When I used to build a lot of websites, there was something that would drive me crazy. I would launch a batch of 10 to 20 niche sites. I would let these sites sit for a couple of months before getting around to doing something with them.
After about three months, I would revisit the sites and check the Google analytics data. What I noticed was something very odd. Like clockwork, I would always have a few sites that did extremely well, and others did so bad that I regretted even paying for the domain name.
As an example, let me talk about one of my most memorable instances of seeing Google’s Lucky Guy factor as work.
I had launched exactly 20 sites. After three months, I had two clear winners. These two sites were bringing in roughly 50 targeted search visitors per day, per site, with zero link building.
Each site was nothing more than one page with about 1,000 to 1,500 words of content – not that that really matters too much. Out of the same batch of 20 sites, I had a few others that did OK, which means they were starting to show signs of growth.
However, the majority of the sites, which was probably about 12 out of 20, absolutely flopped and brought in virtually no traffic from Google.
What I Discovered
You could say that Pareto’s Principle was at work here, and if you do the math, it would definitely seem like it. I’m not sure what Pareto’s Principle has to do with Google, but there is definitely something to take home from the experiment.
For whatever reason, Google likes some pages and hates others. You could say that the sites that ranked only did so because they were unintentionally targeting low competition keywords.
However, after examining the competition, this isn’t likely. All 20 of the keywords targeted, one keyword targeted by each site, were roughly the same competition.
In fact, if you looked at the competition for the two big winners of the batch, you would wonder how they ranked at all because the competition seemed even stronger when compared with the other 18 keywords.
Ladies and gentlemen – I want to welcome you to Google’s Lucky Guy factor. Maybe you could call it natural selection? I’m not sure what to call it, but for whatever reason, Google plays favorites.
At The Page Level
Keep in mind that Google ranks PAGES, not whole sites. While this little experiment was performed years ago, Google is STILL playing favorites, even today.
As an example, I launch many pages on my authority sites. You have to launch at least 20 pages, but you get a much better picture when you have 100s or even 1,000s of pages.
You could launch 20 new pages on an authority site, and only a handful of them will ever amount to anything. Out of a batch of 20 new pages, you might have 2 that do extremely better than expected, 2-3 that do OK, 2-3 that just barely make the cut, and the rest will probably be complete flops.
The good news is that the pages that do WIN usually make you enough money to justify the lost investment for the loser pages.
What is even more ironic is that it’s usually the most unexpected pages that seem to do incredibly well, and the pages that you think will do incredibly well tend to flop! Weird – I know!
It’s funny because I don’t think this is exclusive to Google’s algorithms. I think it’s more of a general rule of numbers of Pareto Principle type of thing.
The same thing can happen in all other areas of life. Imagine you have 20 kids trying to make the basketball team. You’ll get a couple that are significantly better than the rest of the group, 2-3 more that are a bit better than average, 2-3 that are just average and the rest won’t make the cut.
How is it that this ‘principle’ seems to rule every faucet of life? Anyways, the point I’m trying to make here is that when you’re building pages for a website, some will rank while others will flop.
From experience, the MAJORITY of the pages will flop, but you’ll have a handful that more than make up for the losers. Think Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan but for content.
What This Means for You
One of the most important things we can take home from this observation is that you have to apply enough effort to find the winners and losers. If you only throw up three pages of content and give up, you haven’t given the principle enough to work with.
If you throw up five new pages, maybe one will do well or slightly above average. The more pages you launch, the more chances you have to find the winners and losers.
Forget what everyone says about finding low competition, high value keywords and think in terms of how many pages do I need to launch to find the winners?
This rule applies to anything in life. If you go and ask three really gorgeous girls or guys out, the odds aren’t very great that you’ll find the ‘winner’. Maybe one girl does go out with you, but it doesn’t turn into a ‘winning’ relationship.
I hope that makes sense. Whatever you’re doing with your websites, make sure you put enough effort into it to ‘find the winners’. This especially applies to launching new content.
I’m not trying to say that you should ignore keyword research or not try to find keywords that have less competition. These tasks just increase your odds of finding the winners and getting more of them.
It’s like going to the mall, trying to find a girl to ask out and speaking four different languages. The additional languages aren’t really necessary, but they have the potential to increase your core results. That is essentially what finding ‘low competition’ keywords can do for you. I hope this opens your eyes a bit.