Archive for the ‘Link Bait’ Category

Lonelygirl15: Lessons in Viral Hoax Marketing

Slumdance has a fascinating piece on the debunking of Lonelygirl15. Really, this one is absolutely a must read!

Amid the detailed analysis of how Lonelygirl15 was exposed is this gem on viral marking a faux documentary:

The story is not king. In conventional film and TV writing, a commitment to Aristotelian principles wisely ranks story at the top of the list. All other elements are subordinate to the plot. But in mock-doc, the style takes story’s place at the top. Not one single idea should make it into the piece if it is not 100% consistent with the central conceit. Because in this form of fiction, unlike most others, one inconsistent part can destroy the whole.

Very interesting! Imagine building link bait where the story is not central to (and often a detriment) its’ success.

Business week confirmed that the story was, in fact, a fake: edit: a likely scenario goes something like this (ty LG15fanclub)

Lonelygirl15 is not “real,” but, contrary to some early speculation, the videos are not part of a viral marketing campaign dreamed up by some major advertiser, nor some music marketing company, nor a promotional stunt set up by one of the Viacoms or NBCs of the world.

So what’s this have to do with SEO? Everything! Hoax marketing is like link building on Nitro. Once you get your head around that, you will have such a huge advantage over other SEOs and Copywriters that you will wonder how you ever promoted with out it.

A reader emailed me:

I read your article on “switching to self-employed“. I like my current job (LAMP stuff), but being my own boss is really tempting. Would you have any advice for me? Going adult is an option but I heard that’s not so easy as it used to be – very competitive.

Any ideas appreciated.

Become the best link bait professional in the world. Learn everything that is involved in viral and hoax marketing. Get the instant messenger IDs for influential bloggers and start up a dialog so they know you. Build social networking site teams. Come up with amazing link bait and ask for links: real link bait – stuff that has a chance to go viral.

You do that and you will never need a “Job” again.

FBI Raids on Search Engine Spammers

While reading a post on SEO egghead today, I saw this comment that amused me:

We are currently working on a law in Tennessee to be submitted to the state congress after the elections. this law will make scraping, spamming and spyware felonies. Creators of the software that does this will receive jail time and fines. companies using the software including companies being advertised will get mandatory minimum fines of 10% of yearly gross income and can have their company assets seized. You might want to inact a law like this one in your states.

For fun, let’s fast forward 2 years to after these types of laws are passed nationwide and check one of the news stories on the front page CNN.com:

The Search Engine Spammer Crackdown Continues

FBI Raid
Thursday October 26, 2008; Posted: 5:44 pm EDT

ATLANTA, Georgia — The FBI continued it’s crackdown on Search Engine Spammers today with a raid on an Internet tough guy’s trailer park home Headquarters in suburban Atlanta. Policed seized more than 3 Terabytes of data scraped from search engines that was allegedly used to make thousands of “spam” websites. Whitnesses say the 43 year-old’s live in mother was hysterical with tears.

The raid marks the 200th arrest based on the “Cleaning Up the Internet Scum Act” singed into law into law by President Schwarzenegger in February of this year. National Security Director and former Google Employee Matt Cutts has since spear-headed a Global crackdown on spam that included the extradition and arrests of 38 High profile U.K. search engine spammers in accordance with the 2006 Cybercrimes Treaty.

In related news, the sentencing phase of the controversial Mark Cuban Icerocket Scraper trail begins tomorrow. Cuban, the CEO of Icerocket, became the 2nd person convicted of Search Engine Spamming for “Scraping and willfully using other’s content to harvest Search Engine traffic for profit” under the “Cleaning Up the Internet Scum Act” on Tuesday. Topix CEO, Rich Skrenta was sentenced to 2 years and $421 million dollars in fines earlier this month for similar violations.

Outcries from anti-spam political group charge that this is not how the law was intended to be applied. This morning, Martha West of Company 2.0 said on the court steps of Cuban’s trial “When we lobbied for this law, we just wanted to go after the bad guys . . . you know . . . the Internet Scumbags. It was not supposed to be used against upstanding individuals like Mark Cuban or Rich Skrenta – Just against the bad guys; the (whispered) black hats

Others have challenged the equality of the “Cleaning Up the Internet Scum Act” because of the so-called “Google Exception.” Article 5 section 2 states that a company may scrape, data mine, and create “beta” websites with impunity if its Search market share is greater than 70%. An amendment sponsored by Microsoft in is tied up in Congressional committee that seeks to lower that threshold to 2.5%.

