Case Study Shows Pushed SEO Works Better Than Natural Site Development

Apr 13, 2009 • 8:49 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

A very helpful WebmasterWorld thread shares insights from a long time SEO who decided to pin two sites, competing in the same industry, with each other. He took two different strategies for each site. One site was pushed using old school SEO tactics, including doorway pages, paid and reciprocal links, content development and so on. The other site was to build a site with no paid links, unique content, no doorway pages, but add videos, blogs, rss feeds, Twitter integration and so on.

Let's call the first site the "SEO'ed Site" and the second site the "Quality Site." Guess which one is earning money and getting quality Google traffic? You got it, the "SEO'ed Site."

The member said:

Site 1 (AKA "SEO'ed Site"): after just 3 months it was skyrocketing past some pretty hefty competition with traffic increasing well each month. The site was making £10,000+ a month for the last six months we had it and just sold for a rather nice figure.

Site 2 (AKA "Quality Site"): has struggled to rank anywhere, even for it's own name, and traffic has been stagnant since the outset - it made a loss for the first 8 months and made just under £3000 in it's best month which was last month.

So what is a webmaster to do? Of course, this is just one single case study. To see exactly what tactics were used on each site, see the WebmasterWorld thread.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Nancy McCord

04/13/2009 01:08 pm

Interesting, it just goes to show that optimization still has a place and that just building a site without attention to these very important details and strategy gets you no where!

Kris Keimig

04/13/2009 03:44 pm

Interesting - Discouraging. I want the web we all talk about. I want the web that values quality over quantity. I want the web that pushes both marketers and product to be better and work harder/smarter. But the simple fact is when you can still make a quick buck in a easy, thoughtless way - companies will always choose that route over spending time on well thought out (quality) plan that has staying power. I struggle with it everyday.


04/13/2009 06:13 pm

So, let me get this straight... the "quality" site was the site with no unique content?

No Name

04/15/2009 04:44 pm

Seems the risk is worth the reward now, but what about the new site owner in month 7, 12, 24 etc when paid link detection algos improve and the "SEO'd" site potentially gets banned?

Dave Foreman

04/16/2009 03:44 am

This is not a fair test. The "white" hat site was built on a pre-existing domain at SEDO. Many of these domains have been parked for years, have been dropped and picked up, have been used for spam. I would like to know how the site shows up on Yahoo and MSN. In UK there may not be much market share for these engines. In a true control the domains should both be fresh. Not one fresh and the other comes from SEDO .

Nick Stamoulis

04/16/2009 06:27 pm

I think with New Google changes we will SEO take many different shapes with the new trust factor requirement coming into play.


12/15/2009 05:22 am

I think I'm up to choosing the Quality Site. It has more features. The SEO'ed site is the traditional one.

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