Your Complete Guide to SEO in 2012 - Part 1

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by bk071, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. bk071

    bk071 Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Nov 24, 2010
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    There has been a lot of fuss about post penguin SEO lately... some said SEO is dead, some said BH techniques won't work... blah blah.

    In this series of SEO threads, I'll try to address different issues that have risen after the Penguin and Panda updates.

    Note : This thread is targeted more towards newbie SEOers who are thinking too much about this Penguin / Panda crap... So don't blame me if you don't find the secret magic to rank your sites in this thread. That said, I'm sure many experienced users will find it useful to refresh their knowledge.

    Lets get started...

    Okay, so first let me bust some SEO myths that a lot of people might have in your mind.

    Myth 1 - SEO is dead

    A lot of people seem to think that Penguin update is the end of SEO... tell you what, this is the funniest sh*t I've read about SEO.
    Blackhat SEO is NOT dead... and it will NEVER die... PERIOD!
    You still can rank your sites on top of Google and you still can make TONS of money with SEO... outranking sites like Amazon and Wikipedia is still very much possible... I've done it and you can do it too.... read on!

    Myth 2 - SEO Tools have become useless

    Again, with the recent Google updates, many people think tools like XRumer/Scrapebox/AMR have become useless... this is completely wrong. These tools are still very useful and I use all of them on daily basis.

    Myth 3 - Blog Networks are dead

    Even though Google screwed BMR and ALN too got a big chunk of their network deindexed, blog networks are still profitable and still very effective. Its all about quality... Having your own blog network is your best bet if you have the budget. Just don't post spun gibbering and DO NOT leave any footprint at all... you'll be fine!

    Myth 4 - You can't rank a new site without getting sandboxed

    I was talking to a client (not from BHW) who just launched a site the other day and he was like... "start the backlinking and we'll monetize the site after it comes out of sandbox"... I was like "WTF" lol. Seriously, stop worrying too much about that stupid sandbox thing... I have successfully ranked quite a lot of micro niche sites that were one week old without getting any sandbox or 'over-optimization' whatsoever. Read on and I'll tell you how.

    Myth 5 - On page SEO doesn't matter anymore

    Since Google's Penguin update was mostly about off page SEO and had a lot to do with your anchor text, pages linking back to you, footprints... mostly off page stuff.... most of the people started to forget about the on page basics that are still very important. There were blog posts by some SEO 'gurus' spreading misleading information that on page SEO "doesn't matter anymore.. Google can detect what the page is about itself.... blah blah".
    Sure G have improved (or should I say "messed up") their algorithm but that doesn't mean you should stop caring about your on page tactics. On page SEO is still very relevant... in fact, more relevant than it ever was.

    Now that you have your doubts clear, we can move on to the first section of this guide which is...

    Section 1 - On page SEO

    Like I said above, on page SEO is still very relevant and it is one of the most important building blocks of your SEO campaign.
    Having that said, bear in mind that G's algo is way smarter than it used to be a few years ago. Gone are the days when you could rank your site by just stuffing a bunch of keywords in your title and meta description. There is way more than that to on page SEO now...

    Section 1a - The basics

    Clean HTML & CSS code:

    Pretty simple... bad code = bad site rankings or even a penalty... If you're using wordpress, use themes that are clean and do not contain any malware.

    The <title> tag:

    Your page's title is one of the most important on page factors. A good title is what describes what your page is about and at the same time, smartly uses your target keyword in it.
    Do not make it look spammy or you'll leave your site to be vulnerable to a Google Penalty.

    For example, if you're targeting "make money online" a good title would be
    "Discover different ways to make money online at *yoursite*"
    And a bad title would be
    "Make money online - make money on the internet - make money taking surveys"

    See the difference? In a nutshell, do not stuff your keywords in there... Google's bots are smart enough to detect that kind of crap in a blink of an eye. And besides that, a Good title helps you get a better clicks-through rate. A user is more likely to click on something that actually makes sense than some spammy gibberish.

    The meta <description> tag

    Pretty much the same story here... Be smart and summarize your page in approx. 155 characters while using your target keyword at least once.
    This, again, is not only important for your SEO but also helps you get more clicks in Search Engine Ranking Pages.

