He (or she) who has the biggest database wins!
It’s funny as you evolve as a web site and begin to take the marketing study end seriously, you also learn of what makes a web site tick and what is needed to move ahead into the market. Now of course this doesn’t take away more important things like “quality writing”, “a staff who are NOT viewed as ass holes and insight into your own expertise (web site genre). It also doesn’t take away factors such as keeping content flowing, improving your presence (and design) as well as just staying alive long enough for others to find you. (Note, this is usually in years, than months)
We as a whole, have experienced all the mistakes, and all the lessons…and tried to make adjustments in our growth. On the most part unless you have a seasoned veteran mentoring you, there really is no other way. A well known web site doesn’t want other sites competing with them, so much of this is kept…”well protected”.
But as often as I see things progress on the site and the market, it all seems to point to a basic principle. He who has the largest database has much more success as a web site.
Now by database, this could mean pages, but mostly it means pages that are under a “content management system (CMS)”. (examples would be WordPress, Zoomla, Tridion..or other)
Take for instance mega sites like “Amazon”, ” Wikipedia” and “IMDB”. All maintain databases that show in search results when you inquire on something specific. They now have mega dollars behind them, a well paid staff of writers (wikipedia…a slightly different model of course) and a legitimate established presence that they have built up over the years. For quite some time, in fact Amazon seemed to be the “only” way to learn about movies and products. They since have had to make room for other sites in the already competitive market. But getting down to basics, without the content (in their database) they wouldn’t amount to much. Wikipedia seems to have no boundaries, now covering films, culture, and anything thing of historical value (our modern encyclopedia). Guess who helped them archive that? We did (you the public), we submit everyday claiming our little piece of author territory on the planet, helping them grow and consume ever spot available.
Question: Why does Wikipedia rank for SO many terms as #1 results”
Give up? – ok, here is why………..
1- They pretty much write about everything
2- every page on their site contains “numerous” cross linking (anchor text linking, in context linking) reinforcing link relevance and link juice.
3- bare bones design, plain, simple, fast load times with minimal graphics
4- An obvious knack for keeping content that is well written (or else its discarded or deleted)
5- No ads, no crazy pops ups, …again fast load times
6- kept marketing free (in theory)
Though breaking things down, how the SERPS work is simple. The more quality pages you produce, the more avenues there are to be found. For instance a site of 100,000 pages has that “many opportunities to be found in a search result (if done correctly). A site with 10 pages has potentially 10 (maybe less due to SERPS disinterest in their content)
The key of course is quality. If your sh*t sucks, no one will care. You might get the traffic from browsers, but in the long run those browsers may not return. This notion is a constant fine tuning. writers get better, articles get re-written, and content gets more credibility. It also means that more will potentially link to you increasing your ranking in the search engine as well.
So with so many sites, how can you possibly get ahead?
Keep writing for one…the key to growing your base (and database)
Shoot for long tail material, rather than always taking the quickie breaking news article (I’ve since learned that a balance is also necessary)
Where I’ve seen web sites fail?
It’s funny, but the rules of the 90’s no longer apply. In fact, every page of you site not only has to meet the above criteria but has to be of SEO value. I won’t go into the details on that as it’s an art in itself…however, old sites some times are too far gone to reenter all their material into the new format. What happens is a gradual reduction in search engine value making way for those who ARE savvy.
Assuming you are indestructible!
I wanted to use an example as a case in point.
Note: Not to pick on them or reflect negatively, but only to demonstrate WHAT not to do.
A site who had a pretty good ranking at one time, decided that the work (influx of material) was too much to do for free anymore. You can in fact read the page here
Needless to say, their ranking has dropped considerably.
I do understand WHY they would do that, but the result is far more damaging than the initial issue.
Being in this business for a few years, i know that not only do filmmakers NOT want to pay to be reviewed, they consider sending you a product as payment enough (DVD, postage, special delivery , email follow ups). This is why WE as a site try and accommodate every product sent in to us (AND REVIEW FOR FREE). Sure it would be nice to get a film with $20 dollar bill wrapped around it, but that just doesn’t happen.
The reality is, if you start change the rules and the public doesn’t like it, there is literally hundreds of sites who would be glad to review their product (and not charge) They also have the power to get your film reviewed and “ranked”, thus eliminating any need for (example site of choice) that charges.
So while, you might get disillusioned on your status, folks simply will go elsewhere.
(aka Myspace….case in point)
ok, that enough for today, I hope this helped shed a little light.
Oh, and remember always BACK UP YOUR DATABASE… sh*t happens.
Written by Michael BoneDigger