Niche Site Duel 2.0 (research interview) – What’s Working in SEO Right Now with Alex Becker

Niche Site Duel 2.0Niche Site Duel 2.0 is right around the corner! 

For those of you who don’t know, the original Niche Site Duel (NSD) was a public challenge to create a niche website from scratch, rank it high in Google and start earning an income from it. In 73 days I was able to work my Security Guard Training website to #1 in Google, and since then the site has been earning between $1,500 and $3,500 per month with very little upkeep involved.

In total, since last month’s income report, that one website site has earned over $50,000.

The tactics for Niche Site Duel 1.0 still work today, but there’s a catch…

Several people continue to email me with success stories using my case study as a template for their own, however it’s apparent that the strategies, in particular the search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, aren’t working nearly as much as they used to. In running my own experiments, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Why?

Because Google made a lot of changes to its search algorithm since NSD 1.0: the Panda updates, the Penguin updates, the Exact Match Domain update and a slew of other mini updates. (See entire Google algorithm change history here.)

My security site has stood the test of time, but some of my other experimental websites did not.

Before I start the Niche Site Duel 2.0 challenge and create a brand new website from scratch publicly here on the blog and keep you up to date on its progress, I want to take some time to first educate myself about what’s working right now, and then decide what strategies or tactics I might use to help rank and promote my new website, in whatever niche that may be in.

Part of the time and effort you put into learning something can pay itself back several times over based on the mistakes and errors that you don’t make as a result of that eduction. That said, you still want to make sure you make decisions and then ‘GO’.

Today’s post (and video) will be the first of several where I ask an expert who seems to know what they’re doing when it comes to certain aspects of niche site development.

Then, sometime in June or July, after a few of these interviews and more research, Niche Site Duel 2.0 will be a GO.

Today’s Guest: Alex Becker of Source-Wave.com

Alex Becker has a website at Source-Wave.com where he writes and creates videos primarily about SEO Marketing. Like me, he’s very open about his strategies, which is why he has massive appeal to many people interested in SEO today.

Alex has recently been able to rank several websites, some of his own and many the websites of his clients, for rather competitive keywords and in a relatively short amount of time. This is why I was interested in having him as a guest to share what’s working for him right now.

Below you’ll see the video interview we did together.

Right Click and Save-As here to Download the Transcript of this Interview

Please be sure to read my commentary about the interview and Alex’s strategy below the video after watching.

(here’s the link to the video on YouTube)

Note: the timestamped questions below are paraphrased…

  • 00:42 – Alex, tell us a little bit about who you are, what you do and what your website is about.
  • 01:40 – Why are you on the show today, what do you have to offer us?
  • 02:56 – What should people avoid in order to get better search engine rankings or avoid getting slapped by Google?
  • 05:53 – What’s working best for the types of anchor text to use right now (on other sites linking to you)?
  • 08:04 – How are we building these links? What’s working right now (for link building) and what should we avoid?
  • 13:35 – Is it the PageRank of the page that the anchor text is on, or the PageRank of the root domain that matters?
  • 14:33 – What are these tools that you keep mentioning that you use?
  • 15:17 – Are you writing articles for those tools? Is that how they work?
  • 15:45 – Blog Networks in the past got murdered. You’re suggesting to create one of your own, aren’t you worried about that being a red flag signal to Google?
  • 19:13 – The domains that you buy for your ‘link network’ – they don’t have to be relevant to the site that you’re linking to in order for them to work in your favor?
  • 20:12 – Where would you find these sites / domains that you could add to your network?
  • 21:39 – How many of these sites do you want to shoot for for your network?
  • 21:55 – Do you need only 1 link coming from those websites to point to your main page?
  • 23:00 – What about for people who don’t have a budget and money to spend on tools and buying websites?
  • 24:06 – If your site got slapped in Google’s recent algorithm updates, can you fix it to get it back to where it should be?

Alex’s Downloadable PDFs

Below are the two PDFs that Alex mentioned he would provide in the video, just in case you’re interested in learning more about his particular strategies:

Right-click and SAVE AS to download to your computer:

My Thoughts

First of all, a big thanks to Alex from Source-Wave.com for openly sharing how he does what he does. The PDFs definitely help us understand how his strategy works in more detail.

Alex’s primary strategy of purchasing domains with existing Page Rank and then linking them back to his main site makes perfect sense, and it’s no wonder he’s able to rank highly competitive keywords in a relatively short amount of time, especially considering he’s tested these strategies several times over while working for companies that gave him the budget to do so.

Although I mentioned in the video that I would put Alex’s strategies to the test, for NSD 2.0 I’m going to reconsider that statement. I’m doing this for two reasons:

  1. Not everyone who will participate in NSD 2.0 will have a budget to buy other domains and websites to build out a private blog linking network. As the main example, the less money I can spend, the better. I don’t want people spending a ton of money on creating a network of websites if they don’t have to. Although in theory the strategy makes perfect sense and it would probably work most of the time, at least for now, in practice it’s just not possible for everyone. I’m going to continue conducting research for a more economical way to possibly get the same affect. That said, even though I’m not going to use the exact same strategies as Alex, I will definitely keep the theories behind them in mind. I still find this interview with Alex to be extremely helpful.
  2. It’s sort of “gaming the system” and not really White Hat SEO.

In regards to #2 and gaming the system and doing things that are un-natural to look natural to Google (and I know I’m probably opening up a huge can of worms here), there are a lot of points to be made.

For one, when you think about it, isn’t all SEO a way of “gaming the system”? Even guest posting, with a specific attribution link with a specific anchor text at the bottom of the post – that’s “gaming the system” too, isn’t it?

Of course, there are varying degrees of doing so, but where does one draw the line?

With Niche Site Duel 1.0, I did practice some unnatural backlinking tactics that I learned from “what was working then”, and it worked – very well.

It helped my site get to #1 in Google and as a result has helped thousands of people get started in their career as a security guard. There’s proof in the number of people who connect with employers on the job board each and every day. So, does this mean that it’s okay when the website you’re trying to rank actually helps people?

How about the links that I built – could they be considered spammy? They were created just for the purposes of linking back to something else, so in that sense, perhaps – but they weren’t bothering anybody or getting in anybody’s way, which is what spam traditionally does. Those sites and their links just take up some of the infinite space that’s available on the web. Is that bad?

There are lots of things to think about when it comes to SEO. White Hat, Gray Hat, Black Hat. What works? What doesn’t? What’s right? What’s wrong?

I know what I say, write, record and publish has a lot of influence on what people do. As a leader in this space, I want to use this opportunity and the upcoming Niche Site Duel 2.0 challenge to see if I can White Hat my way to the top of Google. Alex’s strategy, at least for most people’s standards, is not considered White Hat.

But what does White Hat mean exactly? I looked to an online dictionary to find out.

From Webopedia:

In search engine optimization (SEO) terminology, White Hat SEO refers to the usage of SEO strategies, techniques and tactics that focus on a human audience as opposed to search engines and completely follows search engine rules and policies…

Cool, human audience – I like that. But the rest of the definition is where it gets confusing again:

…For example, a Web site that is SEO optimized, yet focuses on relevancy and organic ranking is considered to be optimized using White Hat SEO practices. Some examples of White Hat SEO techniques include using keywords and keyword analysis, backlinking, link building to improve link popularity, and writing content for human readers. White Hat SEO is more frequently used by those who intend to make a long-term investment on their Web site.

Wait…backlinking and linkbuilding – White Hat? Now I’m confused again.

The truth is: some link building has to take place. Depending on the niche that you’re in, the success of your website may depend on it, but there are different ways to build links and what it could come down to is common sense – but even that differs from person to person, as we all know.

I also think it comes down to creativity. We might have to get a little creative in how we get links back to our websites, which could be a lot of fun too, especially when taking a White Hat approach. Furthermore, I feel that a White Hat approach would be more likely to stand the test of time, no matter what Google may end up deciding to do in the future with its algorithm.

To conclude, I just want you to know what’s going through my head right now as we prep for NSD 2.0. Although I don’t have a clearly defined answer for what’s right and what’s not, I’m going to approach NSD 2.0 by always remembering that I’m here to lead by example, so I’ll do my best to try and set a good one.

What’s Next

Up next for NSD 2.0, I have an interview with Spencer Haws from NichePursuits.com and creator of the popular keyword research tool, Long Tail Pro. Spencer recently got to #1 for a niche site of his own that he’s sharing publicly on his blog, and I’ll be going deep into his keyword research strategy, as well as his backlinking strategy in a podcast episode that’ll go live in a couple of weeks.

What Do You Think?

I’d love to hear from you. Whether it’s a comment on Alex’s strategy, excitement about the direction of NSD 2.0, your opinion on white hat vs. gray hat vs. black hat SEO and what’s working now, let me know what you think.

Here are a question for some direction:

What is your definition of White Hat SEO, and do you think it can compete with other SEOers who are ‘gaming the system’?

 

  • http://source-wave.com/ Alex Becker

    Thanks so much for the interview Pat. Niche site duel was how I got started in all this, its a honor to be able to give back

    @Everyone who reads this : I realize some stuff might be confusing =). If you have any questions I will be more than happy to answer and help you in the comments area

    -Becker

    • http://www.marketingyourfarm.com/ Iain

      Awesome interview Alex.

      I’ve heard of buying high pr expiring or expired domains as a way of giving your new website some link juice.

      It’s an interesting concept that can be extremely effective, but I fear that for the beginner that they will have problems with it.

      I hope that if people use this technique they proceed with a bit of caution.

      Great stuff.

  • http://www.austinwebdesignandseo.com Jeff

    Awesome stuff….Dig the blog network concept.

  • http://myjourneyto30k.com Hazli Khalim

    WOW! This is epic stuff! Been learning a lot from Becker, he is the real stuff when it comes to SEO! Awesome!

    • http://pokeflirt.com Michael Vera

      Same here bro

  • http://www.couplescookingclasseshq.com/ Seu

    Truly Amazing information as always.
    Thank you Pat, thank you Alex for sharing!

    Im about to start a series for niche sites, so i’ll be watching closely for Duel #2

    Seu

  • http://www.web1ranking.com Jane

    Great post! Appreciate how much both you and Alex Becker share about what’s working. Keep it coming!

  • Matt H

    Awesome Video! Loved the great info on back linking and anchor text variation.

  • Jon @ AuthorityWebsiteIncome

    The strategy of using other sites(built on relevant expired domains) is working well for a lot of people now. Regarding whether it’s ethical or black hat there is an easy question I ask myself…

    “is the visitor to my site from an expired domain getting their question answered or problem solved”

    301 redirecting a church website to a poker site (unethical)
    301 redirecting a failed bank URL to a stock tips website (ethical)

    That’s my take on it.

    Very excited for niche site dual #2

    • http://www.authoritywebsiteincome.com Jon Haver

      The same goes for private blog networks using expired domains… In my opinion if the site stays relevant/useful to the original purpose of the site than in my opinion it’s ethical.

  • http://www.jdmediasurge.com/ James Dreesen

    Excited for NSD 2.0!

    If you build links of any kind your in the Grey-Hat arena.

    If you build those links with software, especially straight to your money site, your a type of SEO Hat Google and their genius’ are working on every day to penalize.

  • Matthew H

    Awesome Video and great read! Loved the great info on back linking and anchor text variation.

  • Sean

    I’ve learned a LOT from Source-Wave & Alex Becker. His tutorials and blog posts have made me 10′s of thousands of dollars. Respect.

  • Dustin

    Not trying to be a buzzkill, but it’s tough to trust an “seo expert” whose site is very poorly coded, slow, and indexes repetitive non-content pages. As well as pushing products called “The 500k lifestyle” and “Autopilot”.

    Honestly, no offensive intended, but this seems better suited for The Warrior Forum.

    *Note to beginners watching this video: When the heard zigs, you need to zag.

    • http://source-wave.com/ Alex Becker

      Hey Dustin sorry you feel that way.

      I am not a coding expert (Source Wave is ghetto rigged) and I do release products online with catchy names :)

      Hopefully you will check out all the free content on the site, and get to know Source Wave a bit. I think you be pleasantly delighted

    • http://www.contentstrategyhub.com Eugene

      In general things like that set off the alarms in my mind too. But I’ve been following source-wave for a while now and it’s on a short list of blogs that I regularly read.

      I think part of Alex’s success might be coming from the fact that he focuses on SEO and rankings…rather than coding :).

      And unfortunately, even from personal experience, it often takes a catchy, hype-y name to sell a product. You should usually judge them by the contents, not the name.

      • Ryan

        seo IS coding optimization.

        seo IS site speed.

        And this guy is promoting buying links?

        What is this rubbish.

        • http://www.contentstrategyhub.com Eugene

          Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you to an extent. Mobile friendliness is coding and a factor. Site speed is certainly a factor. CSS coding is certainly a factor too. But for now, I think Google is still heavily relying on backlinks…to the point that it trumps all those other things. Will that ever change? Maybe. But I doubt their dependence on backlinks will ever really go away.

    • http://emergencysuppliesandfood.com/ RB

      I’ve been a Becker ‘follower’ for about 2-3 weeks. I’m in the 500K lifestyle program, bought a spot in Autopilot, and a member of SEO Infinitum. I consider it the best the money I have spent in my whole 8 year internet marketing career. Becker, you have a believer in me and I haven’t even gotten out of the starting gates yet. Thanks for sharing so much great info with the masses!

      Ron

  • http://LegacyWealthFactory.com John Susko

    Dustin – judge by results not your personal impression of Alex’s site. Being able to rank even a ‘crappy’ (in your opinion) site is a further proof that his stuff works.

    • Dustin

      At no point did I use the word ‘crappy’. I find it strange that you take constructive criticism of presumably someone else’s site so personally.

      • http://pokeflirt.com Michael Vera

        Why don’t you just stop talking for a while.

  • David

    Alex Becker is one of the only SEO experts I listen to. He’s honest, forthright and, foremost, he’s incredibly talented.

  • http://www.seosatori.com/ Brad

    I love how Becker cuts right through the BS – having been in the industry for over a decade now, I’ve come to understand how much BS is thrown around as fact when it comes to “SEO”… it’s quite fascinating, and a reminder to test, test, test and test some more – do your research, take info in, filter it through your own opinions, then test… find something that works and repeat until it doesn’t, while keeping it as sustainable as you possibly can – adapt, keep moving, stay ahead of the curve… otherwise you’re just sitting on your hands, waiting…

    • http://source-wave.com/ Alex Becker

      Yep, id love if SEO was all about super quality content and creating awesome! I’d be on cloud 9 actually, because I rock at both those things.

      The funny thing is though, the more testing I do, the more I see it is NOT about those things and what Google says works.

      I see empty spam sites of mine (i use JUST for testing) crush big searches, while sites with tons of quality content get de indexed.

      Source Wave is a website with tons of super quality content and pure value. While it gets a good chunk of traffic from Google its only a PR 2.

      Then I have a website that is purely copy and pasted youtube vids. It is a PR 4 and getting thousands of visitors.

      Case n point, take what anybody says (even me) about SEO at face value. Then TEST it. Only then will you know what works and what doesnt

  • http://casandracampbell.com Casandra

    First of all, great interview! Thank you Pat and Alex – I am avid readers of both of your stuff.

    I have a question that’s plagued me for a while and you might be able to help, Alex.

    I know buying high PR expired domains works consistently well, but it still surprises me. Why doesn’t Google reset the PR when a domain expires, or gets wiped clean of its content. It’s just seems so obvious.

    • http://source-wave.com/ Becker

      Ive wondered the same thing.

      I know Google reset the who is domain age and a few other things. For the most part though it is the links that determine if the PR stays.

      I expect Google might tackle this in the future, but for right now its still wide open

  • http://www.topjuicermachines.info Andy

    I have been soaking in as much of Source-Wave and Alex Beckers incredible information for a few weeks. I see the results and have been gatheriing my plan together-KW research,senuke and today PR Powershot. I just need to piece it all together. Still a little slow at finding my KW with nice searches and fuzzy about if I can host my new PR2 domains on the same shared hosting account. But I am sure those answers will surface. I dig his site and now through his FB page, I now have access to smart passive income. Looks like two guys that know whats happening and aren’t afraid to share info. Thanks

    • http://emergencysuppliesandfood.com/ Ron Blackwelder

      Re: same shared hosting account. Take a look at SEO Host to solve this problem.

  • alex

    This is a great interview, Becker’s voice is like music to my ears and his advice only second to the CEO of Google

  • http://www.martin-evans.net Martin Evans

    Great interview with Becker there. I’m a Source Wave fan and can say that everything Becker knows and publishes is of value – definitely one to watch :)

    Nice one for getting the interview with him! :)

  • http://www.encontralogratis.net Encontralo Gratis

    Hello Pat:

    I am an avid follower of Alex Becker. Your “gaming the system” is not exactly accurate. If you look at what Becker does, he actually gives Google what it wants the way that Google wants it.

