Why Most Sites Never Make Much Money in SEO

Dark Sky

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@splishsplash

You are one of the big guys in SEO for me with a lot of knowledge. I would love an answer to this one question.

For a small site, few months old, which service would you recommend for PBN links? taking value into account, e.g a $300 guest post to one article probably wouldn't be as valuable as 10 links at $30 each right?
 

Kikerinka

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I don't just pull things out of my ass to write to get views. I write because I spend all day every day ranking sites so I have an overflowing of information to share.

I'm still eagerly awaiting your critique of my strategies.

You quoted me three times, so I think I'm the one who pulled the right trigger here :D :D. You seem upset, truth typically makes one upset...

Actually I do not care about your service. There are better and worse out there.
I just wanted to bring some balance to the thread, after several PBN sellers (or advertisers in their signatures) come to comment on your "great post". Just to save some people money, before they waste them on some service that they do not really need... That was my intention.

I have nothing against your on-page recommendations, though they are very basic and some are also false, or you contradict yourself... Such a keyword density.... First you write that Google understands LSI and synonyms, then you say you can't have just 2 exact KWs in your article and expect to rank.

So guess what, I rank for 100+ articles in which I use the KW only once--in the title. It's not mentioned anywhere else... Google is smart enough to know what the articles are about, at least when written by someone who understands the topic.

Also your theory about internal linking.... it won't hurt a website, but in most cases it won't make any difference either. Experimented a ton with this in the past.

And it has also drawbacks, because when you want your visitor to take certain action (make a purchase, click on a particular post as a part of your sales funnel, etc), you're not going to give them 20 options with all sorts of links in the article, are you?


About the (in)effectiveness of PBL links I am not going to argue with you. Everyone has different experience with them, and many people will vouch against, and many for (including all sellers of such links here).

The problem is with ROI ... quality links do not come cheap in 2020. And they will get only more expensive.
And while some people run big projects here focusing on organic traffic, most people here run smaller sites, or are in niche with low RPM.

Most of these people, if they did the math (how much they can realistically earn from the website), they would see immediately it just makes sense for them to buy (let alone rent) the links.
They can't end up profitable, even IF the links work, and move them to a decent position (which is not no. 12 as you boasted about in your post with a screenshot....).

Then of course there's a decent chance the PBN links won't work for them--like they don't for many people who order them. So they wasted money and gained no benefit at all...

And of course you have an increased risk of getting a penalty. the only 2 times I got severely hit by google updates was when I used PBN (firstly public network, many years ago, and then private network...)
But the ROI is my main point really.

Each SEO project is different. It is ridiculous to me to see that anyone who claims to know a lot about SEO comes up with a general guide for ranking, or for having a profitable website... there's no such recipe in 2020.
The fact that PBN links form the part of your "recipe" makes it only more ridiculous in my eyes...

As a member who cares about the other members of the forum, and do not want them to fall for "buy links and get rich" promises, I just felt it was right to reply to your post....
But I have nothing against you personally as a human being, and wish you good luck with both your business and life.
 

splishsplash

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You quoted me three times, so I think I'm the one who pulled the right trigger here :D :D. You seem upset, truth typically makes one upset...

Actually I do not care about your service. There are better and worse out there.
I just wanted to bring some balance to the thread, after several PBN sellers (or advertisers in their signatures) come to comment on your "great post". Just to save some people money, before they waste them on some service that they do not really need... That was my intention.

I have nothing against your on-page recommendations, though they are very basic and some are also false, or you contradict yourself... Such a keyword density.... First you write that Google understands LSI and synonyms, then you say you can't have just 2 exact KWs in your article and expect to rank.

So guess what, I rank for 100+ articles in which I use the KW only once--in the title. It's not mentioned anywhere else... Google is smart enough to know what the articles are about, at least when written by someone who understands the topic.

Also your theory about internal linking.... it won't hurt a website, but in most cases it won't make any difference either. Experimented a ton with this in the past.

And it has also drawbacks, because when you want your visitor to take certain action (make a purchase, click on a particular post as a part of your sales funnel, etc), you're not going to give them 20 options with all sorts of links in the article, are you?


About the (in)effectiveness of PBL links I am not going to argue with you. Everyone has different experience with them, and many people will vouch against, and many for (including all sellers of such links here).

