Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog

89% of Websites that Ranked 7 Years Ago are Not Ranking Now!

“89% of sites that ranked 7 years ago are not ranking now. ” From Marcus Tober of SearchMetrics quoted from the Chicago SEJ Summit earlier this year.  (see tweets)

After I heard this, I had a private chat on Facebook with Marcus about this……he said:

Behind the analysis is our massive 7 year historical Research Cloud

I aggregated all domains that used to have at least one ranking in the past on keywords with at least a search volume of 10.

Then I checked how many of these domains still have at least one ranking

Only 11% are left!

(from checking the top 30 results).

I also asked him,

What do you think % would be if you took just “expensive” commercial phrases and checked ?

and he replied

If you take commercial queries probably the number if domains disappeared is higher

So yea, 89 % of websites that ranked 7 years ago in the top 30 no longer rank for anything in the top 30 today. I totally believe this (and love that it’s backed up with Marcus’s analysis from SearchMetrics historical research data)!

I believe that those 89% of websites were sites that were doing “artificial things” (ie, crappy link building) to get those old rankings, and today they are penalized and fried by Google.

More thoughts on things like analyzing backlinks knowing that 89% of sites from 7 years ago are penalized today…

Internally, at Ninjas, we have some tools that analyze backlinks for projects like doing a disavow analysis, or for services like finding common competitor backlinks that we might want to try to get for our clients as well….and in these link analysis’, we look at Majestic domain backlinks to websites, and we cross reference this with how these sites rank in Google using tools like Spyfu and/or SEMRush…specifically looking at the history of the sites performance for keywords in Google…for example, you can have a backlink from which has backlinks to it from 1000 other sites….but if SomeWebsite doesn’t rank for ANYTHING of ANY Value, then chances are, the site has been penalized in Google. Looking at charts from SEMRush or SPYFU for these sites often show that sites like, at one time, ranked for lots of phrases worth lots of money….and then the site got fried by Google, and now it doesn’t rank in the top 10 for any phrase worth any $.

In any link profile which I analyze, about 2/3 of the links are from sites that are fried in Google (sites that don’t rank for anything worth any value in Google. Google has fried a lot of sites…a lot…actually, 89% to quote Marcus and his data….

Here’s also an area where if you’re focused on Moz, Majestic, ahrefs or other sites “Domain Value” you’re being fooled…this is because they’ll show those sites as high value (lots of backlinks), when in actuality, the site is worthless because it’s been banned in Google for ranking for anything of any value. (For example, it may show a moz domain authority of 50….but if the site is penalized in Google, it should be a domain authority of Zero).

So keep in mind that even most backlinks you may have to your site aren’t worth a damn because they’re from sites that have been fried in Google. Seven years ago someone may have had 1000 links….and today only 11% of those links may count because 89% of those sites are penalized, and thus links from them are probably useless as well….the question in analyzing backlinks really becomes, “What backlinks to you have of Value”?

I should notes that there are exceptions…. lets say you have a backlink from a boy scout chapter websites, or Bob’s Rock Hobby Website….they might not rank for commercial phrases, but that’s ok….the ones you have to look out for are the sites who once ranked for a bunch of phrases, but now they do not….part of that 89%.

Does everyone realize that the majority of websites are worthless today?


3 Responses

  1. Hi Jim,

    89% is very huge, I am surprised to know that, I follow MOZ and ahrefs to know the link status but I don’t know whether that website is penatilized or not, anyway thanks for sharing the valuable information, see you soon with another article.

  2. OMG!!! 89%. It’s massive. So apparently they are the victims of panda and penguin updates. This stat indicate the importance of white hat SEO. New comers and the seasoned campaigners will also receive strong indication from this stat.

    Thank you Jim for bringing up this interesting stat for the readers.

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Jim Boykin
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