Last week marked a big change in the approach I will be taking with my mass niche site project. It started with a decision to put my production line method on hiatus (with a reveal of the lessons I had learnt that led me to making the decision).
I then moved on to reveal that I will be experimenting with different link building strategies, in the hope of finding one solution that works effectively (which I can then scale up). Special thanks to the following guys who offered their thoughts:
Today I am going to reveal the “contenders” – those strategies that I intend to move forward with. They are not however set in stone – I am opening these strategies up to comments and criticism. I would love to get your feedback on them! If you are building niche sites yourself and experimenting with different link building strategies, perhaps the following list will be of some value.
1. Pat Jackson’s Mass Article Marketing
Cost: $16.40 per site (bulk discount)
“Mass Article Marketing” is not the name of this strategy – it doesn’t actually have a name. You can find this link building service over at the Traffic Planet forum, where it is has been available for nearly six months (edit 23rd May 2013: this service is no longer available). My sincere thanks go to Tory McBroom for introducing me to it.
Here is a breakdown of the service, in a nutshell:
- You provide 2x URLs and keywords
- A related article is written and spun
- The spun article is then submitted to the following services:
- All of the article URLs are then run through Pat’s Unique Link Indexer
- Finally, the articles are converted into a RSS feed and submitted through Bookmarking Demon.
In theory, this service provides a large quantity of well-indexed, low quality links across a wide variety of article submission sites.
Pat’s service has previously utilized article submission services that have subsequently been de-indexed by Google – and that may well happen again. But I think it highly unlikely that all 9 of the services listed above will be de-indexed in the near future, so I think the service is pretty safe on that front.
Article marketing is a tried and tested link building strategy (especially for niche sites), so I think that Pat’s service could work well for the low competition keywords that I am targeting.
I have just one main concern, and that is using just two anchor texts / URLs per submission. I would prefer to use say 4 in the following arrangement:
- 1 exact match to root domain (e.g. “power drills” to http://www.powerdrills.com/)
- 1 phrase match to root domain (e.g. “the best power drills” to http://www.powerdrills.com/)
- 1 secondary keyword to relevant internal page (e.g. “best cordless power drill” to http://www.powerdrills.com/best-cordless-power-drill)
- 1 generic anchor text to root domain (e.g. “click here” to http://www.powerdrills.com/)
I have asked Pat if this is possible, and am awaiting his response. I will likely still use his service if the answer is no, but will be less comfortable in doing so.
2. Tory McBroom’s Stack Modulation Strategy
Cost: $12 per site (approx.)
Thanks again go to Tory McBroom for recommending this strategy to me. At its heart, it is akin to a garden-variety link wheel, but with a few differences. Most notably, it doesn’t include the use of any web 2.0 properties such as WordPress.com and Squidoo. Here is the strategy as I understand it:
- Sign up to 5 “do-follow” social bookmarking accounts, such as:
- Manually bookmark your “money site” (i.e. your niche site) with those 5 new accounts
- Hit those 5 links in addition to your money site with this social bookmarking Fiverr gig
- Hit the resultant links in addition to the 5 original social bookmarking links (but not your money site) with this comments Fiverr gig
So theoretically, your money site is hit with around 200 social bookmarking links in addition to 5 heavily backlinked high authority social bookmark links. The idea of a link building strategy revolving entirely around social bookmarks and comments is new to me, and instinctively feels like it is lacking any real “quality”. However, I do have to question the logic behind my thinking – is a social bookmark any less valuable in Google’s eyes than some low quality article link? I don’t know.
One of the best things about this strategy is its cost. The Fiver gigs come to a total of $10, and it wouldn’t take long for a VA to create the social bookmarking accounts and submit the links. I have two questions though:
- Which social bookmarking sites would you use?
- Would you create a new account for each and every site, or create just one account that you use for all of your link building?
- Are the particular Fiverr gigs Tory has recommended the best for the job?
3. The Link Wheel
Cost: $27.50 (approx.)
What post such as this would be complete without a link wheel strategy? A link wheel method got my very first niche site to #1 in Google back in August 2011 (for what experience has taught me is a relatively competitive keyword), so in my opinion it is definitely worth revisiting. However, I did all of the work myself and it was pretty labor-intensive – can it be effectively scaled? Here is what I have come up with:
- Take the primary article from your money site and spin it
- Create web 2.0 properties at each of the following websites:
- Add a spun version of your primary article in addition to some relevant images and a video
- Link back to your money site from each web 2.0 property with a variety of anchor texts
- Use a private link building service (contact me if you want to know more) to hit each web 2.0 property with a drip-feed from a mass article submission service (such as Unique Article Wizard).
