Case Study : Getting a Hub to the First Page of Google of an 8k Search

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  1. Hikapo profile image82
    Hikapoposted 5 years ago

    Hello all, I will be conducting an experiment of trying to get one of my hubs to the first page of a rather competitive keyword. All updates will be on here.

    The keyword is "Best Facebook Games"

    Now, I am giving myself 30 days to do this. Starting today June 24, 2013. Experiment ends July 24 2013.

    Strategy for getting it to the first page.

    Back Linking

    The basic idea is to use other web 2.0 sites to get some back links and I aggressively use social media to backlink these anchor sites.

    I will be updating the thread every week till July 24, 2013.

    Goal: Top 5 of this 8k search word. It is currently ranked 34 as of the time of writing.

    Sites that I will be using to create back links:

    Similar 2.0 sites:

    1) Bubblews
    2) Zujava
    3) Squidoo

    Article submission Sites

    1) Ezine Article
    2) Go Articles
    3) Articles Blast

    Free Blog Sites

    2) Blogspot
    3) Live Journal
    4) Weebly
    5) Tripod
    6) Yola

    Social Media

    1) Pinterest
    2) Facebook
    3) Twitter

    Blog Commenting

    Social Book Marking Sites

    The tool I am using is Social Marker. This makes social bookmarking much easier.

    I will be creating back links every day. I will be rotating which links to build every day, with various anchor texts.

    1. Hikapo profile image82
      Hikapoposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      June 24 2013

      4 Back Links Created:

      Tumblr: No anchor text used

      blogspot: Anchor text: Best Facebook games

      Bubblews: No anchor text used

      Gaming forum( Anchor text: Best FB Games

      Done today~~

      1. Hikapo profile image82
        Hikapoposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Hey guys, here is an update after a week on the case study.

        Hub is up to spot number 25 in Google from 34.

        Here is what I did over the week.

        June 25th 2013 blog comment no follow.
        Live journal – anchor text: best facebook games
        June 26th – anchor text  the best facebook games that are fun to play.
        June 27th
        Yola( site best facebook games: anchor text: the best facebook games information.
        June 28th anchor text: Click here.
        June 30th
        Ezine Articles/Go Article Submission : Anchor Text: Best Facebook Games
        July 1st
        Changed Title to : Best Facebook Games – Fun, Free and Popular

        1. krisaclark profile image69
          krisaclarkposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Wow good to see you are getting real results from practice, that's a tough keyword to go for too. Thanks for the update and congrats on the improvements!

          1. Hikapo profile image82
            Hikapoposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            No problem. Thanks!

            Actually I am trying this back linking thing for the first time on a hub. Lets see where it can go!

        2. LeanMan profile image87
          LeanManposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Congrats on moving from place 34 to place 25; however with a variety of updates going on this week and last there is no way to say if the changes are down to the changes that Google are making or down to the links that you have built.

          Have you looked at the link profile of the pages that outrank you to see how many links they have and where they are from? Do you have any idea how many links you will need to outrank the 10th place, 5th place etc? There are tools out there that will tell you what links most of these sites have and even the profile of their anchor text so it would not be too hard to evaluate the competition in that respect to see what you would have to do to exceed the number of links that they have.

          It may be worthwhile also monitoring the position within Yahoo and Bing.

          Personally I do not take too much notice of my links anymore; I know that I have pages with good links that are outranked by other pages that have no links and I also have pages with no links that outrank pages with many links. Links are only part of the picture.......

          1. Hikapo profile image82
            Hikapoposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Unfortunately, I don't have enough spots in Serp Fox to track them in Yahoo or Bing, but I see you do have a point there.

            I checked the back links on some of them and a few have quite some backlinks. But the freshness factor has propelled some other authority site pages to the top 10.

            I am not really sure if the changing of the title helped or not, but I am going to look at yahoo and bing.

            Yea, you are right it can be confusing at times. Either way, I am going to keep chugging along and see what I can get by July 24th.

            Thanks for the suggestions and insights.

        3. younghopes profile image72
          younghopesposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          great, im learning so much from  you

          1. Susana S profile image97
            Susana Sposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Unfortunately you're learning very out of date SEO (ie: pre-panda and pre-penguin SEO) that's more likely to hurt your account than help it in the long term.

    2. drpennypincher profile image92
      drpennypincherposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting experiment- a couple questions after looking at your diagram:
      Are you trying to get your HubPages hub to the 1st page of search results, or your niche site?
      Why not have backlinks from all of your sources link directly to the page that you want to reach the top?  You could also link to the middle layer to improve PageRank of those pages, but why not link everything directly to your niche page as well?

      Good luck!

    3. Susana S profile image97
      Susana Sposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      This approach would have worked a few years ago on HP - but now? I'm doubtful.

