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.