Becoming a Scientific SEO

Jan 16th

One of the best things I ever learned in the navy was troubleshooting and half splitting problems into smaller possible problems. I recently did a bit of microspamming stuff to see what would get nailed and what would not, although I have only tested like 0.0000001% of the market. I want to start focusing more of my efforts on learning how to become a scientific SEO.

I have not built a ton of for profit sites yet, but the likes of Andy Hagans and a few of my other friends have been wearing me down into becoming more of a blog overlord / many for profit site owner.

There are really two main ways to do SEO:

  • Manually: Create world class content that is published frequently.

  • Automated: Buy and/or build sites that look good to search algorithms and search reviewers even if they are a bit automated.

People tend to dismiss the word automation as meaning it has to be spam, but I can't tell you how many times I have heard people like Mikkel talk about how many of the most popular websites are heavily automated.

Google, Google News, Digg, and Memeorandum are a few of the many automated sites I generate on a daily basis. I also think it is pretty hypocritical for those creating automated websites to push the image of automation as being associated with spam.

I guess the ultimate goal to create a money printing machine would be to create content that is:

  • useful and value added (needs to pass the Turing Test and be citation, bookmark, and subscription worthy)

  • unique (so duplicate content filters do not catch it)
  • profitable
  • nearly 100% automated

I am pretty much starting from scratch on the above autogen idea, but friends have left me tips here and there. I hired a cool programmer who is working away at creating value added websites. It should be fun.

In some areas I am partnered with friends who are all about making money, but as much as anything I want to watch and understand how search evolves on many levels. You really can't be a true scientific SEO unless you have some automated content you are working with.

Published: January 16, 2006

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Comments

January 16, 2006 - 1:11pm

>I am pretty much starting from scratch on the above autogen idea, but friends have left me tips here and there. I hired a cool programmer who is working away at creating value added websites. It should be fun.

Aaron - are you talking about your "forum watch" site? Nice idea indeed, and a good reason for an automated site, and it surely stands every chance to be bookmark worthy. I was actually watching that one for a while wondering what you would do with it ;-)

January 17, 2006 - 11:57pm

Check my site, the Harry Potter Automatic News Aggregator. I started it in 2002 using SEO principles I had picked up (and continue to learn and use), and the site has gone from a single web page to a major destination site, even endorsed by JK Rowling (see jkrowling.com's "Fan Site Award" section).

And it all began with automation (aggregating Harry Potter headlines before RSS was in wide use).

January 18, 2006 - 5:50pm

I have to agree, Aaron. Over the last few months I've put together a niche price comparison site that's 99% automated. It's all written in PHP and MySQL and runs on a shared webserver and a crappy old Compaq PII 266 which spiders my merchants - hardly a big investment !

All I do is run a script each morning that puts the latest reductions into a newsletter, I then decide whether or not to include some news at the top of it and send it. That's it - takes about 5 minutes a morning and even this part could be automated.

It makes its money from affiliate fees that my merchants pay plus a small monthly subscription to be in the site. Because it's niche (it's for UK-based cyclists) I'm getting a really good, targeted traffic with only modest promotion and most people are coming back again and again.

The real beauty of it is that the same code could be applied to numerous other products with virtually no changes at all. Which is exactly what I intend to do . . . :-)

For the curious, the site (in its current form) can be seen here:

http://shopping.outdoor-equipment-review.com

January 20, 2006 - 11:01pm

I have two mini side-projects that will remain nameless. (check the blog and you can prolly figure it out ... =))

One was built in about 2 weekends, with a bit of upkeep time here and there over the past year or so.

Another I've invested about 10x as much time, requires constant grooming, keeps me up late at night worrying about basic features that need to be implemented still, etc, etc.

Guess which one makes 2x as much profit? =)

Shanti

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