SEO Empire - Part 1By Eli From BlueHatSEO.com
This is exactly how I make money online...
This blog has a lot of great tips and techniques to help the average webmaster break beyond their barriers. However they are nothing more than skillsets. Skillsets are worthless without direction. For that reason before I'm done with the missions I want for this hobby (blog) I want to lay down 4 corner stone strategy posts. This is the second behind my SERP Domination post which taught the power behind numbers. As mentioned in my Log Link Matching article every technique on this blog interconnects like a well connected puzzle and fits together perfectly to form an ultimate SEO strategy. This is that strategy. In that spirit every post before this one builds up to this post and every post after is a follow-up to it. By now you hopefully have had time to browse through the archives and digest all the past posts. This will give you the necessary skillset and more importantly mindset to put all this into practice. I've always preached that there is no rules in SEO only loosely enforced guidelines. So it's time to take the Jalapeño peppers the rest of the industry have given us out of our asses and prepare to tear this shit up. Its time to build our own SEO Empire.
First things first I need to lay down a few laws to live by. These are the laws of the game I live by and in all candidness I think its a great place for you to start with as well.
The Law Of The Land
1. Learn A Server-side Language - Starting out you will make several dozen small investments. Once you get the hang of it, you'll make hundreds of investments. Eventually you'll make thousands and even tens of thousands of investments. If you can't hold your own with some sort of programming skillset you will find it difficult to generate a return on those investments. You'll have a million excuses running through your head on why you shouldn't or shouldn't have to learn how to program, but you're not puppy roadkill so myself nor anyone else will feel sorry for your shortcomings. When I started my company I worked 9-13 hours/day 7 days a week between the company and my day job for a solid two years. I spent my lunch breaks reading printed off programming tutorials while trying to explain to annoying passing by co-workers who had no idea I was a nerd why I was doing so. So save the excuses for your mens therapy group. Although I understand how hard it is and I really do feel for ya, I'm not an excuse sympathizer. So take a week of TV time out of your life and learn PHP or Perl and some MySQL or other database language. Hell, crack an O'Reilly book open in a coffee shop or something while wearing glasses and a strawberry pink bandanna, bitches will think you're cool AND smart. Get the basics down, the rest will come through nothing other than experience.
2. Every Site Must Pay It's Own Rent - I'm going to quote this a lot throughout the article. We'll be creating a lot of sites. Some of which will have a sole purpose of link building. Even those sites must make some form of profit. Even if to only cover their own hosting and domain expenses. Every site must be able to pay its own rent.
3. Get A Server - I don't care if its a small VPS (virtual private server) or a large dedicated host. Everyone has to start somewhere. Don't start your SEO empire on shared hosting. You loose time getting it setup, you loose investment money with higher hosting costs/site. Invest in a server. My favorite place to get servers is Softlayer if you're needing a recommendation.
4. Make A Friend - Find someone to help you through the little problems. You'll face tons of them and you don't want to get hung up on any single one. Sometimes just having a second set of eyes to glance at stuff every once in awhile can be a huge benefit.
5. If You Wait For Results There Won't Be Any. - Very important law. It takes the average site 6-8 months to show its true potential. If you build and wait for it to do well by the time it does you will have not have made any money and even worse yet any progress. To build a proper SEO empire you need to be always producing. From this project on, all your analytics, stats, measurements of progress will be the checks in your mailbox. I know its a tough habit to break, but its necessary.
What I'm going to do is go over an overall strategy on how to make money with SEO the Blue Hat way. It's not necessarily a plan. It's a strategic method for not only making proper investments and profiting but building a strong platform and the resources necessary to succeed in any future projects you take on. With a proper strategy and structure you will be able to accomplish just about anything in this industry. Some of the stuff will be fun and high profit some will seem mundane and low profit, but keep in mind that it is all necessary. Amateurs skip to the stuff they see everyone else making a big profit off of, but what they don't realize is the pro's are only pulling this stuff off because they took the necessary time and energy to build a proper foundation and resources to pull off the big money stuff. So I'm going to step through the entire process with you. It'll be long and complicated in parts simply because it'll utilize every ounce of SEO knowledge you have including all the past posts on this blog, but I'll keep it simple and easy to understand. When we're finished you'll have all the knowledge you need to become an SEO pro. This I promise you. :) Just follow along and understand everything before you move on. Take your time and jump back to references anytime.
