Blue Hat Techniques
25 Mar 2007 06:25 pm
Blue Hat Technique #17 - Keyword Fluffing
I’ve gotten a couple requests asking me to keep the Link Laundering, Madlib Sites, and Power Indexing Tips series going. I think that’s a great Fuckin’ idea. Let’s not only do that but throw in a related Blue Hat Technique at the same time. This is a little technique I learned back in my warez and mp3 site days. You’ve probably seen it used before, but if you’re like most marketers you’ve probably just skipped right by it without ever giving it a second thought. It’s called Keyword Fluffing. It’s fairly simple and works pretty damn well, especially if you have a large site(eg. A Madlib Site).
We’re going to fluff all of our individual pages’ keywords with additional targeted long tailed phrases. We’re going to do this by creating a search box with static results and inner link within the appropriate pages. This in a sense will attempt to triple or quadruple your long tailed search traffic. This of course is an unrealistic performance result, but it will work and help quite a bit. Worthy of mention, there is an extremely blackhat version of this technique called Keyword Drafting, but for this post we’ll keep it very white hat and by the books. Yes, many major sites use this technique and it’s well within the rules.
1) Create a search feature on your site. Using Mod-Rewrite have it print the results to a separate subdirectory. For instance the results for the search “My Keyword” will result in a static page of the results located at www.myexample.com/search/mykeyword.html.
2) Pick up to five keywords related to your site’s niche to fluff. These will need to be common keywords that people looking for your site may tack on to their search. As an example, many software directories and crackz sites use the terms, download, crack, keygen, & serial to fluff. So when they have a page targeting “Adobe Photoshop” that page will also fluff for the terms, “Adobe Photoshop Download”, “Adobe Photoshop Crack” and “Adobe Photoshop Keygen.” Many of whom are common phrases people might add on to their search terms in the engines.
3) On each individual page on your site at the bottom put a little Div that says “Related Searches” or something similar. Then put in a link to the search results for each of those long tailed phrases. For instance the Adobe Photoshop page will have a link to www.mydomain.com/search/adobephotoshopserial.html with the anchor text “Adobe Photoshop Serial.” Be sure to make these links crawlable and pass PR. You will want them to get crawled and indexed so they can start ranking for those individual terms.
4) Make your site’s search box record the most recent searches. For added value, on your main page put up a link to the “Recent Searches.” Be sure to filter out unwanted html tags and inappropriate words. You don’t want people abusing this feature. You do however want to start gaining some extra targeted phrases you may not have thought of in the indeces.
The real trick to this technique is to scale it according to your sites’ current indexing power. I’d recommend you don’t just immediately implement this off the get go. A rule of thumb I use is to wait till my site has reached at least 60% saturation in at least 2 major engines.
For this technique I used an example that I thought people may have openly noticed. You have probably heard the recent news that Youtube has announced that they have quit using this technique, not because it’s against the Google TOS but because it was “unfair to the integrity of their results.” Meaning it worked too damn well, and other more relevant sites couldn’t compete against their saturation levels. There are of course other more prominent examples I could use, but for the sake of exercise I encourage you to reread my Madlib Sites post and think about the advanced version of this post, Keyword Fluffing with Replacement. I’ll give you an example directly. In the madlib post we targeted the phrase “Dating in ___.” The blank represented a targeted geolocation(ie. New York). Consider replacing the “Dating In” with “Single Women In” or “Single Men in.” That way you not only target the several thousand phrases related to the actual dating terms but you also got the substitution for people using different versions of the searches.
There you go! You just over tripled your saturation and keyword targeting. With any luck and time this will bring in quite a bit more organic search traffic. Hell, who needs luck.
