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    Lightbulb Can someone explain to me how this website is ranking?


    Hi,

    I'm new here and I have a question for you guys, I cannot figure out how a particular website can outrank the competition with lower DA and PA.

    I am trying to rank my web-app for different locations, it's something similar to this parking app:


    https://spothero.com/san-francisco-parking
    https://spothero.com/san-francisco/civic-center-parking

    So for San Francisco they have multiple pages with URL>H1 matching the keyword they want to rank for and some content on the page. Then they drop a pin at the location which corresponds to the url.
    Apparently, it works. If my understanding of their strategy is incorrect please tell me.


    Now this page here

    https://www.xtreet.org/sanfrancisco

    is ranking for super good keywords (in the same niche) such as SF street parking, sf parking and many many others including alternate side parking (which is a kw I don't see anywhere in the code!!!)

    How is it possible? This domain has lower authority than the first one, way less traffic, but for key major keywords in the parking niche outranks everyone!!!


    Can someone please explain me how this works? I can't even find an H1 in this website??

    Thank you!
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  3. Dinosaur
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    In order to understand why a page is ranking well you first need to understand what makes a page rank, your quoting things like PA and DA which has little or no bearing on it. That is not a google score.
    The question really is too big to answer in 1 post so I would start by reading some of the stickies on here.
    Although google are trying to move away from it the biggest driving force to ranking is still links, these can also include internal links as well as external links. Its not impossible to rank without external links but it really helps. The other issue is not all links are equal, Its not a volume game here although many people would have you believe it, just a few really great links can jump you to the top of search engines. Having said that you need something to rank so having a really strong website with all the onsite SEO boxes ticked makes life a lot easier. Having content that matches the search term is also important.

    Comments on this post

    • Insite Web agrees
    • KnowOneSpecial agrees
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    As Chedders suggests, looking at DA & PA isn't going to tell you a lot, that's an attempt by Moz to replicate Google's old metrics that they no longer publish, or claim to use in their ranking algorithms.

    Have you analysed the pages that rank, for what keywords & compared them using any sort of tool, by reviewing data that would give you a better understanding of whats going on; e.g. things that might help them in local search like NAP, where they're based, quality of the copy, copy length, links out to other relevant sources, backlinks to the page, mobile friendliness, page speed...

    There are tonnes of things that could be influencing the results, it sound like you need an SEO expert!
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    Thanks for your replies.

    So forget about DA and PA, just talking about links...the first website is clearly 100 times superior in quality, quantity, and relevance. I use ahrefs, semrush, majestic and all the good stuff to check their background. It still gets outranked on high traffic keywords such as "sf parking". There are actually several other major companies targeting that keyword with super strong domains and super optimized SEO and still, xtreets outranks them! I can't even see an H1 in their code.

    How can xtreet.org outrank everyone at "alternate side parking" without having the keyword anywhere in their website code?????

    NAP is not relevant in this case, and they're all ranking nationwide. The copy is maps. They're all optimized for speed and mobile.

    I do need an SEO expert here
    Last edited by RandomRobot; Nov 8th, 2017 at 05:13 PM.
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  9. Dinosaur
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    I am not saying this is the case here as it would require research but one way this can be done is if you buy a old registered expired domain within the same niche which ranked well, you can redirect that site to the target site. This pass's on all the good stuff over to the new site and bingo the site ranks well without having any external links to the site. This is a old technique that can work really well when done correctly, its pretty much hidden from the tools you mention so they would not understand it.
    There is an issue with doing this, as along with transferring the benefits the old site used to enjoy it can also transfer the rubbish as well, Lets assume the old site had a penalty, that would also get transferred so instead of helping the site it can actually trash it.

    I am just using this as an example of how tricks in this game can work, is it ethical ? probably not and is it something google will come down on you ? absolutely if caught.
    Last edited by Chedders; Nov 8th, 2017 at 05:36 PM.
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    I don't think this is the case, that trick will work for an amateur but here we're talking about outranking companies which are spending tens of thousands of dollars in PR to build high authority backlinks and building thousands of pages to rank for tons of LTK.

    I wonder if anyone has ever encountered this issue before...
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    There's a site which is reasonably similar in my industry. On-page SEO isn't great, to be honest, they go against everything I've been taught in SEO so far. One thing. They have a one, yep, one backlink from an EDU domain, not from a sub-domain either - it's a diamond. It's outranking sites which have been in the industry for years with thousands and thousands of backlinks from so-called "high authority" domains according to Moz, lol.

    This is a perfect example of the quality over quantity rule!

    My guess is they maybe have a diamond like I just described. That or they aren't playing to the rules... they don't seem to be rigging backlinks to their domain because as you say, it's not visible on AHREFS etc, so what Chedders has said doesn't seem unrealistic really. I wouldn't dismiss it because competitors are spending thousands on PR. I could give so many examples of the small fish smashing the big fishes in terms of SEO
    Last edited by matt1966; Nov 8th, 2017 at 06:11 PM.
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    I mean they could be blocking ahrefs and semrush bots from crawling and hide a PBN. But still, the page code is beautiful and incredibly clean, it's not an amateur job. There must be a technical reason why the built it this way
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    Nope! Doesn't look like it.

    Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 23.15.51.png
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    I see, but still, if xtreet has 1 diamond I know for a fact spothero has 100 diamonds (I checked their backlinks, they have an amazing content marketing strategy). It's weird

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    • KnowOneSpecial : I disagree with you, see my post
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    You think they're diamonds... what you think are diamonds, Google might not.

    If I was Google's human backlink rater, and I analysed my competitors backlink profiles, the results would certainly look a lot different. These competitors who have been in the industry for years, they don't have crappy PBN's, they have backlinks from huge media outlets - big daddy blogs in the niche, yet... this domain with one diamond destroys them all.

    And if Moz was Google's backlink rater, de-indexed pages would be at the top haha.

    Comments on this post

    • KnowOneSpecial agrees : Good call !
    • RandomRobot agrees
    Last edited by matt1966; Nov 8th, 2017 at 06:29 PM.
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    Going to add my two cents for what it's worth.

    This site linking to xtreet.org. This is a Diamond ! This link carries "Godly Amounts of Juice". What better backlink than the City of San Francisco linking to your site !! You don't have one, I know. I checked backlinks on your site and theirs !
    This one link is probably better that most, if not all of your links combined, but that is just my opinion. If I had to guess, I would say that SFMTA has a PR rank of, hmmm, about 7 or 8. No way to tell, because we can't view PR anymore.
    How did you miss this link ??




    Also your backlink profile is VERY UNNATURAL JUST FROM A FIRST GLANCE!! It smells of manipulation, sorry no offense. You have to admit 99% do follow links and just 1% or less no follow links... I think Penguin is discounting your backlinks from an algorithmic point of view just based on that....where as your competitor has less than 1% in total of links pointing to their site. Also they have about a 60/40 split on follow / no follow links. This is absolutely more natural looking than your site. This is surely a case of "QUALITY BEATING QUANTITY" ! Something we tell folks all the time...

    Looking at the below info I have to say they have the superior backlink profile and superior backlinks as exemplified by the link I showed you from SFMTA above.
    Also note how many sites are linking to your competitor from their HOME PAGE!
    Your's only 1%
    Theirs 32%
    The links from homepages carry a tremendous amount of juice vs links from inner pages...



    This is your competitor's profile....



    I could be wrong in my analysis, but I don't think so.

    Edited to add...
    A PR 7 link is worth 1,000,000 PR 1 links, or 100,000 PR 2 links, or 10,000 PR 3 links.
    A PR 8 link is worth 10,000,000 PR 1 links, or 1,000,000 PR 2 links, or 100.000 PR 3 links.

    Just so you know what you may be up against !

    Edited to add...
    Also here is another, and this is UCSF.EDU linking in.

    Comments on this post

    • Chedders agrees : thanks for doing the research, I never had time
    • Insite Web agrees : A really strategic SEO process from this site
    • matt1966 agrees : Proof that Google is intelligent enough to pick real quality over quantity is encouraging!
    • RandomRobot agrees
    Last edited by KnowOneSpecial; Nov 8th, 2017 at 10:20 PM.
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    No problem Chedders...

    Every time I see a thread, especially ones that start out with I have way better links. I automatically get curious. In this case the OP has their work cut out for them. That site is gonna be hard to knock off of Page 1, or push down for that matter.

    Whom ever is doing the SEO for xtreet has got link building down pat. Getting a university link and a city gov link is great! I would hire them almost instantly.

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    • Prof.stan agrees : You are very gentle thank you being with us
    • RandomRobot agrees : Thanks
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    RandomRobot, one more bit of advice to you...

    Change the following ...

    SpotHero - Park Smarter | Reserve Parking Now & Save

    To maybe something like this...

    San Francisco Parking App | Park Smarter | Reserve Parking Now

    Put your most important keyword up front in your title. Unless you are trying to rank spothero for branding.
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    I also couldn't resist having a look this morning, on top of the great SMFTA link they have clearly gone out of their way to rank this site over time in lots of cities/areas.

    They have created a whole host of relevant links themselves for most cities, ranking highly relevant volume search term 1 page sites in the top 3 for "XXXXX street cleaning map", "XXXXX city trash collection map", "XXXXX city parking map" etc. These sites have then been linked directly to the relevant map page on the mapping site from the homepage, along with a host of well chosen real local relevant high value links.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they hadn't created other PBNs in a similar vain for relevant terms & then hidden them from all bot crawlers other then Google/Bing. If they are doing this, the SEO tools won't crawl them & they would be hard for you to find. You might manage it by looking for other relevant volume local parking related terms & spotting them manually.

    All in all a really laser targeted SEO strategy!

    Comments on this post

    • RandomRobot agrees
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