The following is the guest post by Brandon Hopkins
When it comes to ranking being first is the only thing that matters. Last month I had a site that has been ranked #2 for it’s main keyword move up to #1, want to see what the traffic was like? Check out the screenshot below.
As you can see from the picture the site went from about 130 to 900 visitors in one day. Early the next morning, the site moved back to #2 and had 319 visitors. For this small niche, ranking #1 is about 7x better than #2! So if anyone ever tells you “The top 10 is good enough!” or “If you can get into the top 3, you’ll be OK“, those people have no real experience with being #1. So what makes the difference between a #1 and a #2 ranked site? Links, of course.
Here is another screenshot showing the increase in links paralleling an increase in rankings.
As you can see, when I started working on this site around the beginning of February, the site was ranked in the top 10 and floated around for over a month. However, take a look at the total links, there was a continual and steady increase from about 150 total links to 1300 total links. Sure, you can go out and get some good directory links at Ezilon Web Directory and Best of the Web, but you need those and more!
Since I’ve stopped working on this site, the links will slowly decline a little as sites go offline or certain links get moderated. Overall, to keep a #1 ranking, you want to have links consistently going up.
Why Is Link Building Still a Numbers Game?
Let me tell you about my competitors. One is Amazon (160,000,000 incoming links, strong domain), one is a wikipedia entry, one is a 10 year old domain with 4.4 million incoming links (my domain is 3 years old), 4 of my competitors are the creators/manufacturers of the product I’m selling. I’m their affiliate, but I’m ahead of them!
So what makes the difference? Links to my target page. Here is the breakdown of the SERP’s and incoming links to the page.
- 1230 (manufacturer)
- 1120 (My site!)
- 114 (10 year old domain, 4.4 domain links)
- 64 (9 year old blog, 2 million domain links)
- 35 (manufacturer)
- 242 (manufacturer)
- 0 (Amazon.com)
- 5 (blog, 751,000 domain links)
- 0 (Target.com)
See a pattern? The number one site has the most links, crazy to think that Google is telling us that it’s all about page load time and relevancy isn’t it. Looking at those stats, what do you think impacts SERP’s the most?
Brandon Hopkins works with companies around the world to provide website design and IT consulting services. You can contact him at his Fresno web design company.
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