Open Questions: When To Never Do Article Submissions

Got a question in my E-Commerce SEO Checklist post from Rania, who didn’t leave me a link for credit.

“4. Steal your competitors articles and product reviews and do article distribution.”

You recommend STEALING articles from competitors as an advanced SEO tactic?! Seriously?!

How about recommending that users create their own unique content in order to increase their site traffic and ranking.

Suggesting that people steal competitors work really says a lot about you- and your company.

Good luck.

I know you’re only trying to make a point but I’ll accept the question anyway.

Why would I steal my competitors articles for article distribution instead of writing/sharing my own?

The answer is much more than a time or ethics response.

1. Unnecessary CompetitionA typical article distribution involves submitting to around 1-5k worth of article directories and E-zines. Any time you submit the same piece of content to that many sites it creates unnecessary competition. This is especially true if your site is new. The article directories and ezines are old, your site is new. They win. While they usually won’t take you out on the primary keywords especially with your site linked in the article, they can snag a lot of unknown positions in your longtail and mediumtailed phrases pushing your site down and losing you an unknown bit of long term traffic. This can go all the way up to a worse case scenario. Last year when Acai Berry was a hot niche a lot of people were seoing for the term and many did article distributions. While their sites never made it into the top 10, the articles they submitted came closer. So when Google did some manual reviews and bitch slapped a bunch of rebill promoters and affiliate pages on the term most of what was left was the articles. All ranking and for awhile there while everyone else readjusted left a bunch of article directories taking all that good traffic. The first thing the article directory owners did of course was edit the articles and take out the links to the authors websites and throw in their own affiliate links. Lesson learned, but that brings us to point two.

2. Don’t Do It Unless Others AreESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE IN A SMALL NICHE! God damn, I see people do this all the time. They find a nice little niche with nearly zero competition and in the miniscule effort they have to put into ranking they realize the only way they know how to build backlinks is to article submit. They get flooded out and cry. Uhhg. The point is, same as point one. Don’t do it unless others are. I follow the rule outlined in SEO Empire, if you want to win Match and Exceed. If it becomes a problem for you to maintain your ranking, then submit where they submit and a bit more. So don’t submit unless you have to, but if you do make sure you…

3. Submit Your Competitors Articles OnlyAll those same articles on thousands of sites creates a massive duplicate content penalty opportunity. So the worst choice you can make is to go through the articles published on your site and submit them. In the middle of the bad choices spectrum would be to write unique articles and submit those. Unique articles are for pulling in seo traffic and thus they belong on your site and preferably nowhere else. You throw little fits when people steal your content, why would you willingly give it out? The wisest choice is to submit your competitors articles because if you’re going to put anyone at risk for duplicate content you might as well put them not yourself. I’ve always said, there’s two ways to rank: You going up or them going down. I own about 170 article directories as part of my basement. I understand how the article game is played. People aren’t submitting articles to my sites because they want my directory to be the best smelling turd around. They want the links. I want the pages of content for link laundering and they want the links, that is what its all about and nothing more. No one owes me unique articles, nor is it doing them any favors to give them to me.

Hope that clears up the game rules for you Rania, sorry its not advanced, but there’s good reasons for everything we do. Please understand, I don’t tell people to be evil just because I enjoy watching them be evil (even though I do). There is always some form of risk whenever you are. Yet never hesitate to be evil when its a sink or swim situation, always match and exceed.


User Contributed – Captcha Breaking W/ PHPBB2 Example

This is a fantastic guest post by Harry over at DarkSEO Programming. His blog has some AWESOME code examples and tutorials along with an even deeper explanation of this post so definitely check it out and subscribe so he’ll continue blogging.

This post is a practical explanation of how to crack phpBB2 easily. You need to know some basic programming but 90% of the code is written for you in free software.

Programs you Need

C++/Visual C++ express edition – On Linux everything should compile simply. On windows everything should compile simply, but it doesn’t always (normally?). Anyway the best tool I found to compile on windows is Visual C++ express edition. Download

GOCR – this program takes care of the character recognition. Also splits the characters up for us . It’s pretty easy to do that manually but hey. Download

ImageMagick – this comes with Linux. ImageMagick lets us edit images very easily from C++, php etc. Install this with the development headers and libraries. Download from here

A (modified) phpbb2 install – phpBB2 will lock you out after a number of registration attempts so we need to change a line in it for testing purposes. After you have it all working you should have a good success rate and it will be unlikely to lock you out. Find this section of code: (it’s in includes/usercp_register.php)

if ($row = $db->sql_fetchrow($result)){if ($row['attempts'] > 3){message_die(GENERAL_MESSAGE, $lang['Too_many_registers']);}}$db->sql_freeresult($result);

Make it this:

if ($row = $db->sql_fetchrow($result)){//if ($row[’attempts’] > 3)//{//message_die(GENERAL_MESSAGE, $lang[’Too_many_registers’]);//}}$db->sql_freeresult($result);

Possibly a version of php and maybe apache web server on your desktop PC. I used php to automate the downloading of the captcha because it’s very good at interpreting strings and downloading static web pages.

