Tag Archive | "Black Hat"

How the Google Penguin Update Can Affect Your SEO

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How the Google Penguin Update Can Affect Your SEO


The Google Penguin update, if you haven’t heard of it, has been released 3 months ago. The main purpose behind the update doesn’t really deviate that much from the goals that previous Google updates had: to reward websites which have good content and provide an overall good experience for their users, while penalizing sites which rely on black hat tactics such as link spamming or keyword stuffing.

When you talk about SEO, then the keywords will obviously be something very important. Previously, giving a lot of consideration to keyword density, as well as the placement of keywords within a page were seen as very important things for any webmaster or online business owners. But this part of the SEO game has changed a bit, as Google is trying to eliminate the “spammy” site from its rankings. Placing your keywords in the title of your content, as well as close to the beginning, is still a good practice. However, webmasters now need to focus more on diversifying their keywords. This means using related words and phrases when possible, rather than just reusing the same words over and over again. Using related keywords will also make the text flow better and look easier to read to a human, which is something that Google wants.

Of course, it is not only on site factors that have changed since the Penguin updated rolled out in April of 2012. Google is now trying to better determine the overall quality of a website by analyzing the link profile. This simply means how many links a website has, where the links are coming from, how much the links have grown recently and what anchor text is being used on these links. It is believed that the anchor text is going to get a lot more attention with Penguin. This is to deter would be comment and link spammers from posting a site link with the same anchor text hundreds, or thousands of times all over the web with the hopes that this will improve the site’s rankings, as it is getting more backlinks.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on creating backlinks anymore, but there might be a few changes that you may want to do from now on. The main thing to focus on is diversifying your anchor texts. Don’t simply use one keyword for all of your incoming site links. This is one of the fastest ways that you can get your site penalized under the new update. Rather, try to vary that text as much as you can. If you leave comments on forums or blogs, make sure that your comment is not only relevant to your website, but also to the site where you’re posting it on. Generic comments, such as “nice site” or “I agree” may have worked a few months ago, but Google is increasingly cracking down on them, as they simply pollute the comment sections of many blogs by offering nothing that is of value to the discussion.

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Debunking Common Myths About Google Panda

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Debunking Common Myths About Google Panda


Ever since Google rolled out their “Panda” Update in February 2011, there have been many myths that have circulated all over the web about it. Here are some of the more common ones and answers to them:

 

  • Google Wants to Get Rid of Affiliate Marketing as We Know It

 

The Panda update has nothing to do with affiliate marketing, CPA offers, etc. It can affect any website, whether it is selling its own products, promoting affiliate offers, or even not selling anything at all and not containing any ads. Those who do affiliate marketing or promote cost per action offers properly (using different traffic sources, ensuring the quality of landing pages and web content, etc) should not suffer too much from it. It’s designed to stop marketers who use Black Hat SEO techniques, such as publishing content designed to attract those who search for certain terms and then trying to get them to buy a product.

 

  • The Panda Update Only Affects Content Repositories

 

Every website on Google’s index will go through the Panda filter, no matter what kind of site it is. Whether you have just a few pages that were written by yourself, or you run a site where hundreds of different authors submit content, your site will be filtered through it just the same. While some of the websites that were the most affected by the Panda update were indeed content repositories, the reason behind this is that they had a higher chance of having poor quality content on their sites to begin with, as they have submissions from many different authors.

 

  • Panda Only Targets Queries done in US English

 

This was true at the beginning, but it’s just not the case anymore. Content in all languages, except Chinese, Japanese and Korean will be affected by Panda. Therefore, if the content on your site is written in a language other than English, this will not let you “escape” the new filter created by Google. While it is not known as of now if the same criteria is used to filter sites in all languages, according to some online marketing news, it seems that sites published in other languages can indeed be penalized if they have too much content that is irrelevant, poorly written, or repetitive.

 

  • If a Page has Gone Through the Filter the First Time, Everything is OK

 

Google has made several adjustments and tweaks to Panda which have the goal of making it more effective for its intended purpose. Google is expected to continue rolling out updates to it. Therefore, attempting to “outsmart” Google by using black or gray hat SEO techniques is unlikely to work well in the long term. The only way forward if you want your site to rank well on a consistent basis is to provide your users with quality content at all times.

 

There are a few other myths about Panda that are circulating. Tomorrow we will take a look at some more.

