White Hat SEO – Earn the Glory *Yawn*

This post is inspired by a brief exchange I had with Mikey C over at D&P.

gorillas have 3 eyesTate from strivingforfreedom.com also threw a few thoughts in the ring, and I can tell he’s put some hours into learning search.

Even Chris from G&L thought his old-post-SEO was low on swag factor so he went back to put in some work to correct it.

horrible posts from 2012Listen.

There is a reason certain websites rank at the top.

If you think SEO is worthless or has no basis then you are a fool. Leave now because this post isn’t worth your time.

In a time when people look to Google for every damn answer there is, Google in turn is evolving to give people the best possible results.

If they didn’t do this they couldn’t maintain the stranglehold they have on internet search traffic.

Knowing this, one would be wise to keep up on “what’s working” and “what’s not” when it comes to SEO.

Most people that have an internet business or blog want people to find their stuff. You can make money and spread your horrible ideas to the world.

This post will cover White Hat SEO.

If you are wondering what proof or credibility I have in this respect, or don’t believe you should read on, I respect that.

I’ll state the facts, and you can choose to believe it later if you so choose.

  • I began blogging because I had something to say
  • This required me to learn WordPress
  • Which inspired me to pursue passive income online
  • A pursuit that tremendously benefits from understanding search
  • Started a business
  • Bought into a $700 mastermind/forum for SEO
  • Bought into a $1,000 course/forum on SEO
  • Bought into a $7,000 power community, for information

Glen Allsopp of ViperChill convinced me that sometimes to reach the level of success he is enjoying, you simply need to pay for information.

People don’t just give away secrets that could make you millions or result in copycats that dilute the market.

I agree with this. I’ve heard some masterminds can reach as high as $30,000+ just to sniff a few knowledge drops that a muli-millionaire or billionaire might share.

Secrets or powerful information can save you time and this is why I recommend finding a good guitar teacher right off the bat in my book Show Stealer.

The amount of hours you can save is crucial and this enables you to use that time far more productively.

I now pursue SEO in a professional capacity, taking on clients in consulting form as well as taking the steps to improve their ranking position.

For this reason, I will not be revealing any of my “money sites” or business website, due to Negative SEO.

We’ll cover drive-by-chain-gun Negative SEO in another, more entertaining post. *grin*

SEO is quite complex so I’m going to just drink a few beers and fire away with some stream-of-consciousness thoughts and tips. There are too many small details and ultimately you’re going to have to go out and start experimenting.

This post will cover:

1) “White-hat” and basics you can apply right off the bat, such as on-page factors

2) The importance of content and word count

3) A spattering of how Google weighs your site vs another (too complex for beginners)

4) Backlinks & anchor text


The Hell is “White Hat” SEO?

“White-hat” just means that you are being a good little boy/girl, doing all of the things you are “supposed” to do to earn your respect and claim a place in Google search.

There are basic factors that anyone can implement. Others include whether you can write epic, well-written content that has value, helps people, gets a lot of traffic, or is shared on social.

Let’s get the basics out of the way first.

There are two things to consider when creating content in the first place, as it relates to search.

1) Am I trying to make money here? (a legitimate approach that is counter to what some may see as “write for the people and make the money later”). Affiliate marketing, for example.

2) Writing epic content that will rank by merit and a bit of chance.

If you are in group #1, then you should do keyword research.

If you are #2, then you *can* do research to perhaps jam your site up into a top 3 spot that is currently held by weak content. You don’t have to, and you can let your 3,000 word beast simply rank through the natural language you spit out.

Let’s assume you are a blogger that might want to toss a bit of an affiliate offer into the mix. We’ll go with light research.

First off, we’re going to put the affiliate offer in the post regardless, so whether we get the research wrong doesn’t really sting as much as it does when you purposely try to rank an affiliate site and blow it (time and money).

Let’s pick a random topic, such as crabbing.

Why?

Cause I fucking like crabbing.

Sign up for Google Ad words so you can access their keyword planner. You can find it here:

where is the google keyword plannerOpen the keyword tool and toss “crabbing” in there. The goal is to 1) see what kind of monthly volume there is 2) potentially dig up a gem 3) scout the competition

keyword planner step 1The arrow points to a spot you can throw any URL to see what keywords tend to send people to that site…use it to breakdown the competition.

Next, you should see something like this:

crabbing keyword search“Crabbing” gets 5,400 searches per month. A nice term. Related searches are below it.

The person ranking first will get roughly 40-50% of that traffic.

Those are people that can discover your brand or can buy your stuff.

Now, how do you use this knowledge?

I’ll give you a few actionable steps to implement right away.

1) My favorite and the most commonly overlooked. If you are targeting a keyword, 90% of the time it should appear in your URL structure. There aren’t many 100% rules in SEO but this one is pretty damn close. Almost across the board, keywords will appear in the URL of the top ranked sites unless an authority site is ranking simply on power and trust.

Most people don’t ever change their URL when creating a post or page.

