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Google Ranking Case Study Results

by PotPieGirl on November 17, 2009 · 23 comments

How I Doubled My Traffic for One Keyword Phrase

Back in mid-September, I did a Google ranking case study for one of my Squidoo lenses. I figured I’d take a few minutes today to take a look at the results of my efforts and then take a few hours to create screenshots and a follow up post detailing my results. I’d also like to share how I doubled my traffic for one of my keyword phrases. It’s all kinda cool (well, for a SEO-geek like me it’s cool). If you’ve got a little geek in ya too – or you’d just like to learn a simple way to double your traffic – sit back and let’s walk thru this.

The Google Ranking Case Study Details

As some of you may remember, I picked a Squidoo lens I’ve had sitting around that I hadn’t TOUCHED in over 17 months. It ranked fine, but I knew it could do better. Thankfully, Squidoo gives good traffic stats for our lenses so that made my work a bit easier (hey, guess-work is hard on the brain…give me REAL stats…lol).

You can read the original case study here.

In the 3 months previous to me changing anything, that one lens had gotten 556 visits via Google. I also identified a keyword I ranked ok for, but had a nice opportunity to harness more traffic if I ranked even better for it. Then, I picked a “tough” keyword to see if I could rank for it since it had really great traffic potential.

The lens was my worm composting lens that I use for most of my case studies and experiments.

The opportunity keyword that I wanted to rank higher for was “how to make a worm farm”. At the beginning of the experiment I ranked #5 in Google for that phrase and got “ok” traffic for it. Now, I rank #3 for it and traffic has improved for that one keyword phrase.

The tough keyword? Well, let’s just say that failure is a big part of this business….lol! As of this moment, I can’t find my lens in the top 200 results of Google for that tough keyword. However, the tough keywords take more time so I am not giving up, nor am I admitting defeat =)

About The Google Traffic

Before I started this experiment, I received 556 organic visits from Google for this project in the previous 30 days.


In the past 30 days from today? Oh yeah, now we’re at 796 organic visits from Google for this project!

What’s even better is that previous to these changes, I received about 60 visits a month from Google for ONE keyword that I wasn’t even targeting…and now? Now I’ve had 124 organic visits from Google from this same individual keyword.

So tell me, would YOU like to double your traffic for a keyword you already rank for?

Thought so! Let me show you what I did.

How I Doubled My Traffic

When I first started I had one little listing on page 1 of Google for this keyword phrase. See this screen shot taken 10-27-2009:

I said to myself, “Self, how can you harness MORE of that traffic?”

Sure, I can try and rank #1 instead of #2 – easy enough….but what else?

So then I thought that getting a Google snippet link would be cool – AND would help my traffic:

And it did help… AND it helped my ranking to get to #1. (read how to get a Google snippet link)

Then I said to myself, “Self, if ONE listing is good, wouldn’t TWO listings be better? Like TWICE as good?”

So, I tried that:

And let me tell ya, two IS double better than ONE =)

I used to only have the #2 position which brought about 60 organic visits a month from Google.

Now, I have #1 AND #2 AND a snippet link and that has brought 124 organic visits from Google in the last 30 days for that ONE KEYWORD!

Lens #1

Lens #2

Any of your lenses or web pages rank for a keyword that you wish you could double your traffic for? It can be done!

Doubling Your Traffic

This works for your own web pages, not just for Squidoo, but it is really easy to do with Squidoo. However, if you have your own web site that has a page that ranks well for a targeted phrase, you can do these same steps on your own site, too.

First rule is this: for best and easiest results, you need control of both web pages. Now on these free-to-use sites like Squidoo, you CAN piggy-back another page on the site that you don’t control, but it’s not near as easy.

And yes, “piggy back” is my official technical term for ‘double listing’ or ‘indented listing’ =)

So, take a look at the stats for a lens you already have that is already ranking. Pull the traffic stats for as far back as you can get them and look for a keyword phrase you are getting traffic for that you didn’t specifically mean to rank for (ie, you didn’t optimize specifically for that phrase).

Now, build a NEW page targeting that one specific keyword phrase.

We’ll call your original lens “Lens A” and your new piggy back lens “Lens B”.

Ok, now….. link Lens A to Lens B…and Lens B to Lens A using the exact phrase your want to piggy back for as the anchor text. Yes, they each link to each other with the same exact phrase as the “clickable words”.

Now, get Google to crawl/index your new lens and re-crawl your old lens. A couple of back links to the new lens with that exact same anchor text you want to piggy back for will do fine – or read how to get Google to recrawl your web page here.

Now, you wait. Yes, I know, patience is a booger, but it’s a necessary evil in this business.

Google Double Listings

Here’s the “catch” about getting these double ‘piggy back’ listings in Google. Lens B (your new lens) has to be able to at least rank on the same page as your original lens (Lens A). If they both rank on the same page of the organic listings it is most likely that Google will pop them together and make a double listing out of them.

