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[BHW Exclusive]: How to Dominate SEO in 2016 (The Only Guide You Will Need)

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by NathanEG, Nov 12, 2015.

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  1. NathanEG

    NathanEG Power Member

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    ---- THREAD CLOSED 11/15/2015 ----
    Hey guys,

    My name is Nathan Gotch (most people know me as Gotch) and I don?t post strategy as much as I should here on Black Hat World :(

    BHW is easily one of the reasons why I have been successful in SEO and I couldn?t be more grateful. That?s why I want to give back to community.


    You have probably seen me in the in the ?SEO - Link Building? section buying services. That?s because I have personally spent over $200,000 buying various link packages for my SEO agency. I have learned a lot along the way and I will be sharing some tips and tricks for using the buy section effectively in the next post I publish.

    If you haven?t seen me there, then you have probably read my ?Art of the Super Web 2.0? article or read my blog on GotchSEO.com

    Either way, in this post, I?m going to give you the framework you need to be successful with SEO in 2016 (and beyond). This isn?t theory or guru nonsense. If you have read my Gotch SEO blog, you know I only give actionable, proven advice. With that being said, let me know show you what?s working now and will continue to work for the future.

    Benchmarks and KPIs
    It?s crazy how many SEOs work on campaign without setting benchmarks and understanding what the most important keyword performance indicators (KPIs) are. Like anything else in life, you need to track your progress on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis.

    At the very minimum, you should benchmark the following KPIs for your SEO campaign:

    • Total traffic
    • Pageviews
    • New Traffic
    • Returning Traffic
    • Organic
    • Referral
    • Social
    • Conversions (email subscribers, leads, sales)
    • Revenue

    Site Architecture
    This is SEO 101, but developing a strong site architecture is the single best way to make your link building efforts more effective. I personally use a reverse silo strategy for every single site I work on.

    In the image below, you will see that I sent link equity to my content, which flows back through the category and product pages. That is on a small scale, but typically category pages will internally to each other and products pages will internally link to other product pages. You don?t need to be super regime about your internal linking.

    BHW - Gotch SEO.png

    If you get anything out of that image, it should be that the majority your links should be going to pages with content. More on this later.

    In essence, I use the strength of quality content to power the rest of the website. Sites with strong authority rank easier and creating a strong site architecture will increase your website?s authority.

    Technical Optimization
    It doesn?t matter how many links you get, if your site isn?t technical optimized, your campaign will struggle. I could dedicate an entire course to technical optimization, but I will focus on the most important elements here.

    Page Speed
    Increasing your page speed is not only important for Google, but it?s critical for your on-site conversions as well. I?m not going to get into how to increase the speed of your site, but I will tell you that plugins like WP Rocket (not affiliated) will make your life easier.

    Aside from that, one of the biggest killers of page speed are your images.

    Always resize your images to the default size they will show on your site. For example, don?t upload an image that?s 1000x1000 and downsize it to 500x500 on your site. Resize your image to be 500x500 before uploading. In addition, use
    http://optimizilla.com/ to optimize your images.


    Mobile Friendliness
    Your site should be mobile friendly. The end.

    Note for the one troll that will check my site after reading this: I?m getting my site redesigned and will fix the current mobile issue. My current theme is faulty.

    Duplicate Content and META Data
    Duplicate content can absolutely kill your website (thanks to Panda). If you are using Wordpress, then make sure you ?noindex? categories, tags, and archives. Keeping those pages indexed does nothing except duplicate your content. Use Siteliner to find other duplicate content issues on your site. Make sure you go into Google Search Console and see if you have duplicate META data. You should have unique META data for every page. Don?t be lazy.

    You can also use Screaming Frog SEO Spider to find duplicate META data.

    404 Errors + Reclamation
    You shouldn?t try to fix EVERY 404 error. Leaving pages as 404s is appropriate when the page is actually dead and doesn?t have link equity. If the 404 page has link equity, then you should 301 redirect it to a relevant page.

    TrustRank
    Real brands would not try to be anonymous because it would kill their marketing efforts. So, why would you do that in your SEO campaign? You need to act like a real brand, so Google will trust your website. Real brands have contact, privacy policy, terms of service, and affiliate disclaimer pages. You should too. In addition, don?t do dumb things like copy or scrape people?s content or link out to bad neighborhoods.

    Instead, you should create content like I explain below and link out to relevant, authority resources.


    Create a Base of Pillar Content
    Creating pillar content based on important keywords in your industry is critical to success in 2016 and beyond. Content is the single most important element of ANY SEO campaign. You website can be littered with technical SEO errors or your pages might be incorrectly optimized, but if you have good content, you can still ascend above all that. It would be ideal if you were using best practices on all fronts, but I want you to see that content really is king above all else.

    Pillar content should be create based on a single keyword.

