Dirt & Making People Link at You

Jun 8th

So most people are all driven by emotions and a desires like

  • money

  • power
  • fame
  • empathy
  • happiness

If you fill someone's needs there is limited profit potential in that market space as others will try to fill needs cheaper. The key is to fill wants and desires.

You can buy links all day long, but the more your site launch conveys a social element and fills people's desires for at least one of the above the better the chance it will succeed. Fathom's Keyword Price Index is in my opinion fairly arbitrary. Much of the search profit growth is driven by search volume, but Fathom created a system to give people a set of numbers to track click prices by sector and report them each month. Since some people feel the data is important they may feel their site is incomplete without it. Thus we talk about it.

Other marketers will need to pay for that type of exposure, and even then many people discount or ignore ads. I ALWAYS prefer to buy content advertorials over traditional ads because they look less like ads and converts better. It is the reason behind the whole page editorial looking ad and a large part of the exceptional profitability of AdWords (the other part is of course precise targeting).

The below example might be full of crap or easy to do wrong, therefore it is no formal suggestion and the author of this post shall not be held liable for the use or misuse of this information / post / idea.

A friend of mine recently wanted to launch a site about celebrities and asked me what I thought of it. The design looked good, but the writing could have been better. I told my friend that the site had low content quality. But what does that really mean?

On this blog I miss out on many link opportunities by randomly whinging about and not putting much effort into editing. When I told my friend their writing could have been better the editing was an issue, but that really was not the flawed part of the idea. The flaw was that the idea ignored the social structure of the web, why people link, and what keeps people coming back.

If I was going to launch a site about celebrities here are some of the things I would do:

  • Either make the idea niche (about a few celebrities) or try to get some funding.

  • Get a killer brandable domain name that conveys something more. For example, a parked page rests at www.dirt.org and some of the other similar domain names might be available cheap. Dirt.org, Dirt.net, or Dirt.com is a great web brand waiting to happen.
  • Create something people could not get elsewhere. If people are looking up celebrity information sure their birth date is cool, but why not have sections like:
    • Recent Sexual Partners (rumoured)

    • Illegal habbits and fetishes (rumoured)
  • You could further extend that "what you can't get elsewhere" idea by showing:
    • the connectivity of degrees of separation between sex partners (confirmed or rumoured)

    • links to people who got in trouble for the same illegal activities
    • links to people who share the same fetishes
    • etc etc etc
  • To make the idea more social, give away free fan blogs and use a social software program which allows people to rate the best pots and channels to make them more visible. Also hire some editors and grab some news feed to help the network work and ensure there is a decent level of content quality.
  • Encourage people to report the dirt. Perhaps even offering cash rewards.
  • The site might even be more over the top by offering ad space to sketchy advertisers that deal in semi illegal or intrusive stuff such as paparazzi photos and the like.

At the end of the day if you can cause people to talk about something your bank account will swell (unless you get sued). Sometimes lawsuits are a cheap form of marketing as well though. Also many times people are required to inform you of what you are doing wrong before they can sue you for it.

Recently Lee Odden mentioned a new folksonomy tool called Tag Cloud.

I am sure you can spam some information systems such as Tag Cloud, but if you can get your name, your site name, and ideas you made up to be semantically related to the subject of your content then you win. If DMOZ links to many of your celebrity content pages you win. If bloggers frequenlty link in you win. If many people desire your site specifically then it is hard for a search engine to penalize your site and you win.

Lots of other random ideas in my head, but I don't pay much attention to most celebrities. That was an example of how to future proof SEO techniques by making sure the idea is socially well structured for guaranteed longterm success.

Not sure if I have it in me to be a strong entrepreneur, but in a few years I might be willing to try out a bit more of my random ideas.

Published: June 8, 2005

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