This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Every Friday I choose a random city and search for a potential jeweler to use as my review candidate.
This week I'm looking in Maplewood, NJ for a local jeweler. I used the search query "jewelers in maplewood nj" and found the results below. There's a lot of detail in the SERP screen shot, so click it to view larger:
(click to view larger)
The top organic listing and the top Google+ Local listing are the same store, Trimarco Jewelers, which makes them a good review candidate. Let's take a look at this site:http://www.trimarcojewelers.com/
This is what their home page looks like:
(click to view larger)
I'm very surprised to see this extremely old website show up as the top organic and the top +Local listing. The copyright shows it hasn't been updated since 2008, which is quite amazing.
Considering the recent recession, the first question I have is if this store is still in business. They might have gone out of business and abandoned their website, having paid in advance for hosting or having been hosted by a friend, explaining why it's still up.
The second question I have is why would this website rank so highly. There have been several times when simple websites like this one have ranked higher than others, but I would not have classified this 3-page site as one of those qualifying sites.
I returned back to the SERP results I showed you above to evaluate what might be happening here...
The SERP has 3 other jewelers in the Google+ Local listings, but none of them have websites. On the other hand, several of these jewelers are located in the same jewelry exchange building near the center of town.
From my point of view, Maplewood is one of the more affluent towns in New Jersey. According to what I'm seeing here, it seems like it would be very easy for a new jeweler to set up shop and out-promote these guys online.
There is another jeweler listed at the bottom of the SERP: Alex and Cliff Fine Jewelers.
This is their site:http://alexandclifffinejewelers.com/
This is their home page:
(click to enlarge)
The Alex & Cliff website is much better looking than Trimarco's site, and it has a lot more information, and they even have a blog that's updated regularly.
Something must be wrong!
Here are some of the things I realized while digging around the Alex & Cliff website:
1. They launched this website in March 2014. That's 4 months ago, and plenty of time for them to gain better ranking.
3. Here's where I think the problem really lies... It's in their blog.
Take a look at this screen shot:
Their blog post from May 2014 had 119 comments at the time I reviewed the site. That's an unusual number of comments for a small blog on a jewelry website.
Investigating further, here's a snapshot of a few of their comments:
All their comments are sexual dysfunction drug-related spam! They had more than 100 of the same type of comments on each of the other two blog posts as well.
The problem is that they have an open comment system. It doesn't have any type of CAPTCHA to protect against comment spam, and they are not approving comments before they are posted directly to their website.
Google has very strong policies against websites with open comment spam like this, and it's likely that the site is demoted just because of these comments.
That's it for this week's website review. The take-away from it is that even a very out of date website can rank in the first spot when all the competition doesn't care, or has been killed off by Google.
FTC Notice: I randomly choose this website and won't be telling the retailer jeweler that I'm doing a review. Unless someone else tells them, they will only find out about this review if they examine their Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. I'm not doing this to solicit business from them, but rather as an educational exercise for everyone. This review is completely impartial and all my comments are listed in the order that I discovered them.