I like to research sites in competitive niches from an SEO point of view, and there isn’t a more competitive niche than the “make money” niche. The results returned on the phrase “make money” is in the range of 223,000,000 so the guys topping this niche must know exactly what they are doing.
Another aspect that intrigued me about this niche was that the top two sites ranking for “make money” are blogspot blogs and there isn’t much on page that differentiates them, because of this I thought it would be a good idea to look at the off page factors that are helping them rank for this highly competitive key phrase that will drive thousands of visitors to their sites every week.
The two sites are How To Make Money Online by Grizzly and Money Maker Info by Alan Liew and I know for a fact they are making thousands of dollars a week by ranking for this keyword phrase and they dominate the two top spots.
So how have these 2 managed to rank so highly in such a competitive niche? Looking at the sites there is little to choose between them, both have optimised titles and headings. The aspect that makes them rank here is simply down to their links and more specifically how they have anchored them.
Let’s make this a little easier to follow and break them down individually first of all:-
Site 1: How to make money online
Ok if you take a look at the top anchored phrases you will see why this site is ranking high for “make money”. Every one of the top ten key phrases includes both the words make and money apart from the authors name “grizzly”.-. However to view this a little better we should really look at the anchored word usage. It should also be noted from the above that the keyword “make money online” has been heavily targeted.
Anyway the individual word usage, looks like this:-
Yep, you guessed it MAKE and Money out weigh any other keyword by a long long way.
Right let’s look at Site 2: Money Maker Info, starting with the key phrases:-
Again even though Alan is clearly targeting “make money online” if you look at the top 10 key phrases the words make money are used a lot. Again check out the word usage:-
Guess what?? Make and Money dominate once again, but there is one major thing to notice when looking at both of these strategies and that is neither webmaster has put too much emphasis on targeting the “make money” phrase with exactness. There are a lot of variables making use of the two main words make and money.
This should be lesson in anchoring your texts. If you go after the exact phrase and make it obvious you may alert the Google spam algorithm and find your site losing out. Use anchor text variations in order to make the linking look as natural as possible.
Also don’t think for one moment that all these links are anchored on pages with high PageRank. Alan at Money maker info has around 10,000 links from 800 different domains. 456 of these individual domains were article directories and directory listings.
It also goes to show that anchored links are more powerful than simple “link quantity” as Griz’s site has 23400 links and Alan’s only has 10,000 yet it only just falls behind in the serps.
I’ll stress again if you want to rank for a competitive keyword, use anchor variation that include the main keywords you want to rank for. In the early days of your site get these links from article directories, directories, press releases wherever (but not link farms), then when your site has some authority look into some quality link partnerships.
This is how the above two sites have done it and this is how they rank in a competitive niche and pull in thousands of dollars from it every month.
Don’t worry this is not turning into a make money online blog, I simply wanted to show the off page factors that were taken into account when ranking sites in a competitive niche.
Hope you found this useful. If this is Alan or Griz reading this, I hope you don’t mind me making an example of you.
Author: Tim (294 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.