We are quite literally going to be building a business for ourselves. So that is the metaphor I'm going to use throughout this article. We are going to start from the ground up until we have a big skyscraper full of profit, scalability, and robust business practices. First things first, we'll need a chunk of land.
Find yourself a nice flat piece of land to build on. It will have to be well laid out and stable. It'll also have to be as large as you're comfortable with and have plenty of extra land next to it for when you want to expand. This will be where you decide on where to buy a server (or vps) and domains from. You don't want to be switching hosting providers a lot so pick a place that has plenty of server packages that range from affordable to extravagant. The same goes with domains, don't just go with the cheapest. Cheap is great but pick a place that gives you plenty of options and allows for easy management of domains. You'll be using them a lot. For my servers I use an inhouse datacenter and for the last 7 months have used Softlayer for additional servers. They have good packages and their support is phenomenal. For domains I use Godaddy. Also, I made sure to call them and got a special rep for my Godaddy account. This allows me to buy domains in bulk a lot easier, faster, and cheaper. You WILL be buying a lot of domains so don't worry about overshooting your volume estimates to them. Much like buying land for your business get your server and domain purchasing to last. Once you got that complete its time to start construction. We'll begin with the foundation.
The foundation of your SEO Empire is the most important part and its worth the time to get it right. The foundation has three primary purposes.
1. Indexing and linking power
2. Be permanent.
3. Generate enough reoccurring income to afford another server and lots of domains regularly.
Since the sites have to be permanent that means you can't build your foundation on blackhat sites. It has to be 100% whitehat. Duplicate content is not a big deal but the sites have to look fairly good and have tons of pages for indexing. They also have to be specific enough to pull in some longtailed search traffic and generate some money either through contextual CPC ads or affiliate offers, or both. The easiest way to accomplish this is by building database sites. Databases are nothing more than scraped or gathered content stored neatly into tables in a database (ie mysql). Mysql content databases are fairly widely available. Many are sold for cheap on Digital Point and Sitepoint. If I may make a recommendation check out SEOcracy's site. He's my trusted main man behind the monster that is called the Vault inside SQUIRT, which at the moment is the largest content club on the net. To be successful at creating database sites the idea is to set a goal for yourself. A good starting goal is to have 1 million pages indexed. This means you'll need at least 5 million records worth of databases. Thats not necessarily true. You can mix up the database content to make semi-unique content. Just make as many pages using the content you have available to yourself as possible. Throw them up on nicely organized sites do some quick indexing methods and go build another. Remember rule number 4. If you build these sites then sit around waiting to see if you reached the million page mark you're going to be waiting a long time. Keep building and never worry about over shooting it. Its definitely better to have too many than too few. And remember, you can always spin the database content to make it appear more unique and helpful to the surfer. Sometimes I love to use census data to spin off new statistical numbers just for the sake of BS. The content doesn't have to be 100% correct. It just has to look good. Likewise, even though you're using duplicate content you can always change up the keywords to match a more specific niche. Just like in my Madlib Sites post.
So whats the point of all this? In a word...dispersement. Later on you will be creating loads of "money sites." The money sites will be highly focused and designed specifically to convert at astronomical levels, usually to an affiliate offer. They however, with little or no real SEO value, will have a hard time ranking. This means they need LOTS of links in order to be effective. Lets use some simple low and round numbers to make my case.
Lets say you make 10 database sites with about a 100,000 pages total. In the end you manage to get 10,000 of those pages indexed. Accompanied by some ads those 10,000 pages in the index will make you plenty of money to buy a new server and more domains. This will allow you to make money sites. Each page of the database sites will easily allow 10 outbound links while holding their high SEO value, but for the sake of the example we'll only put up 5 per page. That means you now have a total of 50,000 links at your disposal. If each money site requires about 1,000 inbound links in order to rank for their terms than that means you can build up to about 50 money sites. Given how high converting they are (Basically landing pages) and the fact that they all now rank; That comes out to some serious fuckin' residual cash. :) But let's not get ahead of ourselves...
