Archive for the ‘Domain’ Category

Domain Lookup Extension

Domain Lookup lets you perform one click domain searches at your registrar of choice using the selected text in your browser window.

If you buy a fair amount of domains, this extension may be useful. Let’s say you see a phrase used online in context and want to check if the corresponding domain is available.

This extension makes that simple: select the text for your domain search and hit the keyboard shortcut (CTRL + SHIFT + D by default). Alternatively, you can right click for the contextual menu and hit “Domain Lookup for…”.

You can see exactly how it works and download the extension here.

Don’t Buy Links – Buy the Whole Site

The war on Paid links is in full gear. Buying and selling links without the nofollow tag is now officially a black hat SEO practice that is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Google has and will continue to penalize sites that flagrantly buy and sell links. If you are buying or selling links: do it covertly & do it under the radar.

However, in many instances there may be a better option that trying to buy a link from a site: buy the site outright. While this won’t work for a large newspaper site, those links have long been void of link juice anyway. In fact, anyone who is openly selling may already have their link juice passing privileges revoked.

So who does that leave? Generally, the sites you can still buy links from that can pass link juice (help you site rank in the SERPs) will be small to medium sites with a single owner or decision maker. In those instances, where you’ve already gone through the bother of finding out who owns the site and getting in contact with them, why offer to buy a link for a few thousand a year? Wouldn’t you be better served by just making an offer on the entire site?

If you bought the site you’d get any revenue it was producing, any potential appreciation from the domain name, and total editorial control (you could link to some or all of your other sites). Sites aren’t as cheap as they were a few years ago, but you’d be surprised how many people will jump at $10 or $15k. Hell, even monsters like Adult Friend Finder are only selling for only 3X EBITDA.

So if you are going to ask someone to buy a link, perhaps the first question you ask them shouldn’t be “Would you sell me a link on this page for X/year?” but rather “Can I buy your site ____ from you for $XYZ?”.

If you buy the entire site then you’re no longer violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by changing where it links. It’s not like we actually give a shit, but . . . ya know . . .

Frank Schilling Keynote was Awesome

I didn’t make it to SES Domain Roundtable, but via aaron wall I found Frank Schilling’s Keynote Speech – and it was Awesome. It’s an Hour video, but well worth the watch.

Frank Said he’s “A lot like the people in this room” and I think he’s right. Well, he’s at least a like like the people in the room I’m in now. I could see myself making a similar speech in a similar tone; hopefully he doesn’t take this the wrong way, but Frank’s a lot like me.

An SES highlight that’s making the rounds is Grey Wolf’s powerpoint presentation on paid links: it’s also worth a look. Most everyone who’s anyone in SEO knows that paid links work. Now it seems clear that Google sees Buying and selling links as “Black Hat SEO”. In light of this seemingly steadfast attitude of casting the entire competent SEO community as blackhats, we will probably be expanding our coverage of the paid link market and best outline more best / worst practices for buying and selling links.

What Would You do with your own .edu?

If you look hard enough, you may come across an opportunity to acquire a .edu domain. Sure, havard.edu ain’t going on the auction block any time soon, but they are several .edus that are grandfathered in from 1999 and before.

.edu links are coveted because they are perceived to pass more trust than other links. But is the .edu intrinsically valuable? Probably not. The increase trust these .edu domains pass is likely due to:

1) Hordes of natural links
2) Google assigning Trust to certain schools

So starting a site on a .edu domain that is currently parked may not perform much better than any other site.

But let’s say you had the opportunity to pick up a parked .edu domain for a few thousand – would you want it? If so, what would you do with it?

One approach would be to set up an educational site and try to build trust. It doesnt have to be a College or University either. There are many non-university organizations that own EDU, including high schools, museums, associations, and for-profit corporations (e.g. Montgomery Blair High School – www.mbhs.edu; J. Paul Getty Trust – www.getty.edu; Exploratorium Science Museum – www.exploratorium.edu, just to name a few). You have to figure it would take a year or so to do it right but it could turn into something nice

Once you establish some trust, there would be plenty of ways to monitize it. But would it even be worth the effort?

I don’t have the answer . . . only the questions: Would you want your own .edu? and What would you do with it if you had it?

SEO Need to Know: What is Domain Spamming?

“SEO Need to Know” has a nice ring to it. This may start a series of articles covering things that you need to know as an SEO.

Greywolf did a post about domain spamming but came up with the great euphemism search engine reputation management which is a much better term if you are talking to clients.

So what is domain spamming and why do you need to know it as an SEO?