      I'll tell you why:

      1. Competition - There's not much in the way of available spots on in the search results for that phrase - your page is very unlikely to replace the Facebook domain, Insidesocialgames or PCmag or Youtube because they all have stronger domain authority than HP in this context. That leaves positions 6 and 7 potentially available but you won't get much traffic even if you get one of those - maybe 10 visits per day if you're lucky (3% of daily traffic).

      2. Freshness Algo - A lot of the results for your phrase are new/fresh so you might achieve a temporary 1st page listing (in position 6 or 7) due to the newness of your hub, but it won't last as it will be replaced very quickly with more up to date pages. Essentially - the phrase is not evergreen and has no longevity.

      3. Long term outlook - In addition to the above, it's always a good idea to aim for a shorter/higher volume phrase contained within a long tail phrase that you will be able to rank for over time. In this case the high volume phrase is "facebook games", but in the current environment your hub will never get on the first page for that, so there's no long term value for the hub.

      4. Low Value Links - Links from the venues you're going to use offer very little value and will likely be discounted or offer very little in the way of SERP's boost. IMO you'd be better off putting your efforts into getting a couple of really good links (if this was a phrase that was worth ranking for, which I don't believe it is due to the reasons above).

      5. Page Quality - The actual hub is ok but not outstanding so does it really deserve to get on the 1st page? The better the hub, the more likely your visitors are going to share it and link to it for you, saving you a whole load of effort.

      Sorry to be a downer and I do hope you prove me wrong smile but since Panda and Penguin I don't think this kind of strategy works.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image97
        Marisa Wrightposted 5 years agoin reply to this


    4. profile image0
      ateinposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      AFAIK , this method worked last year . I doubt if it will work this year .But then , I am not an SEO expert. SEO experts might shed more light on this .
      Waiting .
      Article directories ? I wonder why people write for Article directories ? Ridiculous approach (I am talking about submitting articles to article directory, not about your strategy to get on the first page of Google SERP's).

    5. Rock_nj profile image93
      Rock_njposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Make sure you check the results with other people's accounts on other computers, because Google tailors search results based on the user, which means they may rank your work higher when you are logged in because they see a connection between you (the user) and the content.

    6. NateB11 profile image92
      NateB11posted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for sharing. I'm learning a lot from this thread, about keywords, what's possible, and backlinks. Threads like this become great resources for strategies for traffic and indexing.

  2. livewithrichard profile image85
    livewithrichardposted 5 years ago

    Looks like a good plan and I'm sure you can get there but why so much effort on a keyword phrase that will pay you about 1 cent per click and on a site like this where you have no control over ad placement?  The only thing I can see as a benefit is if you are hoping to send traffic to your own site where you can grow your email list.  If this is the case, then it is well worth the time since the traffic is there for the phrase.  Good luck.

    1. Hikapo profile image82
      Hikapoposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Actually I have no intention on sending traffic to my site. I am testing out some stuff using Hubpages while doing my niche site duel at the moment on 2 of my own sites, which are also using the same strategy.

  3. Parallels profile image72
    Parallelsposted 5 years ago

    Should be interesting. I'll be following how it goes!

  4. Barbara Kay profile image94
    Barbara Kayposted 5 years ago

    I am going to follow this. If it works, I'll give it a try. It sounds like a lot of work though.

  5. krisaclark profile image69
    krisaclarkposted 5 years ago

    Interesting map you drew up, can't wait to see how the results turn out. Good luck!

  6. Hikapo profile image82
    Hikapoposted 5 years ago

    Ops, thanks for the question, I actually forgot to change the "niche site" to the hub page. I am trying to get my hub page to the first page of Google but I was lazy to change the picture. big_smile

    And yes, the back links all link to the hub I want to rank.

  7. deepznagi profile image59
    deepznagiposted 5 years ago

    That's a great case study. I would love to read more..

  8. susi10 profile image98
    susi10posted 5 years ago

    This sounds very interesting, I am looking forward to see what happens! smile

    1. younghopes profile image72
      younghopesposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      interesting, would follow it up

  9. relache profile image86
    relacheposted 5 years ago

    What makes you think this is an 8k search?  When you put that keyword phrase into Google, there are 945,000 results returned.

    1. Susana S profile image97
      Susana Sposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Google's keyword tool shows 8,100 exact global searches per month.

      1. drpennypincher profile image92
        drpennypincherposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        I also tried Google Keyword Tool and got the same result- it seems that with millions of people searching the Internet, there would be more than 8,100 searches per month for a popular search like "Best Facebook Games"!

  10. sereseus profile image72
    sereseusposted 5 years ago

    Let us see what

  11. Writer Fox profile image49
    Writer Foxposted 5 years ago

    Just curious:  When did you publish the Hub and what is its ranking now on search results for the keyword phrase?