Shares of GOOG were up 19 points today to close at 4,236.

10 Powerism: The Art of Blog by Sun ZiLla

The art of blog is of vital importance to the Web. It is a matter of links and bait, a road either to prosperity or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

1. Regard your readers as your students and they will link to your from the deepest valleys of the Net.

2. He who wishes to blog must first count the cost. When you engage in blogging, if good posts are long in coming, then reader’s attention will grow dull and their fervor will be dampened. If you blog 5 times a day in the beginning, you will exhaust your strength. Regarding post frequency, think quality over quantity. Again, as blogging is a marathon, the resources of the Blogger may not be equal to the strain. For if your mind is dulled, your ardor dampened, your strength exhausted and your mental treasure spent, other bloggers will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. . . In blogging, then, let your great objectives be links and readers, not post frequency or lengthy post.

3. If your target is interesting at all points, link to him. If he is in superior traffic, bait him. If he is unaware of you, seek to add value in his comment section. If seeking his links, select the best page. When giving feedback, do it correctly. Attack him where he is unprepared, add value where you are not expected.

4. The Blogger who wins the readers makes many calculations about his headlines before the post is written. The Blogger who loses Readers makes but few calculations beforehand and speaks constantly of himself. Thus do many calculations lead to success, and few calculations to failure: how much more so for no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that one can foresee who is likely to win or lose Readers.

5. If you make a mistake out of haste or misjudgment, Apologize quickly and publicly. Do not simply delete the offending post. Do not entrench yourself in a losing position. Better to admit you were wrong quickly and make amends, than to dig the hole of your own grave.

6. To link and bait in all your posts is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in both winning new readers and retaining existing ones.

7. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of SEO that can thoroughly understand the profitable ways of carrying it on.

8. The great bloggers of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat by consistantly writing great and informative posts, and then prepares for the opportunity to gain search traffic with SEO.

9. Bestow links without regard to page rank, direct readers without regard to previous value but on the value of the post you are referencing. Send readers away to other great posts liberally and they will return more fervently and more frequently than if you try to hoard them. In blogging, the tightest grasp is with an open fist.

10. Send your troops to Digg Great Posts, To Vote on Netscape, to Comment on Reddit and to bookmark on Delicious that they may recruit more readers to your following. Ask that they link to your posts of value so that you may return the favor when the opportunity arises.

7 Even More Effective Ways to Build Links

If SEO Black Hat and Porn are the only website you bother frequenting then you might not of heard about Link Building Professional Andy Hagan and Aaron Wall’s latest link building article by now. In it, they list 101 ways to build links, but they left out the 7 Even More effective ways for you to build links to your websites.

So consider this post a much needed an appendix to that link building article:

At Webmaster Conferences:

1. Roll to Conferences with your digital camera and some super Hot Rent-a-Sluts. While a good time in and of itself, you can also use this opportunity to build links . . .

Just get those tramps to press their cleavage against several high profile webmasters, point, and shoot. Then Post the pictures on your website and email the webmaster saying “dude, you look like such a Pimp in this picture, check it out . . . and link it up!”.
Plus, it’s not like you weren’t gonna be droppin’ $2k on hookers that weekend anyway. Now, you can legitimately write them off as a business expense.

2. Hook people up with coke. Ever notice that the guy at the party with the coke is always the most popular? Aside from getting all the babes, if you give coke to other webmasters they’ll be sure to hook you up with some link love.

Coke at Webmaster Conferences

Blackmail

3. Get a picture of a Journalist in a “compromising position” and tell them they either link to you or the dirt goes public. The same props from link building suggestions 1 and 2 will come in handy here. And when I say “Journalist”, I don’t mean just some shitty blogger like me; I’m talkin’ like NBC, the BBC, or the New York times. (Come on, you don’t really believe that CNN would just naturally link to a site called “SEO Black Hat” – do you?)

Hoax Marketing

4. Can’t get the scoop on anything before everyone and their dog has blogged about it? Then make some shit up! It doesn’t matter if it’s far fetched or down right impossible. The crazier it is the better. Don’t worry; people will believe it AND link to it. You could even say something like you blackmailed a high profile reporter at CNN and some douchebags would fall for it.

Bribery

5. College kids are always short on cash and can often make blogs or web pages on juicy .edu domain. 2+2=links for you. For just the price of a case of Budweiser, you could land yourself multiple links from a prestigious university that will stick around for up to 4 years . . . or more!

