Niche Site Duel 012: An Experiment and Income Update

niche-site-screenshotIt’s been a couple of weeks since my last niche site duel update, so I wanted to fill you in on what’s been going on with my niche site.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the niche site duel, Tyrone Shum and I started niche sites from scratch back in August of 2010 and are revealing everything during the entire progress, from keyword research to domain name to monetization, to see who outperforms the other. Since starting, both Tyrone and I are both ranking in the number 1 spot in Google for our primary keywords. Woot!

In my last two updates, I had mentioned that I obtained a #1 ranking in Google for my primary keyword “security guard training”, and I showed you the backlinking strategy that I used to get there.

An Experiment

After writing those posts, Pauline J. emailed me with an interesting question:

“Hey Pat. Congrats on the #1 ranking in your niche site duel. Now that you’re there, what would happen if you stopped adding more content and creating backlinks. Would your rankings drop off? I heard that if you consistently provide backlinks to your site for a period of time and then suddenly stop, you’ll lose your ranking. I’m not saying you should do this, I’m just wondering if you knew the answer. Thanks!”

This is a very valid question. Can or should we just stop what we’re doing once we get to the number one spot in Google, which is the ultimate goal behind search engine optimization and creating backlinks?

Call me stupid, but I put this to the test.

Since reaching the number one spot in Google 20 days ago, I have not added any more content to the site, nor have I created any new backlinks myself. I really wanted to see what would happen. Can I really just “set it and forget it” and have this site become a true passive income stream?

No matter the outcome (which I’ll get to in a second), it’s probably not the smartest thing in the world to do immediately after reaching the number one position. Obviously, someone else was in the number one position before I knocked them out, so the same thing could very well happen to me. Also, remember that reaching the number one position is a goal, but not THE goal, because that position means nothing unless you are converting traffic to subscribers, readers, or an income – what have you, which may involve creating new content or generating backlinks for the purpose of driving direct traffic.

So what happened to my number one ranking after 20 days?


I checked every day since starting this experiment, and I never dropped one tick.

Based on this, I don’t think Google will penalize you for a sudden halt in content generation and backlinks to your site. When you think about it, the number of newly generated backlinks going to any site is hardly consistent anyways.

The most important factor in Google rankings is how you compare to all of the other sites. You only have to do better than your competition to rank higher, and it would only take another site that does better than mine to bump me out of the number one position.

Again, this was probably not the smartest thing in the world for me to do, but as you know, I’m happy to use my resources for your benefit.

At least I know I have some leeway when it comes to my strategy. I don’t have to spend an hour each day like I did before I got to the number one position to maintain it, but I will be getting back into gear and adding content once again, especially because it will have a direct effect on my advertising and monetization strategy.

Income Update

I’m currently running Adsense on the site and am seeing some decent results:

November Earnings - Niche SiteIn total, I’ve made $151.18 in the month of November. Adding on the income I made from October, this niche site has generated a grand total of $213.83.

As you can see, I have custom channels setup in Adsense to track where most of my income is coming from: ads in the sidebar, and ads within the posts. I could get more ninja with it and create custom links for each of the different urls on the site, but I decided to just divide it this way.

Not bad, but it’s time to ramp it up.

Since getting to the number one spot in Google, I’ve added a section at the top of my site for companies interested in advertising:

Want to Advertise?This menu item leads to a page that has a contact form for advertising inquiries on my site. This page has been accessed 12 times, and I’ve received 2 inquiries from 2 different companies looking to purchase advertising on my site. Hopefully, once this all gets worked out, I’ll have a couple of advertising contracts in place and a few quick hundred dollars of recurring passive income in my pocket, possibly more.

Of course, I’ll keep you updated.


Traffic has obviously been very good since reaching the number one spot in Google. The numbers are matching up almost perfectly with what Market Samurai predicted during the keyword research phase. (If you’d like to see exactly how I did keyword research, check out my free keyword research webinar replay).

Traffic Numbers - November

Traffic Numbers for the Month of November, so far.

My primary keyword, “security guard training”, is bringing in the majority of traffic as expected. But, what’s cool is that just naturally I’m also ranking for some highly searched terms that I never targeted or created backlinks for: “security guard gear” and “security officer training“.

I’m currently ranked 7th and 5th for those terms in Google, respectively, so now I should definitely ramp up the SEO for those specific terms and get to the #1 position to collect even more traffic.

So that’s the latest going-ons with my niche site. If you’re interested in what everyone else is doing (I think we have over 20 people participating in this challenge now), check out the Niche Site Duel hub and follow along.

Thanks for your support, and have a great week! Look out for a new podcast session in the next post.


Other Posts in The Niche Site Duel Series

  • Hector Cuevas

    Hey Pat..

