Google SEO & Search Engine Marketing Services

First Page Of Google For “SEO”! With 34 Links?

Just a quick post today but all the same a very interesting one. During my usual testing today I came across something that baffled me somewhat. I was checking out the sites ranking for SEO when I came across:

SEO London

…This site ranks number 3 for the keyword “seo” on Google and it does not even relate to ‘seo’, in the conventional sense. It’s an abbreviation for “sponsers of educational opportunity”, not really a relevant result as most people searching seo will be wanting to read by blog :)

But hold on…It get’s even worse, I looked into the site a little further, expecting to see thousands of links using the companies abbreviation “seo”.

OK…before we go any further, you know exactly what I’m like. I have to make sure all the facts and figures are together before I give you a conclusion.

So…. I have stated the various SEO factors below for the sites ranking either side of this miss indexed site.

The 3 sites I looked at are:

1 – Just Search
2 – SEO London
3 – SEOConsult

(showing up in the serps in the above order)

Something you have to keep in mind is that the broad keyword “seo” is ultra competitive with thousands and thousands of searches each month.

So this site must really deserve to be here,, I guess.

link diversity

How Many Links?

34 Links! I double checked this folks and I’m afraid the figures are correct, 34 follow backlinks pointing to the domain, with a low anchor distribution and on top of that an average effort at on page optimisation.

How has this happened?

Well I have 2 theories about this:

1 – Link Diversity

The link diversity is 94% and it is common knowledge in the SEO industry that Google has started adding weight to the link diversity factor.

(For those who aren’t sure what link diversity is – it is the percentage of links coming from unique top level domains, the more diverse your link profile the better your rankings)

2 – Domain Age

The domain is a lot older than the other 2 domains and therefore will have built up natural domain trust, just one of those things I guess.

3 – Branding

SEO is the abbreviation of the company name, therefore there will be no doubt a few people in the UK will be searching for these guys by name. It really goes to show the importance Google is putting on brands, to the point where an irrelevant site is ranking for an ultra competitive keyword.

Some Additional Factors to Point Out

All the sites are making use of internal links, anchoring them and pointing them back to the top level domains from the sub domains (If you aren’t doing this already, there’s no time like the present.) In the above case study all of “seo london’s” links are internal, give or take the odd link!! They are powerful so use them.

Also take note of “SEOConsult’s” seo strategy, not even two years old yet but have been building links like “mad men”. Don’t get me wrong I like their strategy as it shows exactly how to get to the top of Google quickly, build lot’s of links, anchor them, internally link, and optimise on page, aggressively.

I personally think Google is wrong to show SEO London so high in the results as the ‘majority’ of searchers will be looking for SEO tips, advice, resources and services. How can it be a relevant result?

Thanks for reading

Tim

Line Break

Author: Tim (296 Articles)

is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 9 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 Director of Search at Branded3, a Digital Marketing & SEO Agency based in the UK.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

PotatoChef June 17, 2009 at 8:22 pm

I have not run into this with my potato recipe blog. But I would be furious if a site outranked me that had nothing to do with potato recipes…or recipes in general. For instance, a site called, “A Recipe For Disaster” all about the sinking of the Titanic should not be in competition with me….if it was then I would think that Google really dropped the ball.

Maybe Bing will pick the ball up?

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Tim June 18, 2009 at 5:10 am

It surprises me simply because of the competition relating to that keyword. Very strange.

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Louis Liem June 18, 2009 at 4:03 am

The result is relevant for those who are looking for educational opportunities (even if there are so very few compared to “search engine optimization”). If Google does putting some weight to factors mentioned above, their algorithm works well regardless how many abbreviations the term SEO stands for out there.

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Tim June 18, 2009 at 5:13 am

@louis – If Google are putting more weight on brands then yes their algorithm works. The problem we have is a search term ‘SEO’ that gets 60000 searches every month is pulling up a result that maybe only 0.5% of them searchers are looking for. So, yes the algorithm works but unfortunately the search result returned is irrelevant to 99% of people searching on it.

