Update: I have greatly edited this post to blur out those involved. A few people who were mentioned are actually readers of this site and kindly emailed to ask to be removed. My theory has been that I have to show at least one example to verify what I’m saying, but I think I’ve probably went far enough on this topic.
These last few posts have went pretty viral around the web and while I appreciate the attention, I also understand that fellow marketers do deserve to stay under the radar. I’ve been ‘outed’ counltess times myself but that doesn’t mean I have to do the same to others. Hopefully the original readers got something out of the post, and I just want to thank you all again for your feedback and wisdom. I appreciate the audience here more than you could ever know.
To say the last few days around here have been crazy would be an understatement. I’ve replied to hundreds of comments, received hundreds of tweets for my content and basically been amazed at all of the sites that linked to me. It was hard to look far away from my analytics. They’re all referring to my recent blog post, The New SEO, which has had tens of thousands of visitors in just one week.
I wanted to use this blog post to keep discussion on this issue going while the topic is still hot. There were a lot of comments received 150, 200 and 250 comments down which will never really see the light of day. My aim is to change that and share the issues that real webmasters are having, and how Google is in its worst state that I’ve ever seen in years.
This post is going to create a bit of a stir, but before I get into the meat of the content, I want to make a few points. First of all, I know that building a search engine can’t be an easy thing. If it was, Microsoft’s billions pumped into Bing would have gave it more than a few % market share. Trying to create an algorithm which brings back relevant websites when everyone is trying to reverse engineer and ‘game’ the system has to be one of the hardest technical challenges for a business in the last decade. That being said, it amazes me that every SEO blog is preaching the same old things that they’ve been saying for years.
One person I was disappointed to see doing this was Rand at
SEOMoz. I won’t say his surname, as I don’t want this post to rank for his name (I don’t like ‘outing’, either). SEOmoz has been a website I’ve read for as long as I’ve been doing this stuff, back when Oatmeal used to be their CTO and Rebecca and Jane were regularly posting on the blog. I’m a huge fan, but what Rand recently advocated on his blog is just… totally misguided the total opposite to what is really working right now.
Last Update March 27th, 2016 As many of you will know, I love WordPress. I use it on most of my affiliate sites which make me thousands of dollars per month and I also use it on my blogs, such as this one. I’m certainly not alone when it comes to utilising this CMS though — tens of millions of sites online are powered by the software.
For all the great things there are to be said about WordPress, though, out-of-the-box SEO certainly isn’t one of its strong points. As I use the software so much and make a lot of my income thanks to search engine traffic, I have come to learn what works best in terms of optimising your WordPress setup.
Utilising the power of the keyphrases that people use online has enabled me to make a full-time income since February 2009. I’ve spent the last two and a half years of my life doing nothing but using my own tactics, coupled with powerful resources, to analyse industries in order to get more website traffic. And, in-turn, make more money. This is known by many as Keyword Research.
It is this keyword research that has allowed me to get 981,000 unique organic search visitors to a 3 month old website, grow blogs faster than I ever thought was possible and – more than anything – allowed me to be free from a boss and the 9-5 grind.
In the late 1800’s, Kaiser Wilhelm wanted to get rid of a number of his associates in the German government. Since many of them were old, he decided to set the age of retirement to 65 and successfully forced them out of their positions. To this day, we still use the same retirement age around the world.
If you’re wondering what the point of sharing that was then let me say this: There was no point. My headline led you to read the post introduction, and my first paragraph was good enough to get you to read the second. Since I have your attention, let me tell you one more thing: You have to keep people hooked on your content if you want to get links. People don’t share things they don’t read.
As everyone knows, if you want to increase the amount of traffic you receive from search engines, you need to build backlinks to your websites. Each link is essentially a ‘vote’ which shows the likes of Google and Bing that you’re a trustworthy site. Because links are so crucial, marketers around the world have come up with hundreds of ways to build them.
Some of these tactics are easy to follow, while others require more obscure work, and some even cross the border when it comes to ethics. The backlink building tactic I want to talk about today is most commonly viewed as greyhat – not totally natural but not totally immoral either.
Would you believe there’s a top ranking site in a niche with over 300,000 searches per month which only has 4 pages and spams forums for links? In this study which both shocked and surprised me, I reveal this anomaly and many more. There is no industry where people make as many generalisations than they do with SEO. As with every other post on this site, I prefer to look at what is actually working and how to replicate it, rather than relying on guesswork.
This time I’ve looked into 5 sites, from 5 profitable affiliate industries, and analysed how they are ranking for their keyphrases. A lot of work went into this post, and I can tell you now there are no direct correlations, but I think you’ll learn a lot from what I’ve found.
Generally speaking, the more traffic you can get to a website the more money you can make. I like to focus on building search engine traffic to my sites because once you have rankings you can usually sustain them with little effort and the traffic they send is very targeted.
Over the last two years I focused on fairly small industries which I would build minisites for, which received their traffic from search engines, and then monetised them with affiliate offers. These days I’m spending my time focusing on much bigger (and more competitive markets) and having a lot of success.