Can you learn anything from the world’s most useless websites?
I analyzed hundreds to find out.
Here’s what I discovered:
7 Lessons from Analyzing 141 Useless Websites
The biggest lesson I learned is that these sites aren’t useless at all.
Some of them are powerful marketing vehicles.
1. Useless Websites = Secret SEO Weapon?
We gathered 141 of these useless websites to see how well they perform from an SEO perspective.
According to Ahrefs, these websites have 277 linking root domains on average:
This was super interesting to see because these sites are clearly effective forms of link bait.
We also found that these sites had 12,651 backlinks on average:
One website had 450,346 total backlinks!
You may think that these sites are nothing more than link bait, but some have solid organic search traffic numbers.
According to Ahrefs, these websites are ranking for 1,200 organic keywords on average:
68% rank in the top 100 for at least 1 keyword.
The average useless website is getting 6,597 organic search visitors according to Ahrefs:
Not so useless after all, right?
Now let’s tackle what these sites are doing to achieve this level of performance:
2. Word Count Isn’t Always Important
Bored Button gets 244,054 organic search visitors per month according to Ahrefs and the target page has 82 words.
So how does it rank for so many keywords?
First, 92% of its linking root domains are hitting the homepage.
Second, the website likely has insane user signals such as dwell time, people bookmarking on Chrome, etc.
Thirdly, it’s a partial match domain (most of its keywords revolve around “bored”).
Lastly, the majority of their anchor text is branded or naked link anchors.
This is another example of why you should focus on creating UNIQUE content.
Most SEO experts think using synonyms of words is unique.
That’s not what I’m talking about.
The definition of unique is “being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.”
That should be the standard we live by when we’re targeting a new keyword phrase.
Be the first to do something and you’ll get all the benefits.
3. Singular Focus is Powerful
Some of these websites are hypnotic because they focus on one singular goal.
Like this one for example:
The only goal is to slap this dude with an eel.
Identifying what the “goal” of these websites isn’t easy.
However, some common trends are to be funny, entertaining, weird, and even addictive like this one:
Many of these tap into deep human psychology. More on this in a second.
Analyzing these gave me an important reminder as a digital marketer:
Singular focus on a goal is critical.
Most websites are filled with distractions and clutter which leads to decision fatigue and overthinking.
The user shouldn’t have to think when they’re on your website.
Focusing on one goal per page is a way to achieve that goal.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Weird
Society doesn’t champion weirdness, but the Internet does.
Aiming to be different, unique, and even sometimes off-the-wall weird is an intelligent move.
Ordinary doesn’t win on the Internet.
The funny part is that ordinary behavior doesn’t win in life either.
The only time it makes sense to “follow the rules” is when you’re trying to get good grades in school.
Unleash your weirdness and creativity and the Internet may reward you.
5. Simplicity is Super Hard
Most of these sites are deceptively simple.
Achieving simplicity is VERY difficult.
Steve Jobs said: “Simple can be harder than complex” and it’s so true.
It’s in our nature to overcomplicate everything.
For example, SEO isn’t as complicated as most believe.
Sure, there are many moving parts.
But when you break it down to its core principles, SEO is content, user experience, and links.
These websites are a good reminder to keep it simple.
Don’t focus on adding more.
Think about how you can remove more or do less.
6. Useless Can Be Valuable
If you deeply examine these sites, you’ll see that most DO have an objective.
For example, most of these so-called useless websites link to the person or company that created them.
That means they’re being used as a marketing tool.
It makes sense because showing that you’re creative is far better than saying you’re creative.
You can send backlink equity to your website as well which can help SEO performance.
7. The Most Creative People on the Internet Aren’t Famous
You probably don’t know 99.9% of the people that create these websites.
That’s also probably the way they want it.
People often confuse “fame” or notoriety with expertise.
The psychological concept of “authority” (popularized by the book Influence) is based on PERCEPTION.
There are extremely creative and successful people who you will never know.
They prove their value through their work.
Not through shouting and telling everyone that they’re the best.
These “useless” websites may seem stupid, but most of them are super creative.
Are These Websites Truly Useless?
You can find value in everything if you’re willing to keep an open mind.
Most people write things off too quickly.
These websites are NOT useless.
Especially from an SEO perspective!