Non Optimised sites Don’t Rank, True or False?

Have you ever wondered why some sites rank high on Google when they aren’t optimised for search engines? Or even worse, when they barely have any backlinks?

I have been asked this question a lot over the last few months, so I thought I would write a blog post explaining why this happens. Here is why some sites rank high when they are not optimised:

Reason 1: Click-through rate

Part of Google’s algorithm looks at a click-through rate. It calculates it as a percentage, reflecting the number of clicks you receive from the total number of people searching for that particular phrase you rank for. The higher the percentage, the more appealing your listing is compared to the competition. And if your click-through rate is higher than everyone else’s, Google will slowly start moving you up the search engine results page as this algorithm factor tells it that searchers prefer your listing.

Looking at the click-through rate isn’t enough, however, as people could create deceptive title tags and meta descriptions to increase their results. So Google also looks at your bounce rate. It assesses the number of people who leave your page by hitting the back button to return to the search listing page. If Google sends 1,000 people to one of your web pages and each of those 1,000 people hit the back button within a few seconds, it tells Google your web page isn’t relevant.

A lot of the websites that are ranking well on Google that don’t seem to be optimised have a high click-through rate and a low bounce rate, and that helps maintain their rankings.

If you want to see your click-through rates, log into Webmaster Tools, and click on your site profile. If you don’t have a site profile, that means you need to add your site to Webmaster Tools and wait a few days. Once you are viewing your site in Webmaster Tools, click on the navigational option “search traffic,” and then click on “search queries.”

If you need help increasing your click-through rates, read this post from Quick Sprout they will walk you through the steps you need to take.

Reason 2: Age

One of the big factors that cause some sites to rank well is their age. Most of the sites that rank high are at least a few years old. Sure, most of these older sites have more backlinks and content as they have been around for longer, but not all of them.

What I’ve noticed is that if you take a brand new website, build tons of relevant links, and add high quality content, you still won’t get as much search traffic as older sites will. There is not much you can do here other than just give it time. The older your site gets, the more search traffic you will generally receive, assuming you are continually trying to improve upon it.

Reason 3: Backlinks

Google doesn’t just look at the sheer number of backlinks a site has it also looks at relevancy and authority. Many of these non-optimized sites that are ranking well have a few high quality backlinks pointing to the right internal pages. For example, if you have only few links but they come from .edu and .gov extensions your site will rank extremely well.

In addition to having the right backlinks, those sites also have a spot-on anchor text for these links. Most SEOs think you need rich anchor text links to rank well, but the reality is you don’t. Google is able to look at the web page that is linking to you and analyse the text around the link as well as the text on the page. It helps Google determine if the link is relevant to your site and what you should potentially rank for.

Reason 4: Cross-linking

Even if you don’t have the best on-page SEO and a ton of backlinks, you can rank well from an overall site perspective if you cross-link your pages. It is important not just from a navigational or breadcrumb perspective, but from an in-content perspective. If you can add in-content links throughout your site and cross-link your pages, you’ll find that they all will increase in rankings.

On the flip side, if you aren’t cross-linking your pages within your content, you’ll find that some of your web pages will rank extremely well, while others won’t. It’s because you are not distributing link juice and authority throughout your whole site.

Reason 5: Content quality

Since its Panda update, Google has been able to determine content quality of websites. For example, it can determine whether a site is too thin or has duplicate content, allowing for a much better analysis of content quality than before. A lot of these well-ranking older sites have extremely high quality content. You may not think so, but Google does.


Because Google doesn’t just look at the content on a site, It looks at the content on one website and compares it to others within that space. So if you have higher quality content than all of your competitors, you are much more likely to outrank them in the long run.

Reason 6: Competition

The beautiful part about ranking for certain keywords is that they are low in competition. And some of these low competitive terms don’t get searched often. From what I’ve seen, the results pages for these low competition key phrases aren’t updated by Google as often as some of the more competitive terms are.

Why? Because more people are viewing the competitive terms. If you were Google, wouldn’t you focus your resources on ensuring that popular terms and results pages are updated more frequently than phrases that aren’t searched for very often?

Reason 7: Growth rate

What should you do if you want to rank really high for a keyword? Build a ton of relevant backlinks and write a lot of high quality content, right?

