Struggling to Get New Website Ranked and Worried about my solution


shanedrumm

Forum Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Messages
16
Likes
1
Firstly, this is a local website for a particular niche where no keyword had competition over 30 in ahrefs.
> I had all the pages keyword optimised with 300+ words,
> Got 20-30 citations to the website,
> Created various social media accounts,
> Created GMB account and displaying for branded keyword.

The website wasn't ranking though and I had committed to get it ranking for 5 keywords within 3 months.

For this reason, I decided to hire a backlink expert to get a website ranking for the 5 keywords.

The expert has been creating week on week the following type of links that are all no-follow....
<style type="text/css"><!--br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}--></style>

  • Image Sharing

  • Image Bookmarking

  • Classified Ad

  • Classified Bookmark

  • Infographic Submission

  • Infographic Bookmark

  • PPT Submission

  • PPT Bookmark

  • Video Submission

  • Video Bookmark

  • Youmob

  • StumbleUpon



My questions....
1. Is there anything wrong with hiring this expert to create these no-follow links?

2. Will the website be penalised for these backlinks?

3. What should i have done differently to get the website ranking higher in first place myself?

Thanks for your help :)
 

heckler

Forum Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Messages
287
Likes
81
I always get really scared when I hear 'backlink expert', because more often than not they're self prescribed and I've cleaned up too many messes from them.

If there isn't any real competition for the terms you're going after you shouldn't have to pay someone to build backlinks for you. Just make content that is useful for the terms you're targeting and let it bake. Come back in a few weeks and fill in the blanks.

Most of the tactics you're citing here are circa 2008.
 

Greg Schueler

Forum Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
136
Likes
47
No-Follow links don't hold much weight. Yes, you still want some of them (nofollow, not the spam ones you mentioned), but legit, relevant follow links are much better.

The backlink types you mention are all considered "blackhat" though lucky for you they are nofollow. Any time you see "bookmark" and "submissions", those are old school techniques that are huge targets in Google's eye and will eventually get your site in trouble.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,426
Likes
280
My questions....
1. Is there anything wrong with hiring this expert to create these no-follow links?

2. Will the website be penalised for these backlinks?

3. What should i have done differently to get the website ranking higher in first place myself?

Thanks for your help :)
A few things before your questions:

A) Anyone who says they are a backlink expert and is cheap is not a backlink expert. They're expensive and honestly, I'm not sure they are affordable on a Local SEO budget. All the good ones will naturally trickle over to national link building because the budgets are massive.

B) You need local backlinks, not these links.

C) You need followed backlinks.

D) Now, for some good news, you might not even need a lot of backlinks depending on your competition. Competition analysis is probably your #1 tool for ranking well in Local SEO. If you can share the keyword and the location, that would help us diagnose better.

---

Now, to your questions:

1) Not necessarily but I imagine the quality of the links is low which is a potential flag to Google. Also, they're nofollow, so they're not going to be helping very much.

2) Since they're nofollow it's much less likely but if they are spammy (irrelevant, overwhelmingly anchor text optimized, etc.) then it is possible.

3) We can help with that if you give us the location and keyword. Also the website would be helpful. But in case you can't, I would have started with more citations, niche citations (just to get your bases covered), helped them generate a massive amount of Google reviews, and optimized the website completely. Then, you see where the dust settles and evaluate if you need to be building backlinks at that point. It's probably always a good decision to build backlinks anyway (in case of usurping competition) but doing all of this would help you figure out how much effort you have to put into that.

Hope that helps!
 

shanedrumm

Forum Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Messages
16
Likes
1
A few things before your questions:

A) Anyone who says they are a backlink expert and is cheap is not a backlink expert. They're expensive and honestly, I'm not sure they are affordable on a Local SEO budget. All the good ones will naturally trickle over to national link building because the budgets are massive.

B) You need local backlinks, not these links.

C) You need to be followed backlinks.

D) Now, for some good news, you might not even need a lot of backlinks depending on your competition. Competition analysis is probably your #1 tool for ranking well in Local SEO. If you can share the keyword and the location, that would help us diagnose better.

---

Now, to your questions:

1) Not necessarily but I imagine the quality of the links is low which is a potential flag to Google. Also, they're nofollow, so they're not going to be helping very much.

2) Since they're nofollow it's much less likely but if they are spammy (irrelevant, overwhelmingly anchor text optimized, etc.) then it is possible.

