Creating A Private Blog Network: PBNs In 2019 For SEO

Typical Parts Of A PBN
Each PBN site will include registering the domain, setting the name servers and hosting the site.

First and foremost the most important aspect of your Private Blog Network is randomness.  Consider what pattern or foot print your PBN might have and avoid that commonality.

patterns that give away a PBN
Patterns and commonality to avoid in building a Private Blog Network

Good PBNs Are Random, Start With Different Name Registrars

First off you need private domain registration, if not private then you’ll need people and addresses from all over.  If you always use Godaddy you’re going to have to try out others to avoid a pattern.  Incidentally if you always use Godaddy you’re getting ripped off as they will charge you for privacy and many others don’t.  Some popular Name Registrars are 1and1.com namesilo.com namecheap.com cosmotown.com each of these can save you a considerable amount over Godaddy considering they offer free private registration and using more than one breaks a pattern.

Each time you add a new site to your PBN you need to approach it from the beginning as if you’re playing a character in a story who has never made a website before, when I say that I mean if you know you have a site on Host A and you like that host you’re making decisions based on previous sites and are more likely to create a pattern.  Forget Host A how would you find a host for the first time?  Google popular web hosts and pick a cheap new partner.

One thing that’s really beneficial about building PBNs that is more helpful to you in the long run is the forced exploration.  After you’ve built ten sites on ten hosts using ten registrars and ten WordPress themes you’ll be able to write three top ten lists and rank the best of the 720 combinations that were available to you.  It’s a lot of practice and as you’re avoiding patterns and repetition you’ll find yourself stepping out of your norm.

Vary Your Web Hosts

Speed of a web host is important normally but not necessarily when your building a PBN.  While you want your primary or money site to load in under 3 seconds its perfectly fine if your PBN site loads in 7 seconds and that opens the door to all manner of generic no name web hosts.   Your primary goal with multiple web hosts is to utilize a different IP address.

Organizating A PBN Gets Complex
Considering the complexity that can quickly arise when seeking randomness of your sites.

The only two big issues with this model …

Organization OF PBN Resources

What site is down?  Oh….well which domain registrar did I use?  Am I using their nameservers, someone else’s?  Where did I point that to be hosted?  Sure these aren’t that annoying to answer with a 10 site network, but try answering it when you’ve built and scaled up to 200 sites using 7 registrars, 20 name servers, 150 different IPs … it becomes unmanageable as you find yourself searching for your site more than you are building new sites, and why are you having to search?  Maintaining a site is essential, as updates roll out to WordPress, plugins get updated and hackers exploit new vulnerabilities.  If you log into every site you own and spend 5 minutes on each site your 200 domain name network will take 16 hours … or two days a week and consider that you only spend 5 minutes on a site, you likely didn’t fix any issues and took no breaks!  It’s time to consider an apprentice or spreadsheets that fully document every aspect of your network, or both.

Uptime Monitoring

Somewhere around 100 domains I figured out I needed to approach this like an enterprise would and have actual uptime monitoring allowing me to see the state of the network easily.  UptimeRobot allows you to set up 50 monitors on a free account.

Uptime Monitoring Your PBN

In the real world 94% Uptime is horrible.  Consider that in the last 30 days I had a recorded 104765 minutes sites were down in this sample of sites.  I had issues with a server getting attacked by someone using 1700 servers causing a DOS attack.  Why?  Anyone’s guess … usually its a game to them and they aren’t paying for those 1700 servers but they’re other people’s hacked resources being used to grow their network.

You may be interested in MainWP or InfiniteWP … Godaddy provides Godaddy Pro.  You need to be mindful that these only work when they work and will they give away a signature pattern?  Likely they can create an easier management solution but easier is dangerous.

Costs Ballon And Randomness Prevents Savings

As you scale up from 10 to 20 to 50 sites your going to wake up one day and realize youre spending hundreds of dollars a month on infrastructure and all of your time will now be consumed with maintaining your network.  Adding someone to help you is going to increase costs and take your time to train them in being effective at maintaining the network.  Be careful who you bring in to help you, friends are obvious choices but when they get upset about something unrelated to the network they could leave you high and dry.  Worse yet, they are the most likely to teach you a lesson by bailing on you for a couple weeks.  Trust the people who are in it for the money … pay them more than they can get at a retail job to build loyalty to your mission. They need not be technical people but they need to understand that if a site is down, Google can’t index it and that backlink is missing now.  They need to be able to follow a logical progression and understand the parts that are in play to help you maintain the site.

