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How to succeed with the search engines in just 4 months.

Strategy for getting a site up and running quickly with lots of traffic.

     

aek

12:04 pm on Sep 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Hi all, I have recently been promoting a new website with the search engines and managed to go from domain name registration to 1200 uniques a day within 4 months.

Having read Brett’s excellent post on how to have a successful site in google in 12 months, I thought to myself that this is a great method for getting lots of traffic from google and keeping it, but I, like many others probably thought to themselves “12 MONTHS! I can’t wait that long.”

I have spent about 1 year doing SEO as a hobby and learnt just about all I know from these forums. With the knowledge that I’ve gained this is the four month strategy I used to gain good traffic. Feel free to disagree with any of my methods as I am definitely not an expert. This method just happened to work me on this occasion and bear in mind that this is aimed at a predominantly non-commercial website where the only money spent is on the domain name and hosting.

Month 1:

1.First off, think about what you would like to make a website about. Make sure that you are able to write 50 pages on the subject and themes relating to this subject.

2.Think of the main keyword or key phrase that you would use to find a website relating to your topic. Then go to the Overture search suggestion tool and if this brings up 100000+ searches a month then stick with it, if not think of something else.

3.Think of a name for your website, making sure that you have your targeted keyphrase in the name, e.g. if your keyphrase is Blue Widget call your site something like Blue Widget News. This will make everyone who links to you use your targeted keyphrase in the link text.

4.Register your domain name, and check to see if it has had a checkered past. (I have added this bit having read a recent post in the google forum, although I didn’t do this myself)

5.Get your website hosted with a host in the UK if it is an English speaking website. There are two reasons why you should do this. Firstly you will come up in UK only searches and secondly when you do come up in UK searches there is less competition so you will rank much higher.

6.Put up the first page of your website. Once it is up get 1 good link to it from another site. By good link I mean from a page that is at least Page Rank 4 and is listed in Fast, Inktomi and Altavista. If you don’t have a site of your own that matches these criteria go to google and search for -keyphrase “add url” or “submit a site”- you will eventually find an on topic site that will automatically link to you from a good enough page. Make sure however that the link is not a cgi redirect.

7.Next step is to start making your site, make the site plain html if you can. When making additional pages every page you make should target a different keyphrase to the others. This will make sure you target as many searches as possible. Use Overture to see how many times the phrase is searched on, if it doesn’t come up at all, don’t bother making a page about it. Make sure every page has the keyphrase in the title, the first line of the page and in any links pointing to that page. Once these things have been done just write the page naturally making it as interesting as you can.

Month 2

1.Sometime during month two you should have a 20 page website made. Have a look at it’s category in Dmoz, if it is better than the worst third of websites in the category you are ready to submit it to the directories. Make sure at this point that there is nothing obviously commercial about your website.

2.When submitting to Dmoz there is usually 2 or 3 categories that are relevant to your site, choose the one that will give you the biggest Page Rank boost i.e. the Page Rank of the category versus the number of links out. Use these forums to find out how best to write your description.

3.Next go to Zeal and take the zeal quiz, then suggest your site.

4.From here on in it’s links, links and more links. Once a week from now on find on topic sites to get reciprocal links from. Only ask for links if the page where your link will be placed has a Page Rank of 4 or above. Try and send 30 requests in a day. From that you should get at least 10 links back. Look in the reciprocal link forums here for an example of a good E-mail to send as a request.

Month 3

1.Each week see who has linked to you if they have not, then get rid of your links to their pages. This will keep the number of links off your page down. People are more likely to want to exchange links with you if you have a links page with only a few links on it. If after a few weeks of this you have lots of links on the one page split the page into categorised pages with only a few links on each.

2.Keep adding pages to your site making sure you target a separate keyphrase each time.

Month 4

1.Continue to get links and add more pages.

2.You should now have a stunning 50 page site that’s already bringing in good traffic (depending on how hard you’ve worked) and the final stage is to submit your site to Yahoo. Make absolutely sure you are submitting it to the right category. (Incidentally I have not been accepted in Yahoo)

3.Sit back and have a beer.

At the end of four months you should have all your pages indexed by google with your index page a Page Rank 6 (maybe 5). You should have all your pages in Fast, some in Inktomi and some in Altavista. You should be in Dmoz and Looksmart and hopefully Yahoo. This should cover about 95% of the search traffic available. Plus you’ll be getting plenty of traffic from all those links you’ve got. Now you’ve got all this lovely traffic, what next?

Air

12:37 pm on Sept 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Excellent post aek! I notice you stayed away from ppc strategies, that's where most would go for shorter term success, you've done the reverse and are now well on your way. Good stuff!
12:41 pm on Sept 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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At the end of four months... You should be in Dmoz

That may be the only part I disagree with. You could wait well over a year, but it's pretty much out of you hands once you've submitted.

Nice plan.

12:51 pm on Sept 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Yes, very nice Aek!

A good little roadmap.

I'm pleased to say that I do most of what you've mentioned on the sites I work on for myself but I'm lazy with the link thing so after reading this I'll resolve to do better ;)

Nick

12:59 pm on Sept 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Excellent post. A couple of minor points:

1) I'm starting to wonder whether Yahoo is worthwhile if you're in a competitive category. I had one site which was less competitive and that definitely brought in good visitors from Yahoo, but the site in my profile (Programming tutorials) has many Pros in the field and so the money to Yahoo went pretty much down the drain. I'm certainly not renewing my $299 next year. The moral is, if you're strapped for cash, don't let your ego force you into paying up for Yahoo, just because it's Yahoo - Yahoo is yesterday's news.

