Thursday, December 18, 2008

Social Media Ebook - work plan

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Free Google Official Starter SEO Guide

Enjoy with Google's SEO Starter Guide

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

21 KEYS TO LINK BAIT SUCCESS by FamousAgents Staff

What Is Link Bait and Why Does it Matter To You?

Eric Ward, also known as the Godfather of linking, describes it best: “Link Bait is more or less anything you create anywhere on the Web that inspires other people to link to it. They can link to it via a Web page, a blog, social bookmark site, tagging site, e-zine, newsletter, IM, email or any other method that tells others about the bait.”

The ultimate result then being higher traffic to your site and therefore higher search engine rankings. So, why should you cultivate an understanding of this extensively discussed link-generating ability?

Link baiting is now. If you wish to keep your site competitive on the pages of search engines, it is imperative that you have the knowledge base to vie for that top spot among REALTORs on the Internet.

Before you grow intimidated and curl up in the corner, however, know that link baiting is a different game in the real estate world.

If you are like me, you probably feel constantly inundated with SEO articles advocating that single, hugely successful link bait project that boosts your site to the front page of Digg or generates traffic so overwhelming that your server crashes.

REALTORs need to understand that it’s ok if you don’t become famous overnight.
If every time you write one notable piece you gain one, two, five, or ten prominent links, the article did its job. Do not underestimate the small increase in legitimate links. In online real estate marketing, those few quality links are your ride to the apex of search engine rankings.
Link baiting can be found in numerous forms as you may have learned in our previous article. News, contrary, attack, resource, and humor are the five categories found on sites among various SEO experts. However, as we were going through the list, Jim was alarmed to see one fundamental technique entirely omitted.

As he so candidly reminded me, the “granddaddy of them all” was missing. I couldn’t believe it myself. As a result, we will be working off a new and improved list – we are confident the addition is more than worthy.

News, contrary, attack, resource, humor, and – the added element – fear, are the hooks every avid link baiter must master.

1. NEWSLearning and expanding what we know is what drives the perpetual exploration on the Internet. Make your site a reliable source for news-seekers.
You will grow a reader base that turns to you when they want to know the happenings in the neighborhood, community, city, state, country, or world. Imagine the influx of traffic that you will see once you offer the service of delivering news to their fingertips.
As a REALTOR, this is a golden opportunity for you to become an active member in the community. Gain name recognition, and provide an appreciated service to your neighbors at the same time.

Keeping yourself up to date with the events around town will reflect well on you and aid you in developing a trustworthy rapport among future potential clients.

2. CONTRARYA contrary hook can be slightly trickier, but when you can pull it off, your site will benefit immensely. The hook revolves around the contradiction of something done or said by someone else in your field. Don’t be afraid to start a debate about a contested hot topic. Take what others in your field say and offer a different perspective.
Another twist to the hook is supplying your readers with bizarre information about a certain big shot that your audience is familiar with. Try it, and your site will most definitely gain some attention. Remain civil with the contradiction or the hook might take a violent shove into the next hook category.

3. ATTACKThe attack hook is linked directly to the contrary hook addressed above. Attack, however, takes the contradiction one step further, and ultimately lives up to its name.
Attacking your competition will garner you an entirely different reaction from your audience. It will undoubtedly gain you traffic, but the type of interest your site will generate may shock you so be prepared.There is a warning label that comes with this hook.
The game of attacking others is a risky one. You’re setting yourself up in a position that you must prepare for.

If the person you attack has a substantial following, be ready for the negative attention that you’ll receive from avid supporters of the so-called victim. A mob might come knocking – on your blog door of course – and you better be geared up for the battle.
It may sound like a scary tactic to use to gain links. If used properly, the effectiveness does have the potential to be worth your while.

It’s true that you may end up with incredibly negative attention from some. However, in the meantime, you will acquire additional authority and reliability among your peers and followers if the attack is justifiable and relevant.

4. RESOURCEA resource hook lives up to its name and leaves little to the imagination.
The page is solely informational. You take countless sources full of information and distill the data into a core, cumulative report. Presto, just like that you are offering valuable, reliable, yet condensed information to your readers – not to mention you have the advantage of offering it from your perspective.