Although that’s true, what happens is a lot of webmasters grow their link count a bit too fast…so fast that it seems unnatural. And chances are it is. Google is smart enough to know this as it has data on a lot of sites within your space. For this reason, you see a lot of older sites ranking well as they are growing at a “natural” pace versus one that seems manufactured.


There are a lot of reasons why sites that don’t seem well-optimised rank well. The seven I listed above are the main reasons I’ve seen over the years. So the next time you are trying to figure out why a certain site ranks well when it shouldn’t, chances are it’s because of one or more reasons on the list. As a website owner, you shouldn’t focus too much on your competition; instead, you should focus on improving your website. In the long run, the company with the best product or service tends to win.

Why else do you think non-optimised sites rank well on Google?

Social Bookmarking Made Easy

If you are any kind of marketer online then you should know by now the importance of social bookmarking.

Its not just about facebook likes and how many friends you have either.

I heard about SocialAdr from a friend of mine but was hesitant at first because it sounded too good to be true. She told me, “All you have to do is enter your bookmark details and other members submit your bookmarks to their accounts automatically. It literally takes 5 minutes to get setup.”

So I figured I might as well give it a try.

I signed up for the ‘Free’ account and found the Setup Wizard super easy to use. With the ‘Free’ account you have to setup all your own social bookmarking accounts (only once though) in order to get started. Next, I shared 5 other members’ bookmarks, which was as simple as clicking a single button. I had to do this first in order to earn “credits” which can then be spent when other members share my bookmarks. Then I added a couple of my own bookmarks and a short while later started receiving notification that they had been submitted to a list of social bookmarking services.

Wow. And this was just with the ‘Free’ account!

I was impressed.

It was clear to me that the paid accounts were worth it, so I upgraded to the ‘Lazy Linkaholic’ package (1.6 cents per backlink!). With the ‘Lazy’ account types you don’t have to do any sharing, all you do is enter your own bookmark details, it’s that easy.

It’s been about 2 weeks now and I’ve received thousands of backlinks on autopilot.

If you’re like me and know good value when you see it, you should definitely give SocialAdr a try right now for all your social bookmarking needs.

Getting Traffic

Getting traffic is one of the most important tasks for any web
master. What is more, you can’t get traffic once and then just reap
the benefits. Getting traffic is an ongoing task and you must be
constantly doing it, if you want to get traffic and keep it.

Here are some of the ways to get traffic for free:

1 Optimize your site for search engines.

Search engines have always been a major way to get traffic for
free. That is why you need to do your homework and optimize your
site so that it ranks well for the keywords you target. SEO is
still the most powerful way to get traffic for free and you really
need to invest some time and efforts in the optimization of your

2 Frequently update the contents of your site.

If you expected some shocking secrets revealed, you might be a bit
disappointed. One of the first steps in getting traffic for free is
trivial but vital – get great content and frequently update it. In
terms of SEO, content is king. If your content is good and
frequently updated you will not only build a loyal audience of
recurring visitors, who will often come to see what is new, but search engines will also love your site.

3 Take advantage of social bookmarking sites.

Social bookmarking sites (especially the most popular among them)
are another powerful way to get traffic for free. If you want to
learn how to do it, check the How to get Traffic from Social
Bookmarking sites article, where we have explained what to do if
you want to get free traffic from sites such as Digg, Delicious,

4 Use your Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Social networks are also a way to get traffic for free. If you are
popular on networks, such as Twitter or Facebook, the traffic you
get from there can easily surpass the traffic from Google and the
other search engines. It is true that building a large network of
targeted followers on Twitter and supporters on Facebook takes a
lot of time and effort but generally the result is worth it.

5 Get links with other sites in your niche.

Another way to get traffic for free is from other sites in your
niche. Getting links with other sites in your niche is also good
for SEO, especially if you manage to get links without the famous
nofollow attribute. But even if the links are nofollow (i.e. they
are useless for SEO), they still help to get traffic to your site.
If you manage to put your link in a visible place on a site with
high volumes of traffic, you can get thousands of hits from this
link alone. If you need a list of sites within your niche where you
could get backlinks from, check the Backlink Builder tool. However,
be careful if you exchange links because linking to bad neighbors
can do you a lot of harm.