21 Mar 2007 12:43 am
The Absolute Fastest Way To Make Money Online
I’m actually writing this post as a point of reference to an Email I got. The details of the email are private and aren’t important, except that it asks the age old question, what is the absolute fastest way to make money online? I’m a firm believer that online income needs to start out as a supplement to your preexisting income then eventually work its way to a full time gig. Trying to dive right in with some cash you got saved up is a way dangerous move. There are no guarantees here, at least none that I have found. There are however solid investments. There’s nothing more I would love to contribute to this blog than a huge article detailing project investments, but for today we’ll start out with the basics. There are long-term, short-term, and mid-term investments. If your goals include a career making money online you need to focus on long and mid-term investments, while using short-term investments to fund your long term investments. It definitely takes money to make money and the Internet is no exception. So naturally the statement that usually follows a question like what’s the fastest way to make money online is, I only have $__ and i need to figure out a way to turn it into an income I can live off of. This is a scary and all too common question. The best answer is naturally projects that can be categorized as long term slow growth investments, but sometimes life doesn’t allow you the luxury of time. So in that case you need to consider the short term investments that are going to pay out big, and then go balls to the wind with them and see what comes out. So let’s see if I can clear up a tough situation like this for the first time ever without using a single example.
What Is The Absolute Fastest Way To Make Money Online?
My answer to this question is Link Injection. Link Injection is simply a process of trying to put in your affiliate links into already established popular sites with preexisting traffic. A more specific example of Link Injection would be Social Site Spamming.
Uhhhg You’re going to talk about Myspace or Craigslist spamming aren’t you?
I could take that approach with this post, but then a few people would try it. They would make a few bucks. Some things would change with their systems and the post would become worthless very quickly. So instead I’d like to take a more generic approach and talk about how to approach any link injection possibility and successfully come out with some serious cash which you can use for your long term investments and to get by on while you’re transitioning into the industry. So let’s evaluate these types of targeted traffic sources and how to exploit them for some quick bucks.
1) Pick a social site or link injection source. There are definitely no shortage of them. A quick list might include: Myspace, Craigslist, Google Base, Facebook, Yahoo Answers, Forums, Blogspot.com/Blogger.com, Top Sites Lists, Tagworld, or even chatrooms. Feel free to fill the comments with more.
2) Get out your handy Notepad and start taking notes.
3) Create an account. Be sure to make a note of every form field you fill in as well as the URL to the signup form. Make a note of any captchas or secondary forms you have to fill in. Also be sure to note if you have to confirm your email address or not, or any other account verification methods.
4) Evaluate your market. Try to get a feel of the type of people that use the site and offers that might interest them or at least convert well. For this step it’s perfectly acceptable to simply write down, “General Idiots-dating offers.”
5) Find a niche that can fit a large majority of the users. The best advice I can give for this is to “be useful.” For instance if you’re attempting some link injection on a site that helps people with problems consider things like the tools and utility niches. A good formula to follow will be (total_visitors-percentage_not_interested_in_niche) * conversion_rate * $commission_per_conversion = $income.
6) Find an affiliate offer that you can promote. Try to find one that is inconspicuous. You will want one that you can promote discreetly while helping people. Finding a high converting offer is important but consider the fact that you will be getting an absolutely huge amount of traffic to that offer, so the discreetness of the offer will be quite a bit more important. So don’t just go for a random porn and webcam sex offer. Yeah, I caught you didn’t I
7) Log back into your account and manually go in and attempt to make a single post or attempt to get your affiliate offer in there. You may need to stuff some interesting text or instructions around it. You’re single goal is to get that link to stick. Hell your ultimate goal is to get people to thank you for the link. If you got that you got ultimate link injection stickiness. At the very least make your link interesting, trick them if you have to just make them want to go to your link and see what’s there.
8) Do some further testing. Make notes of how long your link sticks, make notes of how many people see the link and how many click through and how many actually convert. Try to get some kind of feel for how big you are going to take this in order to make the money you are needing. It’s not a bad idea to work your way from the bottom. I personally like to make the link as discreet and hidden as possible, see how long it sticks. Then start making it more and more “in your face” with each attempt. Make a log of the results of each attempt. You will want to find the optimal medium. The point at which the link will grab the most attention while sticking for the longest. From there it’s just a matter of tweaking with the creative to get it to convert better once they do click the link.
9) Repeat the entire process in it’s entirety. Once you found your groove and know exactly the results you want it’s time to write your pseudo code. Pseudo code is simply a very simplistic way of describing a process. If it helps, think about describing exactly what you want done to an infant. The more details the better. From there rewrite your pseudo code and replace everything you would need to specify such as your account info and link info with user input tags. It’s very important to specifically what information you are willing to donate to the process. The rest will ideally be automated.
