Category: Featured

PBNs 2019 – Domain Detailing – Picking Expired Domains And 301 Redirects

PBNs 2019 – Domain Detailing – Picking Expired Domains And 301 Redirects

IFTTT Loses Gmail Service

IFTTT Loses Gmail Service
IFTTT Loses Gmail Service

Much of the info in this post is from an article on engadget.  I became aware of the situation as I was working to build an IFTTT applet that would change my office lights to red if a website went down and I got an email about it from Uptime Robot.  That applet can probably still be made but just not using Gmail anymore as a trigger.

From Endadget:

Google’s push to tighten third-party API access is already going to cost the world Google+, but a change that more of you might notice is coming to IFTTT. The service sent out emails alerting users that their “recipe” scripts involving Gmail triggers and an action that could create a draft will go away as of March 31st. According to Google, the shift is a result of the Project Strobe sweep it announced last October.

IFTTT said it worked with Google to keep the integration that will support triggers to Send an email, or to Send Yourself an email, but the API lockdown that’s coming would’ve required too much work to change its services. Otherwise, integrations with Google will still be the same, but anyone relying heavily on the automated scripts may want to double check things before they get a surprise in a few days.

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Ultimate SEO”

PBNs: Private Blog Network – The Crack Habit Of SEO

First off, lets note that PBNs are not viewed well in traditional SEO and are hunted like witches in Massachusetts in the 1600s.  They must be large to matter, having anywhere between 20 to several thousand sites. They are the equivalent of building dozens of WordPress sites taking hours and hours from other SEO opportunities. They work.

What Are Private Blog Networks?

Private or Personal Blog Networks, PBNs are sites built with the purpose of providing backlinks to another site.  This other site is often called “the money site.”  Google is known to be hostile to these sites and prone to deindexing those associated. It’s not as simple though to say dont have one, it may destroy you and your site.  It also has a very good chance to increase rankings, keywords and site visibility.

It is an search engine optimization (SEO) strategy both loved and hated by many SEO professionals. While someone just getting into the marketing game might think that PBNs are just a “flavor of the month” strategy doomed to fail, be assured that PBNs have been around for well over a decade as a successful SEO strategy.

Do PBNs Work?

If they didn’t why would Google care?  Drawing conclusions from an online forum “PBN work as well as they have been working since the start of PBN” “As long as backlinks will be the primary SEO factor, PBNs are not going anywhere.” “PBN’s work, but the cost of remaining competitive is gradually getting higher. Expired domains are getting more expensive, you can’t just have a crappy domain full of spun content and linking only to your money site and expect it to be effective, or not put you at higher risk of a penalty.

SEO is a money game more than ever. If you can afford a high end, relevant domain for your money site and then your own independent PBN for it with a good writer churning out great content on both the PBN and money site, you probably will rank well. Nothing in SEO in certain though, I have used PBN services with great success, and also I see competitors ranking without all of this, so it’s still a gamble in the end.

I’m not sure how Google would compile their results without a weighted emphasis on links. Everyone can build a whole site of authority content, but what makes the difference between that and an established site? Links.”

How Do You Spot A PBN?

PBNs are much more sophisticated and may be harder for users to spot because the sites span different industries, topics and layouts. When determining if a site is part of a PBN:

  • Hosting. Are they all on the same IP? You can use SpyOnWeb.com or similar tools to identify what sites are hosted with any other site.
  • Site design. Do the sites all use a similar design, navigation, color scheme?
  • Similar themes. WordPress themes sometimes have the theme name in the code. Check the source code in your browser.
  • Site ownership. Check WHOIS database for the contact information for the owner of the sites. Having hidden WHOIS data is a red flag. If all of the site owners are the same, it’s obvious the blogs are connected.
  • Duplicate content. Copy a paragraph into Google search to see if the content exists on other sites.
  • Backlink profile. Check the backlink profile in Ahrefs or Majestic (these are the largest databases of links) to see how much interlinking is occurring between sites.
  • Images and videos. Since videos and images are difficult and expensive to recreate, these are likely going to be duplicated on other sites. Use Google image search or video search to find similar pieces.

