Do people think it is easy to rank against sales sites when you aren't one?
Also, in speaking of SEO, would boblikes-chocolate.com be just as effective as boblikeschocolate.com or bob-likes-chocolate.com?
It really depends on the niche, some are harder to get into than others.
If they are actually legitimate e-commerce sites, and not simply affiliate sites, then it is likely that they invest a good deal of time and money in seo/advertising, so you may not be able to match their investment. In this case, it will be much more difficult to beat them.
This is one of the reasons it is so important to preform market research of your competitors before entering a niche. When it comes down to it, their marketing and seo habits will become pretty obvious upon a manual review.
From an SEO standpoint, those are all pretty much the same, but since the keywords in the url aren't really that niche oriented(other than chocolate,) I think it might be better to make it easier for the user to type in.
If it were me, I would try to incorporate a better keyword into the url, which describes what the site is about. Such as, chocalatecandyreview.com chocolatefudgecandy.com ...
Please explain how to perform the manual review to learn their marketing and seo habits.
Well, their PR is relatively low. Mostly 3s on the front page. I think I can break in, regardless of the competition, I'm just frankly worried about blowing 20 bucks on the hosting and domain name.
Shoot me a PM and I will go into more detail, but a good place to start is by looking at their back-links, as this is often the most telling. You can tell a great deal by looking at where they are getting their links from and what sites they are associated with.
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