5. HUMORHumor is universal.

You can depend on humor hooks to bring in readers from all over - without risking offending your audience or alienating yourself.
Use humor to entice a crowd which, like many of us, have grown tired of the daily routine and are actively looking for an outlet. Keep in mind, however, that just because you use humor you can still effectively convey a message.
As a REALTOR, use comedic stories from around the community or about real estate in general. Find irony in the local newspaper, take pictures of amusing images, or simply post jokes that you run across. You’ll then find surfers coming back to your site often to see what innovative, wacky things they will find.
It should go without saying, but keep your jokes clean.
Use humor as your vehicle of choice. Get the laughter flowing and watch the traffic topple in.

6. FEAREvery person in the world will bite at a story if you scare them. It is quite possibly the strongest hook available to you.
Incite panic in your audience and watch them run screaming in search of an explanation and a remedy to the situation.
As a real estate expert, you have the ability to see changes on the horizon. A fear hook may be as simple as notifying residents in your community (thus prospective clients) that a change in the market is imminent. Tell them to buy now or wait to sell (whatever the case may be); save them money, become a hero.
If you do a sufficient job of using scare tactics in your headline – just enough to make the reader wonder what’s going on – you will witness an influx of traffic to your site.
People will be incessant in their quest to uncover the full story, and because your site has the answer, it becomes their destination.
Again be careful with this hook. It is extremely effective, but if you take it too far you will have some unhappy, skeptical readers on your hands.These hooks are all precious link bait mechanisms to utilize. You just have to unleash your brainpower to effectively put them to work. Beware, even Matt Cutts chimes in to warn us to avoid overusing any of the above links. They all have the potential of becoming tired and fruitless if you aren’t cautious.
Be credible – be creative – be cautious.
NOW… The 21 Keys to Link Bait Success
1. Don’t Self-IndulgeAlthough it may be tempting to place other advertisements on your home page and other high-traffic areas – DON’T. Avoid the temptation, and it will undoubtedly make your site more link-worthy.
2. The Value of Popularity Didn’t Die in High SchoolA recurring suggestion found everywhere is to become genuine friends with influential and well-respected people in your niche – links from them are always beneficial.
You then have the opportunity to pick each others minds and eventually link to one another.
3. Become a Blogging AficionadoPost quality content frequently and consistently. This is how you develop a following.
Make certain that your posts vary in length and the content in the extensive articles merit the time it takes to read them.
Problogger offers some great tips on building blog authority.
Keep in mind that blogging is not a free for all opportunity to write and do what you want… if you want to remain respected. There are in fact deadly sins of blogging that you must be aware of.
4. Know the Tough StuffAaron Wall from SEObook reminds us that…“the harder it is to find a piece of information, the easier it is to grab a chunk of the market if you provide a quality answer to that associated problem.”
Do everything you can to be informed and ensure you have all the answers to the ultimate questions facing the industry.

5. Be a Social ButterflySubscribe to various social networking sites like digg,, and reddit.
When you are creating your profile on the various social networks, make it legitimate. Using a “codename” will get you nowhere. Use your full name to ensure that you develop a reputation that will benefit your site.
Jim believes that Digg’s algorithm looks at the articles you digg in relation to the success it eventually sees. If you begin to digg quality articles that make it to the front page of Digg, you gain credibility. Then, when you digg your own work, you carry more weight than someone who is so self-involved that they only digg their own articles.
Digg others’ articles, and they are likely to return the favor. People want to know who is taking the time to validate their efforts. They will turn to your site to figure out who you are, and then digg your articles in return.
Also, reading the top stories will contribute to the generating ideas of your own for your site. You instantly get a taste of the content captivating readers – right now, not last month.

6. Broaden Your HorizonsDon’t get stuck in a rut of only writing content about real estate.
People care about what affects them, and there are a million things you can tie into your site’s content. Give people what they want. Talk about life and give your readers the opportunity to connect with you.

