Well by now you’ve probably heard that The Big G has struck again. Google has been rounding up the ip addresses of various blog networks and deindexing then systematically. Whole businesses have been decimated and people in the SEO community are running scared. However, you needn’t be worried because I’ve got some great ideas to help you weather this latest storm.
Forget Public Blog Networks
I know I’ve written about places like Linkvana and Build My Rank in the past, but the past is the past and this is the present. Time to forget about trying to game the system by using these kinds of networks and move on to new ideas. Now I do know that several of these networks are in fact still around, but I’d recommend that you stay away from them for the foreseeable future. At the very least, wait until the dust settles and we can see where the state of SEO stands.
Consider Your Own Network
One great way to counter The Big G is to look into creating your own network. Yes, it’s expensive and yes, it’s a pain to keep it up, but the fact is that if done right, your own network would be pretty much bullet proof. The way you do this is to shop for aged domains at places like Go Daddy auctions and then set up hosting on different services and always either with privacy enabled or under different names.
The idea here is to basically create a network of anywhere from 5-20 sites which you personally own and which have different footprints all over the web. Again, you need to be careful to make sure they cannot be noticed as all belonging to you. The ideal way to do this is to use different hosts (i.e. Hostgator for one, Bluehost for another, Dreamhost for a third, etc.)
So called SEO hosting which attempts to use different IP addresses is not the best approach because all the IP addresses can still be traced to a single provider, which advertises that they offer such services, making such sites vulnerable to being deindexed.
It’s Not Illegal
By the way, I should point out here that if this all sounds extremely sneaky, it is. You are in essence trying to fool Google into believing that you have lots of people interested in your websites when in reality you may not have such a following.
Most of SEO is like that — an effort to game Google’s system in one way or another.
However, one thing that’s important to realize is that even though this may sound sneaky, it’s 100% legal. You will never go to jail for using sneaky SEO techniques like these (although some forms of black hat SEO are actually illegal and can land you in jail). Now, if Google catches you doing this, they could choose to deindex you, but that’s not illegal either.
Consider the Lily White Route
In a perfect world, Google doesn’t want anyone to do off site SEO. The process of link building is by its very nature a method of gaming Google’s system to make your site appear more popular than it actually is. That’s why Google has been deindexing all these blog networks — because they were artificially inflating the number of “votes” for given sites.
If you want to be completely lily white however, you may want to do what Google asks — basically do on page SEO and write killer content which naturally attracts links. The best ways to do this are either to be funny or to be controversial. All those godawful boring videos where someone drones on for thirty minutes about how wonderful their product is are never going to attract links naturally.
On the other hand, if you were to make something which makes people laugh, they’re likely to share it with their friends and eventually get you the links Google actually wants you to have.
Consider Content Curation
I’ve been reading quite a bit lately about content curation, which seems to be the latest craze in site building. Basically, the way this works is that you gather snippets from news stories on other sites and link back to them. You do need to include your own high quality content as well, but this is basically what the newspapers do — they’ll grab snippets and link back, sometimes adding their own bit of commentary to a breaking story.
You do need to be careful though about content curation. It should be done in a very transparent way and it should be a supplement to your regular content, not a replacement. However, if you do it right, from what I’m reading, it seems that Google will index your site faster since you are providing a useful and relevant service to their searchers.
Consider Article Marketing
No, I’m not talking about the old bum marketing method. Those not familiar with that method should count themselves lucky since it hasn’t worked for years. Links which come from article directories tend to be pretty much worthless and you need tens of thousands of them to make them useful. However, article marketing in the way that it was originally intended is alive and well.
In essence, article marketing involves seeding very high quality articles out to various websites and newspapers which include links back to your own website. The idea is to provide the very best stuff you can (this is the kind of thing that quality writers typically charge a few hundred dollars for it — I personally charge $149 for such articles, which is extremely cheap).
The reason that these work is because they are not the usual junk fodder which you find on most article directories. These kinds of articles are super high quality and typically follow a magazine style of writing. They involve doing interviews with real people in the industry and providing something both entertaining and interesting. In other words, instead of writing based on whatever you find online, you actually interview people and write it up based on those interviews.