3) We can help with that if you give us the location and keyword. Also the website would be helpful. But in case you can't, I would have started with more citations, niche citations (just to get your bases covered), helped them generate a massive amount of Google reviews, and optimized the website completely. Then, you see where the dust settles and evaluate if you need to be building backlinks at that point. It's probably always a good decision to build backlinks anyway (in case of usurping competition) but doing all of this would help you figure out how much effort you have to put into that.

Hope that helps!
Firstly thanks for the detailed response. Got rid of the backlinking "expert" and now going to change my strategy to reaching out to local websites instead.

Does it matter if they are in a different niche cause don't know how I could approach competition?

Some of the keywords are...
<style type="text/css"><!--<g class="gr_ gr_303 gr-alert gr_spell gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="303" data-gr-id="303">td</g> {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}--></style>

Double Glazing

Double Glazing Doors

Double Glazing Doors UPVc

Double Glazing Windows

Double Glazing Windows UPVc



and the Location is Perth, Australia.

Already added 20-30 citations. From checking ahrefs the links from the citations and my other sites aren't showing up. They were added 4/5 weeks ago I would of thought they would of been indexed by now. Also, the website is completely optimized. When I didn't see results after 2 months from doing this lead to me panicking and questioning my approach and hiring the "expert".

What is the best approach for building up Google Reviews?
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2013
Messages
770
Likes
289
There's a ton of ways to get relevant local backlinks, but none of them are easy. As Joshua said, quality backlink building, especially for local businesses is unlikely to be cheap. Bad backlinks aren't just going to be a waste of money though, they can actively harm your site, so err on the side of quality.

One of the best starting points for backlink building is Phil's questionnaire. Work through the whole thing, you'll likely find some opportunities in there.

If you need more ideas, check out this guide. If you already have ahrefs, looking at high ranking competition to see where they're getting their links is a good next step too. Remember to filter out no-follow links to keep from wasting your time.

For Google reviews, there's basically three best practice rules of thumb. #1: Ask the right people, #2: at the right time, #3: in a way that makes it very easy for them to leave a review.

A lot could be said about 1 and 2. Generally though, you want to ask happy customers soon after the end of a project. If you tend to have a small number of higher value clients, you can make a list of happy customers from the last year or two, and reach out to them in an email as well.

As far as making it easy for them, there's a few tools. Grade.us and get five stars are two tools I know of that help with gathering reviews. If you'd just like to get a link to send people to, you can generate that link here. Normally it's challenging to ask people to leave a review on Google, but that link makes it much easier.

You're going to want to get at least 5 reviews, that's when the review stars start appearing. There's a point of diminishing returns where more reviews don't necessarily help with ranking. That line is a bit different from industry to industry, but once you have ~10 reviews on Google, it might be time to start sending people to other sites to leave reviews as well, depending on which sites are valuable for your city/industry.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,426
Likes
280
Already added 20-30 citations. From checking ahrefs the links from the citations and my other sites aren't showing up. They were added 4/5 weeks ago I would of thought they would of been indexed by now. Also, the website is completely optimized. When I didn't see results after 2 months from doing this lead to me panicking and questioning my approach and hiring the "expert".

What is the best approach for building up Google Reviews?
Don't use ahrefs to check if something is in Google's index. Check Google. Either Google the citation URL or check Google Search Console to see if the citation shows up in your backlink report.

Also, how old is the website/GMB page? This plays a big role.
 

shanedrumm

Forum Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Messages
16
Likes
1
Don't use ahrefs to check if something is in Google's index. Check Google. Either Google the citation URL or check Google Search Console to see if the citation shows up in your backlink report.

Also, how old is the website/GMB page? This plays a big role.
Forgot all about checking console for backlink report :eek:

Website is about 3 months old and GMB the same?
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2012
Messages
959
Likes
260
Have you verified that the site is INDEXED, since that's what it seems you're concerned with (or are you concerned with ranking?)

More citations does not equal better performance. In fact the results for most people are probably consistent with what you're seeing - no movement. As long as your business has consistent citations, then you're probably good with the ones you have as long as you've covered the major sites. Move on from citation work.

In your original post you mentioned, "I had all the pages keyword optimised with 300+ words" when speaking about your content. To me that seems pretty thin without looking at it. What's the HTML/Text Ratio on the page? The more important question - how helpful is it to your potential customers? How different is it from competitors?

