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Competition Using Pay Per Post / Hiring Copywriters To Link In To Thei


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#1 ConfusedNewbie

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 09:39 AM

Google blog search shows our competitors, as if by magic, have between 3 and 5 articles a day written about their sites. Looking a bit further into this, I found an advert by one of our competitors for a copywriter - here is their list of requirements :

"We need a minimum of 15 articles PER WEEK which will contain about 200/300 words per blog. We will provide a selection of keywords where the blogs/article must be based upon
Requirements:
* Must fluently speak and write English.
* 200/300 words.
* Articles cannot contain repeated parts of text used in other articles
* A selection Keywords for all articles will be provided.
* Keyword density of 2%.
* Non licensed pictures where possible to relate to the subject.
* Article content should be informative and easy to read, and free of typos, spelling and grammatical errors.
* Articles must pass CopyScape.com
* Articles may not be blatant self promotion.
* Article to be submitted in plain text (no formatting)."

They then pay 3$ per article, the articles appear on blog sites all over the internet, and I believe that this is how they are able to achieve high rankings in natural listings such as google. Another competitor appears to be quite blatantly using payperpost.com, with blog entries advertising their site from such diverse sources as blogs about parenting, cancer treatment, and others. These tactics appear to work as I can't find their sites on anything that I would call an "authority" site, and yet these sites tend to occupy the top 2 places for key phrases that we target.

How do you compete with this, while attempting to keep a "white hat" on your head ? Also, they seem to be very pre-occupied with avoiding duplicate content - is this just SEO superstition ?

#2 copywriter

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 09:57 AM

Blogs are very big right now. However, you don't have to go to the extreme that these people are going in order to get good rankings. Hiring others to write optimized blog posts for you is nothing new. Major corporations do it all the time because people just don't have time to blog AND do all the other work they must do.

If you don't have a blog, I would recommend starting one IF you have something of value to say. Blog posts get ranked very quickly while it can take web pages (.htm, .html, .php, etc. type pages) much longer.

As a copywriter, I personally don't write what are referred to as "junk" posts or "junk" articles. Those are the bulk articles like these companies are requesting. I don't do blogging for others at all although I do write articles others can publish in ezines, magazines, newspapers, etc.

The duplicate content issue is as much a copyright (legal rights) issue as it is an SEO issue when it comes to blog posts and articles. As far as SEO goes, Google does give credit for original content. However, you regularly see the same, exact articles and blog posts appearing in the SERPs on hundreds of sites so - from experience - it doesn't seem to be as big of an issue for articles and blog posts as others claim it is. There is a different story entirely for web pages.



#3 Jill

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 10:24 AM

QUOTE
Blog posts get ranked very quickly while it can take web pages (.htm, .html, .php, etc. type pages) much longer.


Umm Karon, blog posts are also htm or php etc. pages.

It's the pinging that the blog software does which gets them ranked quickly.

#4 copywriter

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 10:28 AM

That's true. (Html, etc.) Chose the wrong way to differentiate between blog posts and web pages. smile.gif


#5 portentint

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 02:42 PM

It's possible they're also using those posts to syndicate on other sites and build inlinks. While controversial and definitely 'gray hat', I've seen it work in the short term (emphasize SHORT TERM).

IF the posts are all high quality, then the site with more content and faster updates wins. However, the likelihood they're going to get high quality content from this is practically nil.

As far as duplicate content: Google doesn't penalize for it. However, duped pages may be ignored. So avoiding duplication is very important.


#6 copywriter

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 03:03 PM

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However, duped pages may be ignored. So avoiding duplication is very important.


But they aren't ignored. Especially articles and blog posts. You can type in any article title (in quotes) that has been distributed all over the 'Net and it will appear on 100s or 1,000s of different sites. Same for blog posts. Always has. It isn't like you get 1 article with that title and all the others are ignored or filtered.

That's what everybody says, but that's not what happens when you look at it for yourself.

I don't know why, but for pages on a website (ecommerce site, services website, etc.) the filter is frequently (but not always) applied. It has never seemed to apply to articles and blog posts.