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SEO London June 28, 2009 at 6:05 pm

I am an seo consultant in London, my website is only 2 months old and l have a Pagerank of three, l have create articles such as seo webmasters that as no inbound links and features number 3 on Google, links do not always plat an integral part in seo.

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Tim June 29, 2009 at 1:23 am

@SEO London,

I take it your not talking about prowebdirect.co.uk??? When you say no links. I found 74 inbound links from what’s seems like clients sites you have optimised anchored with seo mainly and a few for search engine optimisation?? Or are you talking about another site with “no inbound links”. I think no matter what niche you involved in, link play a huge part in ranking highly for keywords, unless the keywords are not competitive. Links are Google’s main tool for establishing site authority and trust.

The strange aspect in this article was that the 34 links were all from internal pages and Google was allowing these links to carry significant weight and relevance. I don’t know how long the site will be there for but it was strange to see on the first page of an ultra competitive key phrase.

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Seo London September 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Hello Tim Google got your message and now seo-london is at page 3 and position is 25 check at http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&q=seo&start=20&sa=N&fp=97eeb7707efcc163

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Tim September 2, 2009 at 2:20 am

@seo london,

I’m glad, I know seo london was their brand but their were sites below much more relevant and better optimised.

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Seo London September 4, 2009 at 6:12 am

Yes Tim thanks for replying back

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Guy Mackenzie September 7, 2009 at 4:28 am

Great post..I think it serves to confirm my suspicions that search engines actually aren’t that relevant at all..If you know what you are doing then it would be possible to rank a site for keywords that are totally unrelated to the actual website…Now I am not saying that anybody would want to do this but it does show that the search engines are not perfect or particularly relevant the whole time…

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Tim September 7, 2009 at 4:37 am

Hi Guy,

Search engines will always suffer in the relevancy department, well spider engines anyway. At the end of the day Google is a huge complex computer program and will show results based on it’s vast algorithm. They identify keywords and throw up sites that relate to that keyword. I read about LSI not so long ago, how google are beginning to identify the meaning of words and how they relate to each other, I have seen no evidence of this, search car and then search automobile and you get two different results, don’t they mean the same thing? Google works with words not with meaning.

Thanks for the comment.

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Guy Mackenzie September 23, 2009 at 5:11 am

Hi Tim, yes you are entirely correct, Google is a huge algorithm and complex computer program and this is what runs their business. The point is that team at Google have no interest in manually reviewing results (nor the time) because they want everything to be left to the algorithm. It amazes me some of the garbage that people write in forums and even blogs i.e. ‘Google doesn’t like this’ or ‘Google will penalise you for that’….The fact they leave everything to a computer and of course as it is programmed by humans it will never be perfect…

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Tim September 23, 2009 at 10:06 am

@Guy,

Thats right, too many people think of Google as an actual person and that they personally review each and every site on the web. I even think some people think Google can stare at you through your monitor :)

Like you say Google is a computer, all it knows about your site is the html sheet your site delivers and the html of the sites linking to you. There are always going to be times when the system is manipulated and errors occur, this is what keeps blackhat SEO in business unfortunately.

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wedding photographer colchester October 17, 2009 at 8:27 am

I have seen someones site on page one of google above my site with 6 overall links. Only 2 have the keywords I am going after. In total I have nearly 200 links in total. Do I understand this one ???

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Tim October 17, 2009 at 10:13 am

@wedding photographer,

That would make an interesting case study, there are different ranking factors but your links are obviously some of the strongest. Do they have a lot of indexable content? This is something Google puts a little weight on, also look at how the domain as a whole is linked to as Google uses domain authority or popularity to rank pages now.

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Büyü November 14, 2009 at 2:38 am

I have seen someones site on page one of google above my site with 6 overall links. Only 2 have the keywords I am going after. In total I have nearly 200 links in total. Do I understand this one ???

