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How to Check if Google Manually Reviewed Your Site

How to Check if Google Manually Reviewed Your Site

Do you know how Google decides what website should be ranked number 1, 2, 3 and so on for any given keyword?

Well, they have an algorithm for that.

But as you know, algorithms aren’t perfect. That’s why Google continually tries to improve it.

One way that they try to improve their algorithm is through Search Quality Raters.

What’s a Search Quality Rater?

Google knows that they can always make their search results
better. And one way is to have humans review their listings for any given
keyword.

So, all around the world, Google has
people who manually review websites
. And they review each website based on these
guidelines
.

It’s kind of long and extensive, but it is important that the Quality Raters don’t directly impact rankings.

Instead, they give feedback to the engineers who code up the algorithm so they can make it more relevant to searchers.

Now, the real question is, how do you know your site is
being reviewed?

First, I want you to log into your Google Analytics account and go to the audience overview report.

Then click on “Add Segment.”

Your screen should look something like this:

Then click on “+ New Segment.”

Your screen should look like the image above.

I want you to click “Conditions,” which is under the “Advanced” navigation label. Once you do that, fill out everything to match the screenshot below and click “save”.

Just make sure that when you are filling out the table you are clicking the “or” button and not the “and” button.

Now that you’ve created the new segment, it’s time to see if
any Quality Raters have viewed your site.

How to spot Quality Raters

When you are in Google Analytics, you’ll want to make sure
you select the segment you just created.

If you copied my screenshot, you would have labeled it “Search Engine Evaluators.” And when you select it, you’ll probably see a graph that looks something like the image below.

You’ll notice that no Quality Raters have been to my site
during the selected date period, which is common as they don’t visit your site
daily and, in many cases, they don’t come often at all.

The other thing you’ll notice is that next to the “Audience Overview” heading, there is a yellow shield symbol. If your symbol is green, then that’s good.

Yellow means your data is being sampled.

If you see the yellow symbol, reduce your date range and you’ll eventually see a green shield next to “Audience Overview” like the image below.

In general, it is rare that Quality Raters view your site each month. But as you expand your time window, you’ll be able to spot them.

And once you spot them, you can shorten the date range so the data isn’t sampled and then drill down to what they were looking at on your website.

The key to analyzing what Quality Raters are doing on your site is to look at the “Site Content” report in Google Analytics and that will help you produce results that look like the screenshot above.

To get to that report, click on “Behavior,” then “Site Content,” and then “All Pages.”

What do I do with this information?

The goal of a Quality Rater is to help improve Google’s
algorithm
. And whether they have visited your site or not, your goal should
be to make your site the best site in the industry.

You can do so by doing the following 3 things:

  1. Follow the quality guidelines that Google has released. It’s 168 pages long but, by skimming it, you can get a good understanding of what they are looking for.
  2. Always put the user first. Yes, you want higher rankings, but don’t focus on Google, focus on the user. In the long run, this should help you rank higher as Google’s goal is to make their algorithm optimized for user preferences over things like on-page SEO or link building.
  3. Check out Google’s advice for beating algorithm changes. In that article, you’ll find a breakdown of what Google is really looking for.

Conclusion

If you have Quality Raters browsing your site from time to time,
don’t freak out. It doesn’t mean your rankings are going to go down or up.

And if you can’t find any Quality Raters visiting your site,
don’t freak out either. Because that doesn’t mean that you won’t ever rank well
in Google.

As your site gets more popular, you’ll notice a higher chance of Quality Raters visiting your site over time. This just means that you need to focus more on delighting your website visitors. Create the best experience for them and you’ll win in the long run.

So, have you spotted any Quality Raters in your Google Analytics?

PS: Special shoutout to Matthew Woodward who originally brought the Google Quality Raters segmentation to light.

The post How to Check if Google Manually Reviewed Your Site appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Is SEO Dead? (A Data-Driven Answer)

Is SEO Dead? (A Data-Driven Answer)

seo dead

SEO has been changing drastically over the years.

In 2010, Google made 516 algorithm changes. That number increased to 1,653 in 2016 and to 3,234 in 2018. We don’t have data for the last couple of years, but still, you can bet that the number is continually going up.

With over 9 algorithm changes a day, it’s safe to say that it is no longer easy to manipulate or game Google.

So, is SEO dead?

Well, let’s look at the data and from there I’ll show you
what you should do.

Is SEO dead?

Do you know how many searches take place on Google each day?

Roughly
5.6 billion searches per day
.

That’s roughly 2 trillion searches each year.

Although that’s a lot of searches, there is also a lot of
content being created.

There are roughly a billion blogs on the web.

There are so many blogs that you can find an excessive amount of content on most topics out there.

For example, if you look at the long-tail phrase, “what is digital marketing”, there are only 11,300 global searches a month but a whopping 665,000 pieces of content trying to answer that question.

In other words, the supply is much greater than the demand.

You’ll see even more of this for head terms. Just look at
the phrase “banana”:

640,300 global searches seem like a high number but there are 880,000,000 million results. Sure, some of those results may not be on the food, banana, but still, that’s a lot of content compared to the search volume.

You can still find search phrases where there is more search volume than content but the trend is continually increasing in which content production is exceeding search demand.

On top of that, Google is turning into an answer engine in which they are answering people’s questions without them having to go to a website.

According to Dejan SEO,
they saw CTRs drastically decrease once Google started answering questions.
Just look at this weather search query:

Their clicks from weather-related queries went from 46% all the way down to 7%.

This trend has become so common that the percentage of traffic that Google drives to organic listings (SEO results) has been decreasing over time.