    1. Hikapo profile image82
      Hikapoposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I published it back in early May 9th 2013. Most of my hubs written in May have already climbed to the first page of their keywords except for a handful that are lingering in page 2 and 3. As for the ranking right now, its on 35.

      I am not sure how much rankings boost I will get from the back links, but I will be documenting here and the ultimate goal is top 5.

      1. Writer Fox profile image49
        Writer Foxposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        If 'Best Facebook Games' is what you want to rank for, maybe you should change the title to: Best Facebook Games | Top 10 Facebook Games

        Your Hub ranks #7 on Google for "Top 10 Best Facebook Games" out of 1,480,000,000 results! So, Google likes the content but is ranking based on your title and how you present the content.

        Consider also changing the first H2 Tag (Text Title) to: Best Facebook Games.
        Then, begin the text for that first paragraph with 'Best Facebook games . . .'

        The Description Tag (HubPages Summary) you are using is:

        "Here is my top 10 list of the best Facebook games that I enjoy playing."

        I think you will have a better result by starting the description with 'Best Facebook games . . ." and using the full 157 characters (including spaces) that Google will display as a snippet.

        Also, consider changing the titles to all of your text modules.  Instead of using the name of the game as the title, use something that tells Google what the page is about, such as: "The Number One Best Facebook Game".  Then, use the name of the game in the text portion in bold on a separate line.

        Of course, you don't want to overuse 'best Facebook game'.  But, you do need to use the keyword phrase in the significant places that Google notices.

        Although inlinks can help, the on-page optimization is more important.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image97
          Marisa Wrightposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Wouldn't this be skating close to keyword stuffing?

          I've been told that the repetition of exactly the same keyword phrase in your title, H2 tag, first paragraph and sub-headings is an easy-to-spot formula that Google now regards as a red flag that the writer is trying to game the system.  I know a couple of people who used that formula religiously - pre-Panda it worked a treat, but now those Hubs are all in the toilet, which may just be a coincidence but I have to wonder.

          1. Writer Fox profile image49
            Writer Foxposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Again, you don't want to overdue it.  But right now that Hub is ranking well for 'Top 10 best Facebook games" and he is using this phrase in all the right places and the keyword phrase is found 10 times on the page.

            It is used in the Page Title, in 2 H2 Heading Tags and in the text in the first paragraph.

            "Best Facebook games" is only used twice:  in text copy in the 9th paragraph and in the final paragraph.

            "Best Facebook games poll" is used as an H2 Tag.

            By switching the keyword phrase to the one he wants to rank for, better success should result. Remember, he's ranking very well for the phrase he is targeting with this formula, which means the rest of the content is great in the eyes of Google and no spam is detected.

            1. Hikapo profile image82
              Hikapoposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              Hey fox writer, I am taking your stuff into consideration. Thank you.

  12. IzzyM profile image88
    IzzyMposted 5 years ago

    I used Market Samurai and it would seem that exactly 266 people are searching for that phrase daily, but broadly the search term could see 1332.

    The competition isn't great although the #1 spot is taken up by PCmag which is a pretty established site.

    Then it is followed by youtube videos and a couple of other sites before Facebook results.

    It was a good pick for an experiment because the competition is not insurmountable.

    The financial rewards are very low, but for an experiment, that really doesn't matter.

    I am not seeing a Hubpages result on the front page.

    The OP is sailing close to the wind by publishing his experiment.

    HP has already decided that hub promotion is spammy and unnecessary. So yes we can set up a link wheel, but if they notice it is there, they may choose to unpublish.

    There is no evidence to suggest that time old SEO promotion techniques do not work.

    But HP do not like them.

    I have found that it is better to rank highly, completely naturally, in niches that are not highly competitive, than it is to manually create backlinks in competitive niches.

    Others have been more successful than me and managed to rank highly in well-paid competitive niches but it is becoming harder all the time.
    The creation of artificial backlinks can work against you, as well as being a Royal pain-in-the-a*se to set up.
    Google can slap your subdomain.

    The thing with HP is that is quite possible, even now, to rank really highly for something that is highly searched, without resorting to creating backlinks.

  13. Will Apse profile image92
    Will Apseposted 5 years ago

    This little time warp is so comforting. You don't need to write a decent article to earn money! You can just go the aspergers route with SEO stuff.

    The thing I miss is the salmon pink loons.

    1. Susana S profile image97
      Susana Sposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Salmon Pink Loons?

      1. Will Apse profile image92
        Will Apseposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Unbelievable! You can't get salmon pink loons anymore. Have to settle for mellow yellow...

        1. Susana S profile image97
          Susana Sposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          LOL - showing your age now Will!

