Rankings are a Trap. Focus on Traffic.

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  • SEO
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Here's an article I recently wrote. I thought you might find this helpful to see SEO from my perspective.


Do you agree with the following statement?

“If I want to make money, I need to rank #1 for my keywords.”

It seems pretty obvious and completely correct, right? Once you get a keyword to #1 in the search results, you’ll get approximately 40% of the search visitors clicking on your link. Rank = traffic.

Of course you believe this. All search engine optimization focuses on this statement like a laser beam. It’s why there’s search engine spam, massive linkbuilding campaigns, and all kinds of attempts to manipulate and reverse engineer the search results.

Let me give you a new statement, see if you like this one better.

“If I want to make money, I need lots of search engine traffic.”

Disconnect the idea from your mind that high search engine traffic requires high rankings. Don’t you agree that you could get thousands of search visitors across hundreds of search terms and not have a single keyword ranking #1? In fact, wouldn’t you prefer to have this torrent of longtail search traffic, than the traffic from a few premier head terms?

Chasing Rankings is Like Buying Lottery Tickets

The traditional approach to keyword selection is to use some kind of algorithm to figure out which keyword is better. Write an article to target that keyword, and then backlink it until you get to number 1. It might take 100 links, or 1000 links.

This method depends entirely on the keyword itself. If your methodology chooses a “good” keyword, then the time spent backlinking will reinforce that selection and drive you to the top of the search results; although, I’ll argue, only temporarily, and using methods that the search engines frown on. But if you choose the wrong keyword, you’ll spend all that time reinforcing a bad keyword, hundreds of hours wasted, and you never get to #1, or if you get to #1, the traffic doesn’t turn out to be as great as you were hoping.

If that’s what you do, you’re gambling, you just don’t realize it. Only lottery winners think tickets are a good investment.

Building Content is Like Investing in an Index Fund

Instead of trying to rank #1, just create great content on your own website; the kind of content your audience is looking for. Instead of writing 1 article, and then writing 99 more articles to get backlinks, just write 100 articles of great content for your own website. You might not get any to rank #1 for any specific keyword,*but that doesn’t matter.

As long as this content is bringing in more search engine traffic, it’s a good thing. Each article you write, every content need you fulfill, every question you answer, brings you more search visitors. After a while, you’ll know with mathematical certainty how much search engine traffic you’re going to bring in for every article you write, and how much you’re going to earn from it.

It’s like investing in a secure, diversified stock market index fund. As you continue to create great content, you’ll see total search traffic (and income) go up and up and up.
#focus #rankings #traffic #trap
  • Profile picture of the author Robbie B
    Definitely a good way to get solid data. I've a site I use for autoposting which I might take the plugin out and start doing the manual posting with some optimized content.

    Seems like such a simple concept but it's those easy things you can do to scale things up that I overlook as it just seems to easy to actually work.

    Will certainly give it a bash on that site.

    Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author CatherineMay
    So, what I think you are saying is just write good content for your site. Answer a need or provide good information. Only be concerned with longtail keywords that relate to the content.

    Don't worry about hot keywords with zillions of searches that you might can get to #1 if you killl yourself trying; and don't worry about backlinks.

    Or am simplifying too much what you are saying?



    Catherine
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    Writing good content is the absolutely necessity. Just how a restaurant needs to have delicious food.

    But only writing good content is called blogging. And bloggers don't make money. :-)

    Once you target the longtail search queries that your audience is searching for, and you stick at it long enough, your business really takes off.
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  • Profile picture of the author commoditytrainer
    I guess you can surmise that you are a proponent that content is king, which it is, and when you have loads of content and a big website then yes you get a lot of traffic, just look at the news sites? Not only do the get a ton of traffic their PR is really high with all the articles linking to the main page giving the home page a pr of 8 or 9.
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  • Profile picture of the author cagliostro
    As the above said you will need a lot of content to actually get traffic. A LOT.
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  • it would take a ridiculous amount of time to write enough quality articles for enough long tail keywords to see a significant amount of traffic.

    This is a good long term goal but i think you can be doing other things in the mean time to bring in the money
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    @high_plains_drifter - I wouldn't say a ridiculous amount. Definitely a lot, but then, time is the only resource we really have. So, you can spend your time building links, you can spend your time creating content. My point is that both are completely valid ways to build up a thriving online business.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
    Are you suggesting that we write an article for each version of a long tail keyword? For example when searching for the same bit of information some people will use "will X", others use "does X", others use "can X", and still others use different terms. The actual articles will be the same for "will X", "does X", "can X", etc. Because you are using different keywords, you may have a shot at more traffic, but wouldn't Google see it as duplicate content?

    Or would you simply spin the content, use it with a different version of the same long tail keyword, and then repeat the spin and different version of keyword process?

    Or have I missed the point altogether?

    Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author escribe
      FraserC, great post!

      It's almost as though you're building your brand by creating great content. Not only are you providing research and information that helps to convey your message better, but you're readers see that you're putting in WAY more effort than other websites providing content in similar areas. Once they see that you're adding true value, you have a follower for life! This all leads to more sales for your business. Nice!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    You don't want to write an article for every variation, then you get hit with an overlapping content penalty. You want to create articles that target the underlying concepts.

    For example: "does soda remove stains", "can you remove stains with soda", "soda stains" are all essentially the same concept. So you'd only create a single article targeting it. That would be a different article from: "removing odors with bleach".

    You definitely don't want to spin the content.

    Here's the analogy. Imagine the entire list of keywords in your industry is a blank white wall. Each article you want to write is a blob of paint that you're throwing at the wall, covering a handful of keywords.

    Your goal is to cover the entire wall.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Solid up to a point but business is not the field of dreams -

      If you build it they will not come

      not without some promotion.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    @Mike Anthony - I'm assuming that you're creating great content that fills a need. But the point is that you're targeting concepts that people are searching for. But yes, if you stick at it, you can absolutely create an enormous volume of targeted traffic... without much promotion beyond the content itself.

    I know you disagree, but I'm saying, that's how I'm getting 100K search visitors a day. And I've done independent tests to confirm it.

    Backlinking isn't necessary.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      I know you disagree, but I'm saying, that's how I'm getting 100K search visitors a day. And I've done independent tests to confirm it.

      Backlinking isn't necessary.
      You are getting 100,000 a day to your site without backlinks? Yeah right. Your site has plenty of links. I get you are trying to push the keyword research tool thing but lets not be dishonest about it now.

      As best as I can tell you are merely talking about backlinks in a very limited way as in someone who places their own backlinks. However in linkbuilding FOR BACKLINKS you can in fact utilize several linkbuilding techniques that don't meet that definition.


      Your own "independent tests" confirm that a news site can get links from various sources. Thats all. You can hardly use that as a justification for doing no promotion across all niches . It doesn't work that way. Claiming Wikipedia did it so everyone can ignores the nature of Wikipedia, encyclopedia based and news sites.

      Incidentally if you don't need backlinks then why put one in your sig? Just write really good content on your keyword site use your keyword tool that gets you soo much traffic and call it a day. We'll find you . By placing a link on another site to promote or advertise your services you are not practicing what you preach.
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    • Profile picture of the author markus88
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      @Mike Anthony - I'm assuming that you're creating great content that fills a need. But the point is that you're targeting concepts that people are searching for. But yes, if you stick at it, you can absolutely create an enormous volume of targeted traffic... without much promotion beyond the content itself.

      I know you disagree, but I'm saying, that's how I'm getting 100K search visitors a day. And I've done independent tests to confirm it.

      Backlinking isn't necessary.
      That's very impressive traffic. How many articles/pages were needed to reach that level? Is the traffic coming from forum posts??
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        A whole heap of articles and despite what the OP represented - A WHOLE LOT OF BACKLINKING.
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        • Profile picture of the author rkat55
          As someone who has been marketing online since '97 I can tell you that Fraser is 100% correct in what he is saying.

          Not to mention his $23,000 a month ain't too shabby proof.

          I've seen a number of sites like Fraser's over the years and they
          all kick-ass just by providing dope content.

          I've got nothing against pro-active backlink getting and all
          that if that's what you want to do. But that's a different thing.
          You can almost compare it to short-term trading strategies
          versus long term buy and hold investing strategies.

          Which one is better? Not necessarily either. They are both
          great strategies in the right hands.
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  • Profile picture of the author prcys
    Banned
    If one try to get the quality traffic to the site then naturally it will rank higher. As with the quality traffic one can get the quality content also and also if site has quality content then it will definitely bring the traffic to the site. But the need is to be careful for not more outbound links and be sure that visitor spend more time to your site. So this all will be naturally help to get the the higher rank.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    It worked for Wikipedia, it can work for us.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rough Outline
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      It worked for Wikipedia, it can work for us.
      You're selling dreams here, Wikipedia doesn't make a dime of money and isn't a site to aspire to, maybe in terms of quality content but not in terms of making money.

      Content and backlinks go hand in hand, to be successful, you have to do both the things right, that is if you want to sustain a long term business.

