I didn’t really write an SEO e-book but most of the e-books I’ve seen out there should be combined into a big pile and burned.
If I were to write a SEO e-book, it would probably be less than a page long.
Here is my e-book replacement.
If you’re a beginning onlinepreneur, you should know one thing, SEO is easy, but the more you read the less you will know. Of course, some basics such as on-page SEO is a must know. If you are still not sure about how to do something please do not spend money on e-books. Do a Google search and you’ll find all the information you will ever need.
After getting some smarts on the subject of SEO, jump right in and start building a test site, any niche will do. Buy a test domain or put a small amount of money that you can afford to lose at a small affiliate site, for giggles.
Being able to test the waters is critical. Try different strategies, either ones you’ve picked up on SEO forums or ones you’ve created on your own. Experimentation is key and success will only come with experience.
Consistent ranking followed by profitability isn’t going to happen overnight. The goal is to stay in the game for as long as you can without getting discouraged.
I hate to sound like a walking cliche but there will be many bumps in the road. You’ll have to prepare yourself to take the punches and keep getting up.
My brother is a pilot for a major US airline so I know how many hours he had to have flying an airplane before he was considered proficient enough to fly a large passenger jet. Why would doing SEO be any different? Get those SEO hours. Even then, there is no guarantee that you will be successful but you’ll never know if you don’t get the experience.
With this experience and increased ability, I’d like to think the rest is this simple.
-Do not lose your time and money on fancy logo or an expensive WP theme if you are just starting out. SEO is not design.
-Do a proper on-page SEO. This literally is still the same as it was 10 years ago. Pay attention on keywords in URL, title, H2 and that is it. Of course do not overthink, do not go for “perfect percentage” of keywords in the text. If someone tells you anything different he is your enemy.
-Do not build crappy links if you are doing a long term project. Blast shitty links on a test site to see how this helps/ruins a site. Only after trying something you will know what works and what is a guru talk. If you want links from real sites this will costs you real money and not peanuts. If you buy $5 SEO services you cannot expect much.
-Delegate as much as you can, if you can afford it. Content, design….you focus on SEO.
It has come to my attention that you are still out there even though years have passed since Inbound Marketers took your spot. This raises a question: what is wrong with you?
Don’t try to outrank the competitors, stop crying after every Google update, and for God’s sake stop paying premium for tools you are not using properly. It is 2020, SEO Expert, aren’t you tired already? Look what Panda and Penguin have done to you.
Be a Man and stop desperately searching for an answer that could guarantee better search engine results. Learn more about the inner workings of the world wide webz and indulge your primal instinct- Join the FUN club of Internet Marketers, or here is a thought:
Become an Influencer.
Offer some missing tutorial, share a viral picture via Instagram, post in-depth article about ways Pop-ups can keep visitors engaged, create a free tool, start a webinar, interview the best young entrepreneurs, talk about marketing funnels, achieve measurable results, build an audience and yell:”
I am a Content Marketer (Hubspot Certified)”.
Think about it, SEO expert. You wouldn’t have to sell your gigs on Fiverr, no more directory submissions and outreach campaigns for thirsty clients. You wouldn’t have to read long tutorials and methods on forums and Guru blogs. No more sitting around on conferences with other SEO experts and talking same old stories, like that time when you tried to rank BuyCheapNikeHere.com but you got sued for domain hijacking so you had to totally pretend you made an honest mistake.
Or that time you were selling white label SEO services but Google found out about your PBN so you had to lock the office and run to Costa Rica pretending you are living in a beach house paid by passive income sites.
You could earn a living as a consultant to Inc 5000 companies or become a head of Inbound department at SaaS company located in Bay Area.
Go wild, create an affiliate program and partner with micro-influencers, while you offer value to the end user, of course. Do not forget to drink craft beers at summits, grow a beard to look smarter and visit Traffic & Conversion Summit or Digital Marketing Innovation Summit. As long as conference is called SUMMIT you are good to go.
Networking is your new call.
You could watch the latest Whiteboard Friday video on MOZ and during the parts where Rand talks about UX optimization and searcher task accomplishment-oh boy, there are many- you could post knowledgeable comment under the video to get noticed by potential clients and Rand.
I’m reminded of something SEO enthusiast Rand Fishkin said backin 2011: ” We’ll Start to Move Away from the Title “SEO” to Something More All-Inclusive” and we did.