The good news is that it takes WAYYYYYYY less back links to get that piggy back lens to rank where its needed in order to get that double listing.

Take a look at this screen shot that analyzes the Google organic listings for my targeted phrase:

As you can see by the orange arrow, my piggy back lens only reports ONE back link. Now, yes, that is an easy query space to work in, but my point is, that’s all it took. Actually, it started showing as a double listing when there were ZERO back links showing on this tool (and by the way, if you don’t have this free analysis tool you’re missing out on something good).

As you can see by the green checks all the way across for my piggy back lens, that page is optimized for this specific keyword phrase. I talked about how to do that in the original Google Ranking Case Study post here.

The purple arrow shows the “cache age” of the web page – ie, how many days ago that Google crawled and cached that web page. As you can see, for both my lenses, my cache date is fresh (and it has been) and that is really important. Sure don’t want Google to forget about you, now do ya?

Now, I have found that when I do a piggy back lens, that it will pop into Google….and then pop right back out. That happens, don’t worry about it. Fall back on that “patience” thing we all struggle with =)

That particular piggy back lens was MIA from Google for about 3 days and then not only did it come back, but both lenses were then #1 and #2.

Don’t try and out-do the original lens (lens A) with your back links and optimization efforts. All you want is for that Lens B to be able to rank on the same page as Lens A – not to beat it. If you take it too far, it is possible that eventually your Lens B could out-rank and “cannibalize” your Lens A leaving you right back where you started – with a single listing.

So, just take it slow. Make the new lens, get them linked together, get Google there to do it’s thing, and then see where you stand.

Once you have your double/piggy back listing, you will most likely get double the traffic you WERE getting for that keyword phrase – regardless of whether your double listing is on page one of Google or page 4…. it will double what you WERE getting. Obviously, having #1 AND #2 is really, really good tho =)

If all this seems over your head right now, don’t worry about it. When it’s time, this tutorial will be right here waiting for ya!

Read the original Google Ranking Case Study here

Read How To Get Google Snippet Links Here

and, in case you missed my email -

Get this Free Report – Top 6 Super Affiliate Secrets (it’s from the same guy that makes this cool free software I used up above).


davcon November 17, 2009 at 9:21 pm

The Google Raking Case Study Details

Would that be over the coals or should I google potpiegirl and leafs? lol…on a more serious note, great info it will come in handy for a couple on lenses I have

PotPieGirl November 17, 2009 at 9:32 pm

LOL! Totally missed that typo…thank you!

All fixed now ;)

Robert November 17, 2009 at 9:51 pm

I wonder how you actually get the total number of keywords that were searched for as far back as Squidoo goes ?? When I go into edit mode and Stats, the only keywords I get are the ones for the last 7 days. Could someone please tell me how you do this … I could become a CUSTOMER !
LOL !!


CarolHansen November 17, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Thanks for the great post. I recently took a week and made seven squidoo lens for backlinks to some of my blogs. Some are doing well and some not so. Very surprising which ones are moving up though. Thanks for all your great tips. Still learning. :0)


PotPieGirl November 17, 2009 at 10:00 pm

No problem Robert!

From your lens dashboard, hold your mouse over the lens you want to check on, when you hold your mouse over it, some other choices come up. One option is “stats”, click that….

Then – Click the “traffic” tab and then click the drop down menu and choose “3months”

Hope that helps!


Andy Beard November 17, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Great to see all the work paying off

The important factor though… did it increase the number of measurable actions such as advertsing clicks, email signups, sales etc?

Robert November 17, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Thanks Jennifer – this is the kind of customer care I like !!


Franck Silvestre November 17, 2009 at 11:06 pm

Great job and great blog.

I was just working on two of my squidoo lenses, and I noticed that Squidoo will not allow more than 9 links to the same domain on a given lens.

Squidoo gave me a hard time today, but I’ve cleaned my oldest lenses since they give me decent link juice to my blog.

Martial Artist
Internet Business Coach

Shankapotomus November 17, 2009 at 11:41 pm

So I am thinking… you have a team of scientist researching these things every day, don’t you?

Amazing, Jen. i have about 30 lenses now and I will get started on this gig tonight. I could use the extra exposure from being “FAT” on the organic listings.

PotPieGirl November 18, 2009 at 12:56 am

@ Andy – Hi there! Great to see you here on my humble little blog!

Yes, this little experiment increased click thrus to the merchant in a healthy way. Now, needless to say this is not my most profitable lens I am putting out here for all the world to analyze, but if this was a 1:25 or 1:40 converting product, I believe this would not only double my traffic, but double my sales.

Double the targeted traffic is only a good thing, agree?

@ Robert – You’re most welcome….glad it helped!

@ Franck – Thanks for stopping by! Yes, Squidoo made some policy changes to help clean up the site alittle. One of those changes in the amount of outbound links to the same domain on a lens (as you stated, now capped at 9).

