10 Interesting Findings in Search Engine Optimization Investigation of US Automotive Websites
In this article I investigated some of the mid-level and developing automobile websites from US and derived their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) indices and trends. The comparative discussion outlines here will shade light on key-parameters behind the successful or unsuccessful e-commerce deployments. By ‘developing websites’, I mean the sites which is building popularity in terms of links and Page rank (PR) but definitely not the most popular ones. The results and discussions will be useful to the relatively new E-commerce companies on how to improve their SEO strategies and relevant actions. In this brief article, I point-out major theoretical findings as the subtitles. In the relevant discussions, I’ll cover specific examples to back up the theoretical findings.
1. Off page optimisation can even improve an average quality web-site: autonetusa(dot com)’s web quality (grading) is average type (found by webgrader tool). However, due to more directory submissions and higher inbound links, it attains same PR of auctiondirectusa (dot net).Its average PR of all inbound links is 2.2. So, total number of in-bound links outweighs this average value.
2. Banned websites: If a search engine (e.g. Google-bot) thinks a site as a SPAM (or a fake web site), the site is banned (page rank may becomes 0). PR may be 0 for other reasons as well. Reasons are: domain problem, lack of coding, programming maturity, lack of suitable user interface ( the things that a virus or spam does). Other reasons (misconducts by web designers) are: high repetitive keywords in headers/body/footers, trying to confuse googlebot by making the site over-smart, irrelevant context, etc. autobyte, autousadirect(dot com) has PR=0 (No keys, long spammy keys are present) Though both sites are 5 and 10 year old sites, they have fewer inbound links compared to their ages. In addition, the site was not submitted to external URLS/engines/directories. Another example is maseratiusa(dot com). It is 8 yr/ 5 yr ( 8 yr old and will expire the registration after 5 years which indicates a matuerd and safe domain). However, it does not have any URL submission history and its number of Google indexed pages is 0. It is highly likely that the search engines pointed the site as a banned site due to some occasional misconduct by the site designers.
3. Aged site which can be improved more (possibility to improve SEO): adesa(dot com) is a 12yr/5 yr (to go) site. Its PR=5. It has an above average ratio of indexed pages and inbound links. It has a high traffic/user access (top 0.5%). It is submitted to a number of directories including 11 submissions at “del.icio.us.” (high) which indicates a good off-page optimisation. However there are some problems in this site including missing keywords and blogs (user interactions). In addition, a fewer number of in-bound links are present compared to its age. Solution to those issues could improve the page rank to this site.
4. Age does not matter if design and SEO are absent: Two average (40% grading quality) sites — “jmagroup(dot com)” and “highergear(dot com)” are 10 yr old sites (aged website). Their PRs are 3 or 4. No URL submissions are there (OFF page optimization is absent). Fewer in-bound links (5. In other words, SEO mechanism needs to be applied to any site for better performance.
5. A close to top sites but having some shortcomings relating to page design: Cirrusdesign(dot com) (grading of 86%) is 11 yr/8 yr old site. A large number of people access to the site (top 0.7%). Also a large number of inbound links are present relating to the site. However, only a few indexed pages of that site are available in Google in comparison to its age. A large number of “Del..” and URL submissions. PR=6 in both cases. Keyword and page optimizations and all-way-URL-submissions are not visible. Buick(dot com) agrees to this point in the same way!
6. Excessive graphics seems like a spammy site and cuts down PR: Dealertrack(dot com) is an aged site (9 yr) with a large number of in-bound links and Google indexed pages. A large number of user access (1.4%) is into this site. However, no URL submissions are there. Also the excessive graphics limits the loading optimizations and cuts down its popularity (PR is only 3).
7. Short term site having a high PR ( How to quickly attain PR?): Bzresults(dot com) has good user interactions. Its only 4 yr old site and having web grade of 76% (above average but not the site of best kind). It attained a large number of inbound links (47000) within a short period. OFF page optimzation (RSS feed, communication feedings, form submissions, user interactions) etc are there. A large number of user access (top 2.7%) to the site. One interesting characteristics is that it has an average PR of inbound links equal to 3.2 ( 13 PR5, 2 PR6, 49 PR4,… 30 PR2, and only 6 PR1, majority is in PR3). Therefore, popular sites are actually linking/referring to this site.
8. Wynnusa(dot com) is a similar graded site ( design principle) but having more ages ( 2 times). However, it has fewer inbound links (1/4th of previous point 9) and it was not submitted to any directories. Moreover, its average PR of in-links=2.2 where the highest PR of in-links in only 3 (contrary to many 3+ in PR of previous site). Hence its PR is only 4.
9. Short term site (Another good example) Vvcars(dot com) (simple site) is an average type (63% grading) site. It is 3 yr old but having 8 year ahead of expiration of registrations. Only 470 in-links are there (compared to 47k of point 9). However, it has 15 Del. articles submissions. It has a PR of 4 (good in short time).
10. Heavy Graphics (another shortcomings) Nittotire(dot com) is 9 yr old site, having 20000 inbound links. It has 10 del.. submissions. But it has a PR of only 4! 11b. Volvopenta(dot com) is 11 yr old site, slow loading time (hence a grading value of only 40%). It has 2080 in-links. It was not submitted to any URLs, no RSS or blogs (user interactions). It has a PR of 5 having some higher PR in-links.
Summary We can compile the summary from the above findings as follows. a) ON page optimization is required (site titles, tracking, optimal coding, suitable graphics, user interactions). b) In-bound links of high PR are GOLD. Also try to increase number of indexed pages and ratio of indexed pages to inbound links. c) OFF page optimizations are also a must-thing for new sites. URL submissions, blogs, RSS, newsfeed, articles, need to be incorporated to increase PR. d) User-communication, community forum, people’s personal urls, linking, etc need to be done always.