Domain spamming is trying to own more than one of the first page SERPs on different domains for the same search term. These domains can be domains that you own or on another companies hosted service (like myspace, MSN spaces, blogger, Yahoo 360, wikipedia, squidoo, or expedia).

For a brand name, it will often be easy to create a small network of spots on hosted services that can occupy most of the top spots for brand related queries. This is known as reputation management as the likelihood of negative press making it into those top search spots is greatly reduced.

For competitive search queries, the modern SEO Black Hat is not content with just one or 2 of the top ten spots – He wants All ten. This often means a sophisticated mix of parasite hosting for the aggressive spam portion plus 10-15 “legitimate” looking sites for if and when the search engines clamp down on aggressive spamming. Each of the owned domains should pursue a slightly different look / feel, be hosted on different servers, and not have obvious footprints (like sharing 70% of links or blatant interlinking). Why have just number 1 when you can go for 1-10?

When selecting new domains for domain spamming, look to purchase websites with a long history and strong existing backlinks. It is MUCH easier to obtain the top ten spots on established domains than it would be to try to get those same 10 spots with fresh domains.

Sometimes, you will find 1 or 2 other serious competitors in a space. If you can’t just outspam them, it’s often a good idea to see if you can work out some kind of mutually beneficial relationship: be it lead trading, 4 way link trades, or some type of cross promotion. The specifics of the market will dictate what opportunities exist.

A solid domain spamming strategy will also protect you from the occasional Google hiccup that takes a number 1 site and throws it to, say, number 31. When you own number 2-10 as well, loosing number 1 suddenly doesn’t hurt as much – especially if your number 2 site then moves up to number 1. If you have corporate clients with money to spend, why not go after all 10? It’s a sound strategy that should appeal to risk averse as well as overly aggressive cliental. It will increase your value as an SEO and allow you to bill more (you’ll be building 10X or more sites!).

Just remember to call it “Search Engine Reputation Management” and not “Domain Spamming” and both you and your client can look forward to more money making it to the bottom line.

The Most Cutting Edge SEO Exploits No One is Publishing

You know that the best SEO Black Hats are doing something more than scraping, using a site generator, comment spamming, and pinging to be raking in more than $100k per month.

But what is it?

Right now, there is way too much good stuff that I simply can’t publish on the SEO Black Hat blog. If I posted these tactics and exploits they would immediately get all the wrong kind of attention. The detailed conversations about how exactly to abuse search engine algorithms, generate massive traffic, and what other Black Hats are doing must remain underground to retain their effectiveness.

But what if I told you that you could discuss these exploits with me without paying my $500 an hour consulting fee? What if I told you there was a way to join in on the private, cutting edge discussions with some of the best Black Hats and web entrepreneurs in the world?

Would you be interested?

Because now you can . . .

Today is the official launch of the resource you’ve looked everywhere for but never found:

The Private SEO Black Hat Forum

Normally what you get on forums are people who don’t know anything talking with people who don’t want to say anything. You can occasionally find amazing tips on some forums: but you have to dig through 400 crappy posts just to find one post that is useful. That becomes a huge time sink.

How are the SEO Black Hat forums different?

Quality: We’re not going to have any contests to see who can make the most posts. That just creates tons of crap that no one wants to read. Our focus is on quality over quantity. Our primary concern is with succinctly answering one question: “What works?”

Sophisticated: Many of the topics we discuss are very advanced and require a high level of technical or business acumen to appreciate.

Expert Discussions: The SEO Black Hat forums are not for everyone and they may not be right for you. If you are relatively new to SEO or building websites, then do not join the SEO Black Hat Forums: you will be in way over your head. There are plenty of newbie forums out there for you – this is not one of them. Our forums are for successful web entrepreneurs to develop strategies that drive more traffic and generate more revenues.

Forum Membership Benefits

Access to Expert Advice and Discussions
We have both White Hat and Black Hat Experts that are already benefiting from new tool development, techniques, scripts and the sharing of ideas.
Some members you may already be familiar with include:

* CountZero from blackhat-seo.com (Black Hat)

* RSnake from ha.ckers.org (Web Security Expert)

* Dan Kramer from Kloakit (Cloaking Expert)

* Jaimie Sirovich from seoegghead.com (Token White Hat / SEO Geek)

There are several other members that you are certainly familiar with who are using handles for anonymity. We have others who are more focused on security, vulnerabilities, and coding. There are still more that you are likely unfamiliar with but are nevertheless web millionaires.

Databases – Large Datasets
If you want your sites to have massive amounts of unique content you need large data sets. The trading, discussion and posting of large data sets is going on right now on our forums.

