Journal SEO Contest: How I Won Several Top Prizes...

Discussion in 'Case Studies and Journals' started by anthony80, Jul 22, 2016.

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  1. anthony80

    anthony80 Member

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    As far as ranking signals (factors that score how sites are ranked) are concerned, Google has stated that they use hundreds of Ranking Signals. If I remember correctly Cutt's once stated there are some 400 signals they watch.

    Anyone doing SEO knows that these signals vary in importance. Most of these signals aren't going to apply to the average SEO. One guy above said it best when he compared contestants and said: "one contestant spammed and called it a day; while another (me) was using things he hasn't heard of."

    Obviously my results speak for themselves; however to understand why I consider so many ranking factors is really due to the type of SEO work I do. I specialize in extremely competitive niches and have a decent number of SEO companies that rely on me to get results for their more difficult projects. Its all the small things that add up that can be the difference between ranking #1 VS #2. With big competitive keywords this can be a significant difference in income. For example, I've seen one keyword at #2 generate $24,000 /mo but at #1 it jumped to $82,000 / mo. With this type of money on the line every ranking signal should be carefully considered.

    When I take on an SEO project I consider as many ranking signals as I can. From my experience I can confirm Google uses variables in their aglo and weighs different signals more or less for different niches and even for different keywords. These variables inevitably are why many get frustrated by SEO or have limited short-term success. I have a slight advantage in this area because of software we've created that monitors just over 100 ranking signals daily. I check and analyze that data constantly so I can remain effective for my clients and for my own projects. A lot of the major "algo updates" are actually simple adjustments where one signal is weighted more than another-- for example; the Penguin Update was mostly an Anchor Text adjustment. Yet, it took the industry months and months to figure it out.

    There are many many more ranking signals that could be discussed. I think the more SEO's that watch ranking signals (as many as they can) the better value they'll be able to offer to their clients. I was actually a little surprised that people hadn't heard about the Image thing or the Traffic Signals. These are relatively old news items that have been around for awhile.

    For most the Image OCR thing or the Traffic Signal probably aren't going to make much of an impact. It really depends on the strategy you use with it. For example a localized company can probably see some decent benefit from using their city name in images. ... but even then, I wouldn't suggest running out and making these changes to your sites unless it made sense. I'd have to review the niche/ keywords before I could comment on whether that ranking signal would add enough value to justify. The traffic signal on the other hand will generally help. But again, it depends on how its being used. Could you use different methods to boost traffic signals, yes! That's the best part about SEO, the more creative you get the more likely you will have an edge on your competition. You certainly don't need a bot or fancy software.

    SEO is about the big picture and not usually one thing. Its the combination of factors that can make one site more competitive than another and in turn outrank their competition. In the past you could get away with just building links and be fine. But today that strategy isn't enough for long-term results.

    Hopefully that has shed some more light on the "Ranking Signal" thing. Most ranking signals can be tested to determine how effective they are-- but it does get tricky trying to isolate one or two minor ranking signals. I'm constantly testing and considering new ranking signals and occasionally I come across some that provide huge value; but the vast majority are minor factors that provide small benefit by themselves.
     
  2. sites

    sites Active Member

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    @anthony80 How about a contest with a keyword with commercial intent and large enough volume? Interested?
     
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  3. Wazza

    Wazza Active Member

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    Would be interesting to run a comp where no back linking is allowed, relying on the on-page optimisation and content only.
     
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  4. cherub

    cherub Active Member

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    I have a feeling that would end in a contest between backlink cloaking technologies.
     
  5. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    So, you have no proof that OCR and Traffic Signals are ranking signals and that the weights for those ranking signals are not 0 besides your own word.

    Right here on the Google Image Publishing Guidelines, it says "Avoid embedding important text in images for elements like page headings and menu items because not all users can access them. To ensure maximum accessibility of your important text based content, keep it in regular HTML" which is very contrary to your argument. Using OCR as a ranking signal would promote webmasters using text in images, which would hinder accessibility for individuals using screen readers.

    Traffic Signals? I didn't bother to research that. From what I've heard so far, it's mostly heresay or a temporary boost - nothing permanent.

    Results speak for themselves? Dude, your site's #7 right now and @vlach's #2. If you just focused more on the PBN and link building, you'd have better results.

    Let me tell you a story: I was talking to an adult webmaster who've been in business since 1995 (1 year before Google). I mentioned PBN and he said "what's that?" He has never heard of the word "PBN" since the word came out in 2007. He's been doing SEO like how he has been doing SEO in 1995 - same results, no penalties, nothing.

    A lot of SEO news is actually SEO hype. OCR and Ranking Signals? Sounds like hype to me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  6. cardine

    cardine Administrator Staff Member

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    I think you might have your users/sites mixed up a little bit, this is what I'm seeing right now:
    upload_2016-8-31_12-32-48.png

    I think at this point it is a little difficult to say conclusively that one approach worked better than any other. @vlachs achieved ranking stability about a month before anyone else and was consistently in or around the top 10, @anthony80 dominated in the top 5 through the last part of the competition, and @SEOManDan has been ranking top 2 for nearly two months. And all three are still in the top 10, months after the contest has ended. In my opinion it is a little difficult to conclusively say any of those three efforts were better than any others.

    As for OCR, Google has some of the best OCR tech in the world (trained off of all of those captcha's everyone's been typing in) - so I would expect Google is using that in some way shape or form to do OCR. I wouldn't be surprised if Google used this OCR technology in many different ways: penalizing sites that offer poor user experience, extracting text from images to get a better sense of relevancy, and seeing if there are images that are simply duplicate content put in image form.

