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After A Year My Website Is Buried Deep Down


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#1 shizaru

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 02:07 PM

This is my first post here so I am sorry if I missed the forum category. I have several question and I will ask them in this thread instead in several because I guess they are all related. It's about my website.

 

A year ago I started a website about mobile phones (news, announcements, apps, rumors, video games and all that stuff). Till now I have a little over 800 articles. I'm trying to add content every day and I mostly I did managed to do it. Because searching news and writing consumed most of my time I didn't focus on SEO like link building, link exchange and such. I thought, "the heck, content is king so if I don't build links I should manage to gradually build my website and attract visitors". I didn't focus on fast results but I thought content would help me achieve some results in a bit longer time but still satisfying. But no, that wasn't the case and I wonder why.

 

The majority of the articles on the site are between 100 and 200 words long. Some are longer but rarely shorter than 100 words. I don't know how much that matters. I know some things about SEO so I use keywords (no keyword stuffing), I rarely bold keywords but I place them in reasonable manner and interlink them, I put ALT on images, I name images like galaxy-s5.jpg instead of 2947e73.jpg, the vast majority of the articles are accessible from the homepage (not more than 3 clicks away), I think the website is well structured, I uploaded a sitemap.xml to Google Webmaster Tools, use keyword description (no meta keywords except just one or two to have articles recognized and suggested as similar), links are SEO friendly... My SEO efforts are mainly onsite and I think I managed to do it solid fine. My only offsite "link building" strategy is sharing links on Twitter and Facebook (which, you guess, didn't attract many visitors).

 

Here are some facts about my website:

It's not in English.

Homepage has no h1 titles (does this matter THAT much?)

It's made in Joomla (and no way I'm gonna use Wordpress or anything else because in Joomla I am at home. No offense, Wordpress). My opinion is that Joomla is pretty fine with SEO.

No Google Authorship (I recently read that it doesn't matter anymore).

Google Webmaster Tools says my site is healthy. No warnings, no penalties.

Tests kinda show that the site loads a bit slowly but regular users should not notice that. Only machines notice that some things are still loading for some reason while visitors are able to surf and read content.

No link exchange, link sale nor anything like that. My site is clean and the vast majority of links linking to outside sources are nofollow (except a few that link to some Google projects or other valuable sources) and they usually don't contain any keywords, just plain http links.

Bounce rate is around 40% on average but on some days is 80% because people from other countries come and probably leave because it is not in their language.

 

So the questions are:

 

Why my website is not growing? 

Can I grow my website without link building/does a link building matter THAT much?

What to do about stranger visitors who come and leave increasing my bounce rate? Should I limit IP's from other countries (and how)? How much Bounce Rate matter, should I worry?

Since my website is not in English how do I compete with sites in English? You see, when someone asks Google for Samsung, it's a general term, there is no another word in my language for that so that person gets results with sites in English which means my site competes with sites from all around world.

 

I have some more questions but I'll leave them for later of for some other thread.

 

I don't know if I should write more, but here it is. I had a website several years ago. It wasn't about popular topic but it was somewhat controversial so it attracted some people but also probably rejected some. In a year and a half I managed to reach PR3 with no link building (the site even got penalized in the very beginning because of 10 comments links which were recognized as spam, so I promised to Google not to spam anymore so there was no link building ever after that). On that site I used to write once or twice a week but with longer articles (some were up to more than 1000 words), so you see it was a way different website with less content but it performed a way better (and that was Joomla too). It didn't have many backlinks (maybe some were of higher PR but not much and not many). On that site I used to have between 70 and 100 visitors every day. Bounce rate was around 70% (I told you it was controversial). I pretty much use the same strategy regarding design and keywords, on both sites but I wonder what's different.

 

Thank you very much for your time and advices. 

 



#2 chrishirst

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 03:31 PM

Oh Man!!!

 

Your ideas of what is "optimisation" is so far wrong it's hard to know where to start.

 

However:

 

http://www.highranki...s-for-new-seos/

 

 

 

How much Bounce Rate matter

It doesn't http://webmaster-tal.../19-bounce-rate

 

 

 

Why my website is not growing? 

