Buy Espresso Beans: Panda Results Study 1

July 15  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

This is the first post of ten in our series covering Google Panda results, and this round covers the buy espresso beans keyword. I stated in the first post that I will randomly pick the search term at the start of writing, and being in a Starbucks this was one that came to mind. I also periodically buy my espresso beans online so this should be an interesting first look at what’s going on in the SERPs.

What are we looking for? Well a set of common factors that might help us all determine more of what Google is looking for, and in return help rank your website better. Panda was all about bringing up the high quality content, and especially it is here to return the most relevant search results. Since I’m interpreting the results, I may not be correct in my assumptions so feel free to call me out on them in the comments.

This first look is ecommerce in nature, so who knows what we’ll find out. I don’t imagine online shops need to worry as long as they have unique product descriptions, a good link profile, a social media presence and the usual on-page SEO factors. I’m still a big believer in links are king when it comes to ecommerce, so we’ll see what we notice after a few experiments.

From what I’m seeing already, Google has a good chunk of these search results correct in my mind, but there are a few here that I don’t think fit the bill. Take a look;

First Result: Passion For Coffee

Domain Links: 124
Page Links: 0

This to me is content made for the search engine and just talks about the different types of espresso you can buy. The page has some adsense on it, but other than that there is no way I’m going to end up buying any espresso from this site. So I was quite shocked to see this as the first result for this search term. Any actual online shop selling espresso beans shouldn’t have to put much effort into out ranking this site for the top spot. I have no idea why isn’t outranking this.

Second Result: Starbucks

Domain Links: 200,000+

I could have guessed Starbucks would be ranking in the top 10 for this search query, although I’m surprised their Espresso page isn’t showing up. While they don’t have the right string of keywords anywhere to be seen, the slight mention of beans and espresso is enough drop them into the top 10. So the rankings here are easily nabbed due to them being a huge brand and having an even larger link profile. Although you think Google would rank the Starbucks Store Espresso page which actually sells the beans….

Third Result: Wikipedia

Domain Links: Millions
Page Links: 2500(ish)

The word buy isn’t even on this page, so content targeting is a big giant fail here in we’re wanting to be specific. I know Wikipedia ranks for damn near every keyword, but in this case I don’t see why it’s ranking so highly for this term. To me, it’s the link profile that’s doing it because even a search term for refined like “where to buy espresso beans”, Wikipedia is still in the top 5 results.

Fourth Result: Espresso Guy

Domain Links: 939
Page Links: 305

This result is in my opinion a good one. This site is dedicated to espresso coffe and provides just about everything you need to know from history, to beans types and where to buy the goods. The page ranking has great content, little ads and at the bottom lists a few different places to buy espresso beans. Even though I’d expect an online shop to be somewhere in the top 5 results, this page does a great job of informing first, then offering a multitude of buying options.

Fifth Result: Flying Bean

Domain Links: 1128

Flying Bean is a well known online shop that has been around for a long time, and I’ve even been a customer of their sampler pack! The shop CMS they’re using is pretty ghetto, but they have accumulated tons of natural links over the years, have unique written content and offer a lot of unique product. Their product pages however have little to no content on them, mostly just a one or two sentence description and that’s it…no customer reviews, ratings or anything fancy. This is definitely a hint that you don’t need a lot of content in the ecommerce sector so long as your product is unique.

Sixth Result: iGourmet

Domain Links: 27,000
Page Links: 61

This result is is ranking well even though it’s just a made for search engines landing page that feeds into their online shop. They have a strong link profile, but the content in their shop is just manufacturer product descriptions. Every page also has a few extra page length in blank white text as well which is caused by their hideous sidebar setup. If this isn’t an example of links over content I don’t know what is!

Seventh Result: Coffee Nuts

Domain Links: 19
Page Links: 0

I have no clue how this site is ranking and I don’t think it’s for the content. To me the page looks like jumped copied content that has a lot of grammatical errors. So folks, I’m at a loss at explaining this result being in the top 10…care to elaborate?

Eighth Result: Woot Deals

Domain Links: 14,200
Page links: 0

This page has a lot of good chatter from folks interested in espresso, and they’re getting a lot of answers back. While there are no links to the page, is no slouch when it comes to having a killer link profile. As for the content, it’s 100% unique and user generated, so I imagine the time-on-site factor here is helping quite a bit as well. I spent a couple minutes reading through all the answers and actually found it useful myself.

Ninth Results:Cerini Coffee

Domain Links: 830
Page Links: 8

This is the type of site I’d expect to get in a search for this query, and when it comes to an ecommerce page ranking well, content is not really much of a factor. I will say that as long as it’s unique and properly laid out you can get in the top 10. On a page like this, you don’t really need or want much content, just enough to lead into the shopping results on the page.

Tenth Result: Coffee Review

Domain Links: 28,000
Page Links: 1

This page is broken down into 5 different sections that all cover a different aspect of espresso. I personally wouldn’t have structured it like this but it seems to be doing ok. This is a relevant search result from one of the biggest coffee sites on the web, so no surprise here. I am a little shocked this isn’t ranking within the top 5 results though.

Final Thoughts:

Perhaps not the best keyword idea to go on, but being off the top of my head at the time it’s a decent start to the 10 posts. High quality content doesn’t seem to play any sort of a role in these listings, and it’s still down to brand size and link profiles. I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on these results as well so please speak up! I hope in the coming posts to get all different sorts of queries that really bring in a good mix of results.

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About Ryan Clark

I'm the CEO of Linkbuildr Marketing and the brains behind our branding and blog content. I specialize in effective marketing strategies for hotels, luxury brands and real estate. If your brand is in need of a boost then don't hesitate to contact me for a free proposal. Follow me on Google+: +Ryan Clark Twitter: @Linkbuildr on Twitter. You can also come ask me a question on our Facebook Page.  

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