    That was a risky experiment – not like you couldn’t have taken back the number one spot if you lost it anyway – but risky either way. Thanks for sharing the results; I too was wondering what would happen.

    over 2K hits from your main keyword, that’s awesome bro.. keep it up

    wish you the best
    talk soon

    • Pat

      Thanks Hector! Like Bo said below, it probably wasn’t too risky, but yeah if I was in an extremely competitive market, I probably would have been overtaken by now.

      • Hector Cuevas

        Yea, that makes sense.. the market isn’t that competitive. Good luck with your two new keywords

        • Byron

          I think that’s the other value of a tool like Market Samurai. You can find markets that are somewhat easy to dominate with basic online marketing strategies.

          Another solid post. Do I smell a case study e-book coming out of this dual? That might be a great product. Like you said in a podcast a while back Pat, people like having all the content in one organized reference even through it’s FREE on your blog.

  • Bo

    Sup Pat,
    20 days is not much of a test but it lets you know that you can be lazy every now and again! Lol. Great work. How did you find out where you ranked for the other keywords again? MS? Keep it up looking forward to the yearly income report!

    • Pat

      True, I mean 20 days isn’t 6 months, but yeah – I can definitely be a little more lax when it comes to my backlinking strategy now. I will keep a close eye on any newcomers into the top 10 in Google though, just in case.

      I actually just found those new keywords in Google Analytics, then punched those keywords into Scroogle for a quick check, but now I have them setup in Market Samurai so I can keep track over time.

      Although last year’s was published in November, I’ll be publishing this year’s early next year. It’ll make more sense that way I think. Cheers!

      • Bo

        I usually dont comment unless it is about post but let me just say real quick, I’m new to the scene and you are the only marketer that gives me hope. The way you diversify makes sense and none of the information is a “get rich quick” sales pitch like many of the gurus. I hope you never turn into them! If so at least promote the products you can put your name behind! Thx again.

        • Pat

          Thanks Bo – I appreciate that…I definitely don’t want to go down that path that I see a ton of other internet marketers go down, just for the money. Thanks for the support, Cheers!

  • Jamie

    Hey Pat,

    Fantastic results and I’m glad you done the experiment, that was a question that I was wondering about. I decided I’m going to follow your backlink guide to try and help my blog grow too.


    • Pat

      Good luck Jaime! Let me know if you get hung up on any areas during the process. Cheers!

  • Dan

    Hey Pat,

    Thanks for your Niche Site Duel series. It’s really movtivating and I would really want to get started with niche sites. But I’m just a newbie and don’t know much about SEO and I don’t know how much backlinks should I build per day in order not to get penalized by Google?

    Around how many pages or blog posts should we create for mini niche sites from your experience? 20?

    I have another question here which is dumb. When you are recommending The Best Spinner, how did you hide your affilate page/id to be ? Is it done by a plugin, link cloaker or something?

    Thanks for your time, Pat!


    • Pat

      Hey Dan – I definitely recommend going from the very beginning of my journey with this niche site over on the hub at

      If you follow the backlinking strategy outlined in my backlinking post (, you should have no problem. Just don’t flood a ton of backlinks directly to your main site at the same time, and make sure the links that are pointing to your site are coming from high-quality sites, if possible, to increase your ranking even higher.

      As far as the number of pages or blog posts, there is no maximum or minimum. I’ve seen 1 page sites get ranked, and I’ve seen 500 page sites not get ranked. The more, the better though, because you’ll give yourself the best chance of ranking for keywords that you didn’t even optimize for. More chances for people to find you and more content for them to read and connect with you from. Typically, most mini-sites, however, will have a minimum of 3 or 4 blog posts – at least the ones that are just “set and forget”. Again, the most important thing are the backlinks coming to the site – the quality, not the quantity.

      Lastly, regarding the masked link, it’s a plugin called “Pretty Link” that does this for me. I do this to make the affiliate links look nicer, not necessarily to hide them, and it keeps track of the number of clicks for each link I create.

      Hope this helps! Cheers!

      • Dan

        Hey Pat,

        Sure…thank you for your advice and tips! You know what, there are many successful bloggers around and whenever I ask them for their advice, I can hardly get their replies as concise as yours. Thank you very much Pat.

        Now, I’ll work towards that direction and hope to see some results within 6 months. Take my word for it, I’ll try my best to succeed in it and report back to you :)

        Just hope you don’t mind if I keep bugging you and asking you for advice. (I know you are very busy) Would it be a good way to get hold of you by leaving you a message on this blog’s contact?


        • Pat

          Indeed – just use the contact form and we’ll keep in touch. I can’t promise I’ll answer right away (I get a ton of emails), but I’ll do my best. Cheers, and good luck!

        • Leon Aldrich


          Pat answers all his email; now if I can get him to return my phone calls (evil grin).

