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How to Block Google Fonts and More: A Paranoid Schizophrenic’s Guide to Tin Hat SEO

December 5, 2016

Most folks are familiar with the various types of SEO.

We have black hat SEO, where people are using techniques like content automation, backlinking software, hacked sites, and sneaky redirects in order to climb the ranks.

On the other side of the equation, we have our white hatters, who like to stay within the guidelines of Google’s terms of service.

Somewhere in the middle, we have the grey hats, who dabble in a bit of both.

tin hatBut, you may not have heard about the ever elusive band of SEO’s called the “tin hats.”  In a nutshell, tin hat SEO has a lot less to do with actual “ranking” then it does with “generally being freaked the hell out about everything crashing down in a single instant and ruining everything you’ve setup for the past year.”  Read about the origin of the term “tin hat” here.

Tin hats are often the butt of jokes in the SEO community.  They’re made fun of because of their lack of actual progress in ranking and earning due to the immense amount of time spent geeking-out about Google reading their emails, tracking their IPs, and discovering their foot prints.

Laugh as you might, but we all have a little tin hat inside of us.  I know I do.

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How to Boost your PBNs with Topical Relevance

November 1, 2016


What if I told you there was a way to make your PBNs stronger than they already are?

That there is a way to make them more relevant to your niche and thus, when you link them to your money site, your site becomes more relevant and ranks easier.

To add, what if I said there’s also a way to get them to provide more link juice than they already do?

And that you can do all of this, without needing to create a single link to your PBNs.

In fact, you can do this all for less than $5.

I’m going to show you how to do all of the above and in typical fashion, you’re going to see real test results showing it in action.

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How to Increase Profit 179% in Under 60 Days in 9 Steps (Affiliate SEO Case Study)

October 5, 2016


This post will highly deviate from the format of my regular posts.

I’ve had quite a few requests to release a case study where I delve into the actual steps I’ve taken to get a site ranked higher and generating more profit.

So here we are.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at a particular affiliate website that grew in monthly profit by 179% in less than two months.

I’ll reveal the exact actions that I took to improve the site’s organic rankings and conversion rate optimization (CRO), resulting in nearly double the profit.

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An SEO’s Guide to Flipping Websites: 9 Essential Steps

September 5, 2016


How would you like to collect 25 months of your website’s income right now?  Sounds pretty sweet, right?

You can potentially cash-in on over two years of net income from your website and all you have to do is sell that website.

You might be wondering… why would I sell a website when it is almost completely hands off? After all, at the end of the day, SEO can be pretty passive once you have the content, the web design, and the profitable rankings to support your site.

So why would you let something like this go?  Let’s explore that.

We’re about to take a look at the benefits of selling websites and by the end of this article, I’m going to make sure you know how to make sure you get the maximum value from your flips.

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How to Properly Track and Manage Your Backlinks

August 1, 2016

I am absolutely O.C.D. when it comes to tracking, measuring, and recording data.  One of the best skills you can have in SEO is to be able to stay efficiently organized.  Only by keeping track of what actions you’ve taken, will you be effectively able to make correct decisions about what to do next.

Famous management consultant Peter Drucker once said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”   I couldn’t agree more.

measure and control

Unfortunately, not everyone has the same nerdy obsession I have over collecting data.  Every week, I perform SEO consultations for various clients.  When someone doesn’t show up with a list of the links pointing to their site, I simply can’t help diagnose their offsite SEO problems.  There’s simply nothing to talk about.

I decided to make this post to help make your (and my) life easier by explaining how to properly track and manage your backlinks.

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Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) for SEOs

July 6, 2016

Foreword by Matt Diggity:

Last month at my company’s retreat to Bali, we set a pretty sizable goal for ourselves.  That goal was to double our company’s affiliate revenue in three months.  Two weeks later, we had already gotten half way there.  We were on track to meet our target two months ahead of schedule.

How did we do it?