    If anything that would be an interesting case study. Create three sites - one with a fully relevant article, one with a fully relevant article that is an image, one with a vaguely relevant article, and one that is a completely not relevant article. You'd expect the fully relevant one to rank first but it would be interesting to see where the image one ranks relative to the "vaguely relevant" article and the "completely not relevant article". I've been a little backlogged (hence why the other case study has been moving relatively slowly) but that is something that could easily be set up and properly tested.
     
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  7. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    Yup, totally mixed them up.

    Yeah, that'll be a cool study. Anyone wanna do it? Of course, me and @anthony80 can't do it: it'll be inherently biased if we did.

    IMO, if OCR is a ranking factor, the best strategy would be to create memes with the website's name in the photos. This is if OCR is used and if a brand mention in an image counts the same as a brand mention in text.
     
  8. anthony80

    anthony80 Member

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    I agree, this would be fun. Its a good idea. You were a good and challenging competitor in the previous contest; so congrats on your results too.

    This would be interesting; but it would require a pretty low competition keyword if all we could do is onpage optimization.

    I bet you're right.

    Its easy to be critical of someone when you have no skin in the game. You could have just as easily joined in the contest and shown everyone your skills. I put my money where my mouth is and like it or not; I walked away with several awards. I don't really see the point in having to defend my results.

    The contest ended and is over. I see no point in wasting time and resourses on the site when it has no real monetization potential. With that said... there were many very skilled SEO's in this contest and it was fun. I'm happy with how it turned out. But as mentioned previously, I've abandoned the site and have since dehosted many of the link properties. I'm just going to let the site die out. Today's rankings aren't reflective of anything as the sites not actively being worked on anymore.


    Ranking Signals?
    I'm not sure why some continue to dispute over different ranking signals. Who cares? Either they help you with your own SEO plan or they don't. If they don't; move on. SEO for me isn't about exploiting one method as that's too short-term minded. Combining serveral "ranking signals" will always give the best results.

    Want more proof about "ranking signals?" I just noticed SEO PowerSuite Company did an article about my contest results. Within the article they've confirmed some of the ranking signals some people on here continue to dispute. You don't have to take my word for it, you can check out their article here: http://www.link-assistant.com/news/success-stories.html
     
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  9. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    Who would that be?

    Let's remind ourselves that @anthony80 hasn't provided any proof that OCR or traffic signals are ranking signals. He also has two products out ( http://serpavenger.com/ and http://serpcode.com/ ) that are based off of his methods.

    Would he have a motive to defend his method? Yup. But, why didn't have provide proof? http://www.link-assistant.com/news/success-stories.html is just coverage of this contest. It doesn't add anything to the discussion. Also, Masha Maksimava, the writer of that article, has a background in translation and writing (see https://www.linkedin.com/in/masha-maksimava-a8665977). She isn't a creditable source for SEO information.

    If one Google's the famous SEO Scott Paxton, one would be surprised at the lack of mentions. Is he really notable if he has no coverage? I think not.

    @anthony80, dude, just give up on your promotionalism. This forum spawned out of WickedFire - we know promotionalism when we see it. You'll have a better shot on WarriorForum.
     
  10. vlachs

    vlachs Active Member

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    My website's on position 9(i think). I've abandoned it completely after the contest(i was interested being #1) so it's not relevant in any way.

    Stop wasting time on "ranking signals" because they don't work.

    Everyone wants to promote they're "service/product", but you can be a "bitch" about it and lie or you can be honest.

    Update: From my stats, I've abandoned the site with 3 weeks before the contest ended(when I was sure I'm gonna win).
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
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  11. JimKata

    JimKata New Member

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  12. dzianis

    dzianis Moderator Staff Member

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    Let's not start a massacre here :) Some posts were reported but I won't be deleting or correcting anything for now.

    Instead I just want to make this clear for anyone new reading: right now it's all words vs words, not data vs data or even data vs words.

    We do not have any isolated tests or data to prove traffic signals work or don't work and to what extent. That is, yet - I'm sure they will appear soon considering how much the locals love data and testing :p So I'd say both the "you lie" and "this is the magic pill" voices are exaggerating.

    With that said, yeah - @anthony80 is representing several services that he (I think) has all the rights to mention in his success thread, since parts of his expertise are represented in services he sells. But then again you won't find an SEO service that will have the same effect on each site every time or give any guarantees. So if you are reading this looking to order a magic package - use your best judgement and don't rely on sales pitches. It's all about a multitude of factors at play and how you use everything at hand.
     
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  13. anthony80

    anthony80 Member

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    Thanks everyone for your comments and feedback. Due to my time restraints I don't have plans to monitor this thread any longer. However, I do still monitor my Skype account; so for anyone that added me there I will still be available. I wish everyone the best of success!!

    One thing I'll mention in parting...

    Google is a math equation. Its algo uses definable variables to solve. What I refer to as "Ranking Signals" are nothing more than "variables" used in its Algo to score and rank sites, that's not really up for debate; its a fact. The algo is constantly changing and evolving and different variables are being considered all the time. A good SEO knows the importance of watching and tracking the algo so they can better adapt and evolve.

    No one can claim that they know the inner workings of Googles algo; only they know that. In fact, not even people working for them really know. I've talked with some of their employees on occasion and found that most don't know much. Its probably similar to expecting a KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) worker to know the secret chicken recipe. Its heavily guarded just like the Algo... only way to decipher it is by trial and error. Even if you think you've replicated the Colonel's recipe; there will always be those that will disagree. (no I don't have either secret recipe, sorry)

    My Best!

    Scott Paxton
     
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