Checkout this article for anecdotal information on 11 PBN experiments.

Ultimate SEO”

PBNs: Private Blog Network – The Crack Habit Of SEO

First off, lets note that PBNs are not viewed well in traditional SEO and are hunted like witches in Massachusetts in the 1600s.  They must be large to matter, having anywhere between 20 to several thousand sites. They are the equivalent of building dozens of WordPress sites taking hours and hours from other SEO opportunities. They work.

What Are Private Blog Networks?

Private or Personal Blog Networks, PBNs are sites built with the purpose of providing backlinks to another site.  This other site is often called “the money site.”  Google is known to be hostile to these sites and prone to deindexing those associated. It’s not as simple though to say dont have one, it may destroy you and your site.  It also has a very good chance to increase rankings, keywords and site visibility.

It is an search engine optimization (SEO) strategy both loved and hated by many SEO professionals. While someone just getting into the marketing game might think that PBNs are just a “flavor of the month” strategy doomed to fail, be assured that PBNs have been around for well over a decade as a successful SEO strategy.

Do PBNs Work?

If they didn’t why would Google care?  Drawing conclusions from an online forum “PBN work as well as they have been working since the start of PBN” “As long as backlinks will be the primary SEO factor, PBNs are not going anywhere.” “PBN’s work, but the cost of remaining competitive is gradually getting higher. Expired domains are getting more expensive, you can’t just have a crappy domain full of spun content and linking only to your money site and expect it to be effective, or not put you at higher risk of a penalty.

SEO is a money game more than ever. If you can afford a high end, relevant domain for your money site and then your own independent PBN for it with a good writer churning out great content on both the PBN and money site, you probably will rank well. Nothing in SEO in certain though, I have used PBN services with great success, and also I see competitors ranking without all of this, so it’s still a gamble in the end.

I’m not sure how Google would compile their results without a weighted emphasis on links. Everyone can build a whole site of authority content, but what makes the difference between that and an established site? Links.”

How Do You Spot A PBN?

PBNs are much more sophisticated and may be harder for users to spot because the sites span different industries, topics and layouts. When determining if a site is part of a PBN:

  • Hosting. Are they all on the same IP? You can use SpyOnWeb.com or similar tools to identify what sites are hosted with any other site.
  • Site design. Do the sites all use a similar design, navigation, color scheme?
  • Similar themes. WordPress themes sometimes have the theme name in the code. Check the source code in your browser.
  • Site ownership. Check WHOIS database for the contact information for the owner of the sites. Having hidden WHOIS data is a red flag. If all of the site owners are the same, it’s obvious the blogs are connected.
  • Duplicate content. Copy a paragraph into Google search to see if the content exists on other sites.
  • Backlink profile. Check the backlink profile in Ahrefs or Majestic (these are the largest databases of links) to see how much interlinking is occurring between sites.
  • Images and videos. Since videos and images are difficult and expensive to recreate, these are likely going to be duplicated on other sites. Use Google image search or video search to find similar pieces.

Checkout this article for anecdotal information on 11 PBN experiments.

Ultimate SEO”

52 Tools And Counting: Mostly Free SEO Tools – I Actually Use

52 Tools And Counting: Mostly Free SEO Tools – I Actually Use
52 Tools And Counting: Mostly Free SEO Tools – I Actually Use

Work In Progress

Thanks for checking in with Ultimate SEO, this site is a side project as my client’s sites are the main one.  This means I may often have edits and unfinished elements to circle back too.  I encourage you to feel free to let me how this site could be better using the contact form.

Ultimate SEO”

Bad Backlinks: 100 Sites You Don’t Want A Backlink From.

Bad Backlinks: 100 Sites You Don’t Want A Backlink From.
Bad Backlinks: 100 Sites You Don’t Want A Backlink From.