So, does this mean SEO is dead?

It’s actually the opposite.

SEO is not dead

With all of the data, how can that be the case?

First off, all marketing channels become statured over time. It’s just a question of when.

You can say the same thing about Facebook, Instagram,
Twitter, and even email marketing.

Heck, just look at the image below. It was the first banner ad on the Internet.

Can you guess what company created that banner ad? It was
ATT.

Of the people who saw it, 44% of them clicked on it. Now banner ads generate an average click-through rate of 0.5%.

That’s an enormous drop.

And, as I mentioned above, it’s with all channels. Just look at Instagram engagement rates:

It doesn’t matter if it is a sponsored post or an organic post, the trend on Instagram is that engagement is going down.

That’s why you are seeing people like Gary Vaynerchuk and Grant Cardone promoting their phone numbers all over Instagram.

That way they can communicate with their fans directly
without having to deal with algorithms or platforms decreasing their engagement.

But even with those decreasing numbers, you are seeing sponsored posts on Instagram surging by 150%.

In other words, people are still spending money because they
are seeing an ROI or generating enough value in their eyes.

And the same is happening with digital
ad spending
.

The numbers are on the rise because companies are generating
an ROI.

So, how is SEO still not dead?

As I explained above, just because the metrics aren’t going in your favor doesn’t mean that a channel is dead.

Just look at my search traffic on NeilPatel.com.

Not only do I have to deal with Google’s algorithm like you, but my competition includes other marketers who know what I know… yet I am still able to grow my search traffic even with Google’s decreasing CTRs.

When you look at search as a whole (and I am not only talking about on Bing and Google as people also search on other sites and platforms as well) Google still dominates market share with a whopping 94%.

People still use Google and prefer them as their method of search. But what’s changed is how Google is being used.

It used to be where you would use platforms like Instagram
for discovery and Google for commerce (purchasing).

The trend has switched over the years in which Instagram is
being heavily used for commerce and Google is mainly used as a discovery engine.

Just look at this case study by Olay.

Olay sells products related to skincare. One of their products happens to reduce darkness under your eyes.

So, they used to push heavily on ads that sold their
products directly.

But the moment they changed their ads to focus on education by teaching people how to reduce dark circles under their eyes instead of forcing people to buy their products, their ROI went through the roof.

By sending people to educational-based content first (and then selling through the content), they were able to increase click-throughs by 87%, decrease their cost per click by 30%, and increase conversions by 100%.

This is a prime example of how more people are using Google as a discovery engine first instead of a commerce engine.

SEO isn’t dying it is just changing

Now that you know that Google is shifting to a discovery
engine (for both paid and organic listings), there are a few other things you
need to know if you want to dominate the organic listings.

1: Google wants to rank sites you want to see

Their algorithm core focus isn’t backlinks or keyword density, or a specific SEO metric… the focus is on the user experience.

If a site has millions of backlinks but users hate it, the site won’t rank well in the long run.

Look at this case study of the “best grilled steaks.”

Rand Fishkin had all of his social followers do the
following:

Within 70 minutes, the listing jumped to the top spot.

This is what I mean by user signals. You, the end-user, control how Google adjusts rankings.

2. People don’t just use Google. Google gathers data from everywhere.

Google knows you spend hours a day on your mobile device and hours on other sites and applications that aren’t controlled or owned by Google.

So, when they are figuring out what to rank and where to
rank it, they aren’t just looking at their own dataset.

They crawl things like social media and use social signals
to help them better improve their results.

For example, here is a case study on how Google is using social media for search discovery.

Even if you hate the social web, you need to use it more. Not only can it help with your site’s indexing but it can also help with brand building, which indirectly will help boost your rankings as well.

Here are some articles to follow to help boost your social
media presence:

3. Google loves brands

If you don’t believe me, just look at these quotes from Google’s ex-CEO and ex-head of webspam.

They both believe
in brands
.

As your brand grows, you’ll find that your rankings will climb as well.

You saw my search traffic stats earlier in the post, but
here’s a breakdown of how many people found my site by searching for my name in
the last 7 days.

And that number doesn’t even include the misspellings. You would be shocked at how many people spell my name as “niel” instead of “neil.”

Google loves brands. Heck, when you type in “men’s running shoes,” they even have Nike, Adidas, and Asics there.

Branded search volume is more correlated with rankings than links or domain authority.

If you want to build a brand, focus on the social media
articles I linked to above and follow the brand building articles below:

If you are still struggling to build a brand, talk to one of my team members about our Digital PR.

4. Focus on a niche

Do you remember the old-school site About.com?

Over time, About.com tanked in terms of their Google rankings and the business was dying. There were a few reasons why:

  • The site didn’t focus on a single niche… it was about everything
  • The content was mediocre. They didn’t go in-depth but instead just kept things surface level.
  • They had too much content that no one cared to read.

They decided to rebrand as Dotdash and start niching down. So they took the content on About.com and split it into six specific vertical sites.

When doing this they found that a lot of the content didn’t fit into those 6 verticals or wasn’t up to their new quality standard. This caused them them delete roughly 900,000 articles.

From the data, you can see that they got much more traffic by splitting up their content into niched-down sites.

It was so successful that they took one of their new vertical sites and broke it down further into three niche sites. Here were the results:

This helped them grow their revenue by 140%.

If you want to do well in today’s world of SEO, focus on one niche. Google prefers topic-specific sites because that’s what you and everyone else loves.

Just think of it this way… would you rather read medical advice from About.com or WebMD?

WebMD of course.

