Well the fact is that most of the popular sites are popular because of the traffic they receive from search engines, without these the sites would be nothing. There are sites that claim that they receive more than 7 to 8 thousand unique visitors per day on a consistency but do not declare where they come from.
The fact is not that they write popular articles, most of these sites just post stuff from around the blogosphere without any original articles right now. I would not like to name any of those sites from my study, but my analysis on popular sites led me to believe that once I write a article that lands up in popular keywords in a search engine I get visitors that I can display and be popular. This infact led me to research as to how these sites are popular.
As a clarification I would also want to say that my research is not biased but towards providing a insight into how most of the popular web sites are popular and get their traffic, many of the other web sites have regular readers which contribute towards the traffic and those are not my targets.
Also the traffic estimates are not my own but pronounced on the sites itself.
I have studied in-depth 20 sites which are popular and do not post regularly or do not post quality content but are still quite huge in rankings overall, the quality is my judgement and no one other’s. Unfortunately I will not be able to make public my findings and methods to do that. Also I am not accepting any requests to analyze any other sites.
How does this work?
I have studied a site that has practically no articles since a year but still gets a whopping 2500+ visits per day, you may wonder how? It’s all through search engines. The site receives 2300+ hits only from search engines, so popularity is bliss if you have a great keyword that sends you visits. It does not matter how often you post or how often you don’t, search engines work on your content and will send you visitors.
Another one proudly suggests that he is a top blogger but his sites merely works on three keywords or phrases that bring traffic to his site, remove those and his site would sound like a newbie. Those three keywords bring him about 90% of his 7000+ traffic.
Another site I studied blogged once in a while, but still he has 8000+ of his traffic coming from search engines with 68% keywords and 16% referrals.
Site 4 has 48% search engine traffic 6% referrals and a whopping 28% paid referrals.
Site 5 has a traffic of 4500 but 60% of these come from paid referrals.
The frequency of posts does not suggest your rankings but all that matters is if you have the keyword the user is searching for that exists in your content through the search engine or a paid linking on other sites other then ads, I can point out 6 such sites which have links that are paid but are not disclosed in traffic analysis.
How did I track those?
To track those sites was not simple, I had to navigate through 20 sites, check their most popular articles and run queries on multiple search engines to determine the search terms and incoming links for these sites.
The logic is not so simple but through my logic I was able to figure out the top keywords that resulted in search engine hits for those sites, right now its a manual process but in future I will have it automated.
Can you beat the established site on keywords and terms?
Yes you can, as a part of the research I did, I posted new articles to match those keywords and though I landed on page 1 of search engines, it took me at least 3-4 days before I could rank higher than them.
It did increase my traffic significantly, but as a part of my research I have ignored the traffic.
Does this bring you traffic?
It does, but never target keywords, if you check source view on most of my posts I never have keywords in my meta tags except for categories which WordPress adds by default. It is one SEO bullshit you should keep away from. Keywords does not make content, content makes keywords.
Everything you write is keywords, and anything that is searched for is keywords. So if your content is matches those of the user search you will always be up in search results.
I have more than 50 articles on page one of a search engine, but the most that matters to me is readers, because I always write for them.
The reason for me to write this post is to bring forth how popular sites are really popular and the answer I got from my research, the research is part of my own project to track and know how people can get to top positions and stay there without doing any hard work.
I do not suggest that these sites have not done any hard work, they have done that and most of them are popular thanks to search engines, my project just includes how and where they did it. My aim is to let the world know keyword does not matter and nor does posting frequency, content does if you have the right keyword in it.
My next series on this discovery will be positioning the content so that search engines can find it.
The final Question. Should you blog for search engines?
Ethically no, traffic wise yes. You should blog for your users period. Write good posts and search engines will definitely appreciate all your efforts and send you traffic. I wrote an article more than a year ago but still search engines send me traffic on that which amounts to around 600+ hits per day. Writing for search engines itself may get your blog banned.
If you have any questions, do leave your comments and I would be glad to reply to those other than asking me how I conducted this analysis.