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Tim November 14, 2009 at 3:49 am

Hi Buyu,

I would need to look into it to get a better idea of what going on, I am more than happy to do so if you send my the url’s of the sites in question. Sometimes even though a site may only have 6 links, they may be packed with authority and have been in place a long time, link age is an important ranking factor and thats why many sites struggle to rank quickly.

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Article Volcano November 14, 2009 at 1:29 pm

I see no reason why SEO-LONDON is where it is at on Google (did not look at other SE’s)… It has some great inbound links from ac.uk sites, it is a PR 6 site, has great onsite SEO (for keyword SEO). As you know, you don’t need 1000′s of links to dominate the rankings for a keyword. Just a handful of really good ones will do the trick. I’ve seen this before…

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Tim November 14, 2009 at 2:32 pm

@article v,

I think the issue I had with this site was simply the fact that most of it’s link juice came from internal links around 76% if I remember correctly. I think the reason it was ranking so high was down to brand, but at the end of the day 98% of people searching this term are looking for search engine optimisation advice, so to this site, in my opinion, is an irrelevant result.

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Article Volcano November 15, 2009 at 1:04 am

I see where you are coming from. Analysing again I guess it is pretty well ranked for what appears to be a handfull of links. Man, I need to get some ac.uk links to my sites :) Is it irrelevant? Well, playing devils advocate here, it will not be irrelevant for them as SEO appears in their company title. But yes, it’s an interesting site for sure. I’ve seen really funny results in the past, like one guy I was competing with for a keyword had done nothing, no work, no seo, no links, nothing, but he ranked really well for the keyword. I put it down to domain age in the end and gave up!

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Tim November 15, 2009 at 3:14 pm

@article v,

No links? That is strange, I don’t buy the domain age theory but I do believe in a link age theory, meaning ranking can depend on the age of your links, however it is pretty much the same thing. This is why I like to build links to a domain for three months before doing SEO copywriting.

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Hammy Havoc February 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Domain age is a key factor and this has been proven on several occasions.

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Craig Upton January 13, 2010 at 5:25 am

A lot has to do with the University links ac.uk – they hold a lot of power on Google. The internal infrastructure of the site is setup right and holds much unique content. These are the main reasons the site ranks higher on Google now. We beelive onsite development is held in higher regard for seo as opposed to 2 years ago.

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Tim January 13, 2010 at 6:24 am

Hi Craig,

I think you have a good point about the site structure and content. I have been trying to advise clients for a long time that their internal linking patterns are crucial to their rankings and success. I can understand the university domains holding the weight they do, it is the same with the .gov domains, unfortunately you can’t get a link from these type of domains unless you know the right people, money doesn’t talk with these type of links.

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Essex Wedding Photographers August 27, 2010 at 9:07 am

That is an interesting one especially looking at the link building startegy here…but hey…I am going after Essex Wedding Photographer!

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debt management April 16, 2011 at 1:27 am

Surely the sites without “seo” in the URL have the competitive edge over the others?

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Acer Aspire April 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I notice that the majority of the sites linking to SEO London are educational .ac.uk sites. This has got to be a huge factor. I have a legal site that ranks 3rd for a particular term however the site at number one for that same term has a fifth of the links I do. However all sites linking to my competitor are .gov.uk sites.

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seo mauritius October 23, 2011 at 9:25 pm

they focus on quality rather than quantity. Backlinks are not value by quantity but by authority the website linking to seo london must have a high page rank.

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seo December 19, 2011 at 4:32 am

Surely the sites without “seo” in the URL have the competitive edge over the others?.

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Alex May 22, 2013 at 11:21 am

I’ve not seen a site like that ranking so well for a search term; I wonder if they know the potential it has?

It is worth noting that SEO is a ridiculously hard term to rank for. Any internet marketing related search term is going to be hard to rank for, simply because you are going up against people that really know what they are doing.

Good catch, good analysis.

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