          But they do look comfy......

        2. Hikapo profile image82
          Hikapoposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          I had to comment on this one. DAT YELLOW PANTS!

  14. peachpurple profile image82
    peachpurpleposted 5 years ago

    interesting strategy. Which backlinks helped you the most? Is bubblews that good? I sincerely hope that your hubs will get to the top in Google search. Best of luck

    1. Barbara Kay profile image94
      Barbara Kayposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      peachpurple, I just started Bubblews. From what I can see so far is that you need to stay active and read as many blurbs from others as you can. It is as much a social networking site as it is a writing site.

      You only need 400 characters (not words), so you can write them quickly. So far, I am earning about $1 an article. The trouble with it is, once the article is a few days old you get hardly any traffic, so you don't earn any money.

      I haven't tried a quality article there with any length and I've just started. I have earned close to $1 per article so far. Because they are short and you can write about anything, I guess it is a good place just to write your thoughts.

    2. Hikapo profile image82
      Hikapoposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Bubblews is hit or miss. My 2nd and 3rd payment isn't paid and they have yet to tell me that I violated their rules if I did.

      Anyways, this case study ends with the hub sitting on page 2, with its rank fluctuating betweem 12-20. I won't back link this anymore as I am focusing my efforts on my sites.

      1. susi10 profile image98
        susi10posted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Hi Hikapo,
        Thanks for the update, is your hub getting an increase in traffic after all the backlinking? Was it worth it?

        1. Hikapo profile image82
          Hikapoposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          To answer your question, nope lol. It was not worth it but it was a good case study. It will work on less competitive keywords though.

          Actually it gets minimal traffic. Right now it gets anywhere from 3-12 views per day. It needs to be on the first page to see 30+ views.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image97
            Marisa Wrightposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            If it didn't work, how do you know it would work on less competitive keywords?

            1. Hikapo profile image82
              Hikapoposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              I use the same method on my niche sites which have minimal competition. I am on the first page of my keywords and getting plenty of traffic. I can pull up the info for the site if you would like to see.

              1. Sadika Alloush profile image68
                Sadika Alloushposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                yes could you please ?

                1. Hikapo profile image82
                  Hikapoposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                  this site was made on june 9th 2013. It ranks for a keyword with 30k search on page 1.

                  Here you go. The back linking strategies are used for this site.


                  1. susi10 profile image98
                    susi10posted 4 years agoin reply to this

                    Thanks for the reply, Hikapo. I can see how your traffic increased over time.

                  2. Sadika Alloush profile image68
                    Sadika Alloushposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                    how could i see the post you linked Hikapo magnified?

          2. janderson99 profile image52
            janderson99posted 4 years agoin reply to this

            @ H just for fun I tracked your page


            1. Hikapo profile image82
              Hikapoposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              it looks like it slumped back down to the 20s again lol big_smile

      2. younghopes profile image72
        younghopesposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        i havent tried it worth it to spend time upon? After how much amount do they pay you?

  15. ologsinquito profile image87
    ologsinquitoposted 4 years ago


    I have 60 posts on bubblews and I do make residual income. If I had to guess, it's probably about 15-20 cents a day, and I'm not adding new content. So you might get some residual income. Actually, I was surprised that I have any, because my posts are only about four paragraphs each.

    1. Barbara Kay profile image94
      Barbara Kayposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the info.

  16. Greekgeek profile image92
    Greekgeekposted 4 years ago

    Thanks for the case study! It's interesting to see people still having some success with linkbuilding, despite Penguin and the reasons mentioned in Danny Sullivan's famous rant. I know big firms still rely on it, as much as anything because it's easy to quantify when reporting to a client. (We made X number of backlinks.)

    Have you tried other forms of SEO? On-page, for example, or authorship, or user engagement (writing content that gets read top to bottom, and that's so compelling that people tend to leave by clicking on links rather than the back button), or making images that draw image search traffic, or using multimedia in general to enhance your hubs?

    I think a lot of people get sucked into the linkbuilding frenzy and never consider that there's over 200 different ways that Google evaluates content -- probably many more, now, since the "200 ranking factors" figure was released over five years ago -- and that content can rank at the top without linkbuilding of any sort.

    1. Hikapo profile image82
      Hikapoposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I did on page SEO and had great user engagement on one of my niche sites. That is probably why it did so well, but the back links enabled Google to find my page, thus allowing people to spot the wonderful page and it gets liked/tweeted.

      And yes David Sullivan definitely has a point there. He says:
      "What you want is to be linked from places where there’s an actual audience that might see your link and click on it directly to visit."

      1. profile image0
        Jennifer Sucheyposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        All of this is very compelling. Thanks for sharing your progress and for stirring up conversation about how to draw traffic. smile


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