Search engine optimization and link development strategies based on ethical principles, which are mostly focused on scalability and growing business sales as well as conversions.

Keyword Ranking – How To Reach the Top Page in No Time

Updated: This post was originally written on August 11, 2010, unfortunately, I messed up my database last week and had to redo this blog from scratch (good thing this post was still on Google’s index and I was able to copy its cached version). The summary of the story: I reached the #20 position for the keyword “SEO strategies” from #484 in 2 weeks.

Three weeks ago, I started shooting for this blog’s first objective, to dominate the search engines for a particular keyword – a highly competitive keyword to be precise. I was 40 pages away from my goal 2 weeks ago (484th), but now I’m just 10 spots away from reaching it, the top page of Google SERP!

I was thinking that perhaps this is the right time to share some of the things I’ve done in making it to the spot where this blog is currently sitting at. And to give you an extra, I will also discuss the other strategies that I’ve thought of doing here before launching my first ever SEO campaign for Kaiserthesage.com.

The Aggressive Do-Follow Strategy

ADS – well that’s what I call it – was the strategy I used these past three weeks for my own off-page SEO campaign. This strategy focuses mainly in building high quality backlinks, aggressively! I’ll show you how it’s done, but first I’ll just give detail to factors that are strongly required by this strategy.

ADS Factors:

  • Backlinks must have dofollow attributes.
  • Pages should be topically relevant with the destination page of the backlink.
  • Linking pages’ homepage must at least have PR 3.
  • Homepage have “Recent Comments” plugin (optional)
  • Allows keywords as anchor texts for backlinks (of course)

The main concept of this strategy – as seen from its name itself – is to be aggressive, but not all the time. What I’ve done was to build backlinks massively on the first week, not just links, they are arsenal links, in which a single link can match up to 555 low quality links. Well, that’s the actual equation of quality links, 1 high quality backlink is equals to 555 links from PR 0 – 1 pages.

Moving on, the reason why I had to only build those type of links massively on the first week is to let them age and to give search engine crawlers the time they needed in reaching each link. I purposely planted links on several deep pages from authority sites (with high PR), which I will explain later on. For the time being, I’ve listed the methods I used in finding and building quality links.

  1. Blog commenting – this is very basic, but definitely one of the most effective off page tactics in the SEO world. However, you need to follow the standards given above. You need to search for blogs that allow dofollow attributed comments, have PR 3 or greater, allow keywords as anchor text and have “recent comments” plugin.

The recent comments plugin is not really necessary, though it improves your chances of having your “targeted keyword” noticed by bots in almost all of the active pages of the commented blog. And I do believe that it counts as a vote for your keyword to rank higher on the SERPs.

You’ll probably notice that if you regularly check your site’s Google Webmaster Tools’ links report and Yahoo Siteexplorer. It may not be as good for your site’s long term plans, but it helps you move farther than those pages that are not really optimized for the competed keyword.

Finding blog pages to comment on is not that hard, you will just have to make sure that they are absolutely related or somehow  to your site. Also, be sure to check their homepage’s PR and if comments are dofollow links before including them to your list of blogs to be commented. Here’s how to find them:

  • Google search: “your keyword blog”
  • Google search: site:.edu inurl:blog “post a comment” –“comments closed” –“you must be logged in” “your keyword” (you can always change the “site” with .com, .org, .gov, etc.)
  • Google blog search: “your keyword” (just click on the blog search on the right panel of Google’s search result page)

Estimated amount of links built through this should be at least 10 comments a day, for the first week only. For the next two weeks, you can just make this task lighter, like 2 comments a day.

Note: on the succeeding weeks, focus on getting links from authority pages like from .edu and .gov blogs as well as blogs that have PR of at least 5, using your targeted keywords by the way. You can also try and search for their deep pages that already have PR and leave your comment on them. However, you may have to ping those pages to make sure that bots will be there to see changes from that page.

  1. Dofollow Social Bookmarking Sites – this one is the most awesome part. For the first week I had to spend time in building links through this. Why? Because it can actually generate strong backlinks pointing to your site.

How? Well, I’m actually referring to Social Bookmarking Sites that give special pages for each added URLs. The best thing about that is that it gives you a “relevant” page with your backlink on it. This page includes the title page, description, your anchor text and the category of the link, in which most of the aspects of the page are pretty much related to the link’s destination page.