      It's fairly tiresome to hear people keep on saying just build quality content, as much as Google would be much better if quality of content helped in ranking, it doesn't work like that.

      In fact a crappy spun article with tonnes of quality backlinks will rank much better than an amazing article with no backlinks.

      Also, why would you want to write tonnes of articles to get some long tail traffic, when you can optimize a few articles first then go from there.

      The idea is flawed, imagine if you wrote or bought 100 high quality articles to get long tail traffic and it didn't make a profit? It makes much more sense to start off with a few pieces of content, get traffic to them and actually see if traffic will convert.

      I admire the ethos behind your ideas, but this isn't a utopia, it's SEO.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by Rough Outline View Post

        You're selling dreams here..........Content and backlinks go hand in hand, to be successful, you have to do both the things right, that is if you want to sustain a long term business.
        Thats right and the amazing thing is it so obvious but people are getting taken in by the totally illogical premise of - if you build it they will come. Link building is as wide as advertising. Anyone claiming that you do not need to do any kind of linkbuilding is just like someone who tells a business person they can open a great shop anywhere do no advertising and they will make it. totally fantasy. The truth is its a recipe for most people to fail based on the few exceptions there are to almost any rule.

        People go to google because it is still the number one place for targeted niche specific traffic of buyers. With all due respect to facebook their users are not targeted in the way that Google is with buyers within a niche.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheNewGuy2010
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      It worked for Wikipedia, it can work for us.

      Hi Fraser,

      this is your opinion not a concrete fact that's accepted through out the IM community, correct?

      I, just like every expereinced marketer have read tons of ebook about SEO and traffic and if you read 50 ebooks you're going to get 50 methods. I came to the conclusion, if they can make up their own system why can't I make up my own......so I did.

      nothing is concrete and factual. no one knows what any search engine is looking for because they don't reveal it. we are all guessing.

      What worked today may not work tomorrow. I do agree with writting content but I also think you need to put a lot of content on other 3rd party domains as well. No every one uses the search box to find what they are looking for.

      Putting content all over the net and taking up as much space as possilbe in your niche is the way to get traffic. People will find your website using all sorts of methods. there more content that's "out there" the better your chances are of someone finding your website. Be it a video, Pad file or PDF.
























      (good job promoting your sig)
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      Retired Internet Marketer.
      Gone Fishing....
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  • Profile picture of the author pilatospoonfork
    Having a good ranking in Google SERP is good, but it's totally useless if your site has no traffic or with a very low traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    @Mike Anthony - I'm saying that focusing on rank misses the point of getting traffic. Webmasters are trying to build rank when we really only want traffic.

    Thanks for the suggestion on the links, I've removed them. People can just Google me if they want to find me. Search for "universe"
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      @Mike Anthony - I'm saying that focusing on rank misses the point of getting traffic. Webmasters are trying to build rank when we really only want traffic.
      Fraser on the internet almost all traffic comes through links. The only way around this is print, Tv and Radio advertising. Those links must be on sites that have traffic. People try to rank on google to get traffic. Simple. Its not an exclusive proposition. You do the exact same thing. You hope to get links on other sites in a position that people will see and use. You did it right here for us all to see

      Thanks for the suggestion on the links, I've removed them. People can just Google me if they want to find me. Search for "universe"
      and yet you are still promoting like I said. You are still on a third party site (Like Google is) putting the existence of your site out there where it can be seen.

      Worse you have just been entirely inconsistent by telling them to search for you on Google with a term you know you rank for . You just totally destroyed your point.


      The rant against promoting your site (and backlinks and google ranking is juat a form of promotion) is pointless. If you wanted to let us know about your site and offering and were consistent you would have just wrote really great content on your site and never posted links or advertising here. In so doing you demonstrate that even you don't live by what you write. You were clearly advertising your keywords offering and doing it with a link precisely as you were telling others not to look for links just traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author miserman
    To some extent it is true that ranking does not matter. It is all about traffic game, particularly targeted and focused traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author omy123
    [DELETED]
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  • Profile picture of the author jameswebberid
    really help ful thread..thanks for sharing to us..i found it bit difficut to recycle or come with new ideas every time..any more tips or examples as like you explaind above like soda or bleach..thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author derrickp
    Senior SEO Member lol
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    Slime England

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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by derrickp View Post

      Senior SEO Member lol
      Upgraded it. Sure you will like the new one Too
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      • Profile picture of the author derrickp
        Hey if you think it, it has to be true right?

        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        Upgraded it. Sure you will like the new one Too
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        Slime England

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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by derrickp View Post

          Hey if you think it, it has to be true right?
          Now how would you know what I do in my offline time.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    @weganblasting - You're off by a factor of 10 for Adsense. I made about $23,000 in Adsense last month. My search traffic was about 1,500 visitors a day in 2008. And then I built up keyword targeted content and now I have about 100,000 search visitors a day. So everything changed in the last 3 years.

    Yes, all my backlinks came naturally.

    I'm saying you target 1000 visitors from 1000 keywords, not 1000 visitors from 1 keyword. That's it.

    @Daniel Wilson - If your total search engine traffic is going up and up, that's very motivating. And you aren't nervous about losing rankings.

    @Mike Wilson - Links serve two purposes: rankings and traffic. The purpose of 99% of the linkbuilding work is to help push a specific keyword to rank #1... right? I'm saying that when you build links on a specific keyword, you're gambling that your initial keyword analysis was correct. If you're right... jackpot. If you're wrong... zero. And I'm saying that instead of writing 1 article + 99 links, just put that time and effort into the content on your own website.

    Regarding self promotion, like many people here on the forum, I'm exchanging knowledge and wisdom for the opportunity to promote the software I've built. Don't the 642 thanks you've received earn you the right to put a link to your service? You've just been at it longer than me, so you've had a chance to help people out longer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      Regarding self promotion, like many people here on the forum, I'm exchanging knowledge and wisdom for the opportunity to promote the software I've built. Don't the 642 thanks you've received earn you the right to put a link to your service? You've just been at it longer than me, so you've had a chance to help people out longer.
      Fraser you are taking it the wrong way. Put your sig back and post away. I was NEVER telling you you should not promote or share. I was merely pointing out that many people even most people need to do some promotion and that you were demonstrating that point yourself inthis thread by doing just that.

      You can write incredible content and if no one sees it its not going to get traffic. All people are doing by wanting to rank is to get their content noticed. Google is still one of the largest traffic sources on the internet. There is nothing wrong with wanting to rank and there is nothing wrong with promotion. The build it and they will come theory as I said does not always work.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    @Mike Anthony - I understand that it's the established wisdom: build links to increase rank to increase search traffic. I'm saying that there's a perfectly viable alternative.

    I did a separate experiment a couple of years ago and created a brand new website with my wife. She built up about 300 keyword-targeted articles focusing on long tail terms, no link building except for joining a blog carnival to get initially indexed. She still doesn't have more than a handful of natural links, but it's earning about $700/month in Adsense, and getting thousands of visitors a day - all through longtail variations.

    Haven't you ever heard that 25% of search queries are completely unique? That Google has never seen them before?

    The prevailing wisdom is: Google doesn't like link building, but it works

    I'm saying, you can build traffic without links for the same overall effort. Not pie-in-the-sky, Field of Dreams content, but very specific content targeting an entire niche. 1000 hours of content building instead of 1000 hours of linkbuilding. $1000 of outsourced content instead of $1000 of linkbuilding services.

    P.S. Hah, sure, I'll put my links back in. ;-)
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      I did a separate experiment a couple of years ago and created a brand new website with my wife. She built up about 300 keyword-targeted articles focusing on long tail terms, no link building except for joining a blog carnival to get initially indexed. She still doesn't have more than a handful of natural links, but it's earning about $700/month in Adsense, and getting thousands of visitors a day - all through longtail variations.
      Then she's ranking and with a blog carnival she DID do link building. Not much because she was after weak long tails. People preach that all the time here - nothing new, nothing alternative. I think you just have a limited idea about linkbuilding. Still the fact that you felt the need to promote your keyword tool in your sig speaks to how viable you think that not having to place a link or advertise services on third party sites really is.



      Lets face it you thought (And rightfully so) that putting that advertising out there was good and viable. Google and ranking is no different. You are just looking to put your site where it can be seen by those who have an interest in a particular subject and are searching for it.

      Proof is in the pudding. had you thought that writing content on your keyword tool site was all that was needed or wanted then you would have not put any content advertising it here. Again If you build it people don't always come. I'm not chiding you for doing that - it IS good marketing. I am just pointing out the contradiction that makes to this thread and your position in it.

      Now tell me how it was as hard to drop a link here as it would be to write a quality article from scratch.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    There are many ways to marketing online. As you say, getting yourself out into the places where your audience is looking is a great way to do it. Of course I'm going to build a mailing list, promote on Facebook, join discussion forums, get interviewed on Podcasts, etc.

    But that's not why people are building links. They're building links to help boost a specific keyword in the rankings, and that's why we see fake forum profiles, spun content, link wheels, etc. If the entire internet switched to no-follow overnight, much of that link building activity would disappear.