After you have collected a solid amount of databases start building. You want to be quick and efficient about it so the first two or three you build is very important and will take you by far the most time to finish. I started this endevour by first building a huge collection of easy to implement and clean templates. There's plenty around for free. Try checking out the Open Source Templates website for a few to get you started. Design the structure behind the site to cascade in categories. IE. say I want the main page to list *these* unique fields. Then each of those pages to display all of *these* unique fields within the matching field. Set it in a loop so you can go as deep as you want since not all databases have the same number of fields or will have the same amount of fields you'll want to actually use. Once that is done have it display a basic template for how you want the ending pages to display. Which may or may not use all the database information. For instance if you are designing a real estate website. The main page will display all the unique states with links to each one. Once they click on a specific state, say Oregon. It will display all the cities in Oregon. Once you click on a city, say Portland, it will display all the real estate companies in Portland. Once you click on a specific company, we'll use REMAX, it will display the ending page which will have all the contact information for REMAX IN PORTLAND OREGON. <-your longtailed phrase and remember even the other pages will bring in search traffic such as Real Estate Companies In Portland Oregon and Real Estate Companies In Oregon..etc. Throw in a quick template that semi matches the topic and boom you're done. Submit it through SQUIRT or QUIT. Once you get the basic setup down they all become VERY easy and very fast to make. It may take you an entire week to create your first three but once you got a good setup going you can easily generate 3-10 large database sites/day just by yourself. I like to start building with the big databases first. It's an efficiency thing. If about 10%-20% of the pages actually get indexed then the large sites using the large databases are more worth my time. Once those are completed and I'm struggling for more content I can start using the smaller ones. The niches also don't really matter. Who cares if you have no need for a site about basketball stats for all the players? Build it anyways. You'll make money off it, and it'll be a valuable link even if you never build a single money site related to basketball.
So before you even begin, make yourself a goal first. I originally made my goal of 1million pages indexed. Which took me about a month of building to accomplish (yes I worked very hard, but I got it done). After that you can always build more and you never have to worry about interlinking or putting them on separate IP's. Although if your server comes with multiple IPs by all means use em. Fill the fucking server till its running on only one leg. Most Redhat Linux installs reserve 10gb for the /usr partition which means you have a lot of space to fill with your MySQL databases. Use it all, and if you build two database sites that are fairly similar, SURE interlink them, might as well. Once again I'll remind you NEVER wait for the results. Build until you reach your goals. It'll take 6-8 months for those sites to get fully indexed and perform as per expectations so use that time to build the rest of your SEO Empire's basement.
Basements are imperative to a strong standing building, especially when you plan on building it tall and you do! Some skyscraper basements can go over 100ft underground. Thats over 10 stories! If you want your building to stand tall you will want it to go deep and wide. These are your roots; They will hold you strong. Welcome to the world of Blackhat my friend. :)
Forget right now all your biases and all the bullshit you've heard. I've had several posts in the past on this blog talking about Black Hat vs White Hat for this very reason including a nice parabole. It's all bullshit. There is no difference between the two. The day the search engines start giving a damn about your business' profit is the day you should start giving a damn about theirs. You got the volume of links with your database sites but you also need volumes of links from unique sites. That means creating lots and lots of sites. Theres only two ways of doing that: Autogenning and Automation. These are the two vehicles that are going to get you there (catch the pun?) and we'll start with the first, autogenned sites. Also known as Gray Hat. I have a great post on how to accomplish these types of sites called How To Be A Gray Hat. Give it a thorough read but we'll want to go even one step further. We need ways of supporting our blackhat sites with these gray hat ones, and the best way of doing that is to find a good crutch CMS. Proper Use Of RSSGM details the idea behind this the best. Although I love using platforms such as Article Dashboard, Mediawiki, and Wordpress you can really use anything that is popular and trusted. Make yourself very transparent to the search engines and let them know you're just another retarded platform site such as a blog, article directory, link directory, software directory, funny videos/pics site, or even a review site.
