Hope you are all having an industrious start to the year. It’s been tough getting back into the swing of things after a prolonged break but luckily I find the excitement and adventure that Internet marketing brings helps a lot when trying to be disciplined with time.
This week I have got my new and improved VPS up and running with GSA Search Engine Ranker installed alongside GSA Captcha Breaker. There are some other bits and pieces on there two, but these are the two pieces of kit I am currently learning to use.
At this stage of the game I am just learning how to use the software and build some links with a view to building up some decent contextual do follow site lists so I can then run some of my own case studies.
However I did decide to blast one of my sites with links and some keyword rich anchor text to see what happened.
Initial Results After One Week
My initial results from my test site one are showing quite a steep uplift in ranking on 5/10 terms which are all now on pages 1 and 2 and the other 5/10 are seeing either no change or an up or down lift of one place. I’ll post some charts later on down the line to show what happens.
This is just a basic test and I did not expect any results like this, especially as they were straight link blasts. Everyone says that these don’t work any more, but I chucked a load of links and the evidence says otherwise. I know they’ll get blasted by Google’s next spam update, if not sooner but I don’t care – at the moment I want to see first hand evidence myself. Plus I want to try and rank throwaway sites quickly, cash in and move on. I would not be doing this to sites I care about.
I currently run Rank Tracker every day to monitor the effects.
After this initial brief test, I plan to some experiments with basic tier building creating a more natural contextual link pattern.
Starting Out Is Tough
As anyone just starting out and experimenting with automated and tiered link building will know, there is a very steep learning curve involved. This is why I thought I’d document my learnings along the way while it was still fresh in my mind and hopefully pointing other beginners in the right direction.
There is a lot of contradictory advice on the internet when it comes to this type of SEO making it difficult to know what is true and whats not. A lot of the time people are just promoting a product to make an affiliate commission while others mean well, but the Google algo has just plain moved on since.
Inspiration and Motivation
The main thing is to experiment for yourself and get your own hard data. There is no substitute for this. For as long as Google exists in its current guise, backlinks will still play a major role in what ranks a website. It’s just case of working out what types of links and in what ratios Google likes.
At the moment that may seem like a moving target but don’t despair, where there is a will, there is a way.
Just so you know, a competitor site just appeared in the SERPS from nowhere in one of my highly-competitive niches, taking number one slot ranking purely on black hat means. This term is a big money term getting 8000 visits a month. How long it will stay for is unknown but I’d say he’s making a conservative $500 – $1000 a day while he’s there. He’s been there 2 weeks now since I first noticed him.
My goal is to be in that slot sometime soon. I have built a blueprint site that I can roll out multiple unique copies of and get testing.
For This Project I am Using the Following
A VPS for SEO – £10+ a month
A VPS is not absolutely necessary to begin with as you can use any windows based PC that has a good internet connection.
However once you get up and running you’ll want things running 24/7. This plus the software you use can get pretty resource hungry so at some point you are going to have to take the dive and hire a virtual machine.
I say a VPS for SEO as you could use any VPS, however companies may be uncomfortable with the thought of spamming and may shut you down if they find out. I use the new rock solid European based servers from SolidSeoVPS, they are cheaper than PowerUp Hosting and almost as good.
Shared Private Proxies – £6+ a month
Firstly you have to use proxies on any VPS, not doing so will get your server IP banned plus a shitload of spam complaints to your hosting company who will get upset with you very quickly.
You can scrape for free public proxies if you are broke but what I soon learned when starting out with tools like Scrapebox, is that you waste too much time trying to find working, slow public proxies that die almost instantly.
If you are on a budget, just get 10 shared proxies to start as this is enough. I use BuyProxies.org which are cheap and work very well. £6 a month is all costs for 10 and that will be good enough. The more the merrier but you don’t need to go crazy at this point.
It’s worth noting here that SolidSeoVPS offer a 10% discount on BuyProxies when you subscribe via their service which is what I do now.
GSA Search Engine Ranker – 10% Off Link
This really is the monster of link building tools and is extremely cheap for what it does. It’s a one time fee and it will build just about any type of link. There is a lot to learn and a lot of different parameters which make it perfect for testing and finding your own unique methods that wont match the link footprints of other people.
GSA Captcha Breaker – 10% Off Link
This is more expensive than GSA Search Engine Ranker and is a bit of a hidden cost when first setting up shop, but in reality you cannot expect to automate link building without either automated captcha solving or a paid service.
Either way is going to cost you money and the rate at which GSA SER can build links, it could wind up costing you £thousands each week if you opt for a latter manual service paying per 1000 solves.
The other popular option is Captcha Sniper, an older captcha solving software that many people still use and swear by. I have never used it so cannot comment and can only say that in any comparisons run and published online, neither appear to be much better or worse then the other, so it’s your choice and up to you to research further.
I went with GSA Captcha Breaker as it plugs into GSA Search Engine Ranker effortlessly and works well and has good reviews.
Normally, a pay by 100o service like Death by Captcha would be reserved for your high quality, low volume tier 1 links that you want a high sucessful submission rate. The costs would therefore be minimal as the rate is $1.50 per 1000 solved captchas.