I like this strategy. You get 6 links to your site that are relatively high-authority to start with, and you get plenty of link juice from the six mass article submissions. I know that web 2.0 properties of this type do not get taken down by at least the first five sites listed above (as I have previous examples that are still standing). Posterous is an unknown for me – has anyone used it successfully in a link wheel?
The main issues with this strategy are scalability and cost:
- Article spinning – I would want this done to a decent standard. There are plenty of Fiverr gigs for this kind of work, but the quality will probably not be up to scratch. Does anyone know of a good (and inexpensive – say $10 or less per spin) article spinner?
- Creating the web 2.0 properties – this can be done by a VA. Assume a generous 30 mins per site @ $2.50 per hour = $7.50
- I have yet to confirm the cost, but the mass article submissions should total $20 (with potential for bulk savings)
This is by far the most expensive strategy out of the three, but if it is the most effective, it would be money well spent.
I have outlined above the three link building strategies that I plan to move ahead with in the near future. As mentioned in my previous post, I have 12 sites that I am going to be using in this link building experiment. Each strategy will be tested on 4 sites.
By the time you read this post, I may have in fact already ordered Pat Jackson’s service, but I will not have started on the other two strategies. Because before I start, I would love to know what you guys think about them. So please, be forthcoming with any questions, comments and criticisms!
Creative Commons image courtesy of Jakob Montrasio
Perfect timing Tom 😀
I really am hungry to see the results from the strategies you laid out. I don’t own so many sites as you do but I have 3 sites in total. One is ranking on the first pages for all of its primary keywords (8 in total) and the other two sites are still dancing with Google.
Unfortunately, 2 days ago, I received the “death message” from Google to my 1st page site. And I’m seeing a gradual drop in traffic. Don’t know how much it will affect my site but I would be a fool to do what that automated message told me to 😀 So I think I will start new projects.
And I think I have problem with my backlinking system as well. It’s not scalable as I relied heavily on blog networks (ALN and LinkAuthority to be specific). And you know it, they’ve been bombarded by Google recently. So I turned back to some old posts and the post Pat Flynn showed us how he ranked his site seems potential. Although he swears that the method still works today, I think it needs to be tested once again.
So your 3rd option is what I pay much attention. Also, the 2nd option from Tory sounds interesting as well because I haven’t heard about link building using “serious bookmarking” like that! The 1st option is typically mass article submission IMO. And I think it might work with proper scheduling.
Too bad, I don’t have much to contribute to your post but I’m really with you in this experiment! So, keep us posted Tom. All the best 🙂
Tom Ewer says
No problem Duy, there’s nothing wrong with being a spectator 😉
Hope I’m able to help you with my findings!
Glad to see you’re ready to start testing some ideas. To add a little to the strategy mentioned above, it’s just one of many techniques I’ve used successfully. And it doesn’t have to just be social bookmarks or comments. This strategy was tailor made to your unique situation of ranking multiple easy long tail keywords with as little work/money as possible (or for the best ROI). In fact, if you wanted to forgo the Fiverr gigs you could do it for penny’s on the dollar with the right tools.
As I stated in the comments of your last post, the type of “system” or strategy you use is more important than the type of link. Which I feel you’re starting to grasp when you asked whether a social bookmark link was any less powerful than an article link. Both can be produced in mass quantities, along with profiles, wiki’s and so on. But, they can all play an integral part of your backlink strategy if used correctly.
You could take the system I outlined above and incorporate article links if you so wish. The larger point is, this system funnels tens of thousands of links (reread that) down to your money site. All the links on all the levels are hit with new links every time you add a new layer, which simulates the natural growth of a link pool.
This casts a wide net of links dripping down to your site. Then there’s also link velocity, which is another topic entirely.
Tom Ewer says
There is of course lots you can do, but you have to start somewhere, and what you have suggested seems as good a place as any 🙂
It is by far the most link-heavy of the three strategies (in terms of sheer number of links), so it will be interesting to see how it fares.
Thanks again for everything!
Kent @ Make Extra Money Online says
Tom, I love to hear your testing. (It all varies and depends.)
I found that many of “Exact Domain Names” with great on-page SEO content just rank at 20 – 30’s out of sandbox (waiting for 2-3 months).
I have been designing something cheap and reproducible using UAW and some gigs. I have been doing some testing and try to create new sites with the “formula”.
Please note that I am testing out low budget and high ROI niche site business process. $50 is my goal including article outsourcing and backlinking.