Getting C++ Working First

The problem on windows is there is a vast number of C++ compilers, and they all need setting up differently. However I wrote the programs in C++ because it seemed the easiest language to quickly edit images with ImageMagick. I wanted to use ImageMagick because it allows us to apply a lot of effects to the image if we need to remove different types of backgrounds from the captcha.

Once you’ve installed Visual C++ 2008 express (not C#, I honestly don’t know if C# will work) you need to create a Win32 Application. In the project properties set the include path to something like (depending on your imagemagick installation) C:Program FilesImageMagick-6.3.7-Q16include and the library path to C:Program FilesImageMagick-6.3.7-Q16lib. Then add these to your additional library dependencies CORE_RL_magick_.lib CORE_RL_Magick++_.lib CORE_RL_wand_.lib. You can now begin typing the programs below.

If that all sounds complicated don’t worry about it. This post covers the theory of cracking phpBB2 as well. I just try to include as much code as possible so that you can see it in action. As long as you understand the theory you can code this in php, perl, C or any other language. I’ve compiled a working program at the bottom of this post so you don’t need to get it all working straight away to play with things.

Getting started

Ok this is a phpBB2 captcha:

It won’t immediately be interpreted by GOCR because GOCR can’t work out where the letters start and end. Here’s the weakness though. The background is lighter than the text so we can exclude it by getting rid of the lighter colors. With ImageMagick we can do this in a few lines of C++. Type the program below and compile/run it and it will remove the background. I’ll explain it below.

using namespace Magick;

int main( int /*argc*/, char ** argv){

// Initialize ImageMagick install location for WindowsInitializeMagick(*argv);

// load in the unedited imageImage phpBB("test.png");

// remove noisephpBB.threshold(34000);

// save imagephpBB.write("convert.pnm");


All this does is loads in the image, and then calls the function threshold attached to the image. Threshold filters out any pixels below a certain darkness. On linux you have to save the image as a .png however on windows GOCR will only read .pnm files so on linux we have to put the line instead:

// save imagephpBB.write("convert.png");

The background removed.

Ok that’s one part sorted. Problem 2. We now have another image that GOCR won’t be able to tell where letters start and end. It’s too grainy. What we notice though is that each unjoined dot in a letter that is surrounded by dots 3 pixels away should probably be connected together. So I add a piece of code onto the above program that looks 3 pixels to the right and 3 pixels below. If it finds any black dots it fills in the gaps. We now have chunky letters. GOCR can now identify where each letter starts and ends . We’re pretty much nearly done.

using namespace Magick;

void fill_holes(PixelPacket * pixels, int cur_pixel, int size_x, int size_y){int max_pixel, found;

///////////// pixels to right /////////////////////found = 0;max_pixel = cur_pixel+3;// the furthest we want to search// set a limit so that we can't go over the end of the picture and crashif(max_pixel>

///////////// pixels to right /////////////////////found = 0;max_pixel = cur_pixel+3;// the furthest we want to search// set a limit so that we can't go over the end of the picture and crashif(max_pixel>=size_x*size_y)max_pixel = size_x*size_y-1;

// first of all are we a black pixel, no point if we are notif(*(pixels+cur_pixel)==Color("black")){// start searching from the right backwardsfor(int index=max_pixel; index>

// first of all are we a black pixel, no point if we are notif(*(pixels+cur_pixel)==Color("black")){// start searching from the right backwardsfor(int index=max_pixel; index>cur_pixel; index--){// should we be coloring?if(found)*(pixels+index)=Color("black");


///////////// pixels to bottom /////////////////////found = 0;max_pixel = cur_pixel+(size_x*3);if(max_pixel>

///////////// pixels to bottom /////////////////////found = 0;max_pixel = cur_pixel+(size_x*3);if(max_pixel>=size_x*size_y)max_pixel = size_x*size_y-1;

if(*(pixels+cur_pixel)==Color("black")){for(int index=max_pixel; index>

if(*(pixels+cur_pixel)==Color("black")){for(int index=max_pixel; index>cur_pixel; index-=size_x){// should we be coloring?if(found)*(pixels+index)=Color("black");



int main( int /*argc*/, char ** argv){

// Initialize ImageMagick install location for WindowsInitializeMagick(*argv);

