Top SEO Candy Websites


Top SEO Candy Websites

It's Halloween time again. Time for fright flick gore-arathons, Trick-or-Treaters, yah, bucket loads of Halloween CANDY! I'm sure many of you are stocking up on jumbo bags of fruity, chocolately or gummy candy treats for the roving bands of costumed kids that will soon descend upon your doorstep, that is unless you're one of those people who give out bags of chips or boxes of raisins as "treats," which BTW is a great way to get your house egged.

And with Halloween only days away, what better time to roll out some SERP analysis and crown the Top SEO Candy Websites. Let's find out who's doing a killer job at optimizing their on and off page elements for the Web's top candy queries.

So sit back, relax and enjoy, 'cause this edition of our "Top SEO Websites Series" is gonna' be SWEET!

Top SEO Candy Company Websites: SERP Analysis Process

My process for determining which candy websites are doing the best job at SEO involves three steps:

1) Identify Top 20 Searched Keywords - I use the Google Keyword Tool and our Free Keyword Tool to get search volume estimates. I omitted certain results, like "lollipop" (singular) because that vertical was littered with Lil' Wayne lyrics and Lollipop magazine results. I did leave "lollipops" on the list because that vertical was much cleaner and relevant. I also scrubbed the list of branded queries, like Starburst, Lifesavers and Smarties.

Here's the final compilation of the 20 most searched candy-related keywords:

Top candy keywords for SEO

2) Run Individual Queries for Top 20 Keywords - Once I've determined the 20 most searched keywords, I run those queries in Google and save the first 100 results in a CSV file. To do this yourself, you'll need to install the SEO for Firefox plugin. Then run your query, hit the "100" button and click "CSV."

Top candy keyword query

3) Determine Domain Frequency - Finally, it's impossible to evaluate every candy company website on the Internet by doing a deep analytical dive and trying to compare and contrast important SEO factors. So an effective and streamlined method to measure SEO supremacy is through ranking frequency, ie how often a site displays in the SERPs for top keywords. The premise being that the more frequently your site displays for popular queries, the better job you're doing at SEO. To determine domain frequency in the SERPs, I use a great tool developed by our friends over at Ontolo, the Hosthame Occurance Counter.

Top SEO Candy Websites: The Definitive Rankings

The goal of this post is to first identify the top searched and competitive keywords that a candy maker or distributor should be targeting in the search engines, and through query analysis, identify the candy companies that are excelling at SEO, ranking well and outranking competitors in the SERPs. So without further ado, here are the Top SEO Candy Websites.

Best SEO Candy Websites top 100 results

Best SEO Candy Websites top 20 results

Best SEO Candy Websites top 10 results

Top SEO Candy Websites: The Big Winners

So who are the big winners when it comes to ranking for the top candy keywords? Well, any site that frequents the Top 10 results clearly is doing a great job at optimization. But the really big winners would have to be four sites that showed up consistently on each one of the Top 10, Top 20 and Top 100 lists, which were:

Upon closer look, it's pretty impressive what CandyWarehouse is doing in the SERPs, considering this in a vertical dominated by big brands, like Hershey's, Sees and Godiva. So the fact that a candy distributor can slug it out with the Kings of Candy is worth noting. They don't have nearly as many links (20K compared to's 40K) nor the brand equity, but they outrank their competitors consistently. A true David among Goliaths.

With, you're seeing a website that reaps the rewards of Google's love affair with exact match domains, and more power to them. They also do a fantastic job structuring their information architecture (IA), and letting target candy keywords dictate their category and page titles. And all their critical pages live high in the IA, directly off the root, so link equity flows like water. It's clear that this is a site built for maximum SEO performance. Nice work, guys.

Interesting Side Notes and Honorable Mentions

As for honorable mentions column, I was surprised that made it in the Top 10 three times, which is pretty impressive given this is a pretty chocolate heavy keyword study. Sure, they rank #1 for "jelly beans," which you'd expect, but they also rank #9 for "candy" and #2 for "candy company," so they're excelling at site optimization in highly competitive verticals. Smartly, they offer lots of games, flavor guides, wallpaper and a vitrual tours of their jelly bean factories on their site, which are pretty linkable. ;)

Also worth mentioning are two companies I'd never heard of, Lake Champlain Chocolates (four instances in the Top 10) and Vosges Haut-Chocolat (eight instances in the Top 20) who make bacon and chocolate bars, which could be great or gross. Either way, kudos are in order for the SEO efforts.

Finally, a website that's killing it in the SERPs is This site is not a retailer. It's a blog about candy. Yet they have four occurrences in the Top 10 and six in Top 20 for popular candy keywords, and are blowing away companies that should be able to outrank them, like, oh, Ghirardelli (more on them in the next section). 

So Whose Candy Keyword Rankings are More Sour than Sweet?