    Everything that would remain would be stuff like this. I want a link in the Warrior Forum because I want a person to see my information and click the link. Which is the whole purpose of links in the first place. I would prefer if the WF link was no-follow, personally.

    I think the most valuable links take time to get, yes. I think high-quality links take as much time to get as writing a quality article. I'm sure burning up the time here.

    So let me ask you a question.

    Which would you prefer? 1,000 visitors from 1,000 keywords, or 1,000 visitors from 1 keyword?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      But that's not why people are building links. They're building links to help boost a specific keyword in the rankings,
      To be blunt So what? You just directed people to search for you on Google by a keyword you rank for. kinda destroys your point about not needing to rank

      and that's why we see fake forum profiles, spun content, link wheels, etc. If the entire internet switched to no-follow overnight, much of that link building activity would disappear.
      Aha. Finally spilled the beans. No sir linkbuilding would not disappear because webmasters would still link without nofollowed links regardless of link wheel, forum profiles and spun content. As suspected you have a very limited idea about link building. Like it or not there are paid links in content, there is link baiting which is a form of link building, there are link exchanges - particularly three way links. Webmasters email each other and ask or links etc etc etc.

      Which would you prefer? 1,000 visitors from 1,000 keywords, or 1,000 visitors from 1 keyword?
      I'd prefer 100,000 ore one million from one keyword and so would everyone. I'm sorry but the whole pushing for people to get 1,000 keywords just seems to be too convenient a position for a person hoping to sell their keyword research tool. Plus I am not some newbie that you can pull the wool over my eyes with. Most (not all) very weak long tail that you can show up anywhere where people would see without any links comes in well below a thousand. You will probably disagreee so as to push the keyword tool thing but I've been at this a while. You won't convince me.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    No sir linkbuilding would not disappear because webmasters would still link without nofollowed links regardless of link wheel, forum profiles and spun content.
    I said if no-follow was the only choice.

    I'd prefer 100,000 ore one million from one keyword and so would everyone.
    And I'm saying, I'd always prefer the same traffic from more keywords. And I'm saying it's possible, with an equivalent amount of work.

    a person hoping to sell their keyword research tool
    Anyone can gather 1,000 keywords with Ubersuggest and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. That's not the hard part. Targeting all that content is the hard part, and no tool can make that easier.

    Same with your service. Anyone can try to get high PR links the hard way. I'm assuming you offer a service that makes that easier to do.
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    • Profile picture of the author Craig McPherson
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      I'm assuming you offer a service that makes that easier to do.
      Ahhhh

      I missed the sig file all along.

      Answers my questions.

      Anyway... Keep posting Fraser. I like your style.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      I said if no-follow was the only choice.
      It isn't and it won't be on any planet called earth. No follow is a tag that a webmaster has to put in and it will ALWAYS be their choice. Your condition is pointless and you did mention a very limited scope of linkbuilding as your base.

      And I'm saying, I'd always prefer the same traffic from more keywords. And I'm saying it's possible, with an equivalent amount of work.
      No you have been saying that linkbuiding is unnecessary but there are relatively few serps that you can rank for without linkbuilding. You've even cited proof from your wifes sites but alas they too had linkbuilding. You just have a very limited idea about linkbuilding and so you are giving out very poor advice like if Wikipedia can do it its then a viable way for others. Problem is Wikipedia didn't do it your way. They promoted their site with webmasters and worked the media in both giving them donations, writing about them and linking to them. thats all link building.

      SO they built great content AND they promoted their site. not your one over the other.


      Anyone can gather 1,000 keywords with Ubersuggest and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. That's not the hard part. Targeting all that content is the hard part, and no tool can make that easier.
      And rank for all the terms without backlinking? You are just in plain ole sales mode now. "I can find 1,000 keywords that you will not have to build links to and still be noticed". thats totally untrue.

      Same with your service. Anyone can try to get high PR links the hard way. I'm assuming you offer a service that makes that easier to do.
      No as a matter of fact I don't offer a push button tool that will just give people the keywords or links that will make them rank or get traffics. People who do my course that you are referring to have to be willing to apply themselves. There is no other shortcut way. Your money site needs good content and most people WILL need links. I am not the one making up a theory to suit the sales of my product. everyone knows High Pr sites help sites rank and bring traffic. Furthermore very few people on this board would want to build a SEO network despite its effectiveness for various legitimate reasons but tht does nto mean that they should abandon all linkbuilding. That ranks right up there with the most irresponsible advice I have ever seen on this board

      Your claim that all anyone has to do is write great content and by some process of osmosis people will find it without a search engine is utterly false. If you build it they will not come.

      If you wanted to be useful in this thread then you would have said do both but doing both might not require people to do a thousand keywords and therefore be less likely to want to use a particular keyword tool.

      Balance is what is missing from your theory. You are not totally wrong UNTIL you start saying its one over the other and one is unnecessary.

      Theres not an experienced SEO that does not know this but you are fooling the newbs and uninitiated into a false world even while dropping your own links in the process.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    No follow is a tag that a webmaster has to put in and it will ALWAYS be their choice.
    My point was only that most linkbuilding is to drive a site up in the rankings. That takes time and effort. If linkbuilding didn't push pages up in the rankings, people wouldn't do it.

    But links can also give you direct referral traffic, like we're both relying on here. You want people to check out your service, I want people to look at my service. I don't think you're that concerned about the linkjuice. In fact, like me, I'll bet you'd still do it if the link was no-follow.

    Balance is what missing form your theory. You are not totally wrong UNTIL you start saying its one over the other and one is unnecessary.
    I'm saying it's a viable alternative. You can blend the process to whatever level you like. Love building links, do that 100%. Hate building links, focus on content.

    And you're saying that's impossible. And I'm saying I've done experiments to demonstrate it's possible. I'm saying I've got a huge following of people who have done the same thing, and they're seeing results.

    That would be like me saying, "linkbuilding doesn't work". Linkbuilding does work, obviously, and I'd never say it doesn't.

    No as a matter of fact I don't offer a push button tool that will just give people the keywords or links that will make them rank or get traffics.
    No, neither do I. In fact, all my tool does is act like a fancy spreadsheet to keep track of all your keywords, rankings, internal links. But it'll also track all your backlinks if that's how you roll.

    Your claim that all anyone has to do is write great content and by some process of osmosis people will find it without a search engine is utterly false. If you build it they will not come.
    That's not what I'm claiming. I'm saying that by targeting keywords with high quality content, you can bring in longtail search traffic - even without links. The larger your site gets, and the more visitors you get, the more authority you build. As you get more authority, it helps push up your overall traffic because your site extends deeper into more longtail related keywords. And you're protected from fluctuations in any one keyword.

    And as you said, in a perfect world, you'd blend the two with high quality content and a little targeted backlinking to push specific keywords up. I personally put 100% of my efforts on the content side, but your results may vary.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Fraser talk and posts are cheap. rather than go on back and forth theres an easy way to settle your theories. I will take one person form this thread and work on them getting traffic from scratch my way with links and you can take someone else and do the same with your theories.

      We can open a thread on this and do the test/ contrast study. Since like you said its ll about traffic then put your effort where your keyboard is and lets see which approach gets more traffic at a month, three months and even at a year.

      Claims are a dime a dozen on here. Claims of earnings, expertise and results all hidden. Put it out in the open for all to see with real data not claims. I am in = are you?
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      • Profile picture of the author FraserC
        @Mike Anthony - For me, the question is: where will your site be in 10 years? Anyway, there are enough people out there testing my method and seeing success that I don't need to oversee it personally. I think what matters are the testimonials of people who are seeing success. I appreciate the opportunity for this kind of a challenge, but I don't think it's a good use of my time right now. I can point you at some case studies, if you like.

        Nobody needs to pay me a dime to make this work. Get keywords from the Google Keyword Tool, write articles that target them. That's it.

        @wegenblasting - I'd suggest you avoid looking for short cuts. If the full list of brokers is too big, I'd suggest you focus in on a specific area. You don't want to scrape Yellow Pages, but it's also not possible to copyright facts. A person's phone number is a fact, and Yellow pages can't own the copyright on that.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

          The does it work or not question has been answered already, just search for keyword strategy review.
          Thats called a duck and weave. You've made claims is all Fraser. Claims of income. Claims of how links are acquired or not acquired. etc etc etc. You have proven nothing and answered nothing but that you can make claims. Thats all you or I can do in a thread until we have the will to put it into a real test as I proposed and you have now declined.

          Thats not to say you are lying definitively but its an Internet Forum. People swear and make claims about things that are not true every day. So maybe you are telling the whole truth and nothing but -

          However no one is obliged to believe ANY OF US without facts and for a strategy you now claim will take over a year to prove itself that is against the common sense of doing both content and promotion sane people will and should brush it off.
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        • Profile picture of the author Rough Outline
          Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

          @Mike Anthony - For me, the question is: where will your site be in 10 years? Anyway, there are enough people out there testing my method and seeing success that I don't need to oversee it personally. I think what matters are the testimonials of people who are seeing success. I appreciate the opportunity for this kind of a challenge, but I don't think it's a good use of my time right now. I can point you at some case studies, if you like.