The obvious answer to addressing costs is to bundle services and make sure you’re utilizing resources in the most effective manner but that is accomplished by making patterns.  You can’t find cost savings by giving away your sites.

Cloudflare Allows Consolidation And The Pattern Is Indistinguishable

Cloudflare Use For PBNs
Cloudflare allows some consolidation while masking the pattern

12,000,000 sites utilize Cloudflare’s free services which include masking your host servers IP, CDN services and security.

Cloudflare offers the ability to hide among the masses.  Who is Cloudflare?  They stand in front of your server and take the brunt of the internets crap.  Upwork.com, Medium.com, Themeforest.net, Chaturbate.com are among the names using Cloudflare.com services.  Some estimates suggest that Cloudflare is about 8% of the entire internet.  Thats huge!  At one point they found themselves protecting the Israeli government’s network as well as the PLOs.Cyber Warfare: Cloudflare In The Middle

Using Cloudflare is hiding in plain sight and free.  I recommend it but in a mixture capacity still have some sites out side of their network just to avoid any one bottleneck, it would seem odd if 100& of the sites linking to a domain are using Cloudflare….remember they are 8% and while the largest chunk of the internet they aren’t the internet.

This article has focused mainly on external and infrastructure concerns of building a PBN.  This is really a third of topic and in the coming weeks I’ll include two more posts that address on site content issues of building a PBN and site design considerations for a network of sites.

Ultimate SEO”Ultimate SEO”

Backlinks 101 – SEO’s Off-page Often Ignored Power Ranker

First off a little disclosure this article over laps the Backlinks category of the FAQ.

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks are links from other sites.  Think of them as votes of affirmation.  Only one vote can come from a domain so for SEO purposes it doesn’t matter if there are 100 or 1 link from the same domain one link is the count you gain.  Subdomains are viewed separately…thats why yourblog.tumblr.com isn’t a tumblr backlink.  Now those other links may increase traffic to your site but in regards to SEO value its one vote.  Some call this metric “Domain Pop” … how many different domains link to a site.  It’s also gotten more complicated as people would host multiple sites on a shared IP.  How many backlinks come from different IPs is “IP Pop.”  It’s common to see a little higher domain pop than ip pop but if its a huge gap its suspect.

The more domains that link to you the more authoritative you must be right?  Well Kinda.  If 1000 domains link to your site you likely are more authoritative than a site that 3 sites link too.  Not all domains or votes or backlinks….are the same.  A link to your site from UltimateSEO.org carries with it the weigh attributed to that site by its backlinks.  People refer to this as “link juice” basically the backlinks coming in to a site fuel the backlinks leaving a site.

Link juice prevents someone of registering 10 new domains and making 10 backlinks to their original site because those ten new sites probably lack link juice from their own backlinks.  Generally said though backlinks increase a site’s domain athority or citation flow.  Different companies refer to the authority of a site differently.  Beyond DA and CF there is also LIS but I have found DA to be the best singular indicator of a sites worth.

You can see a site’s backlinks from many indexes, most are paid.  Ultimate SEO recommends Monitor Backlinks if you want a tool that is really good at backlinks.  UltimateSEO received nothing for that endorsement.  The endorsement or vote …. as you see it’s a backlink.

What Kinds Of Backlinks Are There?

No-Follow vs Do-Follow Backlinks

No-Follow vs Do-Follow Backlinks

Beyond saying Good and Bad there are actually a couple to be aware of “follow” or “do-follow” and “nofollow.”  They get their names by the instruction they give search engine crawlers…no follow links mean don’t follow this to that site.  In theory a regular link is a follow link and serves as the backlink you ultimately want.