But where are you?
So come clean, SEO Expert. For the SERPs. For the curious Gen X kids who read articles about SEO, and name their pets XRumer and Scrapebox and Market Samurai. Now’s the perfect time.
So ask yourself this Google Search Result question: do you want to be on the Marketing Funnels search result pages or jammed between searches about Automated Backlink Builders, Private Blog Networks and Guest Posts?
If you don’t reply to this letter, I guess we have our existential answer. But if you’re out there, SEO Expert, it’s really time to stop looking back and grow up.
First things first. If you need tools such as Ahrefs to figure out if the site is “real” or fake you definitely shouldn’t spend too much money on tools in the first place.
I know that I am one of the rare SEOs that prefer to do everything manually, but tools do come handy in certain situations. And I am sure Ahrefs has its great sides but Ahrefs is now IN the same way MOZ was IN 7 years ago.
You can follow these trends on marketplaces such as Upwork where people search for “SEO experts”. Nowadays, usually you get a job description where an employee insists that “SEO expert” is Ahrefs savvy and they even want you to have a premium subscription over there if you want to apply for a job.
If you are a real SEO expert you will not allow your employee to explain you how you should do your job.
Imagine your client is in Oil industry and you start explaining how their approach to oil pumping is wrong and how they should change their equipment. You see, sounds stupid. That is why clients demanding Ahrefs or MOZ subscription from their employees is wrong. That is why you should avoid these morons, because they will stay behind your shoulder 24/7 telling you what to do.
“Hey Mr. SEO expert, can you hop on Zoom/Skype?”
“Dear sir, it is 4 AM and it is Sunday morning, you said that I am free on weekends”
“Yeah, but it is almost 5 PM in my time zone and I need you to tweak some code here for me, and to post 2400 blog comments followed by 500 comments on forums in my niche, I will give you a $5 bonus.”
“Yes kind Sir, you are a blessing from another world, derp derp”
And the time will come when people will realize that Ahrefs metrics are easily manipulated, especially, Organic Traffic values.
Here is the deal.
I have a small site that was getting some 30,000 to 50,000 visitors per month through Summer. But then in October the site got almost 100,000 unique visits. Big part of these visits was organic search, maybe 85-90%. Which is great, right?
Alexa has the accuracy and precision of Swiss watches compared to Ahrefs
Not according to Ahrefs, because they say that this site is now down to 4K organic visits compared to the period behind us and it is sitting at some 4K-ish visits. That is 96,000 visit less than what I really got.
They do state that Organic Search is an estimate and “not the actual search traffic data of a website. It’s not possible for all the variables in our traffic estimation formula to be 100% accurate”-is what they say. I know how no one ever trusted Alexa numbers because it used be easy to manipulate those numbers but right now I trust Alexa as I am sure they upped their data collecting game. It certainly does look like that.
Furthermore, if we are going to compare SEMRush and Ahrefs organic data for the aforementioned site, SEMRush gets better results as well. For the site that got 100K-ish visits in October, according to SEMRush traffic data, they say how this site is getting around 143,000 visits (in October), which is a very good estimate, which in turn means that SEMRush (which is in my eyes one of the best marketing and SEO tools in the market) recognizes the keywords and traffic sources better than Ahrefs.
According to Ahrefs this site ranks for around 6,000 keywords. According to SEMRush the same site is in top 100 for more than 8,000 keywords.
Who should I trust? Ahrefs or SEMRush?
My experience is telling me that SEMRush is the king and Ahrefs is way behind when it comes to traffic estimates. And since traffic is not good, this means that their KW cloud is also not as good as the one SEMRush has. On the other side is link profile and I find the one at Ahrefs better, but I could live with the one offered at SEMRush, here is why.
SEMRush shows 1.4K sites linking to the domain I talked about with 30K-ish links in total, while Ahrefs shows 1.2K referring domains with 25K-ish links in total. This difference may be connected with recently lost and recently found links, but the fact is that SEMRush is not behind when it comes to link crawling.
And to add MOZ on this pile, it shows 1.3K referring domains with around 25K links.
So, next time, when someone asks you what is your traffic according to Ahrefs, tell them they can shove it up their a**.
Over the years I ranked many sites in numerous niches, and one of the tools (sites) I used to do this is out there for years already, and many SEOs are not using it. This is a well known site called Patreon.