They let WordPress just pull the post title which is often nonsensical or too specific to the story, giving it little chance to grab random searches.

how to edit wordpress urlEdit the damn URL!

If you are writing about a crabbing story, and the title is “Me and Sally Crabbin’ by the River,” but you are really teaching lessons on crabbing tips for beginners, then you should make the URL more targeted…

Not Ideal

http://alphadark.com/me-and-sally-crabbin

Ideal

http://alphadark.com/crabbing-tips-beginners

The post title is still “Me & Sally Crabbin'” but the URL is /crabbing-tips-beginners or something similar. It can be many keywords long, just don’t repeat any.

Again, if you are trying to catch some random long tail searches and other stray traffic, that’s one way to do it.

Beware of over-optimization – this means that you should never have keywords in a URL more than once, including your domain name.

This link sucks:

crabbycrabbingriz.com/crabbing-tips-for-trolls-who-love-crabbing

This is more ideal:

brandname.com/crabbing/supplies-gear

brandname.com/crabbing-supplies-bait

crabbingbeast.com/beginner-traps-guide

Etc.

Speaking of titles – try to include the keyword or long-tail phrase in the post title (which in many cases becomes the page title). Hugely important for trying to rank. You can always see the page title in the browser tab, or by hovering over the tab.

where is the page title of a websiteWARNING: You can go back and edit URL structures from older posts, but know how to properly redirect the pages or you will create dead links.

Sometimes, when the competition is weak or there just isn’t enough to go around, your URL alone will take you right to the top.

Go to Google and type “how to sneak backstage.”

alphadark rulesI have ranked #2 for this without doing anything other than having an exact match page title and URL with keywords that match the search. In fact, I did this before I even knew anything about SEO and just ripped off some nice content.

WikiHow is an authority source so it’s tough to outrank without a bit of cheapness, but yeah, it pisses me off being 2. Perhaps I will use this as an opportunity to do a follow up post after I cheat and push it to the top…


Your keyword should appear on the page at least once. If you are writing a post on “how to crab like a mother fucker” then that phrase should appear within your content, or at the very least as a header.

Fuck, obvious ain’t it. Well, you wouldn’t believe how many people still don’t do it.

If you upload a relevant picture, change the file name and alt text to be something at least somewhat keyword friendly. You don’t have to keep repeating your main keyword but maybe switch it up and add stuff like “crabbing best practices” and synonyms. Look up alt text later if you want to know what it’s really for.

How much does this help? Depends. Consider it a minor influence.

alphadark rules dude


Content & Word Count

Generally, epic 2,000+ word posts will give you a much better chance of ranking highly right out of the gate.

If you launch a 5,000 word howitzer and the current #1 site has only 2,000, that alone might do it. You still may need some inbound links, but the juicy content is a strong foundation.

Brian Dean, probably the whitest damn hat in SEO, calls it “the skyscraper technique.

The reason longer content can rank well is that any good idea or argument will likely need to be fleshed out in depth.

The chances of someone really delivering monster actionable advice or tremendous value from a 200 word post is unlikely.

In general, the more epic content you can pile up post after post, the more chances you have to rank with keywords that appear in your subject matter. Anything worth talking about is likely worth talking about at length.

Any Redditor that read this far is a unicorn…

In general, never keyword stuff but try to use synonyms and relevant phrases all over. Big time content will sometimes get you found by chance, getting you extra visits which can result in extra links and shares…


Backlinks

If you want a site to move in Google, fire backlinks at it.

Note that I didn’t say which direction it would move…

Without getting too deep –

One of the main ranking factors for any page (I said “page,” not “domain”) is the number and power of backlinks it commands.

The more “good backlinks” a site gets, the higher it will tend to rank.

The more shitty spam links, the lower it may rank unless action is taken.

A link is like a “vote” for another site.

Powerful votes have more influence, from authority sites for instance.

Generally, people will link to your epic content if they find it valuable or shareable, which is the White Hat strategy. Get a few powerful bloggers linking to you and you might be rockin’ and rollin’.

Overtime, your page or post will rise in the search results due to the aforementioned factors.


Inbound anchor text carries huge weight as well. Anchor text is what happens when you turn words into a link, like this.

Got your dumb ass.

Anchor text helps Google figure out what the site is about. Over time, people will naturally create many of these links, some of which will be branded in some way.

The cheaters among you must be salivating at what this might mean…

As a white hat, you simply let this part play out.

For the fuck of it, I’m going to try an experiment. I’m going to link to Mike’s site with ridiculous nonsensical anchor text that may one day make his site appear as number 1 or 2 for this long tail phrase. I will also make it my post URL, which will guarantee it shows up #1 if you search this phrase directly.

 huge fat marsupial shredding smiz crustacean

Let’s see what happens…

UPDATE 6/17/15

anchor text ranking proofThe experiment has worked. Google has no idea what the fuck I am talking about, so it has no choice but to rely on the algorithm and rank Danger and Play for this nonsensical phrase.

This is one of the primary ways that websites rank.