Some reason folks went a little crazy and no-followed everything … even internal links.  No-follows were meant to combat link building schemes such as blog comments.  While its fine to have no follow links to your site there should be a limited mixture of them in relation to your actual do-follow links.  No-follow links are still indexed and I feel strongly have some SEO value still even if its just to drive traffic to your site.  In the end you want do-follow links because they come as full fledged votes for your site, where as no-follows are more or less saying “here is this link to a sight I don’t want to be associated with necessarily.”

It’s that distance that makes “no-follows” a poor source of SEO efforts and its why you should use them sparingly in internal links.  Why would you send a signal to Google that you don’t stand behind an internal link to yourself?  Some try to hold onto all the link juice coming in and no-follow” every external link, this is a poor practice and its been shown that linking your content to relevant good external content helps you.

No-Follow Internal Links…Just Don’t

I rarely use no-follow links, I kinda think they system there is broken so I just follow them all.  Sometime ago people started no-following everything and lead their link juice to specific pages they wanted to rank.  Since this was a misuse of the no-follow Google changed how it handled no-follows, it doesn’t keep the juice in your site or on a page it just disappears.  No-follows take the same amount of link juice as a regular link but no one gets it.  Pointless then right?  We’ll debate that more another day.

What Is Anchor Text?

Anchor text is the “keyword” of a backlink.  Ultimate SEO for example is anchor text for the link https://ultimateseo.org which that link had no anchor text.  Anchor text defines the backlink vote.  If enough people make a link to your site like “Miserable Failure” it will teach Google that the target of that link is a miserable failure.  This happen to George W Bush’s White House biography page long ago and is called a “Google Bomb”.  It’s that old saying…if you say something often enough it can become true.

How Many Do I Need?

A lot.  You need as many as you can get from as many places as you can get them.  Just keep in mind that a backlink from my personal site isn’t as powerful as a backlink from the CDC.gov website …. they have the authority.  Thats also why .edu and .gov backlinks are especially coveted.

Backlinks

Backlinks

A quick rule of thumb to determine how many you need is to simply Google the keyword you are attempting to rank for….lets say “cool music from the 60s.” I get pastemagazine.com leading the pack.  According the SEMrush.com that site has 2.7 million backlinks coming from 36,700 domains on 44,300 IP addresses.  So roughly keep that your target if you want to rank #1 for “cool music from the 60s.”

How Do I Get Backlinks?

Many ways….the Gods honest truth is to do it the obvious way …. by having content worth linking too.  If you want a page to rank at the top you need a site thats fast, optimized on page, has relevant … awesome content … and people will backlink to you.  Over years and years and years and you’ll need to keep that content better than everyone else’s … thats not super realistic though.  Sometimes the best content is on page 2 and it’ll stay there…I often Google something and skip the first things just cause they are often just the most SEOed things.  BUT most people by far pick the first result, then the second and so on.

What Are Some Popular Link Building Techniques?

So you need to prime the pump and simulate organic growth and popularity and now you’re in a link building scheme.  Some are looked down upon more than others but make no mistake any attempt to gain backlinks is a link building scheme.  Press Releases, Guest Blogging, Commenting in Forums, making profiles on other sites, link swapping, selling or buying links and finally PBNs.  PBNs are private blog networks where you make zombie sites that link to your important site … but considering that the example above had 37,000 domains linking to it how effective is a network of say 200 sites?  Well surprisingly effective…and thats why Google hunts PBNs like Buffy the vampire slayer.

Thats our Backlinks 101…I’ll talk more about some of these concepts in future posts.

Ultimate SEO”Ultimate SEO”

How To Rank Your Site On Google…Forget the Keywords

Ultimate SEO

Well don’t totally forget the keywords but I think if you spend more than 5 minutes on keywords you’re going to be pretty surprised by some purported data I stumbled across.  As you likely know Google uses about 200 factors in determining your sites ranking.  I personally have place a lot of emphasis on speed and backlinks and while I have thought it was important I must admit I didn’t give the social media factor as much attention as I should.

The first big thing to not is that 10.3% of ranking is CTR so if you have ever seen your content just jump up on the rankings and then slowly (or quickly) taper off as time goes its likely that people are clicking on you less and less as you slide below the pages.  Its the single biggest impact.  I feel Google gives you the benefit of doubt at first ranking you higher than average and then they allow people to determine if your site is worth it.  That’s important to consider and similar to conversion rates.