10) Find a programmer. As you are probably starting to realize by now, doing this all by hand is not a very efficient use of your time. Give your pseudo code to the programmer and work out your payment details. Decide in advanced how much you are willing to pay. If you are incapable of paying anything to get a program made, you have two options. Either do it by hand until you can afford it, or learn how to code it yourself. You could also make some form of bargain or trade. A lot of times you will be bombarded by pre-made publicly available programs that are already providing nearly what you were wanting to do. This isn’t a bad option to help you get started until you get your own custom program made, but by rule I never rely on pre-made programs. If they exist, then they are used. If they are used then they will become worthless quickly. Therefore they are a bad investment. As much of a pain in the ass as it seems, custom made is the only way to go when you’re link injecting. Lastly, make sure your program or script allows for proxy use.
11) Talk to your account manager. Make some form of contact with your account manager for your affiliate program. If you are producing some volume or have a good idea of the volume you will be producing work out some form of deal with him. Get some better rates. You’re goal is to make quick big cash. More the better.
12) Get out while the going is good. This is the most important step and unfortunately the most ignored. Your gut will tell you when to get out of a soon to sour market. Listen to it NOT the money. Understand that you are making a short term investment. I see so many people fall through the cracks like that. They do a bit of link injection on a certain network. They think they found their golden goose and they hammer it as hard as they can. They spend all their money thinking it will just keep pouring in faster than they can spend it forever. It’s such a sad and all too common mistake.
13) Understand your investment. I have a firm rule I stand by with my business that has never failed me. My short term investments pay for my long term investments. My long term investments pay me. Never the other way around. I know this is hard but consider it mandatory for your own good. Whatever link injection method you are doing it will not last forever. So any money it makes needs to go to stuff that will grow your income overtime.
It’s okay to pocket a few bucks for yourself to get by on, but not for one moment think; I am now making 4-5 figures a month or day or whatever, Yay for me! It’s a false sense of security. If you really want to make online income your full time job you will need a good grasp on this concept.
Recommend-It Wordpress Plugin
I’m excited. I just put up a new Wordpress plugin that I’ve been wanting for awhile now. It’s called Recommend It.
Recommend It - Allows your blog’s veteran readers to recommend posts to first time visitors through a simple voting system.
You’ll notice that at the bottom of every post is now a button that allows you to recommend that post to first time readers. So now first time visitors here will be greeted with the posts that got the most recommendations from the veteran readers.
I’ve been wanting a plugin like this really bad. I think it’s a great way to point your new readers to the real meat of your blog. I first got the idea for this when I saw several blogs that recently got links from bigger blogs and so they made special posts to welcome the readers. They all recommended a few of what they felt were their best posts for the new readers to check out. My reasoning was that they might be worried that the new flood of visitors would leave after not being able to find the good posts, or get the wrong impression about their blog from the most recent post. I started thinking about how much I could use something like that. Sometimes my most recent post isn’t always the best representation of the rest of my blog or the best for new readers to get introduced into the community with. It’s often best to leave it to the people who know your writings the best, your readers, to point your new visitors in the right direction. I personally would like to see this at the top of every blog I first visit.
So I asked a buddy of mine, , who is a great coder if he could possibly make me a plugin to automated the process and leave it to the visitors to decide which posts would be best for the newbies. I think he did a great job.
If you would like to use Recommend-It on your blog he was gracious enough to allow me to share it.
Download Recommend It
If you need any coding work done I’d strongly recommend you contact . He does some great work.
04 Mar 2007 02:16 pm
From Affiliate to E-Commerce Mogul - The Real Secrets To E-Commerce
This was originally a guest post over at Net Business Blog. It’s been over a month so I reposted it here for preservation sake. Here’s the original Comments. Enjoy!
Hello everyone. This is your captain speaking. First I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Eli from BlueHatSEO.com. I do a little SEO here and there when needed. It’s not everyday that someone like Matt offers you an opportunity to do a guest post on one of the best internet business blogs on the net like NetBusinessBlog. So I’d like to start off by expressing how extremely honored I am for the chance to write this post and demonstrate a few things to the NBB’s community. Writing about the business aspect of SEO is not something I get a chance to do very often so I think this is a great opportunity to talk about what I think is one of the toughest business transitions in the industry. The move from affiliate to full blown E-Commerce publisher.