Can I grow my website without link building/does a link building matter THAT much?

Define "growing"

 

http://webmaster-tal...-secret-life-of

http://searchenginel...f-success-13258

 

 

Since my website is not in English how do I compete with sites in English?

You DON'T you are only "competing" in the SAME language.

 

 

In a year and a half I managed to reach PR3

Who cares??? Toolbar PR means absolutely nothing.

 

 

Homepage has no h1 titles (does this matter THAT much?)

It doesn't matter AT ALL!



#3 Goozleology

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 10:18 PM

The majority of the articles on the site are between 100 and 200 words long.

 

Content needs to be as long as it needs to be. When you look at Seth Godin's blog, most of his posts are under 500 words but he always provides quality content. It's kind of hard to tell if you content is quality since you didn't give the site but I'd wager that since you said you have 800 pages of content, I'm guessing that the quality might be low.

 

A lot of people post daily just for the sake of posting and that's a mistake because you get one chance to impress and, if you do, they might come back later. If you don't, they'll never come back.

 

My only offsite "link building" strategy is sharing links on Twitter and Facebook (which, you guess, didn't attract many visitors).

It's better to think of "link building" as "community building". This is my first time on this forum but I'm on a few others trying to help people with SEO (for my main business) and bodybuilding forums (for my hobby blog which is also profitable). I'm not on them all of the time but I search for questions like this and try to give excellent advice. When I do, I'm rewarded by people visiting my site and then sharing it with others.

 

Sure, most forums with allow you to post a link in your signature but nobody will ever visit your site if you don't provide high quality advice. So, ask yourself, what excellent advice can your site provide regarding cell phones?

 

 

Homepage has no h1 titles (does this matter THAT much?)

 

Yes, every page should have an Title, H1 and an H2. I'd imagine Joomla does this.

 

Google Webmaster Tools says my site is healthy. No warnings, no penalties.

 

 

Test your site over at Google Page Speed Insights to see if you have nay problems: https://developers.g...speed/insights/

 

Bounce rate is around 40% on average but on some days is 80% because people from other countries come and probably leave because it is not in their language.

 

 

I agree that Bounce Rate doesn't matter when it comes to SEO but it does matter for determining if your content quality is good. However, there's no "ideal percentage" or anything because different topics have different bounce rates. For example, this forum probably has a very low bounce rate because it's a forum where people come, look around, post questions and give answers. In this particular case, I've spend 15+ minutes writing this answer.

 

And on my SEO blog, my bounce rate is lower than my bodybuilding blog probably because it takes people longer to read and digest my SEO posts than it does to read my bodybuilding posts. Bodybuilding is just a "simpler" topic so it takes less time to understand. If you can track the bounce rate for individual posts and just focus on getting better.



#4 Goozleology

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 10:18 PM

Here are some more answers to your questions.
What to do about stranger visitors who come and leave increasing my bounce rate? Should I limit IP's from other countries (and how)? How much Bounce Rate matter, should I worry?

 

No. No. And no. Just as a brick and mortar store would be wrong to stop people from entering their store because they look a certain way, you can't stop people from entering your site.

 

Since my website is not in English how do I compete with sites in English?

 

You don't. Their not your competition. However, if you're in the spanish market then all of your titles, H1, descriptions, etc should be in spanish. And your titles should be descriptive like, "Es El Samsung Galaxy S5 El Mejor Teléfono Celular de Mierda en El Planeta?" so that non-english speakers are drawn to your listing instead of another. Sure, "Samsung" is a general term for Google but the rest of the title isn't.

 

You see, when someone asks Google for Samsung, it's a general term, there is no another word in my language for that so that person gets results with sites in English which means my site competes with sites from all around world.

 



#5 chrishirst

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 02:05 AM

 

Yes, every page should have an Title, H1 and an H2. I'd imagine Joomla does this.

 

 

Nope, they CAN HAVE heading elements but they do not HAVE to have them.