Bad Backlinks

UltimateSEO.org has backlinks from about a thousand domains.  In a recent review of these I found an odd reoccurring link from multiple domains but all with the same content and titles.  I was introduced with “The Globe” which charges sites to NOT list them or makes money from SEOs paying them to not backlink to them.  At $36 a link they’re likely insane and I bet its bringing in some money.  But before we go all crazy and start paying Ransomlinks (if its not a word I claim it … Ransomlinks are backlinks from bad sites meant to lower your SEO score unless you pay to not be linked too.)

In reviewing the situation I ran across a list of the most disavowed sites.  I figured Id share that with you below, but before I do what outcome did I choose for these bad links pointed to my site?

  1. Option 1 Pay: Heck No! Then the terrorists win.
  2. Disavow: No! Don’t use disavow unless Google has placed a manual action against your site.  I’m skeptical anyhow of the tools purpose and Google itself says there is no need to use the tool unless you’ve been penalized and told by them you are being penalized.
  3. Do Nothing: Yes! Don’t do anything. Google likely knows about the Ransomlinks scheme and has already penalized the site by deindexing it.  There are so many random domains its going to be a mess to address so let it be unless you have a seen a negative affect.  In other words…before you saw your leg off wondering if that spot is cancer…stop and find out.
  4. An idea: 301 Redirect Them…seriously…all of these links point to a subdomain that until now hasn’t existed.  Most others who are talking about this site note a similar subdomain targeted.   I could create the targeted subdomain and redirect all links to it from my site back to theirs.  🙂  

I’m opting for the third as I dont have any indication that Google cares about these Ransomlinks.  They may actually bring some random traffic of use so redirecting them would take that from my site.

[democracy id=”2″]

And now the most disavowed sites…

Most popular websites disavowed by webmasters

1blogspot.com
2blogspot.ca
3blogspot.co.uk
4ning.com
5wordpress.com
6blog.pl
7linkarena.com
8yuku.com
9blogspot.de
10webs.com
11blogspot.nl
12blogspot.fr
13lemondir.com
14blog.com
15alonv.com
16tistory.com
17searchatlarge.com
18dvpdvp1.com
19typepad.com
20nju-jp.com
21bluehost.com
22wldirectory.com
23tumblr.com
24hyperboards.com
25directoryfuse.com
26prlog.ru
27informe.com
28ligginit.com
29theglobe.org
30pulsitemeter.com
31articlerich.com
32weebly.com
33the-globe.com
34blogspot.no
35theglobe.net
36articledashboard.com
37dig.do
38seodigger.com
39cybo.com
40fat64.net
41bravenet.com
42cxteaw.com
43askives.com
44mrwhatis.net
45insanejournal.com
46xurt.com
47freedirectorysubmit.com
48commandresults.com
49sagauto.com
50internetwebgallery.com
51freewebsitedirectory.com
52ewbnewyork.com
53000webhost.com
54tblog.com
55directorylist.me
56analogrhythm.com
57snapcc.org
58bravejournal.com
59weblinkstoday.com
60m-pacthouston.com
61linkcruncher.com
62tripod.com
63cogizz.com
64niresource.com
65over-blog.com
66ogdenscore.com
67free-link-directory.info
68alikewebsites.com
69folkd.com
70djsonuts.com
71uia.biz
72bangkokprep.com
73forumsland.com
74punbb-hosting.com
75hostmonster.com
76blogspot.in
77siteslikesearch.com
78bookmark4you.com
79siliconvalleynotary.com
80listablog.com
81poetic-dictionary.com
82linkspurt.com
83cultuurtechnologie.net
84azjournos.com
85exteen.com
86articletrader.com
87blogspot.com.au
88delphistaff.com
89altervista.org
90media-tourism.com
91woodwardatelier.com
92holdtiteadhesives.com
93lorinbrownonline.com
94tech4on.com
95popyourmovie.com
96trilogygroveland.com
97foqe.net
98directorybin.com
99eatrightkc.com

Ultimate SEO”

Adwords And Google Data Studio: Wordstream Alternative

Adwords And Google Data Studio: Wordstream Alternative

I’ve been managing Google Adwords campaigns for political campaigns mostly but recently I stepped out into managing the Adwords campaigns for an IT consulting company. It’s a little bit of a challenge I’m not going to lie. More than just matching the search with the keyword I need to attract only business customer and cut out residential. So as you can image someone Googles “IT Help Desks” and they might be looking for a specific help desk, a personal help desk or a help desk to contract business services too.