Basically all we've talked about is various backlink-related ranking factors, but haven't really gotten into the true content of the site. Is the site more useful than competitor sites? Is your business present on sites where your potential customers would be? The better the content, the easier it is to get backlinks.

As far as GMB age, i've seen mixed results which leads me back to weighing other factors more heavily. Don't worry too much about that - it's not something you can control. Focus on getting the business on the right track, and elements of the campaign you can directly influence.

Can you post the GMB/website or do you not want to make it public? It's just really hard to give real advice without seeing the site.
 

shanedrumm

Forum Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Messages
16
Likes
1
Have you verified that the site is INDEXED, since that's what it seems you're concerned with (or are you concerned with ranking?)

More citations does not equal better performance. In fact the results for most people are probably consistent with what you're seeing - no movement. As long as your business has consistent citations, then you're probably good with the ones you have as long as you've covered the major sites. Move on from citation work.

In your original post you mentioned, "I had all the pages keyword optimised with 300+ words" when speaking about your content. To me that seems pretty thin without looking at it. What's the HTML/Text Ratio on the page? The more important question - how helpful is it to your potential customers? How different is it from competitors?

Basically all we've talked about is various backlink-related ranking factors, but haven't really gotten into the true content of the site. Is the site more useful than competitor sites? Is your business present on sites where your potential customers would be? The better the content, the easier it is to get backlinks.

As far as GMB age, i've seen mixed results which leads me back to weighing other factors more heavily. Don't worry too much about that - it's not something you can control. Focus on getting the business on the right track, and elements of the campaign you can directly influence.

Can you post the GMB/website or do you not want to make it public? It's just really hard to give real advice without seeing the site.
Thanks James for the epic answer :) Main focus is ranking as I originally promised to get site ranking for the 5 above keywords within 3 months for the client. When it wasn't after two I panicked and hired the "backlink expert" which was clearly a mistake.

The website is Double Glazed UPVC Doors and Windows | Climate Windows

Got content written up to be optimised for each keyword, so being honest it's probably not the most compelling content. For service website like this though is it not better to just have brief descriptions and then in later posts deep dive into technical detail?

(Also a reason it is lacking is that got very little information from site owner as he was a new business all he knew was that he wanted to install double glazing windows/doors both domestic and commercial)

I think you might of hit a solid point here "is it where your customers potential" be. Originally when creating small service sites like this was just going through the motions on what I should do but never thought about it practically. Thinking about it like that gumtree is very popular in Perth so that should be number one, then True Local. :rolleyes:
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,426
Likes
280
Forgot all about checking console for backlink report :eek:

Website is about 3 months old and GMB the same?
This is the main issue. Your website won't rank well for at least the first 6-12 months typically. Or will at the very least be held back.

Same for the GMB page and I've experienced the GMB page take even longer to get traction.

The unfortunate part of this is that 3 months might be realistic for an established site with an established GMB page but would be unrealistic for a brand new site and GMB page. Unless you have 1-2 competitors in your area.
 

shanedrumm

Forum Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Messages
16
Likes
1

Ramon

Forum Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2017
Messages
5
Likes
0
Rocket cache
Tiny PNG (you can use 3-4 demo accounts to compress all images, grab your api key in developer sections).
You forget about H1, H1 can help improve positions by 1 keyword.
Your titles also can be improved
 

Marie Haynes

Forum Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
117
Likes
74
I agree that it's probably going to take a few months more before this site reaches its full potential for ranking.

It is a little bit strange though that when I search on Google.com.au for "double glazed windows perth" the home page does not appear in the first 15 pages at all. An inner page appears on page 6. It looks to me like something is wrong.

It's odd that when I click on the link to PageSpeed test earlier in this thread I get a score of 0, but if I put the domain in myself, the desktop score is 71. This really shouldn't cause major ranking issues. Sure, there are things that can be done to improve the page load time (ahem...make images smaller) but I don't think that's why the site is ranking nowhere.

I think it's possible that Google may be thinking that your site is a duplicate of others out there. I took a chunk of text from your page and it was word for word what was on the duoglass.com.au site. (The text under "our services".) It might be worth running all of your pages through copyscape.com and seeing if there is more duplication.