Another thing they did

5. Future is personalization

Have you noticed that when you search on Google the results you see are different than the results of your friends?

It’s because Google is trying to personalize the results to
you.

Not just on Google search but anywhere you use a Google device… from a smartphone to Google Home to even their autonomous cars.

With all of the data they are gathering, they are better
suited to understand your preferences and then modify the results to that.

Just think of it this way: Every time you visit a place and you are carrying your mobile phone (especially if it is an Android device), Google may be able to potentially use that information to tailor results to you.

With your website, don’t try and show everyone the same message. If you personalize your experience to each and every user, you will be able to rank better in the long run as it will improve your user metrics.

A good example of this is on my blog.

Right when you land there, I let you pick the type of content you want to see and then the page adapts to your interest.

It’s actually the most clicked area on the blog, believe it
or not.

Conclusion

SEO is not dead, it’s just changing.

Sure, click-through rates are going down and Google keeps adjusting its algorithm but that’s to be expected.

Google has made it so you can easily target your ideal customer through SEO or paid ads.

It used to be much more difficult before they came along. That’s why they are able to generate over 100 billion dollars a year in advertising revenue.

Don’t worry about things that aren’t in your control. Instead, start adapting or your traffic and business will be dead.

What do you think about the changing SEO landscape?

The post Is SEO Dead? (A Data-Driven Answer) appeared first on Neil Patel.

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DIS Faculty Member Featured in Glamour Magazine

DIS Faculty Member Featured in Glamour Magazine

The movie Cats features live action humans with extremely detailed CGI cat features. After the release of the trailer for Cats, there was a huge backlash from social media and audiences around the world for the apparently disturbing remake of the musical.

In the interview for Glamour Magazine, Quackenbush discusses why audiences found the trailer to the recently released film so disturbing.

She touches on the ‘uncanny valley’ phenomenon, which occurs when a portrayal is so close to reality that it makes us uncomfortable. She also discusses animal CGI, specifically, and the effects that it may have on the viewer.

Want to read the full article or learn more about the courses taught by Quackenbush?

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Faculty Member Anders Larsen aka Chantal al Arab’s Involvement in the Arts

Faculty Member Anders Larsen aka Chantal al Arab’s Involvement in the Arts

Larsen has been a consultant for the Danish artists Kirsten Astrup and Maria Bodorf for both film and art installations. While working alongside Astrup and Bodorf, he has been involved in the production of several film cabarets titled, ‘Faithful and diligent/Quivery Heart’, currently on exhibit at the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art as well as Holstebro Museum and the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway.

Larsen’s drag alter ego Chantal al Arab recently spoke at the Holstebro Art Museum about the performance of gender and national identity in connection with the showing of ‘Faithful and diligent/Quivery Heart’ as part of the exhibition series ‘Where We Stand’.

Chantal al Arab was also featured in a photograph as part of the 2019 World Press Photo exhibition at Politikens Hus in Copenhagen this fall.

Congratulations to Anders Larsen/Chantal al Arab for the impactful work.

 

Get an overview of the courses Larsen teaches at DIS:

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DIS Faculty and Students Recognized for Research Developments

DIS Faculty and Students Recognized for Research Developments

Recently, DIS Stockholm and Copenhagen have seen many faculty-led and student-based success stories within research. DIS Research Faculty have co-published with their student research assistants, DIS-funded research projects have received additional external support from notable agencies,, and DIS research assistants have embarked on research-related excursions across Europe.

We would like to recognize the following DIS research faculty and student research assistants for their recent work:

DIS Stockholm student research assistants Mallory Bell, Megan Edelstein and Sadie Hurwitz recently published an article, co-authored with DIS Faculty and Research Mentor Rachel Irwin, titled “Accessibility and availability of assisted reproductive technology for people living with HIV in Europe: a thematic literature review” in AIDS Care. The work is part of Rachel’s research DIS-supported project HIV & Reproductive Technology Access, which she is continuing in Copenhagen.

DIS Copenhagen student Research Assistants with the DIS-supported project Mammography Screening: Efficacy, Benefits, and Harms traveled to Oslo this past fall with DIS Copenhagen Faculty and Research Mentor, My von Euler-Chelpin. They visited the Cancer Foundation Knowledge Center and spent a day at the Norwegian Cancer Registry learning about screening processes and data collection.

Angela Gigliotti, DIS Copenhagen Faculty and Research Mentor, received external funding from Statens Kunstfond, or ‘The State Art Fund’, in Copenhagen. Statens Kunstfond will support a research visit to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles in July 2020. This visit extends the DIS funded work of Gigliotti and her Research Assistants’ ongoing project: Modes of Architectural Production in the US, Denmark, and Sweden.

DIS Copenhagen Faculty and Research Mentor Kristine Freude recently received funding from The Novo Nordisk Foundation within the Project Grants in Clinical and Translational Medicine 2019. The grant was given for the project, Personalized Treatment for Rare Epileptic Disorders (PREMED). Freude will be collaborating with Rikke Møller from the Epilepsy center in Dianalund as well as Zeynep Tuemer from Rigshospitalet, both in Denmark. Kristine works with DIS student Research Assistants in her lab, focused on neurodegenerative diseases.

DIS Copenhagen Faculty and Research Mentor Anna Sircova was invited to China in October to give a talk about her current DIS-supported research project, Futurization of Thinking and Behavior. Anna also hosted the opening ceremony of the 2019 International Symposium on Time Perspective at Southwest University in Chongqing, China.

Congratulations to DIS faculty and students for their research success.