Rankings and traffic for our money sites were relatively flat during that time.  Instead we decided to go all in on conversion rate optimization (CRO) and my business partner Kurt Phillip went straight-up beast mode.  In two weeks’ time he was able to increase revenue 50% on our affiliate sites by testing the living hell out of our traffic.

Meet Kurt.  Kurt has over 10 years’ experience in A/B testing and is one of the most talented CROs I’ve ever met in the field.  Conversion optimization is so often overlooked in SEO, I felt compelled to urge Kurt into writing this guest post.

Without further ado…

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Next Generation PBNs – The Secret to Supercharging Your Backlinks

June 1, 2016


What you are about to learn is the result of a long road of testing.  Testing that ultimately allowed me to fully understand a fundamental component of backlinking, and in particular, ways to make PBN links much more powerful than ever before.

Let’s assume you know the basics of how to build a PBN.

You know the proper place to acquire your domains and how to set them up accordingly.  You know where to host your PBNs.  You know how to test each site before adding a potentially poisonous domain to your network.

These are the fundamentals that should be fully understood before you can expect to leverage the knowledge you’re about to learn in this article.  Assuming that you have a firm grasp on the essentials of PBNs, let’s move forward.

We’re about to take your PBN game to the next level.

The concept I’m about to show you is fairly simple in theory, but if it can be implemented in an intelligent way on your sites, you’ll be able to rank much more consistently and with less domains.

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SEO Spotlight: Hernan Vazquez, Priyangshu Borgohain, Joey Mure

May 2, 2016

Welcome back to the SEO Spotlight for Episode 3 of this ongoing series. The SEO Spotlights are designed to allow you to get to know others in the SEO industry that have made great successes in their businesses by thinking out-side-the-box in order to solve problems.

In Part 1, we met Daniel Moskovitch, Jacob Kettner, and Michael Landau-Spiers who made huge breakthroughs in the realms of client acquisition, authority hacking, and website flipping, respectively. Part 2 introduced us to Daryl Rosser, Joseph Elshazly, and Lior Ohayon who found clever solutions for finding non-competitive niches, outsourcing, and software development.

We’ll stick to tradition in this episode by staying focused on alternative thinking while exploring unique approaches to common SEO problems. You’ll meet three clever individuals whom have made advancements in PBN, huge search volume affiliate SEO, and client SEO.

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Infographic: 24 Steps to Help Get You Unstuck in the SERPs

April 25, 2016

This is, without a doubt, the most common question I’m ever asked:

How do I get my website unstuck from page 2?

Doesn’t it seem like almost every time you try to get a site ranking, Google reserves a special spot just for you right on page 2.

I’ve spent many hours working on both my own sites, as well as client sites, to get moving again in the SERPs.  Google’s algorithms are complicated, but more oftent than not, its just a few small changes that need to be made in order get unstuck.

I’ve 80-20’d the process and have come up with a list of essentials that need to be tackled before you can expect to move forward.  Below, find 24 steps that will help you debug those page 2 blues.

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The Truth About Link Diversity: What is Actually Needed to Rank?

April 4, 2016

Many SEOs say that in order to get a website ranking, you need to create a natural link profile with links coming from a variety of different sources. This is what’s known as “link diversity” and it’s been a topic of debate for quite some time.

There are many different types of link sources that SEOs are utilizing today. I recently conducted a poll in the Proper PBN Facebook Group, asking folks what link types they’re currently sending to their money sites.

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Case Study: Sending Local Citations to an Affiliate Site

March 1, 2016

If you’re in local SEO, you’re likely very familiar with local citations and business directory listings.

In case you’re not up-to-speed, citations are basically directory listings that include the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of local businesses.  Some primary examples of citations are: Yellow Pages, Yahoo Local, Yelp, etc.

Citations are the foundation for climbing up rankings in the Map Pack (now known as the 3-Pack or Snack Pack).  The more times that Google can match your Google My Business NAP with directory citations, the more you’ll see yourself climbing up the map rankings.

snack pack

But what does this have to do with affiliate SEO?  Most SEOs don’t try to rank their affiliate websites locally or in Google Maps.   No one searches for “garcinia cambogia chicago” nor do they look for the closest location they can “get rid of acne before prom.”

