Andy here and just doing a little SEO update, plus a little bit more info on the site.
First of all, apologies for not updating. I made a conscious decision a few months ago that i wanted to make money by “doing” and not teaching people how to “do”.
There’s something immoral about becoming super rich peddling information that you can find for free, or selling affiliate products that are marginally effective at best.
Here is what I am doing… here is what works:
Link building has changed. Screw every single automated tool that exists.. period.
Any platform where you can create an account and post links is long term useless and risky. If you look at all the tools like SEO nuke, the big ‘footprint’ is that anyone can create an account and post content. Self post sites are low value and they are super RISKY.
A few years ago they worked, and since then they have become less and less effective. Now the risk is much greater than the reward.
The same goes for blog networks. Any site that just has blogs, on multiple topics, linking out to lots of posts, is super risky. Yes it will work short term, long term, it will get screwed.
Here is what works:
- Purchased links: Do so on sites that or niche relevant, or close in topic. So if you have a site on fishing, a link from another fishing website would be ideal, otherwise sites that are outdoors related, camping related etc would be deemed relevant. And this goes for the overall theme of the site.
- Purchased PR domains: Get them, get ones that are niche relevant, or could be deemed related to the niche. Also sites with generic anchor profiles that haven’t been correctly themed.
- Newspapers, press releases (HQ), HQ directories like Dmoz/BOTW: You want links on high PR sites and pages.
Other than that, you DON’T need that many links to rank. 30 high page rank links will dominate 10k spammy and crappy links. Plus the spammy and crappy links will get the site penalized eventually.
Good content – on my money site, most of my content ranges from 750-2000 words in length. I spend most of my time writing content and most of my money outsourcing good content written by good writers.
Have your content have lots of subheadings (non keyword spammed), lists, font formatting.
Keep keyword density very low. Have keyword in title, h1 and first paragraph, last paragraph, then keep keyword density low.
Search for the keyword you are writing the page for in the keyword tool. Make sure you include some of the related keywords in the content.
Design IS most definitely a ranking factor. Make your brand look professional. A $50 theme will pay dividends in the long term. Make it beautiful, make it responsive. Pay for a nicely designed logo. Keep it clean and not too busy.
Max 1-2 per page. Especially on new sites.
Verify with authorship.
Use a COMPELLING picture to increase CTR. I currently have cropped round my headshot and super imposed it on a red background. This gives me a massive unfair advantage and ups my CTR up hugely.
Titles, metas, timestamp.
Should both include your keyword once, preferably at the start. Write titles for CTR, CTR is a ranking factor now. Sites that get clicked rank higher.
Timestamp your pages with the last updated date.
Update your important and high ranking pages often (once a month.. I know it’s work).
Plus add at least one piece of content (500 words or greater) every single day to the site. Sites that update daily get a freshness boost.
Social Media and WMT
Link your site with your authorship and to webmaster tools. Hiding from Google is not an option now. You need to work with them and give them what they want instead of against them. Also link with analytics.
Create a page on google+ for your brand. Plug your social media profiles in to your authorship page.
Update your facebook, twitter, google+ with every new piece of content you publish. Write unique blurbs, don’t just post links. Use hootsuite.
Comment on industry stuff on g+ and participate in conversations within your niche. Try to get +1′s, follows from active users within your niche. How much this helps now is quite debatable (I don’t think it helps much) but long term, heading in to the future this will surely become a ranking factor of some kind (Better to be ahead of the curve than behind).
Volume vs aggression
In my niche, I have taken a very non aggressive approach. There is a clear correlation now between aggressive SEO and penalties/downgrades. The sites that are ranking heavily are the ones without as many links actually, but are updated frequently and have the best quality content. Or, put another way, quite a few sites with good content are now not ranking simply because they got aggressive with link metrics. Having good content, user metrics etc does not make you invincible to penguin.
What is working may vary between niches. My niche is gambling related and a notoriously spammed niche. This means they may have toned down links for this niche (although i have no idea because i don’t operate elsewhere). This would make sense to me personally, because there are very few organic links in gambling, they may just decrease link value in niches where organic links don’t exist.
Anyway, I am not taking the focus of building 1 main site, spending 90% of my energy on that. Plus creating a handful of mini sites for niche terms, that link to my money site. And building a small network of related PR domains.
Right now a lot of content I am building is ranking page 1-3 without any links for competitive terms. I then just build a handful of high PR relevant links and boom, I’m on page 1. I keep the rankings by creating the best content on the topic and updating the page very often. Couple that with getting a high CTR from Google SERPS, it’s easy to see why they think my site is the most relevant to a query.
I’ve also found a few content strategies to rank for keywords that a lot of other affiliates are not going for. The traffic to these terms seems a lot more general and is converting less, but getting it in volume is proving easy, plus it’s allowing me to build up a targeted email list pretty quickly.
Hopefully this was helpful, i update this soon if i think of any new tips and tricks.