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Fall 2019 End of Semester Showcase

Fall 2019 End of Semester Showcase

Students from DIS Stockholm and Copenhagen had the opportunity to show off their hard work at the End of Semester Showcase as well as explore topics outside of their Core Courses and electives.

In Stockholm, students played board games crafted in the Affective Neuroscience Core Course, and played trivia games with Swedish Language and Culture Faculty Member, Djina Wilk.

Meanwhile in Copenhagen, students in the Game Development: Programming & Practice Core Course debuted their newly created computer games while students in the Architecture & Design Program showed off their handmade Danish design chairs.

The night captured all the work DIS students put into their learning abroad this past fall and provided a space to share it with Homestay families, classmates, and DIS staff and faculty.

Congratulations and a big thank you to the fall 2019 students for all your unforgettable work!

 

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You Can Have My Old Business That Makes $381,722 a Month

You Can Have My Old Business That Makes $381,722 a Month

I was talking with my friend who works at Keap (formally known as Infusionsoft) and he was breaking down how people still make millions of dollars selling info products and ebooks.

Now, I don’t sell info products as heavily as I used to, but when I focused on it 100% of the time, my numbers were great.

Just look at the screenshot above. It’s my revenue on a bad
month of selling info products.

So today, I thought I would do something different.

Instead of just blogging about marketing tactics, I thought I would share my old business model with you and give you the exact emails, power points, and everything you need so that way you can replicate my results.

Are you ready?

Step #1: Figure out what you want to sell

Don’t worry about traffic. Instead, I want you to figure out what you want to sell.

Whatever it may be, it needs to solve a problem for people.

For example, I’ve sold marketing courses that teach people
how to get more traffic. This is a problem businesses have as they need traffic
in order to generate sales.

You can literally sell almost anything online, just make sure you are passionate about it and know that subject well.

For example, Grant Cardone sells sales training. Sam Ovens teaches you how to make money through consulting. Ezra Firestone teaches you how to create an ecommerce business.

Step #2: Start creating your product

Once you figure out what you want to sell, you need to
create it. You don’t have to finish creating it, you can do that as you generate
sales.

Before you start creating anything though I want you to read
this guide by Kajabi, which specializes in online courses…

Mega-Guide
to Creating an Online Course

Here are some general rules I’ve learned about creating a handful of info products:

  1. People want course material in video format. Don’t
    waste your time with too text-based documents or audio files.
  2. Your videos need to be short and to the point.
    People are strapped for time.
  3. Your course should be completed within 2 or 3
    months at the latest. Ideally within 6 weeks.
  4. Include workbooks, cheat sheets and quizzes
    throughout your course. You can easily create these in Kajabi.

Step #3: Create a presentation

You need to create a presentation that helps you sell your
product.

The presentation should look something like this:

If you want, you can just use my slides and modify them to
whatever product or service you are selling. You can download
my slides here
.

I know looking at slides can be a bit confusing but watching
this video may also help as it breaks down the process.

Once you have created your PowerPoint, you’ll need to use a software like Webinar Jam to present to people who are potential customers (don’t worry, I’ll teach you how to get traffic in a bit).

What Webinar Jam does is make it easy for you to create a
Webinar that people can join and you can then sell them through it. That’s what
almost all of us do to sell info products… it works really well.

Step #4: Create emails and set up your CRM

Emails are key to generating income through info products.

And in order to succeed with email marketing when it comes to selling digital products, the right CRM will make all the difference in the world.

Without the right emails, you won’t do well. It’s really that simple.

There are 8 types of emails that you need to create:

  1. Invite sequence – these are a series of emails that invite people to watch your webinar. (here are my invite emails)
  2. Indoctrination – you need to build a connection with people. People are more likely to convert if they know more about you and trust you. (here are my indoctrination emails)
  3. No shows – just because someone signs up to watch your webinar, it doesn’t mean they will attend. For everyone who doesn’t attend, you’ll want to email them and get them to watch the replay. (here are my no show emails)
  4. Encore – not everyone will watch your whole webinar. If they don’t stick to the end they won’t see your offer. You’ll want a few emails that push the replay. (here are my encore emails)
  5. Objection handler – there are a handful of reasons someone may not buy. You’ll want to answer each of those objections through email. (here are my objection handler emails)
  6. Countdown sequence – you’ll want to close off your course. Letting people know that they only have a few days left to buy is a really effective way to generate sales. These emails will roughly make up 1/3 to half of your sales. (here are my countdown emails)
  7. Last chance email – on the last day you’ll want to send a few emails letting people know it is about to close. (here are my last chance emails)
  8. Free trial offer – the majority of people won’t buy from you. Offering the last chance free trial offer is a great way to roughly get 15% more sales. (here are my free trial emails)

I know that sounds like a lot of emails to create and it is, but don’t worry, just click the links above that contain the emails I used and just modify them for your product. 🙂

The key with the emails is to just not mail them out, but it’s
to use automation. You can easily set that up with Keap.

The reason most of us marketers use Keap is because it connects with other tools that help us maximize our email revenue plus it provides the most flexibility, which will help you make more money. Here’s what I mean:

  1. PicSnippets – for you invite sequence emails you’ll want to use a customized image that has someone’s name in it. Just like how the image above has “Ben’s” name in it. And it dynamically changes to the person’s name.
  2. Plus This – during the objection handler sequence I typically text everyone who watched the webinar with their “first name?”. Plus This automatically does this and what you’ll find is when you text someone their first name they will usually text back with “who is this?”. That’s when Plus This automatically responds with “Hey this is Neil Patel, I just wanted to thank you for watching my webinar. I wanted to follow up and see if you had any questions or if I can help answer anything for you.”. You’ll find that a lot of people will text back with questions, all you have to do is answer them and you’ll generate more sales.
  3. Plus This – I know I mentioned Plus This above, but you will also need it for emails related to your countdown sequence, last chance emails, and free trial offer. You want to use a countdown timer within those emails. The time should adjust based on when you send each email off and the time zone the individual is in. Plus This does all of it for you automatically.
  4. Collect payments – I also use Keap to collect payments. So, once I email someone, they can click a button and buy through pre-made payment pages that Keap provides you.