// load in the unedited imageImage phpBB("test.png");

// remove noisephpBB.threshold(34000);

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Beef up "holey" parts/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////phpBB.modifyImage(); // Ensure that there is only one reference to // underlying image; if this is not done, then the // image pixels *may* remain unmodified. [???]Pixels my_pixel_cache(phpBB); // allocate an image pixel cache associated with my_imagePixelPacket* pixels; // 'pixels' is a pointer to a PixelPacket array

// define the view area that will be accessed via the image pixel cache// literally below we are selecting the entire pictureint start_x = 0;int start_y = 0;int size_x = phpBB.columns();int size_y = phpBB.rows();

// return a pointer to the pixels of the defined pixel cachepixels = my_pixel_cache.get(start_x, start_y, size_x, size_y);

// go through each pixel and if it is black and has black neighbors fill in the gaps// this calls the function fill_holes from abovefor(int index=0; index<size_x*size_y; index++)fill_holes(pixels, index, size_x, size_y);

// now that the operations on my_pixel_cache have been finalized// ensure that the pixel cache is transferred back to my_imagemy_pixel_cache.sync();

// save imagephpBB.write("convert.pnm");


I admit this looks complicated on first view. However you definitely don’t have to do this in C++ though if you can find an easier way to perform the same task. All it does is remove the background and join close dots together.

I’ve given the C++ source code because that’s what was easier for me, however the syntax can be quite confusing if you’re new to C++. Especially the code that accesses blocks of memory to edit the pixels. This is more a study of how to crack the captcha, but in case you want to code it in another language here’s the general idea of the algorithm that fills in the holes in the letters:

1. Go through each pixel in the picture. Remember where we are in a variable called cur_pixel2. Start three pixels to the right of cur_pixel. If it’s black color the pixels between this position and cur_pixel black.3. Work backwards one by one until we reach cur_pixel again. If any pixels we land on are black then color the space in between them and cur_pixel black.4. Go back to step 1 until we’ve been through every pixel in the picture

NOTE: Just make sure you don’t let any variables go over the edge of the image otherwise you might crash your program.

I used the same algorithm but modified it slightly so that it also looked 3 pixels below, however the steps were exactly the same.

Training GOCR

The font we’re left with is not recognized natively by GOCR so we have to train it. It’s not recognized partly because it’s a bit jagged.

Assuming our cleaned up picture is called convert.pnm and our training data is going to be stored in a directory call data/ we’d type this.

gocr -p ./data/ -m 256 -m 130 convert.pnm

Just make sure the directory data/ exists (and is empty). I should point out that you need to open up a command prompt to do this from. It doesn’t have nice windows. Which is good because it makes it easier to integrate into php at a later date.

Any letters it doesn’t recognize it will ask you what they are. Just make sure you type the right answer. -m 256 means use a user defined database for character recognition. -m 130 means learn new letters.

You can find my data/ directory in the zip at the end of this post. It just saves you the time of going through checking each letter and makes it all work instantly.

Speeding it up

Downloading, converting, and training for each phpbb2 captcha takes a little while. It can be sped up with a simple bit of php code but I don’t want to make this post much longer. You’ll find my script at the end in my code package. The php code runs from the command prompt though by typing “php filename.php”. It’s sort of conceptual in the sense that it works, but it’s not perfect.


Ok once GOCR starts getting 90% of the letters right we can reduce the required accuracy so that it guesses the letters it doesn’t know.

Below I’ve reduced the accuracy requirement to 25% using -a 25. Otherwise GOCR prints the default underscore character even for slightly different looking characters that have already been entered. -m 2 means don’t use the default letter database. I probably could have used this earlier but didn’t. Ah well, it doesn’t do a whole lot.

gocr -p ./data/ -m 256 -m 2 -a 25 convert.pnm

We can get the output of gocr in php using:

echo exec(”/full/path/gocr -p ./data/ -m 256 -m 2 -a 25 convert.pnm”);


In some instances you may not have access to GOCR or you don’t want to use it. Although it should be usable if you have access to a dedicated server. In this case I would separate the letters out manually and resize them all to the same size. I would then put them through a php neural network which can be downloaded from here FANN download

It would take a bit of work but it should hopefully be as good as using GOCR. I don’t know how well each one reacts to letters which are rotated though. Neural networks simply memorize patterns. I haven’t checked the inner workings of GOCR. It looks complicated.

