28 Sep 2006 05:08 am
Oh boy, here I go with a new term again. When is someone just going to come out and tell me to shut the fuck up already? I swear people I’m not just pulling these out of my ass. I actually use them regularly to properly describe something that I haven’t seen anyone coin yet. I just hope the people in my office understand me and just give me that all too familiar weird nod and eye shrug for other reasons. Uhhhhg as much as I hate to admit it the concept of market bait is useful and should be a considered practice for the already well developed site so here it goes.
As you probably guessed market bait is, in sorts, the red headed step child of link bait.
Link Bait - Creating a portion of content that draws readers interest. Its intended purpose is to suede other webmasters/bloggers to talk about your content, thus linking to you. Hence its kind of like fishing for links.
Market Bait - Expanding the scope of a websites niche (subniches) in order to allow you to expand your site’s marketing scope to other link sectors.
We’ve all been in the situation where we’re developing a link plan on a site and it suddenly hits the brick wall. At first it’s easy, you peruse around the other sites in your niche and you easily gather tons of links, and put up your link everywhere they’ll allow you. You get a few good relevant ones and put it up in some directories. Everything is going well and and you start making rash predictions. If I managed to get 6k quality links this month then in six months I should have about 36k…right? Haha I’ll stop that thought right there, since there is the possibility that I’m the only dork that tends to do that.
If I may jump into left field real fast…oh man I hate it when I’m doing some spam site project and I look at the stats from 10 test sites, as like oh wow these 10 sites are making $25/day so if I create 5,000 I’ll make $12.5k/day. Yet it never turns out that way does it? Still it never crosses your mind that your wrong until AFTER you’ve done all the work. All well, it’s just the way of the world I guess. If you know what I’m talking about please say so in a comment so I can feel better about myself.
Back to the subject of the brick wall of link building. Once you reach that point you have several options. Most start looking into generic low quality links. Hey at least its a step forward. Others look to link bombing. The rest decide to keep the easy road rollin’ with Market Bait. In other words they create a new “type” of content for their site. That type of content allows them to easily reach a new market filled with a whole new set of easy to grab links.
Lets list a few examples
Webcams - Just putting a webcam on your site allows for a whole world of easy link building. There are tons of webcam directories and webcam link sites you can post to. This is easy and if you don’t actually feel like entertaining a webcam audience you could always just be lazy and point the webcam out the window and ad it as a “city cam.”
User Contributed Videos/Pictures - Just allowing your users to submit videos or pictures opens up a ton of link market opportunities. You can submit to video directories, youtube…brain fart…too many to list.
Jokes - The joke market is HUGE. Lets say you have a medical info site. Just putting up a small medical jokes section allows you to post up your link to thousands of joke sites and directories.
A Blog - I had to mention this one just because it’s so obvious. Most SEO sites recommend putting up a blog on your site for just this reason. Just having a blog opens up a ton of linking opportunities.
My point is simply, why stop at a blog? There are thousands of ideas that are just as effective in the same marketing concept why not just keep producing them? Create one market bait and get a few thousand easy links, then just create another. Frankly it’s much easier than attempting to beat down the brick wall or avoiding it with link bombing(ehhh. I’ll take that back).
I’m going to create an official Blue Hat SEO comic strip.
Here’s my buddy Stacey and I as super heroes. My super powers are very painful to villians. I have a cat for a hand. I punch the enemy and claw the hell out of their face. Then I squirt lemon juice on them. Ouch dude, ouch.
And no super hero comic book is complete without an evil villian.
Matthew has a grapefruit juicer for a hand which he uses to squirt innocent civilians in the eyes with grapefruit juice. My buddy shawn has an airhorn for a hand which he uses to give headaches to people then he scratches the chalkboard on his chest with his nails.
Link Building Through Document Links
I would like to take a moment to present a very powerful link building technique that has been long overlooked by webmasters. It’s actually quite a shame. Every SEM I’ve ever met has managed to just skip right over the subject of Document Links without a second look.
Search engine engineers are very adamant in talking about their engines indexing power in regards to the term “documents.” MSN, Yahoo, and Google all worked very hard so their engines can index and understand other forms of documents than just HTML pages. They also worked very hard so they can analyze the links within those documents and extract them for credit as well. If I was in the same boat I’d demand the people writing the FAQs and guidelines to use the proper term(document) as well. After all it’s the least they could do. So why not take it literally?
So how does this apply to link building? Consider other forms of documents that are indexed such as Acrobat files, Excell documents, Power Point presentations, and Word documents as a direct line to link building through content creation. After all, they are treated just as weighty as html files are. Infact you can even find them in the site: and link: command.
