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  • The Semi-Automated Site Factory: Consolidating SEO Efforts

    Ok. So SEO has progressed into a big money industry. One thing I’ve seen during my relatively short(comparatively) existance in the industry is a seen a transition from manual work, to outsourcing, to now smaller corporations springing up that are essentially an outsourcing frontend. Companies that may(for example) have a massive site network that you order outsourced posts from, companies that have built in article creation queues, companies that offer blog commenting and directory submission. All of this has greatly improved the efficiency with which one can operate. All of these are steps towards automation in an odd way. A “set it and forget it” that still involves humans. Today we’re going to cover how to take that, and turn it into something even more automated by consolidating these services into our own backend to create mini-sites.

    This entry is going to be in context of “mini sites” (as people have expressed a fair amount of interest in those), and creating a mini-site factory. For the SEO that may not be able to create additional sites(due to contracts and whatnot), simply remove the tactics you cannot use and you’ve still got a great linkbuilding and content generation setup.

    It’s been noted many times that often the most effective SEO is that which rides the line of blackhat(read: automation) but still stays within the white/grayhat realm(read:semi-automation).

    What is Our Goal for Our Mini Sites
    Our goal is to have them each be in a subniche of the same niche, and use them to help promote our primary domain. They have enough content to be a defensible site, and enough links to provide some juice linking back to our primary domain. So we need to get 3 things handled. The template for the new sites, content for the new sites, and the linkbuilding for the new sites. Keep in mind these are not explicitely designed to rank themselves.

    The Site Factory

    1. The Template – This gets much easier if you’re using a consistant CMS like wordpress. Either way, it’s the major disconnect in the entire process, and something best handled by either yourself, or someone in a position of trust. It’s essentially downloading templates that would look acceptable for your niche, removing those damnable footer links, and loading them into a template folder. Do a lot in the first place. As this is the most hands-on part of the process(excluding domain purchases), it’s something we want to get out of the way early.
    2. The Content Building – Keywords here is “backend” and “outsourcing”.
      1. Get yourself a reliably good writer. All of this becomes about 20x more difficult if you have to review posts before they go live, and essentially removes the entire point of this entire entry.
      2. Create yourself a lovely backend. Your entire input: domain, list of topics. This displays to your article writer. They have a place to paste each article and select the proper site. When all articles for the site are completed, it’s not too hard to set something up to automatically paypal them and record the transaction
      3. The actual post of the information is easiest with WordPress. You can just tie in your writer’s backend to the blogs with XMLRPC, and easily post straight from their console(even though they don’t need to know your password
      4. If you’re not using the blog format, it’s pretty easy to rig up a fake one. Have the entry insert into a database, then just have the articles section pull from that database based on an ID in the URL (like ?articleid=4 would be SELECT article FROM articles WHERE articleid=4 LIMIT 1)
    3. The Link Building – Ok. You need 2 things for this to work. Reliable junk link methods(directories, commeting, etc), and reliable workers. Depending on your trust level for the workers this can change drastically.
      1. Add the site to the link building queue as soon as they paypal to pay the article writer goes out. It’s moved another step down the assembly line.
      2. Automatic Scripts -No, not link spam. Automatic directory submission is a fun one here. Anything you can do to build fast links automatically is golden so long as you aren’t going to have to monitor for bans because of the method.
      3. Directing the Outsourced – So you’ve got your outsourced link building guys. How to give them the jobs?
        • Just Viewing the Job Queue – All they see is the site in question. You rely on them to go out and actually build the links. The upside of this is that it’s really easy. They just check into the queue every day or so, do the work, then go about their business. The downside is just that you have no way to verify their work.
        • View the Specific URLs – They see the URLs of the directories and blogs you want comments dropped at. The downside is if you don’t especially trust your workers they can run off and sell the list to other places. Also, it’s hard for outsourced workers to do this quickly.
        • The Complete Backend – If you have someone doing something like blog comments, and you’re paranoid about them running off with your do-follow list or directory list, you can relatively easily create a backend that displays the post and the comment box, or just the forms to submit your site. The downside of this is it doesn’t handle different CMS’s or different anti-spam mods.

    The Big Picture
    You are now doing very little for site production. Mini sites are getting pumped out for the cost of the domain ($6.00 let’s say), $10-25 for articles, and $10-20 for some basic promotion. So on the cheap end these sites could potentially be manufactured for about $26.00. Maybe $40 for a more significant site. It’s a permanent backlink, and can draw in/direct traffic itself within it’s niche.
    Your job? Pick domain, pick keywords, pick article subjects. Not a bad gig, huh?

    If you want the per-site cost to go down, you can pretty easily create fewer sites, but add more content to each (this lowers the overall needed promotion to give it some link juice).

    No site is going to be able to be 100% supported by these in the form I described, but throwing in some decent cross linking and a few more original tricks, and they can give you some decent traffic and even better link juice.

    Important: The function of this system relies HEAVILY on how reliable the people doing the work are. You need people that you know are going to check the queue, and that you know will do the work without you having to police them.


