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  1. #1
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    No traffic, I mean 0
    Hello,

    My name is Marty and this is my first post to this forum. I created my first website about a month ago. It is a poker information website for beiginning online players. I have been a profitable player for a few years, so I am able to write original, useful content (at least i think it is). Since launching the site, I have referenced it a few times in the 2p2 forums and a few people clicked through. The problems is that this is my only traffic at all. I would not be so concerned if I were getting minor traffic, but Im getting 0 day after 0 day. The name of my website is http://www.onlinepoker4beginners.com. If anyone would be willing to take a quick glance at it and tell me if I am doing something majorly wrong I would appreciate it greatly. My main concerns are:

    Is it normal to have 0 traffic weeks after the first month or so of the site?

    Should I have a section on my site for recipricol links, I noticed all the other major sites in my niche dont have one?

    Should I pay for links? Once again, I noticed in my research that one of the main sites in my niche has alot of paid links.

    Should I direct my future efforts toward creating more content, creating more links, or getting traffic from other places like forums? (or a mixture of)

    I know that is alot to ask in my first post, but I am LOST. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by I.M.O.G.; July 7th, 2011 at 01:10 AM. Reason: unlinked URL

  2. #2
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Hi Marty - welcome to the ABW,

    One month and no clicks - nothing uncommon about that, especially for a site that is going to have difficulty getting ranked on the Google for US visitors - seeing how playing poker online for money is illegal in the US.

    Why would the Google care? Because it can't serve any ads. Can't make any money off of your content.

    the Google is watching, is obeying the law (yeah), and passing it's judgment...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  3. #3
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Google serves up 80 million results for "online poker". Every indexed site will be ranked somewhere - high or low - and ten sites will appear on page 1.

    Of course the chances of ranking well are slim to none, and it should be easy enough to say that without polluting a newbie's mind with a boatload of BS about Google.
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  4. #4
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    Google serves up 80 million results for "online poker". Every indexed site will be ranked somewhere - high or low - and ten sites will appear on page 1.

    Of course the chances of ranking well are slim to none, and it should be easy enough to say that without polluting a newbie's mind with a boatload of BS about Google.
    My opinion davidh, is what I think - call it a boatload of BS or whatever. See you want to pick a fight with someone, again...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    They do say opinions are like... Nevermind. But anyways, you both do have opinions.

    A couple other immediate concerns Mduck32:

    1. A google search for your exact domain name does not include your site as the top result. It includes a site on wordpress which outranks your domain name. That's not a good indication for your SEO
    2. The domain name you chose is made up of terribly saturated keywords in a highly competitive segment.
    3. Your site doesn't appear many places, but it does appear on several link exchange pages/sites. People have different opinions about this, but generally when I see that I think it means the site probably sucks. "Good" content based sites don't engage in link exchange - they depend on obtaining links organically because they are relevant, notable, and useful. What I think doesn't matter though, but what google thinks does - if their algo is smart enough to see those links and understand the quality of those inbound links, they are probably hurting you more than they are helping you. Someone else on here said SEO stands for Someone Else's Opinion, and my opinion is that Google would smoosh your ranking for it - if they don't yet, they will once they can figure out how to.
    Last edited by I.M.O.G.; July 7th, 2011 at 02:23 AM.
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  6. #6
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Not picking a fight. Just voicing my opinion, that is all.

    Anyway... Mduck32 you've chosen an extremely competitive field that is full of dirty players that have already had many years to fortify their positions before you came into the game. Just about all you can do is try to create unique/interesting content that has the potential to create some word-of-mouth buzz, and seek out links from relevant places. It's going to be an uphill battle whether you find success or not.
    CUSTOM BANNERS by GRAPHICS CANDY ~ Banner Sets and Website Graphics ~ Professional design, reasonable rates
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies and I understand the field that I am entering is going to be well saturated. However, this is my primary skill and passion. Also, when I read some of the webisites already ranking well, I can tell that they were written by someone that doesnt have a clue about poker. Im mainly just trying to get started and gain some experience. If anyone can answer these questions, I would greatly appreicated it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mduck32 View Post
    Is it normal to have 0 traffic weeks after the first month or so of the site?

    Should I have a section on my site for recipricol links, I noticed all the other major sites in my niche dont have one?

    Should I pay for links? Once again, I noticed in my research that one of the main sites in my niche has alot of paid links.

    Should I direct my future efforts toward creating more content, creating more links, or getting traffic from other places like forums? (or a mixture of)

    I know that is alot to ask in my first post, but I am LOST. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  8. #8
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Marty,

    As Kenny said "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away and know when to run."