These sites all have three primary objectives
1. Launder links and/or help with indexing (links/indexing power goes up the building not down).
2. Host Blackhat sites (orphan subdirectories or subdomains).
3. Make money (remember the rule, every site has to pay its own rent).
You're probably asking why host blackhat sites on them? The reason comes from an ol' experiment I did about a year ago that still holds true today. I put up a few orphan subdomains (no links from the main site) on a trusted domain with a trusted platform. For those that are curious it was an Open Realty install with imported MLS data. The subdomains had very clear autowritten dictionary content. I say very clear because not only were the sites butt fuckin' ugly and heavily interlinked but the content could only be understood by a drunkin monkey. Hey it was a first attempt, your first girlfriend wasn't any better looking. :) Naturally the sites got banned, but the oddest thing happened. The main site didn't. It didn't even loose rank or get penalized. Previously I thought this luxury of no-penalty-passes were reserved for large authority sites such as Blogspot, Hypermart and Geocities. This sparked my curiosity so of course I switched it. I put the spammy content site up on an older main domain and put the legit CMS content on a subdomain. Guess what? They both got banned. Fair enough, so I duplicated the experiment again but this time I left the main domain blank and only put up the legit CMS subdomain. I left it for awhile, everything was good, then I put up the spammy main domain. The sites were identical the ones of the previous experiment, only they had a slightly different result. The main domain still got banned, but before it did it performed extremely well in the SERPS. It blew the other one out of the water. This leads to the theory of the one way street. Which if you think about why, you'll realize its not some random chance. It's necessary so legitimate sites can't get heavily penalized because of some parasite hosting. Wouldn't that suck for Harvard.edu to get banned? There'd be quite a few complaints flooding Google if there weren't measures in place to protect it.
One Way Street Theory - Primary domains can pass a penalty to subdomains. Subdomains can't pass a penalty to a main domain unless the main domain holds a relation to the subdomain (ie. a link).
I like to build these sites in "platform groups." Meaning I'll design a structure and build a self installer. Do some keyword research and pick a good solid amount of niches. It is very typical that I'll pick a good 100 niches for every platform, although nothing is set in stone. Then I'll buy a bunch of domains and extract all the sites then run them through my indexing tools (Once again SQUIRT or QUIT). You ever wonder how those "experts" claim they have 4-5 figures worth of sites and how they manage them all? Well its honestly not that hard and if you actually looked at their sites you'd probably be shocked because they look pretty good and probably perform well to. The revenue generating capabilities for these types of sites honestly aren't very good, but they make up for it in sheer numbers and as long as they generate some profit its all good in the hood, because honestly, as far as the business goes, they are under ground. You don't put the customer front in the basement you put it in the sky and on the ground. These are however, fantastic leverage for all your future sites because they generate you a ton of links and lots of diversity amongst your niches and keyword sets. They are also the only thing that allows you to successfully support your Blackhat sites without risking your white hat ones such as your foundation and money sites.
The Black Hat sites come in two forms, the spammed and the hosted. A good example of hosted black hat sites would be Blog Solution sites and YACG sites. The advantage of hosted blackhat sites come in the freedom of structure. You're not limited to what type of site it can be. Also, the automation is easier. You deal more with cpanel and script installation automation which is more tangible and easier to manage than some of the inherent problems with spammed black hat sites such as captchas. If you are hosting your own blackhat sites you also stand a much smaller chance of them being deleted. You still have to deal with complaints going to your hosting and advertisers, but theres workarounds such as How To Deal With Narks. The downside of course is the costs. You have to purchase lots of domains and to have a decent hosted blackhat site network you need to start off with at least one server dedicated to it. A BlogSolution setup can easily eat up a solid server with less than 200 sites. Hosted blackhat sites are however a very solid investment worth doing.
The reason I say this is because you have to think about traffic curves in SEO. If you take the average content site (nonviral) and watch the traffic growth you'll notice it'll move in stages. Rolling over hills and bumps rather than linear growth. Just upon the initial deep indexing the first 50-100 visitors/day tend to be very easy, quick and can be accomplished with little or no link building. Even though that mark tends to come very fast with little effort the second mark of about 250-350 vistors/day tends to take quite a bit more time and effort. Just because your site got a 100 visitors/day in the first 3-4 weeks doesn't mean in 6 months you'll be getting around 500-600 visitors/day. In fact its very unlikely especially for a black or gray hat site. So practice this as an investment strategy. After doing a couple test sites if you end up coming to a similar realization that given a keyword list within the same competitive/traffic hemisphere if you generate a hosted black hat site within 3 weeks that site can be getting 100 visitors/day. If those sites pull in an average 2% CTR and pay about $0.15 a click then by the end of those 3 weeks that site will be making approx. $0.30/day. Your results will vary of course, but in all candidness my hosted black hat network averages $0.25-$1.00 per day per site. So that 0.30 is a very good example. That's not exactly a Vegas hooker in your wallet but think about this. The domain costs you about $10/year and if you have this on a server with the rest of your network it costs you about $15/year per capita for hosting (yet another reason why I insist on law #3). Projection math is dangerous but by all account that site is making about $109/year. Minus the expenses that comes to $84/year profit. Now understand that I NEVER like to do scalable projection math. It will never ever ever work out to be accurate. If you think in dollars you will end up with pennies. All I want to know is, is this site going to pull me a profit? I don't care how much. I just want it to be able to follow law #2; Every site must pay its own rent, plus a little extra for growth. The actual numbers don't matter until we get in the scale of 500+ sites. Which is when little dips and bumps tend to smooth out. Speaking of dips, lets talk about the biggest dip of all...getting banned.