          Nobody needs to pay me a dime to make this work. Get keywords from the Google Keyword Tool, write articles that target them. That's it.

          @wegenblasting - I'd suggest you avoid looking for short cuts. If the full list of brokers is too big, I'd suggest you focus in on a specific area. You don't want to scrape Yellow Pages, but it's also not possible to copyright facts. A person's phone number is a fact, and Yellow pages can't own the copyright on that.
          Fraser, could you link me to those case studies? Really like getting my teeth into SEO case studies.

          Also, I think the main problem here is that it seems a little bit like this OR that. Why not build a site that you plan on adding tonnes of pages to and also build links to those pages so they pull in more traffic?

          I'd much rather have a site with 100 optimized pages, than have a site with 1000 un-optimized pages, why have high quality content if you're not going to get the most out of it?

          If you wanted to be super white hat, then legitimate guest posting, social accounts etc would all be viable ways of building backlinks without raising any alarms with google.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    @Mike Anthony - Sorry, my post was kind of crappy, so I started re-editing it. And then you responded and quoted a part that I edited out - which wasn't a strong argument to put there in the first place. Sorry about that.

    Anyway, I'm happy to provide case studies that come up. I have results of my own experiments, and I'm transparent about my own website, so people can check and see what I've done.

    I haven't obscured my methods behind any WSO. So anyone's free to try it out for themselves, and see if they can replicate the results. No tools beyond the Google Keyword Tool are necessary.

    Do I have to pay money to know what your methods are?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post


      Do I have to pay money to know what your methods are?
      Nope. Pretty much content and link building. No secret mysteries Obviously from my signature I build SEO networks for myself but its still just links from High PR sites. People without their own SEO networks use BMR and home page backlinks and people without me or my class buy aged domains that have existing links.

      You seem like a good guy Fraser I just wonder why you insist on this one or the other approach. Even if you find these weak serps where you don't need backlinks its jut a known proven fact that the top three rankings get more clicks so why wouldn't people want to rank even those? Just doesn't make any sense unless you are holding to that as some selling point for the keyword research thing.

      Whatever works for you is great I just fear for newbies reading this and wasting a year on a strategy that won't work for them in their niche.
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    • Profile picture of the author JK Nyerere
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      @Mike Anthony - Sorry, my post was kind of crappy, so I started re-editing it. And then you responded and quoted a part that I edited out - which wasn't a strong argument to put there in the first place. Sorry about that.

      Anyway, I'm happy to provide case studies that come up. I have results of my own experiments, and I'm transparent about my own website, so people can check and see what I've done.

      I haven't obscured my methods behind any WSO. So anyone's free to try it out for themselves, and see if they can replicate the results. No tools beyond the Google Keyword Tool are necessary.

      Do I have to pay money to know what your methods are?
      Fraser, the people disagreeing with you I feel either do not understand your approach or are just argumentative.

      May I ask, when you choose keywords to write articles about, what criteria do you use to select those article primary keywords apart from them being interesting topics?
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by JK Nyerere View Post

        Fraser, the people disagreeing with you I feel either do not understand your approach or are just argumentative.
        Or they just understand better than you about SEO. You really don't get to frame all the various reasons why someone would disagree. not logically. I disagree as have others because it makes ZERO sense to not use both content and linkbuilding. No amount of claims changes what is common sense. To me if I were to attempt to frame those that agree with this approach I would say its just more of the same shortcut seekers who want to find some easier way of utilizing Google because they hae failed at grasping techniques that would make then rank - nothing new. WSOs sell every day based on that myth.

        Be my guest and rank for a thousand terms with no links. It won't bother me. ANy day of the week I can put up a few links and take your best keywords right away from you EASILY.

        So, in order to do SEO, people need to take actions which they worry will get them in trouble with Google - "that's the cost of doing business". And this year's Panda updates have destroyed a lot of businesses, creating even more fear in the marketplace. Webmasters are terrified their businesses are going to get wiped out overnight.
        This is FUD. Plenty of sites are doing quite fine regardless of Panda. WHat you are addressing as I have stated is ONE KIND of link building - Spammy links. Like I said Fraser you are stuck endlessly on one concept of linkbuilding. Your claims that Google is against link building is in fact false. Google themselves have suggested link building techniques . Every professional SEO some of which Google works right along side with does linkbuilding. Theres linkbait and guest blogging and even asking webmaster for links. Google even has come out straight and recommended some directories. Theres even content syndication which is a form of link building.

        By telling newbies to skip linkbuilding in entirety you do them a great disservice. There absolutely no reason to. Theres a wide world out there of link building techniques that is not spammy.

        So its not some knee jerk reaction as you claim as if you are a revolutionary and everyone else does not get it. Its that in repeated posts you have demonstrated you really don't understand how many link building techniques there are and how wide linkbuilding can be.

        Newbies and the unlearned in professional SEO tactics will herald your claims because they don't know any better and are hoping for a silver bullet but those who do know some SEO can see pretty easily that it make no sense to be telling people not to bother with linkbuilding at all.
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        • Profile picture of the author brightmarketing
          Wow great post!

          I do agree that taking this method is probably a better long-term strategy, as Google is definitely moving towards favoring larger, authorty-content type sites.


          That said, I wonder what would happen if you took a moderate approach and did both (i.e. focus content on long-tail keywords AND build some links)?
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    @Mike Anthony - Here's why I'm suggesting it. I think there are a lot of webmasters out there who want to build SEO traffic, but the accepted way to do that is through linkbuilding - which Google frowns on. The established approach is "build links". If your site drops in the rankings, then you need to "build more links", or "get better links".

    So, in order to do SEO, people need to take actions which they worry will get them in trouble with Google - "that's the cost of doing business". And this year's Panda updates have destroyed a lot of businesses, creating even more fear in the marketplace. Webmasters are terrified their businesses are going to get wiped out overnight.

    The discovery that I made with my own website is that you can keyword-targeted content to a site, without a link campaign. If you're an authority on a subject, why wouldn't you be the person to gather up all that search traffic too? You'll get 0% of the search traffic from the keywords that you don't target.

    Obviously, my site has half a million links, so my assumption (like yours) was that this would only work with sites with huge authority, not for new sites. So I did the experiment with a second site, completely fresh, with no backlinks to see if it's possible for brand new sites. And it's bringing in a lot of traffic as well. The focus on the longtail keywords created the traffic.

    So then I shared this with a bunch of people, who, like you, thought I was crazy but were willing to give it a shot. There are enough people trying this now that I feel pretty confident that it can work.

    My overall point is this: if you don't feel comfortable going the linkbuilding path, there's another option, completely in line with Google's guidelines and objectives.

    You can think I'm crazy and misleading people, but I think the risks are pretty low. At the end of the day, you'll have a great website, filled with valuable content - start backlinking that if you like.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    @JK Nyerere - Maybe, I think it's just an idea so far out of the mainstream methods of SEO that the kneejerk reaction is throw it out entirely or question the source. No problem, I'm transparant about who I am.

    My opinions about keyword selection are just as controversial. :-) Essentially, I believe that it's impossible to predict, in advance, which keywords are going to be easy to rank for, and which ones will be hard. Once you've got some stats going, you can start to see trends that'll let you optimize better.

    I did an article on that too:
    https://www.keywordstrategy.org/1102...oose-keywords/

    The gist is, can't win, don't try. Target the entire niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rough Outline
    It's such a high risk strategy though, it's definitely a good model for you who already has a successful site and can afford to take on high risk projects, it's just not sensible for people starting out.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    @Mike Anthony - I think it's just the opposite kind of person who this might be attractive to. Who on earth would think that writing 1000 high quality articles is a shortcut? The shortcut is buy 1000 backlinks for $9.99.

    I'm talking to the person who wants to focus on their website as a career and keep at it for years and even decades - to make money doing what you love. The more passionate you are about the topic, the better. The more you focus on the quality, the better. Obviously that quality impacts all your relationships and your reputation.

    Here's Matt Cutts answering this exact question. Here are the methods of linkbuilding he suggests.

    The status quo is to say, "that's not true, it's not possible, massive linkbuilding is the key." And I'm saying, you can do it purely on content.

    ANy day of the week I can put up a few links and take your best keywords right away from you EASILY.
    That's the trap. The focus on rank, not traffic.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Fraser I am sorry but I have to call em like I see em and having now had the opportunity to look over your backlinks i can say your premise is totally bogus and more than a little deceptive (edit - or if you prefer misleading).

      You in fact have links from SEVERAL niche directories that allow you to place backlinks and whether you admit it or not someone has in fact submitted these sites for you or you have linked them yourself. The site you reference therefore HAS been using linkbuilding and rather CLASSIC link building

      Your site has several PR links that are coming in from these niche directories. This site that you keep pointing to as proof of your concept IS gaining authority in Google's eyes from these links. Claiming otherwise is just nonsense. Whether you placed them yourself as a great many of these directories allow you to do pending approval (many of the sites have the classic "add your link" pages) someone else did it for you or not. Your site does not qualify to be talking about getting traffic or authority without backlinks. It is utilizing niche directory backlinks all over related to your niche.