If you know how to use this site to get great links and rank sites, good for you. But I bet there are 99 SEOs out of 100 that are not using it. The reason is – Well, no one is thinking out of the box. The same goes for any product, any niche, any type of business. If you want to be the best you just need to be a LITTLE bit diferent.
A wise man said once, to me:”Do not be the cheapest, there will always be someone who is cheaper than you. And then what? People searching the cheapest products will not come your way anymore, they will go to the next cheapest guy. Be the best. If you are the best it doesn’t matter what is the price of your products/service”.
So, to be the best SEO or to have the fastest results you will need to use your brain for a change.
What is Patreon and how to milk that cow?
If you still haven’t heard about Patreon head over to their site to check it out for a sec, but this is basically a membership platform that provides business tools for content creators to run a subscription service.
Example would be me making you pay for every article I post here. So, if you wanna read my articles you gotta subscribe first. OK. Now that we have this out of our way let us continue with why you are here for.
The thing about Patreon subscription is that different authors offer different levels and types of subscription.
Other thing is that these are pretty much all legit guys and girls trying to be the best in their niches.
And some of these guys and girls are desperate so they will sell any type of subscription to get a few dollars.
One of those types is a link on their home page. I know what you are thinking:”But, but Google says home page linking is no good, bruh”. Google will tell you many thing, but the best kept secret every good SEO knows is this- Home page links still work like they did 10 years ago. And no, you will not get penalized if you do it right.
And another good thing about Patreon is the fact that those bloggers over there are the real thing. This means that they have real niche sites and many of them are not into selling links, they are not on Upwork, not on Fiverr and not in Excel file of every south Asian based wannabe SEO monkey.
What I like to do when searching people offering sidebar links on Patreon, I head over to Google first. Of course.
Then I type something like this in Google
site:patreon.com buy link or site:patreon.com linkto your site and then we get a list of results that you will need to sift through. But a couple of minutes later you get to find people selling something like this.
Above is the typical subscription level with a $10 price tag per month. The site that is selling this service is in art niche. Something about international artists, something really boring, something Google will not manually check to see if they are selling links.
I know what you are thinking, again:”But, but Mr. SEO Guru my site is in Drones under $100 niche, I cannot rank with links from artsy sites”.
I know big shot SEOs are telling you how niche links are the only way to link your site. This is a pile of steaming crap.
What I really like about Patreon SEO
Buying homepage links via Patreon is like having a tailor made link building subscription that is selling links only to you. Which means no bad neighborhoods, no high price, no manual penalties. While many of these sites are not super-strong they are super-clean.
And here is what you can do. First try to find a dozen of sites selling links, slap a link on their site and wait for at least 3 months. If nothing happens stop paying subscription and the links will be deleted, but I am sure you will see at least some boost. It really depends on your niche, if you are trying to rank for “buy cars” you probably wont have much success.
As always do a proper keyword research before jumping into a niche, this will help you tons and save you a lot of time and money.
Even after this article I am sure 98 out of 100 SEOs will not do Patreon link building, because people read many articles online and they tend to forget about them or just postpone thing for some other time and they never do anything. So, this may stay unsaturated for some time.
SEO outsourcing is probably the easiest thing there is, if you know how to do it. If you are the owner of a random agency that is doing everything (design, coding, marketing,SEO) you are probably thinking how your job is overwhelming and how you should retire. Well you are right. Working on building other peoples sites is a pain in the ass.
This was the reason why I went M.I.A. five years ago.
Too much day to day stress. But if you find someone who can do SEO for you and he is doing it great and on the budget….tell me about him, I wanna hire that person. Basically this person does not exists.
Good SEOs will work for you only if you pay premium. On the other side bad SEOs are everywhere, especially on Fiverr and Upwork.
But some of them are killing it, having upto $100K per month in revenue. How? Well, imagine 30 south Asian soldiers packed in an office sitting behind their desks doing mundane jobs on a daily basis. This is reality of SEO outsourcing.
Should you outsource SEO?
Well, it all depends what you need. If you need a link builder you can do that by posting a job on Upwork and I am sure you will get 100s of “Dear hiring manager” morons answering your job post. But among the hundreds of no-good link builders there might be a golden one. The problem is, you need enough knowledge to know one when you see one.