7. Reach a Nationwide AudienceYou may be tempted to focus all of the attention on your site to your local prospective clients. Do not, however, discount the benefits of writing for a national audience. The Real Estate Tomato has a wonderful article outlining the countless benefits of writing to a broad, national audience.
You are opening doors to the opportunity to offer your expertise to REALTORs and their clients across the country. And don’t forget… you never know where your next client is coming from.
8. Swallow Your PrideTalk up your site and your business with friends and acquaintances. Get them to digg your blogs or post on Reddit.

Maybe you’ll acquire a few new, devoted readers.

9. Interacting With Your Readers is OverratedWRONG!!!
If you’ve ever read the above statement, disregard it - it’s bologna. Building a relationship will result in loyalty – loyalty will result in links.
Chat it up. Then… Invite interaction from your readers.

Allow comments on your blog posts. Set up a forum for interaction. Then INTERACT.

10. How Do I…Where Do I???You know how to find what you’re looking for on your site. That means zilch. Sit down with someone who doesn’t know your site and see how easy or difficult it is for them to navigate the site. If they need a map and compass, you may want to consider revamping it and making the site more user-friendly.
Remember, once you hook ‘em, you’ve got to keep them there. They won’t stay if they can’t figure out how to get from one page to another. Once frustration sets it, they are gone.

11. .Gov & .Edu – What’s the Big Deal?Credibility, credibility, credibility.

Virtually any average Joe can link to your site, but who’s going to trust them? Get a .gov or .edu link however, and your site must have something substantial to offer.
It’s a complicated task. But if you can pull it off, the integrity your site immediately gains is priceless.

12. Mary Had a Little LambThat’s right folks, it’s back to basics.
Remember in elementary school when we had to sit through tedious grammar lessons and take excruciatingly mind-numbing spelling tests?
Good news - it wasn’t for nothing. People don’t want to stumble through content because you opted against running spell check or ensuring you are grammatically correct.
Know the difference between accept and except, affect and effect, it’s and its, and there and their.
If a 10 year old can do it, so can we.

13. Direct Your Audience Right to Your DoorstepSubmit your site to various online directories.
This is a great link for global and general directories. If more specific is what you’re looking for try a regional or niche-specific directory.

14. Real World RelationshipsDevelop ‘real’ relationships with your peers when you have the opportunity.
At conferences and training sessions, meet as many people as possible, and begin communicating with them on a regular basis. Then, take a good look at their site. If it’s something you want to be associated with, link to it.
They’ll most likely link to your site as well. Chances are they have a reader base that will then be introduced to your work.

15. Readers Have Needs TooGet a feel for what your readers are passionate about and USE THAT KNOWLEDGE.
Cliffhangers, up-and-coming posts, and articles that will leave your loyal readers chomping at the bit for more are incredibly effective… if you know what they like.
The interaction that we are advocating will assist you in figuring out what your readers want.
Remember… if your promise a follow up to an article or a series, you must deliver. Otherwise their abandonment of your site is imminent.

16. You’re not Always the Center of the UniverseJust because an idea is not your top priority doesn’t mean it’s not important to your audience.
Plain and simple: “Ideas spread because they are important to the spreader… not the originator.” –Jennifer Laycock “Give Them Something to Talk About”
Making yourself an active part of other blogs that transcend your focus will make you a stronger link baiter. Know what others want to know, and expand – making it relevant to real estate is what sets you apart from others.

17. Strong Post – Even Better HeadlineUnderstand the importance of a good post, but don’t discount the time you put into developing your headline.
If your headline isn’t compelling, you might as well write about what you ate for dinner.
You must take time to develop a well-crafted headline that hits your readers with a strong dose of curiosity. Don’t be afraid. Be bold. Check out these suggestions from Brian over at Copy Blogger.
REMEMBER: Your article better live up to its magnetic title. If your headline reads: “Arizona Runs Out of Water,” you are obligated to tell your readers exactly what kind of crisis you are talking about.

18. Be In The KnowA RSS feed will effectively bring you information from the sites of your choosing.
Going over current events allows you to distribute information to your readers at the drop of a hat. It’s also a brilliant way to come up with blog ideas.
Google Reader is our reader of choice.

19. Maintain Your Good NameYour reputation is at stake every time you link to another site.
When you link to a site, think of it as an endorsement. Your readers will follow the links you bring them because they have confidence in your ability to sniff out the noteworthy material. Be certain that you will not regret the backing of another site.
A link is an endorsement; don’t get your self in a sticky situation.

