John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

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Domainers as SEOs

A good SEO has a network of sites on-niche. That means for a particular market, the SEO has the ability to place links across many unique web sites that belong in that niche, but which are not obviously related. Most of the sites have strong quality signals, because SEOs have been raised by Google to understand quality as necessary for long term survival. Some SEOs are stealth about their networks, while others are not. I think it depends on how much you trust Google, or how much SEO experience you have with Google.

How big does the SEO network have to be? It depends on the niche, but typically a practicing SEO has anywhere from dozens to a hundred or two sites under control, or more typically, a dozen or so friends that lead to several dozen to hundreds of sites.

Now a domainer with a hundred thousand domains is used to working on a much grander scale. Where an SEO might do math like “4 PR7 inbounds this month will boost me to spot 2 on page 1″,  a domainer with a parked-page script does math like “one thousand parked domains at $1.65 per day in adsense revenue is $1,165.00 daily cash flow…”. Quality vs. quantity, you might say.

So when SEO and domaining meet, it gets very interesting. Aside from the obvious competitive webmastering issues we would expect to see, Google is playing a major role in determining how the domainers-as-seos succeed, and how much work is involved. You see, Google is currently crediting parked-page backlinks with enough value that a domainer can boost a page in the SERPs with very little effort indeed.

And we all know that Google sets the stage for SEO.

I highlight my friend IncrediBill because he’s a typical example of a webmaster with a strong site which is overrun quickly and efficiently by a domainer simply adding site-wides to his network. Is it really that easy? Should it be? It’s completely up to Google.

Right now, it seems a parked-page network can simply site-wide a site to the top of Google. M-teen backlinks and presto… top ranks. Is SEO that easy? Surely some domainers are asking that question. More likely, though, domainers are simply jumping onto the opportunity. Big-time domaining is risk taking and investing. Who cares if it’s a short-lived opportunity if it’s available, profitable, and easy? Just do it, right?

In Bill’s case the domainer has left the Google cache active, and appears to be cloaking Googlebot (or perhaps using rotating links with synchronized crawler control… sort of cloaking with built-in plausible deniability). Not the brightest bulb in the chandelier because of the lack of a noarchive directive, but typical of a domainer: automated and massive. Is that all it takes today to top existing authority sites with almost ten years of history and trust? A mass of backlinks from parked pages?

Part of me wonders what Google will do as this becomes more popular with domainers looking to expand beyond type-in traffic,  and part of me wonders what will happen to domainers if they experience this and become conditioned that SEO is really that easy. Florida for Domainers, coming soon to a network near you?

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4 Responses to “Domainers as SEOs”

  1. Ari Says:

    only a $1.65? I’m doing some experiments with some domains I picked up at Snapnames, and I’m making more then that, just with type in/ left over search traffic. The domain will be profitable in about a month and a half.. not bad.

  2. Smirre Says:

    (thnx for the linkz, always get good reading material out of your posts. )

  3. IncrediBILL Says:

    I wouldn’t say my site was overrun exactly as they don’t target all the same keywords. However, they did come out of nowhere and snag the #1 position on a prime keyword ahead of sites even older and stronger than mine that previously held that spot.

    I ranked in the top 10 but previously the Wikipedia knocked out the #1 contender and then the domainer knocked out Wikipedia for #1.

    Now could the domainer overrun my site if they go after all my positions?

    That’s the real question and the answer is most likely YES! based on how effortlessly they infiltrated such a hard to crack keyword.

  4. Ben Wilks Says:

    IncrediBILL keywords are not so hard to crack with the right keyword domains, this has been the case for years now – nothing new. SEO’s had all better factor into account all the parked generic keyword domains out there (I have) or you are bound for a nasty shock. I like ‘Florida for Domainers’ John and it will be interesting to see how far Google treats the situation ;) Domainers are currently getting shafted by Google and they know the traffic is worth more than they pay.