Thursday, September 29, 2005

Black Hat Search Engine Optimization the White Hat Way

What a week!

You see just over 1 week ago, I received an "Affiliate News" letter from Ken Nadreau who is in charge of sales and marketing for Article Submitter Pro.

Here is a little quote

The affiliate with the highest conversion rate (4.55%) has only 47 raw hits, and
44 unique hits.

This wasn't strictly true, because he was quoting figures from the end of last month. Whilst I haven't asked him, I know these were probably my figures.

Actually my conversion rate is about 5.5%

Article Submitter Pro is a damn good product and anyone who buys it will be very happy using it.

But it is all down to pre-sales which I learned a lot about from Ken Evoy. I have actually been doing sales for 15 years, so it isn't too hard for me to pre-sell, but I believe the concept is very valid.

Ken Nadreau actually went on to say

What the puzzle tells us is that "Quality" and not "Quantity" is the key to good
sales. If we were to take the stats above, and compare it to some of the
campaigns we've seen, we'd have to come to the conclusion that the most
effective and highest quality marketing efforts come from those pages that are
reviews of Article Submitter Pro. And of those review pages, the most effective
would be those that are comparisons of Article Submitter Pro and other
submission software and services. When you compare usefulness, over all
performance, cost,and customer service, and lay it all down in black and white,
it's easy to see the value of Article SubmitterPro.
Now what Ken doesn't mention, and actually doesn't know is that the same piece of copywriting also converted tons of Article Marketer subscribers, and my first ever sale of Article Automator.

Here is the post: Submit Articles - 3 killer products

You don't have to be negative about one product when comparing it to another to try and force a sale of the "best" product.

Whilst many would argue that a straight sales letter for a single product works better, my own experience is that I have achieved more sales of all thress products from minimal traffic by giving an honest review, than I would have achieved sending traffic to the sales pages with no "qualifying" of the traffic.

I am aiming for some landing pages with well laid out reviews in the future on various product lines.

Obviously you have to know something about the results of article marketing to be able to pre-sell, but you only have to read my blog and maybe a few forums for the information. Learn from others, I have even heard Willie Crawford say that expert information doesn't have to be your own, just your own words. or something similar.

Here is a little article I put out about a week ago to the article directories. Currently there are 120 references, but I also noticed that different sites picked it up, including DevShed which is great. I don't know whether that is due to Article Marketer, or a manual submission I made to Add Me.

(and before you ask, this is all based on MY research, not someone elses)

Black Hat Search Engine Optimization the White Hat Way

Black Hat SEO

A fairly common black hat search engine optimization tactic is to build multiple websites on a general theme. The sites are then cross-linked to other sites in the same network, and would also include one-way links to the primary site with varying anchor text. The whole aim is to give one or more sites a huge boost in search engine results pages (SERPs), and for it to also benefit from additional traffic flowing from the various network sites.
People undertaking such methods generally create the websites with automated tools, use scraped content from other peoples websites, and most of the sites have no purpose other than to drive traffic to the primary site.

White Hat SEO

First it is important to understand a little about linking structure. I am not going to go into excessive details.

It is widely understood that internal linking on any website can represent as much as 50% of the page rank attributed to any single page within a site. How your pages are linked together, for which terms, and whether links are reciprocated all play an import role in the calculation.

If I told you that there are hundreds of websites on the internet, with very high page rank on multiple terms themselves, who would be willing to create a niche portal within their pages, highly optimized for your website, niche and keywords, it is something you would probably be willing to pay for.

We are not talking about a simple directory site. We are talking about high quality content pages, that will pass on pagerank to your site, plus a central hub, similar to a home page, that benfits from all the content pages linking to it, and that in turn also points directly to your website.

Of course:-

  • You will have complete control over the content of each of these sites
  • You will be provided with an interface for managing the site's contents
  • You will be able to add content whenever you like, on almost any subject
  • They will even act as brokers to encourage other people to create hubs which will also point directly to your website
  • Most of these sites have powerful linking structures, that magnify the value of your content, and the links both to your website, and to the central hub.

This is all "white hat". You will never be penalised for using this tactic by the search engines, and it is permanent! Your traffic hubs will be a permanent fixture. Some of these hubs will disappear, but many more will appear to replace them.

Is this something you would pay for?
You can get this highly powerful promotion of your website for free!

Simply write and submit articles to article directories

Every day I see questions on multiple marketing forums along the lines of:-

"Does article marketing really work?"
"I submitted an article 2 weeks ago and my search engine results have stayed the same, why?"
"When I submit an article, how long until I will see traffic to my website?"

Describing exactly how this all works in words is very difficult, but lets look at a very simple math formula.


It is not very impressive is it?

You have to remember however that an individual article you publish gains incoming links in a number of ways.

  • Snippets from your article will appear on the pages of other articles in the same niche
  • You will have a link in the main topic
  • You will most likely have a link for some time in the RSS feed
  • If a website uses that RSS feed for content, the article on the directory site would gain at least a temporary link, but quite often a permanent one.

So we may be looking at more like


Some of the numbers however are going to be bigger or smaller, depending on the authority of the page linking to the article, the number of links from that page etc.

You might well have to use addition rather than multiplication when regarding many aspects of a real formula.

What is important however is that not only is each individual article you publish gaining in pagerank, but also your author profile.

Lets take some examples

These are the current top 5 article authors listed at Ezine Articles

Lance Winslow 2029 Articles
Jeff Herring 340 Articles
Tim Gorman 306 Articles
John Mussi 303 Articles
Dennis Siluk 286 Articles

Now do a search for any of those author names in Google.

Every single result has a reference to their Ezine Articles profile within the top 3 positions.

This isn't true in every case. Well known (and popular for good reason) internet marketer Willie Crawford's profile only appears at the bottom of the first page, but he has hundreds of links pointing to his popular websites, and has a baseball player competing for ranking.

Profile pages concentrate and magnify the linking benefit of every article you publish, thus the links from a profile page carry a lot of weight.
Some author bio pages allow a lot of customization. Most allow you to have some text (which can be keyword targeted), along with website links. A few even allow you to set anchor text for every link in your profile.

Thus to answer all the questions I see every day on various marketing forums.

  • Yes, article marketing does work.
  • The more articles you submit, the more effect you will have from using articles as one form of marketing. A hub with a single page has very little weighting. A hub with 10, 20 or even 100 articles will carry an immense amount of weight, and having lots of hubs pointing to your websites will have a massive effect on search engine results.
  • You might see an immediate burst of traffic within a few days of when you submit an article, however article marketing is a short, medium and long-term solution.

Short term it can be a fast route to having a website spidered by search engines.

Medium term, you will gain some exposure within your niche as other sites and ezines publish your content. Many of them don't write about your topic every day.

Long term is really up to you. The more quality articles you write, the larger your hubs will become. Large article hubs pick up traffic from a larger variety of search engine traffic, but also make your author bio more prominent, thus magnifying the value of external links placed there.

Andy Beard has worked in Sales, Marketing and Localization for the last 15 years, primarily in the computer games industry.
He publishes his articles with the services of Article Marketer

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