      Please stop using this site as an example. I don't figure that you intended for it to be but it is deceptive leaving that fact out

      That is now a proven fact anyone who wishes to do a backlink check can now see for themselves.

      That's the trap. The focus on rank, not traffic.
      Please stop with this total nonsense too. It is a proven fact that the top three results of any serp gets the most clicks. Clicks ARE traffic. as long as you tell people to target certain long tail keywords the top is going toget most of the traffic for that serp. Third page on a long tail is not going to get you much clicks and again that is traffic. If in fact you do both content and link building across a niche the sum total of the combinations of anchor text will begin to count toward other keywords you are not targeting just as well.
      for eg

      automobile parts
      engine parts
      Automobile
      car accessories
      engine repair

      Will help in

      Car repair
      automobile accessories
      car repair parts

      etc

      So you can build an authority site with links much better and get higher ranks which no matter how you deny it is proven over and over again to result in higher volumes of traffic. Especially utilizing internal links. This is what has happened to your space site despite you not understanding it. The LINKS that you have built have created an internal flow of PR that is boosting your entire site and so several space related keywords have ranked not in the absence of those links but in the presence of them.

      IF you feel there is another website that proves your point better then please present it but the one in your sig is a failure. You are getting ranking and traffic from link building PERIOD.

      The status quo is to say, "that's not true, it's not possible, massive linkbuilding is the key." And I'm saying, you can do it purely on content.
      Never mentioned massive link building ever in this thread. Ask around I am against it. So in a discussion with me thats a total strawman. you are still stuck in this idea that link building is limited to thousands of links for $9.99 and spammy links. Finally Matt in your video states right off at the top that he is only mentioning a few link building techniques. The ones he mentioned are not the total list.
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    • Profile picture of the author lutherlars
      Agree 100%
      People who want to develop sites that will stick around for years to come, better begin to realize the work that will go into doing this, and the time they will have to invest with no return. The days of ranking a site with the push of a scrapebox button are coming to an end real quick.
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    • Profile picture of the author lutherlars
      One can be very successful not ranking a single keyword combo on page one of Google if they rank for a lot of long tail keyword phrases. Search for nest's other awesome threads, and read through them.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    @Mike Anthony - I was a "good guy", now I'm "deceptive"?

    Again, I provided that info as context, to explain the history of how I did my research. The backlinks I've gotten are a side benefit. That said, like you, I was suspicious about the success - my main site has just too much history and authority - so I performed an experiment to invalidate my findings. I started another site, from scratch without any directories or backlinks.

    So, then I had two data points. And now other people people have tried it out and I've seen dozens of datapoints with brand new websites. You'll probably start hearing about them more and more over the coming months.

    Google is the ecosystem, we can create sites that fulfill their requirements and allow us to succeed at the same time. We can get away from the cynical "it's all about links" statement.

    I think we'd both prefer all webmasters take deeply nuanced view towards their websites and audience; to both value of the content and the relationships they build with other websites.

    You can label me naive and misguided, but I think calling me deceptive is uncool.

    You know my website, what's yours? What website have succeeded with?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Fraser I gave you the benefit of the doubt of whether you intended to be deceptive (or if you prefer misleading) but there is no doubt whatsoever that continually pointing to your website getting 100.000 visits a day while claiming that you can do it without backlinking is deceptive/misleading if in fact that site has in fact utilized LOTS of backlinking.

      call it uncool if you want . Its just a fact. In post #12 you point blank referred to it and said backlinking was not necessary.

      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      I know you disagree, but I'm saying, that's how I'm getting 100K search visitors a day. And I've done independent tests to confirm it.

      Backlinking isn't necessary.

      Thats deceptive if that site utilized backlinks and it most definitely did as anyone who cares to do a backlink check can see with their own eyes. having backlinks added to directories is DEFINITELY backlinking. I'll still give you the benefit of the doubt because perhaps you didn't check or someone placed them for you but that does not change the fact that the statement is very deceptive even if you did not mean it to be.

      Now if you come in here with a sig stating that your keyword tool is how you generate that traffic and then state openly that backlinking is not necessary on a site FILLED with classic Directory backlinks don't be upset with me for stating thats not entirely true. I'm not being uncool for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Atul Dhiman
    Hello all i read the Thread and it is very knowledgeable for freshers like me. now i put more attention in traffic not in clicks.
    Thankyou.
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    I agree these days it's all about traffic, the trick ofcourse is finding or getting that great content that entices the visitors
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  • Profile picture of the author Tacit
    Wow can't believe how long this thread became! Definitely with Mike Anthony on this one. I work for an SEO agency and some of the sites we work with have awesome content but no links. Even stuff at the bottom of page 1 gets hardly anything. Do high quality content, and do link building. Its not one of the other.
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  • Profile picture of the author vivi62
    If you want backlink strategys or traffic creation strategys I have many free methods on my blog below.
    Best wishes
    vivi62
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    @marcus88 - I already had about 8000 articles on my site, but they were mostly news oriented. So I'd write an article about some news event, like a new space mission launch, the traffic would spike and then a few days later it would settle down. I was getting a total of about 1,500 search engine visitors a day.

    And then I was talking to my daughter and she wanted to know "what was the biggest star in the universe". I researched the article and then posted the result on my site. It spiked like a normal article, but it didn't go back to zero, it just kept generating search engine traffic day after day.

    So I figured I'd try and see if I could get lightning to strike twice, and I wrote a second article about "why pluto isn't a planet". Same result. In fact, this is still one of the most popular search referrers for me.

    At that point, I doubled down and added hundreds of articles to my site to see what that would do, and the search traffic went up and up. Each article provided an incremental increase in traffic. Now I've probably got 3,000+ articles that I've added over the last 3 years, which relate to what my website is about. Many written by me, but now with lots of additional help from a writing team. And like I said, it's now getting about 100,000 search visitors a day.

    I was concerned that this was a strategy that would only work for an authority site like mine - lots of social mentions, half a million links to the domain, RSS subscribers, etc.

    So I created a separate site as an experiment, starting from scratch, with my wife as the writer. She picked a niche that she was interested in, and then started writing articles both targeting search queries but also rambling about what she was interested in, our family, etc. Over the course of 3 years she's added about 250 articles to the site and it now ranks for all kinds of search terms, and brings in about 5,000 search visitors a day. The only problem is that she doesn't really want to work on the site; she works in a toy store, and enjoys interacting with human beings - go figure.

    Again, we didn't build any links. The site has attracted about 3,000 links naturally from 665 domains, but not from us.

    If you already have an authority site and you want to build up the traffic, I'd definitely consider adding keyword targeted content to your site. Don't worry so much about how you're ranking for any one keyword, just build your overall traffic.

    I guess I'm saying that it's possible to grow a site doing the things that Google wants you do to.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      Again, we didn't build any links. The site has attracted about 3,000 links naturally from 665 domains, but not from us.
      Fraser this will be my last post to this thread. People can draw what they wish from it hereafter. I am not going to expose your backlinks on an open forum but the links that you can add sites to by pushing a few buttons are right there in your link profile and theres a healthy dose of them

      One of them even states that they have stopped taking links because of spammers indicating how open they were to adding links in that niche directory. Several sites in your link profile have that same feature and acceptance of links with add your site URL buttons.

      Its immaterial who placed them for you. No one can independently verify who did or didn't but they are very open to the public if you are within that niche (niche directories are a CLASSIC powerful backlink resource that has been somewhat abandoned by people who believe that all directories are discounted by Google - niche directories are in fact not universally. My clients who have and have had me backlink have done very well for themselves with niche directories).

      The reality is if someone were starting an astronomy related sites they are there for them to use just as your link profile has them and it would be total foolishness not to since they are what helps your site get traffic.

      Telling people that backlinking is unnecessary when your own site is the recipient of many backlinks from add my URl niche directories sites is TOTALLY disingenuous. Its what is helping to give you traffic and if people really want to emulate your site and approach they should go ahead and get those links not ignore them.

      your own site disproves your premise - backlinking was necessary for it as well. I know many people will take objection to my stating that again but the fact of the matter is that as I can see form posts newbies have been led astray by the claims that are most definitely false.

      You are however right that you can rank and get good traffic doing it Google's way but Google has nothing against adding sites to directories. They even suggest from time to time human edited ones like Yahoo and Dmoz. But alas - Its still link building and its what generated your traffic. Your keyword tool is not what "generated that traffic" by itself but BACKLINKS from CLASSIC add my url backlinking directories had a significant part.

      unsubscribing. Newbies have been warned.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      Don't worry so much about how you're ranking for any one keyword, just build your overall traffic.

      I guess I'm saying that it's possible to grow a site doing the things that Google wants you do to.

      OP, If you tweaked your site structure (internal links), I have no doubts that site could generate 25+% more SERP traffic from double/triple SERP listings.