Sadly, a local New England favorite and a staple of my youth, only has one occurrence in the Top 10 and one in the Top 20. Heck even Starbucks is able to squeeze in one listing in the Top 20. C'mon, Hebert Candies. You can do better than that. Here's a quick tip: stop using the same SEO title tag on every page. And here's a nice juicy text link because I like you: Chocolate Gifts. Hope it helps.

But the worst SERP performance goes to, with only three Top 20 listings and a paltry two occurrences in the Top 10. I mean, this is a pretty authoritative brand with nearly 29K links. Yet the best they can muster for one of their core product pages, "chocolate bars," is #82. And because of this ineptitude, they're forced to use PPC to drive traffic.

Bad SEO candy websites

Maybe if Ghirardelli acquired more than 10 measly inbound links to their chocolate bars page it would grab some traction in the SERPs rather than ranking on page nine of Google's dead zone. Note the candy bar page for Vosges Haut-Chocolat, which has 4,090 external links. No wonder it ranks page one, #6 in Google.

Candy keywords like chocolate bars are popular in the SERPs

If the marketing folks at Ghirardelli were savvy, they'd bolt on a blog and start creating content around the top chocolate-related SEO keywords on the above list, as well as for sugary long tail keywords (see what is doing). Then, at the very least, they'd have a chance of ranking for keywords they should be targeting and should be ranking for given the strength of their website.

They should also get to work building some quality deep links to their link poor pages because a paltry 10 inbound links just isn't going to cut it in the dog-eat-bacon chocolate truffles world of the hard candy vertical.

Attention: Top SEO Candy Websites Winners

Were you named as one of the Top SEO Candy Websites on our lists? Why not show off your SEO prowess and display one of our Top SEO Candy Websites Winner Badges on your website.

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Oct 29, 2009

Ha, my parents have always handed out bags of cape cod potato chips--bring on the egging!

Ken Lyons
Oct 29, 2009


Wow. That's shocking. I may egg and TP your house on principle alone.

SEO – seochat | SEO Mixer Blog
Oct 29, 2009

[...] Top SEO Candy Websites | WordStream2 hours ago by Ken Lyons  Candy companies may be able to create tasty treats, but how good are they at SEO? Find out who the Top SEO Candy are in our Top SEO Websites Series. [...]

Top SEO Candy Websites | WordStream | Angelove
Oct 29, 2009

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Oct 29, 2009

I'm developing a strange sense of humor Ken.

You advised to "stop using the same SEO title tag on every page". I thought that was actually funny.

This SEO humor is a bit esoteric. Can't exactly tell these "SEO one liners" at cocktail parties.

But I am learning...


Christopher Pratt
Oct 29, 2009

Ken, thanks for the great analysis. As are you, I'm surprised at what we've been able to do with SEO in comparison to these large candy brands with multi-million dollar ad budgets. I'm not sure it will last, but we'll take what we can get. Hopefully you will do this again next year and we'll see if the results change. Happy Halloween! Chris Pratt, Founder and President,

Ken Lyons
Oct 29, 2009

Hey, Chris.
Thanks for dropping by. You guys are doing a fantastic job in a competitive vertical and everyone who touches your website should be commended. Nice work!

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Oct 29, 2009

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Oct 29, 2009

[...] here: Top SEO Candy Websites | WordStream Comments [...]

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Oct 29, 2009

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Affordable Web Design Company
Oct 30, 2009

Very interesting! Thanks for the 'brain candy'!

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Nov 05, 2009

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Top SEO Candy Websites | WordStream « Blogging
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Nov 12, 2009

First, why shouldn't a blog be among the top results for any given word search? Blogs tend to have durable permalinks and honestly, more complete information than some retail/manufacturing companies. Companies tend to revise their sites and break existing links, making their inlinks unusable. Why would you characterize it as some sort of an us-against-them thing?

Second, I now understand how See's is so high up there. I've gotten two emails from them over the years (one this week from an SEO consultant) that illuminate their tactics. Not all of which are ethical.

Ken Lyons
Nov 12, 2009

hi, cybele. thanks for commenting.
the post is about identifying the top candy retailer and wholesaler websites. if it were a post about finding the top seo candy blogs, then i would name blogs. but it's not. and other than candy addict (whose efforts I noted and praised), not many blogs showed up in the top results consistently. if they did, i'd mention them as well.

Nov 12, 2009

My note was that one of the things that blogs do is maintain pages far longer than candy companies. This means fewer deadlinks into the website. I thought it was an opportunity to understand what they're doing. My mistake. I'll stick to my own little corner of the world.

Ken Lyons
Nov 12, 2009

cybele, i think this is a case of intent. blogs likely lose to manufacturers because of the intent of the top candy queries or how Google is interpreting intent. for example, queries like "chocolate gifts" or "candy online" are clearly transactional by nature, so returning a traditional blog as a top result really doesn't really satisfy a user's transactional query like a manufacturer or distributor would. whereas an informational query, like "white chocolate reviews," would be more likely to return a blog in the top spot, like say your blog. btw, you're more than welcome in our corner of the world anytime. thanks, ken

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Nov 16, 2009

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