If you need to outsource on-page SEO job gets easier since this is more of a technical issue and repetitive work if you need on-page done for thousands of pages. This is something that you dont wanna work yourself if you are offering SEO. This is a foot soldiers job. Basically, anyone can do on-page SEO. Keywords in title, first sentence (yes, this still works) and in H2. Oh my god, how this works, sometimes for huge KWs as well. It is funny that all those fake gurus will not tell you this. They call this “outdated practice” and try to bamboozle you with fancy words.
How to outsource SEO?
Whatever you do never read moz.com blog. This is a huge waste of time, especially if you are easily confused. So, to outsource SEO you need to know what you are doing first. If you are hardened businessman you know how to hire, if you are new to this you need to use common sense.
So, if someone says that he will build 158868 links for $5 you know that something is wrong and you move further.
Like with everything else 95% of you will fail to outsource SEO the way it should be done, other 5% will make a killing. It goes without saying that I could go on and on here, but SEO outsourcing comes down to 1 thing- Use your brain.
Creating a good private blog network (PBN) takes some time, knowledge and money. It is really doable to create a good PBN with a couple of thousands if not hundreds. If you do not have the money, get a job, because good PBNs cost money.
If you do not know how to know which domain is a good one- continue reading, you will know at the end.
Getting a couple of sites for $100 and throwing some random content will not do the trick if you want to rank big time keywords. But if you want to be first for keywords with low competition this will do the work. Of course you will need keyword research knowledge and you will need to know what low competition is.
You do not need PBN for all keywords.
If you have SEMRush account you can see that they give this competitiveness column for each keyword and they mark this column with KD% which is an estimate of how difficult it would be to rank in organic search.
If I see that KD% is below 75% and the keyword is well paid and have a lot of searches I will try to rank that keyword with basic on-page SEO. This usually works. That is one of the reasons I like SEMRush. So, why waste good PBN if you can rank without links, right?
PBN prices, from small and cheap to big and “expensive”
If you are in a small niche with a low competition and you cannot seem to move in top 3 there might be numerous reasons for this, but if you think that the first place holder is a weak competitor with trashy content you might need a PBN. For these weaker keywords with low competition a 5 site PBN could do the trick.
Start at expireddomain.net (register for a free account because you get more metrics if you register) and search new coming auctions or Buy Now domains. You can set the “in the last 24 hours” in the setting. This way you get domains that are new to the market.
You can get some low hanging fruits for a couple of hundreds there, some DA 30-ish domains with clear history. Basically $1K could get you 5 nice domains. But you will probably need to spend a week or two in front of your screen if you wanna go extra safe route.
If you need something more or if you have a client that wants the real deal, you will probably need to spend $5,000-$10,000 in order to secure long term or stable rankings.
If we are talking about enterprise solutions, $50,000 can take you places when it comes to a great PBN. I am talking out of this World PBN setup.
Often I see people asking:”Is this domain good (for PBN)?” or “I bought a domain that was previously spammed, what should I do with it?”.
Setting up Hosting for PBNs
What I like to do when it comes to hosting for private blog networks is to think of each site as a separate human being. This means that manual reviewer should not be able to connect these sites. Each site should be hosted with a different hosting provider (different IP of course). Furthermore overall look and feel should be different and mix of HTML and WP sites are what I am for. This is all common sense but many people fail on easy things.
Do not interlink your PBN sites
Another common sense thing that people forget about. There is no reason to interlink your PBN sites, that is a big no-no. Why would you do that?
Having “relevant” PBNs is for morons talking on SEO forums
I heard it 1000 times:”You need to get relevant links, bla bla bla…or you will not get laid”. This is one of those things that just make no sense. If you are in pet shop niche, and you get a link from Salon.com I am sure you will not complain about it. A good link is a good link.
So forget about making your PBN relevant, rather make it in the same niche it was before you bought it, and you might actually get some traffic to your PBNs. And guess what, you can even throw some Google Ads so you earn money with your PBN.
Use different anchors when linking to your site
Do not ruin your money and effort by playing the spam game. Make your keyword cloud appear natural.
So, do not use all same anchor on all sites, instead use 30% brand name, 30% percent random keywords and 30% keywords u wanna rank for.
Building a powerful network of sites with a twist.
People new to SEO tend to skip great opportunities just because domain was spammed with gibberish content and bad links. People are scared. They think that few months of bad history can totally destroy a domain with hundreds of legitimate mentions in top online magazines.
