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Pibasure.ie Looking for a Google Slap?

Posted in: Link Building by Richard Hearne on September 18, 2009
Internet Marketing Ireland

Tut tut… http://www.searchbrat.com/buying-high-pr-sites-to-get-some-link-juice/

It is a competitive niche, and there is a lot of money to be made over there, so I’m not entirely surprised. Apart from the fact that they could have moved a bit more quietly? I’ve written about conversion optimisation in the insurance niche and car insurance area a few times before.

But in fairness, we had a fantastic 2 threads over on EI board recently:

In that second John Ring made a very valid point about buying rankings. It does happen, but sites will also run the risk of doing so. Mick from Voodoo made some great points in the first thread. Both threads well worth reading, and some of the better discussions on EI I’ve seen in a long time.

BTW – I’ve been looking for new Irish blogs to read. Kieran Flanagan’s SearchBrat.com and Leo Fogarty are both worth adding to the reader IMO (Leo reminds me a whole lot of Dave). If anyone know’s of other new Irish guys in SEO/conversion who are blogging I’d love to hear about them.

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  1. Cheers Richard, appreciate the shout out.

    It’s interesting how well you can rise up the SERP’s just by having high PR links from totally unrelated sites. I am not too sure about the whole on theme links. As I said in the blog post, I have tested this on a couple of sites and ranked for a competitive keyword with totally unrelated (and spammy) links, before getting penalized for that keyword. Over optimisation of back links I think.

    I would love to know how those sites are acquired (4ps.co.uk), are they just pinged when a domain is about to expire ?. I can’t see a local council selling off their site or who knows, maybe they need to during these recessionary times :)

    Leo’s blog is great, nice to read from other people in Ireland on these topics.


    Comment by searchbrat — September 18, 2009 @ 11:10 am

  2. Hi Richard,

    Interesting article once again.

    Got me thinking of SEOMoz’s recent article on paid links.

    What I understood from it (the SEOMoz one) is that paid links was, once upon a time, an actual strategy used in SEO? i.e. something done, then clamped down on by G – and, hence, the clamp-down as well by SEO professionals.

    It seems many companies (e.g. the insurance industry which you mention here and in other posts) are still using this “strategy”.

    What would you recommend as a basic link building strategy for small to medium businesses? (Not asking for any trade secrets here! – just a basic idea of what a small / medium sized business could / should do to build incoming links).

    Kind Regards,

    Comment by Ricardo — September 18, 2009 @ 12:30 pm

  3. Kieran, there are a number of lists available to buy that feature soon to expire domains. There are a few specialist forums out there about this but I think Acorn are the best. http://www.acorndomains.co.uk/

    Comment by Cormac — September 18, 2009 @ 6:47 pm

  4. @Kieran – you also have to look at page relevance, as I’m pretty sure Google now pass relevance from page factors through links. So even from unrelated sites, but from related pages, you can get very good links. Google didn’t have insight into many of the managed registries, and you could pick up dropped domains and get them ranking very well. I think they’ve closed this up greatly now (they used not reset .ie domains after dropping, but now do – I know this because I picked up lots of .ie domains in the past that had previously been govt. related).

    @Ricardo – maybe I’ve become lazy, but I really think creating great content and promoting it is the way forward. I think Rand put it well about spending a few thousand $ on some reat content that gets 100 links. That’s the way to go, and it doesn’t always need to be a few thousand $. The post I did in 2006 about AOL data still get’s links weekly, and I’d say it’s received hundreds of high quality links over time. It cost nothing but my time. Granted opps like that don’t come along every day, but I’d still look for industry-related opportunities like that if I were you.

    @Cormac – thanks for commenting.

    Rgds to all

    Comment by Richard Hearne — September 19, 2009 @ 5:14 am

  5. @Kieran – sorry about non-live link. No idea why WP no longer linkifies URLs.

    Fixed now.

    Comment by Richard Hearne — September 19, 2009 @ 5:15 am

  6. Thanks for the info Richard and Cormac.

    Comment by searchbrat — September 19, 2009 @ 9:17 am

  7. My Goodness – a few K for an article – for that I’d expect the darn thing to jump out of the screen, grab you by the neck and shout “LINK TO ME OR ELSE, BUD!!!” :-)

    But if you’ve got the dough, I see how it would be worth it.

    Thanks for the tip(s).


    Comment by Ricardo — September 20, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

  8. Hey Ricardo

    I doubt I’d ever spend thousands of $ on an article per-se. I’m really referring to the creation of some top-notch content, perhaps based on research of some description. So the majority of the spend would be related to the collection and analysis of data. Another alternative, and often less expensive, is link-bait based on interesting content from around the web. I know a couple of guys who do this full-time and produce some really link-worthy content.


    Comment by Richard Hearne — September 21, 2009 @ 4:08 am

  9. Aha – that makes much more sense.

    Thanks for the feedback / clarification.


    Comment by RIcardo — September 21, 2009 @ 11:01 am

  10. Cheers for the shout Richard, it was great to meet you at BTW.

    Comment by Leo Fogarty — September 24, 2009 @ 11:47 pm

  11. Hi Richard,

    If you are looking for new Irish guys blogging you could give my http://www.onlineadvertising.ie/blog a gander. It’s newish so still a bit raw. Any suggestions or feedback you may have would be mucho appreciated.


    Comment by Alan Coleman — October 8, 2009 @ 11:47 am

  12. Thanks Alan

    Checking it out now – looks like you guys focus more on paid side, but no harm in reading that also :)


    Comment by Richard Hearne — October 8, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

  13. Hi Richard,

    Great article and thanks for recommending me to Kieran and Leo’s blogs, some great content on both sites.

    Comment by SJL Web Design — November 20, 2009 @ 11:03 pm

  14. I’d have to say I’m 110% in Richard’s camp when it comes to the idea of “creating great content and promoting it” as the way forward. After working in this field for a while not only does it seem to be the most reliable way to get results, but it is also increasingly less difficult than all other methods of gaming the system.

    Not to turn this into a ‘black hat SEO’ versus’ white hat SEO’ argument, but won’t it, in the long run, be cheaper to have spent your SEO money on filling your site with relevant and long-tail content than swimming against the current, and investing in short-cuts the big G will eventually figure out and give you negative ranking for? How long do you think it will take the guys in Mountain View to figure out the domain buying game? Heck, I’d be surprised if they haven’t already and have plans in place to drop the hammer on offenders. I’d hate to be the SEO rep handling client emails the week G puts the smack down on folks who shelled out big money on expired domains!

    Comment by Jon Dunn — May 2, 2010 @ 11:52 am

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