Wordstream Free Alternative

In Ultimate SEO‘s  struggle to compete in this expensive market I tried Wordstream out for a week and a half of so and thats really not enough time to get much actionable help. I was pulled into a sales demo consultation and sure it seemed like it could offer insights but WOW … the expense associated with that out paced any other SEO tool I use. I felt the main task Wordstream was completing was organizing and presenting the data in a way that I could see the areas of need. Google Data Studio has been doing that for me in SEO for over a year now so I’ve tried my hand at making a Google Adwords Google Data Studio report with the aim to save about three hundred a month from getting Wordstream.

google data studio adwords

Data Studio Adwords Template

Google Data Studio also lets you copy reports that others make available and you can attach your own data respository to populate the report. Basically if you want a Google Data Studio Template for Adwords you’re welcome to copy this report in Google Data Studio.

I’ll come back in a month and let you know how this free product helped or didn’t help me rather than paying PPC software provides.

Ultimate SEO”

MAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google Chooses

MAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google Chooses
Wednesday, February 06, 2019

In Search Console, the Performance report currently credits all page metrics to the exact URL that the user is referred to by Google Search. Although this provides very specific data, it makes property management more difficult; for example: if your site has mobile and desktop versions on different properties, you must open multiple properties to see all your Search data for the same piece of content.

To help unify your data, Search Console will soon begin assigning search metrics to the (Google-selected) canonical URL, rather than the URL referred to by Google Search. This change has several benefits:

  • It unifies all search metrics for a single piece of content into a single URL: the canonical URL. This shows you the full picture about a specific piece of content in one property.
  • For users with separate mobile or AMP pages, it unifies all (or most, since some mobile URLs may end up as canonical) of your data to a single property (the “canonical” property).
  • It improves the usability of the AMP and Mobile-Friendly reports. These reports currently show issues in the canonical page property, but show the impression in the property that owns the actual URL referred to by Google Search. After this change, the impressions and issues will be shown in the same property.

Google Search Console

When will this happen?

We plan to transition all performance data on April 10, 2019. In order to provide continuity to your data, we will pre-populate your unified data beginning from January 2018. We will also enable you to view both old and new versions for a few weeks during the transition to see the impact and understand the differences.

API and Data Studio users: The Search Console API will change to canonical data on April 10, 2019.

How will this affect my data?

  • At an individual URL level, you will see traffic shift from any non-canonical (duplicate) URLs to the canonical URL.
  • At the property level, you will see data from your alternate property (for example, your mobile site) shifted to your “canonical property”. Your alternate property traffic probably won’t drop to zero in Search Console because canonicalization is at the page, not the property level, and your mobile property might have some canonical pages. However, for most users, most property-level data will shift to one property. AMP property traffic will drop to zero in most cases (except for self-canonical pages).
  • You will still be able to filter data by device, search appearance (such as AMP), country, and other dimensions without losing important information about your traffic.

You can see some examples of these traffic changes below.

Preparing for the change

  • Consider whether you need to change user access to your various properties; for example: do you need to add new users to your canonical property, or do existing users continue to need access to the non-canonical properties.
  • Modify any custom traffic reports you might have created in order to adapt for this traffic shift.
  • If you need to learn the canonical URL for a given URL, you can use the URL Inspection tool.
  • If you want to save your traffic data calculated using the current system, you should download your data using either the Performance report’s Export Data button, or using the Search Console API.

Examples

Here are a few examples showing how data might change on your site. In these examples, you can see how your traffic numbers would change between a canonical site (called example.com) and alternate site (called m.example.com).