When we take human behavior out we have largely backlinks and social media deciding your ranking ability.  These make sense, if no one is talking about you but they are about your competition and more people click on your competitors site who also has the most backlinks you’re wasting your time trying to get your keywords exactly right in the headers, description and title….they combined contribute a value of 5  where backlinks are over 120.

If you’d like to access the Data Studio report directly you can visit https://datastudio.google.com/open/1lNt4SYd4jrfXWMo9HPKvrj1FWFO0oxG4

If this graphic surprises you it might be a good plan to check out our SEO Store or Upwork Profile.

Ultimate SEO”Ultimate SEO”

Bad Backlinks: 100 Sites You Don’t Want A Backlink From.

Bad Backlinks

UltimateSEO.org has backlinks from about a thousand domains.  In a recent review of these I found an odd reoccurring link from multiple domains but all with the same content and titles.  I was introduced with “The Globe” which charges sites to NOT list them or makes money from SEOs paying them to not backlink to them.  At $36 a link they’re likely insane and I bet its bringing in some money.  But before we go all crazy and start paying Ransomlinks (if its not a word I claim it … Ransomlinks are backlinks from bad sites meant to lower your SEO score unless you pay to not be linked too.)

In reviewing the situation I ran across a list of the most disavowed sites.  I figured Id share that with you below, but before I do what outcome did I choose for these bad links pointed to my site?

  1. Option 1 Pay: Heck No! Then the terrorists win.
  2. Disavow: No! Don’t use disavow unless Google has placed a manual action against your site.  I’m skeptical anyhow of the tools purpose and Google itself says there is no need to use the tool unless you’ve been penalized and told by them you are being penalized.
  3. Do Nothing: Yes! Don’t do anything. Google likely knows about the Ransomlinks scheme and has already penalized the site by deindexing it.  There are so many random domains its going to be a mess to address so let it be unless you have a seen a negative affect.  In other words…before you saw your leg off wondering if that spot is cancer…stop and find out.
  4. An idea: 301 Redirect Them…seriously…all of these links point to a subdomain that until now hasn’t existed.  Most others who are talking about this site note a similar subdomain targeted.   I could create the targeted subdomain and redirect all links to it from my site back to theirs.  🙂  

I’m opting for the third as I dont have any indication that Google cares about these Ransomlinks.  They may actually bring some random traffic of use so redirecting them would take that from my site.

What do would you do with “Ransomlinks”

And now the most disavowed sites…

Most popular websites disavowed by webmasters

1 blogspot.com
2 blogspot.ca
3 blogspot.co.uk
4 ning.com
5 wordpress.com
6 blog.pl
7 linkarena.com
8 yuku.com
9 blogspot.de
10 webs.com
11 blogspot.nl
12 blogspot.fr
13 lemondir.com
14 blog.com
15 alonv.com
16 tistory.com
17 searchatlarge.com
18 dvpdvp1.com
19 typepad.com
20 nju-jp.com
21 bluehost.com
22 wldirectory.com
23 tumblr.com
24 hyperboards.com
25 directoryfuse.com
26 prlog.ru
27 informe.com
28 ligginit.com
29 theglobe.org
30 pulsitemeter.com
31 articlerich.com
32 weebly.com
33 the-globe.com
34 blogspot.no
35 theglobe.net
36 articledashboard.com
37 dig.do
38 seodigger.com
39 cybo.com
40 fat64.net
41 bravenet.com
42 cxteaw.com
43 askives.com
44 mrwhatis.net
45 insanejournal.com
46 xurt.com
47 freedirectorysubmit.com
48 commandresults.com
49 sagauto.com
50 internetwebgallery.com
51 freewebsitedirectory.com
52 ewbnewyork.com
53 000webhost.com
54 tblog.com
55 directorylist.me
56 analogrhythm.com
57 snapcc.org
58 bravejournal.com
59 weblinkstoday.com
60 m-pacthouston.com
61 linkcruncher.com
62 tripod.com
63 cogizz.com
64 niresource.com
65 over-blog.com
66 ogdenscore.com
67 free-link-directory.info
68 alikewebsites.com
69 folkd.com
70 djsonuts.com
71 uia.biz
72 bangkokprep.com
73 forumsland.com
74 punbb-hosting.com
75 hostmonster.com
76 blogspot.in
77 siteslikesearch.com
78 bookmark4you.com
79 siliconvalleynotary.com
80 listablog.com
81 poetic-dictionary.com
82 linkspurt.com
83 cultuurtechnologie.net
84 azjournos.com
85 exteen.com
86 articletrader.com
87 blogspot.com.au
88 delphistaff.com
89 altervista.org
90 media-tourism.com
91 woodwardatelier.com
92 holdtiteadhesives.com
93 lorinbrownonline.com
94 tech4on.com
95 popyourmovie.com
96 trilogygroveland.com
97 foqe.net
98 directorybin.com
99 eatrightkc.com