20. Here’s My CardIt may seem obvious, but it’s my job to remind you.
Make sure you list not only your email address, but also your WEBSITE on your business cards.
We live in a world where you can order pizza on the Internet… and people do. So why not give your contacts the option of initially checking you out on your site rather than taking up your valuable time on a phone call?

21. Get the Remedy…. With No Side Effects!There are a million places to go for the cure to the dreaded “there’s nothing to write about” plague.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Website Links

Ever since the Big Daddy update, throwing up an affiliate site then firing a few links into the domain sadly doesn’t work anymore. The “Supplemental Index” & “Aging Filters” are now an affiliate marketers worst nightmare. These changes have had a noticeable effect on two things:
The Quality of Affiliate Websites
Increased PPC Competition & Prices
Nowadays setting up disposable affiliate websites is not as easy as it once was. Not only that, Affiliate Marketers are now faced with a new challenge:
How the hell do you drive natural links to a website that’s clearly just promoting affiliate products?
I’m going to address some of the techiques I use & some of the techniques I’ve seen on other blogs to overcome this issue. This should hopefully help you dominate your niche & take your affiliate websites to the next level. Leaving your competitiors to sit back & cry.
1. Creating a Blog on the Affiliate Site
The nature of blogs & the information they provide make them very linkable. Writing indepth posts about a particular topic or subject can attract natural links to your blog, which you can then filter into your Affiliate Product pages. Blogs are also received much better on Social Networking sites.
Pros: Effective Allows you to direct targeted internal links Keeps content fresh
Cons: Time Consuming Lack of knowledge in the area to write fresh articles
2. Creating the Affiliate Site as a Blog
Many affiliates have been cutting out the middleman & using blog platforms such as Wordpress right from the getgo. This allows them to integrate articles in with affiliate reviews to make the whole site look much more natural. I’ve found this particular technique to be quite successful. This will attract links to particular posts which can allow you to deep link with relevant anchor text into product reviews.
Pros: Allows more flexibility with content Affiliate links can be hidden seductively within posts Easier to do well on social networks since your site doesn’t look like spam
Cons: Time consuming Easy to lose interest if you’re not converting If you build up a readership you feel like you need to blog often
3. Squidoo
Squidoo is a great way to support affiliate product reviews. Simply create a new account & write an overview for each product review in its own lens. Tag the lens as much as possible & also join as many groups as possible. Next interlink all the lenses together using a links plexo & choose the anchor text you want to rank for. Now also link back to your affiliate website with the anchor text you want to rank for from each lens. Bookmark the lens using Onlywire. Wash rinse & repeat.
Pros: Squidoo links pass a good amount of authority Squidoo lenses rank very well naturally so this can provide extra exposure & inbound links to the lens
Cons: No cons other than time
4. Dominate the SERPS
Are you wanting to rank for a particular term? Then dominate that term by flooding it with as many of your own targeted pages as you can. All linking back to your original Affiliate Site.
I.e. &
Register a page on:
Register User Profiles on:
Use all these relevant pages to link back to your own site, which will help increase your serps ranking for that targeted keyword. If these pages rank well & dominate the serps it will also increase your overall market share & push out competitors, which is always a good thing
Pros: Ability to dominate for a particular keyword Can leverage off other sites link popularity
Cons: Time consuming May take time to get all the profile pages indexed
5. Forums
Register on related (& unrelated if you wish) forums. Set your signature with the anchor text you want to rank for. Go back to some of the older posts with pagerank & authority (I like to use the Strongest Subpages Tool to find authoritative pages).
If you’re feeling particularly inventive, make a load of posts then come back in 3-4 weeks, edit the post & insert your links. This will avoid detection by the mods & admins.
Also search for forums that have VBSEO enabled. You can find heaps by using this query. VBSEO rewrites user profiles thus helping that page rank better for the chosen keyword.
Pros: Thousands upon thousands of forums to utilise
Cons: Profile may get banned for spamming if you’re not making relevant posts Forums may require a certain number of posts to use signatures
6. RSS Feeds
Using RSS & XML feeds are great ways to get inbound links quickly, check out these posts:
Using RSS Feeds for Backlinks
Automated XML Backlinks
Check out the RSS top 55 for more places to grab RSS Links from.
Pros: Can accumulate a lot of backlinks in a short period of time
Cons: Scraper backlinks are spammy & may provide no overall value
7. Blog Commenting
Finding blogs that don’t have the nofollow enabled is a great way to spend a day. Set up an excel spreadsheet, hell even write a script to do it for you. There’s a dofollow plugin now that will remove the nofollow tag on Wordpress. Start your research there, you’ll soon find lots of blogs that are Dofollowing (i.e. Easy Pickings).
Pros: Quick easy links
Cons: May get deleted if your anchor text is too spammy Quite a bit of research involved
8. Sponsoring themes & templates
I mentioned this before in my sponsoring wordpress themes post. There hundreds of different templates you can sponsor, it doesn’t have to be just wordpress.
Think Joomla, Movable Type, Vbulletin, Invision Power Board, PHPBB etc.
Pros: Cost Effective Can gain lots of links very quickly
Cons: Can’t control who is linking to you Many sitewide links could trip spam filters
9. Link Bait & 301 Redirect
This is perhaps one of my favourite techniques at the moment. Create a blog purely for linkbait purposes & write articles for Digg, Netscape, Reddit & Stumbleupon. Once you’ve gathered around 1,500 links 301 redirect the pages & blog to your existing Affiliate Marketing websites to boost their authority.
Pros: Good way to fight supplemental results Possible to amass a large amount of links organically & very quickly
Cons: Links may not be relevant to your niche & may not help your affiliate pages rank any better (think a bit about this one ;)) Writing a popular story can take time & a lot of perseveration.
10. Link Feeder Sites
This again is something that Eli touched on a while ago in his post about Link Laundering. Basically you’re using existing sites that requires registration to build targeted backlinks to your Affiliate Sites. These can be software download sites or even reciprocal directories. If you set up a nice network you can instantly get about 200-300 links per day to sites or pages that you specify with the anchor text that you specify. Check Eli’s post out for more detailed information.
Pros: Can build targeted links very quickly Can choose the anchor text
Cons: No control over the quality of sites the links go on Too many links with the same anchor text could trip the spam filters, so rotation is necessary.
So there you have it, a breakdown of some of the top methods you can use to really boost your affiliate websites up in the serps & start capatilising on the traffic you’re missing out in