My code

All the code can be found here to crack phpBB2 captcha.

Zip Download

In conclusion to this tutorial it’s a nightmare trying to port over all my code from linux to windows unless it’s written in Java . If only Java was small and quick as well.

It’s worth stating that phpbb2 was easy to crack because the letters didn’t touch or overlap. If they had touched or overlapped it would probably have been very hard to crack.

I plan to look at that line and square captcha that comes with phpBB3 over on my site and document how secure it is.

Thanks for the awesome guest post Harry.


Guest Post: Make $50 dollars a day with Google Custom Search

Here’s a nice little guest post contributed by SEOcracy. I love guest posts that involve some form of creative money making idea.

—————————— I hope you have all been paying attention over the past week, because today I am going to build on last weeks database revelations and tell you all how to use database content to make serious money (and build serious traffic) through Google Custom Search.

Now, I have been making decent bank with Google Custom Search for a while now, and having recently amp’d up my efforts in a big way, I feel confident enough to make the claim that you should all be able to make at LEAST Fifty Dollars a day using the techniques I am about to outline.

Google Custom Search came on the scene back in late 2006 and it really didn’t make the splash that I expected it would in the SEO scene. Google Custom Search, in good Web2.0-Mash-Up style, gave me a brand new way to inter-link and cross promote my diverse network of niche sites, and I thought that was pretty cool. In fact, most people thought that was pretty cool, and that was about all we really heard about the launch of GCS.

But let’s stop and examine three things that make GCS especially cool for us SEO’s and Affiliate Marketers, shall we?

1) GCS engines can be highly targeted, returning extremely relevant results. This means that we can create a GCS that will satisfy the search needs of our site’s users based on their specific interests; and a satisfied user is a loyal user.

2) GCS engines allow us to return results only from the websites we choose. This means that we can set up a GCS to promote only those sites within our network. So if we have a mini-network on home development, our GCS can be set to only return those relevant results from sub-sites within our network. For our mini-network on home development our GCS might return results from sub-sites that provide mortgage offers, information on concrete polishing, or how to select granite countertops. This allows us to cross promote the sites within our network instead of having visitors turn to our competitor for more in-depth information.

3) GCS is made to be monetized. You can display your Adsense ads in your search results and thus can profit from the increased impressions when people use your GCS.

From an SEO point of view, GCS is solid gold because it lets you bypass the usual search completely and in so doing, you bypass your competition! Of course, as I’m sure many of you who have played with Google Custom Search have already realized: your search engine is only as good as the number of users you can funnel into it. Meaning, if you have a GCS that only does 10 searches a day then you are really not going to see any tangible benefit to having it setup on your website.

The hardest part about making a profitable custom search is getting traffic to it. Often people add GCS to their website as an afterthought. Maybe they just feel like it is a cheap & easy way to provide search functionality and increased accessibility to their users. That is all well and good, but we aren’t just trying to make our site more accessible, we are trying to make some extra money, and this implementation of a Google search is rarely profitable because only a small percentage of your websites visitors will ever use it.

As of this post, I am running a HUGE amount of different GCS engines. I have a GCS engine for every single niche I am involved in. Every time I start a new niche, one of the first things I do after going online is to create a GCS for it. I constantly maintain and update my GCS’ settings and configuration, adding and removing websites from each niche network. This is a lot of work, but depending on the subject matter for each niche, the profit returned from the GCS alone can rival the profit I make on the niches individual websites themselves.

But still, we face the same problem. My many GCS engines are useless and won’t make a cent unless I am providing them with a sufficient volume of visitors performing searches. I can’t depend on people to use my search engines just by visiting the website and then typing a query into a box. There are too many distractions on a website, too many places to click and things to see. Because of that, you will find that only a very small percentage of your websites visitors ever actually use your GCS.

Rather, what we need is a way to take every one of our users interested in a given niche and funnel their attention directly towards using nothing else other than our niche’s GCS to find the answers they need. This is where things start to get interesting.

The secret here is thinking outside of the box. Sure lots of websites offer inline search functionality, but how about offering a search-based service outside of a proper website? How about getting people to search for answers in your niche without ever even visiting your website, and without ever even knowing your website exists in the first place?

What I am referring to here are desktop widget platforms like Google Desktop or (my favorite) Windows Vista Sidebar. Even web-top widget platforms like Netvibes, Facebook and more. For the sake of this post, I am going to focus solely on Windows Vista Sidebar.

