This is a Guest Post from Thomas Urville, who believes in producing high-quality content to beat Wikipedia and Amazon at their own games…
If you’re like many Website owners and internet marketers, you grumble and grind your teeth every time you see huge mega-sites like Wikipedia and eHow taking up valuable space at the top of the SERPs.
And if you’re selling something, shopping sites like Amazon and WalMart make your life miserable by crowding out your carefully-crafted pages and burying you below the fold.
There’s no denying that the search engines are set up to favor the big guys. But that’s no reason to throw your hands in the air and give up. In fact, you can successfully compete with these sites. You just have to give the search engines what they want.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em
Here’s a cold, hard dose of reality…
If someone wants some quick information, they’re going to check Wikipedia, whether your site sits at the top of the SERPs or not.
The same goes for Amazon; if searchers are determined to buy something online, the odds are they’re going to do it through a huge, trusted shopping site.
If you think you can fiddle around with Google’s search results and make people forget about the existence of big authority sites, you’re wrong. Searchers know these sites exist, and they will visit those sites whether you like it or not.
You don’t need to lose much traffic to the big guys
This means your website isn’t really losing traffic just because these trusted sites effortlessly enjoy pride of place in the search engine listings. Even if your site is listed higher, most people will eventually end up on those other sites.
The real tip you need to pay attention to is this: don’t lose sleep over Amazon’s or Wiki’s position in the SERPS. Rather, you should lose sleep if your competing webpage isn’t the best it can possibly be.
Because in the long run that’s what Google is looking for — a page that answers all the searchers’ questions or gives them whatever else they were looking for. It’s your job to create that page. And when you do that, you outsmart the big sites.
An authority site doesn’t guarantee an authoritative page
They are at the top of the search results because they are authority sites. But search engines rank pages, not websites. If you do everything right, you can get your page above the fold too. And once you do that, you’ll get a fair share of the searches.
So think about it for a moment and you’ll see how to outsmart the massive authority sites.
Are you a seller or an affiliate? Prey on shopping sites
Shopping sites are huge. Their pages rank high automatically. But their auto-generated content isn’t as good as yours.
Once you make your page better and more useful to searchers, Google wants to put you on top.
Learn to write copy that appeals to buyers. Then, when you have them where you want them, get them to click your affiliate link.
Like I said, if they’re dead-set on going to Amazon, you’re not losing anything. But if you can get them while they’re in the shopping stage, your webpage is bound to be more appealing than the auto-generated robot pages.
Bully big info sites like Wikipedia by doing the things they can’t
Wikipedia and other info sites are formidable. But they have disadvantages you can exploit.
For instance, you can use high-quality paid images while those user-generated sites mostly rely on royalty-free stock images.
And your writing is better (and free of vandalism).
Once your page has top-quality, copyrighted information and images that Wiki can’t or won’t publish, you’ll get the searchers and the links. Who knows, you might even get a link from Wiki too. It’s worth paying a few dollars to put together a webpage that Wikipedia can not compete with.
As long as you’re above the fold, you can get the searchers
Statistics don’t tell the whole truth. Don’t listen to the stats which claim position #1 gets 40% of the searchers.
If you’re doing it right, your titles grab the searcher by his eyeballs and force him to click through to your site.
You’re not writing keyword-stuffed, auto-generated titles; your titles appeal to both the search engines and the searchers.
You may be in position 3 or 4, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the majority of the organic traffic for your keywords; all you need is a page title intriguing enough that they can’t help but click through to your site.
Authority? Like we said, don’t beat ‘em, join ‘em
You don’t try to be all things to all people.
Your site is probably focused on one segment of the market, so if you do your job correctly, it will begin to attract the links and social media mentions that would otherwise go to the general-purpose authority sites with which you are competing.
And once that happens, search engines will sit up and take notice.
So instead of cursing the big sites because of what they do well, take a look at what they do poorly. That’s how you outmaneuver them.