    After seeing your site, I ran, so you need to fold.

    The domain sucks- it's too long and has a number instead of a word

    The site font is odd and really hard to read

    The layout is amateurish and needs a lot of work.


    So scratch it, search Goog for sites that are your competition ... see what you like about their sites, then put all those things into your new design template then put LINKS within the original content and a mild smattering of banner ads to fill the space. Keep adding content that is useful and seek real feedback, keep improving and tweaking it and then, only then do you go to next level - traffic, maybe buy ads on the p2p forum as a small experiment of targeted and measurable traffic. You'll know where you stand then.

    Please also note the real facts that Davidh conveys about the gambling industry as a whole. YMMV but overall it's a learning experience (hopefully you'll earn as well) and maybe you can identify a need within the space and niche that out for yourself.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  9. #9
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    Along with the others have said, I think your site gives the impression that you are selling yet another ebook. Since you are in such a competitive niche, you better use every trick in the book and a fancy/professional website design is going to be very important.

    You said in your post that you are a successful online poker player - I'm guessing there's not too many of those out there. Yet, no where on the homepage do you mention that or why anyone should follow the advice you are giving. Rewrite the entire homepage. It should start out something like..."Hi, I'm Marty. I'm an online poker player who has defied the odds and won more than I've lost. Want to learn how I do it? Check out my ...."

    Don't pay for "links", pay for "advertising". Google hates it when people pay for links. While I agree that natural links are best, a new site often needs a boost and directory links are a good way to get it. If any of your poker forum friends has a site, offer to write a guest post as long as it links back to your site.

    I would research keywords in the niche and try to find some easier to rank for terms - those terms that get so little traffic that the big players couldn't be bothered chasing them. Those little terms will help the search engines learn what your site is about and gradually you will start ranking for more competitive terms.


    Good luck!

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  11. #10
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Hi Marty,

    I'm going to clarify my first post, touch on the others, and add my own spin.

    Again, one month and no clicks is not necessarily uncommon for any niche and you should look at the reasons why:

    Your domain is only three weeks old and is only registered for one year. There is what is called a sandbag period with the Google. You are the new kid on the block and it will take time to be trusted. One way to show you are serious about your online presence is to extend your registration to a minimum of three years. The Google looks at how long a domain has been registered and how long it has been a particular type of site. IE: If it has been registered for five years but was never developed. If you decide to take Haiko's advice and secure a better, shorter, numberless domain - register it for a minimum of three years.

    Site design / layout. While this may appear subjective at first it's importance is often missed. Proper layout and hiarchy is important for proper indexing and information flow. Consider blocking your navigation from being indexed allowing your content in the center column to be the focal point of the search engine's efforts. What happens is your content begins to not match your side bar navigation and things should match as specifically as possible. Content is king. Pretty much always has been and probably always will be. When I stated the Google can't serve any ads, can't make any money off your content therefore they don't care, it is because your content has to be very niche, very targeted in order for a visitor's search queries to match. The more targeted your page's content, the higher you will rank, triggering any potential opportunities for the Google to serve any available ads. Despite what some may think, the Google isn't some socialist entity with the belief that the internet should be "free" or all are created equal. They are quite the capitalist and their business model is to make money off of other's content. If your content can't make them money, they consider it of less value, and keep you at the bottom of the SERPs. Everyone gets "indexed" by the Google, doesn't mean you get "ranked". By "ranked" I mean where you are listed in the SERPs where someone will actually click on your link. It's a symbiotic relationship. You provide specific content and in return they move you up in their search results triggering the best specific ads in their inventory with the hopes someone clicks on those ads.

    Look at your competitors in the search results for keywords / phrases you are targeting, ie: how to play online poker. Visit them, analyze what they have done to get ranked. Here, the SERPs display howstuffworks as number 1, pokkercards as number 2, and wikipedia as #3. There are a couple of videos thrown into the results as well your online poker houses. Stiff competition.

    Instead of allowing your navigation to be indexable, consider sitemaps instead. Both a static html sitemap and a xml sitemap that can be submitted to the search engines. If you haven't already, consider opening a Webmaster account on each of the search engines where you can submit the xml sitemap.

    You're using spaces in your page URLs - they are showing up as %20. Consider a hyphen or underscore to make your URLs more attractive and easier to read.

    You have some duplication of indexed pages. Both the www and non www URLs are being indexed. You are diluting your efforts. Pick one. You can set your URLs to default to one or the other by a simple .htaccess code. Also, in the Google's Webmaster tools you can set how you want your URLs to be displayed.

