{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

Trying to improve the rankings of a site that offers very little value to its visitors is a short term strategy that is likely to come unstuck the first time Google carries out a manual review of the site.

Google has a philosophy and strives to become the perfect search engine.

Thousands of engineers spend countless hours trying to make sure that the best pages and websites are featured at the top of the search results.

The role of search engine optimisers is to increase the rankings of certain websites, but unless the website is worthy of a top ranking the SEO is working against Google.

A far better strategy for low ranking sites is to focus on adding news, content, articles, tools, offers and even improving the design to make the site more useful than the sites that are currently ranking at the top.

If you can add significant value to a site you go from being a bad site with bad rankings to a great site that Google actually would rather like to be at the top of the search results.

This makes the task of promoting and marketing a hundred times easier and the eventual rankings will be sustainable in the long term.

Avatar-blank-50x50

Published 25 February, 2008 by Patrick Altoft

55 more posts from this author

Comments (7)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

Lawrence

Wise words... in principle. But more often than not it's expertly SEO-optimized sites that rank well. The same sites that benefit from having thousands of low quality inbound links and thousands of keyword-heavy pages.

An example?

Try 'london hotel' on googe.co.uk. Top spot goes to a site that has 'Hotels in London Accommodation Cheap London Hotel' as the title case, 43,400 pages (most relevant to the UK and not specifically London) and 3,350 inbound links.

Want to see how good this site is?

http://www.cheaperthanhotels.co.uk/United-Kingdom/London/

I particularly love the breadcrumb link "Cheap Hotels in London Hotels" and the "London Hotel with FREE extras!!" tagline just before the "London Hotels" page name.

Under it are listed about a hundred links to hotel profile pages. The all have "London" in the link as half have "Hotel" too.

So, what should an SEO expert tell a client that wants promote his hotel in London? To spend time writing news, good quality content and useful tools?

I'm not sure about that.

over 8 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Lex

Lawrence is right.

You could wait years for Google to recognise your "better website". Meanwhile, sites like the above dominate the rankings.

And just how many manual checks does Google do a year? Not very many by the looks of the serps that's for sure :-)

Welcome to the real world!

over 8 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Dave

I still find search engines substandard. I would like to see directories of trusted sites, so that if I'm looking for something I have a reasonable amount of sites to choose from, rather than swamped with random results. Payback affiliate sites are quite useful in that manner, like quidco.

over 8 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Kaya PPC, Internet Marketing Manager at Optimised Media

I dont think working with Google will ever work. There will always be websites trying to get to the top. However search is the best solution we have at the moment. I don't think directories are scalable enough to provide decent coverage and not be "gamed". DMOZ was supposed to be a human verified directory but its gone down the pan. There have been allegations of the DMOZ editors being paid to include links, allow spam etc.

Kaya, Optimised Media Internet Marketing

over 8 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Patrick Altoft, Director of Search at Branded3

Lawrence the point is that if you want to compete with the current low quality high ranking sites you need to first create a better site and then when you aggressively build links your site is far more likely to pass a manual review.

over 8 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Lawrence

Patrick, but we can't base an SEO strategy on the likelyhood of a manual review.

I appreciate what you are saying, also because that's Google's own mantra. And I think that strong SEO can be acheived via a well thought out information architecture (see cheapflights.co.uk and hotcourses.co.uk).

Even so, it's difficult to compete with sites like the one I mentioned above.

Google will not penalise cheaperthanhotels.co.uk because they are not doing anything wrong. And because its competitor - the hotel that has invested in quality - is getting a good position thanks to PPC.

over 8 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Dave

Kaya, I would prefer both options. I only tried dmoz once or twice and could see it was useless. Same as wikipedia. Great idea but anyone can edit. What I mean is, if I am generally shopping I would prefer only to see the main reputable players. for instance argos, currys, and anyone else developing a reputation. I suppose the current best way is putting all the comparison sites, amazon and ebay in the same folder. If someone is paying to have their shop placed, I have a respected party vouching they are legit. Maybe they also tell them to be a certain standard too. Some of the 'checkouts' are ghastly. Froogle seemed ok at first, then got badly spammed, now its pretty good but a lot of the main players seem to have withdrawn. In the end, I want to compare prices from as many reputable sellers as possible. I would mostly prefer shopping away from organic searches.

over 8 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.