 

 

but it does matter for determining if your content quality is good

No it doesn't, the content at that URL may well be the finest content on the internet, all that visitors arriving and maybe leaving straight away (bouncing) 'means' is that the content  wasn't what they expected or hoped to find. It says nothing about the "quality" of the content, simply that it wasn't 'suitable' for that visitor at that point in time.



#6 chrishirst

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 02:18 AM

 

For example, this forum probably has a very low bounce rate because it's a forum where people come

Actually it is more likely that  people land on a document URL read the information there, get the answer to their query, ... then leave.

 

'Bounce rate', 'time on page' and other such 'metrics' have little value for deciding how 'good' or 'bad' the content is. I've been on this 'page' about twenty minutes, but that's because I had to go for a pee and on the way back I filled the kettle up for a brew.

 

 

And now, I'm going to make a brew!

 

Be back shortly, ... ...



#7 chrishirst

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 02:36 AM

Or maybe I won't!

 

:)



#8 shizaru

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 05:31 AM

Thank you guys for your answers. Now, where should I start with replies...?  :)

 

Define "growing"

By "growing" I mean having my rankings going up, more and more visitors coming and engaging in discussions, etc...

 

 

You DON'T you are only "competing" in the SAME language.

What I meant with "competing" was that when someone searches for Samsung he or she gets tons of websites in English before he/she gets mine in the results. Other websites are of high authority in that topic and they are displayed before mine regardless of location. It's hard to beat that. Searches should be more specific to get results in my language but people often just search for a phone model which is not language specific.

 

Who cares??? Toolbar PR means absolutely nothing.

Maybe, but it still could be an indicator that you are doing something good or something wrong.



#9 shizaru

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 05:31 AM

 

 

A lot of people post daily just for the sake of posting and that's a mistake because you get one chance to impress and, if you do, they might come back later. If you don't, they'll never come back.

I'm trying to post articles that might be interesting to my visitors, not just to add something for the sake of being active. Sometimes I write about a rumor that doesn't say much, or the news I am writing about is not big, or maybe there is an announcement that doesn't say much, or a leak or a tease, so I can't write articles 300+ words long (unless I make things up or skew from the topic which wouldn't be a good strategy I assume). These would be news that are interesting but not much information would be provided, thus no long articles.

 

It's better to think of "link building" as "community building". This is my first time on this forum but I'm on a few others trying to help people with SEO (for my main business) and bodybuilding forums (for my hobby blog which is also profitable). I'm not on them all of the time but I search for questions like this and try to give excellent advice. When I do, I'm rewarded by people visiting my site and then sharing it with others.

 

Sure, most forums with allow you to post a link in your signature but nobody will ever visit your site if you don't provide high quality advice. So, ask yourself, what excellent advice can your site provide regarding cell phones?

I know that Matt Cuts advises to engage with community, to add value, to help, but I kinda didn't have time for this (writing is so time consuming, so I relied on simply sticking links to fb group). Not a good strategy, but I thought if someone asked anything I would reply, of course, but there was no one to ask. My facebook friends which are mostly my real friends simply don't engage. I guess they are not interested in phones. But, maybe if it's some porn... who knows...

 

Yes, every page should have an Title, H1 and an H2. I'd imagine Joomla does this.

Titles are H2. I use a template with H2 titles and I never bothered to switch to H1 because I thought it is not a major issue. Visitors don't come to my site/my site doesn't show in Google for some other reason. 

 

Test your site over at Google Page Speed Insights to see if you have nay problems: https://developers.g...speed/insights/

I've made some tests and I even used some Gzip techniques in Joomla but after using gzip tests still showed that my site doesn't use Gzip feature so I just skipped tests. Also, Gzip sometimes can prevent images to be previewed in Facebook which I think happened in my case. (which prevented me to post to Facebook for some time). Tests also show that I should limit image size but I want to maintain some image quality on site so I decided that I shouldn't bother with gaining few bytes or kilobytes just because some tests show I should. You know, I wage things and try to calculate time and effort which I need to implement against the time I have.

 

Thank you again for your answers. I'll read sources you provided and please, if you have anything more to add don't hesitate.