Lets pretend you sell refrigerators online. There’s tons of competitors and informational sites on fridges out there, but it’s tough to get the links you need to compete for a term like “Refrigerators.” So you spend a little time and create a PDF document that is a nice compiled list of all the major fridge manufacturers and their warrantee information along with direct phone numbers to their warrantee support departments. That’s useful right? Fuck yeah. Hell thats even useful for your direct competitors that also sell fridges online. So you insert your little link with your desired anchor text into the footers of the document’s pages and lock the file for editing(so it can’t be changed). Then you send out an email to the top 3,000 sites that rank for your terms and say something like:
I really liked your site, but I had a hard time finding warrantee information for the products you sell. Warrantee info is something I definitely would like to know before investing in a new unit. So I created a useful document with…….blah blah blah describe your file…I thought your visitors might find it useful. Feel free to post it up on your website. Perhaps in your “Contact us”, or “Product Support” section where people can easily find the information when they need it.
So then the other webmasters like the document and put it up on their website. They link to it on a prominent page(the contact us and support pages are usually linked to on every page of the site so can be counted on to have high PR, so target them if you can). A couple days later the engines come around and index the document. Boom you got yourself a ton of quality links. It’s such an incredibly, easy powerful, and yet completely ignored technique it’ll keep you up at night searching for other types of documents to create and mass distribute. More importantly, people can steal your videos, they can steal your flash, but if they steal your documents you’re the one who benefits.
Just to give you an idea of how well this works I’ll list an example. I did this same technique for an older Ecom site of mine about 7 months after sending out a link exchange request to the top 2,000 sites for my various terms. Since I’m promoting an Ecom site I naturally got a very low response rate. I then used that same list for this technique; my response rate was in the upward 30%, which is absolutely huge. If you do that on a larger scale with a less experimental formula and you get the idea of how well this works. Especially since the sites that accepted the link exchanges were the relatively small sites that usually buried my link. The documents also stole success in infiltrating the huge sites that have strict no linking policies as well as succeeded in being placed on prominant pages. Think of it like spreading a virus. Your job is to convince other webmasters to upload your content onto their sites when they normally wouldn’t even give you a link.
If it’ll help you out, Here is a list of Google’s 12 document “types” they index. Note that the types are not specific to a format, there are actually many different formats you may use within each of the 12 types. Just be creative.
Since this post is so incredibly directed to the white hat sites, and I hate to be biased, I thought I’d also throw in a quick thought for the blackhatters out there that are now bored out of their skulls by reading this. Doorway pages get banned all the time for spammy text and such, but have you ever heard of a PDF repository getting banned? How can you determine if a PDF document contains spammy text? Since they are naturally image rich and quick excerts of random text and slogans, as well as repeated text in footers, it makes it tough wouldn’t you agree?
17 Sep 2006 11:04 pm
Planning For The Next Engine
Every once in awhile I like to browse through some other blogs in search of some interesting stuff. Today I found this post by SEO Black Hat talking about search engines evolving into the next phase of rankings. The proposal of this phase is tracking user behavior. I must say I completely agree. I think all the major search engines already know that the future of the serps lie in ranking sites based on how the users surf. I think that’s why they are so hell bent on producing popular toolbars. It just makes sense. However just like the search engines already know its never too early to plan for the future of search technology and how your site will perform.
Check out his insightful list of 7 factors that possibly will be used
So what is this going to do for SEO?
Lets break it down and its separate levels. First being of course the White Hat and moving on to the beginner Black Hat and then of course the advanced Black Hat. So lets take a quick trip down to pretend land shall we…
Page Breaks - Documents will be broken into multiple pages so people will have to go from page to page to get all the information. This will look good to the engines because it shows the user actually navigating the site on a single visit.
Bookmarks - More encouragement will be given to the users to bookmark their site. Multiple daily or weekly visits will become very important to the site owner. This will help them raise their return rates.
Framed Outbound Links - You see those sites that have the little frame at the top of all their outbound links? It gives the user one last chance to return back to their site where the water is warm and the girls are pretty. This will naturally appear like the user loves your site and can’t leave; even if to make a sandwhich.
Download Encouragement - Encourage your users to download Googles great new spying toolbar! People already do this to help their Alexa ranking. Why waste bandwidth on a user who doesn’t have the toolbars installed and thus don’t count?
Beginner Black Hat
Return Of The Popups - Buying popups on other sites will naturally become higher. Also producing doorway sites that display your site in a frame or something will cause the toolbars to naturally see your site as a much higher visitor rate.
Intermediate Black Hat
Forced Page Views - The main page will contain tons of hidden frames that display the other pages of the site. You want each visitor to appear like they are browsing to at least 4 other pages? Sure you got it on every visit. The toolbars will see nothing but huge conversions on your sites.
Returning Back Button - By doing a simple redirect on your landing page, it essentially makes the back button useless. They hit back it just brings you back to your site again. The user typically will figure out after a couple tries that they have to hit the arrow and go back two spaces, but in the mean time you just scored 3 returns on your main page; making your site look very good.
