I discovered a very interesting thread on Webmaster World from an experienced SEO Professional who decided who to pin two websites, competing in the same industry, with each other.
The first site was pushed using old school SEO practices, including paid and reciprocal links, content development, doorway pages, etc.
The second site was build in a more ‘organic way’ focussing on unique content, with no paid links or doorway pages, but with a blog, videos, blogs, RSS feeds and Twitter integration.
Guess which one is earning money and getting quality Google traffic? You got it, the “SEO’ed Site.”
The forum member wrote:
Site 1 (AKA “SEO’ed Site”): after just 3 months it was skyrocketing past some pretty hefty competition with traffic increasing well each month. The site was making £10,000+ a month for the last six months we had it and just sold for a rather nice figure.
Site 2 (AKA “Quality Site”): has struggled to rank anywhere, even for it’s own name, and traffic has been stagnant since the outset – it made a loss for the first 8 months and made just under £3000 in it’s best month which was last month.
My two cents: Although the results of this case study are quite interesting (depressing for a white hat SEO), I am not convinced that we can draw any conclusions of this. I believe that, depending on the industry and the degree of competition, you can be successful with a less aggressive/more organic SEO campaign. Additionally, I would not not include reciprocal linking with any random site and true doorway pages as part of “regular SEO practices”, as described in the thread.
I recommend to read all the details in the forum thread.
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