Glad Squidoo has been sending you some love. If I can do anything to help, just give me a shout.

@ Shankapotomus – LOVE the name! My team of “researchers” includes, me, myself, and I (and a few good friends /co-horts…..lol).

Thanks all!


carina November 18, 2009 at 1:19 am

Hi Jennifer for this valuable info.

I guess this is something we can try with our blogs as well, right?

Well, I am working on content marketing and trying to apply some strategies, I will test this one.

Thanks again, and yes indeed, 2 listings are better than one lol.


Collapsible Christmas Tree November 18, 2009 at 1:47 am

Hey there Jennifer,

This was an epic post well worth the read to the very end. Your last two blog posts were nice little nuggets that’s sure to help boost holiday income for all those who actually take action.


Jon November 18, 2009 at 3:46 am

As I always do when I read your posts, I’ve learned something. Thanks! I’m tinkering with my own lenses right now :)

I do have a question though. The [ worm farming for profit ] keyword looks like it averages about 140 searches a month. In the initial Case Study you said you were going for about 20% of traffic with a #1 rank in Google organic search, but in this case Lens A is getting a mind-boggling 67% of Google searchers to click through and then Lens B is getting another 21%. That’s like 88% of avg monthly search volume!

Even before the Case Study, when Lens A was at #2, it was getting 60 visits, or about 42%

Should I be lowering the bar on keyword search volume in the expectation that low-search keywords may yield better than the expected 20-40% for a #1 listing in Google? I’ve been targeting long-tail keywords with at least 500 monthly “exact” search (of course preferably higher!)

If so, I’d gladly take 67% of 140 searches with almost no competition versus being stuck “below the fold” on page 1 even for a keyword with a couple thousand searches.

structured settlement payments November 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Hello You done a very good work as always.

Impressive work ! I just love your experience. Last 2 month ago i was visit your blog.I must thankful to you for this kind helpful information.bye

PotPieGirl November 18, 2009 at 5:52 pm

@Jon -

GREAT questions and observations!

I’ve read stats that claim a #1 ranking for a keyword should expect about 40% of the search volume. For me, in my experience, it’s more like 20% so I base things I do off my own results.

Now, yes, you have noticed that by adding the snippet link and by adding the “piggy back” double listing, I have captured an AMAZING amount of that search volume.

Take a look at the search results now that there are the two pages and the snippet link. It’s hard to MISS that listing and not click SOMETHING about it.

Having #1 is great… but having #1 AND #2 AND having some “eye candy (the snippet link) to sell the click…. well, it just plain ROCKS.

In cases like this, I don’t worry about search volume as much as think about user intent – yup, those buying keywords. Traffic is great, but BUYING traffic, yes, it just plain rocks too =)

Bottom line – if you have a keyword that you know is leading to sales, monopolize it – regardless of search volume. You want to know that when someone searches that phrase that they WILL find YOU.

Make any sense?

Thanks all for reading!


Ludwig November 19, 2009 at 11:40 am

There is a great tool for keywords work on ispionage. It is really time-saving and a do-it-all service tool. You should give it a try on ispionage .com, they have free versions for testing.

Tammara November 24, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Hey PotPieGirl,

That was my dog’s name – lol.

Your articles are nicely written, and this is a good article about the Piggy Back system. I’m going to give the free seo analysis tool a whirl – can’t go wrong for free. It’ the sort of tool I was recently looking for.
Thanks! :)

Gary November 25, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Fascinating post, Jenny – many thanks for sharing so much quality info in this and your other blog posts.

Would also like to commend you on your One week marketing course which I bought several weeks ago but only just got round to reading (doh!)

You have now joined a VERY short list of marketers who I make time to follow on a regular basis!
Keep up the good work.


Rahul November 26, 2009 at 1:44 pm

hi jennifer,
what if we were willing to beat a “piggyback”?
I am facing this thing in one of my keywords.
I have better on page optimisation, more backlinks. Still the “piggyback” is higher in SERPs.

Internet Marketing Entrepreneurs November 28, 2009 at 10:08 am

The report you introduced is really interesting and informative. Many thanks for your share. – Underground Training Club

Terry: Advertorial Writing November 30, 2009 at 5:34 pm

You know when all of a sudden you come across something and your realize that you’ve been “missing the boat” on something you’ve been working with for some time? Well, that’s what this post did for me.

Thanks for giving me the “slap” that woke me up.

Jay December 9, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Jenn, I always wondered how Google’s “piggy backing” system worked. Thanks for the insight. I had it work on one site and now I know why.

Dhany - Panduan SEO January 13, 2010 at 10:57 am

Awesome post as usual Jennifer. I found this blog about June last year. Always love your posts and always be a lurker, till now. :D
Been a SEO geek for some times and find this tip about piggy-backing is something new (for me). Thanks!

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