Out of curiosity, I installed Vista on a partition just to take a peek at it, and one of the first things I started messing around with was the sidebar widgets. They have made it incredibly simple for people to create and publish their own widgets to the Windows Live Gallery website for other people to download and use. Also, Windows Vista Sidebar widgets can be very lucrative since not many people are creating them yet! Now is a great time for you all to get a slice of this action before the whole world eventually ports to the Vista OS.

A Vista sidebar widget is comprised of simple HTML and an XML file that acts in many ways like a PAD file does in as much as it identifies your widget and its provenance. If you know how to copy-and-paste and some basic HTML, then you can easily create a desktop widget.

So here is what I do:

Finding the proper niche is key to doing large search volume. Be SPECIFIC. For example, one of my most high traffic search engines was one that enabled people to interpret their dreams.

Realizing that people love to know what their dreams mean, I did some brief research and compiled a database of dreams and their meanings. Then I created a website around that database and did all the usual SEO stuff on it, got it indexed and laid in some Adsense ads just for good measure.

Next, I went to my Google account and set up a custom search engine. The setup interface allows you to target your search engine to a pre-defined list of websites or to have to search the entire web. For my purpose, I made the custom search engine return results from ONLY my website that I had made around the dreams database I compiled. That way, not only do I stand to profit from the ads displayed in the SERPs but since all the SERP results are for pages on my site, I am funneling traffic into my site which in turn shows more of my ads.

After going through all the setup steps, Google spat out the code for me to copy-and-paste into the HTML for my Sidebar Search Widget.I am not going to go into detail on how-to create your widgets as it is extremely easy to do and you will be able to figure it out with just a little research on your part.

So I designed my little search widget with nice clean interface and a snappy title and then I published it to the Windows Live Gallery website. Within one week, over 1000 people had downloaded my widget to their desktop sidebar. Getting that kind of desktop real estate on peoples computer screens is something that most internet marketers would KILL for. My search box is on their screen every day and it continually sends their requests to my website.

The important part is repeating this process on many different subjects. The more subjects you cover, the more search volume you will pull. The beautiful thing here is the sky is really the limit. If you want to pull in that $50/day I’ve been talking about, then you better be prepared to create a GCS for every niche you are in. And you better be prepared to present each of your GCS’ in a different widget for each platform. Ie: Create one widget for Netvibes, one for Vista, one for Google Desktop, etc, etc. Once you get the hang of it, you will find that you can create a simple template for each platform and then just plug in the different GCS code into each one. After a while, you’ll be creating new search widgets at an amazing pace.

Now, remember how I said that this post was going to build on the previous posts about Google Hacking? I wasn’t kidding.

Take a sec to peek through the Free Downloads section of the website and think about how you can build websites around the databases provided there. How about creating a database of Bible verses, and then creating a Bible Study search widget that funnels all searches into that website? How about creating a website of food and drink recipes and making it searchable via a desktop widget?

The databases provided give you an excellent leg-up in creating websites with large amounts of information that are perfectly appropriate for Google Custom Search widgets.

Here are some other ideas to get you started:

* Video Game Cheats Search Widget * Myspace Layouts Search Widget * Baby Names Search Widget * Restuarants Search Widget * Celebrity Gossip Search Widget * Product Recalls Search Widget * Lyrics Search Widget

In parting, here some more food for thought for all your Affiliate Marketers:

Instead of just relying on Adwords for profit, how about a desktop search widget that returns Amazon Books with your Affiliate Link? This is where the real money is.

Before you comment below, I want to make a few things clear: I know that “Make XXX dollars a day” posts tend to be incendiary and/or contentious topics for people. The success of this technique, like every money making technique, depends on how much creativity you employ, and how much volume you push. Further, the number “50″ is completely arbitrary; it makes for a nice round number and a good title for a post. Truth is, if you are smart and play it right, there’s no reason you can’t pull in a lot more than $50.00/day (a lot more). Conversely, if you are half assed about it, like with anything, you probably won’t do nearly as well. So if you are about to bitch and whine about not being able to pull $50/day (which is pretty easy to do) then take a step back and ask yourself if you really are doing everything right and pushing enough volume.


———————————Thanks for the great post Rob. He has some great articles and free stuff at his blog so be sure to check it out.


User Contributed – Making big $$$ with Links

Here is a contributed post by Tobsn. He’s the dude who made the Recommend-It plugin for me awhile back.

Making big $$$ with LinksOver the last few month I was testing out some of the big link selling sites. I wanted to know how much they pay you, in this case me, and how easy it is to get your links sold out.First of all, I cut it down. I don’t like those freakin’ big postings like Eli does it, I like informations compressed into little pieces. so lets start.

