Don't be left out.

How to Make Your Website Look Legit

So many people wonder why their website can’t get links from big sites and why no one want to guest post on their site. The thing is, people are only interested in websites with real authority. Deciding whether or not a website is authoritative, is entirely based on based. This checklist will help you design your website in such a way that you’ll attract high quality inbound links from top websites, and it will also make your website a desirable target for guest posts, which are an excellent way to bring in more visitors and traffic. The first step would be to contact a reputed web developer like AKEA.

  1. Have a custom designed image as a logo.

    Search Engine Land logo

  2. Have unique content, high quality and useful content. Content that you or your friends would enjoy reading. Boring articles are easy to spot, and easily signify that the site could be a private blog network or a low quality churn and burn website.

  3. Use related facts and link to government or educational sources for each fact you use. Use Google queries like filetype:pdf combined with the topic you’re writing on to find related studies.
  4. Have a Facebook like button to like your official Facebook page. Facebook pages show commitment by the website owner. Most private blog network sites do not have Facebook pages, and thus it’s an easy signal to detect if a website is high quality or not.
  5. Have attractive images for each article, everywhere, like this site.
  6. Have a bio, or at least the name of the article author, like this:

  7. Have long articles, that combine lists and other styling, among paragraphs. Don’t just post a long meaningless blurb of text. This article embeds lists within lists to add value.




Lets look at some websites that are considered low quality, and figure out why they don’t deserve quality links.

This website is about “The Best Non Stick Cookware Set.”

  • The website uses the default WordPress theme, just replacing the images.
  • The domain name and the site name is about “chicken coop plans” but the article is about cookware.
  • The article clearly is trying to rank for a long tail commercial keyword, like “best non stick cookware.”

Over 20+ SEO Terms and Definitions

Here marks the start of my glossary of SEO terms and definitions.

Blog network: A collection of blogs, owned by one identity, used to place backlinks.
Search engine: A website that displays relevant websites to a search phrase such as Google, Yahoo or Bing.
Private blog network (PBN): A blog network that doesn’t allow outsiders to post links.
Public blog network: A blog network that sells links to the public.
Backlink: A hyperlink on a website used to push link juice.
Link pyramid: A backlink strategy that pushes link juice through layers, leading to the money site. Each layer of webpages link to the webpages in the layer above, which eventually leads to the money site.
Link wheel: A backlink strategy that involves a circular link where each website received a link from one website in the pyramid and links to another in the pyramid, and also links to the money site.
SERP: The search engine results page is what is shown after a search on a search engine.
Link juice: A measurement of the flow of authority and ranking-potential that is pushed from a website, through a backlink, to another website.
Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of viewers the click a link or an ad.

Stop Caring So Much About Keyword Density

There’s nothing more irritating than a content writer or even an employer who talks endlessly about and prioritizes keyword density. This is not 2010 anymore, keyword density no longer has any positive effects on the ranking of your content.

When it comes to optimizing your content for the search engines in 2016, there are better ways to do so than optimizing keyword density. The 2 main points are user experience and synonyms.

User experience drives social shares, a low bounce rate and a higher CTR in the Google SERPs. All 3 of these signals are proven to have an effect on SERPs. By providing valuable content, from a high quality and passionate writer, users will be tempted to share your article or blog post on social media. Readers will also be less likely to bounce and go back to another search result, hoping for better content, which is a big negative ranking signal.

Secondly, articles should use synonyms of the target keyword. If your keyword is about “backlink removal” then you should expand on the word “backlink” and the word “removal,” to add synonyms and also related keywords to the text. After looking up “removal” in a thesaurus, you’ll see “delete” and “elimination” are related synonyms and should be mentioned in your article. The word “backlink” is associate with terms like “SEO” and “link building” which should also be mentioned. This is the basis of the latent semantic analysis that Google does to detect relevant content to show in the SERPs.

The Difference Between a $15 Guest Post and a $250 Guest Post

I don’t know about you, but I like to make as much money as possible for the work I do. I learned a while back, to do this, I need to target the right audience. I don’t want to target the freelancer who makes a living off $5 Fiverr gigs, but I want to target the NYC agency who has no clients under $1000 per month. To do this, you need to first have a brand, and secondly, you need to offer the utmost quality.