One of the more popular statements you've probably heard is, "if you do black hat you will get banned." As much as search engines love the fact that people are actually buying into that misconception it doesn't excuse it from being the biggest load of bullshit in the industry. I'd let Paris Hilton rub her crotch on everything in my fridge before I'd ever admit that it's true. Before we go any further in our investments this statement must die and I'll tell you why.
1. When a site gets banned from the search engines YOU do not get banned. Only that single site. To say "you" will get banned is an intentional twist of wording intended to scare you and prey on the inexperienced. It's under acceptable use because it assumes that webmasters only have one website and will only ever have one website. While this may be true, WE are not Webmasters we are Internet Marketers. Webmasters are hobbyists. Just like painters or wood carvers who also sell their work. Internet Marketers are business men and women. Let's allow the webmasters to follow whatever rules and scare tactics they'd like, we've got a business to run.
2. Getting a site banned is not a big deal. We've all heard the stories about the big successful black hatter who had it all then suddenly one day his sites got banned and his business got completely ruined. Really? What was his fuckin' name? I've never actually met any cases like that. Black hatting is all about rebounding and experimentation. You do what works while it still works. Facts be faced search engine antispam algorithms are still in the ice age its not about keeping ahead of them, in fact moped speed will do just fine. Just as long as you're moving forward. To throw up hundreds of black hat sites based on what worked last year is like leaving your big screen TV out on your lawn all night. I couldn't imagine stupidity like that actually exists...I digress.
3. Being banned is not the end. Whenever a site of yours gets banned, its very easy, you figure out why it got caught by comparing it to a site that didn't get banned. Fix the problem and move on. Even then its not permanent. You could always just delete the site, put up a heading tag with your keywords in it and in a few months it'll usually reappear (yes that actually works). That's if you even want to, sometimes traffic from the other engines it wasn't banned from is enough to keep the site going and profitable. All else fails you can always wait a couple weeks to a month or two for it to get unbanned and forward the domain to a newer more white hat site to up its link volume (yes that actually works). There is no real end to a black hat site.
4. Getting banned is rare. It'll happen once in awhile when you're first starting out, especially if you're using generic publicly sold packages and leave a bunch of footprints, but after so much experience it virtually never happens. Which leads us to the topic of footprints with interlinks and a concept I call upward linking.
I wanna take a moment to talk about interlinking because I think this is where I differ in opinion from many others. When it comes to certain specific SERP Domination tactics in regards to money sites, I think interlinking between a cluster of sites is a good thing simply because you're dealing with directly related sites which pushes the relevancy of the link. However in the general schema of building link authority I try to avoid it mostly because it endorses unnecessary footprints which lead to lower sticks and a lowered investment value. The reality is, in the general platform clusters interlinking is virtually worthless. In example let's say you layout a large cluster of keyword specific sites under no particular niche using Blog Solution. Sure a few interlinks will help boost the ranks of the sites and raise their profit by a few bucks/month, but since these sites aren't our true money sites and are already worth their necessary profit their focus can change to link inventory. Understanding what search engines mean when they talk about bad neighborhoods its necessary to abolish the idea of interlinking between common platform clusters. This is why I like the idea of upward linking. The deeper you build your SEO Empire's base the wider it becomes via more and more autogeneration. Kind of like the roots on a tree trying to reach as much nutrients as possible. So understand that while your hosted blackhat sites make money they inherently have a lower conversion rate and income potential than your higher up sites such as your database sites. Therefore if you use the hosted blackhat sites to push links to your basement and database sites where you can achieve higher rankings and more profitable affiliate programs your income potential becomes much higher in the end. The same thing holds true all the way up the building. Your database sites are going to provide huge amounts of link volume, and with help of your hosted blackhat sites, link quality to the sites higher up. The higher up you go on the building the higher quality of neighbors you're working with which means more ranking potential with competitive terms and more earning potential with your choice of monetenization. So on your next link building campaign try thinking in terms of upward linking rather than the asinine questions like "who will link to me?" Once you have a site that you want to rank first look at the quality of the site as it pertains to the levels on the empire. Pick a level of sites below it and build a bunch just for the sake of producing links to that site. In its simplest form what a lot of pro's like to do is create a nice niche landing page. Then they generate several blackhat sites through either hosted, spammed, or even parasite hosts. They use those sites to build the necessary volume for their niche site. The niche site pulls in the real money and the rest just have to pay their own rent (usually through a method of cloaking or contextual ads). Even though this is a very Neanderthal way of simplifying it; It shows why upward linking works. The true explanation though comes in the mathematical linking structure I laid out in my Blue Hat post on Raising Your Page Rank Internally. Once you understand why Google's pagerank rises as a single page pushes a link upward then horizontally to be pushed upward again you can see why this would work on a global scale. If you push your blackhat sites' linking power up it pushes the power of the clusters above it higher. Once those much more powerful clusters push link power upward again it gains in momentum until when you're ready to finally cap it off with highly converting and competitive niche money sites there is virtually unlimited ranking potential. This is what upward linking is all about, but before we talk about going higher let's dig that basement even deeper with spammed black hat sites.