Hacking

6. Hack other people’s websites: Why bother asking webmasters for a link? Become a 1337 and just take ‘em! Hax0r your way into other sites and insert your links wherever you damn well please.

Extortion

7. Join the Mafia. Why grovel for links from a webmaster when you can make him an offer he can’t refuse? Someone ignoring your “request” for a link trade? Send over some goons to bust his kneecaps! Smash that dork’s dual LCDs over his dog’s head on the way out and see if he pulls that “umm, umm, I didn’t get it – it must have gone in the spam folder” crap ever again. Once word gets out that you’re SERIOUS about link building, the rest of those wimps in the blogosphere will fall right into line.

So there you have it. If you can’t build links now, armed with these two high powered articles, then it’s time you seriously considered a career change.

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!

One Trackback Mistake You Can’t Afford to Make

Trackback is arguably the most important reason for the rapid rise of the “blog” over other content management systems. With trackback, when you link to someone’s post and your blog software does a trackback ping, a link will appear back to your post in either the comment section or just above it.

But there is a critical trackback mistake that bloggers make millions of times a week that I’m gong to teach you how to avoid.

To illustrate the importance of not making this mistake, let me tell you the story of Breana:

Breana had $20k saved up before she quit her job to become a full time web entrepreneur. She was right on the cusp of being a successful blogger – one that could make a living by the written word. But she made one very costly, very critical mistake . . .

You see, Breana used the most popular blogging software, Wordpress. Since she had past SEO 101, she had enabled the “Search Engine Friendly URLs” feature that rewrites the URLs to include the title of the post. Every week she did a roundup of posts she liked and Titled it: “This Week’s Best Posts.” She linked to all the top posts and Wordpress pinged the other posts for a trackback.

Unfortunately for her, Wordpress rewrote her URLs as:

http://breanacatblog.com/this-week%e2%80%99s-top-posts/8/7/2006

You see, %e2%80%99 is how wordpress encodes the apostrophe. The bigger problem than that being an ugly URL is that other Wordpress blogs strip out some special characters (like %) on trackback.

The other very powerful and influential bloggers who received that trackback saw the link as:

http://breanacatblog.com/thie-weeke28099s-best-links/8/7/2006

When they clicked the link to see who was linking to them, all they got was a 404 Error Page. Man! Were these bloggers Pissed. They thought:

“Wonderful. Another Goddamn Spammer.”

So, instead of adding her feed to their RSS Readers, reading her blog, linking to her regularly and vaulting her to “A List Blogger” status where she could have made a six figure income, Breana was blacklisted.

All those juicy trackback links went right down the toilet. The Influencial Bloggers added her IP to the list of trackback spammers and blocked her IP address with the .htaccess file.

Readers trickled in, but it wasn’t enough to pay her bills. As time went by, Breana ran through her life savings, piled up huge debt, and was evicted from her apartment. The depression of her failure as a blogger was more than she could handle. She turned to crack to just make the demons of her failure subside – even if just for a few hours.

Breana is now turning tricks on the corner of 4th and Grand for $10 a pop. Instead of blogging for a living, she now works for this guy 6 times a week:

”Homeless

All because she didn’t fix the post slug before publishing.

Don’t end up like Breana.

There is a tab on the “post slug” section of “write posts” that allows you to change what the URL of your post will appear as. In Breana’s Case, all she had to do was write:

this-weeks-best-posts

in that section and she would have been successful and famous instead of having to whore herself out on the street for crack money.

Any time you use a special character like a quote or an apostrophe in you post title, make sure you also manually create a post slug.

Otherwise, you might just end up like Breana.

Tool: What it’s Worth to Rank in Google, Yahoo and MSN

Want to know what it means to rank 4th in MSN? How about to rank 2nd in Yahoo? Or what about ranking 1st in Google and 3rd in MSN?

Well then grab the number of overture searches the term had last month and use our new “Expected Clicks by Rank in Google, Yahoo, MSN and Other Tool.

By combining the AOL User Search Data, Hitwise Search Engine Market Share and Overture Search Tool, you can now estimate with some certainty how many clicks to expect for ranking anywhere in any search engine for any term.

The AOL user search data has been harvested to determine the CTR (Click Through Rate) for ranking number 1 vs. number 2-10. The sample size is large enough and broad enough that we can infer that this average holds true across many verticals:

Results from:
Total Searches:9,038,794
Total Clicks: 4,926,623

Ranking Number 1 receives 42.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 2 receives 11.9 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 3 receives 8.5 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 4 receives 6.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 5 receives 4.9 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 6 receives 4.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 7 receives 3.4 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 8 receives 3.0 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 9 receives 2.8 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 10 receives 3.0 percent of click throughs.