Tom Ewer says
Exact match domains are all well and good but seem very thin on the ground these days…
Would love to hear if you stumble across a winning formula! 🙂
Richard @ Lifestyle Design Unleashed says
I presume you’ve heard about the latest rumblings at Google where the major blog networks are being deindexed and sites using them for promotion are receiving ranking penalties? For this reason the first method you mention is incredibly risky and should be avoided like the plague in my opinion. Your sites may initially rank but long term this technique is likely to lead to problems.
Indeed, increasingly it seems that any method involving “spinning” articles and mass submitting them is going to be a bad idea (makes the third strategy risky).
You’re also right about the social bookmarking issue – in my experience the results tend to be meagre unless you’re trying to rank for ultra-low competition keywords (which typically means little traffic and low income as a result).
So I apologise for sounding so negative. The strategies outlined may well have worked last year before all the latest Google changes but I think you’re really going to struggle with these techniques now if you’re trying to rank for decent keywords.
There are, however, all sorts of other ways to build links to your sites (for free) that are far more potent and leave far less of a footprint to Google and it’s these I would suggest you focus on. For example getting a few decent guest posts published on authority sites can have far more effect on your rankings.
You can outsource a few high quality articles for a similar price to the above systems and then submit them to high traffic blogs. You will not only get “click through” traffic when they are published but thanks to the social connections of these sites you will often get plenty of tweets and likes on your article too – and some of that PR will then flow through to your “money site” meaning trusted links – and rankings to boot.
Best of luck with your experiments and I shall be following your results with interest.
Tom Ewer says
Thank you for your thoughts; I appreciate it.
I personally do not subscribe to the panic surrounding the latest activity by Google. They have manually de-indexed a few blog networks, but not all of them. The first strategy submits to 9 different networks – whilst Google might wipe them all off the face of the earth tomorrow, I don’t think it is particularly likely.
Plus, my strategy only has to work in the short term. My business model will be all about selling off my sites as soon as they reach “maturity” – if working in property taught me anything, it is that that type of business model is by far the most profitable (reinvested capital gains offer more growth over time than reinvested income).
So I will be trialling these strategies. Perhaps you will be proven right. Only time will tell.
The guest posting strategy you outlined is viable, but not for the type of sites I will be building (in my opinion).
Great post Tom. Review link building strategies/services is extremely useful, especially for those of us who SEO our websites or client’s websites.
Something to consider, is to do a case study analysis and see how each service and strategy works compared to one another.
Tom Ewer says
That’s precisely what I will be doing Brian, unless I have misunderstood you 🙂
Some ideas: Have different websites target the same keyword with different SEO services.
It’d be great to show SERP movement graphs and all that jazz!
Good luck, will be watching closely 🙂
Tom Ewer says
If you were targeting the same keyword across different sites, you’re probably doing something wrong, don’t you think?
Yes and no. The end result is that you take up more of the first page rankings, thus capturing more money as opposed to that leaking towards your competitors.
But the point was instead to develop a more accurate case study. As we know, each keyword has different levels of competition, making it difficult to truly say if service X was better than service Y. If you target the same keyword, then you remove this variable.
The idea is to control as many variables as possible, and only have whatever linking services you want to test as the single variables to monitor.
Tom Ewer says
Point taken, but there are still an enormous amount of variables at play regardless. I tend to avoid having websites that are too similar if I’m honest, which makes the experiment impossible to run.
Comunicati stampa says
what do you think about Forum Profile Linking in Link Building strategies? How i can integrate it in your SEO LB process?
Tom Ewer says
It’s another type of link, they’re free, it adds to the diversity…but I’m not a massive fan.
This is a very comprehensive link building strategy. I’m still trying to develop my perfect strategy and this post has some gems. With the Panda 3.4 update I’m seeing lots of people creating links to buffer pages instead of going direct to a niche site.
Tom Ewer says
Thanks – hope the post was of some help!
Kiếm tiền trên mạng says
It’s really nice post, I love the way you explain everything. Very simple and clean. By the way, could I ask you about the link wheel. I’m plan on using it for my site, I do not have UAW but I use Senuke instead for mass submission, web 2.0 and spun article created my self. How you think about that?
Wait for you words. Thanks
Tom Ewer says
To be honest I would no longer recommend building a link wheel (this post is 9 months old). Check out this post for my most recent link building strategies: http://www.leavingworkbehind.com/organic-search-engine-optimization/.
Xuan Loc says
Why should not build link wheels that Tom, as I think it is a good way ?
Tom Ewer says
It’s not for me 🙂