Step #5: Drive traffic

One of the key ingredients to making money through info products
is to have traffic.

And I know what you are thinking to… “Neil you did well because
you have a ton of traffic”.

Well, people like Sam Ovens and Grant Cardone don’t rank well on Google, yet they make 8 figures a year. They profitably sell info products through ads.

If you want to grow your traffic, go through the following
steps:

You now have a handful of ways to generate sales. Facebook ads are probably the quickest way to generate sales and usually, for every dollar, you spend you should generate at least 2 dollars in revenue.

If you want a longer-term approach, consider SEO and content
marketing.

And a good mid-term approach is leveraging Instagram and
building a personal brand.

Or if you really want to see your numbers grow, consider
doing all of them. 😉

Conclusion

I know everything I broke down may seem overwhelming, but it
shouldn’t be. Just take one step at a time.

Plus there are a lot of tools that make your life easy and do most of the hard work. I pretty much mentioned them all above and you can get them to play nice by using Zapier, which can connect them easily if you aren’t able to figure it out.

And if you are wondering why I stopped focus most of my efforts on info products it isn’t because it was bad business.

It’s the opposite. It’s a good business… but to scale it to
millions a month in revenue is tough and you’ll find that your profit will
drastically drop.

In other words, your upside is limited and it’s not hard to
make a few million a year in profit, but anything above that gets really tough.

So, what are you going to do with the information above?
Are you going to try and sell info products?

The post You Can Have My Old Business That Makes $381,722 a Month appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Do High DA Backlinks From Blog Comments Help Rankings?

Do High DA Backlinks From Blog Comments Help Rankings?

If you have ever left a comment on NeilPatel.com, you’ll notice that there is no URL field.

Why?

Well, a few years ago, blog commenting exploded. I was literally getting thousands of spam comments a day from people just leaving a comment for the purpose of link building instead of providing value to the community.

Sure, there are spam plugins like Akismet, but it doesn’t catch everything.

Now, most blog comments contain the nofollow attribute in which they tell Google not to follow the link or drive any “SEO value” to that URL.

But still, people still leave blog comments for the purpose of link building.

So, over the past 7 months, I’ve been running an interesting experiment to answer the age-old question…

Do backlinks from blog comments actually help rankings?

Experiment rules

First off, for this experiment, we used “domain score,” which is similar to domain authority.

If you want to know your domain score, the backlinks report in Ubersuggest will tell you what it is.

With this experiment, I sent out an email to a part of my list looking for participants and had 794 websites apply.

From there, I set the following criteria:

  1. English-only sites – It’s easier to rank on many of Google’s international search engines even without building links. I removed non-English speaking sites as I didn’t want to skew the results.
  2. Low-authority sites – I removed any website with a domain score greater than 20 and any site with more than 20 backlinks. The reason being is when a site has a lot of authority, they tend to rank easily for new keywords, even if they don’t build any new links.
  3. No subdomains – I didn’t want a WordPress.com site, a Blogspot site, or even a Tumblr site. Again, this would skew the results so I removed them.

After eliminating the sites that didn’t meet the above criteria, I was left with 314 sites.

Of those 314 sites, many dropped off because they didn’t complete the required work on their part (which was to write a blog post), so I was left with 183 sites at the end that participated.

How the experiment worked

Similar to my previous link building experiment and my on-page SEO experiment,  I had these websites write a 1,800 to 2,000-word blog post on whatever subject that was relevant to their site.

The websites had 2 weeks to publish their content and then after 30 days, I looked up their URL in Ubersuggest to see how many keywords each URL ranked for in the top 100 spots, top 50, spots, and top 10 spots.

As I have mentioned in the past, Ubersuggest has a big database of keywords. We are currently tracking 1,459,103,429 keywords.

Now, most of these keywords are barely searched but a decent amount of them get hundreds, if not thousands, of searches per month. A much smaller percentage of keywords generate hundreds of thousands or even millions of searches per month.

In other words, the majority of the keywords people are searching for are long-tail phrases.

We then spent a month building links and then waited another 3 months to see what happened to each site’s rankings.

But here’s the thing: We didn’t build the same type of links to all sites. Instead, we broke the 183 sites into 4 groups (roughly 46 sites per group).

Here were the groups:

  1. Control – we didn’t build any links to these sites, we just wanted to see what happened to their rankings over time with no focus on link building.
  2. Nofollow high domain score blog comment links – with this group, we built 10 links through blog comments. The links pointed to the newly written post and they were from blogs that had a domain score of 50 or higher and they all contained a nofollow attribute.
  3. Dofollow high domain score blog comment links – with this group, we built 5 links through blog comments. The links pointed to the new post and were dofollow from blogs with a domain score of 40 or higher. (I reduced the domain score criteria for this category and the link quantity as we struggled to find a large number of high authority blogs that pass link juice in the comment section.)
  4. Dofollow low domain score blog comment links – with this group, we built 10 links through blog comments. Each link pointed back to the article and it was from a blog that contains a domain score of at least 20 but no higher than 39. (I was able to build more links here as there are many more low domain score blogs than high domain score ones.)

