Okay so this is a quick update of my 2 tests that I recently ran on the Labour Party website, and the Conservative Party website, namely as a cheeky and silly experiment to try and get the Labour Party website ranking on page 1 for the phrase “Champagne Socialists,” and the Conservatives for “Toffee Nosed Twits”.
The exact same process was conducted for both experiments:
The domain “champagnesocialists.co.uk” was registered for the first test, and “toffeenosedtwits.com” for the second.
It looks like neither has been used before, have no existing backlinks, etc, so apart from one being a .com and the other being a .co.uk, one being 2 words and the other 3 words, they are pretty much the same.
The second step was to put a site on each – a one page html site that used the exact same template, had an image and similar but unique text relating to each of the 2 political groups, plus a slightly clever bit that I’m not going to tell you about.
Once each was ranking it was simply 301’d to the relevant website.
The results have been mixed. Despite starting first, the Labour website is not ranking for it’s keyword phrase, it has gradually dropped back and disappeared from the first 10 pages (I haven’t looked any further than that).
While on the other hand the Conservatives are indeed still on page 1 of Google as I write this for their keyword phrase.
So 2 experiments using exatly the same methodology to 2 very similar websites, and we have 2 totally different outcomes.
What Does This Mean?
First of all it means that Google are doing a sterling job at obfuscating what does and doesn’t work to rank a website. I doubt they are actively trying to protect Labour while laughing at the Conservatives – well I hope they aren’t anyway.
Secondly it shows just how random any given SEO tactic, method, or other process can be.
It can leave you trying out X, deciding it doesn’t work and consequently ditching it, when in reality more data is needed across various tests to see if it works or not. And of course vice versa.
It could also be that time is a critically important factor and that using some method Google will let results filter through at different speeds (so no, I haven’t given up on the idea that Labour may yet show up in the results as champagne socialists).
After all I’m sure we’ve all seen this happen – sites start to move rapidly, then seem to stop for a breather for a few weeks or months, and then suddenly set off again, even if nothing SEO related has been done to them in between.
Anyway, the bottom line for this experiment so far is that test 1 was a D- at best, and test 2 is a healthy A to A+ and we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.
In the meantime I hope it has given you some food for thought.