I Spent A Year Adding Content & My Competitors Nicked My Rankings

A quick follow up to my SEO fight club article yesterday, and somewhat tongue in cheek. :)

I just spent a year adding original content which people have told me is really useful, getting relevant links from those in my niche, going for quality of links rather than quantity of crap links, not keyword stuffing, staying within Google guidelines, not buying links from crappy host companies in far-away-lands, nofollowing links to bad neighbourhoods, not hiding text or links, preventing Google’s index being spammed, not using my client sites to promote my own rankings.

Some of my competiors now rank above me with cheap exact match domains, regurgitated content, no relevant links, crap links, keyword stuffing, flouting Google guidelines, buying links from crappy host companies in far-away-lands, links to bad neighbourhoods, hiding text and links, spamming Google’s index, using client sites to promote thier own rankings lol :)

OK we may have 100 more times Google traffic than some of these guys because their terms are so narrow and their content is lukewarm, so maybe I shouldn’t complain. I’ve got a lot of real humans subscribed, too, which is very valuable to me.

But it alludes to an age old question:

What to do? Linkbuild, or Add Content?

I chose to add content because I am trying to build  a brand. THAT’s what I recommend to clients. I prefer to syndicate and network (for this site anyway) these days than linkbuild. If you play this game Google will actually send you a lot of decent traffic but you’ll probably lose ground on very focused terms to competition that are really going for them – see what I think of natural links and google seo.

PS I don’t out anybody and it’s not sour grapes – I think SEO is SEO – good luck to everyone whichever tactics and strategy they choose to employ. I am actually friendly with a lot of my competitors. Maybe I should register SEO Greenock Dot Com just in case lol.

I actually change the terms I target all the time too with this site – and I’m ALWAYS testing on site – that’s what you can do if you’ve got a lot of traffic and a little brand and  I suppose.

What are you doing just now? Adding content, networking, syndicating or linkbuilding – something else? Removing your internal nofollow links (?) even heh heh.

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7 Responses

  1. Amrit Gill says:

    Humm – this is simply down for one tactic – scaremongering. Matt Cutts and La Google Crew have been going around pushing their best practices on, hinting at warnings of what not to do. And well – we’re all scared of the drop in traffic from google so we all follow suit and following these best practices. On the other hand there have been these sites who ignore the rules and continue to purchase links from sites that are easily detectable from simply looking at their inlinks at yahoo site explorer! These sites are the ones that simply capture the top 3 spots with spammy context that really isn’t that valuable. Hopefully – our SEO competition – Tour De SEO(www.iamsearch.co.uk) will help highlight best practices on SEO aligned with great content as we go along. Keep up the great work – great having a voice from the Brits!

  2. luxs says:

    2 Amrit – If you make a website to earn some money only by selling cheap links you should prohibited for Yahoo to index your site – just to keep your links in secret for all peoples. High SERP for some keywords mean good traffic for these keywords, but all SEO traffic may have a lot of long keywords, which are related with good content. So I do prefer now to create a lot of content, but spend about 20% of my time for link building as well…

  3. Richard says:

    If your site has 5,000 pages it might raise a red flag if all of your good anchor text rich links point to the homepage. Get around this by creating multiple keyword landing pages and deep link to them with a mix of anchor text.

  4. David Hopkins says:

    I am glad to see that there is another SEO company that doesn’t add “footer spam” on to all clients as standard. By that, I mean keyword rich links back to their site in client footers like “[SEO] and [Web Design] by SwizzGubbins”. Like yourself, I am not to bothered what bilge people crank to up their SERPs, but I always think that footer spam on clients’ sites is unacceptable.

    • Shaun Anderson says:

      HI David. I’ve got some legacy footer links (I think) from years ago. But for the last while, I just don’t take the links from SEO clients: I think web design clients is a slightly different situation, so I will get a link from those (although often their nofollowed now). To be honest I’m considering the whole strategy – as it clearly isn’t hurting competitors.

  5. David Hopkins says:

    Yeh. The top ranking web design companies are using a lot of anchored footer spam on client sites and have been for as long as I have been on the block. I used to own a web design company and I never did it. As soon as I left “web design” and “seo” footer spam was rolled out on all client sites. Like yourself, I think web design is a different story, but I still think using “web design” and other words as the anchor is a P take. Stuff like that devalues a site. I’ve seen a lot of stupid ones like “[web design] by [web design]” and even “[0800 number] by [0800 numbers]”. Where will it all end? “Our managing director swears by [vi4gr4]”? If its something like “Site designed by [Hobo]” I think its fine. If I was building sites, I’d just add a link back to my site on an “about the site” page along with accessibility and open source blurbs. Personally, I wouldn’t put your rep. on the line if you are thinking of adding keyword rich links to SEO client sites. Enquiries from generic page one SEO/design terms are largely junk – people who have come up with the next big thing with no internet knowledge and think they can do it by hiring an agency for £500. I’d rather 50K uniques / month than page one for SEO any day :)

  6. Shaun Anderson says:

    I would still like to be on page 1 for search engine optimisation one day lol – next year will do. I’m not using client sites to do it though lol. This time next year – page one in Google UK SERPS for SEO & search engine optimisation, and a 75,000 monthly uniques and 10,000 subscribers. That will do lol :) Cheers for the comment!

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