The rest of the Long Tail (ranks 11-1000) = 11.3 percent of click throughs.

Search Engine Ranking #1: 2,075,765 clicks
Search Engine Ranking #2: 586,100 clicks = 3.5x less
Search Engine Ranking #3: 418,643 clicks = 4.9x less
Search Engine Ranking #4: 298,532 clicks = 6.9x less
Search Engine Ranking #5: 242,169 clicks = 8.5x less
Search Engine Ranking #6: 199,541 clicks = 10.4x less
Search Engine Ranking #7: 168,080 clicks = 12.3x less
Search Engine Ranking #8: 148,489 clicks = 14.0x less
Search Engine Ranking #9: 140,356 clicks = 14.8x less
Search Engine Ranking #10 147,551 clicks = 14.1x less

Search Engine Ranking 11+: 501,397 clicks

Now you may want to know the Market Share of the Search Engines Google, Yahoo, MSN and Everyone else: From Hitwise, we find:

The Search Market Share for Google: 60.2%
The Search Market Share for Yahoo: 22.5%
The Search Market Share for MSN: 11.80
The Market Share fore Everyone Else: 5.5%
(more…)

Recycling Front Page Digg Stories

1. William George of pugetsystems.com writes an article about dual Dual Processor vs Dual Core. It makes front page of digg 111 days ago.

2. Frameworkx.com reposts the entire article and gets it to the front page of digg today.

Here’s the kicker, if you check out the farameworkx article, they are even hotlinking the images from the original article. LOL. Now that’s ballsy.

From the Digg Comments:

Dude, all they did was just repost *our* article! http://www.pugetsystems.com/articles.php?id=23

They did attribute you in the bottom of the article – the poster just didn’t see that or chose to use the ‘Framewokx’ repost for whatever insidious reason he might have.

They are stealing bandwidth for those images as well. They didn’t even have the courtesy to ask they were too lazy to try and make it look like they wrote the article.

Well, then the solution is to go in and do a little mod_rewrite magic in your apache config. for these guys. :)

Amen, Seumas. 111 days ago! http://digg.com/hardware/Dual_Processor_vs_Dual_Core

Indeed, why rack your brain trying to come up with something that can make the front page of digg? Just take anything that is 4+ months old, post it to a legit looking site, digg it about 60 times and you should be in business!

Although, I might avoid hotlinking any of the original images ;)

Hoax Marketing Gets Front Page of Digg

Here is a great example of Hoax Marketing making the front page of digg.

As if some random dude who drives an escort would be able to figure out how to get 25 miles per gallon on an ounce of water. But, like I said before, people will believe anything.

Hoax Marketing – SEO in an Attention Ecconomy

The Information age is an attention economy. Attention is getting more scarce; therefore, what you will need to do to get attention will continue to get more difficult. Don’t worry about how you will monetize attention once you have it. What is important is that you get attention. Without it, you are nothing.

Link bait is alive and well. However, there is a subsection of link bait called “Hoax Marketing.” Hoax marketing is the most viral way to get attention on the Net. People love a good Hoax and there doesn’t seem to be a better way to get the attention of millions and get tons of quality backlinks.

Take the recent example of the fake video showing vandals spraying graffiti on Air Force One. This story has over 185 links in Google News from mainstream news outlets. This Hoax got Millions and millions of viewers and probably tens of thousands of backlinks. Sure it cost a bit to pull off this hoax. But how much would you pay for 10,000 REAL backlinks including over 185 from high ranking news sites and more than 10 million visitors?

Another example of hoax marketing making a killing from the SERPs is Zug who is ranking #8 in Google for Viagra. That hoax brings more than 10k search visitors per day for very lucrative search terms. Zugg also has tons of other pranks for other competitive serch terms like credit cards and penis pills.

Hoax marketing is so powerful because first you get all the traffic from the direct links and then all those links generate traffic from the search engines (The Long Tail). Remember, it doesn’t matter how crazy your story is because people will believe anything.

Hoax Marketing is already an incredible force for Search Engine Optimization – people are just now beginning to realize it. The skillset of the best SEOs in the world must continue to evolve. Hoax Marketing is one logical evolotionary growth path that will prove to be extremely profitable.