How did it all get started?


Let’s Submit Your Website to 10 Million Directories…

About 4 weeks ago, early this past Nov 2017, I received a call from a salesman who insisted I should get his product and if I weren’t going to that it would be lost because he’s going to find someone else very shortly who’s going to jump on it (i.e. the time pressure trick). He also dropped the price several times, added all sorts of things to the package… but one thing that definitely did not fall out of my cranium was the fact that he said:

« We’ll put your name in 10 million directories »

That did not ring to well with me. I used that technique 10 years ago and it worked great, but today that’s a big no no as far as Google is concerned. So I definitely did not want to go forward.

Well Yeah, But Look, It Works?!

The salesman was very pushy and went on and on and gave me the name of another Realtorⓡ, I could find her website as number 1, 2 and 3 in Google. Impressive, right? So I kept that info for after the call and search on how the heck could she, by herself on a little site with no content of its own, end up at the top of a Google search. I know quite a bit about SEO so I already knew something fishing was at work here.

No Content of Her Own on Her Website!

When I say no content of its own, all her blog posts (generated by that company) are copy/paste of content from other websites. So 100% duplication as far as the blog is concerned.

Ah! Except her Area Pages Which Are What I Searched Against…

She had location pages too. Those were under a folder named /area/… and that had a small blurb about the area and the fact that she was the top agent in that area. The page also includes an IFRAME with an automatic search of homes in that area. In term of SEO, the content of an IFRAME do have an effect on the page, so this is well targeted.

So, okay, I understand that concept, and it is a great idea. But now we have to ask ourselves: Why did I find that page in Google?

Well! It looks like there is still a little trick one can use to create juicy links as far as Google in concerned. Searching closely, I found a page that had links back to her website images. Not directly to a page, but instead to an image. Apparently, if someone links to your website images, it gives juice to your website and it goes toward the top of the first page in Google results.

But who links to images now a day?

The one site I found had a cloaked owner, apparently somewhere in Asia. The site was a non-functional “rental” website (a site one would use to find a rental property to live in.) The links did not work right. It was probably supposed to update. Maybe it would work in Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.x or even older versions. In a modern Firefox or Chrome browser, it was broken.

So… That magical site that wasn’t functional, it would display some images for those apartments available for rent, but none of those were available for rent. There was not even a phone number, an address, nothing. It was displaying all kinds of whatever, really, not just kitchens or front yard. In some cases it would just be a sign.

As a result, the site was composed of tons of images. Each one of those images were actually coming from one of those guys website, that ranks number one in Google. In other words, the salesman’s company would add images on a Realtorⓡ website and then link those images from that Rental non-functional website.

Make Money Quick!

I guess that in a way it does not matter much, but those types of websites work great for a while and as soon as Google corrects their glitch, it stops working. Those Google updates can be really radical and destroy your site traffic. That is, in many cases the site that ranked so well for a while is actually very likely to end up banned. In other words, all the traffic it was getting before (maybe 100 a day) will be gone for a long time.

Same Search Engine, Different Results

One interesting aspect, too, is that I tried the same search in the Startpage Search Engine. That engine is supposed to be just like Google (i.e. it is expected to display Google’s results), but it makes sure to not take my Google account parameters in account. Because your search results are biased by your own preceding clicks. Results? That same website did not even appear in the first 10 results.

Either she just got promoted there and Google’s results were not yet updated in Startpage (I think this is the most plausible cause,) or somehow Google had already started to catch up on that invalid type of juice passing and banned her site in that other search mode.

Jim & Ricky from Income School

Somehow from there I searched some more about that type of linking and ended up finding a couple of guys, Jim & Ricky, who talk about their own experience with Niche Websites. Their site is named Income School.

They explain how they create their own Niche Websites and what they are talking about is what I had done on a couple of my own websites. I think that listening to their YouTube videos and reading some of their posts was the best way to reinforce my understanding of SEO and Niche Websites. This is what people call Content in that field and now I totally understand why they say that Content is King! Or, phrased differently:

How To Make Content Work Hard For You.

What I learned right there, right then is these two important points:

  • One: don’t bother with anything more than blogging; and
  • Two: make sure that your blog posts are long enough AND have useful content.

Long posts instead of Twitter like size posts, because those 100 or less character posts just do nothing for your website (unless you put many tweets on one page, hopefully they have a form of continuity, though!)