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Keeping Up With Changes in SEO: Part 3

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Keeping Up With Changes in SEO: Part 3


Previously, we’ve seen how having quality, well organized content can help you improve or maintain your ranking on search engines. But is there more? Definitely. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind if you are serious about your SEO objectives. Here are some more examples:

  • Ensure your content is unique

While this may seem obvious, some webmasters still don’t seem to get it. Using content that is scraped from other sites, or is comprised of PLR articles or is taken from PLR ebooks is not a good idea. Why? Because it is not unique. There are probably thousands of web pages out there with the same exact content that you have. This will obviously penalize you when it comes to SEO.

If you need to use PLR content or other “open source” materials, such as info from Wikipedia, then you will need to rewrite it to make it unique. This has to be done by hand. While there are software programs and scripts which claim they can generate unique articles, usually you will end up with some gibberish that will be hard to understand for users and will also be bad for SEO. So the bottom line is, your stuff needs to be unique.

  • Don’t buy backlinks from shady sources

This comes back to the point about not using Black Hat SEO tactics if you want long term growth for your website. While you may find plenty of “quality backlink sellers” on web forums everywhere, you should be aware of the fact that these backlinks are rarely of any good quality. Most of the time, they are included in websites that are simply link dumps, where there are plenty of links to irrelevant web pages. Or, they simply spam forums and blog comments with your website link. Of course, these links will get removed after a few days and this may even get your site blacklisted for link spam. If you have to deal with a backlink seller, then make sure that you are dealing with someone who knows what they are doing. The best backlinks will come from places that have a high amount of relevance to your website. For example, niche blogs.

  • Remember to keep building quality backlinks

Instead of buying backinks, you can build them yourself. How? This is a lot easier than it sounds. You can start by creating a profile on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Include the URL of your website in your profile. Then, submit some articles to directories which have a good reputation with search engines. If you have a local business, see if you can be linked to on the website of your local chamber of commerce or other community business groups. Include your URL when you advertise on classified ads sites. All of this will get you good quality backlinks which are worth more than hundreds of backlinks from some shady sites which are nothing but a repository of spam posts.

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Keeping Up With Changes in SEO

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Keeping Up With Changes in SEO


Search engines such as Google sometimes change their algorithms which are used to determine the ranking of each web page in search results. Sometimes, these changes are very minor and go largely unnoticed. Sometimes, they create waves in the entire online marketing and webmaster world. Many are now asking themselves this: how can I keep up with all these changes that search engines make? The answers are actually quite simple. There are a few things that you need to be doing which will increase the chances that your website will not be affected in any major way by any changes that the search engines make to their algorithms. Here are some of these tried and true methods:

  • Avoid Black Hat SEO If You Want Long Term Results

Well, the goal of this article is not a debate on ethics or whether using black hat SEO tactics is “evil” or not. Let’s simply stick to looking at the facts: if you want long term results, then black hat SEO methods are not your friend. Basically, black hat SEO involves finding loopholes and ways to game the system so that a website rises in rankings rapidly. This might be something desirable if you are launching a temporary website that will only be making you money for a few weeks and you don’t care about what happens after. But if you want to build a long term online business, then these tactics are to be avoided, since you will get slapped down by search engines eventually.

  • Make Your Site Easy to Navigate

Both search engines and human visitors love a site that is well structured and has an easy navigation. Therefore, create simple menus that will lead your visitors to different areas of your website that they would want to see. Also, it is a good idea to create a site map and include a small link to it at the bottom. True, most visitors will not use it. In fact, it has been almost 10 years since I last looked at a site map when I was visiting a website. However, most experts on SEO would agree that including one would increase the chances on getting a good ranking with search engines. There are many software programs as well as scripts available which can create one automatically for you. Since it takes very little effort on your part, this is not a step that you should neglect if you care about your website’s position in search engines.

These are some of the two basic ways that you can employ to keep your website ranking high in search engines, or to help it move up in rankings if that is your goal. Their advantages is that they will work, no matter what changes search engines bring to their website ranking and scoring algorithms. Tomorrow, we will explore some additional ways that webmasters can employ to control their websites search engine ranking, consisting of both on page and off page factors which have been tried and tested ever since search engines came into existence.