      • KimP

        Cool little experiment, Pat! I’ve been wondering the same thing and it’s nice to know that your trail produced positive results!

        I asked this question in a previous post, but you’re so busy I don’t think you had time to reply, so try try again, lol. How will the affiliate links be created for the companies that will advertise on your site. Will you create them using the “Pretty Link” plug-in you mentioned above, or should companies typically hold responsibility for creating links for their advertising campaigns?

        • Pat

          Hi Kim – I’ll ask for a link from the advertiser, and then I may or may not mask them depending on how they come in. There are advertising managing plugins such as WP-125 that help you keep track of how many clicks each link gets either way. I could use the Pretty Link plugin though, to keep track as well.

      • KimP

        Thanks, Pat! This is something I’ve been wondering for awhile because I’d like to incorporate more private advertising into my niche site. I had now idea how the links would be created or if I should be responsible for them , so this helps! Thanks again and wishing you continued success.

  • Fernando

    Nice Pat! Happy to see you are killing it with the Niche Sites!
    By the way, How did the P90X go? Never saw the Day90 picture! :)

  • Samuel

    Awesome post Pat! Glad to hear that you are still on the #1 spot after carrying out the experiment. I don’t think it’s too risky because even if you lose you will still get back to the #1 spot. It’s good to challenge the norm. Thanks for the update man. You are the best! 😀

    • Pat

      Yeah, you’re right, I could have probably taken it back easily if someone were to bump me, now that I’m sitting here at #1, but still it was good to know that I don’t have to work as hard to keep the site up there as I did to get it there. Thanks for the comment, as always, Samuel!

  • Onibalusi Bamidele

    Awesome result Pat,

    You’re really killing it with your niche site duel. I’m also getting results from my niche site and I’m almost on page 1 for major keywords (I started 2 weeks ago). I had some hosting problems which led to me losing all my ranks, but I’m climbing up again, fast.

    I hope to be getting much traffic like you, soon.

    Thanks so much for the awesome info,

    BTW: Have you planned introducing a new monetization model apart from Adsense to your niche site?

    • Pat

      Onibalusi, as mentioned in the post, I talked about private advertising with companies that want to utilize some of the traffic on my site. Sorry to hear about your hosting problems, that’s not good!

  • Ryan

    Hey Pat,

    I signed up for your email subscribe list on and you have a type-o in the first email! You say that you’ll try to flood our inbox with irrelevant email:

    “Don’t worry, we know you probably already receive a ton of emails (we do too!), so we will only send out the important stuff and we’ll try to flood your inbox.”

    Just FYI! You’re killin it way to go!

    • Pat

      Doh – thanks Ryan. I had just put that up, so thank you for letting me know, lol. I definitely don’t want to flood their inboxes 😛

  • MadAnalyst

    Thanks for sharing your journey in creating your security guard training niche site. It is loaded with details. This is really great. I am learning alot from your posts. Also thanks for sharing your income figure.

    • Pat

      Awesome! Glad you’re learning a lot from the challenge. Cheers!

  • jeffbeer

    It’s a great point you have emphasized that we all tend to forget: content first, monetize second. You truly have to love and work on your site! A monetization campaign is only as successful as how much effort was put into the quality and passion of the site.

    As always, great tips Pat!

    • Pat

      Yes, indeed. Although monetization should be thought of and planned for, it should not be the primary purpose. Cheers!

  • Lye Kuek Hin

    Hi Pat,

    The experiment is indeed risky but i appreciate the fact you took the risk to test it out for us. Many thanks to you for doing that. It has been fun to follow your niche duel all this while seeing you climbing to rank #1. I am glad to learn from you.

    Thanks for sharing.


    • Pat

      Thanks dude :) I already have a new other niche sites I’ve started since starting this duel, and they are doing really well so far too :) – Keep it up!

  • Jason Young

    The Niche of site, targeted a low competition keyword so, I don’t think twenty days was super dangerous, it was a good experiment none the less. I am sure that if it was a more competitive niche like credit cards or something like that, maybe in the first day (or second), you probably lose that spot.

    Above all, I think this is another benefit of doing good keyword research; when you get to number one it is easy to maintain. You can even slack off for a day or twenty.


    • Pat

      Thanks Jason! If only I could rank in the number one spot for Credit Cards :)

  • Joe

    I normally leave my sites alone once they get to number one in their niche and unless another affiliate comes along they tend to stay there.

    So the site got 3000 visits in November and made $150 from Adsense. That is pretty good.

    • Pat

      Cool, it’s good to know that others are seeing the same results when leaving their sites alone. Thanks Joe!

  • TrafficColeman

    Super stuff Pat..people have to realize when you do make it to the top..then you can some what cut your time in half when it comes to added content and building backlinks..and it will still maintain an top ranking.