The problem is with ROI ... quality links do not come cheap in 2020. And they will get only more expensive.
And while some people run big projects here focusing on organic traffic, most people here run smaller sites, or are in niche with low RPM.

Most of these people, if they did the math (how much they can realistically earn from the website), they would see immediately it just makes sense for them to buy (let alone rent) the links.
They can't end up profitable, even IF the links work, and move them to a decent position (which is not no. 12 as you boasted about in your post with a screenshot....).

Then of course there's a decent chance the PBN links won't work for them--like they don't for many people who order them. So they wasted money and gained no benefit at all...

And of course you have an increased risk of getting a penalty. the only 2 times I got severely hit by google updates was when I used PBN (firstly public network, many years ago, and then private network...)
But the ROI is my main point really.

Each SEO project is different. It is ridiculous to me to see that anyone who claims to know a lot about SEO comes up with a general guide for ranking, or for having a profitable website... there's no such recipe in 2020.
The fact that PBN links form the part of your "recipe" makes it only more ridiculous in my eyes...

As a member who cares about the other members of the forum, and do not want them to fall for "buy links and get rich" promises, I just felt it was right to reply to your post....
But I have nothing against you personally as a human being, and wish you good luck with both your business and life.


You've misunderstood a lot in my post. I can assure you, I don't contradict myself. I'm not going to bother explaining, but if you really want to learn some things that could help you, you are welcome to pm me, but I don't want another pissing match in public.

My screenshot isn't from a site using pbn links. Those are pages that I optimized with on-page only. Nothing to position 12 from just on-page. It's hard to fake stuff like that. You don't see graphs like that from links generally. That's from on-page.

You're doing fine judging by your journey, but because I sell pbn links you've viewing my post through clouded glasses. My information is *not* basic, it's not known by most. It's actually very advanced. I say very similar things to Kyle Roof. Feel free to google him and watch some of his videos and you'll see we say the same things.

Google is an algorithm. It's not as smart as you think. Yes, you're doing well, but you are adding 1000's of words per day to your site. If you combined that kind of incredible work ethic with better on-page optimization and a little link building your site would take off.

I'll reply to the other questions tomorrow. I'm off to bed now.
 

Nargil

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Regarding the argument, I believe the truth is somewhere in between.

I also believe that keyword densities do play a role.

Thing is, that there's a "sweet spot" for every page on your site and each and every one of them is different. For example, yesterday I have been playing with densities and optimization on one of my pages.

3000 ms keyword went from 46 to 19 just because I added main keyword to h2 tag. These changes reflect very fast after recrawl. Goal is to tweak your onsite, whether it's densities, tags, LSI, related keyword, fucking anything, until you reach the mentioned "sweet spot" without any offsite optimization.

For 2 - 3K keywords, top 20 - 30 out of the bat is amazing. If you use strong auction domains, you don't really even need to do much more, just wait till the content ages.

If the keyword with average competition is hovering around 70 - 80th position after the index, then you know that you can do better than that.

There's this old guide from 2015 from, now most likely retired, @phpbuilt, which I know that you do not agree with Splish, but there's this image in that guide, that still rings true.

Untitled.png

We could translate "content quality" as "onsite optimization" and this is exactly the goal people should strive for in order to optimize their ROI. The money you can save on offsite SEO is pretty massive.

If you start backlinking a keyword that's at 85th position as compared to 25th position, the difference required to reach the traffic spots is massive. And all it takes is couple hours of tweaking.

Though I admit, that with big 1000+ pages, where each article is a money article, the proper optimization and tweaking can last months of your time. Still, compared to money saved, it can be a no brainer, depending on how much you value your time.
 

splishsplash

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thanks so much for the informations, i want to ask about internal links


when the best time we should do internal link?
is it good make internal link when article just posted? Or wait the arctile got indexed and then put the internal link?

You create internal links when you create the article. There's no reason not to. By the time your article is indexed, google has already crawled it, so it wouldn't make much sense to add them in later.

You can certainly go back and add in internal links at any time, it doesn't hurt to do that.


Love your post, but as long as Google decides to rank useless .edu sites spammed with spun content and some random pinterest and other social signal sites over legit websites, it is not accurate at this moment. I hope Google will update their algo soon and make real relevant websites with quality content rank again.

I'm glad you loved my content, but did you actually read it? Here's a snippet from what I said.