Although you might have no incentive for ranking your affiliate site locally, here are 6 compelling reasons why you should consider adding citations to your backlink blueprint.

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SEO Spotlight: Daryl Rosser, Lior Ohayon, Joseph Elshazly

February 9, 2016

Welcome back to Episode 2 of the SEO Spotlight series.  In the last episode, we visited three SEO’s that think outside-the-box in order to tackle their problems.

Being a person who appreciates creativity, I’ll be keeping up with the same theme here by interviewing three more SEOs who have made great progress in the areas of affiliate SEO, PBN, and client scaling.  You’ll learn their thought processes and find out how you can apply these same ideas to your own SEO projects.

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SEO Spotlight: Jacob Kettner, Daniel Moscovitch, Michael Landau-Spiers

January 20, 2016

I was a strange child.  I always seemed to do things a bit differently than the other kids.  The habit stuck.

I use four fingers to hold a pen.  I’m right-handed but left-legged.  I never wear underwear.  You should see the process I use to tie my shoes.

Needless to say, I’ve always been fascinated with the various ways we can solve the same problems.  In my own SEO business, I spend a majority of my time testing.  What I’ve found is there is no cookie-cutter blueprint for success in SEO.  It’s always going to depend on your particular situation, skill set, and resources.

I appreciate SEOs who can think outside-the-box; clever folk that use their intuition and do things a bit differently, allowing them to get some amazing results.  I’d like to introduce you to three of them.

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How to Test Your PBNs Before Adding Them to Your Network

January 3, 2016

First off… Happy New Year!  I’d like to kick things off this year with a technique that I highly recommend you start incorporating as soon as possible: PBN testing.

In my last article about debugging backlink results, I alluded to the fact that in order to successfully make sense of SERP movement, you’ll need be 100% sure that your PBNs are clean.

SEO is getting increasingly complicated.  Results depend on a large number of interconnected factors.  The only way to truly understand your results is to eliminate as many unknowns as possible.  And that starts with testing your PBNs.

By testing your PBNs you’ll find out if your costly PBN investment is actually getting you the return you expect.  At the same time, you’ll get the peace of mind knowing for sure that your PBNs produce positive results, enabling you to focus on the multitude of other ranking factors.

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The REAL Reason Why Your Backlinks Don’t Work

December 1, 2015

Has this ever happened to you?

You send some links to your money site and wait for the result.  One week goes by… nothing.  Two weeks… still flatline.   An entire month goes by and nothing has changed.

Or even worse: after you send the links, you see the rankings actually drop.

If you’ve ever been in this situation, you’re reading the right article.  I’m here to shed light on a commonly misinterpreted concept that can potentially help you understand why you’re not getting positive results from your backlinking efforts.

This article is not about buying and setting up the right PBNs.  I’m assuming that you’ve already doing that right and that you’re testing your PBNs before you’re adding them to your network.

This article is about revealing a blind spot on the topic of optimization.  I’ll be discussing various different scenarios, what the problem is in each, and how to deal with it.

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PBN Hosting – Which is the Best Solution?

November 2, 2015

PBN hosting is a huge topic amongst SEOs these days. With recent news of a major SEO hosting company experiencing a spree of deindexes, many SEOs are looking for more safer solutions.  As they should be.  Assuming that your PBNs don’t have footprints, the #1 factor when it comes to PBN deindexes is hosting (more on this later).

You may be wondering what types of hosting options are available and how to chose the right one. I’m here to tell you that I have either used or scrutinized most of the popular solutions available today and will share my experience with each.

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How to Dominate Page 1 – The Best SEO Advice I’ve Ever Received

October 5, 2015

Early on when I first started SEO, I made it a priority to seek out a mentor.  By leveraging a  mentor’s experience, your learning curve is significantly shortened as you’re able make quick advancements while avoiding disastrous pitfalls.