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My favourite SEO Blogs

Search Engine Land - search news by Danny Sullivan and his team of SEO experts
SEOMoz Blog with Rand Fishkin
Aaron Wall's SEO Blog
Matt Cutts' Blog (for Google information)
Jim Boykin's Blog Matt McGee's
Small Business SEM (for those with blogs)
Occam's Razor - web analytics blog by Avinash Kaushik
Official Google Webmaster Central Blog

Fun Tools for Site Assessment

Link validators:,
Slow page load checker:,
Link popularity comparison:
Keyword density tools:
Accessibility check:,
(for more links to accessibility evaluation tools)

Backlink Checker:
Social Search Tag checker:

More SEO Tools We Recommend
Wordtracker Keyword Tool for researching keyword search popularity. Wordtracker also offers a limited free keyword research tool. (This is an affiliate link so if you purchase access through this link, Wordtracker will show us a little love, too!)

Keyword Discovery - this fee-based keyword research tool has garnered many positive reviews - free trial available
Yahoo! Search Marketing's
Keyword Selector Tool NOTE: this tool is no longer supported by Yahoo! and the link may not work
Google AdWords's
Keyword Tool (can get some keyword ideas & relative search popularity numbers here)
Google AdWords's
Keyword Selection Sandbox (can get some relative popularity values here)
Page Strength Tool (or see their other SEO Tools) > A truly fabulous spider emulator at
set of SEO tools includes finding similar keywords, clustering keywords, and several others.
Rex Swain's HTTP Viewer is a handy way to check if your 301 redirects are sending the right server message.
TouchGraph Google Browser a cool way to visualize your website neighborhood

Socializer - links to
social bookmarking sites