This works because you provide free, high quality content to major sites, newspapers and ezines. These are places that will put your article (with your link) in front of 50,000-100,000 targeted buyers and don’t mind that it’s not unique to them. They aren’t looking to rank for the content. They’re looking to provide their readers with good, high quality information and will pay for it with a link back to your site. Think of it as guest blogging on steroids.
One of the best resources for doing this kind of article marketing is the Directory of Ezines, which lists ezines in specific niches which will be happy to publish your articles (if they’re good enough of course). Another resource which may be useful is the Writer’s Marketplace. While that guide is designed for writers looking to get paid, it does list thousands of niche magazines and newspapers you may be able to syndicate your writing to.
Look to YouTube
This is a method I recently learned about which I absolutely love. It’s very cheap, though not free and it actually has massive potential. The best part? Google’s search engine has nothing to say about it (though Google does own YouTube as well, so do be careful not to completely piss of the Big G).
In essence, this method allows you to get links to your website from videos on YouTube.Now I know what you’re saying — I know how to do this already. I make a video, I upload the thing to YouTube and boom! I’ve got a link. Buzzer sounding right now! Ehhh! In reality, that’s an old method doing things which relies again on Google and their finicky ways. A better method is to rely on direct traffic.
In essence, what you do is, you go to YouTube and hunt down videos which are already popular in your niche and which don’t happen to have any links attached to them (yes, they do exist and there are many of them). You then contact the owner of the video and offer them a small fee in exchange for posting your link onto their video.
Again, your goal isn’t to get ranked this way (though a link on a popular video should help with rankings as well). Your goal instead is to get direct traffic directly from the viewers of that video who will see your link listed below and click it to see more information. You can then send them to your website, to your affiliate page or your squeeze page. It’s simple and it works, though it can be a pain to hunt down the right kinds of videos.
Look Again at PPC/PPV
Another often overlooked traffic source is PPC and PPV advertising. The reason these things are often overlooked is that people tend to think that they’re really expensive. They’re not though — the fact is that if you target lower competition keywords, it’s possible to get clicks for as little a penny a piece.
I’ve read a number of guides on this, but the basic philosophy is kind of similar to bum marketing. Rather than targeting highly competitive keywords, you look for long tail, lower competitive keywords which actually have more buyers anyway.
As I’ve explained many times in this space, long tail keywords often work better because people tend to be more likely to make a purchase through such keywords. After all, you are more likely to buy a Sony Erricson Arc S II if you search for “Sony Erricson Arc S II review” than if you searched for “cell phone review” or even “cell phone.”
Don’t Forget Solo Ads
Yet another super cheap source of traffic is the solo ad. This is also often overlooked by people for the simple reason that they don’t realize it exists. There are billions of websites online, including hundreds of millions of blogs, many of which are pretty popular, with good PR rankings and decent traffic. There is simply no reason whatsoever why you can’t advertise on these blogs.
In fact, you can often buy ads for a pittance because the blog owner often didn’t create their blog expecting to make a profit. If you do find a good deal though, try to lock in the price for at least six months to a year as really popular blogs are likely to see prices go up as more people notice them and start looking to buy ads.
While the easiest places to buy such ads is on blogs which specifically offer ad space (i.e. they have something which says “advertise here”), the cheapest deals are often to be had at blogs which don’t have such ads because this means that the blog owner hasn’t yet thought about how much to charge for such ads.
Look for CommentLuv Blogs
Another great way to get some good Google love going is to look for blogs which work with CommentLuv. I’ve written about this service in the past from the perspective of being a blogger, however from the perspective of SEO, this can be pure gold. When CommentLuv is fully implemented, it can actually allow you to get links from the home page of a popular website.
The catch of course is that owners of CommentLuv enabled blogs tend to be more worried about spam than others. This means that they’re going to check your comment closely and will insist on real, quality comments rather than the spun junk that so many people like to put out there.
Look, for all that there are lots of great ways to deal with the latest Google changes, there is one way which is sure to always work. That’s to keep on writing truly great content and keep up with the rules that Google wants you to follow.
While there are ways to “game” the system and they may not be illegal, the fact remains that Google is still one of the largest players in the business and they do tell you what they want from websites they’ll rank highly. So why not just give them what they want and make lots of money while doing so?