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

    • Pat

      Thanks Coleman, I appreciate your comments, as always. Cheers!

  • Devin Elder

    Hey Pat,

    Good point about only having to be better than your competition.

    I like the analogy they use in the Market Samurai training videos about the two hikers that run into a lion. One puts on running shoes, and the other says “You’re not gonna outrun a lion!” To which the first guy responds “I just have to outrun you.”

    Question: Is your traffic for your main keyword matching the Market Samurai predictions for ‘broad match’ or ‘exact match’?


    – Devin

    • Blake Erickson

      Pat will have to verify this, but this also was a question that I’ve been interested in… but I needed somebody in #1 to compare the data to. (I’m still on the 2nd page)

      According to Google’s Keyword tool for “Security Guard Training”:
      Exact Local Monthly Searches – 3,600
      Exact Global Monthly Searches – 8,100
      Broad Local Monthly Searches – 18,100
      Broad Global Monthly Searches – 27,100

      So, it looks like getting the #1 spot on Google for your keyword will match up directly with the Exact Local Monthly Searches. Pat has 3,213 for Nov which is really close to 3,600 estimated searches.

      Do keywords like “Security Officer Training” account for a percentage of the 18,100 broad search traffic for “Security Guard Training” or do ONLY long tail keywords like “Armed Security Guard Training” account for a percentage of the 18,100 broad search traffic?

      I guess my real question Pat is now that you have captured that 3,600 exact traffic how do you capture the 18,100 broad search traffic?

      • Devin Elder

        Thanks for pulling those numbers Blake. For the keywords I have #1 spots for, the traffic closely mirrors the exact match numbers. This makes broad match sort of irrelevant it seems.

        Market Samurai talks about broad match as the long term potential traffic for a keyword, and my guess is that this is based on getting traffic from variations of that keyword, in this case things like ‘security guard training tools’ or ‘security guard training courses’

        It seems like it would be tough to optimize for the variations though

        • Pat

          Yeah, thanks Blake for looking into those numbers. As confirmed, the numbers are for exact searches in Market Samurai, and I do think the broad search is used for long term potential because of those other long tail and related keywords to the primary. I’m not sure why “exact” is the default, instead of broad…oh well.

          Regarding how hard it might be to optimize for those secondary keywords, I don’t think it would be too tough. You can implement the same strategies and just target those keywords on certain pages that are built specifically for that keyword on your site. I think this is what I’ll do next :)


  • Mark | Wealthy Affiliate Revolution

    Hey Pat,

    Nice work (as usual). Good to see things are coming along nicely and that your traffic numbers in the number one spot are matching what Market Samurai predicted. Of all the tools I own, Market Samurai is the best.

    Keep sharing and inspiring,


    • Pat

      Thanks Mark, and thanks for your updates on your niche site. Keep up the good work, and I agree 1000% – Market Samurai is the best tool I’ve ever used.

  • Brendon


    You really ought to go through with trying to rank #1 in Google for the terms you currently sit #7 and #5 for, respectively–so long as those keywords are ‘worth’ it. Using that exact same back linking strategy, you should be able to hit it without issue. Now, not only do you have a site earning great passive income from one keyword term, but it would go to show others how one niche site, optimized for 3-4 keywords (or more) earns some SERIOUS money. I mean, what if you were earning that type of adsense revenue with each keyword? Really goes to show how one site could change your life.

    • Pat

      Brendon – actually, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, and now that I already have some traction for those terms, it shouldn’t be all that hard (I’ll have to look at the competition on Market Samurai though just to confirm that). Indeed, it would be great to rank #1 for several different keywords that bring in loads of traffic and increase my traffic and income :)

  • Jackie

    Thanks for running the 20-day experiment. I would have guessed that your ranking would stay in the top 3, but was surprised it didn’t move at all.

    • Pat

      I was surprised too Jackie. I had initially thought I was going to report that it went down a little, and that the lesson is to keep going once you get there, but I guess not (although you should keep going, obviously – at least a little bit).

  • Rob

    Hey Pat,
    Great experiment. I was wondering what would happen when you stopped putting daily work into it. I’m glad you can divert your attention from the site without the ceiling crashing in.

    Also, I’m curious – How many of the views do you think are coming from your Smart Passive Income readers? I know I’ve searched and clicked onto the site a few times myself.

    • Pat

      Hey Rob, I’m sure that some of the views are, but I’m also positive that a majority are not coming from this experiment too. There are also a bunch of keywords that I’ve never mentioned on this site that I’m getting a lot of traffic to as well.

      • Rob

        I hadn’t thought about that. Those other keywords are a good control for this experiment.