Keep in mind with the link building for groups 2, 3 and 4,
there was no specific anchor text agenda. Because the links were built through
blog comments, it was too hard to control the anchor text as we didn’t want to
be spammy.

And each comment left on the blog contained at least 75
words as we wanted to ensure that each comment provided value and the core
purpose wasn’t just link building.

Alright, so let’s dive into the results.

Control group

Do you really need links to rank on Google? Well, the chart below says a lot…

As you can see over time, you will naturally grow your search rankings even if you don’t build any links.

Of course, if your content is amazing and you do on-page SEO, you’ll rank higher, but still not growing your link count doesn’t mean you will rank for anything out there… instead, you will still rank for long-tail terms that aren’t too competitive.

Nofollow high domain score blog comment links

Now the results from this group were interesting…

As you can see, the sites in this group had better results than the control group even though the links were nofollowed.

Keep in mind, though, that it could be many variables that caused this, such as the content quality may have been better.

Overall, the sites did perform better than the control group but not by a substantial amount.

Dofollow high domain score blog comment links

Google is sophisticated, they are able to know if a link is from user-generated content (such as blog comments), so I assumed even though the links where dofollow they still wouldn’t have much (if any) impact.

But, shockingly, sites in this group had the largest gains.

As you can see from the chart above, links from high authority sites, even if it is through user-generated content, help with rankings. They just have to be dofollow.

Dofollow low domain score blog comment links

With this last group, we were able to build more dofollow links because we focused on sites with lower authority.

And as you can see from the chart above, it did help with rankings more than building nofollow links but it didn’t help nearly as much as getting links from blogs with higher domain scores.

We built 10 links instead of 5, but the quantity didn’t help
as much as having high domain score links. This group increased their rankings
by 337% versus 828% that group 3 experienced even though they had half the
links.

Again, we still saw gains, just not as large as the previous group.

Conclusion

Who would have thought that building links through blog
comments still helps?

Now, if you are going to use this tactic, you’ll want to focus on blogs that have dofollow comments.

If you aren’t sure how to find them, you can perform a Google search for the following:

  • “title=”CommentLuv Enabled”” KEYPHRASE – this will showcase blogs that have CommentLuv enabled which means they pass link juice.
  • “dofollow blogs” – you find a lot of blog articles listing out blogs that have dofollow links. Some of them look like this but you will have to double-check each site as many are nofollow even though bloggers claim they are dofollow.
  • Followlist – this is a directory of blogs that have dofollow links.

When building links, focus on higher domain scores as it has a bigger impact on rankings.

In addition to that, you’ll only want to leave a comment if you can provide value. Don’t stress the anchor text, focus on the quality of your comment as you don’t want to be a spammer.

Posting spammy links will just cause your comment to be
removed.

Lastly, don’t just leave a valuable comment for the sake of generating a link. Make sure it is on relevant blogs as well. And if that means the blog doesn’t have as high of a domain score that’s fine because the data above shows that even low domain score links still help (just not as much).

So, have you thought about leaving more comments on other blogs? It’s a great way to get your brand out there, generate referral traffic, and boost your rankings.

The post Do High DA Backlinks From Blog Comments Help Rankings? appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Ubersuggest 7.0: The Ultimate Keyword Research Tool

Ubersuggest 7.0: The Ultimate Keyword Research Tool

Believe it or not, I’ve been working on Ubersuggest for
almost 3 years now.

I bought it on February 13, 2017, for $120,000 dollars as a test to see if I could get more traffic from a tool than traditional content marketing or SEO.

Since then the tool has come a long way, in which I’ve added tons of features that competitors charge $100 a month or even more for.

But I’ve finally got Ubersuggest to a point where I can start releasing features that my competition don’t even have.

So before, you head on over to Ubersuggest to work on your SEO,
make sure you read everything below because I’ve just changed up how you are
going do keyword research (in a good way).

On top of that, I’ve also released a few other features as well related to link data and traffic estimations.

Here’s what’s new:

More keyword data

The biggest problem I had with keyword research was how to find the right keyword.

Sure, there are metrics like CPC data, SEO difficulty, or even search volume, but assuming you find keywords with a high CPC, low SEO difficulty, and high search volume, it still doesn’t mean it is a good keyword to go after.

And there are a few reasons why…

  • Mobile searches aren’t worth as much – first off, if the keyword mainly gets searched from on mobile devices the conversion rate will be lower. It doesn’t mean mobile traffic is useless, it just typically means the keyword won’t be as valuable.
  • High search volume doesn’t guarantee lots of organic clicks – what happens if the keyword gets a ton of searches but no clicks? This sounds crazy, but it actually happens a lot. For example, when people search for “weather” in the United States, roughly 60% of the people don’t click any results.
  • Not all searchers are worth the same – some keywords get searched heavily by teenagers. Some keywords get searched heavily by people who are in their 30s or 40s. If the majority of the searches for a given keyword happen by a really young audience, chances are they won’t have a credit card and they won’t convert into a customer.

Because of all of this, I decided to change how the industry
does keyword research.

Now when you type in a keyword like “marketing” into
Ubersuggest, you’ll see this:

If you have been using Ubersuggest for the last year or so you may notice some differences… but if you haven’t let me break down what’s new.

First off, for any given keyword you will see what percentage of the searches are taking place from mobile devices or desktop devices.

For example, with the term “marketing” you can see that the majority of the searches are coming from desktop devices.