At the beginning I want to reroute the German visitors to It’s big and it works good. The prices are not that high as on TextLinkAds but it works fine for German sites and just btw. I don’t like linklift. Don’t ask me why, i just don’t like them. rest of Europe: sorry nothing else tested. Any hints? Write it down in the comments!

My Test SitesI tested this with two very simple sites. One is a poker blog with very good bought content like a terms glossary (”full house” etc.), descriptions about the most common types of poker and similar card games and of course a few news about poker 1:1 ripped from poker news sites. The site has around 50 very unique pages. PR4. The other site i want to sell out is a German dept consulting page. You can put you ZIP or city in the search field and you get back dept consulting offices near that point ordered by range. A nice geo search site, well indexed by Google, sorted by state and city. It also has some unique content pages like a glossary etc. We’re talking about something like 50,000 pages on that site. PR5.Both sites are touched with sprinkles from Adsense and affiliate programs.

Lets get to the big players: LinkWorth vs. TextLinkAds

First, before we come to the highlight TLA, we’re talking a minute about linkworth.The site looks nice, the features are getting better and the concept probably works. at the end, just not for my sites. I have them in linkworth for about four month and nothing. not one sell. not one single crappy 10 cents link.

Nothing. I played with the options, I did everything I could do but nobody wants a backlink on my sites. Probably it just happens to me and others making billions with 10 sites, I don’t know and at this point i don’t care

Because it doesn’t worked out for me.Just while I was writing this someone wanted to place a link on my poker site. one link for $40. This probably saves linkworth from a bad rating. So i visited the “pending” links site to approve the link. On the next site after clicking approve next to the link, linkworth asked me that I have to choose how i build in the links. I selected the WordPress plugin because its a WordPress site and with a plugin I don’t have much to care about.

The MaintenanceAfter selecting the WordPress plugin and getting the download link on the next site linkworth told me:“ Failed – Please trying again in 24 hrs” – and the link I had to approve was gone.No love for linkworth. That’s all I have to say.

Now lets talk about TextLinkAds – Where you make the big money with crap.TextLinksAds, yeah I like that sound. They send me so much money each month, it let Larry and Brin look like hobos.

Compared to my richness. seriously, they pay out very good.In detail that means after the first month it doesn’t happens anything at all but from one day to another i sold out all 8 links and one RSS link on my poker blog in like a week and around 2 weeks for 6 links on the dept consulting page. 8 and 6 links are not sound like the big money. I thought. but i wasn’t aware of how much they get for a good, niche matching, unique content site backlink.

Lets Put It Into Numberspoker – 9 links – $77dept – 6 links – $72

That means one link on my dept page gets me $12 and one link on the poker site around $8.5.I’m impressed. I’m sold out all my links, get nice money for doing nothing. literally nothing. The best conversion I think is the poker blog.

… and now comes the bluehat kung foo …

I just set up a wordpress blog on a nice *poker*.com domain, trackback spammed 83 visible backlinks on google, 84 on MSN and 528 visible backlinks shows the site explorer on I don’t put any effort in it. I just scraped myself a small list of trackback urls and hit the ping button. costs me around 30 minutes.

Now Comes The Interesting PartA) I figured out that many, many blogs blocking trackbacks with *poker* in the title and/or url. what meant i had to use some other similar words like “card games” or “casino”. So I’m not really good “ranked” on google with major keywords. Sure i got myself a PR4 domain in like two weeks (PR update was shortly after. HA!) but I’m only have good positions with loooong terms. That ends up in not much search engine traffic.

B) you don’t need niche relevant backlinks, probably they get you a slightly higher PR at the end but for now it just counts that you get many backlinks doesn’t care about the keyword you link because you don’t need the search engine traffic.

C) sites with a PR higher than 3 and a serps ruling niche are selling very good at TLA. $8.5 for a crappy backlink on a not really traffic making page, with a lousy PR is, i think, awesome.

That means, if you can get a good PR for a domain, themed for a big subject like poker or mortgage or loans or debts or whatever is overwhelmed by SEO optimized, backlink buying domains on every search engine, you can make nice money very fast.

Lets Take A Calculatorsay we have 200 domains with the topic poker. on each we put up WordPress, fill it with RSS news and also some bought

Content, build in the TextLinkAds for WordPress plugin for links sidebar and the RSS feed links. Now we get a PR4 for every domain. somehow. magical.we would earn with just 6 links in the sidebar, based on my $8.5 per link: $10,200nice, for just setting up stupid domains, doesn’t care about your own backlinks as long as they get your site a high PR…

Just btw. If you need 30 minutes per weblog and work on it 8 hours per day you’ll need 12.5 days to set up 200 blogs. say you take a bit longer, take a month. after that month you could earn a few thousand dollars… with just keeping the PR of your weblogs stable and high as possible.

