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Your Metrics are a LIE

not my metrics

Your Metrics are a LIE

30 Second Intro

 

Hey guys and gals. I know the title is a bit blunt but…I have been teaching seo in some form or another for years. In that time I have seen the death of public Page Rank as a metric. That metric haunted the industry for far too long after its demise and that was troubling to me. I do understand though, people get busy, client work piles up, links need built, people need managed…It can be near impossible to keep up with changes. It does not help when influencers in the industry are behind on times as well.

 

This brings me to present day metrics. I am going to tear them apart and let you guys know what really matters to rank your sites in 2017 and beyond.

 

The Good…

 

So, before I completely tear mainstream metrics to pieces I want to give credit where credit is due. I am a nice guy, ya know?

 

Most of the metrics a lot of SEOs use every day (Moz DA/PA and Majestic TF/CF) are fairly accurate when it comes to identifying authoritative sites. Running larger sites through these tools will more likely than not return numbers that are indicative of the domains overall power and the popularity of the site. This does not mean that every site with great metrics is an authority site but every real authority site I have come across has great metrics.

 

nid image 1

 

As you can see the trusty Majestic metrics are showing a trust and citation flow for Wikipedia that we would expect. Super authoritative site. Super high metrics.

 

NID imaage 2

 

MOZ seems to agree that Wikipedia is a powerful site.

 

They can also be great for bulk sorting lots of domains. So if you are building a guest post list of sites to reach out to, donation links target list, resource list targets, etc. Then I guess sorting by some type of benchmark metric can be helpful.

 

This pretty much sums up the good of these metrics. It was challenging to come out with two positive points but I didn’t want to start the post just slamming two successful companies and what they built…Not right away! hehe.

 

The Bad

 

The problem with mainstream metrics is two fold. First, they are not good indicators of power as a standalone domain. Not consistently anyway. What I mean is if Google ranks a site really well in their search engine then that should theoretically be a powerful site. Maybe not everyone sees this as true but it makes logical sense. If a site outranks “authority sites” like Amazon, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. then it should at least have favorable metrics, right?

 

(There are patents that also explicitly state that the better their position in the serps the more Google rewards links from that site…Food for thought)

 

So, I wanted to check the metrics of a site ranking in a super competitive space, competing with Lowes, Home Depot, Amazon, etc. I also did not want to manipulate the data to favor my argument by using some obscure micro niche that gets little to no search volume. Thus, we used a more competitive site that’s ranking and here are some of the search volumes and trends, just to articulate how crazy these terms are.

 

nd2_censored

 

Sorry for the poor picture quality. I digress…

 

Fairly competitive terms. Lots of search volume. I did not want to pull data from the local serps as we could dig into some low competition areas and niches thus creating a flawed data set. I wanted to make sure this serp was a true representation of one that would take a fairly powerful domain and an intelligent seo strategy to rank.

 

Here is a site ranking, and not just ranking but crushing the serps, for these respective terms.

 

maj stats_censored

 

A lot of people who register domains for SEO purposes (jump starting new money sites with expired domains, PBNs, etc.) would pass right over this domain. A domain which arguably does 7-8 figures per year in sales. I base this quick estimate on the fact that the products on their site cost from $800-3,000.00 and with their positions in the serps they could easily capture several million per year in sales. Lots of variables there but regardless… it is a beast of a site.

 

The trust flow is below what most people would buy. The citation and trust flow differential is at a ratio which most people would label as spam. The backlinks/referring domains ratio doesnt look great. The anchor text…goes against every stated rule in almost any seo training on the planet. Check it out.

 

maj anchor_censored

 

 

Ill breakdown the pie chart for you quickly

 

61% – Exact match keyword over 100k searches per month

26% – URL

9% – Plural version of the aforementioned exact match keyword

4% – Brand name

 

How many of you would pass on this domain because of the anchor text alone? I understand this is not directly tied to metrics but I am just reinforcing the fact that many people would pass on this domain if they saw it in the wild. The referring domains are interesting as well. This domain breaks every rule most seos live by from a metrics and general analysis perspective.

 

We can conclude from this that metrics have 0 correlation with rankings and in this case the overall power of the domain. Also, while I am only presenting one piece of data to you guys I have seen this over the span of hundreds of serps. Check for yourselves if you wish.

 

The Ugly

 

So metrics not being able to determine what Google sees as valuable and rankable (if that were a word) is not really a big deal. When mapping out a seo strategy I don’t think many people take into consideration the metrics of sites competing with them in the serps. Touche’

 

People do consider metrics when link building however and that is the most dangerous time to do it. That ladies and gentlemen is where the ugly comes in.

 

There are two main things I consider when looking at a target to place a link. Whether it be a domain I want to register for a PBN, a site I want to guest post on, buying sponsored posts, etc. These are the grand pappys of link metrics and they are…

 

Referring Domains and Backlinks

 

Let’s cut the BS…there is a ton of verbiage woven into Google patents that suggest a lot of different variables are taken into consideration when deciding where in the serps to rank a website. It can be overwhelming to traverse what seems like an infinite amount of pages pertaining to patents and deciphering what can sometimes be cryptic text.

