Playing the Google Search Game – How to Rank High in Google

Joseph ArchibaldI’m honored today to publish a guest post by Joseph Archibald of JosephArchibald.com. There are a lot of people I respect online, but I must say that Joseph is right up there at the top for me.

You may recognize him from his presence within the comment section of my post entitled The Backlinking Strategy that Works, which currently has 511 comments.

65 of those comments are his.

Why?

Because the backlinking strategy that I shared with you in my most popular post to date was inspired and modeled after his own strategy that he generously shared free to the public in his 40 Day Challenge on the Warrior Forum. He was able to rank a fairly competitive niche in the top 5 in Google within 40 days.

(For everyone’s convenience, he has also since published The 40 Day Challenge eBook, which is a lot easier to read than the 1200 posts on the Warrior Forum. Check out his sample chapter here.)

He’s taken it upon himself to be totally active here on SPI and respond to everyone’s questions and concerns about the backlinking strategy, which just shows what kind of guy he is.

Amazing.

So, I’m happy to share his latest thoughts about ranking high in Google – especially after Google’s latest algorithm changes. Here’s what the expert has to say:

You may be wondering about the future of your Google organic search rankings for any one of the following reasons:

  • Maybe you have had some of your own sites ‘hit’ by the latest of Google algorithm updates
  • Maybe you know others who have had a serious dent made to their internet marketing income due to suffering a number of web page de-rankings in Google recently
  • Or maybe you are simply concerned that if you put in a lot of effort in ranking your sites, perhaps utilizing my own strategy which Pat very nicely laid out in his post The Backlinking Strategy that Works, is there any guarantee that you will STILL achieve high rankings in Google search?

All thoroughly valid points and credible concerns!

And so, what I would like to do in this post is to try to answer some of those concerns and furthermore, make some speculations as to what may occur in the future as far as ranking in Google’s organic search goes.

I must emphasize however that this is indeed speculation on my part. Unless I were a Google employee and working within their algorithm department up there on the 25th floor or some place, there is no way to know for sure what may occur in the coming months and years with regards to which type of website or webpages will rank well, and which variety of methods will help rankings in Google’s search results. And from this point of view, please remember these are merely educated theories and presumptions. You are for sure entitled to your opinion and do please share those opinions by leaving a comment.

Okay, so what has happened recently in Google search and where are things sitting right now just after their most recent algorithm updates, which have been termed “Big Panda” by Google (named after one of their staff who came up with the gist of the latest update, apparently) and termed as “The Farmer” by many search engine optimization folks because many of them decided that Google were targeting and penalizing content farms above all else.

How to Rank High in GoogleOne thing is for sure – a lot of non-unique content has been de-ranked. After all, Google did state that rankings for “low-quality” sites such as those utilizing copied content would be given a reduction of ranking penalty. And I can vouch for that occuring myself because I had a number of my own sites deranked in Google search for infringing on this issue. Naughty, naughty Joseph!

What to do?

Have a good grumble and get it out of your system, pick up the pieces and then move along and re-focus, is what I suggest. But its not just about that. It’s also a very good chance to stand back, take a well-deserved breath of fresh air (holiday if you can), think through your whole business philosophy, and come back stronger than ever before!

BE FED UP, BUT DON’T EVER GIVE UP!

Those highly successful people in our society will tell you exactly the same.

What else has taken place besides the ‘dumping’ of a lot of non-unique content in Google search?

Well, lets get down to the nitty gritty for a bit and then focus on the bigger picture.

It appears that Squidoo has been left reasonably unaffected. You may remember or be aware of the fact that just over 2 years ago Google had a go at Squidoo lenses and many were penalized and deranked in search. But that does not appear to have happened this time around. The Squidoo management “cleaned up their act” and brought in a more stringent criteria set for those of us who utilize Squidoo to abide by.

Ezinearticles has for a long while been a darling of Google search (Google search US anyhow – they do not rank nearly as well in the likes of Google.co.uk). Hence the great successes of the interestingly termed “bum marketing method” where internet marketers simply targeted lots of lower end keyword phrases by writing articles for ezinearticles publication, and ranked those phrases highly in Google US with little to no backlinking.

Under ConstructionHowever, this time around ezinearticles have been hit bad and many ezinearticles publishers have found that their own submissions have lost rankings in Google’s search. (Ezinearticles has already introduced a new criteria for article submissions, which makes things a lot tougher than at any time previously).

Why is this so? Well, its open for tons of speculation, but there certainly could be a lot of truth in the fact that ezinearticles receives copious amounts of affiliate-type articles (articles that are targeted at selling affiliate products). There appears to be certain keyword terms that have been targeted by the recent algorithm updates as being spammy and not really the sort of content that Google would wish to have within their search index. Some of those terms are in the following niches:

  • acai berry
  • male “enhancement”
  • using PC for television
  • reverse cell phone lookup
  • how to get your ex back

You no doubt recognize most of those keyword terms/niches as being very highly targeted on the Clickbank marketplace.

Now, how about HubPages?

It very much appears that HubPages have been hit by Google also. But why so when there are not so many Hubbers intent on focusing upon such affiliate programs as those listed above for example?

Well, again – this is open to speculation and you could argue, just as Jennifer Ledbetter (the Pot Pie Girl) has very intelligently done so, that Google no longer appreciates the fact that HubPage management makes you jump through hoops before you achieve do-follow links from your Hubs. This is exactly the reason why I hit out at HubPages and discussed my reasoning for not using them in a backlinking campaign such as the Warrior Forum 40 Day Challenge. We want a relatively speedy work momentum and we don’t want to be having to jump through hoops in achieving our backlinks. Some would argue that a link from Hubs is more powerful, but this now is open to thorough deliberation.

And it appears that Google “may” have decided that the internet should not be about masses of no-follow tag insertion, but should be much more about do-follow attributes being used within our links. Again, this is open to interpretation and argument and there is no true concrete foundation in this argument.

So, with this all being said and witnessed (and grumbled about), how do we continue to progress with our own Google rankings – now and in future?

My own thoughts go along these lines.

We can continue to use article marketing (including ezinearticles.com), web 2.0 community sites, blog commenting and so forth, but we should be aware that Google are continuing to tighten up on what they define as “quality” and what they want to see within their attempts to formulate the internet with regards to organic search.

Try to put yourself in the eyes of Google here. If you “controlled” a big chunk of internet search and you were intent on out-doing your competitors by increasing the amount of searchers who use your interface (and thus vastly increase profits), how would you go about this?

If it were me, I would reduce the amount of content that is either the same or very similar from my search results. Thus if I were an affiliate marketer, I would be very wary of working with the most commonly targeted affiliate programs (Clickbank being the largest culprit here by far!).

I would be quite happy with spun content however. The spinning of quality content to make it highly unique adds value to the web on the whole. If I personally am gaining value from a certain article that I read in Go Articles for example, then I see no harm in the fact that the same topic has been introduced to lots of other article directories but that the content has been eloquently re-written. After all, I may have a preference for reading my articles in Go Articles, where someone else much prefers Article Dashboard or whatever.

I would also suggest, as previously mentioned and most of us agree to this already, that the use of non-unique content is not a good idea. Its not what Google wants to see and they have made that all the more clear in their recent routing of a whole mass of such content within their indexing system.

How about “thin” sites?

What are “thin” sites?

These are sites that do not have much content added. So for example, you would term a website with only a few pages of content as being “thin”.

My thoughts about these sites is that they can indeed add value to the internet, and thus to penalize such a site in Google search would be – well, stupid! If I read a super article on a site that has 5 pages of content, why should this site as a whole be penalized in terms of ranking? If I visited a site that had 100 pages and found nothing of any real value, then why should this site not potentially be penalized?

I rest my case.

But what about this whole thing of achieving high rankings in Google search?

My own thinking on this is that we should be more and more focusing in on the sort of stats that Google Analytics provides us with and focusing in more and more on achieving higher Alexa rankings.

Forget about the Google Page Rank thing. You will not necessarily achieve high rankings because your site’s home page is a Google PR6. You will still very possibly be outranked by a number of Google PR0′s and PR 1′s. Thus, its very wise to focus more on visitor retention, which in turn will tend to mean that your visitors read more than a single page of content upon any one visit.

Although I would say that this is not entirely necessary. After all, if you write a thoroughly engaging blog post on your site that takes the average reader 8 mintues to get through, then this its far more important for said blog visitor to read much if not all of that page, rather than fly from one page to another because they cannot find anything of value (this may be different on a large product site however).

And this then also relates to visitor returns. If your content is engaging enough or is offering good value in one way or another, then no doubt your visitors will return time and again. There are of course exceptions to the rules here – as mentioned, product related sites may not gain the same visitor retention, but they could see a very high rate of visitor returns.

And what about gaining masses of backlinks, which is supposed to prove that your site is popular and thus will gain rankings?

I would suggest to you that Google will slowly but surely be looking for more qualitative links. By that I mean that they will be assessing much more who links to your site – is the backlink coming from a site within the same broad niche to your own which also offers up quality content? I cannot imagine for the life of me that they (Google) will continue to value mass forum profile backlinks. I do not see how this proves any form of content value.

Article directory submissions and web 2.0 community type sites will continue to offer valuable backlinks also. It’s obvious to Google that we as internet marketers (over-) utilize article directory submissions and web 2.0 community pages, but I suspect that they will not penalize us for doing so, unless we enter the “mass affiliate market places” which seem to be now discriminated against by Google.

What about social “media” sites and how do they fit in with potential for ranking our own websites and blogs?

By social “media” I am indeed referring to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to name the big 3.

There is little doubt that these sites will be playing a larger and larger role within the internet as a whole, and from this point of view it’s thoroughly sensible to contemplate how we can gain higher ground by grasping onto their coat-tails in some way.