In the following few sections, I extend on those two points.

My Advertising Experiments: Fail

I experienced with advertising various things and so far I’ve got absolutely no good responses from such and I spent a lot of money on advertising (i.e. over the years, it is well over $40,000 in ad spend and services in that area.) It’s difficult even if you have everything in place such as a mailing list with a campaign, a free e-book, etc.

My Social Media Experiments: Fail

As a form of promotion, I also tried Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and others and they have not help much either. At least for the time it takes to keep it up on Social Media… and I just can’t find what to say on a daily basis (or even several times a day) on those platforms without becoming a broken record.

In all my experiments, Frankly when I post on those platforms I get a very few hits and that’s just not worth the time it takes to post on all of those Social Media platforms.

You see, the number of people, according to various sources, is something like 0.2% which is so tiny that the  time spent compared to sales potential is crazy low… now if you’re able to generate a strong following, spending time posting like crazy every single day, as in, multiple times a day, and many people comment on your posts, you’ll be able to increase that number.

Long Good Content Filled Posts

My second point above is an interesting one. I have had quite a few websites and two received tons of hits (frankly not that many, but for me over 10,000 a year was a nice number knowing I did not feel like I did anything to get all those hits!)

There are two reasons why I would receive so many hits on just TWO pages.

  • One of those pages is very long so Google likes it very much (although now it’s getting old and does not as well anymore); and
  • The other is a client side software, which is fairly unique and that people like to use in their browser.

Blogging about a niche is all about these long posts. The reason for which I received so many hits on that one long page is just because it was long (well and the content was definitely worth the read, too! Just making a long post won’t be enough. I say «was» because it’s a bit old now, like over 10 years.) Google likes those type of pages because it looks like they will be useful to people. As a result they send you traffic. Long term, a lot of traffic.

Good Content—so not automatic!

So as I just said, just being long is not enough. It has to be long because it is useful. If you write one paragraph and repeat it 100 times you’re not going to get hits because Google will detect that.

Some people wrote software to auto-write posts and automatically make it long. It would use English words (some were not even spitting out words that you’d find in the dictionary…), but it would make the articles too difficult to read, convoluted, that in the end the sentences were just not English. Now Google Artificial Intelligence systems can detect those now. So don’t even think of doing that today, and even back then, it would not be sustainable long term. Why would anyone come back to your website and add a link to your site from their website if it’s unreadable?!

Another one I’ve seen is people just copying posts from other websites. This is allowed by many websites, so it’s not a copyright problem (i.e. you can copy Wikipedia articles, as long as you clearly keep the proper license about that content,) but that means you are not going to have 100% unique content. It may work, somewhat, I do not know. But from what I understand such pages are not helping to rank your website because they are just copies of other content. That being said, I’ve such a page on one of my websites (here: Gary Gygax) and it receives some clicks… One reason it receives clicks to day is probably because it is now different from the one on Wikipedia as I have not kept updating my version of the article, which probably means a few things are wrong in my version… Oh well… it’s really big so I just don’t take the time to verify that.

Now, I just gave you a pointer on why this works. If you’ve been on the Internet for a little time then you probably noticed that what often comes first on a search in a Wikipedia page, unless you search about something really specific, especially a product which is not so fantastic that it won’t get a page on Wikipedia. (There has been quite a few companies that created Wikipedia pages for their products to get a backlink. It’s not as useful today since all external links are marked with “nofollow”—at some point I’ll have a post about the “nofollow” concept because it can be very useful. Actually, in most cases you want all affiliate links to be marked as “nofollow”.)

As you can see, I know quite a few things already, but somehow I never pieces things together and understood that those few pages that get hits on my websites do get hits because those pages are useful and by creating more useful content I can actually increase my number of hits and convert some of these hits into cash through various methods such as affiliate marketing, directly selling a product (the Gary Gygax page is in link with a product my company offers called Turn Watcher—advertising that product never produced enough sales to justify the expense!)

Now that I know I wanted to share my knowledge and this is why I created this website. It will include many pages on how to get started with as an affiliate.

I hope that it will helpful for you too, especially if you have been thinking of getting started. At this point, all the content will be available for free in a set of blog posts, although I have a page which gives you an index so you can at least read those blog posts in the correct order (otherwise you could miss some important points!)

Find all the pages about creating a niche on the Create a Niche Website page.

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