Objectives Of Spammed Sites
1. Create large upward link volume to the rest of your sites.
2. Generate profit and push incentives. When your affiliate programs ask about your sites always point them to your clean whitehat or database sites. They'll like them a lot more. It's okay to have a nice network of spammed sites and money sites pushing higher lead and sales volumes working in the background, but between the two you got yourself a good push for higher payouts and incentives.
3. Keyword Research. Create a way to monitor what sites are doing particularly well. I talked about this in a couple of my Black hat VS. White Hat posts. There are lots of golden keywords out there that can't be found by any other way than ranking for shit like Cheap Hot Dog Bunny Food then realizing you're getting a ton of traffic for a two-three variation. Especially watch for banned sites. Being banned is a huge benefit for these types of phrases because its often times some dumbass trying to protect their golden keywords from all the weak black hat sites. So once one gets banned check its traffic and what keywords they were ranking for. If you find a golden keyword just build another white hat money site for it and push all the link quality to it so it can start getting ranked without fear of being banned (perm redirects work best if possible). I know this can be hard to monitor all these sites, since they are on different hosts but you always have frame and link stats. So you can redirect through a script or monitor the keywords on your frames. Also referrer stats on your contextual and affiliate ads works. Just don't spend forever being a stats junkie with spammed sites. They'll come they'll go don't wait for results before building more or you'll never see those results.
I like to use spammed sites as a way of making a couple big bucks really fast for fast investment boosts. It'll plateau and level off to make a little residual cash but whenever you get spurts of big cash consider getting a few servers and domains paid off before you rush off to buy that Benz. Just like the links I like to keep the investment cash moving upwards. As far as income goes per capita spam sites perform very poorly. Their power however definitely comes in numbers.
A Few Things To Remember About Spammed Sites
1. Always use a proxy. They're like the security cameras in your SEO Empire. They may be expensive, hard to get and a pain in the ass, but there is no substation for a good anonymity plan. Always keep your black hat projects secure with proxies.
2. NEVER use your own shared server. I'll say this one more time in case you didn't take it seriously. NEVER USE YOUR OWN FUCKING SERVER! Use your home computer, use someone else's computer. It really doesn't matter; Just never use the servers your other sites are on. You never know when a proxy or something is going to slip to transparent or anything. Just play it safe. If you're getting hate calls in the middle of the night from your DSL provider thats a lot better than your server provider asking about 10 gigs of socket bandwidth you just used.
3. Automate everything. Even if you're only planning on creating a hundred or so sites make sure every aspect is either automated or sent to some Indian dude to handle. The extra time taken to do things right will always turn out to be worth it down the road, even if it is years down the road. Which brings me to my next notable.
4. Modularized all your scripts. Be sure to take some extra time to make things easier for yourself on later projects. For instance Rob and I created a Wordpress plugin. It allows anything we code to interact with any wordpress install, including wordpress MU and Wordpress.com in single lines of code. Its a HUGE help! Do the same thing. Building a library of code snipplets and custom modules you've created will make your lives a thousand times easier a year or two down the road.
5. Use timed cronjobs and delayed server-side processes. Set it and forget it is always the way to go. Just be sure to test everything thoroughly so you don't cause a big mistake.
Of course there is a lot deeper you could go with your basement levels. You can jump into parasite hosting and many other spammed sites techniques. There is also a Black Hole SEO technique that involves hosting that I eventually want to write up into a post and share with you guys. However keep in mind as deep as you go there is still money sites available at this level as well as some incredible investment opportunities. In fact I'll share one of my favorites with you now called Cycle Sites.