    If Google is asking for things a certain way, and you then go out and give Google what it wants, is that “gaming the system?”

    Anyway, I followed some of his tactics on one of my websites, and the website went from 500 visitors per day to 2500 visitors per day in less than one month!

    All in all, thanks for posting this. And I sincerely hope you succeed in your NSD 2.0 challenge.

    • Pat Flynn

      I highly doubt that Google wants all of us to purchase expiring domains in order to affect search engine rankings. Google used to want close to 100% primary keyword anchor text, but they changed that because that wasn’t even close to being natural, as Alex said himself in the interview. Buying expiring domains (I never said ot dosen’t work, it’s obvious it does, for now), isn’t a natural to build links either. Appreciate the comment Econtraio, and congrats on your success!

      • http://www.encontralogratis.net Encontralo Gratis

        Hello Pat:

        And sorry for replying so late on your comment.

        Let’s see… say I purchase a brand new domain. I write content, build links, do the social media thing and get some great YouTube Videos up. I hope like heck I will be affecting search engine rankings with my website! Otherwise, why am I in this in the first place?

        Or I take a customer’s existing domain, and I comply with Google’s rules about onsite and offsite SEO. I would surely hope all of my efforts affect search engine rankings, why would I otherwise take on a client?

        Let’s think of an expiring domain as my customer’s domain…I am the customer now. I buy it, add content that people want, SEO according to what Google wants, and then build links, do the social and YouTube thing, etc., I would certainly hope I affect search engine rankings.

        Google wants to give the searcher the best answer to “X” query. Why is it unethical to move ahead a bit and buy an expiring domain and try to give the searcher the best answer to “X” query?

        I am by no means an SEO expert, but I do know that Google wants companies (the great and small alike) as AdWords advertisers. That’s the business model, and it seems to me that all of their efforts with furry black and white animals are to get people to go in that direction. I could be wrong, but it is my take on it.

        Lastly, I never take on two customers in the same niche, market or whatever. I believe that to be highly unethical. But Google will take your money in any niche and let you fight it out with everyone else. As long as you pay your monthly bill, you can display your ads along with thousands of others trying to do the same thing. It’s their business model, but ethics are sort of gray wouldn’t you say?

  • Nick Sanders

    Pat/ Alex, the links in the second PDF (tough) don’t work.

    • http://source-wave.com/ Alex Becker

      Hey Nick….That might of been my bad.

      Let me know what your looking for and I will link you

      • Nick

        Just thought I’d let you know. They all link to source wave anyway, don’t they? (I’ve read all of it ;-))

        • http://source-wave.com/ Alex Becker

          Yep =)

  • http://www.foreignservicetest.com Shawn

    A lot of great info here and I hope to participate in the challenge this time. It is good to see some honest, civil discussion about the techniques being used.

  • Brian

    Personally, As long as your site provides quality answers for the reader then who cares what techniques you use to rank it. A lot of pure white hat sites get hit too in google. Also there are tons of blogs with awesome content that never rank so google will never be perfect. I think becker does a good job providing the signals to get a good site to rank and he shares what works. Heck even white hat seomoz suggests certain grayhat techniques

  • http://pokeflirt.com Michael Vera

    Source-Wave!! Where’s the guitar solos?

    I’ve been reading Becker ‘s stuff since I first started high school Pat, I’m glad you got this cool guy on your site. He used to be a dating coach, but now he teaches SEO. I don’t think I would started studying blogging and social media, if it hadn’t been for Alex.

    If you guys haven’t seen his site yet, check it out: http://source-wave.com.

    I mean seriously…how many other SEO bloggers out there play guitar? So yeah guys, I can’t understand anyone like Dustin who hates on SourceWave. Alex Becker is just as transparent as Pat.

    (p.s. Pat, you inspire me a lot too! My goal is to start my own podcast interviewing YouTubers, like Phillip DeFranco, Smosh, EpicMealTime, etc. Keep doing your thing!)

    –Mike

  • http://gibsonlespaulstudio.org Luke Sousa

    I’ve wanted to get into expired domains for a while but I thought you needed to build out the site exactly like it was before (same structure, cms etc etc.) and add your content and links after. Alex, you make it sound as simple as buying the domain installing wordpress and just going freestyle from there. Is it really that easy?

  • http://www.searchandperch.com Benji Walklet

    I think the new niche site duel should maybe have rules for the type of backlinking you can do. Say: submissions to web directories that have to be original, unspun articles.

    I followed your previous NSD series and started my own niche site in July 2012. I started to follow your backlinking strategy until I realized that it might not be as effective today as it was in 2010…so I ditched it all together.

    The only backlinking I did was 1 guest post on a popular site in my niche. My site peaked at #3 in Google, but I still haven’t reached the top.

    It would be great if the next duel was as white hat as possible. I realize it may take a hell of a lot longer, but I think with search engines getting smarter and smarter, this is the next logical step…and definitely more challenging to rank through content creation alone. It would be an epic challenge! :)

    Thanks Pat!

  • http://pokeflirt.com Michael Vera

    Source Wave is one of the best sites out there to learn about Google rankings and keep up with algorithm changes.

    Every post on SourceWave usually has a video to watch, so even if you’re not the sharpest tool in the shed like Dustin up there, you can follow along easy cause Alex breaks everything down.

    Even though I’m new to SEO (I’m graduating from high school next month) I read SourceWave a lot. I like to learn about google and want to start a blogging career

    Anyway, if you’re new to source-wave here are a couple vids to get you started:

    Most Powerful Backlink of 2013 – http://goo.gl/hGk0o

    Best Link Building Blueprint of 2013 – http://goo.gl/MSUpy

    so yeah SourceWave rocks

    —Mikey

  • http://john-shea.net John Shea

    Great interview Pat, I thought it was interesting to hear about the strategies being used with blog networks and varied anchor text. If I were to make a suggestion, if you are looking to interview a master at SEO who uses mostly Black Hat strategies I would consider reaching out to Rob Fore (He ranks #2 for ‘network marketing’ 50k exact match keyword, super competitive) on his blog http://blog.robfore.com/ For White Hat, I’ve found that Aidan Booth of http://aidanbooth.com/ has some really interesting ‘White Hat’ based strategies.

  • Brian

    Do Links from Expired Domains Count with Google?

    Danny Sullivan says it won’t work. See http://searchengineland.com/do-links-from-expired-domains-count-with-google-17811
    Buying Expired Domains: Don’t Expect Credit

    “Have you picked up a domain that was once owned by someone, not through buying it directly from them but because it had expired and went back into the common pool of domains for purchase by anyone? That’s an expired domain – and chances are, the backlinks aren’t going to pass credit according to Matt’s statement.”

    Others suggest that you buy the old site directly from the owner and create a contract that says they will renew the registration, keep the WHOIS the same … so that Google doesn’t sniff it out. Then, slowly alter content and add links.

    Pat Flynn and Alex Becker in one spot …. Batman and Robin ( or the other way around) 2 great resources.

    Might it be dangerous to use expired domains to boost a client’s site and risk them getting de-indexed?

    • Jayme

      Sorry, but Danny Sullivan is misinformed…

      Expired domains 100% work. I have been a Becker follower for a long time and can tell you first hand the strategy is the absolute best I’ve ever seen for getting results. I have literally (over and over and over again) ranked brand new niche sites on the first page of Google with 5,000+ exact matches in 1 week tops that make me at least $300 per site per month, then I’m off to the next (I literally put zero new content on the site after launch…that’s how strong the backlinking strategy is). Most people would love to build 10 quick sites and make $3k per month on autopilot. I have surpassed that mark long ago and just keep churning out sites every day. I’m a grinder willing to put in the blood, sweat and tears…some may not be willing to make that sacrifice.

      Trust me guys, I had all of the apprehensions you have about this and decided to put this into action to see for myself. I can say with 100% confidence that Pat Flynn (NSD was the first thing I ever read about niche sites) and Alex Becker has allowed me to make a very nice income and quite my job. I’m not making 50-100K per month like Pat and Alex, but I’m on my way :)

    • Mike

      1. The article is 4 years old which is an eternity in the SEO world.
      2. Expired high PR domains are widely used by top SEOs around the world so just because one guy likes to write a controversial article about the subject based on opinions and not actual data to get some attention has no value imo.

      And to add to this topic, there are many ‘types’ of expired domains but many people talk about them as they are the same when they are not.

      Some examples from better to worse
      * a domain is about to expire, but godaddy picks it up and puts it to auction at its after market and the domains does not loose its created date but change owner info/name server etc
      * a domain expires but is immediately picked up by a drop catcher (Snap/Namejet etc). The creation date is often reset to a new date but the website/domain is still active from a user/googles point of view.
      * a domain expires, gets dropped and has no content for months/years and is considered dead in googles eyes and then someone decide to register it

    • http://SupremacySEO.com Travis Jamison

      1. Expired domains work perfectly. I’ve owned various PR networks for years, and they still work each and every day.

      2. Never take ANYTHING that Matt Cutts says at face-value. His main job is to prevent people from manipulating SEO. This INCLUDES using propaganda to make people avoid certain tactics. A good rule in SEO is to never follow the herd, or believe anything that you have not tested yourself.

      3. A clients site will not be deindexed. Penalties are possible, but deindexed no.

      • http://SupremacySEO.com Travis Jamison

        Also Pat,
        What is this AWESOME captcha that you have going on now?

  • http://www.makemoneywithnichesites.com/setting-your-niche-website-goals/ Adam Roseland

    Pat,
    Great post. Looking forward to NSD 2.0
    I am glad you recognized that some of the old link building methods were out of date.
    Adam

  • Sonny

    So this is the jist?

    1. I went to FreshDrop.com.
    2. Found a domain “thehotdogstand.net” with a PR 2 with a starting bid of $12. (domain name is totally irrelevant to my subject)
    3. Bid/buy that domain.
    4. Build another WordPress site using the same Blue Host account I use fore my main site.
    5. Write some BS posts around my topic/s and link back to my main site/pages.
    6. Repeat steps 1-5 another 5 times or so.
    7. Get filthy rich while watching Sponge Bob all day with the kids. :)

    • Brian

      Sonny ….. no!
      You can’t host the sites you are buying for PageRank on the IP address as your “money site.”
      You have to host them on separate servers, with a new hosting co.
      You can’t host them all together …. and you need to register them as private or under different names. If you buy 5 sites, you need to have each on it’s own IP.
      Becker recommends SEOHOST.com’s dedicated C Class packages … aout $19 a month for 5 different IPs.
      But, how soon does Google stop trusting sites hosted on this SEOHost?

      • Sonny

        WHAT! Another $20 a month for hosting, plus the $20 a month for FreshDrop.com…you’re really cutting into my Dairy Queen funds. Well I’m definitely not getting that new gym membership now.

        Well after I’m done spending money on testing equipment to produce unique, insightful, quality content for my market then I’ll get into the domain real-estate business.

        Thanks Brian!

        Thanks for name dropping tools Alex!

  • http://www.mygasfireplacerepair.com Jamison

    Pat,

    I’m so glad you are doing this. The first Niche Site Duel really helped me get into online marketing. Very Exciting

  • Hassan

    Well Pat

    Ironically enough google is trying to focus on natural sites and website builders try to rank by making their unnatural website look more natural

    So the would start tweaking changing and making it look more non-spammy that in the end of the day it really becomes a real

    my principle is that as long as when someone uses my website and benefits from it …well making money in the process is welcomed too no matter what color the hat is

    Am going to hang out for this one

    It is going to be interesting
    Be well

  • Mike

    Not sure if you plan to do this completely public in real time or not. But what I think you need to realize is that any site that you build will get a quite a lot of ‘free’ links from your readers and the ‘blogosphere’ in general plus traffic, which has affects on rankings. Your readers that want to use this case study to understand what works does not have access to this in their projects.
    If you decide to go all whitehat to show that this is possible and the way to go, I think you will create the illusion that this is a good strategy in general when for the average user it is not (since they wont get the free links, traffic and publicity that you get) and I don’t believe that is what you want with this case study.
    I don’t have an answer to how you solve this but I actually think you should think about keeping the niche and domain secret for quite a while before you reveal it (even if everyone wants to know) or do it now and write about it with 3 months time lag. I think that is the only way you will be able to create a case study that is actually meaningful and applicable to your readers and on ‘even terms’. Something to think about… What ever your decision is I look forward following the case study.

    • http://www.nickykay.com Nick Kizirnis

      I think Spencer Haws at Niche Pursuits handled that pretty well, as did Pat last time around. Of course it looks like someone came after Spencer’s site with some really spammy backlinks.

      I would be OK with being kept in the dark for a little while, as long as I could still get your thoughts and conclusions on how the process and tactics were working. :)

  • http://www.kentanphoto.com Ken Tan

    Wow! I’ve learned so much through this post! Thanks Pat and Alex! I re-watched the video twice.

  • http://www.nickykay.com Nick Kizirnis

    Thank you Pat and Alex for a great and informative interview. I’m looking forward to following the duel. Like everyone I’ve got a lot of questions, but I’ll see how things unfold. I’m eager to learn more!

  • Pete R

    Becker?
    What is your view on international domains for a private network? Like for example .fr, .de, .it etc. Given I want to rank for something general like ‘dog training’ and not ‘best dentist in houston’
    They can be easier to find and often cheaper than good quality .coms. If you set them up with English content do you think they provide good enough link juice to be worth while? Or should we just stick to com/net/org etc

    • Jayme

      You cant private register those TLDs (at least i dont think you can)…that’s the issue…outside of that, you can use them all day long…

  • Michael

    Hey Alex,

    Good job! I felt like I was in one of your Infinitum webinars!

    - Mike

  • Ryan

    This guy is complete black hat. Buying links, buying domains and putting up articles just for a link back? What is this?

    And saying he’s been marketing/seo director of large companies with big budgets, but he’s only known about SEO for 2.5 years? (conveniently, the same time his domain was registered)

    Oh man…

    • Michael

      I disagree. It’s not black hat at all. I know of several big named SEO experts that promote building your own private blog networks. One PR5 website can have a profound influence on your ranking in Google. What is the difference between putting a link on a site that YOU own (but unknown to Google), or putting it on a PR7 or PR8 Wiki site? How is that any different? You are still seeking link juice. At least this way, YOU control it and are not subject to the whims of some web site owner who can drop your links at the speed of a keystroke. Additionally, you can put about 70 or 80 links on a PR5 site pointing back to your money sites before it starts to lose any link juice. How many niche websites can you build using those links to help you move up the ranks in Google? Having a PR5 site with private domain registration, private nameservers, and on its own C class IP, and you are doing nothing but helping yourself. Remember, Google could care less about you and your success, and is not going to do anything to HELP you. All they want is you spending your money in their Adwords campaigns. Google is not Internet Marketer friendly.

  • http://www.pain-freeperiods.com k. hill

    Thanks Pat & Alex, really enjoyed this video and looking forward to following along in niche site 2.0 — need to revive my sites…lol!

    Curious though, what tools are available to help you see your existing backlink profile? (so you know where to fill in the gaps for a diverse profile)

  • Sigal

    Thank you for this post. I’ve not watched the video, yet, but I had a bad feeling when reading about buying links and spending a lot of money to rank higher fast. It just doesn’t feel right. We should be able to rank without that, and Spencer Haws’s niche site, as well as NSD 1.0 are good examples. Looking forward to learn with you as mush as possible.

    • http://emergencysuppliesandfood.com/ RB

      I don’t think anywhere in the post or video was anything mentioned about buying links. Read the article, watch the video …

  • Scott

    Pat,

    Very good interview and timely information. I’m starting a site right now. I think much of this goes back to making the internet a better place. I think SEO niche sites don’t have to be contrary to providing useful information while also creating an income stream. It seems possible to do both, as I think you are pointing out. That’s my goal. Looking forward to round 2.0.

  • [email protected]

    hi alex, quick question about the private blognetworks. if you buy them off fresh drop just before they expire, wouldn’t the pr get reset once you put in a fresh wordpress on. I would think the old sites linking to them would eventually find out, and delete those backlinks if they are completely different niches than what they originally were.. which would cause a drop in PR in those domains you bought.

    Any thoughts? Thanks

    • http://source-wave.com/ Alex Becker

      Nope, just make sure they have good links. I have huuge guides about this on Source Wave as well

      • http://emergencysuppliesandfood.com/ Ron Blackwelder

        Hey Alex,

        On that note, I stumbled across some software today, what are thoughts on this: http://www.digilinkdoctor.com/ (I am not an affiliate, this is the home site)

      • http://www.smartresidualincome.com Sachin Bille

        Hi Alex,

        I am following you on source wave since last few months and really found your information is BEST and working here in 2013. Even after digging into OMEGA guide I brought some HIGH PR domains ;-)…..now need to buy SEO HOST!!
        I do believe that if we spend some BUCK’s buying this domain we can really rock the SERP.
        Another best idea from you is ‘Looking into high competitive niche’ and doing the same thing that working there :-)
        Thank you guys!!!

