Big Domain Development – Part 3 (WatchMovies.com)

By | October 6, 2010

In one of my earlier blog postings I talked about how I converted WatchMovies.com from a parked domain to a site with some content on it, so it would start getting search engine traffic. But, at that time, it was still a simple site, and I did not really host any of my own content or offer anything that interesting.

I recently changed WatchMovies.com to be a “real site” where I now host over 500 movies that you can watch for free online, have hundreds of user submitted movie reviews, and automatically update the site with the latest movie trailers. I know it will take a long time for the search engines to pick up these changes, but I at least thought all of this would cause the 5000+ daily visitors who already come to the site to look at more pages and stay on the site longer.

So far, none of that has happened. I am making the same amount of money as when I had the domain parked, and the same as when I instead just had a simple 1 page site with some text and Google AdSense ads on it. I don’t have any way of knowing for sure, but my guess is that most of my visitors are looking to watch the current movies that are in theaters or on DVD, and not old movies. Almost all the sites that offer current movies are illegal, but that does not stop people from using them. So, no matter how good I make my site, I can’t compete with all of the illegal offerings (mostly from outside the USA).

I know I could run different ads and add affiliate program links, but the ads are not the problem. Adsense pays great, I just need more traffic. So, my next step is to keep adding new features to WatchMovies.com in the hope that better content will attract more traffic. I am working on a system to automatically add movie reviews from Twitter users, and also a system that will automatically add transcripts to all the movies (the text from the transcripts should help for SEO purposes).

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33 thoughts on “Big Domain Development – Part 3 (WatchMovies.com)

  1. Aron - XF.com

    Thanks for sharing.
    How long ago did you update the site with this content?

    I’m sure you know, but a jump in SE Rankings takes time.
    In fact, it’s been a “jump” for me at times… when I’ve seen no progress in ranking and then one day, “poof” the domain name jumped up in rankings.

    I think you’re justified in your efforts, since there is a HUGE traffic advantage to being in the top 3 spots on page one as opposed to the bottom 3.

    I’ve realized that with my development efforts.

    WatchMovies.com is showing #9 on page one of Google for me (for the search: watch movies)

    If you could get it in the top 2 spots, the traffic would be MUCH higher.

    I’m certainly no SEO expert, but you might try a good link building campaign and maybe adjust your title tag.
    Do you have watchmovies.com linked on all of your other sites?
    Although they wouldn’t be “relevant” links, you do have 1000 or so other sites, and those links might look good to Google.
    (just a thought)

    I’m eager to see if/how you improve the rankings.
    Again, thanks for sharing.

    Aron

    1. admin Post author

      I have only added the content in the past few months, and one problem is that up until a few days ago all the movie descriptions were copied from other sites, which gave me little SEO value. This week I am re-writting all the movie descriptions myself, so that should give the site’s SEO value a boost.

      Yes, in the past I have traded links with a bunch of other movie sites, but that did not help much. I would link to it from my own sites, but I don’t have any high traffic relevant sites. This is my only movie site. I am not sure linking from my non-relevant sites would help any, plus I don’t have any automated system for doing that. I would need to manually add the link to each site.

  2. brian k

    Maybe try adding informational movies.
    This way you can have sections on all kinds of niche topics.
    You could then link to corresponding niche sites and ask for a link back.

  3. Duane

    I realy enjoy your posts, because of building actual business sites.

    Regarding SEO and linking from your own sites? I have found out , this is a absolute No-Go if they all have the identical whois info. Big G really comes down hard on this linking strategy.

    1. admin Post author

      Thanks for the info. All my domains have the same whois info. Right now I don’t do any linking among them.

  4. Aron - XF.com

    Well there ya go :)

    I don’t have 1000 sites, so I haven’t done it.
    Thanks for the heads up.

    Bad idea me, but I’m sure link work and original content would really help.

    Aron

  5. Troy

    “I don’t have any way of knowing for sure, but my guess is that most of my visitors are looking to watch the current movies that are in theaters or on DVD, and not old movies.”

    Uhhhh, yeah. You can know that for sure.=)

    1. admin Post author

      True, but I thought that some of those people might at least watch the 500+ free older movies that I now have on the site.