Important: In these examples, the desktop site contains all the canonical pages and the mobile contains all the alternate pages. In the real world, your desktop site might contain some alternate pages and your mobile site might contain some canonical pages. You can determine the canonical for a given URL using the URL Inspection tool.

Total traffic

In the current version, some of your traffic is attributed to the canonical property and some to the alternate property. The new version should attribute all of your traffic to the canonical property.

MAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google Chooses

Canonical property
(http://example.com)
Alternate property
(http://m.example.com)
CurrentMAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google ChoosesMAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google Chooses
New, based on canonical URLsMAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google ChoosesMAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google Chooses
Change+0.7K     |        +3K-0.7K        |          -3K

Individual page traffic

You can see traffic changes between the duplicate and canonical URLs for individual pages in the Pages view. The next example shows how traffic that used to be split between the canonical and alternate pages are now all attributed to the canonical URL:

Canonical property
(http://example.com)
Alternate property
(http://m.example.com)
OldMAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google ChoosesMAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google Chooses
NewMAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google ChoosesMAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google Chooses
Change+150     |        +800-150     |        -800

Mobile traffic

In the current version, all of your mobile traffic was attributed to your m. property. The new version attributes all traffic to your canonical property when you apply the “Device: Mobile” filter as shown here:

Canonical property
(http://example.com)
Alternate property
(http://m.example.com)
OldMAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google ChoosesMAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google Chooses
NewMAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google ChoosesMAJOR GOOGLE SEO CHANGE FOR SOME: Website Traffic CREDITED To Where Google Chooses
Change+0.7K      | +3K-0.7K      | -3K

In conclusion

We know that this change might seem a little confusing at first, but we’re confident that it will simplify your job of tracking traffic data for your site. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out on the Webmaster Help Foru

Ultimate SEO”

SEO Site Auditing With SEOprofiler Reports Part 1

SEO Site Auditing With SEOprofiler Reports Part 1

SEO Site Auditing With SEOprofiler Reports Part 1Ultimate SEO”

Creating A Private Blog Network: PBNs In 2019 For SEO

Creating A Private Blog Network: PBNs In 2019 For SEO
Typical Parts Of A PBN
Each PBN site will include registering the domain, setting the name servers and hosting the site.

First and foremost the most important aspect of your Private Blog Network is randomness.  Consider what pattern or foot print your PBN might have and avoid that commonality.

patterns that give away a PBN
Patterns and commonality to avoid in building a Private Blog Network

Good PBNs Are Random, Start With Different Name Registrars

First off you need private domain registration, if not private then you’ll need people and addresses from all over.  If you always use Godaddy you’re going to have to try out others to avoid a pattern.  Incidentally if you always use Godaddy you’re getting ripped off as they will charge you for privacy and many others don’t.  Some popular Name Registrars are 1and1.com namesilo.com namecheap.com cosmotown.com each of these can save you a considerable amount over Godaddy considering they offer free private registration and using more than one breaks a pattern.

Each time you add a new site to your PBN you need to approach it from the beginning as if you’re playing a character in a story who has never made a website before, when I say that I mean if you know you have a site on Host A and you like that host you’re making decisions based on previous sites and are more likely to create a pattern.  Forget Host A how would you find a host for the first time?  Google popular web hosts and pick a cheap new partner.

One thing that’s really beneficial about building PBNs that is more helpful to you in the long run is the forced exploration.  After you’ve built ten sites on ten hosts using ten registrars and ten WordPress themes you’ll be able to write three top ten lists and rank the best of the 720 combinations that were available to you.  It’s a lot of practice and as you’re avoiding patterns and repetition you’ll find yourself stepping out of your norm.

Vary Your Web Hosts

Speed of a web host is important normally but not necessarily when your building a PBN.  While you want your primary or money site to load in under 3 seconds its perfectly fine if your PBN site loads in 7 seconds and that opens the door to all manner of generic no name web hosts.   Your primary goal with multiple web hosts is to utilize a different IP address.

