How I went from nothing to rank 1 on Google in one week

Benjamin Lin
4 min readJun 9, 2021

Last week I decided to focus on SEO for my side project RecordJoy (www.recordjoy.com). To add some context, RecordJoy is a browser tool that allows you to record your screen and generate a share link.

Before starting on SEO, RecordJoy had no presence whatsoever on Google even when I googled “recordjoy”. At this point in time RecordJoy had about 50 daily active users and we had a goal of reaching 100 daily active users through improved SEO. At the very least, we also wanted to be able to achieve rank 1 for our own name, before trying to rank for relevant keywords.

Gaining Initial Traction for Blog Posts

On my first day at improving SEO, I tried the following things:

Despite posting around 10 Quora posts, there was no affect on either traffic or SEO ranking and to this day I still don’t think there is much acquisition from Quora.

However, ironically, my first 2 blog posts on Indiehackers about starting RecordJoy and trying to improve SEO actually got ranked on Google.

Indie Hackers post ranking on Google

The startup directories I tried listing to required a manual review before RecordJoy had an approved listing. After a day though, the first approval went through for Remote.tools (www.remote.tools/product/recordjoy).

The Remote.tools listing shot to #1 of Google, out ranking the Indiehackers post.

Remote.tools ranking on Google

However, our main site www.recordjoy.com still wasn’t appearing at all on Google for “recordjoy”.

After seeing these early results, I doubled down on blogging on Indiehackers and submitting on more startup directories hoping that this would get our main site listed. However a week later, our main site still wasn’t showing.

Getting Valuable Advice

I posted a question on Indiehackers asking why external blogs were ranking but our main site wasn’t. (https://www.indiehackers.com/post/blog-posts-are-ranking-but-main-site-isnt-863df16a4f)

I got some valuable advice that I could check to see if my site was indexed by searching site:recordjoy.com.

Results for site:recordjoy.com

This proved that Google had indexed my site, it just wasn’t ranking yet and I would probably just need to wait a few days.

I also got some feedback to add RecordJoy into the title of my website. Previously the title was “Share screen recordings instantly in your browser” and I modified it to say “RecordJoy - share screen recordings instantly in your browser”.

Getting our Main Page Ranked #1

My cofounder decided to try out a few things with SEO and posted on hackernews and Reddit. These sites brought in about 20x more daily traffic than my previous had.

The hackernews post shot up to rank 1 on Google almost instantly. Fortunately, I also noticed that www.recordjoy.com was ranking at#5.

I was jumping with joy at finally being ranked and was showing all my friends that I was with at the time. However, an hour later www.recordjoy.com mysteriously disappeared off the rankings and wasn’t even visible on site:recordjoy.com.

I wondered if our Reddit posts had caused a penalty from Google but I didn’t see any penalties on the Google Search Console. I also wondered if changing some of the text on my main page also caused the de-indexing. I requested Google to re-index my site as a last resort after running out of things to try.

Fortunately, about an hour later I checked back and saw that we had reached rank 1 on google for “recordjoy”.

Lessons Learned

A few lessons learned that I would like to share:

  • posting on sites that require manual approval help SEO more than sites that allow anyone to post
  • it takes time for Google to rank your site but posting on high traffic forums such as Reddit and Hackernews can help speed up the process.
  • if your page gets delisted off Google suddenly, don’t panic, just wait a few hours and it might reappear

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