Cycle Sites have a double function. They make lots of money from a very little investment for a short amount of time. Then they recycle themselves to become monstrous link launderers. The downside to Cycle Sites is they tend to use a lot of server resources while they are making money, but on the plus side they usually only make money for about 3-4 weeks then you dump them and idle out, and they use virtually none. So the cycling process is actually a good thing because it means you can continuously do it. I have an entire server dedicated to Cycle Sites. The one server has been more than enough to produce literally thousands of them over the course of the last year and will continue to be all I'll ever need. Here's how to build one and why.
How To Build A Cycle Site
1. Download this custom install of Wordpress I compiled.
2. Buy a domain related to a generic niche. Notice I said niche, not keywords. The site won't be around long enough to make money from search engine traffic. So the more generic the more useful it can be later to your higher up sites.
3. Point the domain to your server and have a script that sets up the account, uploads and extracts the Wordpress install, sets up the mysql database and completes the installation.
4. Write an "ant" script that logs into the Wordpress install and activates the WP-Autopost plugin and Adsense deluxe plugin and configures them.
5. Have the script automatically select a random template from the list available.
WP-Autopost plugin - A Wordpress plugin that's no longer available. It pulls a list of RSS feeds you specify and automatically makes scheduled posts using the content. It also posts a trackback request on every blog post it copies.
Adsense Deluxe Plugin - A Wordpress plugin that mods the template and automatically incorporates Adsense into it. All you have to specify is your publisher id.
6. Import a huge list of rss feeds. I like to RSS Aggregators such as Google Blog Search: microsoft. Notice I searched for microsoft. Microsoft.com and blogs.msdn.com has a ton of "golden sites". Which means one trackback link gives you tons of traffic (I even got a couple that give me 700 visitors/day alone).
The majority of your traffic will be coming from the trackback links it posts. The sites should have no problem pulling in plenty of traffic from just that. If you get the right RSS feeds imported they should get between 500-1,000 visitors/day within the first week. I've had a couple hit a few golden gooses on trackbacks and recieved in the upwards of 10k visitors/day (needless to say it crashed my server cus every time someone would visit it would try to pull the rss feeds). Your Adsense ads should pull in a decent 2-5% CTR on all that traffic. Also, I modified the WP-Autopost plugin so instead of just putting their content up it says __Name_ put up a great post today on __post title__. Here's a quick excerpt ___post content___. That reduces a ton of complaints you'll get for potential trackback spam. Now keep in mind, these sites WILL get complaints. Not only to your Adsense but your domains and hosting as well. So be sure to put up a fake hosting provider in your name servers. That'll give them someone to complain to and will make them happy. This is also why you'll delete the sites after only 3-4 weeks. During those 3-4 weeks you should make at least $1-$10/day per site. My Cycle Sites make about $5/day on the average. The few people that I've shared this with and have put it up on crappy shared hosting still managed to pull about a $1/day, and usually I can tell them to keep adding more feeds to it or add a few sites VIA subdomains to be more cost effective. If the sites aren't making enough money just add more feeds or add more sites to subdomains, that'll usually fix it right up until you reach a happy medium. This is where the investment comes in. Build a batch of these sites on their own server. Once they cycle out use half that money for domains and build another larger batch. Do that until you got the server capped out. Each time you dump a site just throw it up on a blank page with its keywords and maybe put in a couple ads to keep a few cents trickling in. This will use up very little server resources, so once you cap out...lets say for example at a 300 sites. Every time you cycle out a batch throw up another batch and close out that batch. It'll keep the server constantly moving and making profit and you'll be getting all these new domains for virtually free just off your profits plus some extra for your higher level projects.