Organizating A PBN Gets Complex
Considering the complexity that can quickly arise when seeking randomness of your sites.

The only two big issues with this model …

Organization OF PBN Resources

What site is down?  Oh….well which domain registrar did I use?  Am I using their nameservers, someone else’s?  Where did I point that to be hosted?  Sure these aren’t that annoying to answer with a 10 site network, but try answering it when you’ve built and scaled up to 200 sites using 7 registrars, 20 name servers, 150 different IPs … it becomes unmanageable as you find yourself searching for your site more than you are building new sites, and why are you having to search?  Maintaining a site is essential, as updates roll out to WordPress, plugins get updated and hackers exploit new vulnerabilities.  If you log into every site you own and spend 5 minutes on each site your 200 domain name network will take 16 hours … or two days a week and consider that you only spend 5 minutes on a site, you likely didn’t fix any issues and took no breaks!  It’s time to consider an apprentice or spreadsheets that fully document every aspect of your network, or both.

Uptime Monitoring

Somewhere around 100 domains I figured out I needed to approach this like an enterprise would and have actual uptime monitoring allowing me to see the state of the network easily.  UptimeRobot allows you to set up 50 monitors on a free account.

Uptime Monitoring Your PBN

In the real world 94% Uptime is horrible.  Consider that in the last 30 days I had a recorded 104765 minutes sites were down in this sample of sites.  I had issues with a server getting attacked by someone using 1700 servers causing a DOS attack.  Why?  Anyone’s guess … usually its a game to them and they aren’t paying for those 1700 servers but they’re other people’s hacked resources being used to grow their network.

You may be interested in MainWP or InfiniteWP … Godaddy provides Godaddy Pro.  You need to be mindful that these only work when they work and will they give away a signature pattern?  Likely they can create an easier management solution but easier is dangerous.

Costs Ballon And Randomness Prevents Savings

As you scale up from 10 to 20 to 50 sites your going to wake up one day and realize youre spending hundreds of dollars a month on infrastructure and all of your time will now be consumed with maintaining your network.  Adding someone to help you is going to increase costs and take your time to train them in being effective at maintaining the network.  Be careful who you bring in to help you, friends are obvious choices but when they get upset about something unrelated to the network they could leave you high and dry.  Worse yet, they are the most likely to teach you a lesson by bailing on you for a couple weeks.  Trust the people who are in it for the money … pay them more than they can get at a retail job to build loyalty to your mission. They need not be technical people but they need to understand that if a site is down, Google can’t index it and that backlink is missing now.  They need to be able to follow a logical progression and understand the parts that are in play to help you maintain the site.

The obvious answer to addressing costs is to bundle services and make sure you’re utilizing resources in the most effective manner but that is accomplished by making patterns.  You can’t find cost savings by giving away your sites.

Cloudflare Allows Consolidation And The Pattern Is Indistinguishable

Cloudflare Use For PBNs
Cloudflare allows some consolidation while masking the pattern

12,000,000 sites utilize Cloudflare’s free services which include masking your host servers IP, CDN services and security.

Cloudflare offers the ability to hide among the masses.  Who is Cloudflare?  They stand in front of your server and take the brunt of the internets crap.  Upwork.com, Medium.com, Themeforest.net, Chaturbate.com are among the names using Cloudflare.com services.  Some estimates suggest that Cloudflare is about 8% of the entire internet.  Thats huge!  At one point they found themselves protecting the Israeli government’s network as well as the PLOs.Cyber Warfare: Cloudflare In The Middle

Using Cloudflare is hiding in plain sight and free.  I recommend it but in a mixture capacity still have some sites out side of their network just to avoid any one bottleneck, it would seem odd if 100& of the sites linking to a domain are using Cloudflare….remember they are 8% and while the largest chunk of the internet they aren’t the internet.

This article has focused mainly on external and infrastructure concerns of building a PBN.  This is really a third of topic and in the coming weeks I’ll include two more posts that address on site content issues of building a PBN and site design considerations for a network of sites.

Ultimate SEO”