Here are some of the dofollow social bookmarking sites that you can start submitting to:

http://www.folkd.com/ – PR 7

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/ – PR 6

http://www.kwoff.com/ – PR 6

http://www.dzone.com/ – PR 6

http://www.qaafe.com/ – PR 5

http://spotback.com/ – PR 5

http://mylinkvault.com/ – PR 5

http://www.searchles.com/ – PR 5

http://www.a1-webmarks.com/ – PR 5

Once you have submitted your link to Social Bookmarking sites, it is also important to let search engines know that these pages exist. Ping them!

The third part of this strategy is… Well, honestly I’m not yet done with this part, but this one is definitely important. This part of the strategy is more focused on hitting two birds with one stone, and if you’re thinking about keyword ranking and pagerank, then you are correct. Well, we all know that dofollow links are very useful when it comes to passing through pagerank, and it gives higher value in serving as a vote for a certain keyword to rank higher.

I’m just not ready to share it to everyone, seeing as my Pagerank is still not updated and I want to reach the top spot first, before I can really start bragging or rather preaching about it. But heads up, I’ll share it immediately once I’ve proven it right! Is that ok with you?

So please wait for this post’s sequel. There I will also include the other strategies I’ve thought of using other than this, and I’m actually confident about them as well. That’s it for now (I’m actually missing my son, that’s why I’m in haste to wrap this up), cheers everyone!

Top Page for a Very High Competition Keyword in 3 Months Part II

If it’s your first time here, you may want to read the first part of this series. Click here to read Top Page for a Very High Competition Keyword in 3 Months Part I. And now, the saga continues…

I carried on and worked with a more vibrant team of experts in a much diversified field. Then there I have equipped myself with way farther powerful arsenals and tactics that suit greater heights. But that doesn’t stop me from sharpening and enhancing my skills.Success

Few weeks later – when I already have moved on, as if I had broken up with someone – I checked it’s stats on Google’s SERP. You’ve guessed it right! It’s already on the top page, both of the keywords and no one was optimizing them, I think (I checked its backlinks to make sure). But I will not take the credit of it just to be fair in case someone has continued the efforts I’ve pushed through for it to stand strong (perhaps the site owner chose to continue the campaign, since it’s already on the edge in achieving victory).

On the contrary, I have managed to shape its reputation and its online presence for a short period of time, and I definitely consider that as an accomplishment, including all the things I have learnt along the process.

What I have learned from this experience

  1. A great strategy wins the game. Making great strategies in getting your links is cool, but too much planning with no equivalent actions or too much action without thinking where your links are being planted will put all of your efforts to waste. It’s best to play it slowly but surely.
  2. The age of anchored text links matters. The longer it stays on the World Wide Web is the more it gives value to your campaign efforts. I realized recently that the backlinks with the targeted keywords used as anchor text gave higher quality of vote for that certain keyword to rank on Google’s SERP.
  3. Nofollow links matters. Even though nofollow links are said to be of no value, because it doesn’t pass through PR, some studies still show that Google bots follow these links. Though it would only count those links if they are absolutely “relevant” with the main content of the page. Of course Yahoo definitely follows these links, so it’s safe to say that it’s still worth it as long as the linking page is relevant. I also have a gut feel that it has some serious effect on keyword ranking.
  4. Reversed Keyword trick. I never optimized the keyword “bingo uk”, not even once. But I managed to make both keyword rank higher on Google SERP by just optimizing one, and that’s “uk bingo”. Then there was some point that the standings of the keyword “bingo uk” was ranking higher than “uk bingo” (until now on Google.co.uk).
  5. Quality over Quantity. Very self-explanatory, but I learned this the hard way. This is a very popular tip from most experts (gunning for 1st place against “Content is King”), so take it by the heart, because when they say 10 high quality backlinks are better than 100 easy to get links, it’s true.
  6. A site that has a well-staged internal link structure is the worst kind of enemy. It really is hard to compete with these guys. I have even found some along the way that solely depended on their internal links (100% internal with absolutely zero external links!) with the targeted keyword used as anchor text and placed on the footer. What hurts the most is that they belong to the top page, top 5 to be precise. Imagine competing with those solid links contained on hundreds of their pages.

On the first week of June 2010, I checked both keywords’ stats on the SERP again, and saw them still standing strong from where I’ve last seen them. Then there I’ve decided to take a screenshot of it (courtesy of screengrab Firefox plugin) and to write about the whole experience instead. But I will not spill the name of the site to avoid being charged of defamation, since I wasn’t able to disclose this with that client.

That’s the Google.com/ncr 1st result page for the term “uk bingo”. Here’s the hint: “the only one with the thumbs up”. If anyone’s interested to know the methods I used with this campaign, I can show you how.  Just drop me an email and I’ll be happy to help you out.

