How Did BFAds.net and TheBlackFriday.com Steal All The Black Friday Traffic?

Yesterday I wrote a post about how the first page of Google for searches related to Black Friday is dominated by exact-match domains. One of my readers commenting on the post asked a great question, what kind of SEO did the top sites do to claim their golden spot in Google? While BlackFriday.com is definitely the category-killer domain, BFAds.net and TheBlackFriday.com have stolen the Black Friday traffic! If you don’t think so just take a look at the latest data from Compete:

black_friday_domainsAs you can see BFAds.net is in the lead with 543,690 unique visitors followed by TheBlackFriday.com at 393,340 visitors, heck even black-friday.net gets 252,270. Then we get down to #4 and the traffic falls off a cliff, BlackFriday.com only has 73,220 visitors. So how did these three very mediocre domains steal BlackFriday.com’s traffic? SEO, and let me now take you a step further to show you how they did, allowing these sites to capture some incredibly valuable traffic.

Let’s start with BFAds.net, take a look at their link profile:

bfads_link_profileAs you can see the site has a total of 7,991 links coming in from 755 different link domains. These include mega-links like one from USA Today and Technorati. This is a heavy amount of links as they are well targeted around their keywords giving them the best backlink profile in the space, and that’s why they are #1. While an exact-match domain could have probably helped them get to #1 without having to get so many links, they have well-secured this spot.

Now let’s take a look at TheBlackFriday.com, take a look at their link profile:

theblackfriday_link_profileAs you can see they don’t have nearly the number of backlinks with less than 1,000 links compared to BFAds.net massive 7,991. The same thing happens when you look at root domains with 193 compared to BFAds.net’s 755. There are some nice choice links though from very respected sources like Wired Magazine and Mashable. Remember, it’s not just the number of links but also the quality of links, still with 7,991 total links and 755 root domains linking in BFAds.net takes the cake for putting the most time into backlink building.

Now let’s take a look at BlackFriday.com certainly the best domain in the group, but it’s missing-out on a vast majority of the traffic.

blackfriday_link_profileAs you can see BlackFriday.com has only 582 total links with less than 100 root domains linking in. This is a critical miss and while there are some good links coming in, their competitors beat them in the SEO game plain and simple.

Now for the very important disclaimer here, Complete.com isn’t necessarily providing perfectly accurate data, these are only estimates, but they can help determine relative scale. Given where BFAds.net and TheBlackFriday.com are located within the search results in Google vs. BlackFriday.com this data also makes sense. Google has always used the number and quality of links as a key determinant of relevance. As a domain investor I love domain names and especially category-killers like BlackFriday.com but this just goes to show how powerful SEO can be at driving traffic.

I am reaching-out to the owners of BFAds.net and TheBlackFriday.com to see if they are willing to comment or share any sales figures next week. Then again, they might be busy racing their Ferrari’s after 24-hours of printing money!

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • MarsDavis November 23, 2011, 5:47 pm

    Hi Morgan,

    Thanks for sharing! To get similar data on other websites, do you use Compete Pro… or something else? Is Compete a paid service? Thanks, Mars

    Reply
  • Jason November 23, 2011, 5:53 pm

    Again, domains don’t matter. Use anything on any tld + link spamming.

    Reply
  • Olney November 23, 2011, 6:52 pm

    Owning a category killer domain doesn’t dictate a marketing budget.
    Facebook ads, Search campaigns, SEO tactics, banner ads, it can produce more revenue & traffic.
    More traffic also doesn’t mean better ROI. I’m surprised that the top site has good content but tons of obvious affiliate links.

    Reply
  • Alexander November 23, 2011, 8:01 pm

    BlackFriday.com is a million dollar domain with great potential for big development. Kevin, you can beat them with more time and money invested in seo 🙂

    Reply
  • MrMars November 25, 2011, 10:03 am

    Actually that is not what happened. The guy who owns blackfriday.com bought blackfriday.info, black-friday.net, blackfriday.org, cybermonday.net and a few other black friday domains. Then he stuck the same adsense code on them all and Google caught him, and put all his sites in penalty expect blackfriday.info, that is why blackfriday.com went from page 1 to page 7ish. Google does not like one person “owning the front page” so to speak. Guy was trying to have a Black Friday monopoly.

    Reply
  • AndyO November 26, 2011, 3:51 pm

    Some really interesting figures there, Morgan. Kudos for the insight, its really got me thinking!

    Reply

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