Every so often I get an Email from someone who instead of having a question or comment they give me a url and ask me to give them SEO advice on it. I normally don’t respond to these emails other than maybe a quick “did you have a specific question” type response. It’s not because I don’t want to or I take any offense to it, in fact its the complete opposite. Sorry to say I just don’t have the time to do full blown SEO analysis jobs for people. It’s not that I don’t want to, trust me I do, its just that I’m not one of those SEO bloggers whose career is blogging about SEO. I’m in the thick of it just like you guys are; day in and day out. I’m out there doing the techniques I talk about on this site everyday. Thats my job, and there’s no shortage of it. However, every once in awhile I’ll hit a gem. One of those unique situations that I can’t help but mole it around in my mind. One such example came to me last week by a reader here who was referred to by Jon Waraas(excellent blog; check out), and I think it could apply to a lot of other people in the same situation. He was kind and patient enough to allow me to publicize my response in an effort to help out others. So out of the usual context I’m going to take this example and show you all exactly what I would do in his situation.
The SituationHis site is going for the term “Myspace Layouts.” He already used to rank #1 for a solid amount of time. However after some time he admittedly got lazy and lost his ranking. He now still ranks in the top 10 steadily, but not quite top 5. He wants to rank number one again and was wondering if implementing my Keyword Fluffing and SERP Domination strategies would help.
I consider “Myspace Layouts” as a highly competitive term so this will be a great example. It’s also has the added difficulty factor of being an extremely fast growing niche; especially in just the last year. However, our mission isn’t just to take the number one rank, but to keep it intimidating for the others thinking about trying to take it themselves. So first we’ll look at what we got and then we’ll analyze what we’re up against and see if we can spot any weaknesses we can use to our advantage.
What We GotWithout even having to look at his site I can assume his on-site optimization is near perfect. He used to rank #1 steadily and where he’s at now he’s holding firm. Obviously, if he ranked at one point there’s no reason why he can’t rank again. So my first suggestion would be to not do a damn thing to the site itself. In my SERP Domination post I talked about how to break into the top 10 on a highly competitive niche by splitting up the site into a network of smaller content sites. In this situation he’s already in and has everything he needs to rank in the top position, so I would definitely advice against breaking up the site or making any drastic on-site SEO changes. Instead we’ll focus on off-site optimization and getting what links we need to earn that coveted spot again. Right now he has about 320,000 inbound links according to the Yahoo linkdomain: command. About 303,000 go directly to the main page. ~86,000 of his links come directly from Myspace Profiles. He also has a PR6.
What They GotHis top competitor has about 551,000 inbound links. 344,000 come directly from Myspace Profiles. Taking a quick look at the second and third placed competitors they are slightly less than the number one and theres nothing too notable about them. So for now we’re going to say fuck ‘em and not concern ourselves with what they’re doing because we know if we take the #1 site we’ll beat them as well. That after all is our main target and without extenuating circumstances they can be ignored in this case. So with that information out of the way for now, lets look at some strong determining factors and some weaknesses of both sites in respect to their rankings.
Spotting The Weaknesses and LoopholesLets analyze the math real quick. Without Myspace profile links he has 234,000 links on his own from other sites. His competitor has about 207,000. He is the clear winner in this instance which gives us a huge advantage. However, his 86,000 links directly from people’s Myspace profiles account for only about 27% of his inbound links. While his competitor clearly dominates by having his 344,000 Myspace profile links account for a whopping 62% of his total inbound links. We now have both a strength and a weakness for each of the sites. More importantly we now know why we’re loosing. Thus, we know what loopholes we’ll need to exploit in order to win.
What Do We know?By looking at both our site and the competition we know that if we can increase our links from people’s Myspace profiles in the index to at least 62% than we will win. That means we’ll have to gain about 112,000 links on Myspace Profiles. We also know that our competitor is getting these profile links the same way we are. By giving out free Myspace layouts that include a link to our sites. There is a big problem standing our way though. Since they are ranked #1 and we’re ranked lower than we can assume they are getting more traffic than we are. Therefore, they are gaining these profile links faster than we are by giving out more layouts. It’s quite the pickle. We’ll have to do one of two things. We’ll either have to increase the value of each profile link or we’ll have to increase our volume at a much much faster rate. Neither sound like a fun solution, so we’re going to have to take a few shortcuts. One of which includes a twist on a technique I’ve already talked about, the other is an upcoming Blue Hat Technique I’m yet to discuss. First and foremost we need the proper mindset. We can’t just try to beat this guy, we need to brutally destroy him and get him so far below us that he’ll be stuck in the same situation we are in now. It’s the only way to maintain our competitive edge. So get any thoughts of playing nice out of your head right now. They aren’t going to do you any good.