 

The most basic principles of Google were founded on a large scale hypertextual, self scaling ecosystem, built on the concept of crawling links. The most basic way to grade or rate the significance of a web page dates back to the simple formula  r(A)=n. Links were graded based on the number of links, until sophisticated engines like Google started implementing contingencies and variables.

 

download

 

The original “High Level Overview of Google’s Architecture” 

 

Fast forward to 2017. Backlinks still rule. There are other factors of course. Some publicly written on the wall. Others are whispered around seo communities, theorizing on the “maybes” and “what ifs”. That is awesome, but go build a powerful link right now. Drip 5-10 links in over the next few weeks and see what happens.

 

You have to have an extreme issue if you do not see positive serp movement. Your on page has to be jacked, major technical site issues dragging down your quality score or maybe the sites that linked to you were penalized. Maybe your site is stuck in an algorithmic filter?

 

The variables are endless. Assuming there are no quality issues you will see a jump in rankings.

 

The gist of that spiel was to explain that no matter the layers of complexity that Google adds with their process of grading website’s outbound links, and assigning different qualities to those links based on certain circumstances, links push rankings.

 

Sorry to be too simplistic but if links push rankings then more links equals more power. We know that though. Referring domains and backlinks. That is still the core offsite metric that pushes rankings for Google. Not what some third part company has to say about the power of a website.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Of course every link is not created equal in the eyes of the Big G. Links on pages and sites that have a lot of inbound links will pass more link juice than one that has only a few, and even a less if none. We know this. We all understand the basic concept of link juice and how it flows through hyperlinks. SO…why have we allowed our judgement to be clouded by metrics from third party companies?

 

Next time you are looking for links, domains, etc. check out those with the most referring domains and ignore the metrics. You will uncover a goldmine of serp crushing opportunity.

 

“What about niche relevance?” 

 

Absolutely. This is going to require an entirely separate post as this is not as one dimensional as “the site has to be in the same niche as the content you link to.” Never has. Probably never will.

 

“Why do you guys sell links based on metrics if metrics suck?”

 

Great question! We are at a point where the market is evolving but not quite sophisticated to the point where we are confident selling based on referring domains only. We will keep them for our private stock until you guys are ready. 🙂

 

Keep in mind, the referring domains to our sites are much more than your typical PBN where the minimum is like 8-15. We do not sell junk like that. Most of the links we place are on sites with ~50 referring domains. Plenty are more. 25 is the absolute minimum. Period.

 

Final Thought

 

We build a lot of sites to push our rankings. We rank a lot of sites. My posts are general findings and observations. There are very few definitive “laws” of seo. Always test and challenge what you hear and read. I am just sharing what works for us. If you guys and gals have any input I would love to chat and geek out about some seo. Thanks for reading!

Mark Luckenbaugh
16 Comments
  • Posted at 7:29 am, February 27, 2017

    I can dig! Awesome insight here. Thanks Mark.

    • niche
      Reply
      Posted at 7:17 pm, February 27, 2017

      Thanks a lot man. Appreciate you commenting

  • Posted at 5:02 pm, February 27, 2017

    As always… On point sir!

    • niche
      Reply
      Posted at 7:17 pm, February 27, 2017

      Thanks a lot JC

  • Posted at 11:34 pm, February 27, 2017

    Test and test some more… then wash and repeat! The life of an SEO. Nice article.

    • niche
      Reply
      Posted at 6:32 am, February 28, 2017

      Absolutely. Test everything and then re test the results of the first test lol. Thanks for reading

  • Posted at 6:12 am, February 28, 2017

    Where can we signup to get your latest posts in our inbox?

  • Val
    Reply
    Posted at 7:33 am, February 28, 2017

    I really dig the way you explain seo Mark, Ive got endless faith in you and LCT. Awesome article, Lotsa thanks!

    • niche
      Reply
      Posted at 2:25 pm, February 28, 2017

      Thanks a lot for the kind words Val. 🙂

  • Posted at 3:37 pm, March 2, 2017

    Great Info for the domain addicted people

    • niche
      Reply
      Posted at 7:51 pm, March 2, 2017

      Thanks a lot for reading Mike

  • Jason Gilbert
    Reply
    Posted at 11:07 pm, March 2, 2017

    Is it weird that I read your articles and hear that soothing final frontier voice in my head as I read? XD

    Great post man, I’ll be spending a couple grand with you guys in the next couple months for a new client.

    • Mark
      Reply
      Posted at 6:56 am, March 3, 2017

      Its supernatural. Just got a new mic so look out for my videos. Voice sounds like cotton sliding off a melted stick of butter. lol Thank you for reading

  • Steve
    Reply
    Posted at 4:20 pm, March 6, 2017

    Can you explain how the Tiered Addons for your links work? What kind of links are being added? How many? etc.

    • niche
      Reply
      Posted at 6:12 pm, March 9, 2017

      We build either a variety of links or PBN links to your actual post on the PBN to give it some more power. The velocity is really intelligent and we concentrate more on powering up through tiers and making everything look natural

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