    The meta <keywords> tag

    Stop worryin about it... Google does NOT use the keywords tag as a factor to rank your sites.



    Section 1b - The Content
    It has been said before and I'll say it again... content plays a great role in your SEO campaign and not only that, its also crucial to make money from your site.
    Here are a few things you should keep in mind when creating/outsourcing content for your site.

    Who to write for... humans or search engines?

    Now, all white hats will tell you to write for humans and not search engines... don't care about your keyword density etc etc... Guess we're on BHW right? So lets do things the smarter way and kill two birds with one stone.
    The answer to this question is... BOTH! Yes, write for both... the search engines and humans at the same time.
    Like I said before, the good old days when you could rank a site with just a spammy title, a crappy article and a few thousand XRumer links are long gone... Google has become much smarter and that in turn requires you to be smarter than G... which is really easy!

    So.. back to the topics, your content should be engaging as well as perfectly optimized for your target keyword(s). Here are some pointers for optimization.

    Keyword density

    With all the over-optimization thing going on lately, you have to be very careful about your keyword density. From my tests, it seems that 0.5-1% seems to be a good idea... just use your keyword wisely and smartly in your article.

    LSI keywords

    LSI stands for "latent semantic indexing" and you can Google it to read more about what the term is about... but to give you an idea, LSI keywords are the ones that are closely related to your main keyword. For example,
    If your main keyword is "weight loss" then some of the LSI keywords would be... 'lose weight fast' 'how can you lose weight' 'weight loss supplements' 'tips to lose weight'.... you get the idea.
    The key is to use a lot of LSI keywords in your article WITHOUT losing the flow of it... make sure your article is still perfectly readable by humans after using LSI keywords a few times in it.

    Types of content:

    Okay so you've got the basics covered.. now its time to learn how to create good quality content (articles) that will attract a lot of long term traffic.

    There are different types of content... some of them are:
    1) Informational : this includes 'general' informational articles like "5 tips to burn fats in two weeks"... the kind of articles we all read everyday.
    2) Factual : a very good example of factual content is this - notice how they've layed out FACTS about the sun? It is absolutely possible to create factual content in almost every niche out there... just takes some research.
    3) How-to's & tutorials : Pretty self explanatory. Some examples would be "How to fix registry issue in Windows 7" or "Your 11-step guide to baking a cake".
    4) News and evens : Like "Miami Heat beat Boston Celtics in Game 7" or "Osama Bin Laden killed in Pakistan"... this type of articles seem to get a lot of traffic but that traffic is not long term and will eventually die off in a few days/weeks.

    Your best bet is to create a lot 1st, 2nd and 3rd type of content discussed above. Its still a good idea to post the 4th type to get your website some exposure.

    How many articles?

    Many of you would be asking yourself how big your site should be? Well... the bigger, the better. It makes a lot of sense to have 100s of articles on your site since one article costs you only $5-7 and you'll most likely make that money back within two or three months from that single article (on average)... anything you make from that specific article on your site is pure profit.
    Search engines seem to hate thin 'one-page' sites so be sure to expand your site as much as possible... it'll pay off in the end.

    How long should the articles be?

    I keep my article length to be AT LEAST 450-500 words... not a word less. And many experienced SEOers would agree that 600-800 word articles tend to rank very well... you can make your article longer than 800 words but I suggest splitting them into two for the sake of your site's size.

    That it for section 1b.

    Section 1c - More on page SEO


    Structuring your site so that each page on your site interlinks to some other page/homepage is a very good practice.
    Here are some basic pointers that you should keep in mind when designing/creating your sites:
    Have a top menu with pages like Home - Privacy Policy - Contact Us - Blog etc. Make sure the links in that menu are do-follow (99% of the time, they are by default). This is very basic practice but it would benefit you in the long run once your site gains some age and authority, Google will more then likely include "site links" in SERPs for your site. They look like this:

    Other than that menu thing, try to include a sidebar with your latest or most popular posts on it.
    There's a plugin called "Yet Another Related Posts Plugin" which lets you include a widget right under your post that displays related posts and links to them... its a very smart way to interlink your whole blog and Google is perfectly okay with that.