Establishing A Plan Of AttackFirst we’ll need to do an interesting twist on my Link Laundering technique and merge it with our SERP Domination tactic. Remember when I mentioned in one of the comments that all the techniques I’ve talked about on this site fit together perfectly like a puzzle to create an ultimate ranking strategy? I wasn’t fucking around. There’s no reason why you can’t create a network of sites within subniches that launder targeted links to your main site. He already mentioned in his original email that he wanted to create a few sites based on Myspace subniches to help build link popularity to his main site. Except, knowing what we know now, he doesn’t need more links from outside sites. He needs more links from Myspace Profiles. So I’d recommend doing just that. Build several sites on Myspace subniches such as image uploaders, profile editors, webproxies..etc. However, anytime they have an opportunity to get a link on the persons profile, instead put in the url to your main site. Looking at the current scenario he’s going to need quite a few of these sites in order to catch up, I’d say about 15 that perform on the average or even a little below average. It also wouldn’t hurt to sponsor a few of these types of sites in exchange for them laundering out links to you. I know places like Myspace Web Proxies have a hard time finding and keeping converting ads on their sites, they could be a very cheap solution. Just as long as they are consistently getting your main site links on peoples profiles thats our ultimate goal.
You got to understand, this guy only has 344,000 links on profiles. Thats not a big deal. If his site has been up for the last two years thats only about 15,000/day, not counting a sharp increase from when he started ranking of course. Getting 15 subniche sites within your network getting about 1,000 uses/day isn’t too incredibly hard. You can get that within a month or two. Once you accomplish that, you are at least matching him which is progress in the right direction.
Matching him? I’m sorry I fucked up. At that rate you’re no where NEAR matching him. There is the inevitable law of diminishing returns standing in your way. There are over 100 million Myspace profiles, only about 10 million exist in Google right now. Therefore less than 10% actually gets indexed. Since it’s only the ones that get indexed that matters to your rank than that means even if you match the 15,000/day; You’re really only getting 1,500 that matter. That’s not nearly enough. Consider your ass kicked. Or is it? We may need the help of a good Ol’ Blue Hat Technique to bridge the gap and turn that 10% into nearly 100%. The technique is called Log Link Matching. I’m not going to go into intricate detail about it until the post comes out of course, but I will hint to it and explain as it applies to this case.
Blue Hat Technique #XX – Log Link MatchingAnyone with experience can attest that not nearly all of the true links to your sites actually gets indexed and count in the search engines. It’s unfortunate but true. Not every page is indexed by the engines such as Google and therefore even if they link to you, they can’t pass a value. This is especially true for social sites like Myspace where only about 10% of the profiles get indexed. Log Link Matching is a technique used to ensure that nearly 100% of your real inbound links gets actually indexed by the search engines, thusdramatically increasing your visible inbound links and bumping your rank in an indescribable way. Here’s how it works.
First create an automated Roll Over Site using my Abandoned WordPress Accounts Part 2 post. Did I mention all my techniques merge together? Well they do. Do this by first building up several WordPress blogs into high PR blogs by doing the Digg.com method as described. This will get plenty of search engine spiders to the site on a steady and fast stream as well as give plenty of authority to the site(to boost each site). Lastly, make a system that allows you to quickly add links to your Blogrolls within these accounts (quit being lazy and learn how to code!).
After you got your WordPress.com blogs setup start parsing through your site’s log files. The log files are the first indicator of someone linking to your site. Everytime someone pulls an image on their Myspace account from your server it will show up in there, regardless of whether or not their profile actually shows up in the engines. Where there is a profile pulling your images there is more than likely a link to your site. So you must get that profile page indexed in the search engines in order for the link to count. So parse through your log file for any referrers coming from profile.myspace.com or www.myspace.com/*. Remember profile.myspace.com/viewprofile.blahblahblah?friendid=blahblah is a page on its own just like www.myspace.com/myusername. Therefore BOTH count. So there’s no reason why our site can’t instantly almost double all of his links from Myspace profiles at the exact same time as getting nearly 100% of them indexed. All he has to do is start adding each of these referrers to his blogrolls. After so many WordPress.com will automatically limit how many links actually show up and start randomizing which ones are shown on each and every pageview(or spider view). I think that limit is 15 currently but I’m not entirely sure. It seems to change every so often. Either way every time Googlebot visits the rollover sites it’ll be greeted by XX amount of Myspace profiles to index. Eventually it’ll get almost all of them. Thus the illusion of our inbound links tripling and even quadrupling daily will start happening. We won’t actually be performing nearly to the degree it appears, but we definitely won’t be short any needed momentum either. It’ll just appear that way because many links we’ve had for a long time will finally start showing up and giving us proper credit.
If we keep parsing the log files and checking for new people using our templates and ensuring they all get indexed eventually we will catch up to that #1 site. Coincide that with our link laundering sites within our network we should have no problem overtaking him and holding our ground. Once we are at that point, its check and mate for the time being. He’s either going to have to top that performance or back off and accept his second place trophy. If he does manage to pull something sneaky and come back, no big deal, persistence is worth more than gold.
I hope this little real life example helped a few people in the same situation, and I’ll move up the date on that Blue Hat Log Link Matching Technique so you can get the details of it and really learn how to utilize it in some very powerful ways. It never hurts to have more in our arsenal. Just remember, the fact that you already have more inbound links from other Myspace layout related sites than him. If you can just match him on his strong points you can beat him.
Go Get ‘Em Tiger!