2013 was the year of content marketing. Internet marketers gradually came around to the fact that it was of the utmost importance to keep visitors, clients, and readers pleased with amazing work – whether written, video, audio, or some crazy mixture of the three.
In continuing the content trend, 2014 will be the year of the blogger.
This will mean new money-making opportunities for seasoned and new bloggers alike. In fact, if you haven’t taken the time to learn from other bloggers, then you’re missing out on learning the best ways to earn passive income and change 2014 for the better.
We’re reader-driven bloggers now …
Social signals now play an integral part in a site’s search engine rankings. These social signals include Google +1s (Google LOVES it when you use their platform), Facebook likes and comments, and tweets.
To make a blog that flourishes, you have to create content which makes you want to share it with your friends and interact with the other people on the blog.
This change toward social signals is relatively new. I can tell you that I was more interested in keyword saturation, link wheels, and quantity than I was in the number of people who actually *read* my content.
More links to sites meant more relevance, and more relevance meant that the sites would rank higher in the search engines. And, well, the higher the search engine ranking, the more money that site would bring to its owner.
Do NOT Try This on Your Site
There was a time where I would have done anything to bring traffic to my site. I’ve since learned that to make money blogging, you have to pay attention to the quality, rather than quantity, of visitors.
And yes, while I have used variations of these traffic-getting methods in the past, they are not effective in the post-Panda and post-Penguin (Google search algorithm updates) world for generating traffic.
To me, keyword stuffing seemed to be the easiest of the visitor-generating methods. More is better, right? An Internet marketer who practiced keyword stuffing would basically choose a keyword and ‘stuff’ that keyword into the site as many times as they could get away with.
The logic was that the more times a keyword phrase is mentioned within a document, the more relevant that the document was to the search engines.
There would be statements like, “While keyword stuffing is bad, keyword stuffing has been used a lot. Keyword stuffing, in itself, can be combined with…” Your readers, and Google, don’t like this writing technique at all.
This technique stopped working when Google turned its eye toward relevant content and the idea of relative keywords. The algorithm searches for multiple uses of the same keywords and tries to detect whether those keywords would be said in context.
In other words, it tries to figure out whether that many keywords would be naturally occurring.
When they are starting a new blog, most bloggers will purchase a single domain, install WordPress, set up WordPress, and add content to that single blog in an attempt to develop an authority site. All of that blogger’s attention will be devoted to a single blog and idea, and other domains and blogs are developed when other ideas arise.
In a link scheme, the blogger will set up multiple domains, each centering around a specific group of keywords or locations.
They will place links to each of the sites on each of the other sites.
This is done in the hopes that the more backlinks of any caliber, the better. For example, let’s say that you were a criminal attorney in Atlanta.
To develop a link scheme around your keywords of ‘criminal attorney,’ you decide that you are going to purchase additional sites revolving around suburbs of Atlanta.
Each of those sites would be set up in a similar fashion, most likely having very similar content, with links going to the other four sites. So, criminalattorneyatlanta.com would have links to Marietta, Kennesaw, Sandy Springs, and Doraville. Marietta would have links to Atlanta, Kennesaw, Sandy Springs, and Doraville, and so on.
This particular technique stopped working because Google started paying more attention to the server location of those particular links. The biggest search engine could detect that all of these were on the same server, and therefore the links might not be as authentic as ones generated from completely separate entities.
Private Blog Networks
Private blog networks take the concept of link wheels one step further. Blog networks take small groups of wheels and place them together in a network, where the blog owners promise to put links to the others’ sites on their own site.
What happens is that a large number of irrelevant links end up on these sites. Google looks at both the relevance and backlinks of sites, so those scheming ways are caught and punished by the use of lower rankings.
Article directories, while still used, are a LOT less effective than they once were. These were sites which contain thousands of unrelated articles, each with a link back to somebody’s site. What you would see are completely unrelated articles next to one another.
Article places were places where the webmasters would put the keyword stuffed articles that they had generated. They were developed for SEO purposes only, not for people to read them, and, quite honestly, only a machine could really love those articles.
Automated tools were once used to spam the daylights out of sites in an effort to get backlinks. Large lists of sites which automatically create links were distributed between spammers, leading to bucketloads of non-related links on non-related sites.
These spammers would generate thousands of links every day working on the more is better idea.
Google put some measures in place which compare certain methods of backlinking to natural backlinking methods. Now, if it finds that you are unnaturally gaining links to your own site, it will penalize you in its search engine rankings – making your efforts ineffective.
In those days, if there were any possible way which could be used to bolster the rankings of our site, we used them. I used these techniques and many others to get rankings for sites I used to own.
I was obsessed with it.
But you know what?
I realized that doing it honestly not only felt better, but gave me rankings that couldn’t be taken away by any algorithm update.
Are there any crazy techniques that you used to use before Panda and Penguin? Or if you have any questions about how to rank better on search engines or new SEO tactics, please leave it in the comment section below and I will answer it.