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Using Craigslist for Affiliate Marketing: What Not to Do

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Using Craigslist for Affiliate Marketing: What Not to Do


There is a lot of talk in internet marketing communities about using traffic from Craigslist to publish affiliate or CPA offers. While it is possible to do so, there are certain practices to avoid. Here are some things not to do when using Craigslist.

 

  • Don’t use it for offers where it is not allowed

 

CPA networks are aware of the fact that some marketers use Craigslist. Some networks ban this type of promotion outright, some forbid it for certain offers, while certain allow it as long as you follow some rules set forth by them. If you do not want to get banned from the network and possible lose the earnings that you have made, you should comply with any rules that they have. When in doubt, contact your affiliate manager just to be sure.

 

  • Don’t simply put in your affiliate links and banners all over the place

 

Craigslist is mainly designed for local businesses and individuals to post ads and not a place to spam affiliate offers. Any blatant affiliate links and offers will be flagged down rather quickly by users of the site. Simply put, do not direct link from a Craigslist post to an affiliate offer. Your post will probably be gone within minutes anyways.

 

  • Don’t post in the wrong category just to get traffic

 

If you post an ad in a category that is irrelevant, it will get flagged down almost instantly. The bottom line is, keep your postings to categories where they are relevant if you want them to have any chance of staying up.

 

  • Don’t attempt to trick or mislead people

 

This is one of the biggest things not to do when using Craiglist. While it was quite popular with black hat marketers about 2 years ago, Craigslist, affiliate networks and merchants have all come down on this and took action to prevent it from happening.

 

Now, what exactly is “misleading” people? Some examples would be: posting a fake job offer, telling people that they got the job, but that they simply need to complete a biz opp offer to “verify their info”. Or putting up an ad for an apartment and then telling people that they need to pass a credit check, then sending them over to a credit report affiliate offer. One other trick that was popular consisted of offering people a job and then telling them to buy a video conferencing software from an affiliate offer as the “training” for the job would be done remotely. In all cases, this is misleading people, as the apartment or job that was promised to them simply does not exist.

 

If you do this, soon enough, somebody will complain to the merchant and say “Hey! You promised me a job if I signed up on your site! How come nothing happened?” and you will simply end up banned.

 

 

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Is it Still Possible to use Craigslist to Make Money Online?

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Is it Still Possible to use Craigslist to Make Money Online?


Craigslist is a popular and free online classified ads site. While it certainly isn’t as popular as say Google or Facebook, it is still one of the most popular sites on the internet, with millions of users from all around the world visiting it. This has given online marketers a lot of ideas on how to monetize all of this traffic. Unfortunately, Craigslist is not what it used to be when it comes to internet marketing and you have black hat marketers to thank for that. What some people did went far beyond just spamming CPA offers to downright lying to people such as promising them jobs or mortgages if they complete a CPA offer for a credit report or a biz opp. As a response to that, Craigslist has upped its security mechanism and has even posted warning in many of its sections that specifically mention affiliate marketing.

 

But this doesn’t mean that is is completely useless to online entrepreneurs. There are a few ways to use it for your online marketing efforts. Here are some of them:

 

  • Promoting your e-commerce site

 

If you have a website that sells merchandise, then you can still use Craigslist to promote it. For example, if you sell clothes or electronics in your online shop, then you can post an ad in the proper section of Craigslist and get some traffic to it that way. Make sure to post in the right section, or your ad will be flagged down rather quickly. Also, don’t post the same ad in different cities at the same time. While there is nothing wrong with a global e-commerce site posting ads in multiple cities, remember that Craigslist is not mainly aimed at internet marketers, but rather for small, local businesses to post ads in the city where they operate.

 

  • Providing services

 

If you offer some services that can be done over the internet, then you can use Craigslist to get some business too. For example, if you create websites for businesses and individuals, then you can put an ad in the right section to promote that. There are plenty of services that you can do over the internet and have your clients pay your by Paypal or another payment system. Some examples include: translation, writing, graphic design, flier/advertising design, promotional video creations and a whole lot more. If you want to appear more professional and therefore more trustworthy when providing these services, you can always create a simple “business” style website that gives details of what you do and your prices, as well as get a toll free phone number to get your clients to reach you. You can get one for a few dollars a month and then forward it to your cell phone, or just leave it to always go to voicemail. Here’s a tip to get more sales: put a special discount or coupon code in your ad and tell readers to mention it when they order.