Here's an example. This article was on my blog and distributed all around the Internet. The same exact version, not a different version for every site I submitted to.

http://www.google.co...;fp=-Pw1cEIpNGU

784 pages are indexed and showing in Google and they all have the exact same article on them.


#7 2Clean

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 03:06 AM

Blog posts to get picked up quickly, and yes pinging is part of the quickness. But you should think about hosting a blog on Wordpress itself because they get indexed REALLY quick. While installing wordpress youself will have posts present in a much slower timeframe. I've had a wordpress article in Google 2 hours after writing it.

Copywriter think about putting a couple of non-decorated links into your blog posts, that way if you're scraped and links don't get stripped out, you might at least get a link to your website!

#8 ConfusedNewbie

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 04:41 AM

As usual, thanks everyone for the top quality answers.

QUOTE(portentint @ Aug 5 2009, 08:42 PM) View Post
It's possible they're also using those posts to syndicate on other sites and build inlinks. While controversial and definitely 'gray hat', I've seen it work in the short term (emphasize SHORT TERM).


This is what I think they are trying to achieve. By hiring copywriters to post recommendation blog posts on various domains around the internet, they are attempting to boost their inlinks, to appear bigger than they are. In the case of one of the companies I'm thinking of, they seem to have nothing but forum posts and blog entries as their "online footprint". If they are doing it constantly and consistently, e.g. hiring people to write 15 posts a week each and paying them pennies to do so, does that short term benefit become long term by virtue of the short term boost always being there ? Because there will always be, say 10 blog articles with links into them written "today" ?

Rather than take this approach, I am attempting to write some "lead capturing" software that will be of benefit to our customers, effectively free advertising for our customers on our site. I'm hoping that by hosting this software on our domain, that our customers will link into our site from their domains as a result. No idea if this will boost our organic rankings, but if it draws people into our site, it's all good I suppose.

#9 ConfusedNewbie

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 05:04 AM

QUOTE(copywriter @ Aug 5 2009, 03:57 PM) View Post
If you don't have a blog, I would recommend starting one IF you have something of value to say. Blog posts get ranked very quickly while it can take web pages (.htm, .html, .php, etc. type pages) much longer.

As a copywriter, I personally don't write what are referred to as "junk" posts or "junk" articles. Those are the bulk articles like these companies are requesting. I don't do blogging for others at all although I do write articles others can publish in ezines, magazines, newspapers, etc.


We do have a blog, I try to use it to give an opinion on whatever news stories are industry related at the time, providing a link back to the stories that I've found usually (although sometimes I do just re-write the facts of a story, which is probably a bit naughty). It doesn't get a great audience, maybe 10 or 15 a day, but it allows me to get things of my chest smile.gif.


#10 copywriter

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 07:28 AM

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non-decorated links into your blog posts, that way if you're scraped and links don't get stripped out, you might at least get a link to your website!


Huh? huh.gif

Newbie... You know, I don't know smile.gif OK Mods... do blog posts have staying power? I've never researched that. I know my blog posts hit G very quickly. But I've never checked (by searching with keywords, not by searching with the post title) whether they hang around for long.

Well, a quick (I mean 2 searches) check shows two of my blog posts still coming up for particular keyphrases.

But, if all this company has is blog posts and nothing more solid to back it up, it may help them for awhile, but people will catch on eventually. If it were me, I'd be doing what you're doing Newbie. I'd be taking it slow and steady and cashing in on the long-term burn.


#11 Jill

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:15 AM

QUOTE(2Clean)
While installing wordpress youself will have posts present in a much slower timeframe. I've had a wordpress article in Google 2 hours after writing it.


I disagree. This happens with your own install of Wordpress as well. I've had posts be indexed and showing up for stuff in less than an hour. Minutes sometimes. Always on their own domain and own install of WP.

#12 copywriter

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:20 AM

I agree with Jill. You should always host your own blog, not use WordPress for that function.

www.mywebsite.com/blog is far better than www.myblog.wordpress.com



#13 Randy

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:32 AM

Yes blog posts do have staying power, just like with any other html page. And real blog posts don't really lose much over time because their archived location and how one gets to them from the root of a domain remains pretty consistent for a long, long time.