6 Use any chance to promote your site for free.

Free promotion is always welcome, so don’t neglect it. There are
many ways to promote your site for free and some of the most
popular ones include free classified ads, submissions to
directories, inclusion in various listings, etc. It is true that
not all free ways to promote your site work well but if you select
the right places to promote your site for free, this can also
result in tons of traffic.

7 Create a free product or service.

Content drives most traffic when you offer something useful. There
are many types of useful content you can create and they largely
depend on the niche of your site. You can have articles with tons
of advice, or short tips but one of the most powerful ways to get
traffic is to create a free product or service. When this product
or service gets popular and people start visiting your site,
chances are that they will visit the other sections of the site as

8 Use viral content.

Free products and services are great for getting free traffic to
your site and one of the best varieties in this aspect is viral
content. Viral content is called so because it distributes like a
virus – i.e. when users like your content, they send it to their
friends, post it on various sites, and promote it for free in many
different ways. Viral content distributes on its own and your only
task is to create it and submit it to a couple of popular sites.
After that users pick it and distribute it for you. Viral content
can be a hot video or a presentation but it can also be a good old
article or an image.

9 Use offline promotion.

Offline promotion is frequently forgotten but it is also a way to
get traffic for free. Yes, computers are everywhere and many people
spend more time online than offline but still life hasn’t moved
completely on the Web. Offline promotion is also very powerful and
if you know how to use it, this can also bring you many visitors.
Some of the traditional offline ways to promote your site include
printing its URL on your company’s business cards and souvenirs or
sticking it on your company vehicles. You can also start selling
T-shirts and other merchandise with your logo and this way make
your brand more popular.

10 Include your URL in your signature.

URLs in forum signatures are also a way to get traffic for free.
There are forums, which get millions of visitors a day and if you
are a popular user on such a forum, you can use this to get traffic
to your site. When you post on forums and people like your posts,
they tend to click the link to your site on your signature to learn
more about you. In rare cases you might be able to post a deep link
(i.e. a link to an internal page of the site) rather than a link to
your homepage and this is also a way to focus attention to a
particular page. Unfortunately, deep links are rarely allowed.

Getting traffic for free is a vast topic and it is not possible to
list all the ways to do it. However, if you know the most important
ways – i.e. the ways we discussed in this post and you apply them
properly, it is guaranteed that you will be able to get lots of
traffic for free.

SEO Backlink Myths

imagesSEO is the magic of the digital marketing world with experts promising to pull rabbits out of hats for first-page search engine results. But as search engine providers continuously update their ranking algorithms, SEO success becomes an elusive and shifting science, even for those with all the tricks. So, how can you separate fact from illusion? Let’s start by busting four SEO backlink myths.

Myth: All backlinks should be created within content that is relevant to the page being optimized.

When a page or content goes “viral,” it is rapidly shared across both new and established blogs, social networks and the net as a whole. As a result, backlinks are created on a range of sites, many of which have absolutely no relevance to the content being linked. Therefore, even if your content is about, say, puppy dogs, if you create a link on a high-quality site about apples, the backlink is still advantageous for your search engine ranking. This doesn’t mean that spamming links all over the place is a good idea though. Natural link building involves creating backlinks in a manner that does not appear spammy, because the links are relevant in some way, but not necessarily to the content of the page. In our puppy dogs and apples example, perhaps there is a forum post where an apple grower is having trouble with his dog. While the content of the backlink site isn’t about the subject-linked content, the link would still seem natural and relevant.

Myth: All backlinks should be from PR2+ sites or better.

When we look at the nature of viral content yet again, we see links going up in all manner of places. You can’t stop PRzero sites from linking your content any more than you can force a PR9 site to link it. Nonetheless, the PRzero backlink is not going to sandbag your content’s search engine rank. When creating backlinks, the focus should not be the on PR status of the site, but the quality of the link itself. All backlinks should be considered from the perspective of a Web-goer. Ask yourself, if SEO didn’t exist, and all of my links were legitimate, “real” people, rather than crawler bots, would this link be something I’d click or does it look like spam? If you wouldn’t click it, don’t create the backlink. Common sense viewers generally won’t click links within sites that appear to be less than reputable. This may include porn sites, casinos, make-money-fast scams and link farms.

Myth: You should create *this many* backlinks.