The reason why I say that E-Commerce is the toughest transition to make is because if you’ve ever attempted it, whether you were successful or not, you find out very quickly why it’s called the big boys club. In the affiliate market industry you have several people above you. First the manufacturers. Then the suppliers.. Next the E-commerce sites. Lastly the affiliate network. Everyone above you wants you to succeed. Your success means their success. In the E-Commerce world the model of authority changes. It is just you and the manufacturer. The manufacturers want you to succeed but not so much that it hurts their real cash cows, the local retailers who will spare no time complaining about their online competition. Frankly you are nothing more than a necessary pain in the ass. In that spirit the manufacturers use their biggest asset, the suppliers/distributors, to put up barriers so the average Joe can’t just jump into the business. You go through the suppliers and the suppliers make sure you don’t upset the manufacturers. Understand that to them it’s fine to field complaints about places like Tigerdirect or Walmart being too price competitive. You just laugh and say yeah that’s them! Fielding questions about some guy/girl in a bathrobe out of their house is a different form of headache for the manufacturers. A headache they are not willing to accept. So what about the average Joe? How do we break into the business?
First understand that I’m going to explain in deep detail how, but that the information I’m telling you does not come from lots of research and reading. It doesn’t come from learning from other people and attending conferences, nor lots of personal success or luck. Instead it comes from tons upon tons of failures. I’m too embarrassed to say how many failed E-Commerce sites I have laying around on my servers in ratio to successful ones. Let us just say the numbers aren’t pretty. I learned the true secrets the hard way and in an effort to help you not do the same I present to you this guide.
The obvious first step is to pick your niche. You should be an expert on this by now. So this step should be easy right? Sorta not really, this is where the most average Joe’s fail. When searching for niches as an affiliate marketer you look for easy to sell items that have low competition for their keywords. In E-Commerce its exactly backwards. You’re looking for those products that are seemingly impossible to sell online with extremely high competition for their keywords. I’ll explain why. The natural Internet nerd like ourselves wants to sell something we like or use ourselves. For instance computer parts or electronics. You can easily find long tailed phrases with low competition and get your hands on lots of products to ship. However, you are force to compete with everyone else. If you think you can score the same margins and prices as places like Newegg or CDW you are kidding yourself. They will absolutely crush you and leave barely anything left for the rest of the competition to wipe with. I hate to be blunt about it, but that’s the harsh reality of the situation. Instead do some retail research around town. Try going to a local mall and start writing down every product you see that would possibly have a big gross margin(the dollar amount between your buying price and selling price) that you think might be difficult to find online. You will be shocked at where you find these products. They aren’t on the bottom shelves at large retail outlets they are typically hidden in specialty shops.
After you have compiled your list ask yourself some questions about the products. I’m going list an example. Please don’t take it literally because I have done no actual product research on it. I’m strictly using it as a superficial point of reference. Lets assume you walked into a kite shop. So now we have a potential product to sell, kites.
1) Does this product potentially have a high gross margin? Yes, I would imagine kites would have a high gross margin because they seem fairly cheap to make and yet certain ones like two stringed kites sell for very expensive.
2) Does this product potentially have a MAP price(minimum advertised price allowed by the manufacturer)? Kites possibly do but more than likely don’t because kite shops are sparsely located in places where kite flying is popular like coast lines. *Products with MAPs in place are very good for starting in ecommerce because they allow you to get the product cheap, and still be able to compete with your prices against the heavy competition.
3) How hard will it be to get my hands on this product? With kites I would imagine it would be pretty hard. There probably aren’t very many kite distributors, and the few around are probably big enough to service the entire country.
4) Is this product easy to find and buy online? One search on froogle for the word “kite” gives me only 36k results. By comparison yeah I’d say its pretty hard to find the right kite online. *The harder to find a product the better. It means there is probably loads of information about it, but few selling it. Meaning, if you manage to get your hands on some product fulfillment; competition will be easy to deal with.
5) Are there plenty of variations of this product? Yes there are many many different types and shapes of kites. *Variations are a good thing, it means you may possibly be the only etailer to sell a particular model that a customer may be looking for. It also means your website will be large enough to draw enough traffic to convert. People may come to your site looking for one model or specific product but then decide on another while browsing your site.