    Using Images and Videos on your site:

    Again its pretty basic advice (like the other ones) but don't underestimate the power of media. A blog/site with only text bores not only people but google bots also tend to love a site filled with different types of content e.g. text, images and videos etc.
    You can find relavant images to use in your posts/pages on on Google images.
    A little optimization is required when using an image.
    Use proper alt text and title your image properly. Every once in a while, link it back to some other page on your site... while linking an image, make sure you put your exact keyword in alt text field.

    Site speed does matter

    Google ranks sites based on a lot of factors of which one is site loading speed i.e. how much time does your site (page) take to load.
    The faster your site loads, the better.
    Some basic pointers on how to improve site speed:
    • Use simple and clean wordpress themes... Many themes have shitloads of features like sliders and this and that but guess what, it all adds up to decrease your site's loading speed.
    • Delete unnecessary plugins - the more plugins you have activated, the slower your site will load.
    • Get a good host - for small sites shared hosting is fine but if your site gets a lot of traffic you better get a decent VPS. I recommend Berman Hosting (not affiliated) for VPS as they have top notch machines for a fraction of what the big companies are charging you.

    You can use this tool to test your page speed :

    Some wordpress plugins to help you out:

    Most of us tend to use wordpress over any other CMS platform due to its ease of use and flexibility/scalability. Many people wonder what are some of the best wordpress plugins for SEO.
    Here are a few that are on top of my list (some are not directly related to SEO but they help quite a bit):

    Yoast SEO for Wordpress (Free) - you can use All in one SEO or Platinum SEO but Yoast is my favorite so far.
    SEO Smart Links (Paid) - this for interlinking. There are free alternatives out there, just google it
    WP Super Cache or W3 total cache for wordpress... this for caching which makes your site load a lot faster.

    In addition to those three essential plugins for every wordpress blog, check out this thread to learn how to make your WP blog secure... not directly related to SEO but you don't want to see your SEO'd blog getting hacked do you?

    Thats it for now.. I wrote this post in 10 minutes so I'm pretty sure I've left out some points worth mentioning but excuse me for that and feel free to add your own below.

    Thanks everyone.

    PS: Part 2 coming soon... this time I mean it by "soon" :D

    Section 1 over.


    Okay, folks, that is pretty much it for now... In part 2, we'll discuss about off page SEO. Feel free to ask any questions in this thread and I'll try my best to answer them for you.
    Off to a walk now. :)
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    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012
  2. vulzala

    vulzala Junior Member

    Apr 23, 2011
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    Southern Spain
    Great post. I couldn't agree more on the way people have taken the Penguin update to be the end of SEO. Looking forward to section 2.
  3. dyadya_petya

    dyadya_petya Registered Member

    Feb 19, 2012
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    Thanks for the article.
    the question is:
    how to avoid sandbox? And how quickly get out of it?

    A few of my sites fall into the sandbox, some do not. To say exactly what was the cause i can`t.
    With the last site:
    Site 2 month was in the TOP2 by many KWs. Then I changed the domain. Made a redirect 301. The site has lost position. I started to add links to new domain and ended up in the sandbox - the site has taken off from the TOP50 on all of the KWs.

    I do not know what to do: buy a new domain again and redirect to it from the old site? Or wait. Need Advise how to do.
  4. darkrache

    darkrache Junior Member Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2011
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    Great post! It's very informative for many people and addresses many concerns that members who didn't take the time to research have. I'm eagerly awaiting the second part! Keep up the great work! Thanks so much!
  5. zebrahat

    zebrahat Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Aug 6, 2008
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    Clickbank Platinum Vendor
    Added rep, lots of quality summarized in one post. The only caveat would be the over-confidence expressed by the OP about how little on-page SEO was affected by the update. People are still trying to figure out what penguin means, just because it seems it hit mainly off-page SEO more doesn't mean it didn't change some things about on-page factors as well. A lot of the complaints about de-ranked sites came from people who had their on-page act together, yet still got hammered.

