How the hell does Forbes still rank so well?
I mean there is no popular website with a more terrible user-experience than Forbes
If you have ad block enabled, you can't even use the site without whitelisting Forbes
If you don't have it enabled, you get autoplay ads that you CAN'T f*ckING TURN OFF
Heck, you can't even mute them.
I get that ads are a part and parcel of online business, but the Forbes user-experience makes me feel violated. I've never been pissed off enough by ads to go on a rant like this
So why the hell does Google continue to rank this piece of shit website that turns 1,000 word articles into 4 pages of content so well?
It's been trusted by many as a genuine source of information for decades and it still has authority, unfortunately the way they're trying to monetize their site is just unbearably bad. They might be the main reason ad blocking exists tbh
the only place I really see them consistently is in Google news, which makes sense. They definitely took a ht when they introduced that interstitial awhile back.
That was a Jan Google algo update? Thought of Forbes, straight away
Not the algo update. When the added it in the first place. I knew someone there when it was done.
Hmm. So when they put it in total traffic would increase due to bounce, but are you saying that referral from search results went down eg they didn't rank as highly for words.
The theory is pretty solid that usage stats like bounce are part of the algo, though not officially, so I am always curious to see if that data supported that
The reality is there aren't better sources for their content. They do a better job than most so they can push the lines further than most mere mortals.
At the end of the day, we all hate their practice, but as businesses and website owners the last thing you want is anyone, including Google, telling you how you can or cannot make money with YOUR website/brand.
And yes if I want to play in Google's sandbox I have to "abide" by "some" of the rules, but if my content is over the top and far superior and users demand my content, Forbes in this case, shows up within the search results then even Google has to bend the knee.
Otherwise People will literally start noticing that "Google results for financial or business" sucks and start using Yahoo or Bing or something which does entertain Forbes, and that will start the de-throning of Google when users start saying "Bing is better for Business content".
A prime example is Amazon – Amazon's got a better eCommerce experience so more and more people are directly going to Amazon for shopping – bypassing Google's realm. It's a game of thrones at the top my lords, and we just the smaller unknown lords with smaller castles that need to pledge our banners to a more powerful lord.
Their content over the last few years has actually been staggeringly weak. Perhaps in their era, it was among the best, but they're purely banking on name these days. That will only last so long.
because quality backlinks will always be the most important ranking factor (and they have 67 million)
It's linked to by every website on the planet lol
They also do have a good amount of solid content, and a lot of influential authors, which helps a lot. But I agree — I don't visit often, because the user experience is a b1tch and I don't care for their ad strategy.
It seems to me quite often that in Google's quest to create an algorithm to serve people the best information based on their search, they often mirror many societal 'ticks' we have. For instance, the son of a Senator often gets off scott-free from legal violations that would land an average man's son in jail. Forbes can toss around the boldest example of an interstitial I've ever seen and still rank well for a lot of keywords.
I believe they'll take themselves off the market in the long run if they don't become more user-friendly simply because all the millions of backlinks in the future will be to similar sites without a garbage UX. Personally, I never click Forbes links anymore and curse when I do by accident. I've seen popup free-movie-streaming websites with less annoying advertising techniques than Forbes.
EDIT: To actually attempt to answer your question:
Backlinks. Regardless of the warm fuzzy public comments Google makes about quality, length, User Experience (UX), etc.. their algorithm is still very weighted on quantity of backlinks.
Great question. I ask the same thing every time I go to their site. The fact that they make make you view an ad before seeing the content is ridiculous. Crazy bad User Experience (UX). I don't even click on their site in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) anymore. I imagine the Ads and bad UX are hurting them, but it's how they make money, so I guess it's a trade off.
Reason: The normal things that smaller sites have to have in place don't really matter with uber authoritative sites. They get away with a lot more due to their links. They can also recover from penalties much quicker and are more easily forgiven compared smaller sites.
It's their longstanding authority. Links and well known brand. Well trusted.
Does your Marketing SEOer Publish Your Articles on Google News, Guest Posts?
High Authority Sites Share my Website Links but put it on No-Follow. Obsolete Whitehat Way!
The Higher Your Domain Authority, the Easier or Faster You Will Rank for Keywords
Most of the Healthy and YMYL Websites Drop In Rankings Because They Write Stuff Without Proof for the Claim
Why Does The First SERP Usually Contains High Domain Authority Sites?
Are UGC Sites like Quora, Medium, and High Authority Forums in Your Niche Being Stronger than Sites Managed by One Person?
Does Google Crawl and Index Users Generate Content Sites like Quora and Medium Easier than Yours?