        This is unrelated to this post, but I’d love to see an article about what sort (if any) support systems you’ve put in place to help you reach your goals. I’m just starting my own online businesses, and I’m trying to start up a local Mastermind Group to provide some much needed support and public accountability.

        • Pat

          Hey Rob – a mastermind is a fantastic idea that will help you reach your goals. I’m in two and they are priceless. I also, as you know, tell people what I’m up to on this blog a lot, which helps with accountability as well.

  • Brett

    Hey Pat,
    Awesome job on the site! That’s cool to see how the Adsense really picks up once you get into the first ranked spot. I need to find a new niche site as I recently abandoned one after finding that the top ten results were all PR 3+ sites on Market Samurai. Do you think the adsense revenue will continue to grow (i.e. is it really more scalable) if you are already ranked #1?

    • Pat

      I think moving to a different niche site would be a good idea in that case…although if you REALLY wanted it and was willing to put in the long hours of hard work, you could rank for that keyword. It would just take longer than a keyword with weaker competition.

      I think the adsense will grow, primarily because other keywords will begin to rank for the site.

  • Moon Hussain


    Your posts just keep on motivating me & I can’t believe you’ve achieved such success with your niche site.

    Let me ask you a question: if you only had limited amount of money and could only buy one tool, which one would it be: Unique Article Wizard or Blog Blueprint?


    • Lyndsy Simon

      Personally, I’d buy Market Samurai. It is the only tool I’ve actually sprung for, and it has already paid for itself, in the first month, solely on my eCommerce site. Once I get my affiliate / AdSense skills up to par, I expect it to literally make me a fortune.

      One thing that’s often overlooked is the ability to take apart the work of others. It is invaluable to be able to follow Pat’s site in Market Samurai, and see where he’s linking, and what his links look like, especially compared to the existing competitors in the niche. The things I’ve learned from actually watching a professional built a site like this are worth the cost of entry alone.

    • Pat

      Well – Lyndsy mentioned it below – if I only had money for one tool, I’d buy Market Samurai. But, if you meant between UAW and BB, I think I would go with BB because you can use it for both layers in the backlinking strategy that I outlined, and although it will take more time to make as many backlinks as UAW does, the backlinks are usually worth a little more than the ones coming from UAW. Just my opinion!

      • Moon Hussain

        I already own Market Samurai and love it. I definitely meant if I had to decide between UAW and BB.

        Thanks Lyndsy & Pat.

  • Steve Roy

    Hi Pat,
    This is actually something I was wondering about, so I’m glad yopu posted about it. I’ve heard many niche marketers talk about leaving their sites on auto pilot once the rankings were there, but I never knew if it was true.

    Do you have any idea what happens to your ranking if you add your keywords to an article that has been posted for a while?

    • Pat

      Hey Steve – I’m not quite sure what you mean by your question. An article should be posted with the keywords in mind, which means the title and the body mention the keyword, so I don’t know how you could add it to an existing article if it wasn’t already written for it. Please clarify if you can! Thanks!

  • Lyndsy Simon

    I’m impressed that you’ve managed over $200 in ad revenue form less than 4,000 visits. I’m running a site that’s gotten 1,600 hits this month (our first month), and no revenue. I’m monetizing right now using affiliate links, but have had no success.

    While I’m pursuing non-advertising revenue now, I’m slightly stuck because I can’t use Adsense – my site deals with firearms, our affiliate links go to sites selling firearms and components, and we eventually intend to offer firearms for sale on our site (or related sites).

    Are you aware of any Adsense-style ads that will allow firearms-related content? It seems shortsighted, but those are Google’s rules.

    • Pat interesting predicament, Lyndsy, regarding your firearms type website. I believe Yahoo has an advertising program that has similar looking ads, but I’m not exactly sure what their rules are. Keep at it though – affiliate marketing is a lot tougher to make money on than Adsense, but it only takes one sale to make up the difference that you could make in a month of Adsense, depending on the offer. Cheers!

      • Sire

        Actually Pat, I’m pretty sure Yahoo ceased the ads program some months back. I say this because I searched for them when Google disabled ads on one of my blogs because of the ‘adult’ nature which was pure crap.

        I’m currently using BidVertiser on there at the moment, but I have found another adsense type ad which is affiliated with Yahoo called Chango. I wrote about it on my blog. They’ve accepted that particular blog but the one that Google rejected seems doubtful.

  • Arthur

    Great experiment Pat, I was wondering about that myself to see if its possible to set it and forget it. You’re pulling in some nice adsense income at $150/month from starting 3 months ago.

    • Pat

      Thanks Arthur! I appreciate it!

  • Ron

    Already I’m sure this site would bring in a nice sum if you were to flip this on Given the links you have and rev already generated. Excellent.

    • Pat

      I could probably get a large sum for it now, but I’m hoping to increase the income and pagerank before any thoughts of selling it.

