Over the past three months, Jesse and I have started a new project – building a blog 95% with “white hat” internet marketing strategies! Taking on this challenge in a day when thousands of new blogs are being created daily, we’ve learned some handy tips and tricks when it comes to internet marketing in 2015 and beyond. Today, we’d like to share how we were able to rank #1 in Google in just 5 hours.
While we have published newly SEO’ed pages before, submitted them to Google Webmaster Tools, and gotten ranked in spots 10-20 within minutes, getting a #1 ranking in Google within hours is a first for us. This, my friends, is really a consequence of the loved (or hated) hummingbird algorithm.
A brief overview of our new project.
The reason Jesse and I have been completely MIA in the SEO community is because we’ve been busy starting an off grid homestead 100% from scratch!
We’ve been so successful in our internet marketing over the past year that we were able to save up enough money for a down payment on 5 ares of land in a beautiful area of the United States, to spend $25,000+ on the tools and resources required to get a head start on our project (which will be to eventually build our full, off-grid home) and take six months off from “work”.
Our affiliate sites have been working hard for us over these six months which has been a great reminder of why we love affiliate marketing so much; work once, get paid again and again! Not too shabby.
Instead of staying up until the wee hours of the morning working on SEO and scraping expired domains for our PBN, we’ve been busy working on developing our property, building a small cabin to get us through the winter, cutting down big trees with chainsaws, milling our own lumber from trees on our property, building a deck for our off grid hot tub, and just today we had internet installed! Not bad for a couple of pale internet marketers! I’m happily writing this blog post from the middle of the wilderness, in a cabin, next to a wood stove, with snow on the ground, sipping a hot cocoa!
We decided to blog about our journey because we want to help others that desire to quit their city lives to go back to a more primitive way of living in the country. It’s crazy, we know! However, this is our passion and we decided to channel our passion into a new blog that we have a lot of grand plans for.
How to get top rankings in Google: Taking advantage of guest posting on an authority site.
Anyways, back to the point of how we were able to get a top ranking in Google in just 5 hours.
Our homesteading blog is relatively new. Although our subscriber base is growing faster than we can manage, building an authority site simply takes time. There are no shortcuts (okay, maybe a couple!) when it comes to building a quality website. That said, we can try to get SEO traffic from our own site or to get SEO traffic from someone else’s site that has a bit more age and a bit larger of an audience.
It may come as a shock you, but SEO is not a large priority of this “white hat” blog. That said, we always pick a few keywords and phrases to optimize our posts for because that will bring us more traffic than if we didn’t think about SEO at all.
However, if we do want to get SEO traffic for a keyword, and we have the opportunity to guest post somewhere, why not take advantage of the guest posting opportunity and try to rank the crap out of the keyword of our choice?
We had the opportunity to guest post for an authority site in our niche and wanted to share our most-recent project: building a small off grid cabin for just $300. We decided to optimize for the keyword “small off grid cabin“. Is this a highly-converting keyword when it comes to money? No, not at all. But it does bring the exact traffic we’re looking for.
Five hours after our post went live, we checked the rankings for “small off grid cabin” in Google for fun and to our surprise, our article was ranked #1!
Taking advantage of an authority site that promotes its content to a large social media following.
One of the reasons this article jumped straight to the top is because it is on a news / magazine type site, with a huge social media following.
When this authority site posts a new article, some of them get posted to their Facebook page (but not all from my understanding!).
The Facebook following of this authority site is over 2,100,000 people. Within five hours of our article being shared on their Facebook page, it had over 2.1k Facebook likes, 60 comments and over 360 shares, which is quite a bit in Facebook-world.
Watch rankings soar.
The reason this blog post jumped straight to the top under news we believe is due to it being on an authority news-related website, backed up by A LOT of social activity in a short amount of time, both which are signals to Google that this is fresh, important content that people care about. One thing to note is that high rankings due to the hummingbird algorithm may not be permanent because hummingbird focuses on freshness and relevancy (and our article may not be fresh in Google’s eyes for long); our ranking under the news category is not permanent because it is trending news, but it does give us a boost in the organic SERPs as well and I have no doubt that this article will hit page 1 in a short amount of time.
This type of virality on a high-authority site is simply something you can’t replicate with black hate SEO efforts. This comes from real, strategic work and partnerships with real-life, life-changing, quality content.
This keyword may not be a huge money-maker necessarily, but that all depends in how you go about making your money. It is part of our larger strategy which doesn’t involve affiliate marketing. We have our eyes on greater goals and income potentials!
This keyword may not have a high search volume either, but it will bring highly-relevant traffic back to our blog. High search volume keywords do not necessarily translate to larger traffic volumes, or large amounts of money. One of our profitable keywords we are targeting on our SEO sites has a whopping estimated 140 searches per month, according to the Google Keyword Tool, yet it makes us $150/month consistently!
Key takeaways and how YOU can duplicate this success!
The best part about this strategy is that almost anyone can take advantage of it, even if their site is relatively new and doesn’t have much authority. Here are the top 5 key things you need to do to take advantage of this opportunity for your own blog and SEO efforts.
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It feels good to be back and we look forward to inking some of the great list building strategies we’re using, monetization strategies and some other great SEO drama such as getting a Cease and Desist letter for one of our money sites! Stay tuned and get ranking!
Oh by the way, all of our PBN domains we used to rank our affiliate sites which have been earning steadily for over a year now were found using the expired domain scraping training provided by Matt Chalk over at http://domainbeast.net.