Lets picture a big client, lets say they sell mattresses. They sell $10 million in mattresses a year. They are coming out with a new matress technology and they want to get into niche blogs. So they reach out to blog owners by anyway possible. First by manual email outreach, then by going to webmaster forums like Warrior Forum and then finally by going directly to Upwork or People Per Hour to find freelancers who offer this.

The email outreach method returns very minimal results. Few people ever get back to you, unless you really have your guest post outreach down-pat. If it’s overly promotional, it won’t be very easy. Getting a guest post to win a backlink is one thing, but a guest post on your entire company, is another.

The method of going to webmaster forums and talking to people on People Per Hour return very similar results. People return a pile of garbage blogs for <$50 and no one comes through with anything of your caliber or expectations. Lets take a look at some of these blogs.

They have:

  • Terrible design. Most of them have a terrible layout. Sometimes the menu doesn’t show up right or the CSS styling is messed up and buggy.
  • No content niche. Some of these sites, they’ll be about “travel” in the domain name, but they’ll put any content on it. Basically, anyone who throw the $10 or $20 in the pot, is going to get their post up.
  • No Facebook or Twitter audience. This is 2016 and social signals have been a factor for years now. Any blog that doesn’t have social profiles setup is obviously fake and won’t have much of an effect on your Google rankings and is a waste of money and time.
  • No quality control. There is no moderation on what gets approved and doesn’t. This doesn’t come down to just the niche, but the content quality and also the nature of the content.

Then on the other hand, you’ll find a blog that fits these requirements.

  • They have a great design. The site loads very fast, the logo is nice, the navigation menu is fantastic.
  • The content is very technical and about a specific niche.
  • They have a small following on Facebook and Twitter.
  • They make you pay $25 or $50 for the article to be written by their own expert writers, to keep the quality of the blog fair. No one wants to get a guest post on a blog that has no moderation. I don’t need the guy after me posting about something horrendous.
  • They charge a lot to keep the barrier to entry high. If a low quality site gets a guest post and they get de-indexed, all of it’s backlinks may be up for manual inspection, which would include the guest post site, and therefore may cause your site to suffer a penalty.

So make your guest posts super high quality, change your fixing, build a brand and solid connections. Sell your $200 blog posts to the same agencies every time and deliver quality so they buy 3 more posts from you. Business is more fun when you make more money, so charge $xxx per post like I do.

Freelancers: Stop Asking for Our Budget

Nothing is more irritating than a freelancer asking what your budget is, after you explain that he’s not worth what he quoted you.

When you’re talking to employers, especially successful ones in the online world, we don’t have a tight budget that we want to stay within. We just want to get our money’s worth for what we are paying. Whether we hand you $50 or $1000 for a task, just provide us what it’s worth. If you quote $250 and I say that it’s too much. It doesn’t mean that I can’t afford that, or double that for the task, it means for the little you’re offering, it’s not worth $250. Either offer more or charge less, and which route you go, doesn’t matter to us.

What a 7% CTR Looked Like on a Micro-Niche Site in 2010

With so many new people joining the internet marketing space, I think a number of new marketers would find these screenshots interesting. I started my career with micro niche sites. I built them and sold them, and did quite well for my 15 year old self. These are what they looked like. They were made in raw HTML, had about 5 articles on them and the click through rate was unbelievable. I remember sometimes the CTR would hop up to 11% for my Adsense ads.

micro niche site

micro niche site


Verified Blue Checkmark Twitter Accounts With Under 100 Followers

I’ve been studying what it takes to get that little blue checkmark beside your Twitter name for about 2 years now. I mostly compare data and do all sorts of research and studies. So many people think it’s to do with the number of followers that you have, but I just found this old data set of mine that I researched back in December 2014, showing all verified Twitter users with under 100 followers. Some may no longer be verified, or have more than 100 followers now, but this was true back in December 2014. Followers are not a metric. Here is the list:


Facebook Has No Defence Against Black Hat Marketing

In this day and age, fake reviews and like jacking among other black hat marketing techniques are becoming increasingly popular. And from what I know is a major player when it comes to getting plays and likes. Like jacking is a Javascript manipulation which places a like button under a website’s visitor’s mouse when they are visiting a website. This allows websites to generate high quality and targeted likes on their Facebook page for free. If the visitor is signed into Facebook, and they make a click on your page, the visitor automatically and unwillingly likes the page. They are unaware of doing it.

