Thursday, June 9, 2011

Google Traffic to Bonanza

At least for now, the Google traffic to my booth, Jennifer's Series Books, has increased dramatically. I cannot be certain what will happen in the long-term, since my Google traffic improved in December and then went right back down. During the last month, I see marked improvement.

Back in November, I wrote about how horrible my placement was in Google and how I had to use quotation marks around exact titles in order to locate my items in Google. It was awful. The problem was caused by Bonanza's name change from Bonanzle to Bonanza.

In December, I reported an improvement and thought that my traffic would be back to normal within a month, or by January 2011. I was wrong.


I have not checked the placement of my items on Google in months, since my placement has been bad and I have not felt that my efforts did anything to improve my placement. Why be aggravated?

Since my traffic has improved greatly, I decided that I needed to check it out. "Nancy Drew" is an extremely competitive search term, and it is difficult to place anywhere in the top few pages. I used "Nancy Drew" for the big test.

I ran some searches for each book using "Nancy Drew" plus one or two words from the title. Some searches, like Old Clock and Shadow Ranch, usually never produce results because of the Her Interactive Nancy Drew games with those titles. I also seldom find my books for most of the low-numbered Nancy Drew titles. We have too much competition for the top slots for the low-numbered titles and for the books which also have games. Here are my results, and for those not familiar with Nancy Drew, the results are listed in order starting with Old Clock, which is volume 1.

Nancy Drew Old Clock - 1 result on page 2 (surprising, see above)
Nancy Drew Hidden Staircase - 1 result on page 3
Nancy Drew Bungalow Mystery - #8 on page 1
Nancy Drew Lilac Inn - 1 result on page 2
Nancy Drew Shadow Ranch - none in first 4 pages (not surprising, see above)
Nancy Drew Red Gate Farm - 1 result on page 3
Nancy Drew Diary - #7 on page 1
Nancy Drew Mysterious Letter - 1 result on page 2
Nancy Drew Twisted Candles - #5 on page 1
Nancy Drew Larkspur Lane - #8 on page 1
Nancy Drew Broken Locket - #5 on page 1
Nancy Drew Hollow Oak - #5 on page 1
Nancy Drew Ivory Charm - #6 on page 1
Nancy Drew Whispering Statue - #9 on page 1
Nancy Drew Haunted Bridge - 1 result on page 2
Nancy Drew Tapping Heels - #4 on page 1

Wow. I have never had such a good showing for the most competitive titles. Let's check a few moderately higher-numbered ones for which I usually have a better showing.

Nancy Drew Haunted Showboat - 1 result on page 2
Nancy Drew Golden Pavilion - 1 result on page 2
Nancy Drew Fire Dragon - 1 result on page 2
Nancy Drew Dancing Puppet - 1 result on page 2

Let's go to even higher-numbered titles. For people not familiar with series books, the higher the number, the scarcer the book is and the less competitive the search term is in Google. For Nancy Drew, all titles are very competitive, but the higher-numbered ones are the ones for which a seller has more hope of getting seen.

Nancy Drew Double Jinx - #4 on page 1
Nancy Drew Glowing Eye - none on first 4 pages
Nancy Drew Forgotten City - #6 on page 1
Nancy Drew Sky Phantom - #7 on page 1
Nancy Drew Crossword Cipher - #7 on page 1
Nancy Drew Crocodile Island - none in first 4 pages
Nancy Drew Thirteenth Pearl - #10 on page 1

My Google ranking is approximately the same overall for all of the Nancy Drew titles that I checked. This was not the case in the past.

I noticed that for many of the lower-numbered titles, the results that showed were for Applewood editions. Those listings have the ISBN. I suspect that Google is favoring books with ISBNs, so this is another reason that sellers need to make certain that the ISBNs are included in listings, when applicable. Remember that the ISBN needs to be correct, so placing any ISBN in a listing for a vintage book could backfire. This is not eBay where sellers can play tricks and beat the system.