  6. t

    You don’t need this –
    All of the movies on our site are legal. We do not offer pirated films, and we do not make you download anything or signup for any offers just to see the movies. –

    Instead of this –
    We offer hundreds of free movies that you can watch online. Just click on a movie category, choose a movie, and watch it instantly in your browser. We also have movie trailers (previews) for you to watch, and movie reveiws for you to read.- ——–

    replace with links :
    Movies –
    Trailers –
    Reviews –
    ( Yes I know u already have the directory if u scroll down.

    Start with the nav and Look ! of the site . I Don’t get it, Your site looks like something i’d create and My sites rarely get the ooohs and ahhhs of a nice looking site. You’ve got money hire a web designer to make the site look Great, Or at least some custom graphics.

    As for traffic your going to have to make more money off a user so you can start buying traffic…..How about your own player and show ur own ads ? Pay per call ? ..

    Running late,..I gotta go , take care

    1. admin Post author

      Thanks, I will consider that. I mainly have all that text for SEO purposes. Also, I actually don’t really want people to click on the movies, I make a lot more money if they skip the content of my site and instead click on the appealing google ads plastered around the page.

      I actually do use my own movie player and could show my own ads on the movies, but i think ads in the films would annoy people too much. I make a lot from the Adsense ads and don’t need to make more from ads, I just need more traffic.

      – Eric

  7. Michael Hallisey

    How about registering the site for about five more years and see if that help bump up your ranking on Google.

    1. admin Post author

      I had never heard that before so I did some research and there appears to be a lot of debate on that topic. Most people say it has little effect if any, but on the other hand it might play a very small part in the search engine rankings. So, I took your advice and added 5 years to WatchMovies.com, since I figured it couldn’t hurt.

  8. Michael

    Is it showing any sings of going up yet?

    This would be the perfect domain name for building a streaming movie site like Netflix. I have a Netflix account and I only use it for streaming movies and TV shows, I rarely get the DVDs. I’m sure it would be a gigantic project and hopefully companies like Netflix don’t have exclusive rights to the show they stream. Someone should try to compete with Netflix because of them there is almost no movie stores left in my town!

    1. admin Post author

      Traffic is the same so far, but it will take a few months at least for Google to rank the site higher based on my new content. Yes, streaming new movies directly would be good, but way too expensive for me. Netflix had to pay around $1 billion for rights to stream current movies.

  9. setiri

    How much google traffic do you currently receive? Quick glance shows you in position 8 or so for “watch movies” search phrase. For that exact .com domain, it will take some effort but you can definitely get in first position. Position #1 will yield 60 to 80% of the search traffic, whereas pos 8 is giving you well under 1%. This will give you at minimum another 5k/day visitors, likely closer to 10k.

    1. admin Post author

      The site gets around 6000 visitors a day, 50% of which comes from Google. Up until 6 months ago it had no content on it, and up until 1-2 months ago it had no unique content on it, so it will take some time to get listed better. Yes, getting listed near the top is my goal.

  10. setiri

    You may get near the top just by letting it run as-is. I’ve had numerous sites that were exact .com phrase matches which took nearly a year before suddenly jumping to the top.

    1. admin Post author

      Yes, I have some exact match domains that are #1 in Google without me doing anything to get them there. That is my hope for WatchMovies.com also, but previously it was a parked domain which caused it to have virtually no ranking, so I had to at least put some real content on it (like I did now) to give it a chance at getting listed at the top.

  11. Daniel

    Have you tried CPALead? People will have to fill in a survey to access your sites content. I’m sure you would make a few hundred each day.

    1. admin Post author

      I have used their offers in the past, although never to restrict access to a site. I will give them a try on WatchMovies.com, thanks.

    2. admin Post author

      The problem with that is over 1/2 my traffic comes from Google, and if I restrict access to all or part of the site via a survey, it could kill my search engine listings and I would lose all that traffic.

  12. setiri

    if the restricion is done via javascript (the “greyed out background” with a scripted div popped up in front etc), the page content remains the same to the spiders. Should be fine if done correctly.

  13. Daniel

    I don’t believe that is true as the cpalead survey is displayed using JavaScript so it’s 100% a cosmetic thing and the search engines will still see all your source code.

  14. setiri

    yeah, so it would have to be implemented differently, or use another service. bleh

  15. setiri

    of course, i assume google only knows bounce rates etc if you are running analytics? ;) unless they look at back button clicks to return to the google search.