… and you know what? TLA keeps it real:

My Referral Link For Text Link Ads If You’re Interested In Signing Up Under Me.

(by Tobsn)


User Contributed-Making Money With A Video Blog

Mark, a knowledgeable reader and benevolent commenter here has made a separation and started his own blog called Digerati Marketing. It’s pretty new and only has a couple posts so far, but I got to say the material thus far is absolutely fantastic. I think it’s a great representation of the Blue Hat spirit. So I have absolutely no problem plugging it, because I really do think you should add it to your readers in case he keeps up the excellent work. He was kind enough to donate one of his posts here. It’s called Making Money With A Video Blog. I think it’s a great post and if you’ve been paying close attention you’ll know that I also already do this idea and he is absolutely right on all counts. So enjoy.


An Introduction to Video WebsitesThere’s a lot of them about, a lot. Apart from the old-timers like Ebaumsworld, Google’s acquisition of YouTube has really seen them starting to eat up this market. The great thing is, that doesn’t matter, videos are a disposal media – people look at them once, show their mates and then it’s old news. You’re only as good as your last video! What we’re going to look at doing here is setting up a video website with minimal cost & time and maximizing our profit.

Now, I’m not claiming this will make you a millionaire, but you can earn around £500 ($1000 to our American friends) per month without too much trouble. So it’s well worth it for the day or two it will take to set up!

Step #1: Monetization Strategy

Okay, for this site we are going to make our bucks from a couple of different sources. Our main income will be made from Google Adsense. If you haven’t got yourself a Google Adsense Publisher account, click the big button below and sign up. Adsense will display contextual adverts which you can neatly blend in with the design of your website, to make them non-intrusive, yet a natural click away. For this website we are aiming at generating a 25% click-through rate while staying well inside the Adsense Terms Of Service.

An important note: I’m going to give you some tips on optimizing your Adsense placement and layout later, if you want to take the optimization further, you may be pushing the limit on what Google does and doesn’t allow. The Adsense team can be merciless at times if they think you are breaking their TOS, which can be quite “grey

User Contributed – Domain Kiting

This one isn’t so much a contribution as it was me begging to post it. Its a great article from Phil at on a technique called Domain Kiting. The original can be found here. He promised he’ll post more great articles like it so be sure to check out his site in the future.Domain KitingI’m going to let some secrets out of the bag about Domain Kiting

So for those that don’t know what this is, listen up. You can register a domain name and cancel it within 5 days of purchase. It USED to be that the registrars would let you do this for free. Now most registars charge between $0.25 and $2 per canceled domain. See I would register hundreds of domains a week and cancel about 99% of them, just keeping the good ones that got traffic in the 5 day period. I would reg the domains and then change the DNS over to a parking page (like then I would be able to easily see how much direct navigation (type in traffic) I got.

Here is the formula for figuring out which domains to keep:

1. (Amount of type-ins in 5 days) * (365/5) = amount of traffic you could reasonably expect in a year. Now a good parking page will get ~20% click through rate, so take your clicks per year * 20% = number of clicks that you get paid on.

note: keep in mind seasonality…so if you register xmas domains expect to see higher numbers in December.

2. Find out the average CPC via the overture tool by taking the top 5 bids and averaging them so this formula is: bid1 + bid2 + bid3 + bid4 +bid5 / 5

3. Now take that average bid per click price and divide that by 2. This is the rough amount per click that you can expect from a PPC program on a parking site or Google Adsense, Yahoo Publisher Network, etc…

4. Next take the price you paid to reg the domain / average PPC from step 2 =# of clicks you’ll need in a year to break even on your domain.

5. So, if the # from step 1 is >

5. So, if the # from step 1 is > # from step 4 then you are in the black.

Let me do some real numbers to highlight this again.

1. So I got 4 clicks in 5 days during my domain testing period. Take that number times 73 (73 is from 365/5) that that equals 292 clicks per year. Take clicks per year 292 * 20% and you get = ~58

2. Now by doing keyword research we find that advertisers are paying $0.34 a click.

3. Divide $0.34 by 2 to get your estimated earnings per click at $0.17

4. Let’s say I register a domain name for $7.00 per year divide that by $0.17 and you get ~41. So you will need 41 clicks a year to break even on your domain.