It’s obvious that using Twitter and Facebook etc. in itself can benefit your business. It’s big business building up a Facebook fan page or whatever its called these days, and if you can funnel the popularity of your fan page (or Twittering habits) to your website, then you will for sure be better off for doing so.

I think that Google (and of course Yahoo Search, Bing, Ask.com etc.) will be seeing this as a sign of true value, and thus this will help to rank your site accordingly. Google algorithms may not have the “intelligence” just yet to determine how to figure the social “media” funneled visitor flow but if they do not as yet, then they will do in future. After all, these huge social “media” sites are far too powerful a presence to simply ignore.

In summary, the key thing here is to ask yourself what YOU would do if you “owned” a large part of the internet search results, but your competition was intent on gaining ground on that ownership? What would you do to stave off your competition, and by doing so make the best return on your investments? By thinking along these lines and seeing and sensing things from Google’s perspective, you’ll be enhancing your own abilities to play the Google search game better and better by way of ranking your webpages and websites all the higher in search, and thus attracting a greater proportion of searchers to enjoy and benefit from your content.

I wish you every success!

Joseph Archibald's 40 Day Challenge eBookPat here.

I owe a lot to Joseph for showing me the ways when it comes to implementing a backlinking strategy that really does work. His 40 Day Challenge Case Study helped me achieve a #1 ranking for my very first niche site, which is currently earning an average of $30 per day, and I’ve achieved 1st page rankings for all of the niche sites I’ve attempted since then.

As a result of his generosity, and because I know first hand that the strategies in his case study work, I’m more than happy to recommend his eBook.

If you’ve benefited from Joseph’s backlinking strategy from him or myself, or if you’re just cracking into niche sites for the first time, I highly recommend picking up his 40 Day Challenge eBook. Yes – you can get that information for free on the Warrior Forum, but the thread is 1200 posts long on 24 pages (I’m not exaggerating – check it out for yourself here), and the eBook is much easier to read.

I’m sure Joseph will be around to answer any questions that you have about his guest post, his 40 Day Challenge and his eBook.

Thanks, and have a wonderful week. Cheers!

  • http://www.tacticalcashflow.com Howie

    Joseph,

    You had mentioned quality a few times in your post. It seems that, across the board, Web 2.0 platforms, directories, and even individual niche sites, were impacted as a result. Interestingly enough, the sites that were hit the hardest were those that were notorious for accepting (and, not having the quality control processes to safeguard from) the submission of spun content.

    http://www.sistrix.com/blog/985-google-farmer-update-quest-for-quality.html

    (This doesn’t look very good at all when you start plugging alot of these platforms into Alexa/Quantcast/Compete)

    My question is: What is your opinion of spinning articles/spun content?

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Howie, I’m not particularly familiar with all of those sites mentioned within the Sistrix framework, but I do see a number of sites that previously very happily accepted non-spun content (or non-unique content, if you will). Which, in part, is reason why they have been greatly penalized in Google rankings.

      I still subscribe to the viewpoint that if time and effort is put into the quality of the spun article, then there should be a place for it within the web. However, it makes more sense than ever these days to put even more effort into gaining that level of quality – be that from either spun content or non-spun but still unique content. I personally am as happy to read a quality spun article as I would be to read a freshly hand-crafted article.

      There is another angle to this however Howie. Although Google (and the other main search engines) continue to value backlinks as being the utlimate determinant of a site’s value to their searchers (not including such things as non-unique content etc.), you have to wonder – are they intent on increasing other value determinants more and more, to the point that backlinks are not quite so highly valued as they are currently? (I suspect my use of the word “value” here would have me red-flagged in ezinearticles, if its still possible to publish any articles on ezinearticles these days ;-) ).

      I’ve little doubt this will be the case, but to say exactly when it will happen – well, your guess is as good as my own. But once it does occur, then the argument for spun content against hand-crafted content as far as gaining backlinks is concerned, will no longer be such a major issue.

      Thanks Howie!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://blognegociosdinero.com Cristina

    Great post Joseph.
    I just want to say that I find extremely hard to find a product in Clickbank that I would like to sell. Most of them look so spammy, fake, low quality… But that’s just my opinion. No doubt I would stay away from it.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Cristina, haha – I just put my own eBook up on Clickbank :-)

      I take your point however – and it can be tricky to separate the good from the bad. Take a lot of the most popular Clickbank products and Google are now penalizing a lot of affiliate marketers (by deranking their webpages) if they even mention the name of said product on their own website.

      As a matter of fact, I’m intent on opening up a lot of unknown products – when I say unknown, I mean, unknown to us affiliate marketers (and that is – unknown to EVERY affiliate marketer!). It will take time to get this underway, but even now I am in talks with an online acquaintance who has some really good contacts and is willing to work side by side with me on making an (big) effort to open this up to the internet marketing world.

      The products will be mainly non-info type, such as you would find on Amazon. But if you read the stats, “hard” products outsell info products by a massive margin year on year!

      More of this to come in the weeks ahead. Exciting times ahead, I sense!

      Regards
      Joseph

      • http://blognegociosdinero.com Cristina

        Hi Joseph,
        I am not saying all products on Clickbank are bad. But the quality in general is very poor.
        Of course you can find some good items to sell and I bet your book is one of those.
        I am just begging for quality products, so I’ll keep an eye on you ;-)

        Thanks for you reply

        • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

          Haha, yes I know you are not saying that all products on CB are bad Cristina – I just like having a joke ;-)

          I started off selling my eBook as a Warrior Forum Special Offer and some folks would say that WSO’s in general are the worst for utter garbage being fed to those of us who are not yet entirely clued up to the fact that when we read something like “make 10 million dollars in one month using this push button system!”, its not going to happen quite the way the product owner is suggesting it will, lol!

          But the point here is that there are gems to be had in amongst the rubbish, and I guess that is just one aspect of the internet marketing “game” – finding those gems.

          Its my desire and intention to try and ease this part of the pathway for many internet marketers by putting my (somewhat) IM orientated brain together with others who use a different side of their brain, to come up with some real good opportunities over the months (and hopefully years) to come.

          More on that to come soon…

          Regards
          Joseph

  • http://www.youngprepro.com Onibalusi Bamidele

    This is an awesome post Joseph and it addresses most of my SEO concerns.

    It is really glad to see that most of the sites affected by the recent Google algorithm changes are sites with duplicate content as this reduces the chances of bloggers being affected. I also love and support your point about the quality of a backlink compared to its quantity as I’ve noticed this when comparing guest blogging to article marketing and some other backlinking tactics.

    Thanks so much for the great post and have a great day,
    -Onibalusi

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Onibalusi, thanks a lot for your feedback!

      I would be really glad to see that most of the sites affected by recent Goog algo changes are those with content that is not unique enough, but I was caught up in this myself, so I’m more in commiseration mode than “haha – serves you right” mode, LOL!

      But yeah, for sure – its very possible that all this algo change stuff is going to be suiting us bloggers no-end!! I’ve been witnessing a number of my own blog posts taking top spot in Google rankings within merely hours of publishing them (obviously this is for long tail keyword phrases as opposed to short tail). And when I say “hours” I mean – 4 to 5 hours!! Damn, that is fast work by Google!!

      Very interesting about what you are seeing with your own backlinking Onibalusi – this sort of thing is well worth analyzing at length!

      Regards and have a fine day yourself!

      Joseph

  • http://www.onespoonatatime.com Paul Wolfe

    Hey joseph

    Very interesting and authoritative post. From a personal viewpoint the more that Google identifies the ‘spammier’ type of sites and sites with scraped or spun content and de-indexes them or penalizes them, the better.

    The problem of course is potential collateral damage. I think Pat pointed out in an earlier post that if you run an authority type site that you’re not hit. Is that correct?

    paul

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Thanks for your feedback Paul – much appreciated!

      Yes, potential collateral damage there no doubt has been, as there will be with all Goog algo changes. I have heard and have to imagine this to be so, that a lot of those that have been penalized will re-appear in Google search at previous rankings (or there-abouts) once the major dust storms have settled. Let’s hope so – its a real shame for everyone who has been caught out for no “wrong-doing”!

      I suspect that an “authority” site will be hit just as much as a “non authority” site. But that depends on how you judge “authority”. If an authority site is made up from unique content that offers quality in terms that site visitors spend time on the site, and they also come back often (etc.) then we would have to think that this type of site is immune from the vagaries of Google’s algo changes. On the other hand, I have heard from a friend very recently that one of his “authority” sites has just been hit by Google. He reckons its not to do with site content, but is to do with a number of backlinks that he gained quite some time ago.

      Now this opens a whole new can of worms which I will briefly touch on – was it not mentioned (by Google) that Google will not penalize a site due to the type of backlinks it received? After all, if a competitor (with a somewhat devious nature) got wind of our new site competing for the same keyword phrases as he or she is competing for, what is to stop them from pointing a whole heap of spammy type backlinks to our new site, merely to get it penalized in Google?

      Hmmm… I know there has been a ton of talk about this in the past and there will continue to be, but the jury, it has to be said, is still out with regards this issue. Or so I feel, anyway.

      Thanks Paul!

      Regards
      Joseph

      • http://informationsecurityhq.com/ Mark Kelly

        Joseph,
        I agree with you 100% that Google should be concerned about potential implications of competitor sabotage if they are ranking things a certain way.
        A good lawyer could definitely spin this to anti-trust implications especially if a google owned vertical market takes over the #1 spot. Will look all too fishy and easy to spin to a jury that things are not open and fair and that damages are justified.

        • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

          Mark, I cannot help but feel its just a matter of time… How many other “wannabe” potential monopolizers have come crashing down (or at least been severly penalized) in the decades and centuries gone by, simply because they were so madly intent on controlling “everything”.