Other Tools that I am using but are not vital
I have owned this bad boy for about 2 months and it’s amazing at generating bucket loads of scraped content that is spun together to generate relatively unique and readable content. Plus it’s a piece of cake to use. It was available on monthly subscription but now it’s a one time fee only.
The deal is that when you click on the link, you can buy it for a short period of half price, then its goes up a bit, then onto full price. Don’t panic though, just clear your cookies then try again if you are ready to purchase
It’s quite expensive,but bear in mind that I have paid $200 for 30 articles from the Phillipines that are of equal or poorer quality!
This thing will generate half-decent and depending on type of link building project, passible for Tier 1 spun content from either your own private articles or articles scraped form reputable sources on the web. It can also export to GSA SER in a complete project format that takes care of 90% of the data fields that need to be prepared for posting which is a massive time saver.
If you are not ready to outlay for this software, don’t worry, it’s not vital and you can manually add the spun content plus use GSA SER’s built in article scraper to get you started. Using a spinner like The Best Spinner will be good enough at this point. However its definiatelty one to consider at it saves an awful lot of time when building out lower tiers.
This was the first tool I ever owned and learned so much just playing around with this software. It is the swiss army knife of Internet Marketing tools which can do just about anything you may require. I run a local copy on my PC for quick tasks and another on my VPS for the longer tasks. You can grab a commission free copy here.
It becomes useful with GSA SER as it can help build your verified lists quickly by grabbing footprints of your successful submissions and then use Scrapebox to go out and find some more. Again, don’t worry if you don’t have it or cant afford it as it is GSA SER is equipped to scrape its own list of sites as it runs, it just wont be as fast.
I really recommend getting a copy of this sooner rather than later as you just learn so much about search engines, website and the internet in general when you start to use it.
Getting Started With GSA Search Engine Ranker
GSA Search Engine Ranker is an extremely powerful tool and even though I have only been playing with it for a couple of weeks now, you quickly begin to appreciate its raw power. It is capable of building links on a multitude of platforms and at an incredible rate.
If you read any of the popular blogs on tiered link building you’ll see that GSA SER is very popular for tiers 2 and 3 due to the rates in which it can generate low quality back links on order to strengthen the higher quality tier 1’s.
However GSA SER is more than capable of generating decent high PR Do Follow Tier 1’s with well spun content, especially if you have some decent target site lists. The problem I find with using poor spun content on tier one is that even if the link becomes verified, it just doesn’t stick very well on the better sites as it tends to get removed.
Introduction To GSA SER Videos
Firstly I watched the following videos first. They are a year and a half old and GSA SER has evolved a lot since then but he covers a lot of the basics and most of the settings and options talked about still exist but are just in slightly different places. I played around with my own copy as I watched the tutorials and quickly got a feel for the software and also began to appreciate how far it had come since its initial launch.
Each video is only 10 – 15 minutes long and will give you a good insight into the basics
Then, once I had watched and digested these, along with understanding how how to find my way around I then moved on to this great video made by Bill Angelos.
GSA SER Training – Learn to Run GSA Like a Pro v6.99
This has been taken down by YouTube 🙁
The good news is that here are his self-hosted videos.
It’s quite long but he literally walks you through setting up a campaign, advanced settings and building decent site lists. It also uses a much more recent version of GSA SER so you’ll instantly recognise the areas he’s talking about.
Here are two pages on the GSA site that part one documents best practise settings and part two basic project structures. Remember these are guidelines not rules. We are just trying to learn how to use the software and what it can do first.
Now Get Some Test Projects On The Go
Don’t mess around here trying to plan anything too clever as you’ll never get started. The only way to learn is to get your hands dirty and build some links. Be warned this thing is a monster so don’t use any domains you care about! Get some test domains set up for the purpose of learning.
I made a mistake with the project settings on a site I was testing on and had blasted out 94 verified links in just a few minutes before I realised what I had done. Luckily I have a few domains set up for testing purposes so it didn’t matter although I don’t want to tank a site without actually learning something useful from the process.
How to find target sites for GSA SER
Just by setting up and running a few projects to practise on will start to build your own verified site lists. They say it takes about a month of running the software full time in order to have a decent list, but there are other ways you can speed this up.
If you do any research, the first thing that is important is to start to build some target sites for the software to be able to target. It does have its own scraper and will find them over time based on the various footprints and search terms each project is loaded with.
The more verified site lists you have, the quicker you can submit to them ad the more selective you can be when building out the tiers.
Here is a simple tutorial on how to do this using Scrapebox. You will need to have run GSA SER for a while so you have verified site lists to examine and work with. It works by searching for common phrases in the urls you’ve successfully posted to.
There is also a more complex one again using Scrapebox to build lists, but this time it focusses on taking seed lists from verified blog comments then using them to reverse engineer outbound links to other possible posting platforms. I am working my way through it now and already have some monster lists to feed into GSA Search Engine Ranker.
A final method it to grab the built in footprints that GSA Search Engine Ranker has built in, which can be found in the Tools option when you select “search for URLS online”. An option comes up and you can copy the footprints you want to trget and export to Scrapebox. Then a quick merge with some keywords will start to bring back some nice long lists to feed into GSA SER for sorting.
I’ve got to wrap this post up now as I need to do some more tests so I can report back some results but this is enough to get you started.
I’ll add links to it as I find good ones.