5. So you estimate that you can get roughly 58 clicks and you break even at 41 clicks. So u in da black.


So imagine what happens when you find one that gets a TON of clicks and advertisers are willing to pay BIG $$$ for each click…Booya! Or, think economies of scale, it takes you very little time to register these domains and if you do them by the hundreds or thousands then the profits add up quick.


Start slow and ease into this. This formula is an estimate only, the variable that will put you in the red are:

1. Conversion rate on the parking/landing page: I see ~20% on most of mine, some higher some lower, it all depends on the matching for your keywords. To get a good idea of what this might be look at the ads that appear with your domain keyword, Are they relevant? Would you click on it?2. Advertiser CPC, seasonality and advertisers just pulling out will affect how accurately you can predict what they are willing to pay per click.3. Your individual cut from the parking program or contextual advertising program, this number will vary as well.


Thanks Phil for the great article! 


User Contributed- Typos

Here is an experimental user contributed post. The reason why I say its experimental is because the post was originally written and sent to me by George Tucker from Intelligent Coffee. It’s a great article that really got me thinking about what is normally a pretty commonly discussed topic in SEO: typos and misspellings. From there I couldn’t help myself and had to add my own little ideabox into it. So here are both!From George Tucker:I once enjoyed #1 Google rankings for a misspelling that was only listed once on the page, and that was in the META keywords tag.

This particular website is a review site for anti-aging and anti-wrinkle skincare products (tons of bucks in that particular niche). I found that there were three different types of keywords that were relatively easy to rank:

– Brand names (lots of skin care brands don’t have a strong online presence)- Scientific / chemical compound names (N-6 furfuryladenine, anyone?)- Typos

Ranking for typos has become a fairly common concept, but there are three specific methods to generate typos and to make them more effective.

1. Do you habitually misspell a word? (For me, it’s caffiene.) Odds are, others do, too. Use WordTracker to generate a keyword list based on the proper spelling and use find/replace. Congratulations, you’ve just created your own sub-niche!

2. Can’t remember how to spell something? Take your best guess – then jot down your inadvertent misspelling. (Ridiculous numbers of people are trying to buy expresso machines.)

3. The simple transposition of letters due to typos. When you’re typing fast and you flub a word, make a note of it. (This is where my formerly-#1 ranking misspelling was born.)

To cast a wider net for typos, make use of an automatic typo generator like the Typo Trap. This particular tool generates typos based on accidentally hitting an adjacent key on a QWERTY keyboard while typing a search term. Because they’re auto-generated, the words don’t make much sense, but they’re good for machine-generated pages and sites. (I find the WordTracker misspelling generator to be completely worthless.)

Typos are an excellent example of the long tail, and one that’s fairly easy to exploit. Often, they’re low-hanging fruit. Keep track of your own typos and sprinkle them throughout your white hat sites. Generate random typos and plug them into your keyword.txt file for machine-generated sites.


Great article. Thanks George! I’ll keep my portion short.

As mentioned there are quite a few typo generators available to try such as Typo Trap. However if you’re an automation junkie like myself and are actually looking for a nice list you should try this…1. Open Microsoft Word on your computer2. Click Tools.3. Click Autocorrect Options4. Look towards the bottom of the dialog box

Microsoft was kind enough to provide a nice big list of the most common misspellings and typos in the English language! The downside? No mass select or copy and paste on the list. Yeah bummer right?! Try going to and getting the macro utility. Export your autocorrect db using the macro utility and then see what happens when you open it up in a text editor.

Outside ResourcesWikipedia’s List of Common MispellingsScrapable version.Your Dictionary 100 Most Common Mispelled Words

Food For ThoughtHow about celebrity names and brand names?


User Contributed-How To Get A Link In Wikipedia (my post on

User Contributed: Rose Water Sheesh, he posted two brilliant articles on this subject.When adding links to the articles listed on “what links here”, as eli at bluehatseo recommended, if you add your link to the first listed articles they will probably be deleted, because the “what links here” widget lists the most popular or most edited articles first or some sort of popularity metric. To spell it out for you guys, add your link to the bottom-most non-talk-page articles first. Even if that article isn’t closely-related to your niche, it is usually tangientially-related. Then go up the list adding another link on another day.Also, I’ve found my precise phrase (eg: “quoted phrase”) on wikipedia in a completely unrelated article, and changed that phrase in the article into a link to my site, and no one has noticed for a month. Remember, find articles with the fewest edits or no recent edits, because you want articles where no one is anymore personally attached to their articles/edits!for example:blue river valley corporationbecomes:blue [ river valley] corporationthe howto: four is forthcoming.Here is the original