  • Rivka

    Thank you ask usual for being a voice of integrity. Love your responses on the video, and that you are finding ways to add value and create successful sites without compromise. :-)

  • http://www.howtoanalyzedata.net/ Vadim

    Hi Pat, Great article as always. I agree with your assessment – if you are building a long term business (which all of us should be considering) you should focus on the “White Hat” strategies, that will be sustainable, regardless of what google decides to do with their algorithm. Excited for the refreshment of NSD-2.

    Vadim

  • http://drewcurtis.me Drew Curtis

    Thanks for sharing this video and post! Definitely some new ideas I haven’t heard before. REALLY excited for NSD 2.0 and to see what strategies you decide to use. I also appreciate you keeping the newbies in mind and not going with a strategy that costs thousands to get one website up and going. Makes starting out tough spending money like that.

    Thanks again, and can’t wait to hear your chat with Spencer. You two are really the only people who I follow consistently and trust your advice.

  • Eric

    You had me at ‘GO’, Pat! Super pumped about this as I’m about 3 months into a few different niche site attempts…2 fails and 1 to be determined. ;)

    Bottom line: you have to do SOME form of link building in order to hit #1 unless you stumbled onto the Holy Grail of keywords. (Highly unlikely) As long as the links serve a human visitor as well as the search engines, it’s all White Hat.

    Looking forward to “playing” along with NSD 2.0! Anyone want to form a subgroup of about 5 or so people that we could track progress, encourage, share ideas with?

  • http://www.wedgeim.ca/blog Mike Chrest

    Alex Becker does a fantastic job with source-wave. I follow just about everything he does. If you need help with SEO, signup to get his newsletters and look at his info its straight forward NO BS intelligent SEO help. I would say he is one the best SEO people in the business who provides all kind of great free information on SEO trends.

  • http://www.trustedsiteseller.com Ryan

    One thing that wasn’t mentioned regarding the purchasing of expired domains was how he hosts these sites. It seems common knowledge that each of these tier 1 sites need to be hosted on a separate class C IP or you risk google creating a link between all the properties.

    Maybe Alex can address this?

    • http://www.projectdebtrelief.com Mike

      Bingo. Seems like certain vital info was purposely left out….

  • Jeff Wenberg

    Do you need to use any sort of proxies for your backlinking that you’re doing with for instance the medium competition method. Since you’re getting links for various sources it may not be a big deal, just was wondering.

  • Marc

    SourceWave Rules man … Go Becker! :)

  • Samson

    Hi Pat, looking forward to this challenge. The only slight problem I have though is that a lot of traffic from this blog goes to the security guard training niche site that you built in your first niche site duel challenge back in 2010 which helps traffic and rankings considerably. It’s almost impossible to tell if that first site you built really would’ve been as successful as it is if it wasn’t linked to your blog. A lot of traffic from this blog goes to your security guard site and that’s a considerable advantage for you against your competition.

    • http://www.trustedsiteseller.com Ryan

      I don’t believe Pat linked to the security guard training site until after the site was ranking for his desired keywords. No doubt that the links that are now in place from SPI are helping the authority of the site.

      I’m sure Pat will jump in and give you the exact details.

    • Pat Flynn

      Ryan is correct – I didn’t link to the site at all before it was ranked, and hardly gave out the URL until a few months after I reached #1 in Google. I do understand where you’re coming from and may potentially not reveal the niche until after it’s on the move. We’ll have to see though because while conducting keyword research it would be weird to not reveal exactly what I’m doing.

  • http://www.onlinediamondbuyingadvice.com Liz

    I think it is a great idea to interview people for a couple of months to gain good market strategy before just diving right in. This will be a very informative duel and I look forward to seeing what others are doing.

  • Stan

    Pat (and others who talk about “white hat”)

    There is no definitive meaning of “white hat” or “black hat”. Just because someone or some company says something isn’t good doesn’t mean that it’s true.

    Lol at anyone claiming that building links is “unethical”. RIDICULOUS! Building backlinks has nothing to do with ethics, unless of course you have some kind of porn or bad site etc.

    Pat, you built your Security Guard site with what most people would call “black hat” tactics. Web 2.0′s, spun articles, blog networks, even forum profiles. Were you “unethical”? No, of course not, you didn’t hurt anyone by building links that way and it worked right? In fact, by building links that way and doing what works, you ended up helping lots of people in that industry, people who may have never seen your site had you not done that kind of link building.

    What gets me is when you (or others) talk about “white hat” link building lol. I’ve got news for you, ANY link building at all is considered not white hat but someone else’s meanings of white hat and black hat mean nothing anyway.

    Please people, stop talking about how you are doing “white hat” because if you are doing anything at all, it’s most likely NOT white hat (according to definitions you use).

    Want to rank in the search engines and help people? Build links, forget about black hat, white hat, purple hat terms that there is no universal definition for, create a great website for your visitors, and work hard. Building a blog network is a great way to go as is buying links. Just about every top 3 business for any keyword that matters does that kind of stuff and there is nothing at all wrong with it.

    Buying a link or creating a blog network is no different than paying for PPC or to compare it to the offline world, advertising in the newspaper. That’s certainly not “black hat”.

    Rant/off.

    • Pat Flynn

      Great comment Stan! Thanks for being real. I wonder what purple hat tactics would look like ;)

      • http://www.seosatori.com/ Brad

        Amen!

    • http:///www.skinfabulous.org Evelyn

      Stan, I agree with your ‘rant’…lol. If you don’t do what you need to do to get ranked, you’re stuck in the back 40 forever. That doesn’t do anybody any good.
      I only see everyone worried about SEO tactics because they’re worried about getting slapped down and all that hard, expensive work goes with it.
      It’s like anything else (think sports or business), if you want to be in the game, you have to play the game the way it’s played. If you don’t want to do that you’re just watching from the sidelines.

    • http://perfeczion.com/ isaac

      Pat i agree with Stand, at this time it is difficult to build a succesful blog simply writing good content.

      You have 2 , YOU HAVE 2 , build links .

    • http://www.talknbusiness.com Nathan Hartnett

      Hi Stan, we hereby award you the “Best Comment On The Reality Of SEO” Award for 2013.

  • http://wordpressexamples.com Jacobus

    Alex Becker is awesome and he knows his business and I love his Under Dog product. That is another one you can check it out. Love his stuff. Thanks for this interview Pat!

  • http://privateinvestigatoradvicehq.com Andrew

    This strategy is something I first heard about on a podcast from Spencer. Seems very black hat because the websites back linking to main website will likely not provide any value.

    Guest posting, commenting and article writing can provide value.

  • http://www.nichewebsite101.com Pandita

    Yeah! I”m so looking forward to this, wonderful idea & perfect timing. With so many voices in the mix knowing what actually works is so hard, especially for those of us who are new to SEO. Thank you, you are awesome!

  • http://seoworkout.com. stuart

    awesome stuff Pat & Becker.

    I’ve been reading you guys for a long time, and I agree ethics would have to hurt someone. Googles propaganda machine has been working overtime here.
    I think we just need to understand the boundaries of what we do where and look at it logically.
    keep testing and updating us guys, love it…. can’t wait for the duel.
    Stu

  • Nichole Joubert

    1st I want to say “Thanks Pat!” for doing Niche Site Duel 2.0. I missed the first one and in as I’ve been reading you blog for over a year I am just entering the blog business myself. It will be very exciting to see how you’re able to pull off the same success in this new Google environment. I’ve been watching the industry change and trying to make sure I stay right on top of things as they evolve so I could be ready when it was my time to strike. What I am noticing again and again, is that Google keeps refining their updates to nix out anything that doesn’t include good old basic great content and what naturally comes from that. Instead waiting for the next seemingly “white hat” tactic to suddenly become “black hat” I’ve decided to buckle down and do things the long way from scratch. I found “How to Start a Blog That Matters” in one of your post and have signed up for the 13 week course. Corbett seems to share a very similar belief system in hard work, creativity and planning being the only tools you ever need to get to the top in your industry. Although this way doesn’t come with a “Get to the number 1 spot of Google in 60 days” formula, it does create a high entry barrier to some that will just by the amount of sheer work alone, make them quit when the going gets tough or keep them out all together. Not saying I’m happy about anyone giving up on their dreams but it will become a proving ground for those who are willing to do the work and see it through, thus allowing the cream to rise to the top.

  • http://www.homelearningexperience.com/how-to-see-results-sooner-make-an-effective-plan-to-improve-efficiency/ Sibo

    Hey Pat,

    This is a very well written post. I love the information you and Alex shared about backlinking strategy. I read your NSD 1.0 twice very carefully and applied some article marketing strategy into my site in year 2012. I regret that I missed the chance to rank a niche site to #1 position of Google, so I am always up to this challenge again. Now it’s coming! I can’t wait to learn with you along your journey.

    For the discussion about White Hat SEO, I am quite passive. We are all game players, so none of us make the game rule in the search engine world. Google does. Therefore in my opinion, I will do whatever favors Google to rank me higher.

    If one day, my business can make the game rule in the world, I will change the rule to the way I want. :)

  • http://onlineaffiliatemarketing101.blogspot.com MsDsMiller

    Hello Pat,

    Great interview and great content from both of you guys. I think you are taking the best approach with NSD 2.0 by choosing to focus on ‘using good judgement in your approach to SEO and link building in particular’. This will no doubt be helping a lot of others learn how to create a profitable website in today’s online environment, keep up the good work.

  • http://medicalfinancingreceivables.co Ben Rutkevitz

    Pat, great post. I am very excited about Niche Site Duel 2.0. One of the best things about your approach is that you are an open book and let us in to learn alongside with you. Awesome!

  • http://www.Skills2Lead.com José Luis

    Hi Pat,

    Thank you VERY much for sharing SO much …
    I am really looking forward to Niche Site Duel 2.0
    I have no words to express my gratitude :-)

    Muchas gracias again.
    All the best …

  • http://www.cloudlivingjourney.com Tung

    Hi Pat,

    I think there’s no white hat or black hat. just what works and what doesn’t

    I’ve been following Source-Wave for months and I’ve put his stuff into testing and it worked. very well.

    But in fact not many people can afford $30-$150 for a high pr domain so I agree with you this strategy would not be suiltable for anyone.

    So I highly recommend you check out the “tiered link building” strategy. It basically is about building links using the “old school” way like: web 2.0, social bookmark, wiki, article directory, etc…

    Check out this tutorial: http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/the-ultimate-guide-to-tiered-link-building-part-1/

    Using that strategy (I outsource it), I have been able to rank my niche site on #1 of Google in 38 days. Of course the large contribution is my solid keyword research using Long Tail Pro.

    Here is the link if you don’t mind : http://www.cloudlivingjourney.com/how-i-built-a-niche-site-that-rank-1-and-made-93-32-in-38-days/

    My 2 cents!

    I’m looking forward to your duel as I missed the first duel :D
    Tung

  • Steve A

    +1 for Becker!

    Thanks to using becker’s keyword research tactics I registered an EMD.biz domain in Jan and ranked it #1 within 1-2 weeks on a 30,000 per month exact match search. It’s been there ever since and is now getting 70,000 uniques per month factoring in long tail and secondary pages.

    He definitely knows his stuff :)

  • Miranda

    Hi Pat,

    Thank you so much for creating this site, your brilliant podcast and for launching NSD 2.0!! You are changing my world.

    About 3 months ago I read Tim Ferris’s 4 Hour Work Week and then I found your site shortly after. You have made me see that doing something to help others and controlling your life and income is possible.

    I have launched my first niche site and I am following the steps of NSD 1.0. So far so good – and more importantly I am loving the ride.

    I think your strategy is White Hat – because I think White Hat is about providing value to the human with epic and relevant content so that when the human finds your site they become part of your tribe. I think it will also stand the test of time because, in the end, Google’s purpose is it bring value to it’s human users.

    Thanks for the amazing content Pat!! Let us know how we can register for NSD 2.0

  • http://streamlineinvestingaustralia.blogspot.com.au/ Lenny

    Hi Pat,

    This is awesome! I will be following your next few posts on this with great expectation. Thanks again.

  • http://cubiclebliss.com Bob Bessette

    Hi Pat,
    You know what I really like about your interviews? You ask the basic questions that all of us want to ask even if the person you are interviewing is a fast talker as Alex certainly is (but substantive for sure!). This was a very interesting interview and I wonder if we all have 4-5 websites of our own, could we initiate the #1 strategy that Alex alluded to if it worked for each site? I’m thinking that it could but I’m always leery about linking to other sites I own that also use Adsense.

    Best,
    Bob

  • Welby

    Pat.

    Question, are you competing with someone for the Niche Site Duel Part 2? If I recall Tyrone Shum was the original person you challenged to the dual. Is your goal to have another challenge with him or someone else? Or are you just mapping out how to build a niche site again?

    Thanks

    Welby

  • http://www.salesproblog.com/ Johnny Bravo

    Wow, that video was awesome. Thanks Pat for hosting this video, and Alex for the great tips. I have been working hard to “refigure out” SEO and back linking. i’ll definitely be trying these out. Looking forward to the Niche Site Duel 2.0 too.

  • http://smartsportsbetting.com Jerry

    Very informative post Pat and some awesome comments too!

    I concur with Stan’s take. We all seem to be conditioned to draw that arbitrary line between black and white, good and bad, right and wrong and ethical and unethical.

    The slope gets to be extremely slippery as everyone is drawing that line at a different place.

    Google’s stance is that the ideal backlink should be coming unsolicited from a relevant site just because that site has stumbled upon our stellar content, loved it so much that they couldn’t help but link back to us.

    Of course that does happen sometimes but it would take a hell of a long time to get a few quality backlinks in such a natural fashion like this.

    Enter SEO to speed the process up a bit.

    This is NOT about morality, ethics or black and white. The simple truth of the matter is we all get to decide on how we want to play the SEO game. There are always some type of consequences to everything we do.

    Guys like Alex Becker are risk takers and reap the rewards…. always accepting the fact that there may be consequences.

    Getting a quality backlink without “gaming” the system seems to be a straight forward process to me. Just spend a day creating a killer article and then go to work getting it posted as a guest on a relevant site with a high PR.

    This method would require building a relationship with the owner of the site and would take some time and effort but would result in a very high quality link.

    Thanks again for the great interview Pat! Really looking forward to NSD 2.0

  • http://www.kentanphoto.com Ken Tan

    What an amazing USEFUL video, Pat!!! Thank you so much for sharing all these information with all of us! So appreciate it!

  • http://gplus.to/ryancruz Ryan Cruz

    I’m excited to for this Pat.

    But if you are going to publicly reveal the website before it ranks, then it would build popularity and (links) since people would take about it, just like with Security Guard Training HQ?

    I think if you can reveal the niche site 2.0 later when the site ranks, then that would be a better gauge if the strategies you are doing are working.

    For example, by simply mentioning the URL of the new niche site here in Smart passive income provides a lot of link juice to the new site which will help it rank.

    What do you think?

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116971544436746679814 Yassin Madwin

    I’ve been a follower of Source wave long ago and he’s right. I’ve tested it and it works but i developed a better strategy. a Cheaper strategy which get me first rankings in 3 days max. 4 weeks for medium competitive words.

    it costs me 400$/year to rank a money keyword.

    of course i won’t share such marvel on a comment but you have to do SEO the mathematics way not the experimenting way because you can blind test a backlink strategy which may work but when it will get hit by Google you’ll get lost again.

  • http://www.majesticwallart.com Bryan

    I am glad that you are doing another NSD.

    I followed the first own like crazy; however, wasn’t able to create a website that made it. I am hoping that this time around I will get more information and be able to make a go of it.

    Please keep the great information coming!

    Bryan

  • Matt Stack

    Source-wave is the best seo resource I’ve come across to date, I’ll watch anything with Becker’s name it.

  • http://www.lifeinthedoglane.com Adam and Danielle

    We’re super excited about NSD 2.0, Pat, and we really like your approach of building up to the challenge with a series of interviews about current, leading practices in niche site development. We’re looking forward to this series to help us improve our current site, as well as to develop a new idea we’ve got in mind.

    Ever studied any martial arts, Pat? You’re like an online passive income Sensei to a lot of dedicated students here. Domo arigato.

    As for hats, we’d simply like to say “hat’s off” to everyone who plans on participating in NSD 2.0 – we can’t wait to learn about the strategies everyone uses and what the final products look like. We’re looking forward to lots of personal learning over the coming months! Cheers!

