Using Profitable Spam & Thin Content Sites for Keyword Research

Spammers Are Great Keyword Sources - Here's How to Mine Them:

(Disclaimer: This post might seem a bit confusing if you just read it. You may have to click the links to see the process and fully get what I am talking about.)

The good thing about high ranking spam is that you know that the people who are doing it are probably both creative and focused on ROI, so you might be able to come up with a few good keyword ideas based on their research.

When you see a site in the search results that does not seem like it makes sense, it is probably there because either a spammer bought it, or the site has content management system errors which allow spammers to add content to the site. For example, is an authoritative site which was recently ranking for a competitive financial query, which seemed out of character with the nature of that site. So lets say you see one of those spam pages ranking in the search results. If you are doing keyword research and have ran out of topics you can look for footprints on these spam sites to find new ideas. As long as Google's algorithms place as much weight on authority domains as they do right now you are bound to find some people abusing that hole by placing hundreds or thousands of pages targeting expensive keywords on them.

For example, after I got the full URL of that SafeSurf page, I pulled off the file name, and looked for other things in that same folder In addition to domain related searches like inurl: many of the spam pages may have other footprints or signature text that you may want to look for.

If there are many results there you can further filter through the spammer's keywords by adding a keyword to your query. For example, search for keyword inurl:footprint.

As you can see, is a valuable highly rated website...or at least one which is offering many high value loan related keyword phrases!

Want to Mine PPC Accounts for Keywords Too? Here's How:

Another good idea for coming up with conversion / profit oriented keyword ideas is to go to the Clickbank marketplace, search for a topic related to your keywords (like weight loss, for example), see what top selling merchants match your topic, and then plug those URLs into or SpyFu to find related keywords.

You can then run that list of keywords through an Overture search suggestion scraper to get an estimate of search volume. Or put them in the Google Traffic Estimator with no bid prices to see the estimated bid prices AND projected AdWords ad click volume. Then sort those traffic estimator results by search volume or overall value to find the most important keywords and keyword phrases.

Extend Your Content:

If you write real content about the major keyword phrases covered by highly ranked mass spammers or profitable ads associated with top selling products, and then track your referral logs, you can come up with even more specific keyword topics to write about.

Published: December 13, 2006 by Aaron Wall in seo tips


December 13, 2006 - 10:31am


This is very clever - but to understand it fully you do have to do the searches you describe.

I followed your instructions to the letter and cut and pasted the search results into an Excel spreadsheet. Then I spent a few minutes weeding out all the crap and was left with a great list of about 100 keywords. I can see that looking at the footprints of these keywords will easily give me lots more.

The approach works because spammers do a lot of very good keyword research. And using Google syntax searches reveals the work they have done.

I can see that spending an hour or two's work on this would be productive.


December 13, 2006 - 5:02pm

Interesting idea, as always.

December 13, 2006 - 11:46pm

May be you will call this as a spam comment but just wanted to tell every body that Aaron Wall is TOP Ranked Celebrity today at


December 14, 2006 - 1:43pm

Thanks, Aaron.

This was one of the best, most thought provoking, capability building, and valuable post yet. It's the kind of thing that helps to guide our thinking and craft our skill level higher.

I'm very greatful for everything you share -- and what I'm able to learn from you. Very glad to be a customer of yours, too! Your book has been the best $79 I've ever spent on anything web or Internet related. I look forward to every update. I just wish I had more time to learn more SEO/SEM faster (but have a full time job right now).

Please keep up the good work -- and great stuff like this coming, please!!

Take care,


December 14, 2006 - 4:07pm

Hi Aaron. Would you guys be interested in publishing an article I wrote on SEM in smaller and emerging markets like Portugal? If you are contact me. I'm an SEO consultant in Portugal. Thanks. Nuno H.

December 14, 2006 - 6:10pm

"none of that made sense to

slow downnn..."

For us newbies sometimes it's difficult to get the feeling of it. We just have to keep reading and practicing (trial and error) to adquire the knowledge and skills we need to become experts like Aaron... He he he.

December 14, 2006 - 8:23pm

completely lost me with this post - maybe i will have to re-read when I have a free moment.

December 15, 2006 - 12:05am

Aaron...not sure how else to contact you. Can you email me about the request you made from me the other day? Thanks!

December 15, 2006 - 6:29am

those first two Google searches are now returning no results

December 15, 2006 - 6:41am

There are plenty of other highly ranked spammy pages to use as examples, though I don't want to cycle through them because that might tick someone off.

December 15, 2006 - 6:33pm

Hey Aaron -
The Google links are busted, so Im having a little trouble following your guide. Would you mind reposting them? Thanks in advance.

Don Miller
December 15, 2006 - 10:51pm

to Aaron Wall

Your BLA is better than Brad's, but I suggest:

It would be nice if you allowed simple copyNpaste.
It seems I can NOT copy from the screen.

Your export to WebPage produced blank data, and to XLS
had a lot of junk. Importing latter as text file
showed much HTML code that is tedious to delete.
Looks same for *.bla.
I merely want the links.

Simple copyNpaste can go into spreadsheet if delimiters are recognized.
TAB delimited text file would be most universal format for export.

Thanks for sharing.

Arik Sharik
December 19, 2006 - 8:54pm

Folks, make sure to use and together. i.e. start your research with then take your next step in This is an infinite idea generator.

infinite idea generator + smart implementation = infinite money generator
1. Use the tools to find ideas
2. find 70-100 ideas
3. Develop 70-100 products around ideas
4. market, evolve, adopt, meassure
5. make money

Aaron, thanks for another set of tools.

December 20, 2006 - 1:52pm

Thank you very much for sharing this information with us.

December 13, 2006 - 7:42am

none of that made sense to

slow downnn...

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