You can certainly reach page 1 with crap content, because, Google is just an algorithm.

It really doesn't know the difference between crap content and great content. It really just looks for relevancy signals, which is keyword usage, placements of those keywords and keywords it knows through the rank brain are related.

I went on to say that high quality content is BETTER because you'll have a more sustainable website and you'll get better engagement signals when you're on page 1. But high quality content by its self will NOT rank you.


@splishsplash

You are one of the big guys in SEO for me with a lot of knowledge. I would love an answer to this one question.

For a small site, few months old, which service would you recommend for PBN links? taking value into account, e.g a $300 guest post to one article probably wouldn't be as valuable as 10 links at $30 each right?

Good domains cost $200-$1000 at auction. Design is about $50. Good initial content $20 to $100. Hosting is on average about $5/mo. So do the math on a $30 link. :)

Build your own pbn.

Regarding the argument, I believe the truth is somewhere in between.

I also believe that keyword densities do play a role.

Thing is, that there's a "sweet spot" for every page on your site and each and every one of them is different. For example, yesterday I have been playing with densities and optimization on one of my pages.

3000 ms keyword went from 46 to 19 just because I added main keyword to h2 tag. These changes reflect very fast after recrawl. Goal is to tweak your onsite, whether it's densities, tags, LSI, related keyword, fucking anything, until you reach the mentioned "sweet spot" without any offsite optimization.

This is where the confusion lies.

Google is absolutely not looking for some sweet spot percentage which varies depending on content length. That's not a good way to analyse content.

The only time you pay attention to kw density is to make sure you haven't gone really high, but it does not play any role in ranking.


There's no difference in the way you will rank a 2000 word article compared with a 4000 word article.

The 4000 shouldn't have double the keywords of the 2000.

They both need a certain amount of exposure to the main keyword group otherwise google will just not consider it relevant. People who are ranking with just the main title in the keyword and think that's all you need are not understanding the algorithm. If all you needed was the keyword in the title and high quality content, then on-page seo wouldn't even exist. Google would essentially be a near human level AI that could look at a title and say "Ok, this is about X", then read the article and conclude "This is a high quality article about X, with good information." It cannot do this.

So how does it rank pages?

Is it so simple that all it does is look for the keyword in the title? The notion of that is ridiculous. If so, then what's next? To rank based on what has better backlinks?

Or does it just look for a keyword density for 1 keyword? That also is incredibly simplistic.

The first thing you need to understand is google does not rank keyword. It ranks pages.

It's not looking at your page and considering for keyword X, and then doing a kw density check.

It's looking at your page, and it's building a sort of graph data structure of that page, with weighting values for different keywords.

It then knows, from the rank graph, how those keywords relate, because they themselves have weights of relevancy towards each other, so it understands "topics". This is what hummingbird was. That's when we had the shift of ranking for keywords, to ranking for topics. In the past "best toasters", would be considered different from "toaster reviews".

So once it's built that data structure of your page, it then has an understanding of where your page fits and what it should rank for.

After that, they then look at other pages on your site and they will create another sort of graph data structure with weighting values for different topics. This is why it's hard to rank a site if you create a whole load of unrelated content. They are more likely to rank your "how to walk your dog" article, if you have other pages that have topical relevancy related to dogs, dog training, dog walking, dog behavior and so on.

As part of this, they are also looking at your internal anchor text. It's a very easy way to help understand what a page is about. They used to do this with external anchor text, but it was too easy to manipulate, so penguin came into play. External anchors still help, but if you trigger an unnatural link building(via penguin) filter then they will(and this is from patents) reduce the effect of certain links, because they consider those links to be unnatural. They are constantly looking at your links and trying to determine "is this natural". If the answer is "yes", then you get juice, if it's "no", then they reduce the juice passed.

So in summary, to optimize pages, it's not about the actual density, it's about how often you are using the keywords, where you're using them AND the topics on the page.

Let me give you an example of how you would correctly optimize a page.

Let's go for a keyword to start "laptops for nursing students"

In fact. I'm going to write this in a separate article, because it's going to get lost here.
 

