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Google Ranking – Want to perform well? Bring on the subs.

Google Ranking – Want to perform well? Bring on the subs.

If you’ve ever launched a new website, especially since 2005, then you’ll know that it can take quite some time to be found for your target kw’s and phrases within the search engines.This is a little look at Google and how it treats new domains and how trust and authority are bestowed from parent domains to subdomains and how it can be an effective strategy in kick starting a new campaign, without excessive reliance on PPC campaigns.
I launched a new subdomain on the 1st January 2007. It fitted in with one of my new years resolutions of blog regularly.

I wrote a few posts about various odds and sods as and when they occured to me. I gave them logical titles and didn’t give too much thought to any SEO’d page content and structure strategy. It was a WordPress subdomain in the form of robwatts.wordpress.com.

As I said previously I wasn’t sure if I was really going to get into this blogging lark so rather than go out and purchase a  domain, upload   scripts, create a database, configure it, start getting links etc, only to find after a week or so my interest had waned, I decided to go with a free wordpress subdomain. Signed up with WP, chose a theme and started to blog, easy peasy lovely jubbly.
A few days later I found I was getting referals for various kw’s from Google. Wow, I thought, slick and quick. I was pretty surprised at the almost instant level of authority. Take the query pay to blog. The subdomain ranked virtually overnight, there it is right at the bottom, position number 10 in my abridged jpg.

ptb.JPG

I haven’t looked at any other big authorities with similar setups but I’d suspect to see the same behaviour. Sub domains it seems, do carry authority and trust from the parent.

Ok, its not a competitive term either, 156,000,000 reported results 49,000 allintitle results, a measley 13 allinurl results and not even sure if its reliable or worth mentioning but, 11 allinanchor: results. The point is though, it sails on through the usual ranking  restrictions applied to newly purchased domains, and ranks for a 3 word phrase, virtually overnight.

Here is another, a 3 word phrase in a post about celebrity big brother that I found in my wordpress control panel search engine referals, someone was searching for the curious phrase ‘dirk fuckin benedict’ in this case Google decided to rank it in 1st position.
dirk1.JPG
In some respects I am reminded of the Google of old. There was a day in ancient search engine history when Google did actually give new pages and domains a little boost for a short while before they settled down into a slot come the next dance or update. People spoke in terms of receiving a visit from ‘Freshbot’.People, newbs especially were invariably pleased to see rankings for their kw’s pretty quick. Only to watch them plummet or settle into a less respectable position some time after.

Google 2k7 is not like that though; its a lot tougher to break through. However, with that said, I am surprised that it would bestow such trust, so early, especially for content that is for all intents and purposes an unknown quantity. What with splogs especially, it seems a sure fire way of allowing dubious content into the index, relatively quickly.

Take my yackyack.co.uk domain. Brand new, no authority, no history, no trust, very very few reported IBL’s or citations at all. Its a new domain, plain and simple, I don’t expect it to rank, at all not for a while, and guess what? It doesn’t either. Its spidered infrequently, without too much depth and as of today has about 7 pages in the Google database. The only difference between this and my blogs former home is the WordPress connection.

Take the wordpress trust and authority scores  away and the blog doesn’t rank for a thing. Yet, the content is virtually the same, same titles, same content, slightly different layout and structure.

Could it be a case of duplicate content on the new (this) domain being discounted? Possibly but I think unlikely, the sample is just too small, yet regardless of that, it still doesn’t explain away why a.) the newer content ranks and b) why the subdomain ranked in such a relatively short time. All signals point to the subdomain having the ability for instant ranking juice.

Moral of the story; get those subs off of the bench, they might just be able to help your 1st team play to their best.

Rob Watts
Kickstart your business today - Get an SEO Consultation or just talk to Rob about your online aspirations. With over 20 years experience in building traffic he's pretty much encountered most markets and scenarios

2 thoughts on “Google Ranking – Want to perform well? Bring on the subs.

  1. Susan

    Pardon me but I guess I am a bit dense, I don’t understand exactly what you are trying to say. Do you mean to recommend bloggers open subs on wordpress.com and have them link or copy the data on their main blog ? Or is it that they should add their blogs as subdomains of their currently highranking domain versus a fresh new domain? Or something else entirely? I am sure I am just missing some vital piece of information when I read this so if you don’t mind clueing me in I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

  2. Seo Advice Post author

    In a nutshell, Im saying that when i wrote this, the wordpress domain name came with instant authority juice, which could in effect, be leveraged and applied to other properties. I hadn’t realised how powerful it was, until I started with this new domain here.

    As for bloggers opening up free wordpress blogs just for the sake of gaining a little traction…well, when put like that it sounds a little spammy! Yet done in the right kind of way with good short posts then yes of course, it could help. There are other authority laden domains that allow users to create content, which ranks for keyterms in search engines. People use these in similar ways too. Its all about leveraging the authority.

    In terms of leveraging the authority of an en existing high ranking domain that you own already, I’d say that you wouldn’t have to go the sub route and that a standard directory folder would serve equally as well.

    I need to add too of course, that your time might be better spent writing good posts too and commenting on other blogs and what not! Generally speaking its not too nice to be exploiting other domains simply because they exist. Yet the reality is that people will.

    A determined results focused SEO with limited resources will generally use all the tools in the box to achieve their aims. The box in this case of course being – the thing we call the Internet

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