On the flip side, if you use Ubersuggest to look at the term “weather” you’ll notice that the majority of the searches happen on mobile devices.

And with any given keyword you can also see what percentage of the people even click on the SEO or paid results.

I love this bar chart because it tells me if I should even go after a specific keyword. Just because a term has tons of searches doesn’t mean you are going to get tons of clicks, even if you rank at the number 1 spot.

If you leverage paid ads, this bar chart is also helpful because it will give you a sense of how many people click on the paid ads as well.

Another chart that I’ve added is one that breaks down the age range of each searcher.

As you can see from the above image, Ubersuggest now shows what percentage of the searches take place between each age range.

This is really important if you know the persona of your ideal customer, as you only want to target keywords that your ideal buyer is searching for.

What’s also cool is this data is available for all countries
within Ubersuggest and for almost all of the keywords within our database.

Now before you head off to Ubersuggest and test it out, there are a few more features that I’ve just released.

More backlink data

Over the last few months, I’ve gotten feedback that our link database isn’t as big as you would like, so we have been working on fixing this.

First off, whenever you do a backlink search in Ubersuggest, you’ll start seeing stats on historical backlink data.

This chart will quickly show you if a site is growing in
backlink and referring domain count over time or if they are declining.

On top of that, we are even showing the daily new and lost link count for a given site.

I know the new and lost link count chart looks a bit off,
but keep in mind we started having Ubersuggest crawl more pages around the web
faster and more frequently. Hence you are seeing a big spike in new and lost
links.

But over the next 4 weeks, it should normalize, and you’ll see an accurate representation of new and lost links.

This will help you identify new link opportunities more
easily. Especially because you can now clearly see where your competitors are
focusing their link building efforts.

Better traffic estimations

Lastly in Ubersuggest, you can also enter in a URL and get data on any given domain.

From its estimated monthly search traffic to the number of keywords a domain ranks for to even its top pages based on link and traffic count.

We haven’t fully finished creating our new algorithm when it comes to traffic estimations, but the chart you’ll see now is much more accurate than the older one.

Even though this is a big improvement from our older charts, give it another 3 months and it should be extremely accurate.

When you are using the traffic analyzer report in Ubersuggest, keep in mind that this will give you a directional guide on how you are doing versus your competition.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoy the new changes to Ubersuggest.

I’ve made them in order to give you a leg up on your competition as the data in the tool is now something that most of you have never seen before.

And over the next two months, you’ll see some big launches in Ubersuggest. From a chrome extension to even more accurate traffic estimations to even an Alert system that will notify you when things are wrong with your site.

So, go to Ubersuggest and try out the new keyword features as well as traffic estimation and backlink features.

What do you think about the
new features?

The post Ubersuggest 7.0: The Ultimate Keyword Research Tool appeared first on Neil Patel.

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How to Get More Organic Traffic Without Doing Any SEO (Seriously)

How to Get More Organic Traffic Without Doing Any SEO (Seriously)

You
all know SEO is a long-term game… at least when it comes to Google.

And yes, who doesn’t want to be at the top of Google for some of the most competitive terms? But the reality is, we don’t all have the budget or time.

So
then, what should you do?

Well, what if I told you there were simple ways to get more organic traffic and, best of all, you don’t have to do one bit of SEO?

Seriously.

So,
what is it? And how can you get more organic traffic?

Well,
this story will help explain it…

The
old days

When
I first started my journey as an SEO, I got really good at one thing.

Getting
rankings!

Now to be fair, this was back in 2003 when it wasn’t that hard to rank on Google (or any other search engine for that matter).

Stuff some keywords into your page, your meta tags, and build some spammy rich anchor text links and you were good to go.

You
could literally see results in less than a month.

SEO wasn’t too complicated back then. So much so, that I even started an SEO agency and created a handful of sites.

I was starting to rank my sites at the top of Google but they didn’t make a dollar. Literally, not a single dollar.

In fact, I was actually losing money on them because I had to pay for the domain registration expenses and hosting.

So, one day I decided that I was tired of losing money and I was going to do something about it. I took the keywords that I was ranking for and started to type them into Google to see who was paying for ads for those terms.

I hit up each of those sites and tried to get a hold of the owner or the person in charge of marketing.

I asked them how much they were paying for ads and offered them the same exact traffic for a much lower price. I was able to do this because I already had sites that ranked for those keywords.

In other words, I offered to rent out my website for a monthly fee that was a fraction of what they were paying for paid ads.

Next thing you know I was collecting 5 figures in monthly checks and my “renters” were ecstatic because they were generating sales at a fraction of the costs compared to what they were spending on paid ads.

So, what’s the strategy?

Well, it’s simple. Back in the day, I used to rent out my websites… the whole site.

These
days I’ve learned how to monetize my own site, so I don’t rent them out.

But you know what, most of the sites that rank on Google are content-based sites. Over 56% of a website’s organic traffic is typically going to their blog or articles.

So why not rent a page on someone else’s site? From there, modify that page a bit to promote your products or services?

I
know this sounds crazy, but it works. I have one person that just reaches out
to site owners asking if we can rent out a page on their site. We do this for
all industries and verticals… and when I look at how much we are spending
versus how much income we are generating, it’s crazy.

Here are the stats for the last month:

Rental
fees: $24,592

Outreach costs: $3,000

Legal
costs: $580

Copywriting
and monetization costs: $1,500

Total
monthly cost: $29,672 

Now
guess what my monthly income was?

It
was $79,283.58.

Not
too bad.