Promotion Circles - Convince 10,000 webmasters to join your autosurfer everyone raises in the rankings. This of course assumes the SE’s will filter for public proxies.
Advanced Black Hat
Pop Unders - People will eventually figure out how to make a tiny hidden popunder on their site. Hopefully the beginning user won’t see it and will leave it open over night after they leave the computer.
New Kinds of Spyware - Auto surfers will be loaded onto users computers. People who want to “SEO their site” will pay to put their sites’ pages into the rotation. While the user is sleeping, their computer sits there and browses the internet for them with of course all the toolbars secretly installed.
New Breed of E-mail Spam - Wanna raise your site in the serps in less than 24 hours? Just send out a blank email that loads a tiny version of your site to millions of people. It’s essentially a blank email so who’s to complain? Yet it makes your little spam site look like it’s larger than amazon.com.
API Calls - This is the obvious solution. Using Netstat or viewsource to find out what that toolbar or user tracking code is pulling and slam it like it’s the red headed step child.
Well that was a fun little brainstorm session in Make Believe Land. As inevitable as I think this is, I think the SE’s need to take some time to consider the move before they leap blindly into it because frankly User Behavior being used in the SERPS only makes my job all the easier
14 Sep 2006 02:55 am
How come no one has written a good tutorial on how to properly spam wikipedia? Am I going to have to write it? This should be one of those open topics that you get sick of hearing about.
I’ll see what I can do and get back to you all.
09 Sep 2006 11:26 pm
Days Gone By For Traffic
So I’ve been really busy lately with some new projects. Sorry I can’t tell ya what they are, but now I’m finding myself sitting here on a sunny Saturday morning staring at a blog that hasn’t been posted on in almost two weeks. My apologize. Honestly, I haven’t been doing much SEO lately. I’ve been trying to focus on other forms of traffic.
Yes they’ve been going well
If I may be frank, there are plenty of SEO blogs I would love to tell to shut hell up. I’ve never been one to be truly active in the webmaster community, but I do have strong opinions about certain people who are. I firmly believe there is a certain point where “SEO experts” get too involved within the community. At that point they start becoming more useless(my favorite oxymoron). They begin to network more and SEO less. With the fast pace of the industry they soon get lost with the knowledge and loose their own understanding of the concept. So then they do what they find they are best at; Networking with other players. Beyond that it’s all one big clique. It’s not long before you find yourself walking around a packed SE conference shaking hands with a bunch of fake smiling people who honestly haven’t even developed a single website in years(most if ever) yet have no problem chatting about search technologies. For a guy like me I couldn’t imagine a worse form of hell.
In the spirit of not being a complete poser I will boil the excuse of not blogging about SEO in two weeks simply to, I haven’t SEO’d in two weeks. So lets quit the rhetoric and talk about alternative forms of traffic. Personally I think this is a great opportunity to remenis(not sure how to spell that) about the yester years of traffic building. There used to be some bad ass ways of building traffic to your site that were so much fun I hated to give them up. So lets quickly roll through my top 5 favorite old school traffic generation techniques. This is going to be fun and surprisingly relevant.
Fuck you Technorati. No ones talking about you for once. I’m talking about the classic empire built solely on watermarking and redistributing other peoples content. This form of promotion is loved by all except the select victims. Hey Ebaum I agree with you buddy. Gotta make enemies before you can make some friends. Some great content to steal is flash videos/games, pictures, videos and of course porn. Great ways to distribute include but definitely not limited to humor sites, picture sites, and P2P.
4-Top Sites Lists
Oh man Top Sites Lists were fun. You just put in a top sites list on a subdirectory, signup with a ton of related top sites lists. Then you just vote for yourself everyday till the growing traffic starts flowing in this nice little circle. Then you change all your outbound links on the other topsites lists to your main page and boom, an easy 3k visitors/day and growing.
Banner Farms were always one of my personal favorites. Remember banner exchanges? They still exist and are a great way to pull huge traffic from old geocities type home pages. If you’ve given up on traffic from old 1996-98 sites just because they are a hideous mess of frames and dancing baby animations then your missing out. They are particularly great for small traffic reliant projects. Just throw a few still existing banner exchanges down at the bottom of your site, proxy hit and repeat.
Still popular as all hell. Boils down to the more popular you are, the more popular your website will be. Create a giant flashing banner ad with lots of noise and attach it to every single mundane post you make on forums. Undeniably the winner of the longest running traffic grabbing technique award.
1-FFA Link Hijacking
Definitely my favorite. Nothing gave me more pleasure back in the day than hijacking those pesky Free For All link posts. You just attach a little meta refresh tag onto your description. Put yourself in the business category(always shows up first alphabetically) and boom you got yourself some free low quality traffic to drive your top sites list and banner exchanges. Also worked surprisingly well on a few guestbook scripts.
God those were the days. Still the new ones of today are still damn nice