      I'm not trying to dis. but I don't see any planned site structure (categories, etc...).

      Google wants the site to be user friendly, why are you skipping such an easy step?

      BTW, is your site a Google News site (looks like it in the SERPs, when I search your post titles)?
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    • Profile picture of the author moneymoguls
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      @marcus88 - I already had about 8000 articles on my site, but they were mostly news oriented. So I'd write an article about some news event, like a new space mission launch, the traffic would spike and then a few days later it would settle down. I was getting a total of about 1,500 search engine visitors a day.

      And then I was talking to my daughter and she wanted to know "what was the biggest star in the universe". I researched the article and then posted the result on my site. It spiked like a normal article, but it didn't go back to zero, it just kept generating search engine traffic day after day.

      So I figured I'd try and see if I could get lightning to strike twice, and I wrote a second article about "why pluto isn't a planet". Same result. In fact, this is still one of the most popular search referrers for me.

      At that point, I doubled down and added hundreds of articles to my site to see what that would do, and the search traffic went up and up. Each article provided an incremental increase in traffic. Now I've probably got 3,000+ articles that I've added over the last 3 years, which relate to what my website is about. Many written by me, but now with lots of additional help from a writing team. And like I said, it's now getting about 100,000 search visitors a day.

      I was concerned that this was a strategy that would only work for an authority site like mine - lots of social mentions, half a million links to the domain, RSS subscribers, etc.

      So I created a separate site as an experiment, starting from scratch, with my wife as the writer. She picked a niche that she was interested in, and then started writing articles both targeting search queries but also rambling about what she was interested in, our family, etc. Over the course of 3 years she's added about 250 articles to the site and it now ranks for all kinds of search terms, and brings in about 5,000 search visitors a day. The only problem is that she doesn't really want to work on the site; she works in a toy store, and enjoys interacting with human beings - go figure.

      Again, we didn't build any links. The site has attracted about 3,000 links naturally from 665 domains, but not from us.

      If you already have an authority site and you want to build up the traffic, I'd definitely consider adding keyword targeted content to your site. Don't worry so much about how you're ranking for any one keyword, just build your overall traffic.

      I guess I'm saying that it's possible to grow a site doing the things that Google wants you do to.
      Awesome post and strategy. I'm so glad I found this thread. I'm done with backling. I spent way too much money on backlinks with zero return. I am moving forward with 2 new blogs and sticking to content only. Both blogs are only about 50 days old with about 100 posts. I'm writing everyday.

      Thanks!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    @Mike Anthony - I understand your position. Good luck with your clients and your sites.

    @Yukon - I do have a pretty sophisticated internal link structure. And I chip away at it when I can, setting up more internal links. I think I've got a list of about 8000 keywords that don't even have a single internal link set up, but that's agonizing work to do, so I avoid it. I have it set so the internal links only display on pages which are older than 10 days, so it doesn't annoy my regular readers.

    Yeah, I'm in Google news. That's definitely good for traffic, but the visitors are less lucrative than search engine visitors. I've also got a pretty big syndication network - my stories are in MSNBC, Christian Science Monitor, io9, etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by FraserC View Post

      @Mike Anthony - I understand your position. Good luck with your clients and your sites.

      @Yukon - I do have a pretty sophisticated internal link structure. And I chip away at it when I can, setting up more internal links. I think I've got a list of about 8000 keywords that don't even have a single internal link set up, but that's agonizing work to do, so I avoid it. I have it set so the internal links only display on pages which are older than 10 days, so it doesn't annoy my regular readers.

      Yeah, I'm in Google news. That's definitely good for traffic, but the visitors are less lucrative than search engine visitors. I've also got a pretty big syndication network - my stories are in MSNBC, Christian Science Monitor, io9, etc.
      Still, your running Wordpress, you can automate internal linking with some upfront work, then it's all on auto-pilot for future post.

      Just saying, some landing page planning will benefit your site & traffic long term.
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      • Profile picture of the author FraserC
        We've coded a Wordpress plugin that does all the internal linking based on the keyword-URL pairs you define. It goes a little further than that, giving you a todo list of all the outstanding keyword variations you need to insert in your pages as well as suggesting other pages within your site that could link back to those pages with the different anchor text variations.

        So it's automated as much as possible, but it's still work.
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  • Profile picture of the author dmtaylor247
    I agree with alot of what Fraser is saying in this thread, thanks for sharing it. I think the argument for the perspective of content creation is that it doesn't need thousands of targeted backlinks, there is no "anchor", any links are there simply to improve the site quality, the site strength and it's structure.

    It's not to say backlinks don't help, but I feel content is just way more important ATM. The time I spent on a website before penguin was approx 90/10 (backlinks/content), now my focus is to change that to 5/95 (backlinks/content).

    Only when I have over 1000 pages of decent content I will fire up a backlinking strategy with an aim to provide super high quality and relevant links, possibly a dozen PR6/7 with no anchors, no aim to rank for anything, simply to power up the site and it's internal pages.

    I built the site yesterday, focusing on one large niche, with thousands of sub niches, and sub-sub niches, I've decided to scrap all of my other sites and just focus my attention on this one.

    The domain has no keyword or anchor text and all of the internal pages are going to be long tails and categorised and tightly grouped together with user friendly tags but with no keywords, I will be posting hundreds of pages of content to this website, neither aiming to rank for any particular keyword, just writing loads of helpful content with LSI, but going after the topics that have more traffic, no competition and better pay.

    I'm pretty sure by the time I start to consider backlinking the website, my users will have done it for me...as the sites content is pretty helpful from a user perspective.

    The main reason I'm all for this;

    You can enjoy a number #1 position in Google with backlinks and a 3 page website, but you're missing out on a great deal more traffic without loads of great content.

    By simply saying "I will take over your keyword with backlinks in a blink of an eye" I would probably respond with "well I have 50,000 keywords so good luck mate".

    It just more stable, how are Google going to kill you with no keywords? If one of your pages goes down, then who cares you've got 15,999 more..

    The site would be so big, much of it's own ranking ability will come from it's own pages.. any attack on the site would be pointless because I don't aim to rank for anything, but it would probably end up ranking for some pretty nice keywords like "universe" because of the huge amount of relevance.
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  • Profile picture of the author wizzard1222
    With Social Media taking the main stage....ranking can be taking a back seat....!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author nest28
    First off I just want to thank Fraser for saying everything I was trying to say, but he said it way better. I can't believe he had to spend most of his time on this thread defending his methods, the same as I've had to do. I know for a fact this method will work because I've done it on a small scale with 100 page sites. Now these sites did have backlinks that I built myself, but the long tail keywords had no competition so the backlinks had nothing to do with it.

    I'm getting the same comments on my threads, "if you build it ,they wont come" how do you know that, you never built a site without backlinks. Either way Fraser is only offering an alternative to the same oh, build backlinks to rank for one keyword.

    Somebody said "I can build backlinks and take down one of your pages", who cares he ranks for thousands of keywords.

    I would much rather rank for thousands of keywords than battle it out for one keyword, than somebody will probably try to perform negative seo on my site just to beat me.

    Your getting advice from somebody that makes thousands of dollars from adsense a month and gets 100,000 visits a day, and you want to argue with him.

    My man said if you want to find me look up "universe" I was over here cracking up like damn, who on this forum can say something like that.

    Fraser's site and income speaks for itself, you can chose to follow the masses and backlink to a single keyword that may or may not have the search volume the gkt says it does, or you can build a quality website that you can be proud of, not to mention making thousands of dollars a month.

    Fraser you have my utmost respect, this thread is a hundred times better than mine, you are the type of marketer I aspire to be, I hope to one day be able to have a great site that people love enough to backlink for me.

    Edit: Join the Anti-Marketers Club and you to can have a site that gets thousands of visitors a day and makes thousands of dollars a month.
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    • Profile picture of the author dmtaylor247
      Originally Posted by nest28 View Post

      Somebody said "I can build backlinks and take down one of your pages", who cares he ranks for thousands of keywords.
      I think this is a pretty shoddy statement to make in terms of the real "effort" that's required here, just to outrank all those keywords he would need to build thousands of pages himself or one huge page and spam the hell out of it!

      Originally Posted by nest28 View Post

      Your getting advice from somebody that makes thousands of dollars from adsense a month and gets 100,000 visits a day, and you want to argue with him.
      I agree, I got some sites above 100k alexa with backlinking but none of them went above 25,000, simply because they didn't have enough content. I'm fed up now I want some real wenga

      I think my advice post penguin would be just to pump out as much quality content as possible and don't even think about backlinking.

      I built a mini web 2.0 around 6 weeks ago, from start to finish (collectively) it took me around 2 hours work. I stopped by to check a few of them out today and they were pagerank 5. If anything, all I will do is set a few of these up just to kickstart the site when required and they will sit there to mature while I pump out some content.

      When the links are dropped I won't be targeted any keyword, I won't rank for a handful of keywords, I will rank for thousands of keywords . The pagerank will just flow down the archive pages hitting all those long tails on the way.