  • Wendy

    I think these techniques will work well for those comfortable with operating in the “gray area.” Looking forward to seeing if perceived White Hat techniques will work in NSD 2.0! Thanks, Pat, for bringing us more valuable insights.

  • Roxy

    Thank you for considering people with a budget as I am one of them. As I was listening to his strategy, I made a quick decision to not follow NSD 2.0 since his strategy sounded complicated and expensive. No sense in wasting time.

    I had purchased Spencer’s niche site instruction and decided to stick with this as he made it very simple and affordable.

    My recommendation would be to stick with a similar format for us beginners who might be a bigger part of your audience than you think.

    • Sonny

      Roxy,

      I believe Pat mentioned he wouldn’t make this tactic a priority in NSD 2.0. So it would still be good to follow along.

  • Rob

    Hey Pat,
    I recently found your blog an have been enamored ever since. I read all of the original niche site duel posts and have been brainstorming since as well as listening to all the podcasts. I’m really looking forward to Niche Site Duel 2.0. I’m going to participate! Thanks for all you do.
    Rob

  • http://ianrobinson.net Ian Robisnon

    I was doing link networks at my old job and I can testify that they work wonders for SERPS rankings.

    At the same time, I don’t anticipate they will forever remain valuable. Actually, I expect that with time, google will find a way to devalue the link networks. I’m guessing Google will identify those PR websites that have a shift in their content with ownership and realize the sites are full of spun junk.

    I’m happy to hear that you’re going the White Hat, non-junky approach. YOU ROCK PAT FLYNN!

    :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/dreamjobguy Alex

    Pat,

    Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to following along here!

    Thanks,
    -Alex

  • http://sportness.net conie k

    I can create a site but would normally takes long to rank it as a result it usually takes me ages to make serious money from it. some of the strategies that seo marketers applies are a bit extreme or confusing to some of us who are just writers.

  • Eric Martinson

    Hi Pat,

    I think you are absolutely correct to point out the confusing nature of W/G/B Hat SEO. Can there really be such a thing as WH SEO if the definition of G/BH is doing anything with the intent of increasing ranking?

    If the 1-3 spots on page one are all that matter, do “the end justiies the means” and “do whatever it takes” or we may go out of business become the overwhelming mantras…not really out of a sense of greed, foul play or evil…just pure survival?

    At the end of the day, the only people who care about keeping the rules and playing fair are the ones that hunt you down by calling and texting everyone in the phone you lost to make sure they can connect with you give you back ; go back to the store to pay extra when they realize the cashier missed an item; and, in a sincere desire to be transparent, regularly post their income reports online for the world to see. :)

    I think it’s great how you are still so focused on the new person starting out online and what they are going through.

    Keep up the great work and I look forward to the challenge!
    -Eric

  • http://www.nichesitetool.com Chris

    Looking forward to the results from NSD 2.0 and interested in playing along as well. I think there really is a gray area (pun intended) when it comes to white hat vs darker shades of hats. Like you mentioned, you really do have to do some link building if you want to bring in search traffic in any sort of timely manner and some methods are more ‘widely accepted’ perhaps, but there is a lot of subjectivity. Bring on version 2.0!

  • http://www.lendingmemo.com Simon Cunningham

    The fact remains that publishing anything that isn’t intended for a human audience lacks integrity. I am amazed by people who say there is no difference between white hat and black hat SEO. One produces content that people read. The other games the system. One the world needs more of, the other less. Alex Becker seems like a nice enough guy, but I completely disagree with his willingness to violate Google’s terms of service so long as he doesn’t get caught.

    • http://source-wave.com/ Alex Becker

      I see where your coming from Simon

      But I do this for big time companies, ones you’ve probably heard of.

      Wal mart does this
      Pro active does this
      ADT security does this

      Basically every big brand you’ve ever heard of is paying SEO agencies 10k+ a month to build networks and build these type of links. (I have a single client who pays close to 12k a month for this)

      If you break into the super competitive SEO world, your gonna find its not just solo SEOs doing this, but major companies.

      • http://www.lendingmemo.com Simon Cunningham

        Just because they do the wrong thing doesn’t mean we should as well. Be better than Wal-Mart Alex.

        • Jayme

          Then don’t do it…sit back and never rank for competitive terms…

        • http://www.lendingmemo.com Simon Cunningham

          @Jayme
          Is ranking a competitive keyword impossible for white hats? By no means. It just takes killer content and time, something black hats seem unwilling to give. They want the freedom to rank flimsy content quickly to page 1, and are willing to displace legitimate writers in order to get their way.

          In this life we will *always* be tempted act unethically in order to avoid doing actual work, tempted to hurry the organic process of building trust and a following. But I, for one, celebrate the hard work it takes to rank well on Google. I do my own keyword research of course, in order to discover what people are searching for. But I celebrate the superior content and trusted relationships that hard work produces.

          Honestly, I hope the next Google update puts an end to these black hat shenanigans. The world would be a better place without PR5 domain vendors, artificial linking networks, and spun articles.

          Filler is dead. Long live killer valuable content.

  • Priyank

    Hey Pat,

    Thanks for Interview with Alex. You both are genius and that helps us newbies.

    I don’t think there is anything like Black-hat or white-hat.

    I think this way. If you are building a blog/community through true efforts like you do on SPI, other webmasters take care of your SEO without you knowing it. That’s 100% White-hat if I have to define it.

    With niche sites, we want money in relatively short time. Now the question is, is it possible to do that without building links, one way or other? I don’t think so even after industry shattering updates. People have found the ways to trick the system once again.

    Purchasing PR domains and building own network is biggest trick I think. It works great at the moment. Even SEO giants are doing same.

    At the moment that looks safest bet if you are ready to spend. Else, we have to opt for almost same strategies that you used in NSD1 with more variations in anchor text. For newbie like me, who cannot spend 100-200 bucks on one domain just for backlinks, we have to use that strategies. And with my experience, it works. It may take 3-4 months to rank for medium competition keywords. But it definitely works.

    Spencer has done almost that in his public niche site project.

    It’s all about clearing our head and save ourselves from information overload. Trust people whose strategies are working. Follow that smartly. Success…Success…Success.

    I follow Pat, Spencer and Alex very closely. It gave initial success. I just have to rinse and repeat now.

    Thanks again SIR for everything. I really consider you my GURU.

    Priyank, Your Indian Follower, Fan and one who promise to meet you before world ends.

  • http://www.culturalnetworksee.net Vedran Su?ec

    Glad to see the post I expected for long time, asked myself several times when will this be written. Don’t like when “Gray Hat” things are presented as ‘ah it is white hat but a little off’. In the long term anything but white hat is prone to change and that’s only truth tested over and over again.

    Ty for insights & Cheers
    Vedran

  • http://businesssavage.com/ Earl

    Hi,
    what do you use to check if the pagerank of a site is real? I remember there is such a thing as “real PR” and “fake PR”, and some tools display the “fake PR”.
    Thanks,
    Earl

  • Jacob

    Great post and very valuable information. Keep the great content coming.

  • http://www.weshootbuildings.com.au We Shoot Buildings

    Hi Pat

    Grant Kennedy here from We Shoot Buildings real estate photography in melbourne.

    My question is…..how is it possible to buy website with a high page rank that dosent have any content on them and you’ll build them from scratch.

    Wouldnt they have lost their page rank by the time you build your new site on them etc etc

    does page rank have some kind of 1 or 2 year lag of value or something like that?

    how would a site like that have recieved it’s high page rank in the first place if there is not a site already on it, that you would need to then convert to being relevant like your asked him in the interview. i dont quite understand this.

    any further explanation would be really great thanks Pat.

    cheers Grant

  • http://blogmunchies.com/ Moe

    This is really exciting Pat! I definitely want in on this challenge.

    There is no doubt Alex’s method works now, but from a long term stand point you have to worry that Google could nix the value of it in a flash. I am sure Google is aware of it being done, and now that it has been announced to the smartpassive income world i am sure a lot more people will investigate it.

    My method for this challenge will be:
    1. Key word research blended with passion or at least high interest. In other words, the more passion or interest i find in a topic the less i will worry about statistical keyword research. I still believe the creative mind can beat the machine.
    2. Well written content only by native English writers
    3. Guest posting, this will be my main form of SEO. I have been seeing the best SEO back-link results from this, provided your website content fullfils the target keywords being searched.
    4. Social Media, not just a FB fan page plastering content, but seeking out real engagement.
    5. Minimal manual back-linking. Maybe hire someone on oDesk from the Philippines to just throw in a couple hours of back-linking a week. This methods use to be gold 2 years ago, but now i find yields little results.

    These methods take work and time but i believe is the best way to do it right. Zero automating software will be used.

    Lets do this!

  • http://www.fachwirtihk.de Chris

    Thanks for sharing, as a newbie blogger, I’ m totally unexperienced and soaking up everything like a sponge :-)… and I’ very excited to hear the next interview with Spencer- I own the long tail pro- but always work with market samurai. Very happy that you show us another NSD!

    • Stephen

      I’m also very interested to listen (or watch) the next interview with Spencer.

  • http://urbaneventsaz.com marcus

    Cant wait to see the results for 2013 seo tactics. Thanks a lot pat.

  • Kyle

    White Hat SEO is awesome if you want to hang out on page 5. I find I always bank pretty hard there. Plus Google pats me on the back and I feel like such a good boy =)

  • http://www.tradingpromotions.com Emmett Moore

    The most precious comment of all time…”It helped my site get to #1 in Google and as a result has helped thousands of people get started in their career as a security guard.” Holy crap that is funny! Did you read those blog posts in that security guard blog? Not sure I want any of those mental giants guarding much of anything.

    • Pat Flynn

      Not sure what you’re getting at with your comment Emmett – there are over 150 articles on the site, many specific to different states in the U.S. that share exactly how to become a security guard. Dozens of people use the job board to connect with potential employers – people without jobs, who now could possibly have one. Funny, but true.

  • Bob

    Lots of good info on SEO! Straight to the point. No BS. I have one bone to pick with Alex though. After watching the video, one can tell right away he is very well spoken and articulate, but the pdf was excruciatingly painful to read with a lot of poor grammar mistakes and mispelled words. I’m not trying to put Alex down here. I honestly found his information to be very valuable but it would help a ton and show more credibility/professionalism if the pdf had been edited.

    Good interview btw!

    • http://source-wave.com/ Alex Becker

      Hey Bob,

      Grammer has never really been that important to me. Thousands of people have benefited from the stuff I have put out, so I am assuming the point got across via the language, which is in the end all I care about ;)

  • Chetan

    Hi Pat,

    Firstoff I have a little confession to make… for the past six months or so I was not happy with content that you were putting out. I know you probably don’t want to hear this but I just want to be honest. I know you are a rockstar within the industry so you can’t always please everyone. I was a bit irritated cuz there was no seo based articles (strategies, link building etc) coming from you. Don’t get me wrong, your content is still excellent with in-depth information for branding, marketing, general readers & those who are just starting their journey on the Internet.

    SPI has become a brand now, so I understand why you are moving your blog in this direction. However, I think you must also keep the affiliate side of business as part of your content strategy.

    I am so happy & excited that you announced the Niche site duel 2. It’s about time! I am a SPI fan again! Thanks.

    Chet

    • Pat Flynn

      Thanks for the honesty Chet. Thing is, I don’t try to share things I don’t know about. I’m not an SEO expert, so I’m not going to write articles pretending like I am one. With NSD2.0, it gives me the ability to share my experiences with SEO within context of something I’m actually doing, not just made up stuff or theories.

      This isn’t an SEO blog so I apologize I haven’t been talking much about it as of late, but yep more on that coming soon. Thanks man!

  • http://escape-from-the-grey-planet.co.uk/ Dave G

    Thanks Pat – that’s an interesting interview!

    I got kind of sick of worrying about figuring out the latest SEO strategies, so just tried keeping things simple: good content, check out the competition and provide a more useful site for that subject, do some basic sharing, bit of social bookmarking and not much else…got traffic from my main keyword in 2 weeks. I think you just need to give Google what they want – and most importantly make a site worth visiting.

    Looking forward to the NSD 2.0!

    • Ed

      Well said, David. The best SEO these days is no SEO at all, IMHO.

      • http://escape-from-the-grey-planet.co.uk/ Dave G

        Thanks Ed

        I should probably point out that this was for a low competition keyword.

        Not gonna try this method for “dog training: :)

  • http://gegenpickel24.de/ Jan

    Hey Pat,

    that post helped me much for building my backlinks. Thank you for this.
    I hope that you and your readers will doing well at NSD2.0!
    Regards
    Jan Yura
    Germany

  • Ed

    Pat. I totally agree with you NOT going the route of building a blog network – at least for a public challenge. You point out the reasons. Everything you do publicly is based on complete transparency and white-hat. Why change that now and risk the reputation taint that would come with a sudden change?

    Congratz on that decision!

    Looking forward to your updates.

    Rock it man!

  • http://dumbpassiveincome.com Matthew Allen

    The EMD update last fall seemed to take the air out of the tires for many niche site builders, including myself. I gave up on them and tried taking my business in a different direction.

    Spencer’s (Niche Pursuits) recent public niche site is creating a lot of buzz and bringing hope and optimism back into the niche site world. I have to admit, I’m back on the bandwagon. I think Niche Site Duel 2.0 is only going to add to the hype and improve the overall image that people have about niche sites as of late. I can’t wait for it to start!!

    This video interview with Alex was VERY helpful for me. Thank You! I am going to put some of his advice into practice on my current niche sites and hopefully have those complete so I can start a brand new site to follow along with NSD 2.0.

  • http://buyacnenomorebook.com Jeffrey

    Hi Pat,

    Please answer my following questions. I want to be clear about this. After reading the pdf, I am a bit shocked. Alex mention after setting up the site, buy a couple of high page rank 5 links and your site will explode to 2nd or bottom of first page in a matter of days. That is an interesting point of view but I have doubt about that.

    The question is are we going to build backlinking using the strategy of high pr blog links? That is different from tier backlink, right?

    Sorry being noob. I want to be clear about this. I have a few new sites that I want to start building backlinks.

    Hope you understand.

    • http://source-wave.com/ Alex Becker

      Hey Jeff,

      They do do exactly that if you do good keyword research. I have countless recorded case studies on Source Wave that you can check out if you need help.

      -Becker

      • http://buyacnenomorebook.com Jeffrey

        Hi Alex,

        Thanks for the quick reply. I hope you will answer the next question.

        When you say do good keyword research, are you saying that it must be low competition. If I am right, that means you need to see your competitor backlinks to identify whether this is a keyword low or medium competition? How many backlinks is consider as low competition?

        If that is the case, can you point me to your site. A lot of information, i can’t see where is the keyword research..

  • Liam

    I’ve never left a comment here before. But i HAD to this time just to tell you Pat how excited i am for Niche Site Duel 2.0! I am going to be working on my own niche site as i follow the duel.

    Thank you Pat! I cant wait!

  • http://www.nilanauto.com Roy

    I would love to learn from you new niche site duel as I missed the last one. Please try to make the cost as minimum as possible.

  • http://www.webtrafficzebra.com Marica

    I was not yet a subscriber during your first Niche Site Duel so I missed it. I did read some of the related articles though.

    Really looking forward to this one.

    I admire your honesty and ethics Pat. Especially when you acknowledge your responsibility as a leader in the IM field. Few people do that. Clearly you care a lot about the wonderful community you’ve built here.

    I also want to thank Alex for being so open with his strategies. Again, not many people in this field do that. So thanks for that. Not sure how “secret” these strategies will remain now, seeing that they’ve just been exposed on one of the most popular blogs lol

    I still haven’t read the PDF’s but at first glance, the buying of domains (more so if they’re unrelated to your niche) sounds black hat to me. The way I see it, it’s similar to buying links.

    Also, let’s say Google doesn’t see the actual buying of domains as black hat, do you try to check how they got that high PR? Or are we talking about domains that have solely gotten the PR because of the age of the domain?

    Don’t know … maybe I’m over complicating this but you don’t know what that domain “has been up to” in the past few years … maybe they had bad links pointing towards the domain and they deleted them and their PR somehow did not change.

    Also, it might work for the short term but long term? Who knows. If everyone starts doing this (and possibly OVER do it), then that is going to raise a red flag I think.

    Personally, I wouldn’t risk trying these strategies on my established sites. But maybe that’s just me.

    I’m glad to see that you decided to use white hat strategies for this Pat. I’ll be following along. It might take longer to rank, but at least it’s safer unless Google goes crazy on us lol

    Juggling too many projects right now, so don’t think I can join in but I’ll be following along to see whether I can implement some of your newly found strategies to my existing sites.

    Thanks again both of you for being so honest about your approaches. Really appreciate that!

    Cheers!