52 Tools And Counting: Mostly Free SEO Tools – I Actually Use

There are actually a couple lists of tools on this page.  Check them out and come back for more in the future.  What you wont find in this list is a tool that has asked or paid or communicated with me concerning the list.  This is an honest collection of what I want to keep links too.  If you want to be on the list feel free to maybe comment?  If I find it useful and use it I’ll add a link.  Otherwise maybe someone else will like it from your comment link and they can make there own list. 🙂

seo tool

seo tool

Over 50 SEO Tools, Mostly Free

As I go through my SEO day I type the same addresses over and over to get to a collection of useful tools.  So I decide to post them as links once and for all, for my own benefit but also for others who may come here for a backlink indexer but find there isn’t one … but there is a list that includes one of the best.

A quick highlight of some of the tools and how I plan to build on this simple list.  First, I’ll address the second thing I noted…I plan to build the list out from its initial 52 to hopefully a hundred with the promise I’m not just adding crap tools or duplicate tools over and over.  Now as a highlight of some of the best tools on this list I’ll put some details in the coming weeks in a section below the list. There is also another mini list that includes tools for text and html below the main list.

More Tools – Text and HTML Free Tools

I’ve turned 40 today so I figured I’d make a top 40 list of tools and guides. The first one I’ll note I didn’t use for Web Design, I just used it to make a choice for me.

Generate Random Choice – When you’re on the fence and need some decision help.

Random Word Generator – Brainstorming

Adwords And Titles

Capitalize the First letter of Each Word In A Sentence

Free Photoshop Like Web Tool

Pixlr

Site Speed

Compress HTML Code

Uncompress HTML Code

CSS Minifier

Merge CSS OR JS Files

Testing

CSS HTML JavaScript With Output Test Environment

Fast Web Design

Hexadecimal Color Picker

JavaScript Popup Maker

HTML List Generator

Convert URLs to HTML Links

CSS

CSS Beautifier

HTML Modifiers

HTML Formatter

Convert line breaks to paragraphs

Remove Duplicate Lines

CSV

CSV to XML Converter

Text Format And Order Modifiers

Alphabetical Order Tool

Remove Line Breaks from Text

Date And Time

Epoch Timestamp To Date

Time zone list – HTML select snippet

Trace Route Network Tool, Only On A Map

Tracert is a command thats elementary to networking and computers.  Trace Route or Tracert does exactly what it sounds like, and its useful cause it tells ya every ip address it passes through between the server and the catcher (not technical terms there).  It explains where speed issues are in a global perspective or in your home.

Its usually just text but https://www.monitis.com/traceroute/ made it more fun…and from this map I can see why my fiber connection isnt seemingly very fast tonight, I’m being routed through London, England to do a domestic “hop” (hops are each leg of a journey in a tracert.

tracert in SEO

The post Trace Route Network Tool, Only On A Map appeared first on Ultimate SEO.

What Is Domain Authority Why Should I Care?

Domain Authority is in my opinion the single greatest indicator of a sites ability to compete organically for search traffic.  It is a great question and its simply complex.  Keep in mind Domain Authority or DA as we shall refer to it pretty much here on is the single best number to predict ranking ability and we know that the top 3 positions consume over half of all searches so it can be directly attached to traffic.

