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2011-07-26: Here's an interesting effect I've noticed.
Basically, all things being equal, bigger websites get ranked higher in Google. Very simply, that's because every page on a big site is more likely to be born with many inbound links (from other pages on the site). Whereas if I start a new blog "John's interesting stories about cheese" .. I'll have to work to get my first link.
For a particular client who had the normal "we do this" and "we also do this" type website, I reported that, basically, they weren't writing about what people who wanted their stuff were searching for. That's almost always true, before you start sniggering at the back.
So I proposed that we work out some keyphrases they could write about that people were searching on and where the competition wasn't too hot, then between us we'd write one article a week and go through a routine to get it published and linked to and so on.
That routine has been running now for maybe three or four months and we are getting into a rhythm. We pick up the next keyphrase. We notice we are nowhere in search for that phrase. We write and publish an article. A couple of weeks later we are at position maybe 15 or so for that phrase.
So that's all great, non-company-name search traffic is up 35% month on month.
But the question arises: how do we get onto page one of Google? More to the point for the client, how can we do that within the agreed budget?
Well, it's a new routine so we will get more efficient at it.
But I noticed .. the position of the older articles in a Google search for our target keyphrases are still rising. About 10% improvement every 10 days at the moment.
So as it stands, the system looks like it will deliver first page search positions in due course even if we don't change anything. That's partly because every new article we add gets and gives links.
My main message with SEO is: SEO is for life. It's about finding things you can do that don't mess up your days, that you can afford, that build your brand, that people are interested in, and that (obviously) improve your position in the search engines .. always remembering that your competition is doing the same so you have to outrun them. But the key thing is: find something that works and keep doing it. It's nice to see some simple evidence that it pays off.

By John Allsopp
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