    Marica

  • http://www.webtrafficzebra.com Marica

    I was not yet a subscriber when you did your first Niche Site Duel so I missed it. I did read some of the related articles though. So I’m really looking forward to this one :-)

    I admire your honesty and ethics Pat. Especially when you say that as a leader in the IM niche, you have a responsibility towards your readers. Not many people care about that in the IM field. Thanks for that.

    I also want to thank Alex for being so open with his strategies. Again, not many people do that. Though now I don’t know how “secret” they’ll remain, seeing that they’ve just been exposed on one of the most popular marketing blogs! lol

    I haven’t read the PDF’s yet, but at first glance, buying domains (more so if unrelated to your niche) sounds black hat to me. It’s similar to buying links.

    Also, you don’t know what that domain “has been up to” the past few years. Maybe the owner acquired some bad links fast to get a high PR and deleted them before Google noticed and he somehow retained the PR. Or are we talking about domains that have high PR strictly due to the age of the domain?

    In addition, while this may work short term, what about long term? If everyone starts doing (and as usual, OVER doing) these strategies, then it’s going to raise a red flag I think.

    Personally, I wouldn’t risk using these strategies on my established sites. But maybe that’s just me lol

    I’m glad that you decided to take the white hat approach Pat. Might take longer to rank, but at least it’s safer, unless Google decides to go crazy on us lol

    I’m juggling too many projects right now, so can’t really join in but I’ll be following along to see whether I can implement some of your newly found strategies to my sites.

    Again, thank you both for being so honest about the strategies that you use (or will use).

    Cheers!

    Marica :-)

    p.s.
    I hope this goes through. First time Mozilla crashed and had to write it all again lol

  • http://javavideotutorials.net Trevor Page

    I’m a big fan of Pat’s and I’m also very excited to hear about the niche site duel 2.0, good on Pat for taking on another great project.

    As for the talk with Alex, I can attest to the effectiveness of getting your site ranked quickly with PR4+ websites. My blog shot up to the first page of google after I got my link on a PR4 site (lifehacker)… and it was almost immediate.

    So there’s definitely something to be said about the validity of what Alex is talking about… but I see here that there’s some good discussion on the ethics of this approach.

    I’m not exactly sure how to weigh in on the discussion, but I can say something along the same lines as Pat mentioned… if you have great information that will help people become happier or live a more full life, why wouldn’t you want to get that information out to as many people as possible? Who would you be hurting by doing this?

    On the contrary, if you’re in it just to make money, and you don’t care about your customers……

    Sincerely,

    Trevor Page

  • http://omgtoplists.com/ Michael

    Interesting Interview and looking forward to the NSD 2.0

  • http://LateNightIM.com Mark Mason

    For the purpose if this study, I think it will be ok to define what white hat is. If you wait until it makes sense you will never start the study.

    For the record, google consider links votes. White hat for google means you never vote for yourself. Simple.

    • Mark Mason

      Note to self: Typing on a phone in a bar while drinking beer jet lagged in Malaysia makes for lots of typos. Sorry.

      • Bob

        Good point Mark. Now the question is, how does Google know you’re voting for yourself? Do they track IPs of backlinks?

  • Jose R Vazquez

    Hey Pat,

    Looking forward to the notice on the Niche Site Duel 2.0 .
    We all know it would be fun, instructing and an awesome trip, as usual.
    Thanks

    Jose

  • http://www.writingmydestiny.com Jawad Khan | WritingMyDestiny

    Hey Pat,

    Thanks for the detailed post and bringing Alex along.

    In a competitive niche, there has to be some aggressive link building if you want to stand any chance. In some of the comments above, people seem to believe that good content with basic level linking (Social Media, Social Bookmarking) should be enough. This might be true in a low competition niche but you cant rely on this strategy if your niche is crowded.

    Anyway, looking forward to the duel :)

  • http://www.ora00600.com Rob

    Hi Pat,

    I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all pans out. And yes, seems like you did open a can of worms with some of the comments about W/G/B hat…

    I’m not sure if this has been mentioned already but I’d love to see some testing around the area of Google +. The reason being that I’ve read quite a few articles lately about it being given preferential treatment by Google, which I guess is no surprise. So just by creating a Google + account and building up good links from there to your site would be very valuable.

    Also, what about Facebook and Twitter? Surely social media is the way that Google are going nowadays. It has more credibility when someone valid (although a valid account can be faked) links to your site through their account. I think it’s all about building social value, getting shares, retweets, etc.

    I could be completely wrong, of course…Thoughts anyone?

  • http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com Louise Coe

    I loved reading about NSD 1.0 and learned so much.

    I am super excited to get started on a new Niche site and by following along with you and joining in will help keep me accountable.

    I am also fascinated to see what methods to rank high in Google will work today. It is getting pretty difficult.
    I do notice with You Tube quite a few of the video descriptions are completely keyword stuffed and not even readable. This is what I call “black hat” and I hope Google do something about it soon to stop these videos ranking high… Surely they must be thinking of it…

  • http://orraclemedia.com Rob

    Very interesting stuff – especially regarding building your own network. I’m in for round two!

    I’m very much on the same page with you regarding the definition of white hat. In my opinion, building a niche site is a service to an un/underserved audience that helps them with what they’re trying to learn about. As far as link building and white vs. black hat and all that stuff – sure there is stuff you can do to get yourself flagged in Google, but otherwise, I look at it as marketing. If you’re going to go through the time and effort to build a site with quality content that serves a market, then you need to make sure you spend the time and effort to market it properly. Do your marketing ethically, but don’t overlook being inventive, and creative either. Be “as shrewd as a snake, but innocent as a dove.”

  • http://www.stumbleforward.com Chris @ Stumble Forward

    Awesome to hear you are doing another niche site duo Pat. I will defiantly be following along and building a niche site right along with you. I recently tried building a niche site but realized I made a couple key critical mistakes but the good side to this all is it’s been a great learning experiences for me so far and I’m ready to get back at and try again.

  • http://www.cisaga.com Toni

    I was one of the fan of Source-Wave. Becker gives us guidance to be page-one with just a little SEO. The secret key is find untapped niche

  • http://www.eventchecklist.net Arwin Adriano

    This is great. I am really excited to see the outcome of this project. Thank you for sharing.

  • John

    Hey Pat:

    I was looking at your niche sites on Alexa and noticed that SmartPassiveIncome was Alexa.com and noticed the second highest source of traffic (approximately 14%) of the clickstream for SecurityGuardTraningHQ comes from this site itself. I’m guessing it is from people curious about the site. Most of your income from the site is from Adsense. A small portion of this must be from people who are navigating the site to check it’s layout who accidentally clicked an ad. I know I did this.

    What do you think about not identifying your site URL for a period of time to eliminate “artificial” traffic. Meaning the traffic to the site by visitors from this site. This would be a more accurate representation of performance for a site that is starting off fresh. It would also give you clean data as to actual performance as your stats wouldn’t be muddied by the above mentioned.

    Keep up the great work.

    John

  • John

    Ugh! No Edit button for original post. :) Sorry for the repost, but this has edits so it makes more sense.

    ==

    Hey Pat:

    I was looking at your niche sites on Alexa and noticed the second highest source of traffic (approximately 14%) for SecurityGuardTraningHQ comes from SmartPassiveIncome. I’m guessing it is from people curious about the site. Most of your income from the site is from Adsense. A small portion of this must be from people who are navigating the site to check it’s layout who accidentally clicked an ad. I know I did this.

    What do you think about not identifying your site URL for a period of time to eliminate “artificial” traffic. Meaning the traffic to the site by visitors from this site. This would be a more accurate representation of performance for a site that is starting off fresh. It would also give you clean data as to actual performance as your stats wouldn’t be muddied by the above mentioned artificial traffic.

    Keep up the great work.

    John

    • Pat Flynn

      John, I didn’t link to the security site until after I got to number one in Google – well after that actually. Now, I link to it rather freely which is where a lot of the traffic comes from. A majority, however, still come from the long tail keywords related to the industry – more so than the primary keyword that it actually ranks #1 for.

      I think not identifying the exact url until a certain time period is a good idea. I will, however, have to reveal the niche and keyword, for the purposes of explanation and example. Thoughts?

  • Jason Pachomski

    rant:
    Regarding building a private blog network (PBN) and whether it’s white/grey/black hat, it’s all very simple: it (once again) comes down to CONTENT.

    - high PR PBN w/ crappy, unrelated content linking back to your site = black hat
    - high PR PBN w/ well-written, useful content that provides value to the reader = white hat.

    There are two separate, and sometimes very different, aspects pf the whole black hat/white hat thing. There’s what G**gle does and doesn’t want you to do, and then there’s whether or not you’re operating within your own code of ethics.

    I wouldn’t feel the least bit “guilty” even if i had a PBN with 100+ high PR domains as long as the content I was putting up was quality.

    :end rant

    And with that, a big thanks to Mark for this info and a huge thanks to Pat Flynn, to whom I owe a good deal of the small bit of success in this business I have been able to enjoy.

    Rock n’ Roll

  • http://www.darkhorsemlm.com Brian Swichkow

    Pat,

    When I saw the announcement for Niche Site Duel 2.0 I was elated. Over the past month I have been following your footsteps with NSD1 and starting to see great success. I have also seen some outdated tactics and had success with utilizing my experience in social media to create engaging backlinks. I’m excited to follow along with you this time! Thanks so much for including us and cheers to success!

    ~Brian

  • http://picharnan.com picharnan

    Thank you for the best project as the niche prototype for me. I’ll keep follow your step and adapt to my niche website.

  • http://www.wiggmanscoaching.com Darrin Wiggins

    Thanks Pat for all the great leadership in what is a very confusing and intimidating industry for beginners. I have spent 9 months trying to get my website ranked so I can make a difference in others people’s lives to no avail. I am sure I have used both white and black hat strategies because when you are new you end up chasing and buying all those shiny objects.
    For anyone reading this that is new to building a website take a week and read and watch everything Pat has to offer and save yourself thousands of wasted dollars. I get 20-30 emails a day from all types of marketers that make their money by selling me stuff that half works if that. Pat doesn’t do that which says a lot about his character.
    Thanks for the new niche site duel Pat. I know leaders and you are one of the great ones.

  • John

    Unfortunately, this “experiment” will be very misleading. A couple of weeks after Pat has announced the url, a lot of other bloggers will start talking and writing about it, and linking to it. Of course the site will sooner or later rank very well, because Pat has a lot of followers that will link to the new site.

    The only way the nichesite duel 2.0 could be very interesting is, if Pat held the url secret, UNTIL, the site is number one (or close to) in google…

    You can’t follow this guide with as good results, since you wont get all that great backlinks from bloggers all around.

    • http://www.survivalmastery.com Dan C

      This has been my concern with this experiment as well. I always wondered the effect of SPI and all the backlinks going to Niche Site Duel 1.0. Pat mentions his other niche sites have not stood the test of time with ranking in Google. How much of that is due to not having the power of SPI backlinking to it?

      That said, I am super excited to see where this goes. I have not been able to find anyone else that goes to the efforts that Pat does for all of these IM topics. I know we will all learn a lot.

    • Pat Flynn

      I could hold off until I get close to #1, but that would be an extremely boring study and not as useful as it could be, especially in the stages of keyword research (which is one of the most important parts of this process), content creation, backlinking, anchor text or anything important that people would need to understand. There are things I can do like ask people not to link to it, rather to link to the niche site duel hub. When backlinks are found I can ask them to take it down to not skew the results. It’s not going to be perfect, but it can be close and will still be extremely valuable to people.

      Poker didn’t get popular until the world series started to reveal all of the players’ cards as they were being played. You had no idea what was going through players heads when the cards were only revealed at the end.

      • John

        This is related to my post above about SPI providing second highest amount of traffic to Security Guards HQ (and your reply), so I thought I’d just reply here. Ultimately, it all comes down to the purpose of the experiment. If the point is to show people what to do, it probably makes sense to be as transparent as possible.

        Two ideas though:

        Maybe the cleanest results will could come from people who are “playing at home”. They would not have any association with the site, so they wouldn’t benefit from links from bloggers or from Pat. Their success would be completely determined by the theory. It would also be really interesting to hear their experience.

        The other idea is for Pat to do two sites. One where he announces everything, publishes the URL, etc. The second is kept secret until either it reaches #1 ranking or the site with the published URL gets #1 ranking. It would be like a race!

        The second idea may not be feasible since Pat is probably busy and it is not very reasonable to suggest to someone that they need to do more work. (Hey Pat, want to wash my car?) :)

        Just a couple ideas.

        • http://www.mycysticacnetreatment.com Jonathan

          I think your idea of having 2 separate sites (one shown, one not) or even just URLs will be a better case study. Complete agree that SPI (and its fans) can skew the SEO method that most people will follow and who don’t have the luxury of a great (ranking) site of SPI to give them a boost in SEO juice.

      • Dan

        Then you’ll have tons of tier 2 links juicing up an authority tier 1 link (spi.com) which links to your money site.

        I say you’re no longer in a position to do a ‘niche site duel’. And you have outgrown it. As you wrote you are not an seo expert anyway and what’s the point pretending to be one PLUS tell people ‘not to link to you so to make it fair’.

        Definitely not a clean case study.

      • JC

        Pat you should try two niche sites at the same time. One that you make public and one that you keep private, then compare the results.

  • http://breakingferriss.com Nate

    Love this. Just started a niche site based on NSD 1.0, and have been trying the backlinking tactics from your core article on the subject. Did the blogs, article sites, web 2.0 etc, and have been using Unique Ah-ticle Wizzard and having some fun. Glad I caught the Alex interview yesterday, because I was able to modify my strategy midstream to downplay anchor text to the 20% level he (and you, even in your addenda to your original article) recommend. So I’m kind of this hybrid between NDS 1.0 and 2.0. Interesting experiment. I’m just counting myself lucky I caught yesterday’s youtube video early enough to avoid getting sandboxed for UBER ANCHOR TEXT heh heh. Looking forward to more.

  • http://aquaticturtles.net/ Kyle

    I was reading through the PDFs, and noticed he recommends buying high PR links. Isn’t that explicitly prohibited by Google? I’ve heard of people being reported for buying links and getting massive ranking penalties for it.

    • John

      Yes, it’s strictly prohibited. But people buy links anyway. In highly competitive niches it’s impossible to rank high unless you also do it. I would never ever buy links from a public site. The risk is way to high.

      However, I would consider buying links from a certain site or blog that offer “links for sale” at discussion forums etc.

      But it’s much better to swap links like, you give me a link from your site A to my site B. And I can provide a link from my site C to your site A, or even D. That’s much safer, and not as prohibited…

  • Ricardo Nuñez

    Hey Pat,
    Great interview. Interesting information. One thing he didn’t mention in the difference between these small networks and the ones getting hit by Google updates, is the quality on the content. I have been creating smaller networks for a while and I wrote articles the same way I do for my websites, good quality articles. I also use free services like tumblr, wordpres.com and others. I believe you used similar tactic on SGT. You should set a budget limit for the Duel 2.0. That will make things interesting.

  • http://thegeminiproject.com.au Adam

    This is great stuff Pat & Becker.

    I look forward to the upcoming Niche Site Duel!

    I don’t mean to bring anyone down, because what you are doing is awesome Becker! I just can’t help but mentioning I find it ironic that you are sharing this stuff and your flagship blog is a PR 2.

    Just sayin’.

    Maybe you should look into that.

    • Adam

      That come across a bit nasty.

      It’s said in friendship though!

      • http://source-wave.com/ alex becker

        Hey Adam, the SEO niche (like SEO based searches) is is UBER competitive and I get way better traffic to SW from other methods.

        I have never really done much SEO to it. Plus linking my networks to it would be a dead give away =)

        • Adam

          Hey Alex.

          Thanks for the reply :)

          I have a question to do with the interview as well.

          I’ve set up a few pr3 wordpress sites with domains I bought from flippa (pretty cheap too!).

          I want to have a bit of a play around with it. To build the links, do I just throw one article up on each site with the link ratio you mentioned in that ONE article on the homepage?

          Or, do I put say 3-4 articles up and spread all the anchor text over those 3-4 articles?

  • Sonny

    Rand from SEOMoz covered this exact topic back in 2009. If you plan on doing this, this Whiteboard Friday Video explains what you’re getting into.

    Watch Here:
    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/whiteboard-friday-link-farming

    • Pat Flynn

      Anything in regards to SEO that was pre-2012 is going to be out of date Sonny – the environment / rules are always changing.

      • Sonny

        Did you watch the video Pat?

        • John

          I just watched the video. Very interesting and informative. After he said it I thought, “Of course search engines are looking at registration information and IP addresses!”

          That being said, I’m very conservative when it comes to link farming and buying links. I’ve had sites tanked because I built up back links too quickly. Nothing is worse than seeing a site you’ve worked hard on all of a sudden tank.