      If Google don't like it then fair play, all I would need to do is remove a handful of links and not months of article drip feeding, thousands of blog comments or link pyramids with over optimized anchor texts..
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  • Profile picture of the author OneManSEO
    I wish it worked as well as backlinking, but what exactly could a local plumber do to his website to generate great content? No, he needs great backlinks and good on-page SEO.

    It really depends on what your focus is. Building an authority site that requires a ton of content is something entirely different than getting traffic to a local plumber.

    Just sayin....and I agree with you.
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    • Profile picture of the author nest28
      Originally Posted by OneManSEO View Post

      I wish it worked as well as backlinking, but what exactly could a local plumber do to his website to generate great content? No, he needs great backlinks and good on-page SEO.

      It really depends on what your focus is. Building an authority site that requires a ton of content is something entirely different than getting traffic to a local plumber.

      Just sayin....and I agree with you.
      I believe this method is for the typical marketer who is seeking to make a full time living from his/her website. The thing that I do like about this method, is it only appeals to a select few. I don't even have to worry about people running out and making a bunch of 5,000 page sites, that will be competition for me. While your worrying about ranking for one of my keywords, I have thousands more.

      Edit: This is also the only method that I know of that could potentially make you a premium adsense publisher, at which point you wouldn't have to worry as much about getting banned, and would have more freedom with ad placement among other things.
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    • Profile picture of the author dmtaylor247
      Originally Posted by OneManSEO View Post

      I wish it worked as well as backlinking, but what exactly could a local plumber do to his website to generate great content? No, he needs great backlinks and good on-page SEO.

      It really depends on what your focus is. Building an authority site that requires a ton of content is something entirely different than getting traffic to a local plumber.

      Just sayin....and I agree with you.
      I've built a few local sites and I can honestly say it's just as easy with content with these types of websites because it's the last thing all of the other websites around you would do.

      I built a site out with 100 pages of tips related to "plumbing" for example. One of these articles was picked up and linked to alot, in fact it was a tip on how to clean burnt pans.

      Other than this one viral article the site has got a few directory listings, a few forum links an ezine article and around 100 pages of good content with good internal linking. 20% of the links target the brand name 40% target a keyword and the other 40% is to this viral article keyword.

      It's still ranking number 1 for many keywords. I've been trying to figure it out; but I think it was this one article that kept it there..
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    Thanks for the support nest28.

    I think the hostility comes from the natural skepticism everyone should have to anyone saying anything. Especially if they also a way to profit from it. I've got a tool that helps people manage large keyword-based websites, so it's natural to assume that my advice is skewed.

    Skepticism is the default position, and the right one. It's up to me to defend my position, especially when it calls so many established "truths" about internet marketing into question.

    But I also think that most marketers have an antagonistic relationship with Google - a relationship fostered in part by Google's treatment of marketers. Google is a great big nameless, faceless entity that you just can't reach. When you're spending time working in that ecosystem, and there's no way to reach the people within the organization, you don't really care what impact your actions have on them. And Google employees probably feel the same way too.

    There's a badge of honor in being a rebel, doing things that Google doesn't want you to do.
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    • Profile picture of the author Carl Brown


      Please don't work too hard to convince them. Some of us would like to get ours established before there's too much competition.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I'll say this, large sites are awesome for testing new keywords in the SERPs.

    I've been running test over the last month for new keywords, these keywords have never been on my site (5+ year old, +1K pages), no external backlinks for these keywords.

    The only thing these keywords have going for them is keyword relevancy & good on-page SEO, nothing else.

    I've had a few new keywords drop into positions 1-4 in Google SERPs while testing.

    What I'm doing is fishing for traffic, lol.

    I take note of the traffic & ranked SERP position, save that data to a text file, then repeat with a new site wide keyword, rinse, repeat... Couldn't get any easier. I'll go back later & build a category for each of the decent traffic keywords that hit positions 1-4 in the SERPs.

    This also shows how tough competition is, If I can't get page #1 with a site wide keyword (1 keyword so far) I know the competition is tough. Save that keyword for later on, more detailed research of the competition.

    Right now I have 4 more site wide keywords running on a single site.

    BTW, all of these new keywords are two keyword phrases (example: camera phone) & all keywords are obviously in the same niche.

    [edit]
    No personalized SERPs.
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    • Profile picture of the author FraserC
      Epic method Yukon!

      I really think that guessing the competition of a keyword beforehand is pointless.

      But once you test out real keywords, you'll discover what works and what doesn't with real, hard data.

      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      I'll say this, large sites are awesome for testing new keywords in the SERPs.

      I've been running test over the last month for new keywords, these keywords have never been on my site (5+ year old, +1K pages), no external backlinks for these keywords.

      The only thing these keywords have going for them is keyword relevancy & good on-page SEO, nothing else.

      I've had a few new keywords drop into positions 1-4 in Google SERPs while testing.

      What I'm doing is fishing for traffic, lol.

      I take note of the traffic & ranked SERP position, save that data to a text file, then repeat with a new site wide keyword, rinse, repeat... Couldn't get any easier. I'll go back later & build a category for each of the decent traffic keywords that hit positions 1-4 in the SERPs.

      This also shows how tough competition is, If I can't get page #1 with a site wide keyword (1 keyword so far) I know the competition is tough. Save that keyword for later on, more detailed research of the competition.

      Right now I have 4 more site wide keywords running on a single site.

      BTW, all of these new keywords are two keyword phrases (example: camera phone) & all keywords are obviously in the same niche.

      [edit]
      No personalized SERPs.
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  • Profile picture of the author nest28
    Originally Posted by Chris Kent View Post

    This doesn't necessarily work.

    I've never chased backlinks and always written good content, concentrating on long tails and often even ignoring keywords.

    Guess what? Google won't necessarily reward you. Many of my sites are a disappointment, SE traffic-wise.

    I've now given up on getting traffic from Google. The real trap is relying on Google traffic. Now I leech traffic from other sites instead. Across multiple accounts, it's impossible to get hit hard in a single algo update. I can also target similar keywords without being penalized.
    I think there is a lot of room for failure with this method. The key is to build a site that has no limits, instead of building a site on golf, build a sports site that talks about all sports.

    Second use your Google analytic's to see how people got to your site and make articles based on that.

    I've seen success with this method on all of my old sites, just on a much smaller scale than Fraser.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by nest28 View Post

      I think there is a lot of room for failure with this method. The key is to build a site that has no limits, instead of building a site on golf, build a sports site that talks about all sports.

      Second use your Google analytic's to see how people got to your site and make articles based on that.

      I've seen success with this method on all of my old sites, just on a much smaller scale than Fraser.
      I would defiantly keep the entire site focused on a single niche.

      Random sports would be more difficult to rank pages than an entire site totally focused on golf.

      Staying focused is very important, IMO. Seriously, it makes ranking pages in the SERPs easier.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    Originally Posted by Chris Kent View Post

    This doesn't necessarily work.

    I've never chased backlinks and always written good content, concentrating on long tails and often even ignoring keywords.

    Guess what? Google won't necessarily reward you. Many of my sites are a disappointment, SE traffic-wise.

    I've now given up on getting traffic from Google. The real trap is relying on Google traffic. Now I leech traffic from other sites instead. Across multiple accounts, it's impossible to get hit hard in a single algo update. I can also target similar keywords without being penalized.
    I would have to see your sites. It might be that you're targeting long tail traffic, but neglecting some other part of the process. But if you've got a method of generating traffic that's sustainable and works for you, awesome.

    This method works for me, and it works for many other people. Sometimes it's about the length of time that you stick at it. I always say, "never fear, wait a year". If you haven't been crafting content for at least a year, trying to give people as much value as you can, you're not really committed yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    This type of method relies on very good site structure and keyword choice. You can create a site around "dog training schools" and find it progressively easier to rank subpages for

    dog training schools in Utah
    dog training schools in Nebraska
    best dog training schools

    ...even with a minimum of or no (external) backlinking.

    Yet, if you try to create some content like "best dog collars" you will find you get nowhere.

    Google definitely looks closely at common themes on sites, that much is clear. Thing is, you have to do this intelligently - most SEO WSOs pretty much tell you to do the above, and it just looks spammy, and is probably a big over-optimisation flag nowadays. So you have to be a little more natural and less "ïntentional" about it and you are golden. I wouldn't say you can then rank with NO backlinks, necessarily, but it makes it MUCH easier to rank with the minimum of a few quality backlinks or even a simple social campaign.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay F
    I've gone through this thread for the first time and am still slightly confused. I get that you should produce a lot of valuable content and that Google will begin to see you as an authority. But, without any backlinks, wouldn't you just be relegated to "not page 1" on Google?
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    • Profile picture of the author CatherineMay
      I'm sorry if I overlooked a discussion that's already here on how to find the long-tail keywords you "anti-marketer" guys are going after, but I would really appreciate some input on this issue.

      I hate backlinking. It's not so much because it's boring and tedious, but it makes me feel somewhat dishonest. I would love to move onto another plain of consciousness where getting traffic is concerned.

      So, pray tell...what's the best way to find these long-tail keywords?