    1. admin Post author

      That is a good point, but I do use Google Analytics on WatchMovies.com so they would know. I would think they have other ways of getting that data anyhow (Alexa.com has it for example).

  16. Daniel

    Don’t put it on the main page then instead have it on your sub pages or after a certain time limit.

    1. admin Post author

      It still is a risk, because that would change things like the average time users spend on my page (watching a 2 hour movie is good for increasing that stats, blocking them from it is not as good).

  17. domain

    your problem is you do not have a viable business model. there is nothing unique about your site. anyone could go to hulu or any other high quality site and have a better exp.
    1. find a focus for watchmovies..ie instructional movies,
    mirror the dvds that are on sale in redbox.
    2. run different polls on your site ask different questions gather data from your visitors what do they want?have a visitor commet section offer small prizes.
    3. the design of your site is horrible nothing professional here.you need a web designer.
    4. there is no social element to your site no commets,no ratings,nothing anywhere to connect with your viewers.
    once they visit they leave and away they go to hulu never to return.
    5. you need specific content that is unique..ie sci fi. this is a huge audience.sci fi movies all types from boris to the new ones. then a memborabilia section.a poster section.upcoming auctions at heritage.then information on vampires…expand to the women cw the vampire daries.of course then a horror halloween section with visitors posting their videos.a tatoo section on horror and vampires. of course then some sexy chicks that are vamps…..on and on….
    6.read the harvard biz review on implemeting a biz model
    customer value proposition what is watchmovies cvp?
    7. so what domain guy is stating is that a complete rework of the site is in order not more visitors.
    8.what this shows is that finding a domain is a long long way fron website development…a real problem in this world.
    9.domain guy thinks you can correct this problem i have given you the steps for you to start.and from the readers of your blog you could be a big asset in the domain industry. now GET TO WORK ON WATCHMOVIES.COM!!

    1. admin Post author

      Yes, I should do a site poll, but I am pretty sure almost all the visitors to WatchMovies.com want to watch illegal downloads of the hit Hollywood movies that are currently in theaters or on DVD. The good thing about that is that since I don’t offer that, I get a very high clickthrough rate on all the Google Adsense ads, since most of those ads are for watching hit movies for free online.

      The majority of visitors don’t watch the movies I have on the site, and adding more content to the site so far has not significantly increased traffic or page views or the time the users spend on the site.

      Yes, I agree, I need to redesign the site and make it more fun and interactive, but much much more important than that is getting it listed higher in the search engines, so first I am working on adding more content to it to help my chances of getting more traffic from Google.

      If I change the site to focus on movie auctions, posters, user videos, etc, it may get more traffic but the CPM rate from the Adsense ads will probably go way down. I can’t disclose my exact CPM rate because /google prohibits that, but it is very very high. Since I can’t ever give users what they really want (illegal movies), I am not sure it really matters what content I have. What matters though is getting listed higher in Google. If I can get listed in the top few spots, the site’s income would skyrocket, even with the same uninteresting content I have now.

      I do have a lot more plans for watchmovies.com. It was a big task to add 700+ movies to the site, categorize them, write unique descriptions for them (I am only 15% done with that part so far), and also add hundreds of movie reviews and movie trailers. Soon I will work on making the site look better and adding more interesting content. For example I am almost done making a system that automatically gets movie reviews from Tweets on Twitter, since right now I have to manually add the reviews people submit to me. I am also working on a six degrees of separation type movie game to add to the site, and a 20 questions type game where you think of a movie and the computer tries to guess which movie it is. I also am working on getting more links to the site, and promoting it on social networks.

      I will also soon be adding a feature to watchmovies.com that lets you upload your photo and it tells you which celebrity you look like the most, and i will also be adding a bunch of movie quizzes.

  18. Rob Docherty

    Would love to chat with you about your domain portfolio. I have over 450 myself and run a lot of fun sites: aka: guyscrytoo.com psychoexstories.com cheatingexcuses.com recordingstudioforums.com letsjustchat.com softwaredevelopmentforums.com etc. guys cry too is the only one up as of this week due to wanting to focus – point being I could give you some fresh perspective from a traffic and monetization point of view.

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