Additionally, black hat marketers can purchase fake 5 star reviews on several marketplaces around the web. Both of these tactics are unfair and should be taken seriously by Facebook. However, Facebook shows zero interest in fighting the matter.

For example, I was looking at a page just today, it had 15,000 likes but 415 reviews. There are not many companies of that size who have that many reviews, especially products. Most companies that get this amount of reviews are local businesses or corporations where the customers are very opinionated. People generally don’t turn to Facebook to review products, but rather Amazon.

Unnatural facebook reviews to likes ratio

It doesn’t take a rocket science to notice that 80% of their reviews were made on the same day. Additionally 414 of the reviews are 5 star while just 1 is 4 star. That is far from natural. Even the best products in the world receive 1 star reviews.

Fake facebook reviews

I went to an inner page on their website, and there was a popup box. I closed it out. After doing so, I went to their Facebook page, to see that their website used a like jacker to like their page on my behalf.

Liked facebook page

When it comes to fighting against these black hat marketing techniques, there are not many options. Facebook allows you to report pages, but none of the options available really suit the given situation.

Report facebook page options

Additionally, when you try to report a single review, there is no option to report it.

Report facebook review

When I confronted them about these techniques, their responses were pretty typical. First they blamed it on their competitors. Once I accused them of like jacking on their own website, they pretended they didn’t know it was against Facebook terms of service.

It’s a shame that Facebook really doesn’t have the options available for users to report matters like this. Sure, if you dig around you can find a Facebook contact but does the average member know that? Absolutely not.

By hardly putting up a fight against black hat marketing techniques, there is very little risk to doing techniques like these. If they had a proper reporting system in place, black hatter may think twice before using these techniques but as of right now, there’s no sign of them stopping.

How To: Increase Search Counts For A Keyword

Have you ever had a keyword that you wanted to boost the search count for? Now you’re asking me, now Josh what are the possible advantages or benefits to doing so? I don’t know all of them but let me name a couple.

  • You could increase your search count so it appears in the Google instant suggest, and people can find your spelling easier.

  • You could do it so your keyword traffic reports show more organic traffic than normal. The advantages to having proof that lots of people search your brand name are many.

To increase search counts, you need to hire a pool of clickers from a company like SerpClix to search your keyword and click to your website.

Do High Authority Sites Really Boost Your SERPs?

I’ve argued it time and time again, on both sides of the story. I have journalists connections and was an affiliate for Tech Crunch backlinks and other top news sites. I’ve also considered buying such links myself and have earned dofollow links in the DA (domain authority) 80-90 range.

I’ve come to the conclusion that contextual links will help, based on the moderation of the blog. Two sites of similar domain authority may hold completely different power. In fact, a site with very tight moderation and a DA of 30 can easily hold more link value than a DA 60 blog with multiple lightly moderated writers.

Will a Venture Beat link put you on page one of Google? Nope. As with anything in SEO, it comes down to the big picture. If you have a 3 year old site with 50 refferring domains and get a VentureBeat link, it will show more value than a new site.

Many times, the value of paying $1500 for a Forbes link is in the branding. You can now put that fat banner on your site that says “AS SEEN ON FORBES” and wow all of your visitors.

I talked with a regular writer at Entrepreneur (who became a writer from an introduction, if you’re wondering). He said even though his staff posts multiple times per week, and his business is very established, he can’t recall ever getting a lead from there. It’s all a branding play. The traffic and the SEO value are not the main benefit from these links. For the price of a $1500 link, you could get lots more useful content in many forms, or if you’re into black hat SEO, you could build an awesome blog network that would skyrocket your rankings.

The point is, in many cases, there are better way to do what you’re trying to. That’s not say these links are bad for everyone, but when you’re talking 4 figures for a single link, you really have to know what you’re doing. It won’t pivot your SERPs.

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