#10 chrishirst

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 07:46 AM

Forget about this so called "speed boost" you are just wasting your effort and time on a complete non-issue.

 

The ONLY thing you need to worry about is how documents display for REAL users.

 

And for that;

 

You clear your browser cache (or use a different one) type in any URL on your site NOT just the 'home' page, and wait ... ... ... If YOU get hacked off waiting for it to appear, you have a potential problem. If not, ... go do something useful instead.



#11 chrishirst

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 09:24 AM

Maybe, but it still could be an indicator that you are doing something good or something wrong.

No it isn't, Toolbar PR is the poor cousin, twice removed of real PR. It rarely gets updated, unlike real PR which is updated in 'real time' these days. In fact it may never get updated (exported) again.
 
All these silly 'metrics' that "experts" waffle on about claiming they are somehow "important" simply distract people from what really matters.
There is no 'science' involved in 'optimisation' you don't need any particular word count anywhere, a particular HTML element a set number of times, or a particular "key" word 'density. The science part, or at least the mathematics come when you need to work out if your earnings or conversions have increased.

 



#12 Michael Martinez

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 09:58 AM

It's better to think of "link building" as "community building". This is my first time on this forum but I'm on a few others trying to help people with SEO (for my main business) and bodybuilding forums (for my hobby blog which is also profitable). I'm not on them all of the time but I search for questions like this and try to give excellent advice. When I do, I'm rewarded by people visiting my site and then sharing it with others.

That is a good example of how to earn links. But many people attempting to do this present themselves the wrong way in the forums. For example, they may make their footers very self-promotional. So if one wants to reach out to forum communities, one must legitimately work to become a contributing member of those forums. That works best when you are honestly interested in their topics.
 

I agree that Bounce Rate doesn't matter when it comes to SEO but it does matter for determining if your content quality is good. However, there's no "ideal percentage" or anything because different topics have different bounce rates. For example, this forum probably has a very low bounce rate because it's a forum where people come, look around, post questions and give answers. In this particular case, I've spend 15+ minutes writing this answer.

Bounce rate is one of the worst metrics for determining quality. People may click deeper into a Website to get away from inappropriate or low quality content. Bounce rate and Time on site are unreliable metrics in any case because the analytics tools cannot measure the last action by the visitor. Some people, to get around that limitation, set up periodic "pings" from their analytics tools to detect when the visitor is no longer there. That is a better way to measure time on site but then you have to have a good reason for knowing how long the visitor is there (and you still don't know if they got up and walked away from the keyboard for 30 minutes).

Maybe, but [toolbar PR] still could be an indicator that you are doing something good or something wrong.

What people don't understand about toolbar PR is that without a timeline of updates to a specific PAGE's toolbar PR you have no way to understand what it might be telling you. And way too many people look at the toolbar PR of the root URL for a site and say "this is a PR X site" when in fact PageRank is not assigned to anything other than a page. Worse yet, they then start babbling about "Domain Authority" when someone corrects them on how PageRank works.

A lot of people think that earning a link from a page with a Toolbar PR value of 6 is a pretty good thing; and yet, the toolbar data doesn't tell you if the page was penalized and stripped of its ability to pass link anchors and (internal) PageRank; nor will it tell you if that PR 6 was once a PR 8 or why there was a change.

A PR 1 link can therefore be more valuable to you than a PR 4, 5, 6, 7, etc. link.

Edited by Michael Martinez, 03 November 2014 - 10:01 AM.

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#13 torka

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 12:29 PM

I don't know the topic of your previous website, but the cell/mobile phone space is incredibly competitive. Your site needs to be one of the best in the world if you want it to show up at all for a generic query like "Samsung." Which, given that for that query you're also competing against the Samsung Corporation and all their authorized dealers around the world with their corporate budgets and teams of marketers and outside agencies and all, is a pretty tough go for one person with a blog, which is basically what you've made your site sound like.

 

So, first off, you need to be honest with yourself about what you can reasonably hope to accomplish. Or just learn to live with disappointment.