          Pat has said this before, good content is critical to a site’s success. If you write good content people will link to you on their own – which is why Pat has so many backlinks.

  • Mark

    Pat, can you tell us which lavalier mic you use?

    Thanks

  • Jeff

    When it come to buying high PR sites and making them ‘relevant’ with new content and thus removing the old content, don’t you destroy the link profile that give that site its PR in the first place? In other words, won’t this lower the page rank of the site you just purchased and nullify your efforts?

    • Stephen

      Good question. Pat / Becker … your thoughts?

  • http://www.homelearningexperience.com Sibo

    More than 150 comments left for this single post within 1 day!
    Pat, you rock! SPI community, you guys rock!

  • Brian

    Site removed from the Google index!
    Google may temporarily or permanently remove sites from its index and search results if (they catch you) . . . setting up pages/links with the sole purpose of fooling search engines may result in removal from our index. Source Google Webmaster Guidelines for more information

    If you get caught creating a link-farm pointing to your client’s website – they could lose all of their Google organic traffic. And you might get sued.

    This sort of link spam is fine for people who have a portfolio of sites … but if you are depending on the traffic – be really, really careful.

    Buy sites directly from owners before they expire. Contract with owner to keep the hosting and reg in tact. No fingerprints.

    • Sonny

      Was thinking this last night Brian,

      “Buy sites directly from owners before they expire. Contract with owner to keep the hosting and reg in tact. No fingerprints.”

  • http://www.tensionmyositissyndrome.org/stiff-back TMS Mike

    Looking forward to NSD 2.0, Pat. Good info from Alex.

    Big plans to put together a kick-butt site for NSD 2.0!!!

  • Jarratt

    Hi Pat,

    Is the Niche Site Duel 2.0 something that others can participate in? I have no specific ideas but I’m keen to get involved and really work towards building up a niche site, alongside your advice and updates.

    Looking forward to hearing more about this and I hope it’s designed for novices like me to start from scratch and build up a site.

  • http://www.modernreflexology.com Barbara

    Pat, you are god! I was just wondering how to over come all these SEO issues from 2013, and couldn’t able to set up a standard single niche blog so far. I hope you will come out with NSD 2.0 and help us asap!

    Regards
    Barbara

  • http://www.thetruthaboutputting.com Anthony

    Hi Pat,
    In response to you internal ‘tug of war’ about white-hat/black-hat in your ‘msy thoughts’ piece…

    Here is a quick categorisation as I see it; google want to see authentic human votes – which are seen as links by there ‘link counting machines!’ These is not baiting at all. Non human, artificially built links are NOT positive votes by humans. Google will ‘rightly’ catch up with ‘short term’ non human votes.

    What is the model for ethically built websites that give value to visitors and a natural signal (nat-links) whilst supplying traffic to site owners?
    The Smart Passive Income model.
    A bit harder to do this on a small niche site versus an Authority site.
    Cheers

  • Hannelore

    Great post, Pat, and very timely for me, as I’m hoping to set up a niche site later this year. I read somewhere that anyone over 35 is “too old” to get involved with earning money online. Well, by that standard I’m somewhere between fossilized and mummified, but you always spell things out so they make sense, even to beginners. Thanks for the help. I look forward to NSD 2.0!

  • http://pilbarawater.com.au Mike

    As a Source-Wave follower I’ve got to say his strategies just plain work!
    What is often overlooked though is that at the foundation of his SEO strategy is the fact that your website MUST deliver what a visitor wants. Yes, his SEO gets your site to rank so you get more visitors, but if your site isn’t engaging then they will leave quickly… and Google will notice, and your rankings will slip.
    In my mind this Black Hat, Grey Hat, White Hat talk is all nonsense… be ethical, be honest,

    • http://hamiltongreene.wordpress.com Hamilton

      I don’t think the question is whether to be ethical per se, rather where in the continuum that line lies.

  • http://tiepthilienketblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/seo-cho-site-affiliate-tieng-anh.html tiep thi lien ket

    I am looking for the new version NSD launched as the backlink stategy is now quite risky every penguin update, it makes bad effect on all the pages.

  • http://www.playbaseballclassics.com Dean

    Pat,

    I have a website that sells a baseball game. I’m not bringing up the name of it, because I’m not here to promote it. Instead I want to provide a comment regarding your post.

    Ultimately shortly after discovering you and listening to your terrific, valuable podcast since late last year I began creating a blog on the website for the baseball game I sell with content about…well baseball board games including mine.

    Long story short I’ve been consistently posting @ once a week since then and as of today (within @ 5 months from the time I started the blog) I ranked #2 for “baseball board games” in Google. I didn’t use any SEO tricks, just did what you are a proponent of. Provide valuable related content. By the way as of today I rank #3 for the term “baseball board game”.

    For those starting out or wondering how to get up higher in Google search rankings, give it a try.

    Thanks for the advice back then Pat, it was simple and works like a charm! Congrats on all your success Pat and thanks again for all you do!

  • http://sellingwarnerrobins.com Anita

    Pat…I thoroughly enjoyed watching NSD develop “live” and am excited to see what strategies you utilize for NSD II.

  • http://www.sproutspire.com/blog Carlie Hamilton

    Just finished watching the video, some great stuff there.
    While it is true that SEO strategies are always changing, one thing always remains consistent – have great content that humans like. That is my no. one method. I am trying to create authority sites, but I am always interested in niche sites, which are just micro authority sites. Niche sites might be a better option because they take less work and if they fail it was a smaller investment. But I love working on authority sites, my weakness :)

    • john

      I was thinking about this as well. IMO, black hat tactics might give you a quick win but then you’re always hustling to adjust as Google changes it’s algorithm.

      For me, I’d like to get a site going and focus on the content and not worry about continually trying to out think Google; which has thousands of people who are WAY smarter and only focused on thwarting black hat tactics.

  • Ben

    Personally I’ve tried black hat techniques on several of my web sites and all of them have failed miserably. I recently gave up and went completely white hat. I’ve created new websitegive and the only SEO that I am using is on-page and pinging my new posts. It has only been two weeks and I am already ranking on page 2 for keywords that are harder than what I used to try foryou with black hat tricks. Personally I’m starting to think that less is more.

  • http://www.experimentalincome.com Tommy

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks for the great article and interview. I am just starting a blog formed as a case study in passive income and I am a little taken aback by Alex’s techniques. I agree with you that maybe I will evaluate his advice and try to take the best information away from it. I am trying to stay as close to White Hat as possible. As always, terrific job!

  • Cesar

    This guy doesn’t know the difference between Panda and Penguin and we’re supposed to believe he’s an SEO guru (he twice refers to Panda as targeting link spam which is false). Maybe he just misspoke. He’s right that buying links works, especially if you minimize risk by avoiding large brokers/networks, but this is no secret.

    • http://www.nickykay.com Nick Kizirnis

      I think he may have misspoke, and having dug into the articles and videos on the site, it seems to me that Alex has a pretty casual style and is pretty clear that he’s learned from doing. I also don’t think he’s keeping or revealing any amazing secrets. Although some of the tactics he’s recommending are not at the top of my list — the thought of buying domains depresses me, mostly because it feels daunting, complicated, and messy — he’s sharing what has worked for him, just like many others do. We can try it (or not) and see, just like any other piece of advice or product that we pay for.

      Aside from that, I’m thrilled you are doing the duel Pat, I’m really excited and think it’s cool that Alex is on board to provide insights and perspectives. Rock on!

  • http://www.MeetAaronBriggs.com Aaron Briggs

    Thanks Pat for digging up this information. I just saw this video earlier today and ended up using the PR strategy for one my clients. Cant wait to see his results.

  • http://hamiltongreene.wordpress.com Hamilton

    As the definition states, white hat SEO is SEO built through creations made for a human audience. Essentially, it is organic, “natural” if you will, in that it’s a by-product of your primary industry. Black hat more or less uses the opposite approach. It creates something for the sake of having something then uses its energy to create a network of entities to bring people to its established content. It basically plays the game of traffic rather than content, which generally lends itself more to a short game than a long one.

    I like to think of white hat SEO as more of an art form while black hat is more of an industry for lack of a better term. An analogy I use a lot is that if we think of white hat SEO as a computer scientist, black hat would closely resemble a code monkey.

    As always, great stuff Pat. Stick to the high road – it’s what keeps me coming back.

  • http://www.ecourseclassroom.com John Ogrins

    Greetings Pat…

    as usual you’ve shared some great content. I’m glad that information stays put so I don’t have to take 6 pages of notes.

    Question… where do you get the great looking images you use on your posts… istockphoto… or hopefully some free images services?

    To Your Continued Success.

  • L

    Just looking on PageRank is a mistake… build links where real & relevant users will come from! That’s the best signal a link can have.

  • http://www.mysimpleengagementrings.com Terry

    Hi Pat,

    Looking forward to your NSD 2!

  • http://weirdpoll.com Shadi Halloun

    Hey Pat,

    As a website owner, I know that negative feedbacks are much more useful than the classic “thank you” ones. So I’ll go ahead and tell you.

    I’ve been a loyal SPI reader for more than 3 years. I have even changed my host to bluehost just to give you the commission as a payback for what you’ve taught me.

    Lately, I’ve seen that all of SPI’s posts are about programs/podcasts like “Niche site duel” which is hardly useful for people with established business like me.

    I really miss your straight-forward posts, like “How to” ones. Not the general/wide ones you’ve been posting lately.

    Anyway, I’ll still be your reader because I’m a great fan of the great work you do;) Just I hope that you take that into consideration.

    Thanks,
    Shadi Halloun

    • Pat Flynn

      I appreciate the negative, but respectful comment Shadi, thank you! I have to disagree with you when you say posts and podcasts, such as those of the niche site duel are not useful for people with established businesses. The principles, the tactics and strategies that we are learning together along the way will help any business who wants, for instance, search engine traffic or to gain a better audience – in today’s online business environment. I’m not sure exactly what kind of established business you have, but these posts are nothing but general like you mentioned. We’ve just scratched the surface on this stuff, I’m sure if you follow along you’ll find some useful information for your business here and there. For example, when we get to the website design stage of this process, you can learn how to maximize conversions and design for people taking action on your site.

      • http://weirdpoll.com Shadi Halloun

        Hey Pat,

        Yes, I’m sure these are useful, as all your posts are. But maybe you can be more specific in the titles, so it explains more of what each post is about.

        I recommend you to minimize the “series” of the post, for example NSD2, then to explain what the post is exactly about, this way it’ll be much more useful and time saving for people like me, who don’t have time to follow to see if there is something they can learn.

        Anyway, thanks for your comment and for the great work you’re doing here. You are great man.

        Cheers:)

  • http://www.beingremarkable.me Todd Heslin

    Alex mentioned the value of backlinks from high PR sites. Does this mean that commenting on blogs with a high PR would provide super valuable SEO juice? Or, is there something I’m missing about this insight?

    Lots of feedback Pat, sounds like it’s going to be fun!

  • http://www.zachis.it/blog Zachary Smith

    This is a great article!

  • http://mygreatonlinebusiness.com Jan

    Hi Pat,
    I’m really curious about NSD 2.
    It reminds me on the Niche Site Project from Spencer Haws. I hope, that you’ll find some different approaches than he already published, so that you audience gets the most valuable infos.

    Please be careful with revealing your niche, keyword and url too early, so that all your readers don’t distort your results :-)

    Have fun with this project!

  • Adam

    Ahh not you Pat!! lol…I know i’m just one person but..
    While I can understand why is great for Alex and what he gets out of it, to be featured in your site, I think you shouldn’t post him on your website and “promote” him in a kind of way. Because of what you represent, at least in my eyes….but whatever..

    its very obvious ( I saw his site many times and also his previous site thelinkback.com )that he is using only shady and black hat tactics to promote his sites, people have only what to lose in the long term……..those tactics don’t stick either.

    You can check on his previous site the “case studies” he posted and today alll the sites are penalized or don’t exist anymore, while I think we shouldn’t care what happens with his sites I think its a pitty that he gets promoted and gets clients with REAL BUSINESSES that they are not aware that while you can get within one week/1month /1hour whatever, to the top page of Google…..in 2 months your site can get penalized and deindexed, and what you invested in your business can go and you’ll need to start from the begginin because of this mistake.

    Anyway…I hope your NSD2 is more about giving value in the niche you choose (like Spencer is mentioning again and again in his posts) then using shady SEO, tactics as they do work, but then when a panda,tiger or penguin ;) update comes people wont know why their site gets tanked

    I think Eric Ward put it best: “The less you rely on Google for traffic, the better your chances for long term success. ironically, if you stop worrying so much about google and worry about creating the best site possible, your google rank will likely improve as a side effect”.

    • Pat Flynn

      Adam, thanks for the comment. Did you read my commentary below the video in this post? I simply share Adam’s strategy – I don’t ever recommend it in the post above – as one of the many methods, I’m sure, that are working today. This is the research process and I’m talking you along with me. Value within the niche will play a huge role for me, so you don’t have to worry about that. :)

  • Nina

    Great you’re doing a part 2… can’t wait to read the following articles! In the meantime the links in the alex-tough-competition.pdf aren’t working. Can you please check the PDF file? Thank you

  • http://www.wheyreviews.com Becky Coble

    Super excited for the NSD 2.0!

  • http://minimalistphoto.com Amanda

    Pat,
    After reading some of the comments here I think I agree that the case study of 2.0 would be skewed due to the popularity of SPI, however it would be interesting to see the results from a lot of other people and do a Niche site duel contest. ThinkTraffic did something like this for building a blog (http://thinktraffic.net/the-million-dollar-blog-project). Then each of the websites who participate could list the things they did to achieve results and the group could learn from it. We could see an average of all types of sites and what trends are working across a group of sites rather than just one. I think in terms of an SEO experiment an average would be more conclusive as far as what works for the general readership.

    My two cents.
    -Amanda

  • http://lucidability.com Jamie Alexander

    I think what you, Spencer, and Steve Scott are doing at the moment is absolutely fantastic. It’s actually the most exciting thing in the marketing world atm.

    I’m going to follow each of you and pick up some great tips to grow my own site, so I’m very exited.

    I’ve not watched the video yet, but it’s perfect timing because I’m going to start increasing the amount of time spent marketing my site and I’ve been looking into what SEO tactics to use.

    Good luck :)

  • Timmy Deleu

    Hey Pat,

    I know a program that has worked well for me. It consist of building your website with panda in mind.

    Panda is like a score Google gives to your website. Lets say website A has a score of 20 and website B has a score of 70.

    Website A has 1500 links and ranks number 2 while website B has only 150 links but ranks number 1. If you build your website with panda in mind, your white hat strategy will be a lot easier.

    I’ve build a website and got to the number 1 position in the Dutch credit industry. The website made €2300 last month. My strategy was more greyhat but that’s because in the Dutch industry guestposting is rare. You could easily use the same strategy with guestposting.

    It’s actually fairly simple. There are just a few things you need to think about before you start building your site. I just saw your post but I don’t have time to write the whole thing down here. Send me an email if you want to know the strategy. My daughter demands my attention now.

    Kind regards,
    Timmy

    • http://www.codrutturcanu.com Codrut Turcanu

      hey Timmy,

      your method sounds quite intriguing… could you contact me in private and tell me more? :)

      thank you!

    • http://www.webofincome.com The Rookie

      Bottom line is this. If you make a really good site you will get ranked. Of course you might need to do a little link building but simply submitting to rss directories before you start posting will help get you noticed with google. Google will give you a chance periodically bumping you up to a top spot for certain keywords it feels your site is relevant too. Then if the readers link to you naturally or don’t bounce you will get more opportunity.

      No fake link building is necessary. Of course it can help you get there a tiny bit faster but its not worth it. Especially since I can put up a site with little effort and get it ranked in 6 months naturally. When I was using tools like senuke —(which is great no joke when used correctly –Easy to build blog networks like alex was saying then throw a few of your own urls in the mix and you have a real blog network.)— I could get a site ranked a couple months faster but really is that worth it. Especially because of the effort it takes. I really just make a good looking site if its for a client anyways –my blog is pretty much just a journal anyways so I don’t care much about its looks — Then add really good relevant content, some videos are always great and make sure Im consistent. That is seriously all it takes. Yes temporarily black hat sites will jump ahead of you but they “always go back down” Even years ago it was this way before penguin and blah blah blah.

      Pat, Your security guard training site is a prime example of build it great and put great content on there and you will win. The site is perfect and by far better than any other similar site. YOU picked a winning keyword and even if the competition was tougher you would have succeeded with that one. Sorry for the rant but seriously its about content and always has been. Gamers don’t last and you never have to adapt your game if your playing by the rules of give people “not google” what they want. Google knows this.