    Here are some examples of great pillar content:



    Pillar content will drive the most links and social shares for your website. Having multiple pieces of pillar content is critical for effective link building and content promotion.

    Create Supporting Content Hubs
    After you have created several pillar pieces of content, you should focus on creating content hubs to support them.

    For example, if I wanted to create hubs for my anchor text article above, I would create shorter articles like:


    • "These Anchor Text Mistakes Are Killing Your Results"
    • ?Exact Match Anchor Text Case Study?
    • ?7 Experts Share Their Views On Anchor Text in 2016?.

    These hubs send massive amounts of relevant back to your pillar article and increase its authority. If you do this well, the hubs will likely get links as well, which will accelerate your results even further. Make sure you use exact match anchor text on your internal links from your hubs to the pillar content.


    Community Interaction / Relationship Building
    Now that you understand the value of creating pillar content and content hubs, you need to start building your reputation on websites within your community. Once you build rapport in your niche communities, you can share links to your content without seeming overly promotional.

    Here?s the part you don?t want to hear: you have actually participate in the community and work extremely hard to build relationships.

    I can?t stress enough the value of building relationships within your niche. Building relationships leads to guest posts, links, social shares, and even joint ventures. I?m telling you now? if you don?t build relationships your business will not last. They are critical to business?s growth.

    Brand Signals
    Google values brands above all else. If you need proof, just look at the SERPs. Big brands dominate the results. That?s why you need to act just like a brand if you want to really see results.

    At the bare minimum you should:

    • Create business listings
    • Secure all social profiles under your name
    • Create profiles on niche relevant communities
    • Write thoughtful blog comments on niche sites
    • Create unique content on your branded profiles like this.
    • Get reviews (they help both national and local brands)

    9 Link Building Standards to Live By in 2016 (And Beyond)
    Everything you have learned leading up to this point is build a strong foundation for your link acquisition efforts. I?m not going to get into how to find link opportunities and all that other fun stuff. I?m just going to show you the link building principles that WORK and will help you sleep better at night because you won?t be worried about penalties.

    1. Understand Anchor Text (and don?t be dumb)
    Correctly using anchor text is one of the most important link building factors, but many still get it wrong. I have written a 7,000 word guide on this topic, but let me explain the most important elements.

    Percentages that have worked for three years:

    • Exact match anchors: less than 1%
    • LSI, partial match anchors: ~ 1-5%
    • Branded anchors: ~ 50%
    • Naked link anchors: ~ 25%
    • Generic anchors: ~ 20%

    Focus your best anchors on your best link source: instead of wasting your precious exact match anchors on a trashy directory, use it on a niche relevant guest post (or relevant PBN) instead. Be selective with where you place your exact match anchor.

    Cycle your exact anchor text: instead of nailing your site with exact match anchors back-to-back, you should spread them out overtime.

    2. Link to Your Pillar Content and Supporting Hubs
    Don?t feel like you should only acquire links to your pillar content. You should try to get links for your supporting hubs because the authority will flow to your pillar content (if you have internally linked correctly).

    3. Relevancy is King
    Focus 99.9% of your efforts on acquiring relevant links. Focus on directly relevant niche links until you have completely tapped them out. After that, start tapping into more general niches.

    For example, I would focus all my initial link building efforts on acquiring links from SEO blogs.

    After that?s all tapped out, I would then focus on ?marketing? blogs. I likely wouldn?t be able to tap that niche out, but if I did, I would then go after general ?business? or ?entrepreneur? blogs.

    You get the point.


    One more important note, I always prioritize links prospects based Majestic?s Topical Trust Flow metric. I focus my initial efforts on sites that have a Topical Trust Flow Topic relevant to mine. It?s not a perfect metric, but it?s damn good.

    4. Quality Over Quantity
    You have heard this a million times, but it?s true. I would rather get one link from a strong SEO blog with relevant Topical Trust Flow than hundreds from irrelevant, weak sites. That?s why I spend top dollar for getting such links. Don?t waste your time with quantity. It?s not only ineffective, but it will likely just get you nailed by a manual or algorithmic penalty.

    5. Value Traffic-Based Decision Making, Not Metric-Based
    Although I do prioritize link prospects based on Topical Trust Flow Topics, I also prioritize THOSE links based on potential referral traffic. A good links should send you SOME referral traffic. That is the ultimate downfall of PBN links, but that?s a topic for another time. Simply go into SEM Rush to see the traffic potential of a link prospect.

    6. Editorial Over Free Submission
    Think about this: if anyone can sign-up for the same website and get the same link as you, how valuable is it? Google doesn?t value non-editorial links. Sure, web 2.0s will work and PBNs still work (because they appear to be editorial), but they are weak in comparison to real editorial links.