 

Second, be sure you're not confusing quantity with quality. Just because you're posting every day, that doesn't mean what you're posting is all that good. Posting every day is NOT a requirement for content marketing. In fact, if you don't have something interesting to say, you're better off skipping that day's post and waiting until a good, meaty topic comes along. I'm not saying every post has to be a 1,000+ word essay, but unless you're an extraordinary writer, 100-200 words is not enough to include real quality content.

 

As a bonus, when you aren't tied to the tyranny of producing content every day, that frees up time you can use for some actual site marketing. (Dropping links on FB doesn't really count as "marketing.")

 

My :02:

 

--Torka :oldfogey:


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#14 shizaru

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 09:58 AM

So, first off, you need to be honest with yourself about what you can reasonably hope to accomplish. Or just learn to live with disappointment.

I just want to have people come and read news and hopefully earn few bucks from adds. 

 

 

Second, be sure you're not confusing quantity with quality. Just because you're posting every day, that doesn't mean what you're posting is all that good. Posting every day is NOT a requirement for content marketing. In fact, if you don't have something interesting to say, you're better off skipping that day's post and waiting until a good, meaty topic comes along. I'm not saying every post has to be a 1,000+ word essay, but unless you're an extraordinary writer, 100-200 words is not enough to include real quality content.

I am not confusing those two "parameters". If the news is short, it's got to be short. I find it worse to add irrelevant facts just to add to the word count than just to leave it around 150 words. I look for news on other websites and I see that sometimes their news are also 100+ words and they are well established sites so I assume that having short articles is not the worst thing that can happen and that if you are straight to the point short articles are much more valuable than longer articles in which words are added just to stretch it.

 

As a bonus, when you aren't tied to the tyranny of producing content every day, that frees up time you can use for some actual site marketing. (Dropping links on FB doesn't really count as "marketing.")

I am very well aware of that. But, since the smartphone industry is very active I try to follow it every day because you can miss one day which can result in missing an important news (like when I was two days off and had missed the news about Android Lollipop).



#15 torka

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 11:02 AM

Look, you asked for our advice. We gave it. I'm sorry if it wasn't what you wanted to hear.

 

There is no "secret sauce," no "magic bullet" you can apply that will allow you to rocket to the top of the search results for highly-competitive phrases when you're just one person going up against major corporations and large, well-established sites.

 

When I said you need to be realistic, I was talking about being realistic about the search results you can expect to get. In the cell phone arena you are going up against large, well-established competition. You cannot simply do things "almost as good" as what they're doing and expect to have your site show up in search. You must be better -- significantly better -- to unseat the incumbent pages. You cannot simply do what they're going (or what you think they're doing) and expect to do better than they are.

 

Did anyone say to add irrelevant words to "pad" your content? No. That would be silly.

 

But so is worrying about posting every day. So you might not be the first one to post about some new development... so what? Trust me, it's really unlikely you're going to be breaking any news. The bigger, better-known sites will get the "insider scoop". You will, at best, be one of a zillion secondary sites re-posting the same crap that you all picked up from the big news sites.

 

Your only hope is to spend a little more time on your posts. Bring something extra to the party that no other website can do -- offer your unique perspective, your own analysis and opinion, your "take" on the news, your own "voice." If all you're doing is reporting "just the facts" (which is about all you can be doing with those rinky-dink short articles you're talking about) then there is absolutely nothing to distinguish your site from all the zillions of other "made for Adsense" splogs out there.

 

And that means there's absolutely no reason for Google to rank your site anywhere at all for any queries at all. If you want Google to notice you, you first have to have something worth paying attention to. Something different, unique, all your own. Something that cannot be found anywhere else.

 

Again, I will go back to what I said earlier: unless you are an extraordinary writer, you simply cannot consistently produce good quality content in 100-200 word articles. Frankly, with articles that short, you're practically begging for a Google Panda smack-down for "thin content."

 

But, hey, it's your site. If you don't like our advice, by all means just keep doing what you're doing. And be sure let us know how that works out for you.

 

--Torka :oldfogey:


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