Now
your cost on this model won’t be as high as mine because you can do your own
outreach, monetize the page you are renting on your own, and you probably don’t
need a lawyer.

And don’t be afraid of how much I am spending in rental fees as you can get away with spending $0 in the first 30 days as I will show you exactly what to do.

Remember, it’s also not what you are spending, it’s about profit and what you are making. If it won’t cost you any money in the first 30 days and you can generate income, your risk is little to none.

Here
are the exact steps you need to follow:

Step
#1: Find the terms you want to rank for

If
you already know the terms you want to rank for, great, you can skip this step.

If you don’t, I want you to head to Ubersuggest and type in a few of your competitors’ URLs.

Head
over to the top pages report and look at their top pages.

Now
click on “view all” under the estimated visits column to see a list of
keywords that each page ranks for.

I want you to create a list of all of the keywords that contain a high search volume and have a high CPC. Keywords with a high CPC usually mean that they convert well.

Keywords
with a low CPC usually mean they don’t convert as well.

When
you are making a list of keywords, you’ll need to make sure that you have a
product or service that is related to each keyword. If you don’t then you won’t
be able to monetize the traffic.

Step
#2: Search for the term

It’s
time to do some Google searches.

Look
for all of the pages that rank in the top 10 for the term you ideally want to
rank for.

Don’t
waste your time with page 2.

What
I want you to look for is:

  • Someone who isn’t your competitor. Your competition isn’t likely to rent out a page on their site to you.
  • A page that isn’t monetized. Not selling a product or service. (If the page has ads, don’t worry.)
  • A site owned by a smaller company… a publicly-traded company isn’t likely to do a deal. A venture-funded company isn’t likely to do a deal either (Crunchbase will tell you if they are venture-funded).

Step
#3: Hit up the website

Typically, through their contact page, they should have their email addresses or phone number listed. If they have a contact form, you can get in touch that way as well.

If
you can’t find their details, you can do a whois
lookup
to see if you can find their phone number.

What’ll
you want to do is get them on the phone. DO NOT MAKE YOUR PITCH OVER EMAIL.

It
just doesn’t work well over email.

If
you can’t find their phone number, email them with a message that goes
something like this…

Subject: [their website name]

Hey [insert first name],

Do you have time for a quick call this week?

We’ve been researching your business and we would like to potentially make you an offer.

Let me know what works for you.

Cheers,

[insert your name]

[insert your company]

[insert your phone number]

You
want to keep the email short as I have found that it tends to generate more
calls.

Once you get them on the phone, you can tell them a little bit about yourself. Once you do that, tell them that you noticed they have a page or multiple pages on their website that interest you.

Point
out the URL and tell them how you are interested in giving them money each
month to rent out the page and you wouldn’t change much of it… but you need
some more information before you can make your offer.

At this point, you’ll want to find out how much traffic that page generates and the keywords it ranks for. They should have an idea by just looking at their Google Analytics (you’ll find most of these sites don’t use Google Search Console).

Once
you have that, let them know that you will get in touch with them in the next
few days after you run some numbers.

Go back, try to figure out what each click is worth based on a conservative conversion rate of .5%. In other words, .if 5% of that traffic converted into a customer, what would the traffic be worth to you after all expenses?

You’ll
want to use a conservative number because you can’t modify the page too
heavily or else you may lose rankings.

Once
you have a rough idea of what the page is worth, get back on the phone with
them and say you want to run tests for 30 days to get a more solid number on
what you can pay them as you want to give them a fair offer.

Typically,
most people don’t have an issue because they aren’t making money from the page
in the first place.

Step
#4: Monetize the page

If
you are selling a product, the easiest way to monetize is to add links to the
products you are selling.

For
example, if you are selling a kitchen appliance like a toaster, you can add
links from the article to your site.

Just
like this article
.

The easiest way to monetize a blog post is to add links to products or services you are selling.

Don’t delete a lot of the content on the page you are modifying… adding isn’t too much of an issue but when you delete content sometimes you will lose rankings.

As
for a service-based business, linking out to pages on your site where people
can fill out their lead information is great.

Or you can just add lead capturing to the page you are renting out. Kind of like how HubSpot adds lead forms on their site.

I’ve actually found that they convert better than just linking out to your site.

When monetizing the page you are renting, keep in mind that you will need disclaimers to let people know that you are collecting their information for privacy purposes. You also should disclose you are renting out the page and nofollow the links.

Once you are monetizing the page for a bit, you’ll have a rough idea of what it is worth and you can make an offer on what you’ll page.

I recommend doing a 12-month contract in which you can opt-out
with a 30-day notice.

The reason you want a 12-month agreement is that you don’t want to have to keep renegotiating. I also include the 30-day opt-out notice in case they lose their rankings, you can opt-out.

And to clarify on the op-out clause, I have it so only I can opt-out and they are stuck in the agreement for a year.

Conclusion

SEO isn’t the only way you can get more organic traffic.

Being creative, such as renting pages that already rank is an easy solution. Best of all, you can get results instantly and it’s probably cheaper than doing SEO in the long run.

The only issue with this model is that it is really hard to
scale.

If I were you, I would do both. I, of course, do SEO on my own site because it provides a big ROI. And, of course, if you can rent out the pages of everyone else who ranks for the terms you want to rank for, it can provide multiple streams of income from SEO.

The beauty of this is model is that you can take up more than one listing on page 1. In theory, you can take up all 10 if you can convince everyone to let you rent their ranking page.

So, what do you think of the idea? Are you going to try it out?

The post How to Get More Organic Traffic Without Doing Any SEO (Seriously) appeared first on Neil Patel.

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