          Just a case of waiting and seeing, I would imagine…

          Regards
          Joseph

  • http://packagingcentral.co.uk/ Steven

    I still believe building backlinks through article directories and web 2.0 properties is an extremely effective method but I also think you need to offset or add to it by building quality links from related websites wherever possible.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Fully agree with this Steven! It may be that article marketing (as such) is not as effective as it once was, but I still feel it adds a lot of over-all value to a backlinking campaign.

      Thanks!

      Joseph

  • http://www.entrepreneurshipsecret.com Fisayo @ Secrets of Entrepreneurship

    WOW! You just answered some of my questions on SEO/Google’s PR. Thanks for sharing this informative/interesting post Joseph.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Pleasure is mine Fisayo, thank you for leaving a comment!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://youtube.com/dollars2inbox Jessie

    Joseph, you’ve shared some great information. After looking at the backlinking strategy post, reading your information in the Warrior Forum thread and then reading this post, I purchased your ebook. I’m really looking forward to reading it. I plan on vlogging a review once I’ve finished it.

    Pat, thanks for having Joseph. I’ve been trying to find a good forum or two to join since today is my first day making the transition from full-time freelance writer to niche blogger. I’ve been considering the Warrior Forum as the best option since I couldn’t seem to find a blogging-centric forum and the Digital Point blogging section seemed to be less about regulars. I know that Joseph is active on WF and it tells me that there’s a good quality caliber of members there.

    I always enjoy starting my day with a read at SPI. I figure it is the smart way to start taking on the Niche Blog Duel in my own efforts :-)

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Jessie, many thanks for your eBook purchase – I hope you get a lot of value from it, and sure you will!

      And thanks in advance for your vlog review – that would be really cool!

      Good luck with the transition from full-time freelance writing to niche blogging! I gotta say that I really don’t enjoy writing articles much – I did some on Warriors about a year back to help make ends meet, but I found myself chained to my laptop day and night, just to earn peanuts. However, I really enjoy keeping a blog – its great to let your imagination and excitement take over and let it all spill out on your blog. I know this kinda goes against a typical monetized blog ideology, but the way I see it is – if you have little to no fun in life, no matter how much money you make its fairly pointless.

      Best wishes Jessie!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://www.giftcertificatefactory.com tommy

    Joseph, that’s interesting to hear your views about this, but I’d like to know whether you think the “backlinking strategy that works” will keep on working in the future? It seems to me this is a way to game the system, as anybody could potentially create a useless website, spin articles about it, and watch it get to #1 rankings. If more and more people get to do this, surely google will find a way to penalize this strategy one way or another.

    What do you think?

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Tommy, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Who is to tell whether the strategy will continue to be as effective as it has been for quite some time – up till now? That is entirely up to Google, I’m afraid. And Google claim that they listen to what their searchers want (this is open to serious discussion!).

      Yes, I agree with you – you can go ahead and create a rubbish site and get it ranked in Google right at the top if Google were only focusing on backlinks. But Google themselves/itself has said that they also evaluate the “quality” of our site – navigation, time site takes to load up, visitor retention, visitor revisits, number of page views and so on. There are a number of other variables that are more and more coming into play to make this whole philosophy of ranking high in Google’s search that much more sensible, rather than merely focusing on tons and tons of backlinks (most of wich are indeed utilized in an effort to game the system – you are quite right Tommy!).

      Valid argument you make here and I am in agreement wholeheartedly!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://pennyonthefloor.com mike

    I agree with you about thin sites. If my intent is to go to the web to “buy XYZ”and I happen across a page that has 1 page of content and then a bunch of product listings for “XYZ” – well that is exactly what I was looking for.

    I’m not interested in a website with hundreds of pages of rich content that I have to sift and browse my way through to find the “buy” link…. I’m looking to buy right now, so I want a “thin” site that gets to the point and makes my shopping experience simple.

    so as we all probably agree that content is king, I also think that thin sites can serve a purpose to a certain audience.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Spot on Mike! Thin sites have their place to play within OUR internet!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://myincomelab.blogspot.com Lonnie – My Income Lab

    Hey Joseph – this is some great insight and even though they are your opinions of what is happening in the world of Google and SEO what you say makes a lot of sense.

    It will be interesting to see where the future of SEO moves. If social media does take on a larger and larger role in determining site rankings, the problem I see with it is that links on Twitter or even Facebook are fleeting. They don’t stay in one place too long, so how will Google account for it?

    As google’s algorithms get smarter and smarter and they figure out ways to make it even more challenging for sites (like niche sites – which, depending on what you are selling, aren’t necessarily ripe for community interaction) to rank well, I think PPC advertising is going to take on a larger position, which plays well for Google of course.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Lonnie, thanks for your comment!

      Yes, yes – too true – fleeting links from the likes of Twitter and Facebook etc. are adding little value. Plus, its pretty easy to dupe these sort of links too, so there is no value to be had from counting those in determining true website value to the potential searcher.

      This is a tough call for Google brains to fathom, and I can’t really be too much help here because I rarely use Twitter (other than to post a link to my recently published blog posts) or Facebook (other than to do the same as with Twitter, and to chat with friends and family).

      Good call Lonnie – niche sites are not necessarily ripe for community interaction, and thus this will be one reason why PPC will take a bigger role. Google want PPC to take a bigger role anyway as its a great money-spinner for them! Hence they are “forcing” PPC links at the top of organic search these days, and not merely content with the right-hand side AdSense ads.

      It will be interesting to see how things pan out with regards to this whole game-play!

      Thanks Lonnie!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://www.MatthewHooper.com Matthew Hooper

    It’s great to see Joseph here. He’s a real great guy and I have spoken with him at the Warrior Forum and through email. If there is anyone reading this that hasn’t bought his ebook that Pat spoke, I highly suggest you get it. Lots of good information in it.

    –Matt

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hey Matt, thanks for the glowing words of support here :-) ! Hope things are warming up a bit in Tai Pei, Taiwan! No doubt we’ll catch up with each other again soon!

      Kind regards Matt!

      Joseph

  • http://marleeward.com Marlee

    Hey Joseph!

    Great insights here! I’m definitely going to be checking out your 40 Day Challenge ebook. At the risk of sounding incredibly ignorant – I try not to worry about these issues too much. I don’t niche site work…yet, so that is probably the main reason. But as it relates to my other online businesses, I aim to master the fundamentals. I stick with the tried and true SEO factors and I focus on serving my readers. My theory is – google is trying to view content from a more human perspective – so instead of trying to get google’s attention, I feel I need to work on getting people’s attention. Which I realize is circular reasoning because how can they find you if you don’t rank, but I think the idea simply lends itself to your point about social media having a greater influence in search. Plus, if your content is good – like yours & Pat’s people will link to it. They can’t help themselves!

    Thanks for this!

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hello again Marlee, thanks for your comment and I hope business is going well for you these days!

      Oddly enough, some time ago on Tia’s (Tia Peterson) blog, I made a comment on a post written by a lady who specializes in SEO practices (her name eludes me right now). In fact, she makes a living from her SEO work for others, where I only do my SEO on an amateur basis (purely for “fun”, LOL!). Well, the point I made was that I don’t do any SEO for my blog, except for some on-page, but I don’t seek to backlink to it. She replied that with regards to her own SEO blog, she does exactly the same as I do, and chooses to utilize other methods to let people find her blog (guest posting for one, like what I’ve done here on Pat’s blog).

      And it was Tia who told me only recently that her blog is now receiving LOTS of visitors by means of long tail keyword rankings, mainly in Google, which goes hand in hand in a sense with the philosophy that writing for your site visitors is key (even though this is indeed a form of SEO).

      But yes – there can be little doubt that the power of gaining high Alexa rankings (or rather – utilizing the same or similar sets of values that Alexa do to ascertain their rankings) can help a site rank high in Google for a whole number of terms. And its easy to presume that such values will only gain more importance, more of a weighting factor in this respect as the weeks and months progress.

      Best wishes Marlee!

      Joseph

  • http://improvingbusinessresults.com Paul Serwin

    Great post Joseph. It seems like using ezinearticles is no longer an effective tool for link building. What really matters (and what Google is looking for) is quality, original content.

    • http://pennyonthefloor.com mike

      i disagree. joseph states in the post: “Article directory submissions and web 2.0 community type sites will continue to offer valuable backlinks also. ”

      the article directories as a whole were slapped, but i still believe that the backlinks will be useful. they may not provide as much weight as in the past and may not be as effective, but I don’t think they will hurt your backlinking strategy. i don’t see the big article directories going away anytime soon, so as long as you provide quality, unique content, then I think they can still be of value.

      • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

        Mike, I agree with what you say here – the article directories will continue to offer valuable backlinks (and methods to obtain visitors to our own websites) in times to come.

        Regards
        Joseph

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Paul thanks for your feedback!

      I would think that even though utlizing ezinearticles may not appear to be quite as effective in achieving strong backlinks as they have been for quite some time – for the purpose of ranking well in Google US, I would imagine that given time to sort out their flailing ship (and they are doing that with great gusto as we speak) they will regain high favour with Google in times to come.

      It would not be entirely prudent to give up on ezinearticles just yet, much as it was imprudent to give up on using Squidoo just over 2 years ago.

      Nevertheless, let’s watch and learn and the truth of the matter will reveal itself to us soon enough.

      Kind regards
      Joseph

  • http://www.danielroachblog.com Daniel Roach

    I guess this might be a case of the bad apples spoil it for the rest of us, but I have to disagree on spun content. I know this debate’s come up before, but with the new changes I think it needs closer examination. Personally I don’t disagree with spun content in theory — spreading quality should be encouraged. Problem is, most spun content is not quality. Calling it content is charitable. The same goes for Hubs, Lenses, Articles and (sorry!) Niche Sites.

