I’m certain that almost everyone building an affiliate site has been frustrated by this at one time or another: an unoptimized, slapped-together site outranks yours on Google. Most of us Internet marketers are more than willing to defer to well-optimized, content-rich sites with great user experiences, but personally, it’s tough for me to get beaten by a site that’s just, well … a poorly conceived piece of crap.
This happens all the time. And it isn’t confined to any particular niche. Nonetheless, it drives all of us crazy.
You’ve killed yourself getting your SEO just right, and you’re stuck with a ranking that’s below an older and much-less-interesting site. Your content is better and you know you’re doing almost everything right. What else can you do?
To start off, you should go back to remembering the complexity of Google’s algorithm. Why is your site is being outranked? In short, it’s because there are more than 200 factors in Google’s search algorithm. You just can’t control all of those.
And while your site might have a better look and feel, with great use of keywords, and terrific content, it’s likely you’re being outscored on algorithm factors you’re not considering, and can’t control. Some of these factors include domain privacy settings, domain age, edu backlinks, or the geographic address of your IP address.
The reality of search rankings is that there are (I know I’m repeating myself) more than 200 factors in Google’s search algorithm. So while you’re comparing your well-built, highly-optimized site to another to another using 20-30 of those factors, you really need to consider the bigger picture.
Google Search Quality Guru Matt Cutts spoke on this issue during a recent daily Webmaster video.
Cutts reinforces a theme something we’ve discussed before here on the Affiliate Programs blog. He says “We’re also looking at off-page content and backlinks” and states how there could be backlinks pointing to that other, un-optimized site that are behind that site’s success.
To sum it up, Cutts says, “If they’re good, we want them to show up in search results.”
If you’re confident that your site is good, you’re on the right track. If you keep getting backlinks and continue working on regularly posting great content, your audience will find you and you will get results.