      Catherine
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay F
    But, don't you need some type of backlinking to those long-tail pages?
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    • Profile picture of the author CatherineMay
      Jay, these "anti-marketing" guys are saying, NO, you don't need backlinking.

      This is what's so intriguing. It sounds like heaven.

      Now, if I can just get a clear answer from one of them as to how they find these long-tail gems, I'll be happy!


      Catherine
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      • Profile picture of the author Carl Brown
        I'm a newbie in this, but I'm using Keyword Researcher, Yahoo Answers (as nest suggested) and GKWT for keyword phrases, and questions getting only a few (less than 100) searches a month.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vivers
    Good points but would this also work for my cleaning service industry? I don't really know what you mean by long tail keywords. Would that mean how people may search carpet cleaners in mission viejo vs carpet cleaning mission viejo?
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  • Profile picture of the author footfoot
    niche authority site- whod've thunk?
    Bet the OP could post "why doesn't the sun's gravity suck in all the planets?" and be number 1 tomorrow.
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  • Profile picture of the author nest28
    I use yahoo answers for ideas for post titles, just to get visitors to my site, until I'm able to use Google analytic's information to see how people got to my site at which point I take those keyword phrases found in analytic's and make article out of them.


    It's also important to mix things up a bit, write naturally, talk about every subject related to your keywords, answer every question your visitors might have.


    This is how I make a site, Take nursing for example.


    adult nurse

    nurse midwife

    Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)

    Registered Nurse (RN)

    Travel Nurse

    Public Health Nurse (PHN)

    Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

    Now you can make a site based on the above keywords.

    Lets find some long tail keywords from Google keyword tool for some of these terms. Lets take travel nurse and see what we can do with that.


    travel nurse companies
    travel nursing agencies
    international travel nursing
    lpn travel nursing jobs
    international travel nursing jobs

    Now let's look at yahoo answers for some extreme long tail phrases with little to no competition.

    just type in "travel nurse" ok it has 3826 results, meaning there are a good amount of questions with the phrase travel nurse.

    Now look for post/article ideas.

    whats the difference in the schooling courses to becoming a nurse anesthetist and a travel nurse?

    can you be a travel nurse with an associates in registered nursing?

    How to become a travel nurse?

    How much does a travel nurse earn compared to an RN?

    How much does a new travel nurse make yearly starting off?

    Now use Google keyword tool's long tail suggestions mixed with yahoo answers post/article ideas and start to make content, later add your Google analytic's to the mix.

    Just find out everything you can about traveling nurses, than repeat the process with the other nursing careers and before you know it, you'll have a very large authority site on nursing.

    I would also include information on, salary,classes,courses,books,exams, certifications,degrees,colleges,institutes,equipme nt,questions,tuition fees,school loans etc. All of these things are related to every kind of career not just medical.


    My sites normally have a tab for most of the things mention above. Each sub-category should have as much information as possible, just make sure it relates to your specific niche.


    So post titles may look something like this:

    What school has the best nursing programs for nurse mid wife?

    How do I get a student loan in order to become a nurse?

    Best online nursing programs

    top nurse programs in new york

    How to prepare for nursing exams

    is getting a job as a nurse difficult

    Sorry I'm being lazy, by not further researching nursing, or else I could give better examples.

    Whatever exams nurse take in order to get certified, write articles on them, explain how many questions are on the exam, how long is the exam, what books to read to prepare you for the exam etc.

    This need to be done no matter what the niche is, find out everything you can and write or buy articles. Sometimes you will make articles in hopes of getting traffic, while other times you will write articles that are just helpful and informative.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    @CatherineMay - You should be able to find a lifetime's longtail keywords through the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Put in a seed keyword and it will return with up to 800 keywords. Target those.

    I also highly recommend Keyword Researcher. You should be able to generate thousands of keywords quickly related to your business. Then run them back through the Google Adwords Tool to get search volume.
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  • Profile picture of the author nest28
    Oh yea make sure the keyword you go after has high exact local search, you don't want to build a authority site on something that get 5,400 a searches a month. So go after something with 30,000 searches ,broad and phrase will automatically be high which means there are a lot people searching for your keyword in question form, or in long string of words.


    Don't worry about the competition because your not going after your main keyword, your going after all the long tail keywords nobody else cares about. You get enough long tail traffic and you can make much more than the person who is number for your keyword.


    You could also take five keywords that are closely related and incorporate them into one site.


    Edit: Fraser sorry I don't mean to hijack your thread, honestly I just like this one better than the ones I started lol.


    I'm surprised this thread doesn't have 5 stars and 20 thousand views, there is extremely valuable information here.


    Look if you wanted to rank for a keyword with 30,000 searches a month, you would have to do a ton of backlinking, fight other marketers,worry about getting a penalty from all of your backlinking efforts and worry about if somebody may perform negative seo on your site. All that just to be number one for a single keyword sounds crazy to me.


    Normally when a keyword has high exact search count, broad and phrase are high, that tells me that there are a ton of long tails I can go after, if you make enough pages/posts you will see more than just 30,000 people come to your site.

    Fraser's site is a prime example, while others are focus on being number one with a keyword that get's 30,000 he made a large site that ranks for thousands of keywords resulting a hundred thousand visits a day, instead of 30,000 a month.
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  • Profile picture of the author avajo71
    search engine ranking is just one of many ways to get traffic, and I think it is the most effective way to generate traffic for any websites.
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    • Profile picture of the author Wes888
      Hi Fraser,

      Thank you for such an inspiring post. Just a few questions:

      1) Do you make money from Adsense alone or do you have other income sources like do you use affiliate programs? What is your income mix?

      2) Where do you get your content? Do you rewrite the news articles? How about the pictures? Do you ask for permission or do you just credit and link the source?

      Thanks,
      Wesley
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
    Well said Fraser. By the way, why not link your sig - I'd like to see some more of your writing.

    Will
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    • Profile picture of the author calculon
      Hi Fraser;

      How can we avoid Overlapping Content when writing articles for long-tail traffic?

      I followed a similar strategy- I have a site that is now 2000+ pages. I wrote articles answering long-tail queries that showed up in my awstats to start, then used a service called HitTail, that was a more refined version of this (they rank long-tail queries that end up on your site by how far down in the serps they are, then suggest which articles to write).

      Anyway, my site got decimated in Panda last year, and now in Penguin again. There were no un-natural backlinks (blog networks, profile link blasts etc.) But traffic (and revenue) is now 20% of my peak.

      I believe that my mistake was writing too many articles on similar subjects, coupled with some low quality outsourced articles. Something for other people thinking of trying this method to be aware of.

      So, on future projects, where to draw the line between providing long-tail content and having overlapping subject articles? Any thoughts on this Fraser?
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      • Profile picture of the author nest28
        Originally Posted by calculon View Post

        Hi Fraser;

        How can we avoid Overlapping Content when writing articles for long-tail traffic?

        I followed a similar strategy- I have a site that is now 2000+ pages. I wrote articles answering long-tail queries that showed up in my awstats to start, then used a service called HitTail, that was a more refined version of this (they rank long-tail queries that end up on your site by how far down in the serps they are, then suggest which articles to write).

        Anyway, my site got decimated in Panda last year, and now in Penguin again. There were no un-natural backlinks (blog networks, profile link blasts etc.) But traffic (and revenue) is now 20% of my peak.

        I believe that my mistake was writing too many articles on similar subjects, coupled with some low quality outsourced articles. Something for other people thinking of trying this method to be aware of.

        So, on future projects, where to draw the line between providing long-tail content and having overlapping subject articles? Any thoughts on this Fraser?
        Fraser said this earlier in the thread:



        You don't want to write an article for every variation, then you get hit with an overlapping content penalty. You want to create articles that target the underlying concepts.

        For example: "does soda remove stains", "can you remove stains with soda", "soda stains" are all essentially the same concept. So you'd only create a single article targeting it. That would be a different article from: "removing odors with bleach".

        You definitely don't want to spin the content.

        Here's the analogy. Imagine the entire list of keywords in your industry is a blank white wall. Each article you want to write is a blob of paint that you're throwing at the wall, covering a handful of keywords.

        Your goal is to cover the entire wall.
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  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    We actually built an overlapping content report into Keyword Strategy. Once you've built up a big list of keywords, we'll check every keyword against every URL on your project and highlight any that seem to be overlapping.
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    I'm the publisher of Universe Today and co-founder of the Keyword Strategy content marketing tool.

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  • Profile picture of the author ysb888
    Nice Idea! I think the site like Wisegeek.com doesn't make less than 100k per month perhaps!
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  • Profile picture of the author writetoearn
    Fraser or anyone else,

    I like the approach that you provide and don't like the idea of building links. A question that I have is this. If ranking on the first or second page of Google doesn't matter, how are we going to get the traffic through longtail keywords if people only read the results on the first pages of the search engines?

    Also, is it necessary to have the exact search keywords in the title of the article?

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author jackrice
    good bye to backlinks this is my next cause of action, have taken time to read the whole thread and am starting out now
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