    So while spinning and spreading quality might seem fine, it’s really just a case of throwing diamonds into garbage and hoping visitors can spot them, when the truth is they won’t bother looking. In my experience, and my results still demonstrate this after Panda on niche sites I haven’t touched in over a year, one awesome quality article in one place beats the pants off 10 good article spread far and wide.

    It’s because of that and the over-run-with-spam aspects of most smaller Web 2.0 and article directories that I could never recommend that type of spinning and submitting strategy. You, the quality content writer, might not be the problem but when you stand that close to spammers it can be hard (for Google particularly) not to paint you all with the same brush.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Daniel, your thoughts on this “gem” are most appreciated! The spun content dilemma will be discussed for eternity – both for and against, and you make a number of valid points.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://www.yesiamcheap.com Sandy @ yesiamcheap

    You mention web 2.0 sites and immediately all of the social media sites come to mind. How would Google even be able to build in the value of a link from one of these social media sites since but their definition, they are made of user generated content. This is really no better (worse?) than forums yet forums since count for something.

    I am moving more and more away from caring about my rank with the big G. I write content for my audience and if they like it they come back. If people stumble into me from Google then it’s the just the icing on the cake.

    But again, maybe I’m wrong.

    • http://www.itinerantentrepreneur.com/journal/ Robert Dempsey

      Great point Sandy. And, Google isn’t the only game in town. I have some great traffic coming in via PPC and organic on Bing and Yahoo. And there is more than one way to do article marketing.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Sandy, I hear you loud and clear with regards to moving away from worrying about Google rankings. And as far as my own blog is concerned, I too could care less what Google thought about it – often times I have a blast at Google practices, because the fact is that they are in this game for the money, and nothing other than that – they could care less how many feet they tread on when they penalize vast amounts of websites – all they do is replace those with vast amounts of other websites that were awaiting their turn at gaining top rankings.

      I best shut up now though. :-(

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://experimentsinpassiveincome.com Moon Hussain

    Joseph, very detailed post. Now, before I leave for the dentist: it’s funny because I have transitioned to Squidoo, observing they haven’t been Google slapped by the Panda update this time. I’m still a bit baffled by why Google thinks that mass forum profile backlinks are good… we’ll see what happens with that.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Moot, hope your trip to the dentist was painless!

      Yes, I don’t quite get that either – mass forum profile links that offer no apparent value are still being seen by Google to offer value in terms of search rankings. I cannot help but believe that this practice will not count in Google rankings for much longer, but who knows, maybe I am wrong there.

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://www.itinerantentrepreneur.com/journal/ Robert Dempsey

    Hi Joseph this is a fantastic Post. Alex Whalley and I are testing out the latest Google update in a 30-day article marketing challenge that Alex started. We both have different types of sites however at day 10 we are both seeing great results. We are using Unique Article Wizard as our spin/distribution method, and as you probably know the way that works is you have to write 3 versions of your article, and it mixes those up and then distributes. So far so good, however the long-term prospects really remain to be seen.

    Regardless, I am in full agreement that building out full, authority-style sites are the best way to go, and almost all of my niche sites are built in this manner. Google will continue, I’m sure, to force out duplicate content. So to be safe keep the content on your own site and bring the traffic to you.

    It takes me less time and brain power to do that then sit and write a freaking article 3 times, and keep doing that. Plus promotion is fun, and something many know how to do already.

    Thanks again for a fantastic post and update on this.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hey Robert, thanks for your feedback!

      Yes, I saw yours and Alex’s Unique Article Wizard testings being mentioned in one of Pat’s recent posts, and did mean to catch up with you on that, which I now will of course!

      When I used UAW back in the day, I was disappointed with early results, but as time went by, I started to see the rankings that I was always desperate to achieve (even when using UAW on its own as a backlinking tool). However, it will be fascinating to see how UAW fares these days in terms of Google rankings so I’ll be sure to keep updated on your findings! That will not happen right now however – its gone 2.30 am here in Malaysia and my pea brain is beginning to shut off :-)

      Thanks for sharing your experiment with us Robert (and Alex)!

      Kind regards
      Joseph

      • http://www.itinerantentrepreneur.com/journal/ Robert Dempsey

        Get some rest Joseph. It’s almost 2 AM here in Thailand and I should take my own advice. This post also reminded me that I should read your book (40 Day Challenge) as I purchased it from the WF a while ago. Time to jump back on that wagon.

        • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

          Hey Robert, of course – now I remember you! We swapped a number of emails back and forth a while back. Okay cool – I can now put “a face” to the UAW challenge ;-)

          I’ll catch up with you later on today Robert, just going out for some laksa for breakfast to start the day in good fashion!

          Hope things are going well for you in Thailand!

          Regards
          Joseph

  • http://www.myuniversitymoney.com Keyfound

    Hey Joseph,

    Great article, I just started up a blog and I am going to fire up a few niche websites now that I’ve read your site along with Pat’s good work and hopefully I picked my keywords correctly

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Keyfound, keywords are – well, key to success here really. If you choose the “wrong” keyword phrases then you will be doomed to fail come what may. If you choose the “right” keyword phrases so to speak, then by doing so can work wonders.

      Many a time have I myself chosen the former – but that’s all part of the “game” and its a great way to learn too – although at the time you tend to beat yourself up about it, without seeing the true benefit that its all a learning process and this is merely a part of the cycle.

      I wish you well!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://www.gainhigherground.com Rob Cornish

    Great stuff Joseph.

    After 41 comments already on this post I am a little late to the party and haven’t got much to add beyond what has already been said. However, I just wanted to say thanks for a very interesting read – it’s always great to get the thoughts of the “man himself” (i.e., you!)!

    Cheers – Rob.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Rob – better late than never! :-)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I’m happy you found this article to be of interest and hopefully of some use too. No doubt I’ll catch up with you again soon – hope all is well in “Lundun”!

      Regards!
      Joseph

  • http://www.kidsiphoneapps.net Pavel

    Thanks for a great post, Joseph!

    Reading your warrior forum thread, made me actually become a member of that forum. Thanks! What a valuable resource.

    What’s your opinion on mixing you follow and no-follow links for your sites? There seems to be a division between experts on that topic, some say no-follow don’t count, while others say that no-follow do in fact count, bring traffic and make your site look more “natural” to google.

    Thanks,

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Pavel, hope you are finding the Warriors to be a useful resource on the whole. There is a lot of “rubbish” on there, but if you sift through it there are for sure many gems to be had!

      I’m of the belief that we should be mixing do-follow and no-do-follow backlinks. And for the reason that you mentioned – it appears natural to be doing so. However, who’s to say that Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask.com don’t change their own game rules and begin to count no-do-follow as much as do-follows? That’s not for us to determine, but mixing up backlinking patterns no doubt will be beneficial in the quest of achieving long term stable rankings in search.

      Thanks Pavel!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://Coloradoblogworks.com Paul Elliot

    Joseph, I had been thinking about this long and hard since Google’s algo change. Thanks for taking the time to write this for us. I’ll definitely be hittin up your blog.

  • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

    Hey Paul, one of the reasons I decided to write this guest post for Pat’s blog (apart from a bit of an experiment I have going on my own blog about guest posting for highly “authoritarian” niche related blogs) was because I saw quite a number of questions on Pat’s other post – The Backlinking Strategy That Works! – about whether the same techniques would still work in Google after the recent algorithm changes.

    Its up to you (or anyone else) to either agree with my own thoughts or to refute them in any way you wish – after all, this post is thoroughly speculative and certainly not written in stone.

    But by writing such an article as this, it helps to get other people such as yourself to further question the “now” and the future as to where things are going – at the very least with regards to search engine algorithms, and more to the point – it allows you to question your own self and where you want to go with your own life.

    Yes, that may sound odd, but the recent changes have forced me to re-assess my own position, and whether I should wish to continue on as before, or take a different route – at least to some extent. The latter has prevailed in this instance, and there is no doubt because of that, my life will change as a result (believe that or believe that not).

    Sorry – a long reply to a short point made by yourself. That’s the way I tend to be ;-)

    Thanks Pavel!

    Regards
    Joseph

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Oops – sorry – I mean’t to say thanks Paul! :-)

  • http://www.georgekatsoudas.com George Katsoudas

    Indeed, Google is now taking more notice of sites that have many tweets and Facebook “likes.” Google lets people “vote” about which sites they want to see rank high. Which is the smart thing to do :-)

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi George, well that rules my own blog out of the equation!

      Funny how some blogs do really well with regards to Facebook likes and Tweets, while others do nothing at all. I guess it depends on the social scene the blogger is more intent on spending time with. I doubt I’ll ever be much of a Twitterer or Facebook fanatic, how about you?

      Thanks for your contribution here!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://internetstateuniversity.com Brendon Zahrndt

    Joe,

    Thanks for the informative post!

    I have taken your back linking strategy from the 40 day challenge, tweaked it slightly, and with the help of Pat (where I read about your challenge first) have gotten a fairly new niche site that I chose on a whim to #1 page 1 in Google for not one but two keywords I was targeting.

    I can’t see this strategy as ever becoming obsolete as long as the content you are linking to and from continues to add value to the end user. I knew I could add value to the site I was building so I almost knew ahead of time I could achieve the results I was looking for, at least from a ranking point of view.

    You were incredibly generous to offer up your case study over at the WF for others to benefit from.

    I happen to be one who has directly benefited from the results of your study.

    Thank you again for your generosity!

    Brendon

  • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

    Hi Brendon, thank you kindly for your feedback re your own successes using a tweaked format of the 40 day challenge!