Top Page for a Very High Competition Keyword in 3 Months Part I

I have always seen the Google SERP as a relentless battlefield, and up to now I stand to that belief. Though one thing that I really enjoyed with SEO is the piece of competitiveness it breathes out from me just to be on top of it. I must say, I’m very persistent and can be easily obsessed once focused in achieving a certain goal.Success

My Google adventure just started a few months ago – but I’m no stranger to SEO – and I seriously enjoyed this particular experience. So what was this adventure? I started working with a website which I had completely no idea about its niche and having only a few arsenals in building links as well as online reputation management.

Here’s the deal, I was assigned to promote an online bingo site, wherein the targeted keyword to be optimized were “uk bingo” and “bingo uk”, and of course there were also other keyword sets included (uk bingo online, best uk bingo, uk bingo site, bingo in the UK etc…). I found it hard at first, but my enthusiasm was the real key that made me learn a great deal of knowledge and at the same time made real money out of it.

Here are the site’s stats before I came in:

  • Pagerank 2
  • SERP Ranking position “uk bingo”: 194th
  • SERP Ranking position “bingo uk”: 207th
  • Number of Google index: 203
  • Number of Yahoo backlinks: 16,000+

I was already expecting for the worst mainly because of its very competitive keyword and the competitiveness of the industry. Well, both keywords have healthy global search queries, which are around 250,000 users monthly. And its search trend never dies and a proven unseasonal form of recreation for ages ranging from 20 and above, and yes, for both male and female species.

So what did I do that almost made me conquer the online bingo industry? Hard work! I worked 60-80 hours per week just to build links, promote the site as well as to train myself further. Even on weekends, I was clearly driven and motivated to outrank our top competitors. Then I realized that I’m already addicted to it. It even came to the extent that I think of more strategies to apply in my campaign before I go to sleep, while walking at the park, to almost everything that I do which is not related to work and that even includes eating.

Evidently, I am in love with SEO, and I admit that I did love my work back then. It’s just sad that I had to leave the team due to some revenue issues. Now let’s get back to business. So there, I worked with fire in my eyes on an extensive search engine optimization and social media marketing campaign for the entire 8 weeks (March 2010 – April 2010). I made over 500 backlinks on my first month – one-way nofollow and dofollow links – in which slowly I was getting the results I needed to rev up my upcoming tactics.

In 4 weeks, I saw my primary keyword sitting on the 21th place, as if it was a race. That moment boosted my morale and the challenge of getting to the top page in the coming month just made me feel more confident. Well, that’s quite fast for me back then, but not compared to how fast I can get that ranking today. With the excessive knowledge and experience in SEO I possess now and the level of expertise I am constantly improving just makes me want to time travel.

Moving on, the following month was the hardest part. On my 5th – 7th week of conquest to glory, there I have encountered a lot of tight spots. That was the time where my rankings were not moving in weeks, it just played around on the second page between the positions 13th – 20th (Note: I check rankings twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays). I have even encountered a “Google dance” that made me go ballistic for an hour or so, as I ranked back to the 78th (Page 6), but it was just Google fooling around when updating their algorithm.

The second page is the spot where you will usually feel the gravity of the solid efforts that are being exerted by your opponents, and it’s not fun! But if you take the time to analyze things while you’re in that position, there you would see a much in-depth look of both the strong and weak points of your top competitors.

Google Alerts was my only savior at that time, seeing as it had provided me more ideas through updated information from my most active opponent. The deciding point eventually came when I have seen how my top competitor do their thing, and naturally became my wakeup call on how to match their efforts. I’ll possibly discuss the strategies and methods I used here on future rants.

Read Top Page for a Very High Competition Keyword in 2 Months Part II

I have always seen the Google SERP as a relentless battlefield, and up to now I stand to that belief. Though one thing that I really enjoyed with SEO is the piece of competitiveness it breathes out from me just to be on top of it. I must say, I’m very persistent and can be easily obsessed once focused in achieving a certain goal.

My Google adventure just started a few months ago – but I’m no stranger to SEO – and I seriously enjoyed this particular experience. So what was this adventure? I started working with a website which I had completely no idea about its niche and having only a few arsenals in building links as well as online reputation management.

Here’s the deal, I was assigned to promote an online bingo site, wherein the targeted keyword to be optimized were “uk bingo” and “bingo uk”, and of course there were also other keyword sets included (uk bingo online, best uk bingo, uk bingo site, bingo in the UK etc…). I found it hard at first, but my enthusiasm was the real key that made me learn a great deal of knowledge and at the same time made real money out of it.