    • Jeremy

      Way too early to sell on Flippa. He’d be lucky to get $1,800 – $3,500.

      Pat could probably let this site sit for a year and earn $2,000 easily doing literally nothing else. Age will greatly improve/maintain search engine rankings. I have sites that haven’t been touched in 2 years (links or content) and get more traffic (and earnings) than they did in either 2008 or 2009.

      Pat could seriously up his earnings by affiliating with the CPA guys in the private educational market. I’m seeing banner ads all over the place saying stuff like “Become an FBI Agent and Make $60,000/yr” with pictures of guys decked out in cool tactical gear (to appeal to the teen/20-something male market).

      The ads go to a lead generation site where they are doing CPA leads for schools that give criminal justice degrees. These places have INSANE payouts for leads–we’re talking $20 and $40 per lead depending on the quality and the program.

  • Edwin

    Great update. Youve inspired me to go back to my niche site. Anyways currently sitting at position 11 on both Yahoo and Bing. Hopefully that goes up in the coming days.



    • Pat

      Keep it up Edwin! Follow the strategies and you’ll get onto the first page easily.

  • Fernando

    Hey Pat! I’ve done my first income report! I wanted to thank you a lot! You have helped me through this journey of self awakening.

    • Fernando

      THANKS PAT! YOU ARE THE MAN! (Sorry for the Caps I just feel that much happy)

    • Pat

      Good stuff Fernando! Thanks!

  • Ian

    Solid stuff Pat. A tip for those secondary keywords you’ve started to see some “natural rank” for because of your sites authority. Create a secondary page about those keywords interlink and go for a double listing. I see CTR above 45% with a double listing @ #1 and #2… Hope your private advertising brings you some revenue for this property.

    • Pat

      I’ve heard about the double listing, but I never knew exactly where that comes from. Can you explain in a little more detail what I should do, or maybe send me to a resource? This would be a great experiment and probably the next best step to take.

      • Ian


        There are a few steps you can take depending on how the rest of your site is behaving for the keyword in the SERP’s. I just updated an old article I had written and posted it on my blog. It will outline what to do to get things cooking…

        Something I should mention is that the old style “double listing” is sometimes showing up in the SERPS as just two regular listings, no indent. This hasn’t shown any reduction in CTR from my testing, it just looks different.

        In my opinion I think this new style of listing multiple pages from one site in the SERPS can help because to the searcher it appears as a different site in the SERPs. While before it was quite evident that the two listings were from the same site.

        • Pat

          Thanks for the post Ian – I’ll be following it step by step. I can’t wait to see what happens, and I’ll definitely give you credit if (I mean when) it happens 😉

  • Sire

    Nice to see you got those results in such a short time. I’m also very pleased to hear that Market Samurai helped you with the keyword research as I’ve only just purchased it. I’ve yet to use it as I’m waiting for some free time so I can concentrate on MS without other things interrupting my thought processes.

    • Pat

      Cool Sire – I hope you can get around to it soon! Good luck!

  • Dan

    Hey Pat,

    I have another question. Would it be advisable to use hypens for domain? Will Google devalue it? For example, if is taken, will it be advisable to take up I heard that sites with more than 2 hypens are seen as spammy…don’t know is that true?


    • Chris Green

      I guess you have to look at it from both a google point of view and a user point of view.

      One of my favourite blogs by Yaro is

      He used a hyphenated URL and he does very well from the search engines.

      • Dan

        Hey Chris!

        Thanks for your reply. Yeah…I do see some domains with hyphens and they are ranking top in Google. I guess it boils down to the content of blog and the backlinks to it.

  • Alberto

    Hey pat, congrats again!
    I’m curious about one thing how many visits/pageviews/uniquevisitors per day does your niche site have to lead to those earnings?

    • Pat

      Hey Alberto – the site averages about 160-220 visitors a day with an average of 2.87 pageviews per visitor (the stats are in the screenshot in the middle of the post). Cheers!

  • James Higgins

    Thanks for sharing Pat. This challenge is a great way for newcomers to follow along and learn how to create a business online (myself included). I think you’re inspiring a lot of people to give it a try. The approach contained within your posts serve as a great template for how to get started.

    Thanks again.

  • Chris Green

    Do you think that the company will mind that you have the site they are advertising on so talked about on this site?

  • Christina Crowe

    Amazing, Pat!

    This post will definitely motivate me to keep working on my own niche sites. Hopefully I see the same results you’ve seen soon, though my monetization strategy is a bit different from yours.

    Keep it up!


    • Chris Green

      Hi Christina, what is your monetization strategy?

      • Christina Crowe

        Hey Chris,

        I’m just going to be using different sources of income, and eventually I’ll be creating my own informational products for my niche sites.