    Does sound like you have a passion for the niche you have based your site upon, which is a very good way to really make the “best of life” in internet marketing. Personally, I’ve been guilty of grinding far too much in an effort to get ahead with my own online work. But I realize that this is less important to me now than the actual achievement of pleasure gained from what I do each day (I very recently read 4 Hour Workweek by T. Ferriss on a flight back from the UK to Malaysia – seems its having a profound affect on me, LOL!).

    I wish you continued success Brendon and thanks again for sharing your own IM experiences!

    Regards
    Joseph

  • http://www.internetincomecode.com George Tee

    Great post Joseph. For me article marketing is one of the best way to get quality backlinks. If you have good content on your website, chances are many readers will visit your site.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hey George, yes article marketing worked “back then” and article marketing continues to work well now – be that to gain backlinks to a primary site, or be that to simply drive visitors to the primary site. Perhaps in this respect, its worth checking out Robert Dempsey’s post (link above within the comments here). He’s currently doing a fairly intense Unique Article Wizard test (as is Alex Whalley). Will be interesting to study his research, particularly after these more recent Google algorithm changes.

      Kind regards
      Joseph

      • http://www.internetincomecode.com George Tee

        Hey Joseph, great to hear from you. I’ve been doing quite a lot of UAW as well, before and after the Google changes. The weight is somehow lesser compared to the past – check out this video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5xP-pTmlpY. And I find that there are something deeper that is going through with Google Algorithm right now.

        • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

          Hey George, I hear you! Will be even more interesting to see what Robert Dempsey comes up with in his study with UAW. I’ll be following along for sure!

          Regards
          Joseph

  • http://hubpages.com/profile/digitalmethod Kid

    Finally, the answer has been revealed. Google always want quality content and it is our job to provide the content. However, backlinks also is a ‘must do’ by internet marketers. The conclusion, make a quality content and build more quality backlink.

    Thanks for this post. It really helps. :)

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Kid, well here’s the thing on the backlinking side of the story…

      Never underestimate the potential for long tail rankings. And a very good example is…

      I checked up long tails that I was hoping to get rankings for with this particular post on Pat’s blog. I used Scroogle.org which tends to give a pretty reasonable and broad view of Google rankings around the globe (with a few countries being the exception here).

      Pat published this post around 24 hours ago, is that about right?

      I see this post ranking in Google for the kwd term “how to rank high in Google” at 31st. It was at 44th 12 hours ago so has gained nicely in a very short time span.

      I see this post also ranking in Google for the kwd term “playing the Google search game” at 2nd.

      Now okay, if you go find approx search volumes they will be low or nothing showing (I’m not sure as I never bother to do kwd research much these days and did not perform it for this particular post). But the point here is, see how EASY and how FAST it is to gain rankings in Google for long tails that are uncompetitive? And you really do not have to do much if any keyword research – just know your market well and write lots of content that you take pleasure from writing (or outsource if you do not enjoy the writing and can afford to do so).

      Its possible that even already there are a few backlinks to this post, which may be adding some link “juice”, but even without, the rankings were still really interesting.

      Sorry – I’m off on one, once again :-)

      Thanks for your comment, Kid!

      Joseph

  • Tom

    Two months ago I discovered a keyphrase with over 5K exact monthly searches and virtually zero competition. I built a ‘thin’ site around it but the main article was a huge resource and high quality.

    I purchased The Best Spinner and wrote a very high quality original article. I submitted spun versions to every article directory and web 2.0 site outlined in Pat’s backlinking strategy post.

    Within two weeks the site was ranking at the bottom of page one in Google for my keyphrase and I was getting 100 visitors per day.

    Two days ago I noticed in my analytics that my site had received zero visitors the previous day. I googled my keyphrase and my site was nowhere to be found and I used SEOBook’s rank checker tool which indicated my site is no longer ranking in Google for my keyphrase.

    It looks like Google has slapped my site. I just wanted to post this in case people are considering putting a bunch of time into creating a niche site with this strategy – use it at your own risk. Note, my site wasn’t in one of the spammy niches you outlined either.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Tom,
      sounds like your site is one that got caught up in all this deranking and reranking business that Google are currently imposing upon their own search. I know for a fact that a lot of sites have become caught up in this even though there is (apparently) absolutely no wrong-doing.

      Even sites that have been ranking top in Google for a long while have been deranked, for whatever reason no one truly knows. But I do also feel and have heard that a number of sites that were fairly recently hit (over the previous few months) have re-gained rankings over time, and I hope that this is indeed the case for your site!

      Regards
      Joseph

      • http://blognegociosdinero.com Cristina

        That’s something I will never understand from Google. If they derank or deindex your site for whatever reason, the least they could do would be notify you.
        If you are an ethical marketer and your site is ok at least you would have a chance to save it.

        • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

          I suspect Cristina, the only time that Google will email you is to tell you that your AdSense account is suspended or something similar. Well, okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but fact is that Google really give the impression that they simply could not care less about who gets smacked in the mouth when derankings come into play due to yet another set of algorithm changes.

          I can sense how Tom feels here – I’ve had my fair share (and more besides) of derankings, and it certainly hurts! But even if all my sites were squeeky clean and I litteraly begged Google to re-assess the situation – would they even bat one of their mighty eyelids??

          Regards
          Joseph

  • Jeremy

    So complicated. Uggh.

    1. Write quality stuff that people will actually care to read, in a niche where people spend money.

    2. Get links from relevant sites that are also quality (guest posting works, as does writing the occasional linkbait article).

    3. Intelligently monetize that traffic with ads, affiliates, your own products/services.

    All the rest is commentary to fill ebooks and seminars.

  • Beth Stowers

    Hi Joseph,

    I really appreciate reading all of this information. I, too, read your thread at the Warrior Forum and loved all the information you give there!

    I am in the process of building a huge authority website and starting a blog. I want to start driving traffic to it and will probably start a niche-appropriate lens at Squidoo.

    After that, would you start spinning content and creating backlinks? And I am still not so sure about using some of the article sites. It still takes some effort to write the articles and spin them… Would they helpful enough at this point? I read that the backlinks are still good to have; my website is big, taking lots of time and I have about 5 unique visitors a day without any traffic promotion efforts.

    Thank you again for your post and the value you give!
    Beth Stowers

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Beth, thank you kindly for your positive comments!

      If I were looking to rank for short tail kwd phrases then yes – I’d be creating backlinks from the get-go – at a sedate pace anyhow. Using article dircetories to obtain backlinks would for sure be helpful Beth, yes.

      However, by all means – if you are enjoying simply creating content for your site/s, then do continue with that “labour of love” rather than focusing on the backlink “grind”. The more “juicy” content you have for potential readers, the more readers you will get – simply by way of long tailed keyword rankings and by word of mouth from your current readers.

      Hope that helps Beth – its your call at the end of the day – backlinking or no backlinking.

      Kind regards
      Joseph

      • Beth Stowers

        Thank you for your help Joseph. :)

        • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

          Pleasure Beth!

  • http://www.balancedworklife.com Bryce Christiansen

    Thanks for the update Jim and Pat. I have benefited in my job because of the two of you. My family thanks you.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      That’s great Bryce, thanks for letting me and Pat know!

      Kind regards
      Joseph

  • http://t-shirtbedrucken.at Marc

    Great article Joseph, you and Pat are both doing a fantastic job of educating thousands of us for free and that’s what makes this ‘Internet’ thingy amazing! Hundreds might already be making money because of you both! Also anyone, literally Millions including me have the same chance of “making it” with your Ideas and tutorial like posts and I’m not just kissing butt, it’s true! You guys need way more praise for all your hard work!
    I also have a question for you both or anyone who knows the answer:
    Who’s content is ‘The Original’? Meaning if I have an Article on my niche site and someone steals it and they have a more powerful page, does that mean that I get punished or de-indexed? Also is there a way of protecting my content? If duplicate content plays an important role, how can you protect YOUR OWN content?

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      That’s very kind of you to say this Marc! Would be nice to think that everyone saw things the way you do, but alas…

      In this case, you have every right to complain that its YOUR content that has been plaguerized. A friend of mine had this happen to her recently (in fact, quite a few friends have – my mate Chris had his whole site plageurized word for word!). One moment and I’ll get a link to her blog post about that because she carried through and dealt with the scenario in a fairly text-book manner, which would most probably be very helpful for others to read about too. I’m sure Pat will not mind if I pop the link in to the blog post within this reply…

      Got it! There you go Marc… Regards, Joseph

      http://keepupwiththeweb.com/copyright-infringement-%E2%80%93-what-should-you-do-if-your-blog-post-is-stolen/

  • http://bizhax.com Keith

    Hey Joseph,

    The problem with these changes is that awesome, original, unique sites got hammered! A very close friend and client of mine (homeconstructionimprovement dot com) who has written over 900 articles himself over a 3yr period lost huge with this change. His articles are informative, educational, and helpful to that industry. I have yet to find where he went wrong…. we will keep working to get the 40% traffic drop (yes that meant a 40% revenue drop too on a site that was inching close to 6 figures per year) back, but it still sucks that innocent bystanders get shot down by this….

    Great article and glad to see people are still genuine in there quest to help others!

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Keith, damn shame that! These are the sort of issues that really piss me off – sorry about the graphic language, but I can’t think of a better way to describe this!

      I sincerely hope that Google see fit to re-work their wrong doing in this case (and many others like it – Tom from one of the above comments also!)! I can imagine how your friend feels Keith – must be utterly devastating! For me – yup, I deserved what I got and I knew it was gonna come too, and I’ve had to re-assess my whole business because of it (dare I say it, move away from Google reliance (alliance) to a greater extent!).