The suggested perfect number of backlinks to improve search engine ranking varies, but more often than not it’s a lot—or as many as you possibly can. Truthfully, though, just how many backlinks you should create is a trick question, because you shouldn’t be creating them all. Viral content does not become viral because the creator links it hundreds of times, it becomes viral because the content is timely, high quality, and useful or interesting. The same way creating backlinks with the same anchor text every time or linking from the same site repeatedly can make a link look like spam, being the only person creating backlinks can as well. Instead of aiming to create backlinks, focus on creating content that encourages other people to do it for you.

Myth: High-link velocity will hurt your search engine ranking.

Falling under the old quality-is-better-than-quantity adage, it’s often suggested that backlink creation should be staggered as rapid link velocity makes a site look like spam. When content goes viral, however, it is indeed rapidly linked from all over the place, so if this rule is true, why aren’t all those pages sinking to the 150 page?  While it is true quality counts more than quantity, if your backlinks are being followed and not just created it doesn’t matter how fast they appear. One hundred backlinks in 24 hours that nobody clicks might be seen as spam, but 100 backlinks that are getting active traffic are a seed to viral content. If your aim is to plant that seed, you need to mimic the process by which content becomes viral to the best of your ability. News and social signals play a massive role in the virility of content, so with a viral-style link building campaign, don’t forget to introduce the content to social networks and news feeds.

The truth about launching a successful SEO backlink campaign is just that, dismiss all the rules. Forget about the experts stabbing in the dark at the magic behind scoring the first page, and think like a real human being from the perspective of the people that you want to view your content. After all, it is people that make content go viral, and when content wins the people, it scores the first page of search engine results as a trophy.

Places To Get Do Follow Backlinks

Helpful Places To Get Do Follow Backlinks For Top Search Engine Ranking

Forums are popular places to get do follow backlinks from because you can simple put a link to your website in your signature. This is easy and can give you a good boost in the search engines.

2.High PR Profiles
Many websites allow you to register to their site and in the profile section you can add a link to your website. These types of sites are typically high PR (Page Rank) and are very powerful backlinks.

3.User Generated Content Sites
Many websites will allow you to post your articles on their website. These sites allow user generated content and within the content you create you can typically link back to your website.

4.Related Sites
Many related websites in your niche will typically be interested in linking to you if you contact them. Simply request a link through their contact form. This may not be the easiest way to get links but if you provide value to their readers sometimes they will link to you.

5.Commenting On Blogs
Leaving comments on related blogs is a quick way to get some backlinks. But be warned because spamming will get you no where and many times blog comment fields are no follow.

6.Document Sharing Sites
These websites allow you to share your documents and if you put a link within the document you can get a quality backlink to your website. Many times when you register you can also put a link to your website in your user profile.

7.Video Sites
If you create videos you can share them on popular video sharing sites. Many times in the video description you can add a link to your website.

8.Multi User Blogs
Many blogs have open registration where anyone can sign up and start blogging. You can search for wordpress MU blogs and create your own blog today.

9.RSS Feeds
Creating and submitting RSS feeds is another great way to get quality do follow backlinks. Simply create a RSS feed and submit it to the top RSS directories.

10.Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking sites allow users to bookmark and share their content with the world. Sign up to these sites and every once in awhile bookmark your website’s content. This will get you traffic and give you some backlinks.

11.Press Releases
Creating a news story about your website and submitting it for the press to pick up is another great way to get backlinks. Not only can you get top search engine ranking if you do this enough but your story can be picked up by the press and be syndicated in major media.

12.Article Directories
Write an article then submit your article to the leading directories with a link to your website in the resource box. Not only does the article have a change to get repurposed to other websites but it will also increase your exposure in the search engines.
Make sure to write high quality articles.

13.Website Directories
These websites allow you to list your website in theirs many times for free. These sites were popular before the search engines were so dominant and are commonly used for do follow backlinks.

Solutions To Getting Backlinks

How To Get High Quality One Way BackLinks To Your Websites

There are basically two aspects to SEO, “on page” & “off page” optimization.

“On Page” SEO is easy because it’s totally under your control. It’s simply a case of making sure you have optimized your web pages correctly.

OK, so there is a bit more to it than that, like keyword research, keyword density & frequency, which html tags to use, making sure your site/pages are W3 Compliant, using relative/absolute internal linking structures to feed the pagerank where it’s most effective, using titles and descriptions that encourage people to click through from the SERP’s etc.

