favourite…
Just look at their Social Media Accounts
Seriously, go over and click on them. You all know how important social media is, right?
Stephanie Frasco of Social Media Today says Social Media is critical for SEO. So, what gives?
To be fair, we kinda already knew it wasn’t so critical – at least not in search engine results. Matt Cutts made it pretty clear not to long ago.
Well, there you have it. A quick analysis of a totally unoptimized SEO site with irrelevant content, non-existent social media and empty pages in the top fold of Google page one for a competitive search term with over 48,000,000 results.
But wait, there’s more…
Zero. Nix. Nada. Nought. Nothing.
The company appears to have come online in September last year. But age does not matter. In fact, nothing we have said so far matters.
So what does Matter?
Just how did this Australian based, India IP looking, phone-less, addresss-less SEO wizz bang company get to such dizzy heights so fast?
Here is their back link history. Majestic only show about 20,000 or so backlinks. I have found about 120,000 myself.
That’s a lot of back links for a site that has not published anything and only began a few months ago.
Link sources distribution
- Linking pages: 123K
- Linking IP addresses: 180
- Linking domains: 202
- .GOV: 2
- .EDU: 3.7K
- Linking subnets: 172
So, I wanted to find out where all these relevant, non-spam, white hat, naturally occurring back links were coming from (Since Google gives preference to such things).
Here is a list of my favourites. Where possible I have highlighted the SEOboost.org link with a Do Follow green. The Mount Vernon School is a beauty!
1. The International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (Arabic)
http://www.iiees.ac.ir PR6 Do follow
2. Republic of Bulgaria. Kozloduy Municipality
http://www.kozloduy.bg PR2 Do Follow
3. Mount Vernon City Schools
PR3 Do Follow
4. Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, Thailand
http://www.deqp.go.th PR5 Do Follow
And, my favourite
5. Babette Clothing. Cape Town, South Africa
http://www.babetteclothing.co.za/ PR2 Do Follow
So, there you have it. Back links are King. At least, King for a Day. It will be interesting to watch this company over time.
I also suppose that some will jump on to their site and buy a little link juice for themselves. But I hope not.
You have to ask the question though. What did Panda and Penguin actually achieve? We are not talking about a bakery website here.
We are talking about an SEO site in the top fold of Google search results for a ridiculously competitive keyword phrase.
In the mean time, I will continue the far more enjoyable (and long term) work of building small business the clean way – or at least – the less grubby way.
What do you make of this? Is this a tactic you think has merit? How long do you think it will last and why do you think it’s still possible to rank this way? Tell us your thoughts.