    7. Contextual Above All Else
    You should focus on getting contextual links. Author bio links are OKAY, but the best type of link is directly inside a piece of content.

    8. Link Diversity Doesn?t Matter
    If you are acquiring relevant links, then link diversity does not matter. In fact, even if you are doing pure blackhat SEO, it still doesn?t matter. You can never have too many good links.

    9. Care About the Links You Already Have
    Often times we get a new link, call it a win, and move on to the next opportunity. Don?t do this. You have likely worked very hard or paid a lot of money for the link, so you should try to get everything out of it.

    Promote your link like it was a page on your own website.

    Acquire quality tier two links for it and promote it on social. Notice how I said ?quality? tier two links. Don?t spam the page hosting your great link. This will degrade any relationship you built with that blog and will decrease the value of your link. Treat your links nicely and Google will do the same.


    Conclusion
    No, SEO isn?t easy. Sorry to tell you. It takes a ton of work and dedication to see long-term results, but it?s worth it. If you not willing to put in the work, then I don?t even know why you be on this forum! Stop looking for shortcuts because there are no shortcut to SEO success or success in life. The work that is hardest, is the work that you should be doing.

    I know you likely have questions for me, so please leave them below.

    Thanks for reading!

    - Gotch

     
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  2. The Curator

    The Curator Senior Member

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    Good list! You should do an AMA with spending that much!

    I liked the anchor metrics, good stuff!
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  3. twitter.followers

    twitter.followers Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Glad to see you contributing Nathan! That's a very detailed and noob-friendly guide which will be really helpful for the beginners.
     
  4. Dvarmin

    Dvarmin Regular Member

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    Nice post, pretty much summarizes what I do :)
     
  5. NathanEG

    NathanEG Power Member

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    Thanks guys! Sometimes it's important to revisit the basics :) - I'll share more advanced tactics soon
     
  6. lord1027

    lord1027 Elite Member

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    I like how one of the pillar article examples links back to your website :) And a quality Tier 2 link through this article. You are sneaky, I like that.

    Nonetheless, this is a pretty neat SEO guide. Not much BH if you ask me, but most of us are going closer and closer to WH (or at least grey)
     
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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  7. maricelu

    maricelu Junior Member

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    Hey Nathan, how do you go about having a good return on investment in terms of link building? What I mean specifically is the rate of indexed backlinks. For example, for one client I did a lot of work in terms of looking for opportunities such as blog comments, directory listings, forums, etc. and using them. The problem is that only a tiny amount of links are showing up in the profile of different tools. Do you think that we need to ping these links, or maybe social bookmark? The weird thing is that I scrape these link opportunities from other sites and then basically copying what are they doing whenever is possible, but still, for this site the links are not showing up.
     
  8. classybabe

    classybabe Regular Member

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    2016 ? Did we just time-travel without noticing ?

    I thought you were going to recommend some of the good sellers to save us from wasting our money, guess not. Don't want to sound like a hater but i don't see anything unique, the advice you gave is the same advice that you can find at moz and any other seo blog, site speed and bla bla nothing that really ranks anything.
     
  9. grootgroot

    grootgroot Newbie

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    looks like a thick solid tight plan m8
     
  10. NathanEG

    NathanEG Power Member

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    Did you have a chance to actually read the article? I would assume no because I specifically said I'm going to publish another post on how to buy services here on Black Hat World.

     
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  11. NathanEG

    NathanEG Power Member

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    Hey friend, to be totally honest, I get a good return because I don't focus on those links types. My agency focuses on white hat link acquisition. We acquire less links, but they have a bigger impact. Most importantly, higher quality links don't need help indexing, so you would actually save more money on that front alone.

     
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  12. NathanEG

    NathanEG Power Member

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    RankBrain will likely be putting an end to most BH tactics, so you might as start adapting now! Also, I don't see anything wrong with sending you to more resources :)

     
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  13. Luka19

    Luka19 Power Member

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    such an informative post. thank you
    proud to be your blog subscriber
     
  14. MichelBertrand

    MichelBertrand Registered Member

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    Thanks to your site, then give really good advice
     
  15. SkyrocketSEO

    SkyrocketSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Hi Nathan, why you link to Neil Patel blog using his logo on your home page? You work together or...?
     
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  16. NathanEG

    NathanEG Power Member

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    No, we don't work together - he's just featured my content on his blog

     
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  17. BessY

    BessY Newbie

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    Love guys who give back , good for you man and thanks for this really
     
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  18. bigballin6161

    bigballin6161 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Really like this post. Thanks for sharing!
     
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  19. Boomba

    Boomba Regular Member

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    Already helped me fix one basic glaring issue with my site! Thank you for this guide, I'll be referring to it for a while.
     
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  20. laurentiukendo

    laurentiukendo Junior Member

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    Very good information here.Thank you!
     
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