    The Google also weighs a page's content to advertisement ratio. They can easily spot affiliate links such as your poker software page. You're heavy on the advertisements and light on the content. Also on the poker software page, consider only one software "review" per page, adding more pages can add weight and value to your website. Careful on reviews, there are FTC guidelines that must be considered.

    You still have to address the user's experience once they do find you and come to your site. I am not a big fan of the layout you are using. Very narrow and dated with lots of wasted real estate. Widen it. Today's monitors are larger and today's wireless devices (cell phones and PDAs) all have browsers capable of displaying a site nicely.

    Agree with Haiko, the fonts are hard to read. You use multiple fonts and styles which gives the site a messy, amateurish feel. You want to let your visitors know you are serious. You have once chance for a first impression.

    Now to address your specific questions:

    Is it normal to have 0 traffic weeks after the first month or so of the site?
    Yes.

    Should I have a section on my site for recipricol links, I noticed all the other major sites in my niche dont have one?
    Am not a lover of link exchanges or reciprocal links. Considering adding a "Link to Us" page with some predefined links.

    Should I pay for links? Once again, I noticed in my research that one of the main sites in my niche has alot of paid links.
    Pay for advertising, sure - once your site is made more user friendly and aesthetically pleasing. Pay for back links - NO! Careful where you place your links - a bad neighborhood can hurt you.

    Should I direct my future efforts toward creating more content, creating more links, or getting traffic from other places like forums? (or a mixture of)
    Online marketing is a mixture of these things. Again, content is king. It needs to be plentiful and kept fresh. Add content on a regular schedule, not in spurts. Give the search engines a reason to keep coming back again and again - Your visitors will appreciate it as well.

    Creating links is very tough, concentrate on getting into the habit of creating content first - then visit link building.

    Forums are not necessarily the best place to drop a link. Buying a paid ad on a forum is probably the better approach.

    All I have for the moment, and remember - the Google is watching you and is passing judgment on what it sees...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  13. #11
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    Thanks for a very interesting post Convergence.

    Hope the OP doesn't mind if I pick your brains about 2 of the points you made:

    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    [the Google isn't some socialist entity with the belief that the internet should be "free" or all are created equal. They are quite the capitalist and their business model is to make money off of other's content. If your content can't make them money, they consider it of less value, and keep you at the bottom of the SERPs. Everyone gets "indexed" by the Google, doesn't mean you get "ranked". By "ranked" I mean where you are listed in the SERPs where someone will actually click on your link. It's a symbiotic relationship. You provide specific content and in return they move you up in their search results triggering the best specific ads in their inventory with the hopes someone clicks on those ads.
    And...

    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    The Google also weighs a page's content to advertisement ratio. They can easily spot affiliate links such as your poker software page. You're heavy on the advertisements and light on the content.
    I'm reading these 2 sections and taking this to the logical conclusion (for me) it would mean that if you put more google ads on your page (without exceeding the TOS) then "the Google" can make more money so they would rank you more highly than if you have no ads.

    At the same time if you have other peoples ads they will nock you down the ladder.

    So for a given page content its a balancing act between google ads and other ads ??

    Heavy stuff !

  14. #12
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritchie View Post
    I'm reading these 2 sections and taking this to the logical conclusion (for me) it would mean that if you put more google ads on your page (without exceeding the TOS) then "the Google" can make more money so they would rank you more highly than if you have no ads.
    I wasn't implying that at all - there have always been theories floating around that suggest that, but personally I don't.

    I suspect the Google makes the majority of their money from searches on the Google itself, not adsense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritchie View Post
    At the same time if you have other peoples ads they will nock you down the ladder.
    I think any time you do not have enough "content" to offset ads you are considered more of a "parked" type page than having anything of value to offer to your visitors - whether it's the Google ads or any other...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  15. #13
    ABW Ambassador daiarian's Avatar
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    There is a load of good advice posted here but don't you think you are well out of your depth here.

    Using a boxing analogy it is a bit like putting a junior flyweight in against Joe Louis

    I think you will continue to struggle against what is huge opposition unless you can come up with a unique angle.

    Best of luck

  16. #14
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    Poker as your first website will probably lead to nothing but frustration. It's just one of the most competitive categories out there, if not the most. These other sites have years, money, links, tactics (both white and blackhat) etc. It would be tough for even the most experienced. Somebody just starting out should try something a little bit easier, find a niche.

  17. #15
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    Thanks for clearing that up for me Convergence.

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