      It is one of the wisest business-related sayings Keith – never place all eggs in the one basket, particularly not with an online business that relies on search engine rankings very heavily. It could be too late for your friend to be realizing that now, but its most certainly a very hard lesson learned, and I do for sure commiserate with him (and everyone else who has kicked in the face like this) wholeheartedly!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://www.besttennisracketshq.com Austin

    Joseph,

    Like Pat (and countless others) I have been using your backlinking strategy and have found myself on the first page of Google for a handful of my targeted keywords within a month. Thanks for sharing with all of us!

    Austin

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      That’s great Austin – thanks for sharing your successes with us here on Pat’s blog!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://www.owenmarcus.com Owen Marcus

    Joseph,

    Thank you for your thorough post and your detail comment replies. I appreciate all your knowledge and effort.

    I have a question. For the last month I considered creating an aggregating blog that would take the posts from other top blogs on men’s issues, such as daddy bloggers and men’s development bloggers and repost their post on this blog.

    The more I read about Google’s new approach the more I think I will stick with the blogs I have. What are your suggestions?

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hello Owen, thanks for your feedback!

      There are a number of very large (“branded”) sites that continue to do very well in Google rankings for placement, but yet they are made up very much from aggregated (plaguerized??) content. Do we sniff out double standards here, I wonder? If I were you though Owen, the way Google have HAMMERED most non-unique content of recent, I would steer well clear of going anywhere near putting your original plans into action. If your site was not “whacked” in the near future, who’s to say it would not be in the months (or even years) to come (who’s to say that any site will not be penalized for whatever reason, but that’s not the point here). Which is a real shame because I have absolutely no doubt that this sort of site would serve a thoroughly valuable purpose within our web world!

      I would recommend you go ahead and write up the content yourself though Owen (if you have the time and energy). There is always a desire for fresh thoughts and perspectives from daddy bloggers – seems that mommy bloggers thoroughly dominate, so its time us guys hit back! :-)

      Best wishes with that if you do decide to participate!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • alex

    Hi Joseph,
    I just finished reading this great post and have a few concerns. I hae been following the method you and Pat have explained in detail regarding ranking highly in Google. I have been using the tools and process that Pat has recommended to some good results. My concern is that with this algorithm change it will be much harder to create a passive income stream from niche sites. I know I am not as seasoned in internet marketing as others but does this google change mean that was once took 3 months to acheive is going to take 1 year or something along those lines? Also, can those of us creating niche sites continue to see benefits by following the 40 Day Challenge. Thanks in advance!

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Alex, valid concerns for sure!

      I don’t do too much SEO right now myself, other than to follow along with the “vibes” and what is going down online. And also, keeping in touch with friends who are very hands on with SEO and regularly feedback to me progress or lack of.

      Will it be harder to create an income from passive income sites both now and in future? I can tell you that now – its as it was. As long as you stick to the guidelines in terms of what Google wish to see – you know, like utilizing unique content, watch out for over-use of affiliate links within your website posts, being aware of which niches you enter, having a good site navigation etc. then you should be just fine (although, read some of the comments just above and the “being just fine” is perhaps not entirely guaranteed where Google are concerned!). Google want to see our sites ranking well – if Google likes your site (and your backlinking strategies conform to “the norm”, providing you are backlinking), they will reward you by way of “handing” you high rankings in time.

      Its wise to be extra cautious with backlinking velocity Alex. Not too long ago, you could churn out the backlinks to a green site and potentially do well in search in a reasonably short ish space of time – competition depending of course. These day, Google will sniff out backlinking that appears to be going at a velocity they feel is not quite right. Makes some sense, after all – even though Google know full well that there are hundreds of thousands of internet marketers and SEO teams out there trying to gain top spot for everything. I’m kinda perplexed myself these days as to what Google determine as a natural backlinking velocity. But slow and sure at the start will be fine.

      But no – it does not take too long to get to where you want to go in Google rankings search these days. I have friends who are creating new sites fairly regularly and who are using the same tried and trusted methods (ofen times based on 40 day challenge idea, perhaps with a few tweaks of their own thrown in for good measure), and they are still seeing top rankings for high end search terms within a few months (3 to 5 months for search volumes of around 5k to 30k per month – again, depending on “real” competition). It does not always happen (for whatever reasons) but often these rankings are occurring fairly much as they would have done a year or more ago.

      I hope that helps to alleviate at least some of your concern Alex. You have every right to be concerned, so be sure not to keep all your eggs in the one tin!!

      Regards
      Joseph

    • http://www.seobasicsandstrategies.com Tom

      I wanted to jump in here as well. Even though the google algorithm did change… you can still rank your sites within 40-80 days without much problem (unless the competition is mid-or-high). I have a couple two page sites which I tested this out on after the algorithm change, and these are all sitting in the top 5 within 4 weeks of launch. I follow a similar pattern described in Joseph’s book (have some of my own twists added as well) but I wouldn’t worry much as long as your page SEO is themed and solid.

  • http://www.nancystringer.com Nancy Stringer

    Dear Joseph,
    I have been following a strategy which is that I pick up a Clickbank product, write a one -or two page review and do my very best to rank high on Google. I believe that this is “a thin site” strategy. I leave the site alone and I do not add anything to it. I am an affiliate marketer and very much trying to learn as I earn I am a little nervous and confused. I know Google is after “acai berries” marketers and I know there are a lot of them. I do not do much backlinking except social media.

    If I were your Clickbank affiliate and I was promoting your ebook and you know how Google attacks affiliate marketers, would you be worried for your affiliates and for yourself? But what can be done? What would be the alternative? Selling other people’s products or services is an industry on its own and I believe deserve its place. I am trying to be “a good affiliate” marketer but I struggle to understand how to do affiliate marketing so that Google and myself understand each other? In my point of view I am as unique as I can be writing my one or two page website content on my own.

    I am trying to “find shelter” on Facebook. I have a variety of fan pages. I wonder if Google still the idea that all my fan pages get regular content. I comment on news on every issue I have and actively ask other people’s comments and opinion. I actively look for a way to start a conversation on subjects that I am interested in.

    I look forward to your comments. I thank you in advance.
    Nancy

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Nancy, thank you for your comment!

      Let me do my best to try to work through each point one by one.

      Anyone else – please feel free to add your own thoughts, thank you!

      I see nothing at all wrong with your current strategy Nancy. Very many other affiliate marketers use the same methods, and there is a lot to be said for the reasons why they do. A bit like John XFactor, but I believe his methods focus mainly (if not totally) on AdSense, which is something of a different ball game to ranking for affiliate sales.

      One thing that comes to mind here. Imagine you are ‘The’ Google, right? You are utterly fixated on website backlinking velocity and ‘quality’ site content and should any website go braking any rules you will then swoop down like a mighty bird from the sky and bang – that site is history as far as ranking high within your search is concerned! So how does it look if you get near the top in the rankings and then suddenly all backlinking ceases? Currently, not a lot happens – slowly and surely your webpages kinda wither away from top ten, then from top twenty and so on. But I wonder if in future Google will see this as reason to award a “red card”, and thus penalize that sort of backlinking behaviour? This may not apply to you so much because you focus on social “media” type backlinks which will tend to keep coming regardless you are continuing to “work the system” or you are not.

      Would I be worried about my product’s affiliate marketers and myself regards to the possibility of Google “attacking” my product? If I were in certain markets at the moment, then you can bet your bottom dollar I would be worried! The markets that Google appear to be targeting attract a lot of spammy rubbish however, so for the vast majority of affiliate markets, we should be well and truly safe for a long time to come!

      I agree – selling other people’s products and services is a very important part of life, and not merely an industry. Google will not penalize us for carrying on with our life pursuits. And I would have to imagine that even those niches that Google appear to have penalized – acai berry, men’s “enhancement”, so on so forth – given time, these niches will return because the fact of the matter is – many people want them, and many people need them! There is a true need, and thus Google will have to pay heed and meet that need either sooner or later!

      In the meantime, they are intent on weeding out the rubbish, but unfortunately that also means temporarily many sites within those particular niches will be penalized.

      Using Facebook to help your primary sites is a perfectly good strategy Nancy. You have no desire to dupe the search engines, nor to dupe anyone else for that matter. As such, it would be ridiculous for Google to penalize this type of “behaviour”.

      If you are mindful of what Google are looking to achieve and how they are going about achieving it, then you will (tend to) be well on the right pathway Nancy!

      I wish you well!

      Regards
      Joseph

  • http://cashcampfire.com Christina Crowe

    Well done, Joseph! I applaud you on taking on such a difficult topic.

    You make a lot of good points here. I agree when you say that you should focus more on reader retention, specifically bounce rates and the average number of minutes a reader stays on your site. If you can get a low bounce rate and a high time average, you also know that your content is engaging and useful, which should really be what you’re aiming for.

    On a side note, I did notice that recently my main blog has been getting tons of traffic from long-tail keywords (I don’t optimize for SEO on my main blog like I do for my niche sites). A few of my niche sites that I’ve been working on are also increasing in rankings. At first, after the algorithm change, they moved down the ladder some – but now they’re ranking better than they were before, and I haven’t been working on them much at all (I’ve been focusing on other projects). So I suppose I must be doing something right. :)

    It’s also good to know that not every content farm was affected. I’m an active contributor to eHow, and eHow wasn’t affected much at all, though I did notice a slight decrease in income on a monthly basis (-$30 at the time of writing this, so it isn’t hardly as bad as I thought it would be).

    Thanks for sharing your insights and answering my questions way back when we were talking about Pat’s backlinking strategy. I’ll definitely check out your ebook for sure!

    Christina

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hey Christina, many thanks for your kind words!

      I was in the throes of writing up a reply but truth is, my brain is going “dead”.

      Best I leave it for now and I’ll get back to you a little later when I can actually write a decent sentence without having to edit it five times over :-)

      Take care!