Dark Sky

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@splishsplash

I'm a bit confused about why people build a PBN in 2020, I thought google was heading more towards RD value in their algorithm, hence if I bought 30 PBN links from different domains when it would have more of an effect than if I only had lets say 5 domains in my personal PBN.
 

splishsplash

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@splishsplash

I'm a bit confused about why people build a PBN in 2020, I thought google was heading more towards RD value in their algorithm, hence if I bought 30 PBN links from different domains when it would have more of an effect than if I only had lets say 5 domains in my personal PBN.

I'm a bit confused by your question. :)

What do you mean by "RD value"? I also don't know what you mean by "if I bought 30 PBN links when it would have more of an effect than having only 5 domains"
 

Dark Sky

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I'm a bit confused by your question. :)

What do you mean by "RD value"? I also don't know what you mean by "if I bought 30 PBN links when it would have more of an effect than having only 5 domains"

Ahh sorry. By RD I mean referring domain.

So if I have 5 domains in my PBN I will be able to make as many links as possible but only a max of 5 referring domains added.

If i buy from other sellers, i can get lots more referring domains for the money but less links per domain,

So wouldnt it be more valuable to have more referring domains than links?
 

Nargil

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Ahh sorry. By RD I mean referring domain.

So if I have 5 domains in my PBN I will be able to make as many links as possible but only a max of 5 referring domains added.

If i buy from other sellers, i can get lots more referring domains for the money but less links per domain,

So wouldnt it be more valuable to have more referring domains than links?

With that logic you can blast your site with a millions of scrapebox/GSA links and it would rank #1. No.
 

splishsplash

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Ahh sorry. By RD I mean referring domain.

So if I have 5 domains in my PBN I will be able to make as many links as possible but only a max of 5 referring domains added.

If i buy from other sellers, i can get lots more referring domains for the money but less links per domain,

So wouldnt it be more valuable to have more referring domains than links?

It's not really as simple as that. It's not about RDs added. Off-page is pretty complicated and Google have some fancy algorithms in place. On-page is much simpler because it's still very hard to understand content, but they can understand the relationship between links a lot better than they could 10 years ago.
 

Abdullah Prem

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worth to stop playing at the middle of the game to read this article.. Nailed it,,, but regarding internal anchors can i use generic anchors? But i don't really like using click here, read here and all. You said don't go to much emq but what about wikipedia they use 100% emq all time.
 

splishsplash

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worth to stop playing at the middle of the game to read this article.. Nailed it,,, but regarding internal anchors can i use generic anchors? But i don't really like using click here, read here and all. You said don't go to much emq but what about wikipedia they use 100% emq all time.

You use aggressive anchors 80-90% of the time internally. External are a totally different story. Don't use generic anchors internally. :) exact, partial and lsi. Mostly exact and partial with a few lsi sprinkled in.
 

splishsplash

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Done, the on-page seo guide with full example is finished



@Nargil That will highlight why "keyword density" isn't important as opposed to keyword usage, which is important and why.
 

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You create internal links when you create the article. There's no reason not to. By the time your article is indexed, google has already crawled it, so it wouldn't make much sense to add them in later.

You can certainly go back and add in internal links at any time, it doesn't hurt to do that.




I'm glad you loved my content, but did you actually read it? Here's a snippet from what I said.



I went on to say that high quality content is BETTER because you'll have a more sustainable website and you'll get better engagement signals when you're on page 1. But high quality content by its self will NOT rank you.




Good domains cost $200-$1000 at auction. Design is about $50. Good initial content $20 to $100. Hosting is on average about $5/mo. So do the math on a $30 link. :)

Build your own pbn.



This is where the confusion lies.

Google is absolutely not looking for some sweet spot percentage which varies depending on content length. That's not a good way to analyse content.

The only time you pay attention to kw density is to make sure you haven't gone really high, but it does not play any role in ranking.


There's no difference in the way you will rank a 2000 word article compared with a 4000 word article.

The 4000 shouldn't have double the keywords of the 2000.

They both need a certain amount of exposure to the main keyword group otherwise google will just not consider it relevant. People who are ranking with just the main title in the keyword and think that's all you need are not understanding the algorithm. If all you needed was the keyword in the title and high quality content, then on-page seo wouldn't even exist. Google would essentially be a near human level AI that could look at a title and say "Ok, this is about X", then read the article and conclude "This is a high quality article about X, with good information." It cannot do this.

So how does it rank pages?

