The National Speakers Association has to be one of the best run organisations in the whole of America. Huh, you thought I was talking about the government agency spying on the world? Aaaah my bad. That’s awkward. The NSA (not the James Bond type) were mentioned in a podcast I recently listened to by a newcomer on the NYT Bestsellers list, author Jay Baer.
It’s not the first time I’ve listened to podcasts on the topic. In fact, I’ve been overloading myself with information on getting published, book covers, finding an editor and whether to skip publishers entirely and just go it alone. When I turned down Viral Marketing for Dummies with Wiley last year, I told myself that there would one day be another time and a place for me to write a book.
That time is now. I’m making great headway into my first publication tentatively titled Private Inc. I’m going to reveal, in-depth, exactly how some of the world’s smartest minds are building hugely profitable internet companies behind the scenes. No press or blog required.
It’s going to be largely SEO focused but I’m also hoping to get insights from some of the great minds over at Stack That Money (where I’m a moderator) who focus on paid advertising yet still require privacy and sometimes secrecy in their operations.
I have a small request regarding the book that I’m going to share at the end of this post but for now, let’s make Google look a little silly.
I’ve written numerous times on my last few posts about how people are simply spamming the hell out of Youtube in competitive industries and making a lot of money by doing so. I specifically featured one example, which was ranking very highly for terms like ‘seo company’ and ‘seo services’. Ironic that Google are (were?) ranking an obvious spammer at the top of their results for those terms.
One of my favourite anecdotes to apply to Google’s inability to effectively police their search results has to come at the expensive of Youtube. I mean they own every single user profile, they can see the IP’s of every user, they have their email addresses, they know who is commenting on and uploading what videos.
Yet, you’ll still find the top comment of every video “My aunt made $732.34 while flossing her cats teeth in the shower today. Find out how http:// tiny url dot c0m/4535. Some of the world’s smartest engineers have control over the entire platform (!) and even they can’t stop people gaming the ranking and commenting system.
You shouldn’t be surprised then to find that they’re trying to push Google+ into the conversation stream even more now with an overwrite of the system.
A lot of people emailed me and commented to say me that the rankings for that video I mentioned would drop and ranking wasn’t worth the creators effort. Well, it’s almost always worth the effort. I have no doubt the return was far better than the monetary and time investment into getting that top ranking.
I agreed that it would drop, but it shouldn’t have stayed up for this long. Interestingly not once did it leave the top 10 results for either phrase. I’m also pretty fascinated by how the drops and rises seem to come on pretty much the same day. Though the changes differ in amount, they follow each other very closely.
Also interesting is that the video was removed for “Violating Youtube’s Terms of Service”. If it hadn’t been removed I have no doubt it would still be ranking well. The removal surely can’t be because of the content of the video – hundreds of thousands of companies use Youtube to promote themselves in the same vein as that one. Someone must have reported this (perhaps an angry commenter from my original screenshot). At least I can be comfortable knowing that Google engineers do not read this blog. If they did, it would have been down a lot faster.
Since I really don’t like the idea of outing specific sites, I thought it would be better to watch over niches I’ve already covered in these posts. Meaning I wont be stepping on any new toes. The example I shared in my post on freshness was the Bluehost hosting niche, where my friend Pat is pulling in over $30,000 per month through their affiliate program.
I showed that the number one result in Google for both ‘bluehost coupon’ and ‘bluehost coupon code’ – which is a perfect example of a buyers keyphrase – was simply changing the date on their blog every single day and maintaining their top rankings by doing so. However, that changed slightly…
Strangely, the site has been down for over a week. Yet, even though Google has cached the Godaddy landing page, it’s still ranking. I am aware that you may see different search results than me – you will for almost everything, probably – but these results are viewed through a proxy and not signed in to any Google account.
This isn’t even the interesting part…
Right after I blogged about this originally, someone built a ton of websites around Bluehost coupon related terms. I have nothing against that. In fact, I’m pretty impressed that someone has tested this to the degree that they have. Look at the top results in Google now…
Every single one of these sites was registered in July (this year). They’ve also held the top rankings pretty much from day one. This is one of the search results I monitor with great interest.
Before anyone comments saying that it’s not competitive and it doesn’t matter that it’s being gamed, I have many more examples of one person owning a set of search results. However, I can’t really win when I share examples here. I get people complaining that I don’t share enough and I get fellow SEO’s saying that I share too many.