    PS: I think I’m going to start posting more, and just rotating what I post about. If there’s an SEO related post one day, the next post will likely be PPC/industry news/a rant. I may eventually decided on 3 or so categories that get rotated in, but for now I’m just going to have fun with it.

    23 Responses to “The Semi-Automated Site Factory: Consolidating SEO Efforts”

    1. Justin Chelf says:

      Good post, I like the way your organize your posts.

    2. Jernej says:

      Yea, me too. Really nice post :) .

    3. Tom says:

      Excellent post. This is one of my shower thoughts, how to develop a system for site development that is efficient. I love the idea of a work que that can be implimented.

    4. BigSky says:

      Great post. I’ve been building a few minisites lately and they definitely bring in a nice bit of change for my pocket. I can’t wait to try of fey of these for others I’m bringing online. Thanks!

    5. Google Search Sucks says:

      One note to add. I tried this type of system and the problem was when pieces break/wear out in the assembly line.

      Make sure each person working for you is replaceable and that you have multiple groups performing the same job function.

    6. Steve says:

      If you want to use wordpress as the main CMS for your sites you might want to look into Mass WordPress Installer or Blog Matrix Pro. These will help you easily install wordpress on any domain, sub domain, addon domain with ease. No I am not a reseller, just figured they might help anyone else reading this so they do not find themselves installing 50 wordpress sites by hand.

    7. Kirin123 says:

      Nice post. How important is it to place all of these sites on separate ips?

    8. Dev Basu says:

      Neat. It’s great to have you back and posting again. I wrote a post yesterday on how to efficiently outsource seo campaigns thats a worthwhile read as well, especially given some of the less than wonderful experiences most folks have had dealing with outsourced parties. You can read it here: http://cli.gs/HBZNhM

    9. Sandeep Bali says:

      Great post.. bookmarked.. but I wonder why are you giving your link juice to these bookmarking websites in your bookmarking icons.

    10. Darkwing says:

      @Kirin123: Different IPs is essential, as you don’t want all your inbounds from 1 IP do ya? And mix up your whois info too.

    11. automatic link building says:

      So what are some good automatic link building scripts?

    12. Matt says:

      How are you getting decent (legible, not scrapped) articles for that price?

    13. Grid Empire » Blog Archive » Removing the Shadows and Sharing our Secrets says:

      [...] again we rely not on brute force and tons of spam link utilizing scripts and blackhat bots bent to our will. No search for high ranked authority sites, no vicious stream of pointless blog [...]

    14. Kevin says:

      Check out one of my freelance copy writers that I use. Good quality, reasonably priced. I’m always looking for new link building and other sources so if anybody has any referrals they want to promote drop it here, thanks. Awesome post on SEO semi automation and awesomeness in general.

    15. SEO News & Interesting Links | Web Presense Fast! says:

      [...] On the spammier front, it looks like 302 redirects might be back and XMPC offers tips on how to build semi-automated sites. [...]

    16. Tracy Benungski says:

      Good post. Well organized ideas. Let me try to follow at least a few of them.

      Tracy Benungski – Internet business make money online

    17. SEO next says:

      Rightly said… Automation is the key
      I do not want to do balant advertising for our services, but we build such sites in hundreds for different clients every month (having a team of around 100 dedicated developers, content writers and designers).

    18. InfectedByBugs says:

      To be honest it’s just simple logic and common sence.

    19. DrMav says:

      What do you think about using private registration? Better or worse than using different whois ids?

    20. GE says:

      Testing CMS (www.autositer.com) that gets only keywords as input and creates SEO optimized site in about 20 seconds. Get google keyword tool, copy/paste 120 keywords into TXT file and the rest is history. 120 pages, each filled with unique content, optimized for it’s keyword.
      No stupid databases, templates, plugins and other complexities to deal with. (I agree that wordpress is a great CMS for 1-2-3 sites. When you want to quickly build 100 sites each targeting different niche – its the whole different game).

      Love the simplicity of a concept.

    21. sircularSEO says:

      I also wonder if private registration is good enough to hide your domain info from google or not? Another thing that you forget to factor in is the hosting for each site. And that is the real ringer. Because maybe you get cheap monthly hosting (GoDaddy) for like $3-$4/month per site. This way you get separate IPs.

      But then you figure its gonna take a few months for these domains to build up authority so then you have to figure the monthly cost for about the first 6 months, plus the setup fees, when you try to map this all out. And THEN, if you know what you are doing, you can start to monetize them. Please anyone, tell me if I am wrong or going about this the wrong way?

    22. Digerati Marketing » Blogs Worth Reading says:

      [...] effective SEO, whether he’s writing about Google’s User Data Empire, hiding from it or site automation it’s all [...]

    23. James says:

      Matt, I got a copywriter from Scriptlance which cost me $115 – 7 sites with 5 pages of content (500+ words). Just check out work history and get some examples of their work before you award the work.

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