Is it so simple that all it does is look for the keyword in the title? The notion of that is ridiculous. If so, then what's next? To rank based on what has better backlinks?

Or does it just look for a keyword density for 1 keyword? That also is incredibly simplistic.

The first thing you need to understand is google does not rank keyword. It ranks pages.

It's not looking at your page and considering for keyword X, and then doing a kw density check.

It's looking at your page, and it's building a sort of graph data structure of that page, with weighting values for different keywords.

It then knows, from the rank graph, how those keywords relate, because they themselves have weights of relevancy towards each other, so it understands "topics". This is what hummingbird was. That's when we had the shift of ranking for keywords, to ranking for topics. In the past "best toasters", would be considered different from "toaster reviews".

So once it's built that data structure of your page, it then has an understanding of where your page fits and what it should rank for.

After that, they then look at other pages on your site and they will create another sort of graph data structure with weighting values for different topics. This is why it's hard to rank a site if you create a whole load of unrelated content. They are more likely to rank your "how to walk your dog" article, if you have other pages that have topical relevancy related to dogs, dog training, dog walking, dog behavior and so on.

As part of this, they are also looking at your internal anchor text. It's a very easy way to help understand what a page is about. They used to do this with external anchor text, but it was too easy to manipulate, so penguin came into play. External anchors still help, but if you trigger an unnatural link building(via penguin) filter then they will(and this is from patents) reduce the effect of certain links, because they consider those links to be unnatural. They are constantly looking at your links and trying to determine "is this natural". If the answer is "yes", then you get juice, if it's "no", then they reduce the juice passed.

So in summary, to optimize pages, it's not about the actual density, it's about how often you are using the keywords, where you're using them AND the topics on the page.

Let me give you an example of how you would correctly optimize a page.

Let's go for a keyword to start "laptops for nursing students"

In fact. I'm going to write this in a separate article, because it's going to get lost here.
I have a doubt please shed a light on this
I have main keyword in title, and the h1 will be LSI keyword or Google people ask questions and like this h2 and h3 also.
Will this work or I need put exact main keyword in h1, h2 and h3?
 

splishsplash

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I have a doubt please shed a light on this
I have main keyword in title, and the h1 will be LSI keyword or Google people ask questions and like this h2 and h3 also.
Will this work or I need put exact main keyword in h1, h2 and h3?

Read the guide I just posted above.

It'll teach you everything you need.
 

yoyoyoshi

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Also another key thing to remember is you don't want or need to be backlinking every article.

There's actually not THAT much of a correlation between links to a page and rank.

If you look at this en-mass you will THINK there is, but, this is more what happens :-

1) A page moves up the rankings and gets top 5
2) Over time, that page will then attract links, because people writing content will google stuff, and link to generally sites in the top 5. If a page has no ranks, no one finds it to link to it.

So because of that, you'll see some big pages with a LOT of links, but those links actually came after the ranking, and you can usually spot that by looking at the timeline of links and the timeline of rankings.

I also think it's easy to trigger algorithmic issues by hitting a page too hard, or doing weird things like backlinking every page with 2-3 backlinks.


When your internal linking is setup properly juice is going to flow around your site nicely.

The best way to link is just sporadically and trying to keep it as "natural" looking as possible.

That could be 2-3 links to some informational article, 1 to a money page, 2 to another money page, 2-3 to the homepage.

However, try to make sure that pages with more incoming backlinks are internally linking to your important pages using target anchors.

It's especially effective to backlink support/info pages. It's far more natural for your info/guide page with zero affiliate links to get 7-8 backlinks than your "best toaster" page. :)

Judge it by the page. If it's a mega guide, blast it a bit more and go for 5-8 backlinks to the page, then internally link to both other support pages, and 1-2 money pages.

For internal links I do 1-2 as standard per page, but for bigger articles I'll do 3-4.

Also, I didn't mention, but external links are important. No one uses them. Always add at least 3-4 external links to every page. MINIMUM of 2 for short articles. If you want to add 20, add 20. :) They don't hurt you. I did an experiment a couple of years ago on an article ranking in position 17 or 18. It was about 7000 words. It was very big. I added about 30-40 external links to it. Relevant, to topics surrounding the main article. Within about 1-2 weeks it rose to about 12-13.
I like Yoast SEO. It prompts me to do a lot of what you said. Thanks for specifying the # amount of links tho.
 
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