        I’ll discuss my monetization strategy in more detail in future niche site updates on my blog if you’re interested – most likely after I post about my content strategy.


  • Bryan @ Free At Home Jobs

    I’m still working towards some number one rankings with a site that’s in a HIGHLY competitive niche. I’m #4 for my main keyword, but it will take a lot of time before I’m #1, as the site I’m up against has the 1st 3 spots for my keyword and is aged greatly, has tons of backlinks and content. In other words, I still have work to do.

    In some other niches, however, I’ve been able to slowly creep up in rankings. Your Niche Site Duel gave me some motivation to keep on trucking, since SEO can take time, but the benefits you gain are worth it in the end!

  • Mk Akan

    Pat….this is very encouraging …it gives me the balls to keep pushing on with my own projects and niche sites knowing i will soon have similar results.
    well done….

  • Joe

    “Call me stupid, but I put this to the test.”
    Stupid. :o)

  • Brad

    Thanks for this awesome series. It has been incredibly helpful. I’m anxious to use it on niche sites as well as my full-time blog. Really appreciate the transparency and detail, and anxious to see how your niche site performs long-term.

    Over the process, are there any tools you found not really worth your time, or any directories or web 2.0 sites that were better than others?

  • Marios

    Pat, I have a website with a keyword “learn film” on first spot, last time I updated was in November, 2009. My website http://www.learnfilm dot org is on top, first spot,


    • Fernando

      Wow, nice! Keep it up Marios!

    • Chris Green

      Hey Marios – do you generate much income from that site?

  • Stefan B

    Hi Pat!

    I checked your niche website in market samurai and i saw that you have a few edu backlinks. How did you get them if you can share this? :)

  • akil

    Hi Pat and everyone

    Does anyone know how to add a flash image to the home screen of simplefolio theme as I have been driving myself crazy for about 2 hours trying to read up on how to do.

  • Rob

    Hey Pat and everyone,

    I’m trying to start up a few of my own sites, using your tips and strategies. I’m very eager to get cranking, but I’ve got one problem – I can’t find any keywords through market samurai that meet the criteria Pat went over in a much earlier post. I’ve tested dozens of ideas with market samurai, and all of them are either highly competitive or have little market viability. Ha. It’s kind of frustrating.

    I’ve only been looking into things I feel are at least moderately interesting, and I don’t think I should start examining topics which I’m not into. Any suggestions for breaking through this road block?

  • Brad

    Hey Pat,

    Just wanted to drop a quick note to say thanks. My niche site, a few months old, had been stuck on page two forever. Thanks to what I learned from your niche duel posts, I’m happy to say that as of this morning it is now on page 1, number 9!!! (“advantages of vitamin d” if you’re curious)

    Thanks for the help man. Love reading your stuff.

  • Karateclick

    Hi Pat, I have been building my niche site at the same time as the duel, and I also achived first position in google in less than a 40 days. But I suddenly I was taken to third page after two weeks of not posting new content or building new backlinks. I have made a little of linkbuilding again, and reached 11th position, just trying to get my old ranking :-), I hope soon I will be again first.

    I think about some reasons why my ranking was dropped:
    – A good posting activity, one per day, is a ranking factor for Google, and when stop pinging with new content, Google says, hey!, this guy don´t deserve to be there any more.
    – It might be because of the bunch of affiliate links on the website?, in yours there are not so many.
    – I have some directory backlinks, and directories gives you many links from different pages in a very first moment, but after some time they dissapear till you just get 1 link from it.

    Just some thoughts, let’s see how it developes from now on.

    Thank you for your blog and shares.

    • Karateclick

      Ok, I´m done, 2 weeks in hell #11 or + , today again in heaven #1. With non of the new links indexed…, it seems to be thanks to this post comment link, hehe, just joking. Who understands Google?.

  • David

    Hey Pat,

    Great job! I also have Market Samurai and I noticed on your site thats at #1 of all the links you’ve built. Some high PR’s too!. The thing is when I checked the site and your link, it was no-follow. Yet Market Samurai seemed to count the link which looked like it contributed to your ranking. What’s your take on that. Do you think that the whole no-follow thing is blown out of proportion? Do no-follow links actually count towards your page rankings after all? Interesting to hear your take on this.

  • sylvia

    Hi Pat,

    Just wondering how are you making money with the job ads?

    Also how did you get the feed into your site (can’t find any info on that on the job site).

  • Steve

    Great job Pat ! great information !! thanks for the update.

  • MaxR de Maxadi

    Hi Pat !
    Not only do I feature your duel on my blog for the French readership (as you already know) but I also spent quite some time following your BL strategy blueprint for a niche site I juste created. And … it works great !!! My niche site ranked on the 5th position in just a few weeks while there are only 4 posts on the blog so far ! Quite an impressive result as far as I’m concerned !