    • Jan Paul

      Hi Timmy, I have a Dutch website also, can you share what are some of the better strategies for link building in Holland? (since things are not quite the same there like you mentioned also)

  • http://www.microupdate.co.uk Jonathan

    Ummm, can’t help when reading all this that it’s becoming a bit of an academic exercise in trying to get websites ranked for what they are not good at – original content that solves peoples problems. A high proportion of the comments relate to ‘ways to get google to rank your site above others’, but not using good old fashioned ‘answer peoples problems with good legitimate content’.

    Surely any other technique is just a short term gain at the expense of all other legitimate websites that offer genuine content; but are just not brilliant SEO spoofers. Google (and the others) over time will just keep on improving until they get to the point of finding decent websites that answer peoples questions, as accurately as they possibly can. All other tactics just buy time, and short term wealth.

    As per a previous comment, I have followed so so so many internet marketeers who proclaim to sell you ‘the answer’. Their answer 9 times out of 10 falls dangerously close to getting their clients blocked. I’m not sure they care, as the cheque has been cashed. I’ve looked at their previous stats only to find a good number of their sites no longer even exist – they served their financial purpose and they moved on.

    I appreciate that this is a business model and does get income; but only at the expense of the legitimate sites out there that are genuine content providers in their niche. Ultimately as long as the so called ‘SEO Masters’ stay one step ahead, many business continue to lose revenue – but hey, that’s show business as they say – and I am certainly not whinging at people being able to make money.

    I’d love to see loads of comments on how we can help Google/BING/etc. – legitimately – rank clients websites with a TOTAL Transparent WHITE HAT formula that over (say) 6 months – that works! Anything else is just a game of cat and mouse.

    • Stan

      I completely DISAGREE with you Jonathan and I’ll tell you why.

      1. I had a client that had the BEST possible content in their market. It was amazing, WAY better than anything else out there, by a country mile. They did all of the marketing they could but couldn’t be found in Google, even after 3 years of producing amazing content and no SEO. Meanwhile, competitors buying links were enjoying 1st page rankings the whole time.

      As soon as this client started purchasing a few links, they shot up in Google and it changed everything.

      It’s a game of cat/mouse if you DON’T do SEO, not if you do. It IS legitimate to buy links and build your own blog network, not only is it legit, it’s dang smart and Google has rewarded it for years and will continue to do so.

      Also, I think many people FORGET that Pat Flynn’s whole success in the first Niche Dual, you know the security guard site tnat makes him lots of money? Many people forget that he got the rankings from that site via spun articles, blog networks, and things like that and guess what, the site is STILL #1 in Google even though it was built and marketed using the tactics YOU say are bad/temporary lol.

  • http://www.lifestyleupdated.com Slavko Desik

    First of all let me say that this is a great topic for discussion.

    Now my response in regards to what Alex was saying.

    For one I totally disagree with the “pattern-like” anchor text distribution. Not only it is possible for Google to detect it (maybe not now, but in the future), but it implies artificial, less than user experience oriented approach.
    Rand Fishkin advocates this all the time- build links from a user experience point of view. That way you never have to worry about being slapped on the wrist later on.

    As far as link farms are concerned Matt Cutts gave a very logical explanation that makes this practice fairly innocuous. What he says is that it’s ok to practice this technique as long as it tilts towards improving user experience from a logical point of view. Having this said, in a way, I partially disagree with Alex.

    Namely, he is regurgitating about spinning articles and creating content that is almost entirely the same. If we chase the improve-user-experience vertical, it is clearly that this is the exact opposite. What we should do to add value is very simple really.
    Just create content on those sites that is centered around synonyms of your keywords, and more importantly going deeper in terms of semantics into a certain topic discussed on your main site (providing value from a user experience point of view checked).

    Also, we give anchor text too much perceived value. And the truth is, it is slowly dying. In terms of being such a strong ranking factor, that is. Watch this video here that Rand Fishkin made saying how co-citation will ultimately replace anchor text. http://www.seomoz.org/blog/prediction-anchor-text-is-dying-and-will-be-replaced-by-cocitation-whiteboard-friday

    So the final strategy would be simple (if we are considering this method). Write content that is relevant but not the SAME. Have co-citation in mind and use all the “lingo” a certain niche generates (Alex explained this one very nicely). Place links from an editorial point of view (where they make the most sense), and formulate the anchor text with the user in mind.

    One more thing- what Alex said about moving on to other sides slightly bothers me. Namely, Google is advocating branding now more than ever, and together with relevance and authority this will dominate the search market in years to come (the EMD update partially had this intent). After all, Pat makes his income by sticking to long lasting and trust generating sites. Not some trendy flicks.

    So my answer to what white hat SEO is? SEO with the user in mind. Simple, really.

    Btw, will try this strategy. Thanks Alex.
    Have a great day guys.

  • Adam

    Hey Pat,

    I loved your NDS1 but I have to be honest here I know that you want to keep the report from being boring but the moment you give out the URL your amount of traffic and reference will launch that spot to the top within a few days. The link juice passing from this site to your new site will roundhouse kick that thing through the Google SERPS still providing you with somewhat of an unfair advantage. I’d like to see this study done with 0 links coming from SPI until your ranked in the first page or the top. I trust you and your reports to be honest and I’ll follow this either way but my main concern just lies in the fact that it won’t be a clean study.

    • Mary

      That is a good suggestion.

    • http://thesailingpodcast.com/ David

      I totally agree. This would be the only way to have an honest project.

  • Elias

    Hi Pat & Alex,
    when you buy these PR3 domains and set up content on them, and then you link to the site you want to rank – is it ok to also rank to other websites you own? For example if the website I want to rank is about migraine, and then I buy this PR3 domain and make it about headaches, and of course I link to my migraine site, but can I then also link to another site where I talk about meditation?

    So basically:
    Domain A: my (migraine) moneysite
    Domain B: my bought PR3 domain
    Domain C: my (meditation) moneysite

    And B links to both A and C.

    Is this ok, or should I keep things separate and use each PR3 domain only for one moneysite?

    Also, does it matter if the PR3 domain and my moneysite are on the same server? Same domain registrar info?

    Sorry, lots of questions, but I figure if I do this I better do it right :-)

  • Robert

    Hey Alex,
    Your pdf guides are cool but the links do not work in the “Alex’s Tough Competition Strategy (PDF)”. So, can you fix the PDF and give it to Pat? That would be cool. It’s ALL of the links in the “tough” guide that do not work.

    The “medium” guide links all work fine though. ;-)

    Now that I know about your site I have a ton of content to consume!

    Thanks Alex and Pat,

    Robert

    • http://cerebralsuccess.com Trevor

      I second that request – great stuff though. Cant wait to try it out!

  • Kevin

    Pat,
    Have you already started your keyword research for your niche dual 2.0? Do you have a feeling or idea if you are going to do an information or product based niche? I prefer an information based niche but it would be interesting to see you do a product based niche? Good luck either way. All the best and you are the best!
    Take care,
    KS

  • Stu

    Alex – love your approach to SEO , it proves over and over again that algorithms, spiders and such are not that smart ( in a manner of speaking ) and COMPLETELY rely on math to rank sites. Quality content engages people and keeps them coming back – but not rank.

    Exploit googles biggest weakness – links from high PR matter ALOT

    Keep up the good work guys !

  • Timmy Deleu

    @Jonathan

    I agree most of the SEO seems to be about gaming or manipulating Google. However there is nothing worse then seeing a low value website ranking number 1.

    What I always do is build a quality site which offers value to the user. How much value depends on the amount of time I’m willing to put into the site. Not all websites will be like smart passive income :), but in fact they should be.

    What I do with seo is first build a quality site that offers value to the user and then build the website with Google panda in mind. When I’m done I have a website that has a certain value to the user (I know this because of the return visits), and I don’t have to build so much links because the website has a good panda score.

    I good panda score is: low bounce rate, people clicking around your website, many pageviews, user interaction, etc…

  • http://www.zentral.co.uk Suffolk JAson

    IMHO the most reliable and Google-proof way to SEO any website could be summarized in one sentence:-

    “Make your website so useful and complete that it would be selfish of you NOT to promote it by seeking out all appropriate opportunities to do so.”

  • http://www.microupdate.co.uk Jonathan

    @suffolk JAson and @Timmy Deleu

    I could not say it better…

    On another note about anchor text, I’m puzzled… Being in the Website Design business, for years we have always put a footer link to our site. This is a link on each page of the clients website – e.g. the template. My business for one has 100′s of these, and I’m only a small web design business.

    Those web design businesses that have 100′s of designed websites multiplied by 1000′s of web pages (if you include the blog post pages) would surely put all web design companies into Google’s BAD books? How come none of us get penalised? Does Google look sympathetically (programmatically of course) at us poor web designers and say “ah they are web designers therefore I will leave them out of the equation?”.

    Do we now have to put some javascript into the anchor footers that spins our links?

    • stu

      @johnathan – is your link ‘branded’ – your anchor text I mean.

      If you put “Boston Web Design Company” it looks spammy and you will end up with 1000′s of links this way, however is you use “John & Co” its branded and google likes that

  • http://mattmcvicker.com Matt

    Interesting strategy from Becker!! Loved your first niche site duel Pat I can’t wait to see what this one has in store!! Love everything you do Pat!! Thank You and keep up the good work!

  • http://www.brandonhansen.com Brandon

    Hey Pat,

    Thanks for the great info. I am getting back into niche site building again after a few months of being sidetracked with other projects. I am excited to be back…

    One question – do you have audio for this video so I can take it with me on my drive home?

    Thanks,

    Brandon

  • http://www.manifestincome.com Ryan @ Manifest Income

    Wow, this is going to be very controversial what I’m about to say but I was very disappointed when I saw this video on SPI.

    The methods being promoted here are nothing new… you’ll see this kind of stuff all over the darkest corners of the Warrior Forum, and I will say unless you are prepared to accept short-term gains and be on googles target list for the next penalties, you’re asking for a heavy slap from the big G.

    I know Pat is using this for research purposes, but I worry for people that are going to get sucked in and go down a very costly path (cost referring to time down the drain) because this was featured on this site.

    If you’re new to the industry and you want a long-term business model, you’re going to have to put in some elbow grease and build real relationships.

    If you think google doesn’t care if you have a “small network”, think again… this couldn’t be further from the truth and it will be found and eliminated.

    Warrior forum and other big marketing sites are scattered with people like this that are trying to teach others how to build private blog networks.

    They throw in a few affiliate links, tie a bow around some tools that help them build the network that they sell or promote, and send people (especially those new to the industry) down a treacherous and slippery path.

    Pat, I agree with some of the comments above that creating a duel with your involvement is going to be much more difficult to show legitimate results.

    The one thing that draws people to SPI especially today, are your interviews on legitimate success stories, how-tos, and trends in the industry that are built putting the people first.

    If you’ve been around the industry for awhile, you’ve probably done some grey or black hat methods whether you realized it or not, (I did it like many others and paid the price).

    A lot of people lost their primary incomes when the big penalties happened last year. Businesses wiped out, based on methods like this…

    Pat, you’ve always been a transparent guy, that’s what people love about you, and even thought you’re revealing this as simply informational rather than endorsing, I know you realize by featuring this on your site, Alex is going to get a nice chunk of traffic that will probably follow these methods.

    It’s a free world, but think of it like this, if these people go down that path, how long do you think it’s really going to last?

    This goes against the way we teach to build a long-term sustainable business, and it goes against building a better internet (methods Pat promotes).

    My advice to everyone (take it as you will): Build a business the right way (put in the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to show something you’re proud of, and stop looking for the easy button (scams, black hat methods, and strategies that don’t benefit the traffic of the internet).

    • http://www.highya.com michael

      Ryan,

      I completely agree with you. Especially in your last paragraph… Building real and genuine businesses is the right method.

      Great Useful content and Social Media is my method today. People will link naturally from all sorts of PR websites.. 1,2,3+

      I have some friends running a pretty big review sites and they get natural back-links from sites like ehow.com – and they don’t even know how or why or when… That just shows… Focus on the business and good results will follow..

      Michael

  • http://www.highya.com Michael

    Thanks for posting this Pat!

    Definitely Useful Information. And Like Alex said in the Video, this might’ve created much more questions and possibly confusion for people just starting out.

    My personal opinion is that for some people who are just starting out, it might be even easier to build ranking versus people who have been in the SEO game for a while. Why? Because people who have been in SEO for quite some time formed habits and foundations using methods that Google is quite against….Whereas new SEOs are genuine and fresh… Again.. not all.

    I am personally excited that Social Media signals are effective more and more. That gives a huge advantage to many. Neil Patel mentioned in one his blogs that in the next Google, update, Social Signals will weigh even more than they do right now.

    Thanks,
    Michael

  • http://new-boiler-cost.co.uk Jon

    There’s a real challenge to stay on the “white hat” side of SEO. Personally I feel very uncomfortable with the spinning approach as this is not really contributing anything to the user experience. Having more in-depth articles on other sites for me is acceptable although it is much harder work to achieve.

    Will follow the niche site dual 2.0 with interest

  • http://pcsoft24.com/how-to-make-mig33-pc-software-part-3/ buzzard

    Hey bro,
    Thanks for the useful information. I was hopeless on blogging. Now I am getting back into niche site building again after a few months of being sidetracked with new projects. I am really happy to be back.

    Thanks!!

  • http://fiveinchsquare.net/ Przemek

    Hello Pat,

    At the beginning I want to thank you and Alex for sharing with all that knowledge. Im sure that there is a lot of people (including me) that struggle with running some quality niche sites and all the advices that we can get from experienced guys like you can literaly save our lives :). Lately I have started to run my blog which is similar to SPI in early days. I want also to built a group of well designed and quality niche sites that in the future will going to provide me with some descent amount of money so I will be able to quit with my regular job. I know that there is a really a lot of hard work in front of me but I’m ready to take the challenge. I also cant wait for the results of NSD 2.0.

    Good Luck!

  • http://nailfungu-s-treatment.blogspot.com jack

    well what ve got to say about Becker approach is that is cost effective and not every one have such capital to spend on buying high PR website.

    • http://seocanban.blogspot.com/ hoc lam seo

      In fact, I donot like that idea, I prefer building qualified website with great content myself, It takes much time but saves a lot and i can manage eveything.

  • http://www.bestofamsterdam.com Amsterdam

    Great video with a lot of knowlegde of SEO. I used a lot of tips for my websites. Interested in what 2.0 or 3.0 will bring us.

  • http://www.basslures.net Christopher

    Thank Pat again! I have spent so much time on your site trying to learn how to blog and become successful at it. My blog is still young and gaining traction and this post will give me more ammo in the competitive world of blogging. But always, content and relevance is king so that will remain my primary focus. The tools you provide help to quicken the process. Thanks again!

    Christopher

  • Johnny

    Hi pat, awesomeness at its best. Cant wait to see your round two of challenges.
    You have changed the format of your comments section huh?

    http://longdistancerelationshiphq.com/

  • http://www.atmebook.com/ Alex

    Hi Pat, thanks for the great content and having these great guests that share their content as well. I have been listening and reading for a year and have just started to use all of your great information. Always excited to see what you will share next. Thanks…Alex

  • http://www.myworkathomeventures.com Melissa @ My Work At Home Ventures

    Awesome Pat! Thank you for sharing these interviews. I can’t wait til you start the next duel. I’m going to be eating up these interviews. I was one that was slapped by Google with two of my sites last summer/fall. I’m sure now that it was the anchor text issue, especially for one of my sites. This video gave me a lot of hope that I can finally recover, especially since my site is not in that competetive of a niche. I do agree that it seems starting a new site you can rank more easily than ever because I started a new niche site a couple months ago and am now ranking on the first page of Google for my target phrase! Still not getting much traffic yet, but it’s low on the page. But I haven’t done hardly any backlinking work either!
    Anyway, I’ll be tagging along on the duel with one of my sites that I already have started. Can’t wait!

  • http://tekkbuzz.com/2012/06/21/tekkbuzz-podcast-15-pat-flynn-on-using-facebook-and-youtube-for-business/ Deborah Richmond

    OMG, I tried the tip to find a highly trafficked site, then find the sites that are their one of their strongest backlinks. I emailed that site, asked for a link, and got one for FREE. That was yesterday. Today my site went from not showing up at all for my keyword phrase, to page 1, 5th postiion! I’m stunned! Granted, my keyword phrase has low competition, but still i was not coming up in searches before today. I’m definitely going to do more of this, and going to go sign up for Alex’s email list.

  • http://diymusicbiz.com Greg Savage

    I can’t wait to see this. Will you be using MS for this case study as well?

  • http://english-studyguide.com Mark Hunt

    Hi Pat,
    Excellent post.

    However I have some problems with the next duel, if you link in any way, or any of your readers link, then the results will be invalid – spi has quite a high PR!