A few disclaimers: Domain Authority is not a Google creation it is from Moz.com and it is their educated guess at how Google see’s your authority.  But it is not Google’s so remember that.  Secondly I am going to go over this in a higher level and use some half truths for simplicity.  If you want the whole truth just read the articles or Google the topics discussed for greater detail.  Finally, most of what I will show you are other people’s guesses as to what goes into Moz’s Domain Authority which again is a guess about Google’s metric on a site.  Google doesn’t tell us exactly and they shouldn’t, Moz doesn’t tell us either because they want you to pay for it.  Moz isn’t the only one guessing, a lot of folks guess and some include Majestic’s Citation Factor and Trust FactorSEOProfiler has it’s LIS.  For simplicity and since I’m the one running this show we’ll focus for now on Domain Authority by Moz.

Now it’s a simple number from 1 to 100 but it isn’t like a ladder with even steps, as you climb the steps get bigger and it takes more to gain a level.  So from DA 1 lets say you gain 5 backlinks and two are from sites that have a decent DA 40 and Moz bumps your score up to a DA 3.  If you gain 5 more links to your site and they also have similar metrics as the last bunch you might assume you’re set to have a DA 6, but you get surprised when it is reported as a 4.  Another set of 5 and it stays a 4.  DA levels are harder to improve the higher you get your site.

What Determines Domain Authority?

Links?

Domain authority is the best metric because it provides us with a single number but its based on some rather key and diverse factors.  Yes, it is backlinks but its so much more than that…but it is largely backlinks or incoming links from other domains.  These serve as citations, they’re references from other entities that acknowledge publicly that this site they are link too, yours is authoritative.  Coupled with “anchor text” or the words that make up a link that aren’t the address they can define a site.  More on that towards the end.  This is anchor text it has a link but the anchor text serves as the vanity description of the content at the other end of the link.  The link comes from another site to yours and depending upon that site’s authority the link is more or less powerful than another.

domain-authorityWe’ll talk in greater depth about SEO Backlinks but for now let’s just understand that backlinks are votes from other sites.  Not all backlinks are created equal.  The more backlinks the more authority, and one vote per site.  So 800 links from another site you own are not worth 25 from 25 sites.

In the graphic to the left links are the blue AND red slices of the pie and together they make up 49%.  The next biggest element is SOCIAL MEDIA MENTIONS.  I do that in all caps because I’ve always included social media as an element of reports I offer in client proposals and I get told often they don’t care about all that.  I just sit back and scribble down that they don’t know what they don’t know yet.

Social Media Mentions

Sure you need an account and you need followers but to get those followers you need to post regularly.  Five or Six times randomly during the year isn’t regular.  Thats why so many people feel social media doesn’t matter because they were unable to tap into the great interest on Facebook in their widgets.   News flash no one is really going to be interested in your widget but you and a handful of individuals.  Thats why your messages need to have more than just “buy our widget.”  If you are a church for instance a weekly devotional or prayer list is better than telling people to come on Sunday week after week.  The biggest mistake is not including a link to your site in your post.  While there may be a link off of your profile page to your site your message can be repeated by others and each repeat or share is from their profile. It may mention you and likely link back to your profile but that is still one link to your site.  Include a link.

social media mention with link

Domain Age Matters And It Should

So you’re going out there and you found a domain name thats available and you want to outrank your competition in a month.  SEOs laugh out loud around the globe…Highly unlikely, it’s partly you lack street cred.  I’d love to rank number one in the keyword Louisville SEO but I don’t.  I’m the 89.8th result.  MatthewLeffler.com is 352 days old as I am writing this.  The top result for Louisville SEO is 9 years and 207 days old.  Indirectly they’ve got 9 years worth of content, returning traffic and backlinks than I have and so they are given a bonus for that longevity.  Partly to prevent searchers from getting a completely different result every time a new domain picks a keyword.   Its easier though as you age, the difference between 5 yrs and 9 years is trivial and the distance between 1 day and 1 year is a stretch.  Sometimes buying an existing domain thats relevant to your business will give you a way around this, but you’re at the mercy of what is for sale and like a foster kid you don’t know about it’s past.