This is where the real trick to cycle sites come in. When you create a high level money site at the top of your empire instead of going on a big strenuous linking campaign just go back and look at what niches you have available in your cycle sites. Lets say you build a money site about Dogs. Go back and find all your domains that are related to dog or pet related niches. You'll notice after the 3-4 weeks of them being live and after a couple months of sitting they'll still have plenty of sticky links. In the spirit of candidness my average Cycle Site has about 300-600 inbound links at the end of their stickiness cycle. So if my money sites need about 1,200-1,500 related links to rank all I have to do is spend 5 mins and redirect about 3-4 Cycle Sites. The money site instantly has all the links it needs as well as a bit of initial traffic. Not only did I make a solid profit, but I got instant success to any money site I create. Shoemoney was quoted as saying something along the lines of, "there are no secrets to success in SEO. It's just common sense." Bull fuckin' shit. I say common sense plays a big part but I stand to bet he's never made a Cycle Site before in his life. Once you do you, you'll most certainly realize there definitely is secrets in SEO and rankings. You just have to find 'em , because rankings don't come any easier once you got a good Cycle Site network working for you. It is important however to remember their purpose. It's easy to continue the sites for longer than necessary because of the money temptation, but this will eventually come back to bite you in the ass. I've lost servers, I've gotten in trouble with my fiber provider, I've lost Adsense accounts, I've even gotten charges from Godaddy because of this. Many bloggers don't understand what an rss feed is and think you are stealing their content, even though you are careful with your wording and your link to their site, they will still complain. It's best to have them just complain to your hosting provider (actually your fake hosting provider) and then have the site gone in a couple weeks. They think they've won and they don't see any point in continuing. So if you get your timing down, you'll make far more money in the end if you don't get greedy. Also, automation is your friend. Don't waste your time maintaining these sites. At the absolute most all you should have to do is copy and paste a list of domains and the associated keywords into a textarea and click a button to get them all setup, then uncheck all and click to deactivate the previous ones. The faster and easier you make this process for yourself the more time you'll have for your even bigger money projects.
Let's Take A Moment To Review
I'm not going to bother taking the time to find it but John Chow had a post recently asking the question; What's better, a few big sites or lots of small sites? His argument was, look at all the people who are obscenely rich and popular in the industry. They got rich because of a single large site.
I won't pick on John too much but I think that's a naive way of looking at it. Just like in Wall Street. How did you get rich? I got rich by buying 50,000 shares of IBM back in the early 90s. While that may be how they made the majority of their money, thats not how they became rich. A couple million dollars didn't suddenly just pop into their wallet for them to make that kind of smart career booming investment. They first made lots of small and stable investments which worked as a crutch in every aspect of financing, disposable resources and experience to make that big investment possible. The same holds true for the Internet Marketing industry. You don't get rich ranking for something like mortgage loans. You get rich by developing the resources and investments necessary to be CAPABLE of ranking for terms like mortgage loans. That is why it seems that successful projects and rankings comes so easy to certain people while others struggle their whole careers. It's because it IS easy for us. However we had to pay our dues and take the time to make it easy on ourselves instead of perpetuating the workload hoping for that one project to stick. Raise your hand if thats what you've been doing. :)
So no matter what level you're at, make sure you really study the article above and make special notes of the "oh shit moments." There's plenty of 'em upon close inspection. :) And build a good foundation for your SEO Empire. You don't necessarily have to use database sites to build a foundation like I did, but it definitely is my strong recommendation. You'll find out why in the next post. I couldn't possibly tell you now because its mostest top secret at the moment..........Ah fuck it. I'll just tell you. You'll be building your first phase of affiliate and contextual ad "mixer" sites. In a sense they are monstrous completely geared around generating affiliate income and spilling off to contextual ads. Likewise you don't have to build the blackhat portion of the basement exactly like I suggest, but you'll find it very useful when we talk about One Page Wonders and the concepts behind why single page sites with little content can and do rank. How to create landing pages on steroids if you will.
So by now the foundation and subterranean portion of our business is looking really good. This is going to be a huge benefit to our higher class projects. It's fairly quick to build a solid foundation and basement simply because starting out the numbers aren't important. It's the scale we care about. We can build 10 foundation sites, 100 hosted black hat sites, and 1,000 spammed sites fairly quickly with a modest budget. With five links each and using strictly upward linking we now not only have a fairly solid profiting business but quite a few links available in our inventory(depending on how you scale the upward linking). Which is enough for quite a few high converting money sites in the end. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We got to build this bitch up first. Which means thats our next topic. So if you haven't taken a bathroom break yet, nows the time. :)
1. Put all your questions in the comments please. I'll make a followup post shortly after. Theres a lot I already want to cover in the follow up.
2. If you were wanting to make an mp3 version of this post with your fantastical voice, feel free. Send it to Eli at BlueHatSEO.com and I'll edit it in. First 5 make it. Be sure to give me a place to link to for credit.
3. I've already started working on Part 2. I'll continue to post here on Blue Hat while I work on it. I also got some great guest posts in queue.