 TLDR Reddit Version

Affiliate marketer? Keyword research. Epic blogger? Not required.

Target keywords should at least be in page title, URL string, in the content. At LEAST.

Don’t jam too many target keywords into any one of the above.

Sky-scraping beast content can drop you in the top 5.

Backlinks from other sites will send you up or down. Great stuff gets shared by great people…

Inbound anchor text can make or break you. Letting it play out naturally is effective, saintly, and white hat.


Want a quick way to judge the power or authority of any site? Download the Moz Toolbar.

Had to.

Get it here.

This will add a meter to your browser that will show you 2 things – Page Authority, Domain Authority.

Domain authority (blue) is a good judge on authority and respect for a domain, 1-100.

1-15 – Baby site or never received any links

16-40 – Small to medium level blogs and small businesses

41-70 – Bigger blogs, businesses, authority sites

71-100 – Huge authority, trust, respected

This is a 3rd party metric from Moz.com and not associated with Google, but a standard measure almost all SEO minded people use.

moz toolbar and shitPage authority is a general gauge of the power or influence of that particular page.

This will go up depending on the amount of links. The more power and trust from other sites, the more this red meter goes up. The example site above is quite strong.

The Moz data can take awhile to update. You might have 50 links pointed to a page but the meter shows a 1. After 3-6 months you should see the PA and DA move up.

Use that to determine if competition is stiff, or whether the page you landed on randomly may be worth your time. Trying to outrank the page above with your shit site with low PA and DA will be tough.


Only a chump will pass over basic SEO education, especially someone in the affiliate marketing world. You’ll fail without question if you’re trying to target keywords.

People everywhere in the world use Google to find stuff.

More of them will find you if you pay attention to some of the advice listed above.

In the next post I’ll talk about cheating Black Hats. I like cheating. This is war.

Blogs referenced:

Glen Allsopp – Viper Chill

Brian Dean – Backlinko

Well would you look at that? Some backlinks that both of these fuckers probably don’t need! See how that works?

7 Comments


  1. Great stuff man. You inspired me to try writing my first behemoth post and download the moz toolbar. I do a lot of commenting so my anchor text is usually just my name. Should I start using different names lol.

    Reply

    1. Release the krakken brother.

      Blog comments are “nofollow” links which mean they don’t hurt your anchor text ratio. There are so many bloggers and so much commenting going on that it would be foolish for the big G to punish you for that.

      SOME sites do have “follow” link comments, so those you have to be somewhat careful with. Brand name links are best if you happen to post on a bunch of “follow” link blog posts.

      The MOZ toolbar has a little dropdown highlighter where you can see what links are follow and which are nofollow. Follow means they are passing juice/reputation to the target site.

      Reply

      1. So is it bad to have a blog with “Do Follow” on their comment section? I’m asking because I switched my blog comments to “Do Follow”

        Reply

        1. It’s not necessarily bad but I would advise against it. You will be targeted by people who realize you have “dofollow” blog comments to try and build backlinks.

          If you manage it well enough it should be fine, but standard practice is just to keep it nofollow.

          Reply

  2. Riz,

    This is a great post! Something – have always wanted to learn more about. A lot of the stuff you mentioned above I picked up during the years and still there are many bloggers out there who believe SEO does not work. These guys are totally not getting it!

    Most of the tips are pretty simple like using a specific keyword scattered around in your posts. I like to add the keywords even on the title if I could. But never realized until now to use it on my page address. It makes perfect sense.

    I have been able to get traffic and have landed on a first pages here and there even on to a few aggregators which bring me referral traffic. Still I do not get much unique views just about 300 to 320 hits a day and my Pageviews are so far over 3500 a day. Still I would like to raise that higher. You spoke about taking and paying for SEO courses can you tell me or guide me in the right direction to where you got the info? I know there is more to seo than what I read on the internet.

    Again Riz great post and I will be looking for the next one!

    Jose

    Reply

    1. 300+ views a day is pretty good Jose, unless most of those are actually bots and spam. When you look at your analytics you should be able to tell which is which.

      It is very difficult to know which bloggers and what information is useful or current when it comes to SEO. Even writing about it, I know people will dismiss even this article as “just another bullshit SEO” post but they would be wrong in this case, I’ll put my reputation behind it.

      My next post will be on Black Hat SEO and filthy cheaters, which I don’t recommend for a beginner at all. You can skyrocket your site but also burn it to the ground and never recover.

      For philosophy, strategies on building an email list, earning backlinks, definitely go to backlinko.com and read through Brian Dean’s stuff, or get on his email list. His posts are enormously epic and he gets massive traffic. Consume what you can, apply, and experiment.

      SEO is also becoming more and more technical. As bots become smarter, there is code being developed to enhance their ability to understand what’s on a page, such as schema.org markup. In the future, the tech side of things will be critical to SEO. Google evolves all the time, I am sure you notice that they sometimes now simply display an answer before even sending you to a page.

      Those who stay in the know will ultimately make the most money.

      Reply

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