Brand Search Volume

Nobody said SEO was fair

Sometimes in SEO it feels like you’re swimming with Joan Crawford.  This one I feel is a bit much … brand search volume is how often people are looking for you.  Well isn’t that impossible until they know about me and the reason they don’t know about me is because you have me on page 4?  Couldn’t brand search volume arguably be covered in social media mentions and backlinks?  We’ll now that we got those out of the way, nobody ever said life was fair, Tina.

I’ve decided that I’ll figure out a way to sneak a reference to a favorite movie of mine into every post from here on.

But I digress, so your brand search volume does make sense to be included because people searching for Coca Cola do not want to see Pepsi.  I’m from deep Coke territory and even Taco Bell has stopped asking if I want a Pepsi.  So has Google it appears.

Incidentally I would suspect that local plays into this heavily.  Google knows where the searches are coming from so they understand the foot print of your business.  Which is why Googling the best landscaper in town is different in each town.  Food for thought if you build a regional powerhouse and expand into a new city.

Domain Authority Case Study – Project No Wire Hangers

Sorry I wont make this all about that movie but we all know …. NO Wire Hangers.  For our purposes hangers are domains and they can be wire or wooden.  Depending on the hanger or domain your attempts to rank for a keyword will be affected, like the clothes you hang on them.  I’ll show you several domains stats that I have built completely alone over several months.  It hasn’t been a dedicated effort so these numbers could have been better but the effort has been the same.  Some are older than others some are the same age. We’ll dissect these domains and metrics extensively.

Matt’s Project Hangers

URL Moz DA Moz PA MozRank External Links
seandelahanty.com 29 / 100 27 / 100 2.70 112
cloud502.com 28 / 100 24 / 100 2.40 134
votelouisville.com 23 / 100 19 / 100 1.90 4
matthewleffler.com 23 / 100 23 / 100 2.30 112
data502.com 22 / 100 21 / 100 2.10 12
matt2.info 20 / 100 16 / 100 1.60 51
seandelahanty.org 18 / 100 19 / 100 1.90 36
forbrent.com 16 / 100 11 / 100 1.10 0
countyattorney.info 14 / 100 10 / 100 1.00 0
seodata.cloud 12 / 100 16 / 100 1.60 11
chriscoffman.rocks 8 / 100 6 / 100 0.60 4

Feel free to look into them and make some assumptions.  You may find tools that I have discussed previously useful in “auditing” the domains.  Much like a Sciencetologist audits a person with toys and wild claims so does your SEO and look we have just about as many acronyms.  Now go and let your Thetan figure out where the keywords were in the graph.  Spoiler … anchor text that you had no control over … officially.  Here is a further reading on the power of anchor text…in 2004 “Miserable Failure” was George W. Bush’s Whitehouse biography page and no one optimized it for that.

Miserable Failure

Related posts:

Should You Go After That Keyword

Determining When You Have A Chance At A Keyword

So as I was reading for fun I stunbled across an often cited and well referenced Neil Patel article.  So this isn’t my work but I wanted to share the excerpt from his much bigger article on how long it takes to rank.

6. Decide which keywords you should win before building out content based on those keywords.

Some content marketers set out to win ranking for a given keyword, without doing their due diligence on that keyword.

This can be a mistake.

Why? According to our data, websites that sought rank for a given keyword had difficulty ousting a competitor site that had a similar link profile.

Let’s say we have two websites, yours and Mr. Competitor.

chart 2

Mr. Competitor already ranks in the number one position for “top 10 types of grass to feed your zebra.”

Should you try to rank for this keyword as well?

Yes. Your sites are equal and you have a fighting chance.

But, should you compete for the term “zebra?”

Probably not.

Why not? Because the websites that rank first in the SERPs for this term have a DR that exceeds yours by a considerable margin.

image09

How should you know whether or not to pursue ranking for a certain keyword?

There’s a simple method. It’s the “If they can rank, I can rank” method.

Look at your competitors and ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Are they in the same niche? If yes, proceed to question 2.

    2. Do they rank for your chosen keyword? If yes, proceed to question 3.

    3. Is their domain rating within 5 points of mine? If yes, then you are on a firm competitive footing.

So there is a good take away in that piece. He is referencing Domain Rank which is similar but a different metric than Moz Domain Authority but both attempt to predict how well your content will rank. And thats the take away I wanted to make…pick a keyword or phrase you want. Find out what your Domain Authority is or Domain Rank and if your site is a DA 19 and you want to out rank a site on the same keyword that is a Domain Authority 66 … you need to focus on building your Domain Authority because its gonna be hard to reach that top spot.