In this article, I’m going to share with you the best piece of SEO advice I’ve ever received from my mentor.  If you’re involved in affiliate SEO or lead generation, you need to stop whatever else you’re doing and read this very carefully.

What do most people do when they finally rank a profitable site to #1?  Most of the time they move onto a new niche.  Huge mistake.

Please write this down…

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How to Remove Penalties with Double 301 Redirects

September 1, 2015

If you’ve ever had a penalty, you know the feeling.

After countless hours of creating content, setting up hosting, linking, social signals, and waiting for the site to get out of the sandbox, it’s starting to jump up the rankings.  Traffic is starting to increase and you’re finally cash flow positive.

Then all of a sudden, boom, your rankings plummet 5-6 pages in the SERPs.

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Case Study: Do Social Signals Really Boost PBN Links?

August 6, 2015

There’s been a lot of hype about social signals lately and their role in SEO.  Many have been claiming some extraordinary things about what shares, tweets, and likes can do.  The particular claim that I’m challenging in this case study is whether or not sending socials signals to your PBN posts can actually boost their ability to rank.

The concept is straight forward.  In theory, hitting your PBN with social signals tells the algorithm that the site is being talked about socially, which in-turn establishes trust.  As an added bonus, these signals act as links from high domain authority (DA) sites.  The assumed result is that the PBN links get a boosted effect and send more link juice to your money site.

Or is this all just marketing hype?

I’ve never actually seen a case study from anyone who isn’t selling social signals or incorporating them into a service they’re offering.  My goal here to provide you with an unbiased 3rd party case study so you can decide whether or not you’re going to send social signals to your PBN.

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How to Get Unstuck by Establishing Topic Relevance

July 1, 2015

Along this continual road as a student of SEO, there have been a handful of breakthrough techniques that I’ve picked up which helped me rise to new level.  Actually, I hesitate to call them techniques, since some of them are so simple, they really could be coined as “tricks” or “hacks”.  Nevertheless, before I had these breakthroughs I was stuck with a particular problem, and after I had integrated them into my knowledge-base, my entire suite of client and personal money sites experienced huge gains.

Some examples of these breakthroughs can be found in my past posts on:

The particular hack I’ll be discussing in this article is how to create “On-page Topic Relevance”
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Choosing Your Anchor Text like a Pro (Part 2)

June 1, 2015

As an SEO, you already know the importance that anchor text selection plays in the ranking game.  Choosing the right anchors is a constant balance between pushing up your keywords while simultaneously dodging Penguin penalties.

The first step in anchor text selection is finding your niche specific target anchor text distribution.  If you haven’t read my previous article I suggest you go back and review before proceeding forward.  Otherwise, get a pen and paper handy because I’m about to drop 6 anchor text selection tricks that will allow you to blow past your competition’s amateur SEO efforts.

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How You Should Start Choosing Anchor Text. Starting NOW

May 4, 2015

Hands down, the most important skill you can have when it comes to offsite SEO is anchor text selection.  Having the correct anchor text distribution can make you (or break you) in the SERPs.  If you do it right, you’ll find yourself at the top of page 1, and you’ll do it with less links than your competitors.  If you do it wrong, say hello to Penguin penalty.

Not surprisingly, the most common question I get from customers is: What anchor text should I use?   While I’d love to be able to answer this for everyone, but there simply isn’t a 5 minute answer.  Selecting the right anchor text takes analysis and practice, and this is a skill that you want to craft for yourself, rather than rely on others for.  But let me just say, once you get this down, it’s like graduating to the next level of SEO.
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Trust Tiering: Stacking DA to Increase Site Trust

April 1, 2015

In the last few years, the requirements to rank a site have shifted.  While links remain our primary way to get sites ranked, it’s no longer about brute-forcing your site to the top of the SERPs.  The words “trust” and “authority” are being discussed as necessary components of the modern SEO strategy.