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Money Making Ideas : Micro Online Business

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Money Making Ideas : Micro Online Business


We have previously seen that there are many different categories of online business objectives. The main difference between them is the amount of money that could be made, as well as the amount of commitment (time and money) that the online entrepreneur will need to make.

Let’s first take a look at the micro online business model. Basically here, you will be making up to $500 a month and putting in 10 to 20 hours a week maximum, with little or no investment on your part.

This business model is basically service based. This essentially means that you will be offering some services to other webmasters, online entrepreneurs as well as business owners. What are some examples of services that you can offer, which will not demand too much time or effort from you? Here is a short list:

  • Article writing
  • Translation
  • Video transcription
  • Graphic design
  • Very basic web design
  • Writing reviews
  • Creating backlinks
  • Doing short online videos
  • etc…

Of course, this is not a complete list, there are many more services that you could offer, based on your skills and the demand that is on the market right now.

The main question is: where do you go to find projects that you can do? The top places are freelancing sites, where people from everywhere gather together to offer or request services. The most useful sites for easy tasks are:

Microworkers – www.microworkers.com

Amazon Mechanical Turk – www.mturk.com

Fiverr – www.fiverr.com

Internet marketing forums also have a section for freelance work. Here are some of the best ones:

Warrior Forum www.warriorforum.com

Digital Point www.digitalpoint.com

Black Hat World www.blackhatworld.com

However, do take note that if you want to find work on forums, you should first spend a few days making USEFUL posts to build up your reputation and get your name seen by the other members.

In these sites, you will find tens of thousands of different tasks that you can do. The pay isn’t especially great, however, if you work in an efficient way without distractions, you can make something approaching $10 to $15 an hour. The tasks could sometimes be quite repetitive and tedious, which is why most people do not spend more than one or two hours working on them per day. But still, you can make a few hundred dollars a month from these sites.

Always strive to do quality work, follow instructions accurately and complete the projects on time. Not only will this help boost your feedback on the sites, but will also allow you to make some useful contacts and potentially earn you some regular projects to do.

Here’s a tip: working with the same people on a regular basis is much better and will make the time you spend online much more productive and efficient. The reason: you will be spending a lot less time hunting for tasks to do and projects you can participate in and much more time actually doing work that will be profitable for you.

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How To Place Your Affiliate Links

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How To Place Your Affiliate Links


Unfortunately some of the best ways to place affiliate links involve black hat methods, we will cover one of these methods but are mostly interested in how to place you links using all white hat methods (the two in this article are enough to build a successful affiliate career that is completely white hat).

Linking in eBooks

It is no secret that people on the internet love ebooks, however most beginning internet marketers become suspicious after their first few “Sell this ebook on forums” ebooks that they purchase.  Avoid and reshape this mentality by creating (or buying the rights for) ebooks and giving them away for free, now this activity might seem counterintuitive “How can I make money by giving stuff away?” but it is truly ingenious. What you are looking to do is create an ebook about how to make money online using different products, explain the overwhelmingly positive benefits of each of these products and each time you mention the product place it as a hyperlink with your affiliate link as the target.  You can use this technique with all sorts of different niches and some say targeting niches that are not internet marketing are more profitable because people tend to not be expecting affiliate links (did you know the average person does not know that there is any such thing as an affiliate link?).

Article Marketing

This technique will again be focusing on giving people free content and sneaking in your affiliate links. While article marketing can be sort of a shot in the dark, it is a nice way to put some of you links out on the internet and never have to think about them again. Your goal in article marketing is the same as with writing an ebook, provide quality content and advice that causes the user to realize they really need the products in the book, then put your affiliate links and the targets for the product hyperlinks. Article marketing is a much faster way to get your affiliate links out to the world.

Craigslist

This one is definitely blackhat, so only read ahead if you have no problems scamming ordinary everyday people out of their money.  One of the best ways to work affiliate links into craigslist is in the jobs section, when searching for jobs people are nearly as desperate as ever and will go to great lengths to get a job. Another excellent way is in the for sale section, you can actually get away with posting straight affiliate links to Amazon and surprisingly people will purchase through your link! Again, these methods are blackhat and can get you flagged on craigslist.

That’s all there is to it, it takes a little bit of work and patience once you have the links placed, but the internet is a big place and over time you will start seeing sales rolling in via your affiliate links.

Image Source: Bill Board Mama

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