I also noticed that some of the books chosen by Google are books that are out of the ordinary, like my German Dancing Puppet or a UK edition. My take is that Google is pulling up a variety of items, which means that some unusual items are chosen.

Bonanza changed its URLs for listings recently in order to help with Google ranking, and this might be part of the reason why I am seeing better placement in Google. I mention the URL change, because the change is causing some duplication in results.

Let's look at my placement for other series. Remember that I am checking the organic search, not the product search. I have very seldom had buyers through product search, so I am not very interested in what my placement there is.

Dana Girls Study Lamp - #4 on page 1
Dana Girls Lone Tree - #4 on page 1
Dana Girls Three-Cornered - #1 on page 1
Dana Girls Hermitage - #5 and #6 on page 1 (different books)
Dana Girls Haunted Lagoon - #3 and #10 on page 1 (same book - #10 is the Bonanzle URL)
Dana Girls Minstrel's Guitar - #2 and #9 on page 1 (different books)

Judy Bolton Seven Strange Clues - #2 and #6 on page 1 (different books)
Judy Bolton Mystic Ball - #3 and #4 on page 1 (same book, old/new Bonanza URL)
Judy Bolton Musical Tree - #2 on page 1

I have always had trouble selling Trixie Belden books, except for brief periods of time. I had some success last month, in part thanks to Google, so let's check Trixie Belden.

Trixie Belden Mansion - #3 on page 1
Trixie Belden Mystery in Arizona - #7 on page 1
Trixie Belden Velvet Gown - #3 on page 1
Trixie Belden Antique Doll - #5 on page 1

There may be hope.

Biff Brewster Tibetan Caravan - #1 and #2 on page 1 (different books)
Biff Brewster Alpine Pass - #1 on page 1
Biff Brewster Arabian Stallion - #3 on page 1

Connie Blair Clue in Blue - #4 on page 1
Connie Blair Black Cat Gulch - #2 and #9 on page 1 (same book, #9 has Bonanzle URL)

At this point, I'm getting tired of this, but I now have no doubt that my Google placement is no longer bad. I only tried a small sampling of my books.

I seem to be past my Google placement problems, and nine months have passed since the name change from Bonanzle to Bonanza. In November, I mentioned that I could not even find my listing for Mildred Wirt's Linda in Google, and very few copies are up for sale at any given time. Now, my book is number one on page one. I just hope this lasts for more than one month.

5 comments:

Jennifer said...

I found where I had written down the results from some test searches that I ran on December 31, 2010.

nancy drew old clock - none
nancy drew hidden staircase - none
nancy drew bungalow mystery - none
nancy drew lilac inn - 1 result on page 3
nancy drew shadow ranch - none
nancy drew red gate farm - 1 result on page 2
nancy drew clue in the diary - 1 result on page 4
nancy drew mysterious letter - none
nancy drew twisted candles - 1 result on page 4
nancy drew larkspur lane - 1 result on page 2
nancy drew broken locket - 1 result on page 3
nancy drew hollow oak - 1 result on page 2
nancy drew ivory charm - none
nancy drew whispering statue - none

"None" means that I found none of my items on the first four pages. I did not check any further than that. Comparing these results to the ones I just ran, I can see that my placement has improved greatly.

ConnieGee said...

I am tryiong to remember the name of the series that had sisters who were identical mirror twins. Cannot seem to get any info on this.

Jennifer said...

Could it be the Sweet Valley High series or one of its spin-offs? The twins are always described as mirror images of each other.

Jenn said...

There was also the Pratt Twins that I read some of--those were cute books! They had food items in the mystery titles.

Jenn:)

Jennifer said...

This could be totally off, but I tried to find books that feature twins.

The Twelve Quests

I found a book called Her Fearful Symmetry which is not a series book.

The Dopple Ganger Chronicles

The above series features mirror image twins.