Expired / Deleted Domain Tools
Want to use to use the same domain Tool that I used to get a Page Rank 6 site in the Gambling Space for just $8? This domain tool is available for members to use for free.

50% off on Kloakit – The Professional Cloaking Software

Scripts – Several useful scripts have already been posted – interesting thing you may not have thought of before are being discussed and developed.

Exploits and Case Studies: The really good stuff I can’t talk about on the SEO Blackhat Blog is being discussed on the SEO Black Hat Forums. Right now, some of the conversations include beating captchas, domain kiting, data mining, hoax marketing, XSS vulnerabilities as they relate to SEO, and much more.

Pricing: $100 per month.

The price will soon be rising significantly as more databases, hosted tools, scripts and exploits are added. However, once you lock in a membership rate it will never go up and you will continue to have access to everything.

So, if you think you’re ready for the most intense Black Hat SEO discussions anywhere, then here’s what you need to do:

1. Register at the SEO Black Hat Forums.

2. Go to the User CP and select Paid Subscription.

I’ll see you on the inside!

.eu Top Level Domains Available on Friday

An update from eurodns:

We would like to remind you that the .eu land rush starts on Friday the 7th April at 11 o’clock central European time.

All Domain experts expect that the .eu Domain will become one of the most popular Top Level Domain and could even compete with .com. With over 300,000 registrations under the ‘Sunrise’ registration program for trademark holders, EURid is expecting several million registrations to be made on April 7th, underlining .eu as one of the leading TLDs in use in the world. Successful registrations cost EUR 18.00 per year.

Please make sure that you preregistered your name and all other domains that you want under .eu. You can do so on www.eurodns.com.

In the first few days of registration you can almost always pick up some great domain names.

Want Google’s Trust? Here’s How to Buy It.

Greg (AKA WebGuerrilla) notes something that we have noticed in our own experiments:

What is in question is whether or not the age of the domain determines the degree to which the filtering is applied. IMO, it clearly does. If you move any new site that won’t rank to an older address, and then 301 all the links established to the original site, it will show up in Google in less than 10 days.

What does this mean for today’s search engine spammer? It means the days of buying new domains and ranking well in Google quickly are already over. IMHO, MSN and Yahoo will follow suit in within the next 18 months.

So I guess it’s time to stop search engine spamming and throw in the towel, right?

Not at all.

If Google trusts older domains with aged links, then that’s where you have to have to host your “Spam Site 2.0.” If you don’t own any older websites, you have to go out and buy them.

Most people don’t yet understand the value of their 5 year old website. If someone is making making $150 a month with a 6 year old, 300 page site – think what you could do with that same domain and a 300,000 page site. Just be careful not to add that many pages over too short of a period of time, it will raise a red flag.

Sidenote: As I write this, I’m thinking “why the hell am I telling you this?” Maybe it’s altitude sickness! I took a cable car ride today in Merida 12.5 km, (the longest cable car in the world) reaching an altitude of 4765 m. (highest cable car in the world). This altitude is higher than any point in Europe and the USA excluding Alaska.

So what should you look at when buying an aged domain Google’s Trust?

First, you can use the alexa toolbar to quickly the “online since” date.

Then you use some of the free back-link and keyword analysis tools to check (among other things) how many IP addresses and who exactly is linking to the domain.

You can then use the wayback machine to see what the website you are buying looked like years ago. If you are really ambitious, you can guesstimate the age of some of the backlines by checking the archives of some of the seemingly more important inbound links.

Don’t do too much research on any one domain until you’re sure you have a serious seller.

I don’t think there’s a term yet for buying an agged domain and throwing up a spam site in the background. Want to coin the term? Here’s your chance. (Where is Mark Cuban when you need him?)

Great Domain Buying Article in Business 2.0

Here’s a fascinating story in business 2.0 about domain buying.:

But the way domainers look at it, they own the property. “And if you own the real estate,” Rabin says, “people are going to wind up there at some point.” Soon, he figures, Wall Street at large will begin to catch on, providing opportunities to tap into the public markets. Then big Internet players like Rupert Murdoch or Barry Diller could buy out the domain owners. Some even speculate that Google or Yahoo — or Microsoft, which is entering the paid search business — will roll up the domainers, cutting out a layer and serving up the type-in traffic directly to their advertisers.

This is not a bubble – this is real. Unless you think “teh Interweb” is just a fad, virtual real estate is here to stay. Heck, even the guy who paid $100,000 for a virtual space station is going to make his money back from the online business.