Publish Content Often

Another take away which I use already … if you want to rank for a keyword don’t rely on old content to do it.

Web content is NOT like cheese or wine. Think of content as a jello mold at a picnic, the longer it’s out the less likely anyone is going to take a bite, unless encouraged by others. Those encouragements are the backlinks of other sites. So if you want to rank for keyword x and you wrote this content 2 months ago and no one linked to it…you need to move on from that content and post something new thats still relevant. It’s also going to help you in the long run, if your site has 20 articles on say Nuclear Propulsion you’re going to be seen as more of an authority than someone who has 3 articles.

Keep in mind that when you post your first article on a topic seeking that top spot…you’re likely that site that has 3 articles wondering why you aren’t out ranking someone who has published many times more content on the topic.  You’re going to have to put your time in and build your authority.

How do you build authority?  Well I’ll publish an article on that again here shortly.  It really is the secret sauce.

And finally I want to say check out Ultimate SEO. Its a great site.

What To Do With Your Political Site After The Election

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Its something farthest from your mind, I’m sure.  If you’re working for a political campaign you’re pushing forward and the next 5 weeks are all out war ahead.  What to do with your campaign site after the election?  Heck I suspect some of you are just now getting around to your website, or many feel it hasn’t helped in the past so no need to worry.  You’d be wrong if you fall into either of those mindsets, if you’re the diligent one you’ll find the rewards are like a garden.

I started renting a house in my hometown after returning from Chicago and suddenly I found I had room to grow things. I wanted hydrangeas so I planted 14 or so … it took a lot of them to make a show at a gallon a plant. We also planted a grapevine.  Not much happened though, and I could have easily given up after the summer, just ignore them…but they were never going to be mature in one season.  A grapevine takes 3 years before it produces grapes, I learned hydrangeas were “old” wood and new growth wouldn’t come from new plant life.  If you get where I’m going, I’ll stop with the gardening story.  You’re website will not produce fruit in its first couple months.

Domain age actually has both a direct and indirect effect on your ranking.  For one, a website thats been up and running since the last election has had links from other sites organically made, not a ton if you just leave it sitting there but definitely more than if you take it down and just hold on to the domain.  In a previous post I mentioned it takes 3 to 6 months to rank a site, you’ll be a step further if you just leave it up and alone.  (Best not alone, maybe post a new article every couple months.)

Domain Age directly affects your Trust Factor/Citation Factor and your Domain Authority which in turn suggest that your Google standing next election cycle is going to be improved as well.  And stop thinking your target keyword is your name, if someone is Googling your name they’ve already heard of you. Take the big terms like election results, voter guide or the other candidate’s name.

Take seandelahanty.com and judgeseandelahanty.com the first is younger but it has 70 times the backlinks and its been updated religiously, has the social media mentions, it has the content.  The first address is a Domain Authority 23 and the older one is a Domain Authority 2! Its still neck and neck in some searches.  Just today I Googled the candidates name the older one comes up 3rd and the real site thats 2 months old, has 10+ times the domain authority that site is 6th. Here is a representation of how much weight domain age may have, I link to the case study below.  Oh and BTW the new site is actually doing pretty good I think. Page 1 ranking on 45 keywords on Google…100 ranked keywords altogether. But back to the point…

what goes into a ranking

what goes into a ranking

Now let me clear the air though, no matter how old your domain is and consistently you’ve had a site up…if the content isn’t any good its a lost opportunity.  So do make an effort to convey your continued message through your site and when you run for the next office you’re site will be that much more ready.  Final note here, there are a ton of opinions out there on domain age, but no one would disagree a site thats up and updated periodically is more likely to gain backlinks.

SO Just get a cheap web hosting plan and post every few months, don’t just take it down and box it up till a month before the next election.  For further reading on domain authority a case study.  Id recommend that article, it goes over several factors.

And I can tell you one person who’s still got her site up…signs of the times.

clinton

clinton

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