So, feel free to do your own research. This is definitely not an anomaly.
I’ve tried to stress testing your own ideas when it comes to SEO a number of times on this blog. There are never a shortage of tests I could be running and actually have a full-time staff member whose job it is to do nothing but run these kind of tests. That’s how crucial SEO is to my business life.
Recently, I noticed a number of bloggers quoting the following graph:
I don’t know why it suddenly became popular, since it’s a year old, but at first glance the data is pretty clear: Sites / pages with more content are ranking higher than those with less content.
The authors of this study, SerpIQ, were so confident in the findings that their conclusion states, “It’s evident that a fully fleshed out site with a lot of quality content is going to be favored by Google. In fact, the last two monthly updates from Google have shown that they’re actively working on improving their detection of poor quality content.”
To me, this just looks too perfect. However, I can’t just guess this kind of thing, so I decided to test it. I don’t how many industries were tested in the original experiment but my sample is probably much smaller than theirs. I reached out to the ViperChill audience to give me some niche ideas and off I went:
Sorry to disappoint the guys over at BlackhatWorld who said I was using this data for ‘blackhat experiments’; whatever that could entail. I simply wanted a broad range of niches I would never naturally think about to use to test this idea for myself.
A large portion of my reasoning for this experiment is that I have dozens of website ranking highly which have no content on them in a lot of different industries. A few of these examples can be found in XXX.
Here’s my graph after following the same steps they used to gather this data for myself:
No correlation in sight. In fact not one of the 70+ industries monitored even came close to having similar results to original graph (a clear decrease in word count as you decrease ranking position). Quite simply, they were all over the place.
In case you’re curious, my highest figure for a number one ranking was 6,539 words while the highest number of words for a 10th place ranking was 13,391. This includes all content on the site, including sidebar text, as per the original test.
Note that this doesn’t mean my data is correct either; this is not a chart I would expect to be posted on some other sites as proof that content length doesn’t matter. Someone could go and find totally different results tomorrow. But the beauty of it all is that because of my own testing, it’s not something I’m going to worry about for ‘cheap’ sites. Cheap simply meaning sites I am not putting quality content on and simply using for ranking tests. The opposite of money sites, which is sites I’m building with the aim to directly make cash from them (which usually contain great content in abundance).
Want an easy way to run tests for yourself? Keep reading.
Seriously, it seems like I have people asking me about him every week…
My response to that tweet is that Alex is mostly good stuff. We disagree in angles on some things, but for the most part we follow a similar philosophy. What a lot of people aren’t aware of is that I’ve actually known Alex online for years.
Before his huge growth with Source Wave he used to run a site called the Link Back where I was also interviewed (it’s funny looking at my answers on this topic now after all of the Google revelations). I knew Alex even before that, when he and my business partner Diggy actually ran a website together.
Today Alex is launching a really awesome WordPress plugin called ‘SEO Zen‘. Now, Alex has launched a lot of things in the marketing and SEO world that I’ve never shared here (but have purchased). That’s not because they are bad but because the timings never really lined up with the topics that I was blogging about at the time.
SEO Zen is not going to help you build an award winning website. It’s not going to help you write great content. It’s not going to help you get totally legitimate links from the biggest bloggers in your niche.
What it’s going to do is show that you don’t need the best links, the best design or the best content to absolutely rock it in search right now. I’m trying to hammer home to you so much that testing is everything, and you’ll be so far ahead of the field (a.k.a your competition) it’s ridiculous just by running your own experiments.
Even if you’re not totally convinced on purchasing anything SEO-related right now, go check out the launch video and how you can fully flesh out a website in less than 60 seconds. If anything, it should at least be a little bit interesting to you.
Update: Although initial comments were good, I have received a lot of complaints from people not receiving their refunds for this product, so have to add a warning that you should purchase it with care.
I’ve probably promoted about 6 products on this blog in 4 years so while that is an affiliate link, you should know that I wouldn’t promote anything I don’t think would be beneficial to you.
I have a new post going live in a few days on the topic of Blackhat SEO so if you’re interested in more on this topic, make sure you enter your email in the yellow box below to get all of my updates.
P.S. If you would like to help me with my book, I would love to steal no more than 120 seconds of your time. I have a mini survey here that I would love you to help me complete… (Thank you!)