2) Would definitely agree about Zeal, which, if memory serves, Brett didn't mention. It takes an hour or so for the stupid quiz, but you can't argue with some good MSN & Looksmart hits.

3) I agree with the timeframe. On one site I had 1,000,000 plus impressions in 5-6 months using pretty much what you say. Of course the site had great content ;) and that's the real secret to all this.

4) If your subject area warrants it, I think a link directory as opposed to link page can be great - spend a few days adding 200+sites and perversely I think you'll find you get MORE people requesting links. If the directory is at all useful you'll have also added some easy content to your site.

aek

9:00 pm on Sept 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for all the nice comments.

It's the first time I've had the confidence to post a decent post, as I still see myself as a bit of a beginner compared to alot of people round here.

By the way Birdman, I've never had to wait more than a month to get into Dmoz, maybe I'm just lucky.

Thanks,

aek

9:09 pm on Sept 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Good information. Pretty much everything you say is right on. I, however, would add Yahoo! into the mix. It is still a great source of traffic. If your main keywords don't have too many competing in Yahoo! (around 100 or less) I would go for it. You will make the $299 back very quickly and Yahoo! still can generate traffic that is comparable to Google for similar terms and ranks.
9:49 pm on Sept 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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And isn't worthwhile to pay the submission to Yahoo, just for the boost you get in PR?

6:25 pm on Sept 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

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aek,

Thank you very much for the information. I definitly like that you mention Zeal and links,links,links!

6:31 pm on Sept 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

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And isn't worthwhile to pay the submission to Yahoo, just for the boost you get in PR?

Boost in PR, yes, but also the traffic that Yahoo! supplies.

9:24 pm on Sept 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Nice long term plan, aek. Very well done. Long term SEO really works :)
10:25 pm on Sept 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

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"search for -keyphrase “add url”"

Dang, that was a good hint that I hadn't thought of before. I just added my best key word to the "add url" search and immediately pulled in a few high ranked and relevant links.

Thanks.

9:43 am on Sept 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'm curious how important is the theme of the web sites where are the incoming links placed. Aek wrote that it should be on topic sites, however what it they aren't?

For instance, I can write a case study about a particular SEO project and publish it in a well ranked webzine for webmasters. The article will be on topic, i.e. it will contain a couple of proper key phrases and links to the target web site with proper link texts, however the theme of the web site where it will be published is different. Would it work as well?

10:01 am on Sept 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Great post, I forgot all about Zeal.. D'oh :)

aek

11:00 am on Sept 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Marek, You mention that I suggested getting links from on topic sites, although at the moment this probably doesn't make any difference to page rank. There are however 3 reasons why I think it's a good idea.

1. There has been much talk about google placing more emphasis on themes in it's algorhythms so if this were to change the site would not be penalised.

2. If you have a link on a site of a similar topic you're more likely to get traffic from that link irrespective of page rank.

3. If you are giving reciprocal links your links page is more useful to your user if they are on topic. I think it looks a bit unproffessional if on your blue widgets site you have lots of links to irrelevant sites like free web hosting, viagra sales etc...

This does make it more time consuming to get those links, but I think it's worth it in the end.

8:51 pm on Sept 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I have two small argumentaive points to bring up

First: You cant post a commercial web site to Zeal you must go through LookStupid and pay theiy ppc fee

Second: If you are a US based company with a specific region of the US as your market and trying to make US Dollars, why would you place your site under a UK host and target the UK search engines? I can understand your reasoning for this if your running an informational site and want a lot of visits, but in my opinion, your not going to convert half as many of those visits to sales as you would those in the US. Maybe it's just the market of my website which provides information for a subscription rate with a market that is cocentrated on New York in particular. With your theory I know that no matter how many more unique visitors per day I would gain I would be lucky to get one conversion per day.

But besides that.... your ideas a great and I respect and envy your post. Keep up the good work :)

nat

8:57 am on Sept 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

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If you're a commercial site, I'd add that it's worth it to go ahead and pay for Inktomi inclusion through Positiontech. It starts building traffic quickly for relatively little cash, and provides useful search term data. It can start working in just a few days, long before you get picked up by Google or the directories, and only costs the one-time fee. Plus, you can switch out pages from the same domain, so duds can get rotated out in favor of going concerns.

The drawbacks and limitations I've noticed are that it seems to work better for consumer than B2B sites, and... MSN has virtually no filtering. So, even if you aren't in a category where their 'editors' outright mess with the rankings, you could find yourself getting kicked out of rankings by reams of near-identical bulletin board posts or even pure spam redirect pages.

Mostly, I'm in favor of them, but I just needed to vent about that last bit.

Lycos/Fast inclusion otoh has, for me, proved to be a waste of time and effort. Adding my seven top Google & Inktomi pages to Lycos, some of which get around 100 visitors a day, netted only around 200 extra visitors per month total.

I haven't tried any of the other paid inclusion programs, but nothing very encouraging has been said about them that I'm aware of.

12:59 pm on Sept 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I agree, and all bar the Zeal submission I have a good few sites that I have made and marketed in a similar manner.

However, the post September update dust is settling and I have already seen a reduction in referrals from Google, so in my case it's time to put "that beer" down, sober up and get busy again.!

One major point I would make is don't over do the keyword density on any of the pages, including titles, alts and links.

The pages that I have noticed are performing best now (following Septmebers update) are the ones that I made a point of not "over optimising".

 

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