There’s a definite commonality between sites on the first page.  Page one is usually populated by sites with high DA and huge “trust”.  This trend is not subsiding.  As the years go on we can expect to see that the most effective SEO’s are the ones who are able to successfully imitate the trustworthy sites that Google clearly favors.

So how does one increase trust?

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Quick Indexing with the Video Sitemap Trick

March 11, 2015

Indexing can be a pain in the ass.  Until I found this trick, I was fumbling around impatiently, trying to use pinging services and social bookmark blasts in order to get something indexed.

This trick is:

  • Reliable (at the time of this writing): If it doesn’t index your site, then your site won’t index period.  Its probably a penalized domain.
  • Fast: 5 min – 2 hours
  • Safe: Index-forcing with tools like pingers is an SEO tool.  Google doesn’t like SEO’s.  Don’t do stuff that only an SEO would do.

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Reduce Sandbox Length by Timing your Backlinks

March 1, 2015

What is Sandboxing?

When you send links to a site and you see little to no ranking benefit.

Around mid-2014 we started to see a sandboxing effect on new domains that had been recently registered.  Before this time, we used to be able to register a new domain, throw some PBN links at it, and within 5 days it could potentially be on page 1.  Now a days, people are reporting sandbox periods of 2-4 months long.

People have been discussing various ways to beat the sandbox and reduce the time it takes to rank.  In general, the most widespread theory is that you want to create a viral effect.

Here’s my recipe for sandbox reduction, and the results I’ve gotten by using it…

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SEO Testing Results: Trust Pulling (Simple DAS)

February 2, 2015


What is Trust Pulling?

One of your main concerns as an SEO should be to increase the “trust” of your (or your client’s) sites.  When a real business creates a website, one of the first things they do is brand themselves in the social media sphere by creating a company Facebook page, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.  It’s a natural process of a website’s development.

In Trust Pulling you can mimic this natural, trust-building process by surrounding your site with a fortress of social profiles, web 2.0’s and other high domain authority (DA) properties.  These sites are connected to each other, and most importantly through a G+ profile which ties it all together.

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SEO Testing Results: CTR & Social Shares in 2015

January 6, 2015

2015 is going to be a very fruitful year for SEO.  There’s a ton of buzz going around about what the next face of SEO is going to look like.  Those who stay ahead of the curve are going to reap the benefits.  In case you’re not up to speed, here’s a summary on a few SEO techniques are being hyped up right now and my testing results on each.

Testing Results: Social Signals (Jan 2015)

Tweets, Shares, G+’s, Facebook likes, Pins, and bookmarks.

There’s been a ton of talk about social signals over the past 3 months.  People have come forth saying that they’re ranking local search YouTube videos solely on social signals.  The main debate seems to be over how the social signals are obtained.  Namely, if they should come from real accounts or automatically generated accounts.

Here’s the test scenario I setup, comparing three different groups:

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Attention Affiliates: Cloak Your Links

November 8, 2014

It’s no secret: Google isn’t a big fan of affiliate websites.  Look at it from their point of view.  They’re trying to rank the site with the best information.  An affiliate site’s primary purpose is selling a product, so they know you’re going to be saying damn well anything to get people to click on those affiliate links.  Which I’m sure if far off the mark from “quality content.”

Leaving your affiliate links looking how they usually do (i.e.: long and sloppy) is a dead giveaway that you’re an affiliate.  Not only to Google, but to your visitors as well.  If you site is a “unbiased” product review site, you’ll lose credibility when a reader sees that you’re directly making money off the product you reviewed.

So whats the solution?

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Stuck on Page 2? Are you the Black Sheep?

September 24, 2014

I get this question quite often. Today in fact.

I’ve been stuck for 3 months on page 2. It doesn’t matter how many high PR links I throw at it. It simply won’t move. I can’t figure it out!

Has this ever happened to you? All of your tactics are clean but you simply can’t break into page 1. You have the perfect on-page SEO and your anchor text is property diversified.

Most of the time I see this, it’s because the site has an off-site SEO record that is completely different than the other sites ranking on first page. It’s what I like to call the “Black Sheep Effect”.

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