      Joseph

      • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

        Hi Christina, many thanks for your kind words!

        Yes – engaging content is key here – be that by way of a blog post, or be that by way of a product related site that explains the pros and cons of a particular product in comparison to another (or whatever). I suspect this will become more and more important within the Google “mind”-frame, and so it should too!

        Good to hear about your own niche sites and blog Christina. Yes, blogs are great for ranking long tails – after all, a blog is typically based on a topic that the blogger is passionate about (maybe not always, but as a general rule), hence its most probably going to be full of decent to excellent content (I would imagine).

        Interesting point you make – at first, just after the most recent and large algo update, you saw many of your niche sites webpages going downards in search. But slowly they have been rising up again. I think that will be the case for many folks – probably many folks have “gone ballistic” and panicked when their webpages are no longer ranking top ten. But those webpages are slowly coming back up again – often to rest above where they were before.

        Yes, I hear that eHow has come out of this whole thing very much one of the winners. Apparently they avoid most of the spammy-gathering topics such as some of those I’ve listed above, hence they are now one of the Nouveau Google Darlings. This is also a lesson to everyone who builds their own sites no matter how small those sites are – focus on building “quality” and most of the time that quality focus will get you pay back, as long as you keep at it.

        Nice to catch up with you again Christina and hope everything continues to go in the right direction for you with regards your online business!

        Take care!

        Joseph

        • http://cashcampfire.com Christina Crowe

          Thanks for the awesome reply Joseph! I really appreciate it – and good luck with your rankings in the future!

          I can’t thank you enough for all of the help you’ve given me. I finally decided to go ahead and purchase that ebook of yours. Can’t wait to get reading!

          Christina

        • http://affordableSEOtipsandtricks.com Joseph Archibald

          Hi Christina, my pleasure! And thank you too for the eBook purchase! If you’ve any questions about that, then do be sure to email me – contact details within the eBook.

          Best wishes!
          Joseph

  • http://www.enetflixreviews.com Kenneth Ashley

    Thanks Joseph and Pat!

    You and Pat are doing a great service to us who just want to be Location Independent and live our dreams. I am only 20 years old but i figure if i start early i will be something when i hit 30 or sooner. I already have a few websites, and through your methods, i have placed well in Google.

    I am a 20 year old full-time employee, student, and construction worker for my church. If i can do it anyone can.

    Back to work!

    Kenneth Ashley

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Kenneth, this is super to hear and thanks for sharing!

      It has always been a dream of my own to also be location independent – fortunately that dream is now true – I sit on the beach every day for a couple of hours under the shade of the palm trees whilst working online. Working? How can that be termed “work”, lol! I don’t actually do that – no. Its a bit too hot here in Malaysia to do that!

      You remind me of my good friend Chris over in Texas, Kenneth. He’s 21, busy with a number of things, but desperately keen on gaining success in his online business. He’s got the focus on what he wants in life well and truly sorted out – and one of the things he most certainly does not want is a typical 9 to 5 career where he has to rely on the goodwill of his bosses to get ahead in the game, and to “have to” retires at 70 as and when he is regarded as being “too old” to continue. I adhere very much to this philosophy myself, but it took me a while longer than I would have liked to escape from it.

      I wish you every success with your websites Kenneth, and with the other aspects of your life also!

      Thanks!

      Joseph

  • http://www.entrepreneurshipsecret.com Fisayo @ Secrets of Entrepreneurship

    Hi Joseph, what do you think about the new Google tool; +1 Button? Would it actually increase both quality and quantity of Google search traffic? And how should we be preparing to use it?

  • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

    Hi Fisayo, interesting ish idea I guess. I’m not so sure Google are going to create any waves with this though – its too much akin to Facebook “Like” buttons, Tweet buttons and all the other Social bookmarking buttons that abound and will probably get lost in all that. They are certainly no re-inventing the wheel here!

    What do you think, Fisayo?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Here’s a link to a YouTube for anyone not familiar with Google +1

    http://www.google.com/+1/button/

  • http://informationsecurityhq.com/ Mark Kelly

    I had a few SEO related thoughts:
    1. Does Google favor sites that use adsense vs those that don’t if we discount for quality of content and backlinks. I am sure those factors make it difficult to know but it seems logical it may be of benefit since it makes them $$

    2. If you post a blog post in Facebook is it better to use the full url or the twitter bit.ly one or is it the same? I assume the full url would be of more seo value?

    3. Are bit.ly links via twitter easily translated by google back to the real link and what are the SEO implications?

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Mark,
      in my experience and what I have seen (and read)…

      1. Google you would expect to favour sites that are making them money, but no. I’ve seen some very big AdSense accounts getting banned for what appears the slightest of infractions, and no matter how much begging and grovelling the webmaster/webmistress does to lift the ban, Google will not budge. And I don’t see that Google actually rank AdSense type sites above other sites not supporting AdSense on a regular basis. The rankings come down to other factors, I would have to say that is apparent. I guess even if there was a whiff that Goog were favouring their “own” sites, then everyone would turn to AdSense and/or there would be a huge outcry about this being the case.

      2. I don’t use Facebook much, other than to catch up with friends and family and post up my latest blog post. But I suspect that this would be the same as with a private domain or a Squidoo lens, Hub etc. – using a keyword rich title would be beneficial for ranking purposes (and for attracting the reader in the first instance).

      3. I know for a fact that if a post you make on your site is re-tweeted often enough, it will rise up in Google search, but the re-tweet has to have the actual keyword phrase included to then gain the ranking “points” (thus the bit.ly part – it would appear anyhow – is discarded in terms of helping rankings). And this is interesting – Twitter links are rel=”nofollow”. Higher rankings can be gained dependant on the Twitter “user-authority” status. Thus, if you had 50k followers, this would mean you had more ranking “clout” than someone who had 50 followers (once again, this appears to be the case, without having much in the way of substantive evidence).

      Hope this answers your questions with some clarity.

      Regards
      Joseph

  • Pingback: SEO-Tipps für die eigene Nischen-Website | Hangout Lifestyle

  • http://www.dubai-information-site.com Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

    this is an excellent though provoking post, particularly for someone like me with a dozen niche sites that are profitable as well as a blog. to date, my experiences have showed (and i truly feel this way) that niche sites are a quicker, easier and overall better (IMO) way to generate passive income online. for example, once i set up my sites and initially market them, i essentially leave them on auto pilot. each site makes money from ads, affiliate sales, my own digital product sales, lead generation and even donations! a blog on the other hand takes a lot more work, effort, and longevity before it starts to pay off. that said, a blog definitely has the upper hand in terms of building recurring readership/long term following, establishing a community and generating quality and relevant inbound links. given changes in the search algorithms which will only continue to get more sophisticated with time, i am now reevaluating the future of my niche content websites.

    do i continue to crank them out like i have been? or do i focus on my blog? do i continue to split and spread myself between both? very interesting predicament indeed.

    do you ride the niche site waive while you can and shift over to blogging once the chum hits the fan? decisions, decisions.

    great post

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Sunil, thanks a lot for your thoughts on this – I’m sure that many people will fully appreciate and related to your predicament, and that includes me too!

      There is little I can add here – if I did it would soon become another article in itself ;-)

      Thanks for your insights, and best wishes with whichever route you decide to take with your IM business!

      Regards
      Joseph

      • http://www.dubai-information-site.com Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

        Much appreciated Joseph. Your backlink strategy has worked very well for all of my niche websites. The only different spin I put on them is the deep linking aspect to ensure content is first indexed immediately, and then gains PR and search traction. Appreciate all the insights as well and all the best.

        • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

          Cool, Sunil! Best wishes with your continuing successes!

          Joseph

  • http://www.thegasgrillreviews.com Bryan

    Hey Joseph,

    I fully understand why Google came up with their update. Even after a few months, there’s still a lot of buzz about the recent updates and how it has affected sites on the internet. I think there has been a lot of bad articles coming out from article directories even from EZA. I’ve seen some crappy articles slipped through for some reason. Lot of those articles are those that are cranked out for the sake of writing them.

    I’ve never actually used UAW. Heard a lot of people used it. But the price per month is the big thing that’s holding me back. I also read with interest about your comment on Hubpages. I’m a frequent hubber there and I’ve got some good backlinks from there to some of my niche sites. Not so sure I understood why you would recommend Squidoo over hubpages.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Bryan – I agree entirely – on EZA there is a whole mass of utter rubbish! Begs the question (in my opinion anyhow) why they make such stringent rules on this unique content thing, where they allow drivel through their publishing gates without much concern. Yes – I know that Google do insist upon unique content, but at what cost where EZA was concerned – utter crap on a fairly regular basis.

      I hear you with regards to UAW (or any other SEO type tool Bryan) and I too used to think this way. But fact is, if you are intent on ranking for even fairly lowly searched keyword phrases these days, without investing in at least one tool, by the time you get any where near to ranking top 10, you’ll probably have given up because it takes so long. You’ve got to weigh that factor in when deciding whether exependiture on good SEO type tools is worth it.

      With HubPages you have to get a certain score (according to the Hub management) to achieve the do-follow backlink that has been much more covetted in SEO terms than the no-follow backlink. I’m not a regular Hubber myself so perhaps my ability to achieve that ranking score is not nearly as good as your own, but I found it too much effort, and thus not good use of my time. With Squidoo, you get do-follow links straight off the bat, so its a far better investment of time.

      I’m not saying Hubs are not good Bryan – I am only saying that they perhaps are not the wisest way to invest our time if pursuing backlinks for an SEO campaign. Again, its only what I have found, and very possibly you are of a different mindset.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Regards
      Joseph

      • http://www.thegasgrillreviews.com Bryan

        Hey Joseph,

        Glad you clarified that one :D I know that investing into a tool these days is important. I’ve noticed that building links manually is a painful process. Would definitely want to automate that area as much as possible. What I’m also wondering is how soon will the search engines and sites like Majestic SEO recognize those links from article directories.