    It's not just the spam issue---Google (to many) now seems to devalue small, non-spammy sites that have "too much" optimization going on, in their eyes. "Hmmm, site is new, 10 pages, has no authority, but has 50+ on-page SEO enhancements, so it must be spam." I've been streamlining the on-page optimization as a result, to the essentials listed in the OP.
  6. mak111

    mak111 Junior Member

    May 6, 2008
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    so when it comes to meta description.

    lets say i have a wordpress site with 500 articles and all in one SEO installed.

    is it worth it to go back and personally re-write each meta description out myself?
    would the difference be significant?

  7. xFBxx


    Apr 20, 2012
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    Thanks alot for the post, lots of lessons learnt & some of my myths have been destroyed :)
  8. I-J-T

    I-J-T Junior Member

    May 30, 2012
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    Nice and detailed post. Great effort. I believe with your points and as long as Google is there, SEO will not die.
  9. robotx

    robotx Registered Member

    Jan 31, 2011
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    Thanks for helping out beginners like me.
  10. Rep0rter

    Rep0rter Registered Member

    Nov 21, 2009
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    Thats a great read.Thanks alot, I am starting to really get into the IM business and BHW is just the best with all of you guys making this kind of contributions.
  11. Leith

    Leith Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Oct 30, 2011
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    i must say I found this post pretty interesting and the points he raises are very true. Will wait for Part 2 :)
  12. AmaD€US

    AmaD€US Junior Member

    Apr 21, 2012
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    Thanks a lot, Bookmarked ^^
    waiting for the part 2 :D
  13. toptoptop

    toptoptop BANNED BANNED

    Dec 24, 2011
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    How can I check the keyword density?
    P.S. The meta-description have no effect on your ranking.
  14. shoaibahmad9999

    shoaibahmad9999 Power Member

    Mar 16, 2011
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    Great guide bro
  15. dollarzz

    dollarzz Regular Member

    Aug 10, 2010
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    ATM Europe :)
    Ok I wanna put a little in here as well. I have noticed as well that good quality content with 700+ words is ranking pretty damn good. To much advertisements get your site down as well. Plus what I have noticed is that doing no backlinking AT ALL is working good now as well.... Kind of crazy
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  16. gesteves

    gesteves Registered Member

    Jan 26, 2012
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    Great read, looking forward for part 2 :)
  17. bk071

    bk071 Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Nov 24, 2010
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    To avoid Sandbox, build your links slow and steady... I've never experienced sandbox myself (call me lucky) but I've read a lot about and dealt with quite a few clients with sandboxed sites. What I did to get their sites out of it was this:
    1. Add at least 1000 words of unique content.
    2. Create backlinks to the newly added content.
    3. Once the new articles have been indexed, create backlinks to site's homepage and 3-4 inner pages at the same time... Slow and Consistent!

    Even though it works for me and many others, I don't guarantee it will work for you too. :)
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  18. kideze

    kideze Elite Member

    Jun 23, 2009
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    the GRAND valley
    good guide but i still think you shouldn't keyword stuff. Ive experienced when i removed all the keywords from the META tags search engine results go up.
  19. shaggy93

    shaggy93 Senior Member

    Dec 23, 2010
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    Very good informative post! Those who say that SEO tools are not working, it is just you who are not utilizing them well, i am still seeing some great success so far.

    BK071, One question I would like to go through that , What you do when the site dance a lot, What I am seeing if i index 25 links with velocity and raise it to 50 then 100, Site dances a lot, My nearly 4 websites at this time are dancing from last 2 weeks, What you suggest what should I do?
  20. bk071

    bk071 Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Nov 24, 2010
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    Thanks for the input... you do raise some good points there.

    Just to clear things up, I'm not over-confident about how little on-page SEO was affected... You can see in my post that I emphasis a lot on good on-page SEO.
    Google penguin update that rolled out on the 24th of April indeed was mostly about off-page... but keep in mind there were two panda refreshers on 04-19-2012 (panda 3.5) and 04-27-2012 (panda 3.6)... so the Penguin was twisted between two pandas. And we all know Panda is all about on page.

    And your comment about small sites is somewhat true... that is why I recommend sizing your site to at least 30-40 pages of good content... and then keep expanding more.
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