Five months ago I published what turned out to be one of the most popular posts ever on this site: A guide on how to reach 100,000,000 (that’s 100 million) unique users in just six months. The whole idea of the post was to show that people are “stealing” viral content, posting it on their site, and getting more visitors from Facebook than you ever thought possible.
I later published a follow-up article showing a reader of this website who made $100,000 in one week and I also dismissed some of the ridiculous claims by both Business Insider and a ‘Click Fraud’ video that was making rounds online. Now it’s time to do part three: What happened, and can you still make money with this model?
It still amazes me when SEO blogs blindly tout advice we’ve all heard before. “Write great content, build a quality site, don’t get shady backlinks” and so on. Of course, I know why they’re sharing the advice, but the “right way” certainly isn’t the only way that works.
Take paid links for example, an SEO tactic that has seen Forbes, JC Penney, Interflora and Expedia penalised by Google. It’s probably the first thing that new SEO’s hear not to do when it comes to link building. Surely it’s not still working, right? Grab your favourite beverage, we’re going in…
When I first started out with SEO I was determined to be as “whitehat” as possible. I wouldn’t do anything to potentially risk my site being penalised by Google. In fact, after just one year of running this website I had the opportunity to get a link from Matt Cutts, Google’s head of web spam.
Matt emailed me privately to ask that my content was only preaching white hat SEO and that he wouldn’t regret linking to me. I had nothing to hide and told him as such. Later that day I got the link I was hoping for. I’m sure that was the first and last time such a thing will ever happen.
A few weeks ago I was one of the tens of thousands of people who enjoyed reading a blog post on Priceonomics about “The SEO Dominance of RetailMeNot”. It was an absolutely fascinating read because, being a total SEO geek, I rarely find information in this space that hasn’t been repeated 100 times before. I knew about the company already, but I had no idea about the scale in which they were absolutely annihilating their competitors.
For the thousands of popular search terms that are out there in the coupon world, you’ll see RetailMeNot as the number one search result for the vast majority of them. The Priceonomics article was a great read, but it’s clear that a number of their readers were disappointed with what the article lacked, rather than what it included. I’m always up for doing some digging into the SEO background of a website, especially when 63% of their traffic comes from search and they’re valued at $1.7 Billion dollars.
On January 28th you may recall that I did a huge blog post on why I’m building a bigger link network. In that post I showed in great detail how Godaddy were utilising customers who are using their SSL services and getting top search rankings by adding anchor-text-rich backlinks in the widgets that clients place on their websites.
About a month after my blog post, Godaddy dropped back to page two for all of the terms they were ranking number one for. Even though they dropped off the radar slightly, the SSL certificates niche is still an industry I watch with great interest because it’s one where big brands can get away with doing pretty much anything they want (unless someone calls them out on it?). The latest update from that industry is pretty bold: Symantec have since taken over all of Godaddy’s rankings and they’re doing the exact same thing, having amassed almost 3 million backlinks in the last 7 months.
It’s very rare for me to do a follow-up post on any subject, let alone in such a short timeframe, but my recent post on Viral Nova caused quite a fuss. Pageviews wise, it was the most popular I’ve published this year but more surprising was how many emails and comments the topic received.
Many of them were to let me know about the Facebook click fraud video that’s gone viral and the articles from both Business Insider and Bloomberg on Upworthy losing Facebook traffic . I hope to dispel their claims and more in this follow-up post.
It’s so easy to think that all of the best ideas have already been thought of, but then each year something else comes along that makes you go “why didn’t I think of that?” Whether it’s Pinterest, Snapchat or even Flappy Bird, it’s amazing that new ways to communicate and play are still being “invented”. One such example that I want to share with you today is simply about giving crack to Facebook users and becoming rich because of it.
Not actual crack, of course, but crack in the form of content that they just have to share with their friends on the world’s most popular social network. What’s more amazing is that your website can look terrible, you don’t have to get any of your own images or write any of your own content, and you can be up and running with traffic in the next 12 hours. Don’t believe me? I have more than one example. Let’s go…
Perceptual vigilance is a term used to describe what happens when you keep noticing the same things over and over again. For example, you may have just purchased a new car and you start to see that car all over the place. It’s almost like the entire city purchased it.
Recently, the thing that I seem to be noticing more and more is people discussing which SEO tactics are Whitehat, which are Blackhat and even those which are Greyhat. Because many of the discussions tend to be around tactics like networks – which I covered recently – I wanted to share my thoughts on the topic.