To give you an idea, search Google for something like imagemagick jpeg. (ImageMagick is some server software for image manipulation, sort of like the GD library. But IM produces better quality images than GD, which is why I use it on my own servers.)

With the above search you'll probably see a post I made on my personal blog almost three years ago explaining how to install ImageMagick with support for some other file types right at the top of the SERPs. Even though JPEG is actually the easy one and comes pretty much built into IM. That one post has out ranked even the official ImageMagick site pretty much since I made the post, presumably because people find it helpful and have linked to it from their own sites.

So yes blog posts have staying power.

To the larger subject of the pay-per-post racket from the original question...

They do work. However these what are essentially fake blog networks tend to get discovered and devalued over time. Many if not most of those folks will set up hundreds or thousands of their own little blogs, either on their own servers or on one of the free services out there, and start posting low quality stuff like crazy, linking to the exact same pages of the same sites from several blogs in their network with same or very similar posts. Not to mention that the very often link back and forth to other blogs in the network.

Once they get discovered for what they are the entire blog network tends to get devalued. And they're not that hard to spot given the linking matrix tools the search engines have at their disposal.

The moral being that if one starts down that path it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's hard to gain much after the initial push because as new stuff gets added to other blog networks. So you have to keep going just to stay even. And if you ever stop for even a month or two you end up right back where you started, at best.

Additionally, and this takes more time, as the webmaster who is purchasing the links via blog posts you run the risk of having far more junk/devalued links pointing to your site than real links pointing to you. When this happens you're in jeopardy of your own site taking a hit on the trust-o-meter. If/when that happens it becomes very, very difficult to get the site ranked for anything remotely competitive, and it may take you years to build back up this trust with Google etal.

#14 ConfusedNewbie

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 09:17 AM

An excellent post Randy - I will have to find another reason for their comparative success on organic listings then ! smile.gif I'll keep my head down and stop worrying about having to pay 3$ an article to random global bloggers, and get on with my work instead - it's bound to pay off, eventually... wink1.gif

QUOTE(Randy @ Aug 6 2009, 02:32 PM) View Post
Yes blog posts do have staying power, just like with any other html page. And real blog posts don't really lose much over time because their archived location and how one gets to them from the root of a domain remains pretty consistent for a long, long time.

To give you an idea, search Google for something like imagemagick jpeg. (ImageMagick is some server software for image manipulation, sort of like the GD library. But IM produces better quality images than GD, which is why I use it on my own servers.)

With the above search you'll probably see a post I made on my personal blog almost three years ago explaining how to install ImageMagick with support for some other file types right at the top of the SERPs. Even though JPEG is actually the easy one and comes pretty much built into IM. That one post has out ranked even the official ImageMagick site pretty much since I made the post, presumably because people find it helpful and have linked to it from their own sites.

So yes blog posts have staying power.

To the larger subject of the pay-per-post racket from the original question...

They do work. However these what are essentially fake blog networks tend to get discovered and devalued over time. Many if not most of those folks will set up hundreds or thousands of their own little blogs, either on their own servers or on one of the free services out there, and start posting low quality stuff like crazy, linking to the exact same pages of the same sites from several blogs in their network with same or very similar posts. Not to mention that the very often link back and forth to other blogs in the network.

Once they get discovered for what they are the entire blog network tends to get devalued. And they're not that hard to spot given the linking matrix tools the search engines have at their disposal.

The moral being that if one starts down that path it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's hard to gain much after the initial push because as new stuff gets added to other blog networks. So you have to keep going just to stay even. And if you ever stop for even a month or two you end up right back where you started, at best.

Additionally, and this takes more time, as the webmaster who is purchasing the links via blog posts you run the risk of having far more junk/devalued links pointing to your site than real links pointing to you. When this happens you're in jeopardy of your own site taking a hit on the trust-o-meter. If/when that happens it becomes very, very difficult to get the site ranked for anything remotely competitive, and it may take you years to build back up this trust with Google etal.



#15 copywriter

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 09:23 AM

If it makes you feel any better, that's what all of us have done. Jill, Randy, me... I think all the mods on the forum took the long and proven road to success rather than the get-rich-quick road. I have to agree, I think it lasts longer and gets better results.

Keep chugging along!





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