    I think the only possible way to have results that don’t mislead your readers would be to run the duel totally separate from your main site and only report after the duel has finished. I think if you do it in any other way many readers would feel they are being misled and it may hurt your reputation.

    That said, this is one of the best posts to date, and I wish you all the best.

  • http://anzreviews.com/viral-optins-wilco-de-kreij-reviews-and-bonus/ Steve Ho

    This is very important. Thank you for sharing this informative article.

  • http://unemploymenthq.com Kurt Akken

    Pat,

    Really looking forward to NSD 2.0. It’s so difficult to try and figure out how to promote my website in the post-panda/penguin world. I want to take an approach that won’t get “dinged” again by Google in some future upgrade – so I will be watching to learn your white-hat approach and methods. Thanks for the great information (and podcast).

  • http://moneyoptions-online.com Kollin

    Great video! I love learning new things for SEO, and learning it from someone with great success is better.

  • http://blog.michaelsopata.com Mike

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. It appears that I found you and Alex in the knick of time.

  • Stan

    Here’s the problem, all his tactics and tricks etc may work, but if you buy his products Alex Becker’s and don’t like the product, forget getting a refund on the product regardless of what he “guarantees”, He has owed me money on an expensive product I purchased and tried to get a refund according to the 30 day no questions asked guarantee and was led to believe it would be handled on “Tuesday”. Never happened, emails are being ignored and now he has denied access to that product. This guy is a scammer and con man, stay clear

  • http://www.articlekevo.com Jackson (Article Kevo)

    Hi Pat!

    I did pick up some useful stuff from your first niche site duel and will definitely be following duel 2.0. If you need another link building tool I’ll be glad to give you a copy of our software as a form of appreciation. Absolutely no strings attached. Looking forward to it!

    Best,
    Jackson

  • Ian Tomlinson

    Hi Pat. I’m now avoiding “tactics” to rank my websites and have chosen to go down the great content route. I use social media to spread that its out there and hope that over time my sites will be popular and useful to my readers.
    I was burned badly by the penguin update and never want to go there again. I’m going to follow your white hat methods with interest.

  • http://www.moneylifeandmore.com Lance @ Money Life and More

    Hey Pat! I normally don’t comment just to say thanks because I don’t feel I’m adding to the discussion at all but this time I felt the need to! Thanks for that video! It was awesome :) Can’t wait to see you speak at FinCon and say hey!

  • http://einterviewquestionsandanswers.com Sandra

    Hi Pat, I just wanted to say that I’m really looking forward to your next duel. I’ve just started with my online journey so I’m pretty new to everything. I will try to follow step by step to see if it will work for me as well. I’m already excited ;-)
    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge – you are a great inspiration!!

  • http://www.JesseWestphal.com Jesse Westphal

    Hey Pat, I love all the information you are providing. I went through Beckers training on SEO competition and I think what you did in your first challenge is similar to what he is teaching. He does get into PR ranking a little more than what you teach but you both provide GREAT content.

    I love what you are doing and how you are so transparent with everything. I have been looking to dominate my niche marketing and I think that if I take some of the bits and pieces you two share that it will come to pass.

    thank you for everything.

    Jesse

  • http://www.homelearningexperience.com Sibo

    Wow, it looks like there have been some great conversations going on here since the last time I came here. I am not going to join either “white hat” or “black hat” here. I am very new and not close to an expert at all, so I am here to learn from Pat and SPI fans. I spent a little time in last few days and found my niche. As I am currently 3 weeks into my “365 days to lose 45lbs challenge”, I will start a niche on weight loss. I know this key word is very competitive, so I will focus on a little longer tail. I can’t wait to get started with NSD2.0 Who is also pumped like me?

    Cheers,

    Sibo

  • Jonathan

    I have been chomping at the bit to get going with a niche site, and have not meen able to get it off the ground.

    Can I join your dual

  • http://www.socraticsbc.com/ Raquel Marhtins

    Wow! absolute I agree on your post. Nowadays to avoid Google panda algorithm, it should be the keyword niche that you use are relevant to the site that you promoted

  • http://zachis.it Zachary Smith

    This was actually informative – not like most of what i see online. sharing :)

  • http://tekhandy.com Wes

    I was totally hooked by Alex Becker’s info, right off the bat. I didn’t even stay to finish the video that Pat posted. I spent nearly 12 hours plowing through every single video that Becker and Cass have up on most of their sites. I signed up for their newsletters, bought a new domain, and then set it up using their method.

    BUT… when I got to the part about spamming backlinks, social adds, and generally attempting to sneak under Google’s radar, I stopped dead in my tracks.

    I didn’t buy any software that Alex mentioned, but I was upset that I did buy into his “get rich quick” scheme. I felt like Alex was saying “Just lower your standards a bit and you can be a Millionaire”.

    I noticed that Pat did a lot of editing to the video interview. I’ve watched a lot of the interviews and I hadn’t noticed so much editing before. I wonder why there was so much this time.

  • http://www.lenomedia.co.za Leno

    Thank you, this was very informative, for some reason could watch only half of it:? I am looking forward to NSD 2.0. I want to get a niche site going soon. I have a question, are exact match domains still a go? Yeah Pat, stay clean an honest white hat guy. It would do your brand a lot of damage if don’t :) your honesty is what makes you unique.

  • http://tutorial.world.edu Rina

    I can learn how to best optimize a niche blog from Alex Becker
    Thank you for this share, hopefully I can be like you and also Alex Becker

  • Colbie

    Just read through Niche Site Duel 1.0 and I learned a lot from that. I can’t wait to hear and learn what you have to say during Niche Site Duel 2.0. Good work PAT!!!

  • http://craig-west.co.uk Karl (business blog) Craig-West

    Thanks Pat and Alex for a novel approach to upping SEO score quickly.
    I’m now certainly on the look out for a domain or two to buy.
    The problem now is how long it’ll take Google to catch onto this and close down the technique of buying PR from existing domains.

    • http://www.foreveraffiliate101.com/ Ryan

      Buying PR domains for building a private network has been going on for years. I think as long as the sites built on the expired high pr domains are of good value and don’t interlink with one another, then the odds of them being taken down by G is slim.

  • http://www.bloedsuikermeten.nl ysk

    Thanks a lot for these .pdf’s

    They gave me a good insight of checking up the competition for my keywords. the videos are a must-see for everyone in my opinion!

  • http://www.experimentalincome.com Tommy

    I agree with you Pat. This may work, but I would rather try to stick to as much “White-Hat” technique as possible. Thanks for the great interview.
    - Tommy

  • http://troiaportugal.pt Troia Portugal

    This is great information. I hope one day I can get the results you do!
    Thank you

    Rui from Troia Portugal

  • Bonescal

    He mentioned on source wave he had tutorials on keyword research, did anyone find them. I can’t seem to locate them.

    Thanks

    • http://http//rustyboozer.com Rusty

      You have to sign up for his newsletter and then like the Facebook page and he’ll send them to you.

  • Kurt

    I was so skeptical of this guys tactics so I actually had to try it out myself. His approach to keyword research is right on the money though.

    Using his tactics, I found a keyword that had a 5.6k exact match search volume and managed to rank it on the first page in UNDER 24hrs. To really test his methods I didn’t even write an article, just created the wordpress, adjusted some settings put a picture and h1 tags etc for the keyword and created a couple backlinks.

    At the moment – 3 days after initially buying the domain it is ranked 6th in google for that primary keyword. The only downside of this keyword is that it isn’t really a money keyword but wanted to just use anything to test the methods and was surprised to find it worked.

  • http://www.fitforblogging.com Jean

    Pat, well done for going 100% white hat for NSD 2.0, the SEO sphere right now is too confusing, and it’s quite a challenge for both newbies and those who have established sites. Only by having resources such as yours providing good, white hat information will things ever change for the better. Having high traffic blogs myself, and having done absolutely no SEO on them, I know that creating great content in itself is one of the best SEO tactics. However every now and then I do have a specific keyword that I’d like to target, which is where my interest in SEO does come in. I hope NSD 2.0 will be the perfect example for me to follow in this scenario.

  • http://www.tampaflattractions.com Mark Stephenson

    So, if I use one of the article submission services, can I just submit ONE articleper target sites, or do I need to submit 10 spun versions for 10 sites?

  • http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk Matthew Woodward

    Can we get some more details about the duel itself?

    I’m game for this!

  • http://www.bestappliancesreview.com Sky

    Hi Pat, I hope for NSD 2.0 you can teach us to monetize the site without adsense.

  • http://quietdiscipline.com cotey

    Hey pat great stuff as always.
    To comment on the whole “white hat” thing. I think when the definition refers to back linking and keywords and what not, they’re referring to the organic kind you would get through that human element. As in other “humans” linking to your amazing content. Not spinning a site that only exists for the sake of the links.

    As much as I like the idea of sticking to white hat it sounds like without community hook ups already in place it would take a long time and a lot of really great work to
    rank number one with that strategy.

    Good luck to all of us.

  • http://andreasantin.com AndreaS

    Nowhere in the article Alex mentions Trustrank, while he suggests creating small website networks which has been a clear no-no in the past.
    All in all, those strategies sees kinda dangerous to me: something that might work today, but that can get easily under Google scrutiny in a few months.

  • Paul

    Why would you even want to have an interview with this arrogant prick? Alex is best example of this “guru” that just wants to take peoples money. Obviously he’s going to tell people “I make this I make that.” Uses photos to catch your attention. It’s all a marketing tactic that everyone SHOULD be aware of.

    Seriously, Alex doesn’t provide anything to his site. He’s full of himself, cocky as hell, and thinks he knows his stuff.

    It’s sad because a lot of newbies will follow what he does, and at the end of the day they will get disappointed.

    He claims he provides value and all this non BS stuff. If people used their brains, just go onto different forums and learn what this guy Becker is teaching.

    He has nothing to prove and nothing to give.

  • AJ

    Alex looks fake and so does his advise. Patt I would stay away. Keep it honest is what makes you on top of the game. Love your podcast and honest advise and tips. I have a business website that I need to optimize. Learning for now.

  • http://www.originalwriting.ie/ OriginalWriting – Self Publishing

    I just listened to you video on Youtube and I must say even as an SEO professional, I learnt something. Great work!

  • http://legitwaysmakemoneyonline.com Bostjan

    Alex is a world champion in SEO :)
    I learned from him all about optimization.

    Listen him and your websites will be on the first page of Google!

    Good luck:)

  • Alex

    Interesting to see all the comments pan out… Thanks to everyone who’s using content and the advice from seomoz as their way of ranking in the serps. That simply means that it’s easier for me to claim your rankings if I want too : )

  • http://IndoorCyclingHQ.com Adam C Young

    Wow – GREAT info.

    I’m building a membership site in a high competition niche area, and this will be a huge help. Thanks Pat and Alex!

  • http://meetthephil.com Phil

    Gotta love B.
    He helps break through all the typical SEO BS you hear from everyone else.
    Not necessarily the easiest to get past but once you do, it’s epic when it comes to taking action!

  • http://i-searchengine.net Noor

    enjoyed reading this looong post. In fact I took 3 pages of notes from Alex video interview. Awesome!

  • http://flipname.net Alan

    I always enjoy Becker’s content that he shares on his blog and elsewhere. The techniques (both blackhat and white) that he describes work.

  • sid

    Most interesting and informative post ever seen on SPI

  • http://www.profesyonelbayanmasoz.com/izmir-masoz/ izmir masöz

    Thank you, this was very informative, I have started to follow Becker as well. :-)

  • http://www.advertability.com Matt

    Pat, between your site and Spencer’s, I have learned a tremendous amount about improving my SEO skills, much obliged to you guys. Thanks for the the interview with Alex and to him for sharing the pdf downloads. Invaluable insights to the newcomers to the field. Great place to begin your learning

  • Ryan

    Thanks Becker,
    I have been trying with SEO for over a year now, every time i would get a site up and running i would start with the SEO and nothing i did would ever get me closer to ranking on the first page. I decided to give your strategy a try but i did not buy my own expired domains i used the broker forum you mentioned and just posted on there what i was looking for in a few hours i got some post back with people trying to sell links from their high pr domains within my niche. It has been a week now and with just about $200 i was able to get my site to position number 2 i hope to outrank number one in another week.

    My point here is that i do not feel this was black hat at all, I went to people with very high PR sites in my niche i wrote an original article for everyone of the sites and in the article i linked back to my site with the anchor text of my choice. Now these people are doing this for profit which makes this a little grey but the content fits into their niche and it is original good content. My point is i see no harm but please correct me if im wrong.

    But before you do I just wanted to say thanks Becker, and thank you pat for bringing him on.

    Ryan Leavitt

    • http://www.jasonloveslife.com/ Jason Love

      Hey Ryan,
      Cool story. Do you mind sharing your domain and keyword? I am having a hard time with SEO and your story is inspirational.

  • http://panicreliefnow.org Helen

    Great discussion. Very Helpful. As a newbie, I take White Hat to mean written with a human audience primarily in mind. In the long run, I would expect White Hat sites to stand the test of time even if in the short run they are overtaken by sites ‘gaming the system’.
    Recently I read that it was likely Google would penalise comment links from blogs that weren’t in the same area of interest as the blogs they were commenting on and I think that would be a great pity. ‘Cross-commenting’ surely is a good thing and encourages greater creativity and learning.

  • David

    For me, a *truely* white hat approach would be to say: “I don’t give a dang about SEO etc, I just want to create helpful content for my audience and share with the world what I know/what has helped me”.

    This would mean: giving no thoughts whatsoever about SEO, i.e. how to rank, for what to rank etc. You simply focus on one subject and create the best possible content that you can come up with, your only intention being that others read the content and say: “Thank you so much for that content and for your website in general!” As a logical consequence, I am convinced, one’s site will be shared enough to climb up the ranks on Google.

    *That’s* 100% pure White Hat for me. I am not saying that I do it like that in my own projects but one day (soon) I will come up with a site like that :)

    Best regards from Greece,
    David

  • http://alexisgrant.com Alexis Grant

    Interesting interview — thanks for sharing. Comments on both sides of the spectrum have been insightful, too.

    Does anyone know of a tool that allows you to search for high PR sites on a certain topic or sites that have a certain keyword in the URL? (Here’s why: I like to get back-links organically, by placing high-quality guest posts. Being able to zero in on sites in my niche with high PR would be helpful.)

    Thanks!
    @alexisgrant

    • http://www.phpmycoder.com Gigi

      You just google these keywords and then ontact the top ranking sites. The PR doesn’t matter that much, if the site is ranking for your keyword then it’s a ‘winning’ site. If you insist on PR you can use a tool like scrapebox to scrape google results and check pr for them. Get your proxies ready though because they ban automated queries.

  • http://dreamscashtrue.com Anton Ivanov

    Not going to lie – the interview was interesting but I’m not a fan of Alex’s strategies. His focus seems to be much more on simply increasing traffic and not really on providing useful content to his visitors. It almost feels like he is turning his niche sites into mindless, useless machines – they generate good income, but serve no real useful purpose.

  • http://www.thinkbeastly.com/ Cedric Jackson

    First of all Pat Congrats for you nomination on your podcast, second I am a big fan of your and I appreciate the youtube video you and Alex made, very informative and helpful. Thanks for the tips you have shared here, this now one of my favorite site online!

  • DIZZY WIZZY
  • j

    Seek Jesus and HE will solve all of your problems, nothing else will. God Bless.

  • Business Print

    Its kind of hard to say what the right approach is. Its interesting that each expert has his own approach to ranking.

    http://www.printleaf.com

  • http://www.fernandobiz.com/ FERNANDO

    Great tips and it’s actualy the second time I’ve watching this with couple of our SEO’s at ClickDo

  • http://www.mlmblogpost.com/ Jason Lee

    Matt Cutts recently released an article about how these types of link building strategies (buying high PR sites and back linking from them) are going to be getting highly penalized. Is this still a viable strategy? Or could it really hurt a blog long term? I’d hate to do it and then get slammed by Google and have to backtrack all the linking I did to get out of the sandbox.

  • Louis Halton Davies

    First off, I should start by saying that SPI is probably one of the most inspiring blogs / podcasts I’ve come across so far and that I’m really excited to keep tabs on the progression of Niche Site Duel 2.0. However, I do think that the techniques outlined by Alex are black hat SEO techniques as they involve paying for backlinks and trying to ‘game’ the Google algorithm. They sound very effective and I am without doubt that they work, but I also think that they come with a risk of your site being omitted from Google – even if it’s a slim chance.

    I would use these tactics tomorrow if I thought they were without risk – but then you could argue that maybe I’m being too conservative. I always favour white hat techniques (like the 200 list – which I’m very keen to try), and even though they’re slower burning you know that Google won’t call you up on trying to ‘game’ the system.

    These are my own personal views though, I’m not suggesting that they’re right or wrong.