    So thank you so much for being so transparent with your niche site duel. It definitely helps a lot of us !

    Thanks again … and have a wonderful Christmas with your little family (Gizmo included, obviously). :-)


  • Arno

    Indeed a great job! Very helpful with the information overload I’m (and probably others also) coping with.
    Do you have any “seo best practise” suggestions on multilangual websites? Is it better to separate the two languages with different websites/domains or just use one website/domain for it? My guess would be the first but I have no clue what Google might think of that.

    Thanks again for pointing us in the right direction!

  • Andy

    Hi, I just wanted to share my success using Pat’s methods described in the niche profit challenge. You can see my site by clicking on my name ( I think..) Anyway, although I started a bit late I am seeing very good results. I wanted to report a few things that I am finding out, as I put in a few wrinkles of my own.

    First, the process seems to be working. Before I did anything, I wrote 20 article topics and actually wrote 3 articles on the subject. I figured that if I could do that easily, the rest would follow. I then registered my domain on 12/8, and put the original articles on my site. Next, I submitted the spun versions of the 3 articles to the article directories and the web 2.0 properties, etc. I also submitted snippets of the articles to blog blueprint. A 700 word article can submit (7) 100 word snippets to BB.

    I also registered for article blueprint for an extra 10$ a month (which also includes link blueprint). I really like article blueprint as a option for UAW. Using the article blueprint, I then spun 2 of the articles and submitted to ~800 directories that in turn link to the ‘anchor layer’. I have also been using a tool called IMautomator to submit my social bookmarks to the indirect layer. This was much more effective that the socialmarker tool. The links are different, and I am not actually sure just how effective this is at this time. But, it only took me about 20 minutes to do this bookmarking, and I did not have to sign up for each service individually.

    I have also been working on some blog commenting and other strategies to help boost my rank. I think having a diverse approach is probably a good thing.

    As of this morning I was ranking on the second page of google. Not a bad way to start the new year…


  • David

    Did you buy the IndeedPress Plugin for your job board page? Or did you just use the IndeedAPI Plugin and modified it? Thanks in advance.

  • David


    Is there any way to spill the secret to making your job board look like yours? I got the Indeed API, but it looks hideous on my site. Thanks in advance!

    • Pat

      I just used the little javascript that indeed gave me, pasted it into a blog page and that was it. I didn’t use their API at all.

      • David

        Did I ever tell you that I love you? Cause if I didn’t…..

  • Stephen Dailey

    I have a question and I am hoping Pat or anyone else can come up with a definite answer to. I joined the Niche Site Duel a little over 3 months ago and I am learning all of this as I go. I made a mistake in my research by ignoring the fact that my keyphrase had over 300,000 competitors. So my Google Serps hover between 104 and 118. However I did find one longer tail keyphrase that gets people coming to the site which has much less competition and I believe accounts for a larger percentage of the sales I receive. I am ranked #11 for that longer tail keyphrase which obviously has less traffic. But I noticed the #2 site has only 9 backlinks and 4 short posts, but the one thing it has going for it is the exact match domain name for that longer tail keyphrase. I found the .net version was available so I bought it. My question is how can I leverage that exact match domain name with my current domain? Or do I have to build the new domain just like I built the original one? Any thoughts or suggestions? Hoping not to have to build the site up like I did with the first one.

  • t3ch

    Hi Pat, In the screenshot of adsense earning, is that some plugin you use with wordpress to pull that figure?

  • Lenia

    Hey Pat, I just read that article. Nice move with the private advertising.
    I always learn from the niche site duel. Thanks a lot :)

  • Sergio Felix

    Hey Pat,

    Those were fantastic results man and I LOLed at the 20 day without doing anything experiment, I think that was cool and not stupid because if you didn’t do it, then we would never know!

    About selling advertising, is there like some standard fee or how do you calculate value for pricing?

    Thanks in advance,

  • Clare @ Help Pay Bills

    Hey Pat just wanted to leave another note here to say thank you SO MUCH for this amazing series, it’s so refreshing to see this much detail shared all for free on a blog. I wish I had found you earlier!
    Can’t wait to read the end of this and thank you SO MUCH again! :-) Best wishes, Clare :-)

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  • Nguyễn Nguyên Vũ

    So you mean: once we get no1 on Google, we Don’t Need to use backlinks strategy as well as needless to post content frequently? (Of course we have to post something but no need as much as before). Is my though right?
    Thanks for this post. It’s awesome for me indeed.

  • juel rahman

    I analysed your niche website in market samurai and i saw that you have a
    few edu backlinks. How did you get them if you can share this?

  • asadi
  • Pingback: Niche Site Duel 006: My Backlink Strategy()

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