        • http://affordableSEOtipsandtricks.com Joseph Archibald

          Hi Bryan, no doubt they recognize these backlinks now. And I suspect that is why there is not quite the same value to be had from article backlinking now, as there was a few years ago.

          However, the argument can then be made – no matter what type of backlinks are available to improve rankings in search, there is no doubt a way to game the system – at least to some extent. Thus, where does it end?

          If folks find a way to continue to game the system, then every type of backlink will count less than before (arguably social bookmarks have been thoroughly de-valued in the past year or so). There are bound to be some types of backlink that are far more difficult to achieve like this though, and from this perspective it may be wise to begin considering what they may be. Those will be the strongest links to achieve in times to come (and no doubt they are already).

          Bryan, I remember we chatted before quite some time ago. By all means send me an email and we’ll catch up on “old times”.

          Regards
          Joseph

  • http://appsalon.com Rob

    Joseph,
    Thanks for making sense of the recent Google algorithm changes for us. My question is what remedial steps should we take if we have duplicate content floating around out there? We followed the advice of a popular “Guru” and created content for EzineArticles which we then published on our own site without spinning. Should we simply pull that content off EzineArticles until we can get it spun or rewritten? Or has the damage been done and we should just move forward from here?

  • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

    Hi Rob, ouch! I can’t think (for the life of me) why someone who claims to know what they are doing would suggest you publish the same content on both ezinearticles and your own website. Oh well, worse things happen…

    If you take the content off ezinearts the chances are good that (at the moment) you’ll never get it back on there. EZA have tightened their submission rules so much that its really tough to get articles published without busting butt.

    My suggestion here Rob would be to assess the main purpose of your site. If its to make money, then figure out which posts are potentially going to be the best performers. If those are also articles that are published on EZA, re-work those on your site so that they can rank due to their unique content. Do change the titles too.

    At least this way you will be focusing in on keeping extra tasks to the minimum, which then frees you up to get going with other tasks all the sooner.

    Its either that, or just take the posts out of EZA altogether, and sooner or later Google will re-assess their index in favour of your own website.

    Your call Rob – best wishes which ever route you take!

    Regards
    Joseph

  • http://increasingworkplaceproductivity.net Bojan

    Great philosophy behind this article. I recommend a book “What would Google do?”. It’s highly interesting read and might give you the insight into how “Google thinks”…

    I like diversification of my traffic. Google is the Rome of the traffic for now, but most of my traffic, comes from Facebook and Twitter. Followed up by serps.

    It’s about time for the shift in mind of people. Quality content is going to be king and that’s a fact.

    No more workarounds, put in effort and reap benefits.

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Bojan, thanks for your insightful comment!

      That is for sure wise – a three-pronged “attack” with regards to generating visitors to your sites.

      The use of social “media” in relation to generating visitors to our websites – this then suggests that we only build websites where we either have knowledge on the subject matter, or we are prepared to learn. Therefore, the idea about putting together a site through the use of outsourced content writing would no longer do (unless we ourselves were fairly expert in the field already, or willing to gain some level of expertise). And there is the “beauty” of SEO – you do not need to have any particular knowledge on your subject matter to produce an income.

      It would appear that Google are intent on forcing this issue – you must know your subject matter well or you don’t get the desired rankings in search. Although this is not the case as of yet – there are still many (arguably) rubbishy content sites at or near the top of search – will it be the scenario in the years to come?

      Its certainly worthy of some thinking time!

      Thanks again Bojan!

      Joseph

  • http://www.doublecurtainrodsinfo.com/ Anne @ double curtain rods

    Thanks for such very informative post! After reading your article, I was enlightened very well of the in’s and out’s of internet marketing. I’m a beginner and a neophyte in this field. I will never get tired reading your articles and updates so I can do well in this business like you. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. You are a BLESSING!!! Hope I can be like you someday…

  • http://affordableSEOtipsandtricks.com Joseph Archibald

    Hi Anne, I’m not too sure whether its Pat or me to whom you are referring – I don’t often get described as a BLESSING, but I suspect Pat does, LOL!

    Regardless, thanks for taking the time to read the article and to leave your very positive comment too!

    Regards
    Joseph

  • http://wwww.napincome.com Joshu @ Make money online Blogging

    Joseph,

    Thanks a lot for this great post. Its a iteration to the fact that we should never ignore SEO as its the root to any Internet business or website. Thanks again for the wonderful post and the intro to your blog.

    Cheers
    Josh

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Josh, thanks for your very positive feedback!

      Yes, it makes sense to perform some SEO on a website, even if it merely to focus on the on-page stuff. It is possible after all, that ranking a number of long tail keyword phrases can be enough to change our lives in terms of income.

      Thanks again Josh and I wish you well with your own business!

      Joseph

  • http://www.todayhaspower.com Rob

    Joseph,
    As usual, good information with no nonsense. The content is king rule might be coming soon, but hasn’t yet. Within the first couple of pages of Google (depending on search) there is usually a site not offering anything but the right keyword (s). I have been outranked for one of my own articles that was lifted from Ezines with no credit given. That seems a bit crazy. My strategy is to keep pumping good content while learning the SEO/linking end of things. You are helping.

    Live it LOUD!

    • http://JosephArchibald.com Joseph

      Hi Rob, thanks for your feedback!

      I believe you are referring to the exact match domain (emd) “thing”, where Google have this habit of making a huge (and very often thoroughly misjudged!!) presumption that the owner of said emd is providing exactly what most people want when they conduct a search for those specific keywords. Thus they (Google) provide instant kudos to the emd (it ranks well in Google search regardless it could be second rate content at best).

      If you are referring to this “thing” then I feel that it is a mis-placed emphasis that Google utilize here – more often than not, that is. Where its a domain based on a branded product (and the content of the site is very obviously suggesting so) then that is sensible use of the emd. Where its a domain based on general content and its obvious to every person that the domain has been purchased purely to get the auto high ranking conferred by Google, then this is a misdeed in my opinion.

      Obviously the algorithm is not yet advanced enough to tell the difference here Rob, or I have to imagine that Google would not be ranking emd’s in general nearly as well as they continue to do within their search.

      Personally I was hoping that this latest large algo update (Panda) was going to start moving away from the conferring extra brownie points on emd’s for no real reason, but it appears not to be the case. Let’s hope that the algo improves enough soon to be more capable of sorting out the wheat from the chaff!

      Regards
      Joseph

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  • http://biodegradablesoap.net todd

    Awesome job here Joseph and Pat! Say, do you somehow make sure your backlinks get indexed whether it be by a tool, bookmarking them, indexing service, etc.?

    I have built a number of “thin” or perhaps mini sites as you may label them, and did some initial backlinking to them thru various sources. Directories, web2.0, blog commenting, etc. A lot of my sites are showing that I am not getting credit for these links. Not sure what has happened because these are all established sites except for the occasional niche related blog post.
    What is the best way to check for these links?

    Also Joseph, you mentioned John and the X-factor adsense sites. Not sure, but seems as if you were hinting at possibly a different way of promoting these type of sites. Just not sure what you meant in the post.

    “A bit like John XFactor, but I believe his methods focus mainly (if not totally) on AdSense, which is something of a different ball game to ranking for affiliate sales.”

  • http://financiallyeliteblog.com Dwight Anthony

    Great article here Joseph, i’ve learned more about google updates in this posts than in some premium ebook that you’d pay for google’s way of updating it’s many ways of algorithms to make your sites harder to rank.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog

    Financial Freedom advocate

  • http://josepharchibald.com Joseph Archibald

    Hi Dwight, many thanks for the positive feedback!

    There’s no doubt it is much tougher to rank in Google now than it was merely a couple of years previously – in part due to the ever-growing amount of competition, and also due to Google’s constant “clamp-down” on SEO, both in terms of making it more tricky to game the system, and also because they are constantly impressing more ads on us, thus taking up more “SEO space”.

    Nevertheless, with some creativity, there’s no doubt we in the SEO world can still thrive, and there’s no doubt that the pickings can be very rich also.

    It generally takes a forward thinker to be highly successful in the offline world, so why should it be any different in the online world? We’ll look back in five years time or so and think to ourselves – “why didn’t I come up with that idea”, when we see someone amassing a fortune from their online endeavours. But the fact is, that “someone” could very well be ourselves, providing we develop something of a habit of thinking broadly, and not focusing continually on the “small fry”.

    All the best Dwight, and thanks again!

    Joseph

  • http://www.brockstarlife.com/ Brockstar

    Nice read. It’s scary to think that all of your hard work (backlinking, SEO, etc.) could be devalued with the blink of Google’s eye…

  • http://josepharchibald.com Joseph Archibald

    Thanks Brockstar!

    Yeah, its not at all pleasurable to see all your hard work go up in a puff of smoke with one wave of the all-powerful Google wand!

  • http://www.ivblogger.com Sheyi Shobayo

    Joseph, great post (my bad for just reading it). What I would suggest here is this, if you can offer a complete service on the backlinking strategy that works – I guess people like me will buy it (so you do all the seo work for us).

    It’s amazing that people are still asking lot of questions as regards that post which really made me know much about you too.

    Sheyi

  • http://josepharchibald.com Joseph Archibald

    Hi Sheyi, thanks for the feedback. In fact, this is Pat’s post, which is based on my “composure” if you like to put it that way.

    I am right now trialling just the service you mention Sheyi. Its not my service, but the guys who created it asked me to trial it and feedback on how it goes. Only just began the processes though, and it will take a further 4 weeks to get to where we (hopefully) wish to be going.

    Good thinking though, thanks!

    Joseph