A Blank Page Ranks #3

I participated a training session offered by PlanetOcean a while back. While the session was disappointing in that it failed to move beyond basic SEO issues, the speakers did show one interesting search result.

In Google, if you search for "tattoo", the number 3 result looks like the image below:


The interesting thing about this result is that it has no description. The only thing that matches the search is the title and URL. You'd think that a #3 result, especially one that beats out the Wikipedia listing at position #4 would need something more than a matching title and URL. Furthermore, clicking on the cache button reveals a blank page. Another oddity since Google generally ranks content rich pages higher than anything else. What's going on here? Are we to believe PlanetOcean's assessment that this is a demonstration of the power of an exact matching domain?

I did a little digging of my own i.e. I clicked on the link. The link took me to a real site that seemed to be relevant and otherwise legitimate. This was surprising since Google's cache was blank. But a quick look at the HTML source revealed what was going on. This particular page is actually a frameset with the main frame showing the contents of tattoos.com (notice the s on the end). In addition, it looks like there are hundreds and maybe thousands of inbound links to tattoo.com.

So while I think Google should probably drop this listing from their results, it's not quite as powerful a result as originally proposed by the PlanetOcean folks. That is, the URL isn't just ranking because the domain matches, but also because a lot of people have linked to it without realizing that it's just a frameset.

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4 Comments

  1. hehe, thanks :) Yeah, the focus of that presentation did get derailed a bit, they're usually a lot smoother than that. We got a few new ones in the can that are like butter.

  2. Marios Alexandrou

    Esoos, I guess we're on the same page after all. What I think went wrong with the explanation was that the discussion focused too much on one word domain names that happened to be very popular e.g. wine, cars. So the story seemed to be more about having a one-word, popular keyword domain rather than any keyword-rich domain that matches your business' product or service. But don't worry. You guys do such a great job with the monthly newsletter that all is forgiven :-)

  3. Hi Mario, That's actually the point we were making (guess we didn't convey as clearly as we could): When you have "the" keyword domain, you're in a very powerful position because many people will link to you as the default. Thus, lots of easy backlinks. Big part of the reason sites like Wine.com, Cars.com, and Tattoo.com are so tough to beat for those keywords (although it can be done with the right backlinks).

  4. backlinks, backlinks, backlinks. So powerful when figuring out Google.

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