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Factors Concerning Sites Ranked in Google For Boer Goats or Boer Goats for Sale

or

"Why doesn't my site appear on Google for Boer Goats or Boer Goats for Sale?"

I have documented on my site how my sites do well in search engines for their key search phrases, but I have had some clients who want to know when their site will be in the top of Google's search phrases for what they consider the important phrases -- like Boer Goats or Boer Goats for Sale.

First of all, I do not agree that those phrases are important. True, the sites that appear on those are the well established sites, but my thinking stems from the logic that anyone who is really interested in buying goats is going to do a more specific search, like Boer Goats for Sale in Tennessee or Boer Goats Tennessee.

Additionally, there are a lot of sites that are competing for top spot for the non-geographic search term of Boer Goats. One of these days I am going to get around to figuring out a better estimate, but my initial gut feeling says that there are somewhere between 1000 and 2500 Boer Goat web sites right now (Google and Yahoo each list around 155,000 results for the quoted phrase "Boer Goats - but each only return around 1000 sites if you actually scroll through them). So, to get to the top of those, you are rising above a lot of competition. Getting to the top of the states search terms is a bit easier, only because there isn't as much competition.

Therefore, I have centered my optimization efforts on the specific geographic search phrases, and my sites are benefiting from those. Typically, I can get a site in the top 10 within 6 months on all three search engines. Google tends to take the longest, and the statistics below might bear out why.

Before I get into my search experiment, I do want to acknowledge that a lot of people who first start looking for goats will just type in Boer Goats or Boer Goats for Sale, and perhaps they will scroll the list trying to find someone in their region. I can imagine many people reading this article recalling how they first learned about goats - or the first time they surfed the web looking for more information. So, more than anything, this article has a purpose of trimming expectations for people who are new in the business and anticipate a quick rise to the top of the search engines. As you will see below, it takes time - but there are things you can do to shorten that time period.

So, in November, 2006, I wanted to analyze some key statistics that demonstrate just how hard it is to get in Google's top 10 for two general search phrases: "Boer Goats" and "Boer Goats for Sale".

Here is a little bit of information about how I conducted my searches. First, I have Google set to return the top 100 sites for each results page. So, I went to Google.com and typed in each of the two phrases. When the results came out, I copied them into a spreadsheet, and removed the sites that were duplicates and publicly owned (like a wikipedia entry and a couple of .edu sites).

After examining the lists, I went to two separate sites to determine how long the site had been online. For most sites, I could find the information by going to a site called DomainTools.com. For the ones that did not have a record on DomainTools (or were a sub-domain from another host - like a internet service provider), I used the "Wayback Machine" at web.archive.org (which is a pretty neat tool to see how sites looked in years past -- take a look at the early versions of MSN.com).

Here are some raw statistics from the searches:

For the search phrase "Boer Goats" (made without the quotation marks), the results were as follows. There were 87 sites remaining (after parsing out the sites as mentioned above).

Search Phrase: Boer Goats
Start Year / Results Positions
 
Top 10
Top 20
Top 50
Top 87
1995
1
1
1
1
1996
0
0
0
0
1997
1
1
1
1
1998
1
2
3
4
1999
0
4
6
9
2000
1
4
7
10
2001
5
5
11
15
2002
1
2
9
15
2003
0
1
7
10
2004
0
0
3
18
2005
0
0
2
3
2006
0
0
0
1
Avg
1997.7
1998.8
2001.1
2001.6

As you can see, no site that came online after 2002 was in the top 10. No site after 2003 in the top 20. Of the sites in the top 50 that started in 2005, one is my design site - CCFDesign.com. Of the 87 sites, 9 of them were sites I designed (a little over 10%).

As you can see from the averages at the bottom of the chart (and from an examination of the normality curve in the raw statistics - which are set up somewhat like a stem and leaf if you know what you are searching for), sites that most likely began in the 90s -- which does not bode well for new sites.

To further determine a trend, I wanted to see how many of the sites had the term Boer, Goats or both Boer and Goats in them (this might help you with domain name selection if you haven't decided). The table below shows the raw numbers and percentages for each of those phrases in the top level domain name (there were some sites that had the terms in the folder or file names, but I only wanted to consider the top level domain name for this point).

Search Phrase: Boer Goats
Results Position / Domain Name Frequency
 
Boer
Goats
Boer & Goats
Top 10
6
3
3
60%
30%
30%
Top 20
13
8
7
65%
40%
35%
Top 50
29
21
16
58%
42%
32%
Top 87
49
36
30
56%
41%
34%

Examining these results shows that having the term Boer is more important than Goats. With 6 out of 10 having the term Boer and that nearly 1/3rd of all of the results having both phrases in their domain name, I would stick to my suggestion that newly registered domain names ought to at least have Boer in the domain name, and should probably have both.

Note, I also did a check to see if the sites that were added later on had larger percentages with both Boer Goats (or one or the other), and there was not a statistical significance - in fact, the later added sites that made this top 87 actually had a slightly lower percentage - 56 % compared to 60%).

Similarly, I did a search for the phrase Boer Goats for Sale (which I actually is more important for consumers than the phrase Boer Goats - which is key for people seeking information). There were 40 sites that made both lists - which ought to be enough information to tell you that the summation of the results are going to be similar. Here are the results for that phrase:
Boer Goats for Sale
Start Year / Results Positions
 
Top 10
Top 20
Top 50
Top 89
1995
1
1
1
1
1996
0
0
0
0
1997
0
0
0
1
1998
0
2
3
3
1999
1
2
4
6
2000
3
4
7
9
2001
2
4
9
14
2002
2
3
10
19
2003
1
3
6
10
2004
0
1
10
20
2005
0
0
0
5
2006
0
0
0
1
Avg
2000.3
2000.6
2001.4
2001.9
Comparing this chart to the earlier one also shows that the older the site is, the more likely it is in the top (although that corollary is not exactly correct, because you can see a site that came out in 1997 that did not make the top 50, so earlier sites have no guarantee of making it in the top 10 or 20). Of the 89 sites, 12 were sites I have designed (nearly 14%) - you can take note of the fact that I started designing web sites in 2003 (with my first site being the one site in 2003 in the top 10), and started designing for other people in 2004, completing 4 sites in 2004, 7 sites in 2005 and 33 sites in 2006, so I started a bit behind, and I am proud of the results I have achieved - yet determined to make them better.
Search Phrase: Boer Goats for Sale
Results Position / Domain Name Frequency
 
Boer
Goats
Boer & Goats
Top 10
5
4
3
50%
40%
30%
Top 20
12
8
6
60%
40%
30%
Top 50
22
19
13
44%
38%
26%
Top 89
41
30
23
46%
34%
26%

So, does that mean you cannot break the ceiling? Well, probably not, but it does show just how long it takes to get ranked in Google for generic search phrases. So, don't despair, but get out there and get started.

If you look at it this way, there are some sites in the top 20 or 50 that are only 3 years old or younger (not many, but some), so there are things that can be done. In the future, I might do another check of this information and try to figure what characteristics exist in those sites that you can try to emulate.

Please check back to this site in the future as I will do similar research on MSN and Yahoo. Also, I will show how the geographic specific search terms are not as sensitive to site age.

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