Today I have published 2 new strategies that have indirectly come out of my Parasite Experiment – this one here is on my brand new 2014 SEO strategy called “Switchbox SEO” (yes I have already registered the dotcom) and the other one over here is on Amazon S3 Parasite Strategy.
So what on earth is ‘Switchbox SEO’ as I call it?
In SEO, I’m a little bit obsessed with getting ever greater control over my backlinks and I’m a firm believer that you should always have complete control over pretty much all your backlinks (press releases notwithstanding, not much you can do there – or can you?)
Current linkbuilding which has been around forever looks like this pretty much (I’ll get to tiered linkbuilding shortly):
and this has many drawbacks such as:
Any change in the backlink profile must be done one site at a time e.g. changing Anchors if overoptimized, removing links before applying for a Reconsideration Request if manually penalised by Google, sending begging emails to webmasters to remove links, removing harmful links to a site/specific page etc.
And what if a high ranking client stops paying for your SEO services and the links aren’t built on sites that you own (even if you do, it could be hundreds or even thousands of webpages, not exactly easy).
I know that Dori Friend has been developing some high end master admin panel for managing links from a central point – she has even applied for patents on it! Sounds intriguing.
What if, instead of this cumbersome old-school way of managing links, we:
1. Laid a foundation of thousands of perfectly normal press release backlinks (just like normal companies do in their whitehat SEO) to create the illusion of a semi-normal backlink profile, and then,
2. Ran all or almost all OTHER backlinks through ‘switchboxes’ that we could turn off or send elsewhere with the flick of a ‘switch’ e.g.
Sounds perfect right but what exactly are the ‘switchboxes’. Stay with me here but our ‘switchboxes’ would be new domains that we 301 redirect to our Money Site.
And if you think that you can’t have many 301s to a site, checkout how many these sites use.
BTW, I find Open Site Explorer the best reverse engineering tool for spotting 301s.
Yes, these are big authority sites with big backlink profiles but what if we scale down this 301 backlink principle to smaller sites.
And Switchbox SEO can be configured in many ways, not just for much greater control of your backlinks, but also for testing (wish I’d been doing it from the start of my Parasite SEO experiment!) e.g.
Obviously you just need to properly document which new domain ‘switchbox’ is being used for each individual Anchor keyword or campaign type/link type. We will start testing this out properly this week and with different new domain types e.g. .pw (under $4 each), free .tk domains from http://www.dot.tk/en/index.html?lang=en (can 301 from there).
What I love about this approach is that you can keep quickly adjusting the ‘settings’ on your ‘switchboxes’ to find the sweet spot for your pages’ rankings. And, if you do make a mis-step with a new type of campaign, agency, link type or keyword, you can undo that by turning off that last switchbox by stopping that redirect.
And what if you lose one client in a niche and acquire a new one in that same niche? Using your switchboxes, you can quickly redirect some/all (stagger it slowly) of your links in that same niche to the new client.
Once you make a switchbox change, Google should catch up with the new configuration in a few days, especially if they are crawling your Money Sites and switchboxes regularly (use that free IM Talk Mass Submitter to get Googlebot back quciker after a settings change).
In the case of tiered linkbuilding, Tier 1 link pages certainly can act as your ‘switchboxes’ (Matt Cutts talks below about the difference in link juice between 301s and links) but I haven’t heard of tiered linkbuilding being designed with this kind of architecture and clear campaign/Anchor text division in mind in a way that allows fast switchbox shutoffs or redirection elsewhere.
Here is what Matt Cutts publicly states about 301s – both are worth watching, even if he can’t be trusted a lot of the time (“I’d be surprised if there would be any further PR update in 2013″ – apparently December 6 2013 is in 2014!)
Stay tuned for more on Switchbox SEO and about SEO!