I will prove you they are wrong. And I will show you that spammed domain can be resurrected in a matter of days/weeks. Building a solid network is not hard, nor time consuming, and requires basic SEO knowledge and some balls.
If you are new to SEO this might be too much for you
Few weeks ago, I went to auctions.godaddy.com to check out expiring domains market. I don’t visit this place as often as I did before but with the help of expireddomains.net you can see basic data (Alexa,history,SEMRush, TF…) and prices.
Now, there are some domains with great metrics but if the domain is spammed….to death.. I don’t bother with these domains. “Viagra” all over the place means only one thing.
Don’t even bother. Too many links to disavow. I am not saying it can’t be done, I am just saying it may take a lot of time to disavow all links, and for what? So you can have a domain that probably won’t rank for anything. Small amount of legit links =not good.
But, if a domain have years of clean history and hundreds (if not thousands) of clean links from big sites….well, that’s a completely different story. It does pay off to bid on these domains.
Few weeks ago, I saw one interesting domain (I will refer to this domain as AGENCY from now on) in my kind of niche (Marketing, SMM, PR, Consulting…that sort of thing) on auction and the price at that time (some 5 days before the auction closed) was around $100. Domain authority of AGENCY is …50. Nice.
But here is the thing
I submitted my proxy bid at $300. This means that GoDaddy will bid in my name to the maximal price of $300. Which is a bargain for this domain. I thought someone would probably outbid me, but nothing changed since the price reached $147.
I was waiting to see what is going to happen in the last 5 minutes (that’s when the price usually goes up tenfold) but the auction ended with my win and I got domain for $147. I couldn’t believed it.
I knew I would need to submit domain at http://www.google.com/webmasters/ to see if there are manual actions since AGENCY was spammed. But before submission I wanted to see if Google is going to index it if I put up a site.
If it index it, this would mean that the AGENCY probably survived spam. I bought a premium theme, created fair looking (PR agency kind of ) site. I also created a blog for AGENCY and site looked good. Few days passed, nothing changed, site wasn’t indexed.
I entered domain into Webmsaters Search Console and I got a sweat little message.
Pure spam and gibberish content.
First step– I submitted reconsideration request that was just a short message. Don’t sweat about reconsideration requests. Just send a short message. My message was 2 sentences long. I won’t be showing a screenshot of an actual message here but it was something like:” I got the message that domain is under penalty. We think it was either hacked or spammed before. Domain is clear from spam now, please let us know if we have to do anything else”
It is really that simple. No need for long stories .They will see if you are telling the truth or not. I was expecting to see their answer in 2 weeks but it actually took them 8 days. And this is what they sent.
AGENCY wasn’t indexed just yet and I did wait 24-48 hours before I saw first page indexed. They did say in their message that it will take some time before you see changes. In both your Search Console and Google index.
When first pages were indexed I checked Search Console and noticed that Manual Action is gone. Site is clear. A fresh start. I immediately ordered 10 more articles for the site so I can update the blog for AGENCY from time to time. I will also now go and recreate the pages with the highest amount of inbound links. This won’t be spam content and I will try to keep everything legit.
Second step-Just in case, I also submitted a small disavow file with a list of 20-ish domains that were used to spam AGENCY with bad links. Submitting disavow file is also easy, especially if you are disavowing domains, instead of specific URLs.
Third step is to see if we can rank some pages using old links and new content THAT FIT these links. So, no viagra and cialis BS.
Costs for this domain
$147- GD auctions
$10-ish for domain registration (one year)
$50-ish for a premium template at Themeforest. You don’t have to use premium template but it makes all the difference if you don’t want to look like 1000 of other sites out there.
$100-ish for articles
$0-logo. My VA did it
So, that’s just shy over $300 and I got myself a great domain.
Just in case you wonder how good this domain is, I will here list some of the domains where Agency is mentioned. (real mentions, not some fake link injections)
Mashable, TechCrunch, The Next Web, IndianaEDU, SAP, WashingtonPost, CopyBlogger, TED, HubSpot, ChrisBrogan, Content Marketing Institute, Web Pro News, Guy Kawasaki, CISION, Venture Beat….and hundreds of other reputable sites from North America, Australia, Europe, South America, Asia.
Don’t be afraid to act, don’t do what other people do and don’t ruin such great domains.