But essentially, once you know how to do all that, it’s not difficult to get it right for all your pages/sites.

It’s also less important in the long run than getting sufficient links to your site/pages from other sites.

Getting links to your site is fundamental to getting visitors, and without visitors all the time, effort and money invested in getting your site up and running, and looking “nice”, is irrelevant.

No Visitors = No Point!

So links are essential to the health of your site, and indeed your business, but all links are not equal in value to your site.

Reciprocal links will help, but they are far less effective than one way backlinks, i.e. links from another site where you don’t have to link back to them. These “One Way” backlinks will give your site a far greater boost in the search engine results and bring you more traffic, providing of course that you have chosen good (relevant) keywords for your links.

There are many ways of getting these powerful one way backlinks, but most you will have no control over the anchor text used (i.e. keywords) in the link, which means their “power” in unfocused and therefore of less use to you in achieving the targeted keyword results you are looking for.

For example, submitting your site to website directories can be a very effective way of picking up some high quality one way links from high PR sites, but you will seldom be able to choose the keywords/anchor text used for the link, often ending up with the site name as the link.

This is not a waste of time, as the Pagerank passed to your site will, with the correct internal linking structure, be passed on to your sites internal pages, helping them to rank better for their targeted keywords.

So how can you get highly targeted one way links?

It’s fairly common for webmasters to now buy or “rent” links to their sites through service like, and these services will allow you to choose the anchor text, but they are far from cheap. A link from a PR 8 site can easily cost $150+ per month.

Google has also publicly stated that they disapprove of this practice and are actively seeking to downgrade the value of such “paid links”, although personally it seems like a valid form of advertising to me, but maybe I just don’t have Google’s wisdom in these matters. 😉

As always in business, there are entrepreneurs who have identified this need in the market and a whole new branch of linking services are popping up offering new solutions for one way backlinks.

I’ve been testing some of them out over the last few months and have found a couple that have had a significant positive effect on the sites I used them for.

The Backlink Solution []

This first solution is a monthly subscription that provides a network of high quality blog sites for you to post comments on, including a link to your site(s) using your chosen anchor text.

Note: As you make the link yourself, you can also link to internal pages on your site to improve their rankings as well, which you can’t do with directory submissions.

It is a manual process, but is easy enough that it can be outsourced fairly cheaply.

The Pagerank of these blogs varies, but the links provided are very “natural” in appearance to the search engines, and as you can post unique relevant content on market related blogs, the links are highly relevant. You are also limited as to how many blogs you can post to each month, to ensure that the links grow naturally over time, rather than all in one go.

Three Way Links []

The internet marketing market is highly competitive, so it’s hardly surprising that another service with a different twist has popped up from this market.

This is an automated “three way links” system, where you link to site A, which then links to site B, which then links back to you. Whilst this is arguably not as powerful as true “one way backlinks”, it’s still a significant step above one way “reciprocal” linking that is the more traditional method used by the majority of webmasters.

The process is also automated for you, making it very hands off. You can submit up to 20 sites with just one account and you can specify three different anchor texts to be used as the links for each site’s, making sure you don’t incur any penalties for over use of just one text link keyword or phrase.

It is also set up to gradually build up the links over time to make it all appear very natural to the search engines.

Your Own Authority Blog []

There is one final service that I’ve found to be very useful, although it is more ideal for people with multiple sites to promote.

The service gives you your own blog on an existing high PR authority site. The site has 833,039 backlinks listed in Yahoo and gets spidered several times a day by all of the major search engines. For example in June 2007 Googlebot visited it 14,470 times and Yahoo Slurp 52,436 times, so you can see why it’s an regarded as an “authority” site.

I have used this to link to brand new sites and had them indexed by Google within 24 hours, so it’s a great way of getting a new site in to the SE’s quickly, and the link weight will obviously also help any site linked to.

As a side note, I’ve also found that my blog on this site can get fairly significant traffic itself when I take the time to keyword optimize the posts, which is always a nice added benefit.

I haven’t traded reciprocal links for any of my sites in almost two years, you can probably see why I don’t need to. Using powerful new linking tools and services like these means I am able to take total control over the “off page” SEO linking strategies for my sites in the same way as I do for the “on page” SEO factors.

Wouldn’t you like to do have the same level of control over your sites search engine rankings?