How Easily do Authoritative Sites Rank for New Keywords?

All you have to do is look at all the spammy .edu pages that rank for stuff like ringtones and prescription drugs to know that if you have an authoritative site it does not take much to rank for competitive terms. It only took Matt Cutts one external citation with the associated anchor text to rank for buy cheap Viagra.

If you have a number of low quality sites on broad array of topics, or many online friends who are willing to help you with a link here or there, it is easy to make an authoritative site rank well enough to make deep into 5 or 6 figures a month from it.

This is why many of the best SEOs forgo early profits to build domain authority, and create high value editorial channels with few ads on the same sites as commercial offers to subsidize the rankings of the lower value offer pages.

John Pozadzides wanted to test this theory, so here is a link to help test it Buy Cheap Viagra And SEO.

Published: July 25, 2007 by Aaron Wall in marketing


July 27, 2007 - 8:22pm

.edu are good for getting into top10 but they are good-moderated :). They have a "bonus" from Google. That's why .edu backlinks appear in almost all SEO tools as a specific category.

John Pozadzides
July 28, 2007 - 1:44am


Ok, lets put this theory to the test...

I just created a post on my blog which you'll find here: Buy Cheap Viagra And SEO.

Since my site has a PR8 ranking I believe your theory would be that it should rank pretty high.

Of course, this is based on my understanding that when you talk about "authority" as it applies to a site you are referring to Google PR.

Please let me know if there were other indicators you consider when you speak of authority - otherwise, let's keep an eye on what happens in the near future to the search rankings of this post.

Take care,

John P.

July 28, 2007 - 1:58am

Hi John
My blog comments are set to use nofollow, so that link won't send you the juice needed to has to be a straight link.

I just added a straight link in the regular blog post though to help out with the test. :)

July 28, 2007 - 2:01am

Hi John
Also worth adding that site age and link diversity may also play some role beyond just raw PageRank, but your site has so much PageRank and a diverse link set, so I would still consider it quite authoritative.

July 28, 2007 - 7:23am


Thanks for the link to help with the test... when I was sharing the link in the comment I really only intended it to be informational as I assumed you had nofollow like all the rest of us. ;-)

It will be an interesting exercise to see what happens. Let me know if you notice anything before I do!


July 30, 2007 - 10:31pm

Ranking for keywords has become extremely easy with the right mix of an old domain and a few decent links. This is why usability and conversion tweaking is becoming more and more important. Ranking is easy, but changing your conversion percentages from 1-2% is the real challenge and can have a lot more monetary rewards then ranking for a new keyword.

James Dunn
July 25, 2007 - 2:21am

Although, with .edu sites being used to spam the SERPs the question is will domain authority continue to be so strong in the future?

Manish Pandey
August 3, 2007 - 7:53pm

Hey Aaron,

Well they ranked for that term because they had a good authoritative site. Well I am also testing this if I could pull up the top 10 rankings for my an year old domain. Well what I feel is, if I manage to get a few good IBLs then we might just pull it up! Well lets hope for the best and yes, wish me luck!



Manish Pandey
August 10, 2007 - 7:57am

Accomplished Aaron!

I now rank top 10 for the term Buy Cheap Viagra!

Thanks to people who supported me!


July 25, 2007 - 7:14am

I think Wiki is the perfect example of this. It uses inner linking and its own amazing domain authority to rank for just about every search term imaginable.

July 25, 2007 - 12:56pm

Domain authority is the single most important thing in the recent SEO advances. If you could win the trust of google then you would never be stopped by any competitor. The best example i found was of John's test of "britney spears naked" which ranked top 10 within a couple of days and my "funny dog pictures" page!

August 10, 2007 - 6:39pm

Congrats Manish, didn't take you long at all to get that!

July 26, 2007 - 12:28pm

how i find list of "spammy .edu site". please please guide me i cant effort the cost of your seo book.Atlease email me the hint how i search it on google.

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