One factor in SEO is what we now call “Market Share”. This term, coined at NYC Search Engine Strategies conference in 2006, is about how important the anchor text is when a website is first born.
This means that the way we link to a site can outweigh what is on the site, the real strategy here is not just using “anchor text”, but rather the way we first use it.
So a site that targets one specific term first, has the ability to rank well for it from the start and gains market share for that term for the rest of the websites life in Google.
To see an example of this do a search for the term “directory” in Google. On page two look for “Ann Arbor Real Estate”…McKinley”.
If you view the source code for this site, NOT ONCE does it mention the word directory in any part of the code. How can a site that does not even once mention the term directory rank in the Top 20 for one of the most competitive single term keywords? How can a site about real estate rank well for non-existent directory terms?
Since I have been optimizing websites since 1999, I remember and have optimized for other sites as a higher priority than Google in the past. One particular Search Portal back in the late Nineties was called Magellan. It was housed on the domain mckinley.com.
So the effect that we see now is called “Market Share”. What this means now is the original terms that are targeted will in time outweigh the newer terms the site may change for. Making a change for a web domain have undesired effects in Google. The problem with this algorithm is that it is an obvious failure in relevancy since it relies on anchor text and not the content on the site. This site should not show up for “directory” and “web directory” as well as it does. In real life, this site is based on Michigan Real Estate and has absolutely nothing to do with a web directory, so here we see a failure in an algorithm to produce relevancy.
I would estimate that most of the traffic coming into McKinley’s site will be one-page hits and the site will have an unusually high bounce rate because most traffic is still looking for the old Magellan.