It might also help to get more meaningful text above the fold. The above the fold (i.e. before the user scrolls down) text is super important when it comes to Google figuring out the context of the site. In fact, they have a whole algorithm devoted to demoting sites that have little or no above the fold content. I would ditch the changing text as it might be confusing Google. In fact, take a look at your page when I have javascript disabled. Here is the above the fold content:



There is pretty much nothing there. Google is getting better at reading Javascript but they're not great.

Instead, I'd remove the slider and try having a static image there. I'd then have a very clear H1 tag that explains what the page is about followed by a solid paragraph of text above the fold that contains your keywords but does not read as keyword stuffed and also is unique to your site.

There are other issues with the site but I've just had a quick look. Pages like this, All Sizes and Colours of Double Glazed Doors Perth, look keyword stuffed and written for search engines not users.

Your local listing looks incomplete too. I see an address of "Perth WA 6173, Australia". If you look at Duoglass the've listed "52 Winton Rd, Joondalup WA 6027, Australia" as their address. Google maps doesn't know where you are other than somewhere in Perth. One of the most important things for local listings is to have consistent NAP (Name Address Phone number) across your website, citations and local listings so this can be why you're not appearing on maps searches.

These are just a few things I found on a quick search. It's probably a good idea to have one of the local experts from this forum do a paid review of the site. A site audit could be quite helpful.
 

shanedrumm

Forum Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Messages
16
Likes
1
I agree that it's probably going to take a few months more before this site reaches its full potential for ranking.

It is a little bit strange though that when I search on Google.com.au for "double glazed windows perth" the home page does not appear in the first 15 pages at all. An inner page appears on page 6. It looks to me like something is wrong.

It's odd that when I click on the link to PageSpeed test earlier in this thread I get a score of 0, but if I put the domain in myself, the desktop score is 71. This really shouldn't cause major ranking issues. Sure, there are things that can be done to improve the page load time (ahem...make images smaller) but I don't think that's why the site is ranking nowhere.

I think it's possible that Google may be thinking that your site is a duplicate of others out there. I took a chunk of text from your page and it was word for word what was on the duoglass.com.au site. (The text under "our services".) It might be worth running all of your pages through copyscape.com and seeing if there is more duplication.

It might also help to get more meaningful text above the fold. The above the fold (i.e. before the user scrolls down) text is super important when it comes to Google figuring out the context of the site. In fact, they have a whole algorithm devoted to demoting sites that have little or no above the fold content. I would ditch the changing text as it might be confusing Google. In fact, take a look at your page when I have javascript disabled. Here is the above the fold content:

View attachment 3482

There is pretty much nothing there. Google is getting better at reading Javascript but they're not great.

Instead, I'd remove the slider and try having a static image there. I'd then have a very clear H1 tag that explains what the page is about followed by a solid paragraph of text above the fold that contains your keywords but does not read as keyword stuffed and also is unique to your site.

There are other issues with the site but I've just had a quick look. Pages like this, All Sizes and Colours of Double Glazed Doors Perth, look keyword stuffed and written for search engines not users.

Your local listing looks incomplete too. I see an address of "Perth WA 6173, Australia". If you look at Duoglass the've listed "52 Winton Rd, Joondalup WA 6027, Australia" as their address. Google maps doesn't know where you are other than somewhere in Perth. One of the most important things for local listings is to have consistent NAP (Name Address Phone number) across your website, citations and local listings so this can be why you're not appearing on maps searches.

These are just a few things I found on a quick search. It's probably a good idea to have one of the local experts from this forum do a paid review of the site. A site audit could be quite helpful.
Thanks Marie for the detailed response and I will definitely consider getting an expert from the forum to do an audit.

Luckily only that one paragraph on the homepage was copied nothing else on the site but I'm going to double check all pages with copyscape from now on.

Also going to look at adding 500-600 words to the homepage and look at removing the slider.

The address on Google Maps was just Perth because it was set to delivering products in GMB so updated that.
 

PurpleWeb

Forum Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
18
Likes
0
I have read this thread with great interest. I have had some similar issues which have been mentioned. I also have a upvc windows and door client so I would be happy to discuss things further and maybe look for some genuine linking opportunities although my client is uk based.
 

Similar threads


Local Search Forum


Weekly Digest
Subscribe/Unsubscribe


Google Product Exert

@LocalSearchLink

Join Our Facebook Group

Top