(Exact Match domains)
The following EMD + good content – backlinks case study is something I alluded to in a previous post as a current ongoing test.
One thing I wanted to test out was if a site could rank well (page 1) based on the strength of the domain being keyword-rich. Some scaredy-seo-cats read all sorts of blogs and news flashes by seo theorists and opiners, then they regurgitate/spread the fear and merely add to the confusion some seo noobies might have by telling them that what USED TO WORK doesn’t work any more, or at least not as well as it used to, yet don’t offer to tell people, their “dear” readers…what the reality is, NOW!
But enough ranting eh?
I wanted to see if an EMD could rank well on its own, but I also tried to work the case study in my favor by paying a writer 300 dollars a month to write really, really good, well-researched articles. Therefore I was trying to rank this case study site without backlinks and merely just on the merits of the EMD and good content.
The good content doesn’t make for natural backlinks, that’s still the same, and most likely it’s due to the niche that’s being targeted, it’s a consumer niche not one that see a lot of naturally gained links.
Anyhow, the EMD’s main domain is page 1 without backlinks.
The EMD is ranking #4 for the keyword phrase I chose, but it also has an additional keyword in the domain name so it’s not a “true EMD” but it’s obviously close enough.
NOTE: I did age this site with some backlinks as soon as I registered the domain but removed the service form focusing on that site to continue with a cleaner test.
Why did I pick this particular niche to focus on?
What could possibly motivate me to spend 300/month on a site yet never monetize it nor build links to it to speed up it’s climb to #1 in Google for all it’s important terms?
Because this niche and particular was one of my best Adsense earners before I got the so-called -50 Google penalty.
When I was ranked #1 with a different true EMD for the aforementioned keyphrase, the site made 75-100/day in Adsense. I also had another EMD which made 50-75/day in Adsense when it ranked well, also.
Nowadays, I decided to avoid those thin site slaps by building a site with better content, and with a lot more content, and I’m going to rank for all those profitable keywords and phrases with just the one site (the current EMD in this case study).
NOTE: The site I mentioned here that ranks well now…only ranks well with the main domain name (the EMD) , and none of the inner urls on this site are ranking well on their own “content merits”.
So, yes EMDs still have SEO value and they do make it easier to rank for CERTAIN keyphrases, but you still have to build links to rank inner urls. One thing I’ve learned from getting a 330/day income stream with Adsense flushed almost entirely down the toilet is that I now know what the profitable keywords are/were, and I also know I don’t want to hire outsourcing staff to write me an endless stream of Exactly 250-word articles for these sites.
I do believe that good content plays a big role in getting sites ranked, but you can easily find plenty of anecdotal examples where crap content (human interpretation) ranks better than really good content. My experience has always been which pincy pennies on one-time costs for content when the content could be the only thing keeping your site from getting slapped?
Another reason I chose this particular niche for my little EMD /good content/no backlinks case study:
I know what ranking #1 or 2 for 2 good money keyphrases with 2 different MFA sites (MFA site = Made For Adsense site) did for my Adsense account as far as earnings went, so now I have a comparison to go by for yet another case study.
The other case study I have going on soon, will be to see how a different monetization method (CPA offers, email marketing of said offers, selling leads etc…) performs versus Adsense earnings.
From what I’ve been told by some master on-site conversion dudes and master niche marketers, Adsense is a good way for newbies to get started with making some coin, but when they saw the keywords I was ranking for BEFORE the slap they told me I was leaving like 300% of the possible income on the table there with those old sites by only having Adsense on them and by having Adsense as the sole monetization method.
This next case study should be interesting, because it means I can build a “safer” income stream niche website, and make more with it, from it by using a safer method, IF the results are there.
If Adsense shows to be the better earner as opposed to other monetization methods, then the next thing to consider is how to safely keep those rankings now that you’ve got Google’s tracking codes stuff on your site, via the Adsense code.
Dumb geeky side note: In the movie Lord of the Rings, whenever the possessor of the ring puts the ring (Adsense code) on his/her finger (website) the Evil Eye of Sauron (Google) tends to zero in on that entity (website/person) a bit more and can cause some distress over time to the code/ring-bearer.
And the same principle applies to Google analytics, by the way, at least for me it does, which is why I don’t use GA. EVER
But here’s what I want/hope you get from my blathering on here….
EMDs still pack plenty of SEO value as far as ranking the domains fo rtheir keywords/phrases are concerned.
With EMDs, (true emds hybrids emds or other…), focus more on the content
With keyword rich domains with good helpful good content on them, be patient with the SERPs and rankings, they will come (inner urls are a different story)
Some final notes since I haven’t written here for a while
MFAs: Made For Adsense sites… These usually look like thing sites with poor content on them and the sites themselves are only monetized with Adsense, therefore they can be deemed as having been Made For Adsense, meaning the site’s there to collect Adsense clicks and not an “MFVs” > Made For Visitors,or MFSs > Made For Searchers.
-50 Google penalty? I’m not even sure what this is, but I’ve heard the term bandied about and in my head -50 means that’s how many places Google decided to drop your site in the SERPs for whatever reason they decided, and in a lot of cases, it’s a precursor to getting an Adsense site or account banned (NOT the case with me though, none of my -50 MFAs did any damage to my Adsense account, except for a loss of 300 plus /day income).
What’s coming next to this space for case studies?
MFAs versus sites that rank for same keywords and phrase just monetized differently. This will take a few more months to complete for a lot of reasons, one of which being…it takes a marketing brain that understands the target audience’s wants, needs and desires to market effectively to that audience and to write effectively for that audience.
Getting hubs, lenses, and self hosted websites (semi-EMDs) ranked highly again after recent Google algorithms dumped some of them in the SERPs. (Added value/content plus persistent link building seems to be working here for some of the hubs, to them, too).