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AFP 20: Backlinking Interview – Back To Basics With Joseph Archibald

Justin Cooke May 1, 2012

There have been quite a few Google changes in recent weeks and a ton of discussion about the future of SEO, niche sites, backlinking strategies, and the effects of negative SEO.  To address some of these issues, we’ve invited Joseph Archibald on for an interview to discuss these recent changes and see what his thoughts are on linkbuilding for the types of niche sites that we build.  You may have heard of Joseph before…he wrote the well-known WarriorForum post that got a ton of attention and ultimately inspired Pat Flynn’s backlinking strategy.

Introducing Joseph Archibald and Getting Back to Basics

While the overall costs are a bit higher, it’s been quite effective and has produced a ton of spin-offs and platforms for new strategies to be created. We wanted to dissect Joseph’s backlinking strategy with him directly to see if we could pull out the most critical parts and implement into our process and use with our sites.  Joseph covers his background, how he came up with his backlinking strategy, and a few new and specific tips we can use to help our sites rank better with the recent updates.

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Podcast Transcripts (Click Show to View)

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Justin: Welcome to Episode 20 of the Adsense Flippers Podcast. I’m your host Justin Cooke and I’m here with Joe “Hot Money” Magnotti. What’s up buddy?

Joe: Hey everybody!

Justin: So we’ve got a great episode lined up for you. We’re going to get back to basics. We’ve got an interview on link building that you don’t want to miss. That’s in the heart of this week’s episode. But first off, we’ve got some news and updates. And as always, let’s start with some iTunes reviews.

Joe: Hit me up buddy.

Justin: We’ve got a five star iTunes review from Sonic Eric. He says, “You guys rock! Keep the great info coming. First thing I do every Tuesday is check to see if the new podcast is out yet.” Well, it’s out buddy. We’re ready to rock and roll.

Joe: Yeah. Thanks for that men.

Justin: Also, we had an email from Molly in the UK. And Molly said, “Hey! You’re not giving us any love in the UK. We’ve got some UK five star iTunes review for you as well.” So I want to make sure I read that out for Molly. First one we got from Dave Tutors who says, “Great listen. Five stars!” We got Rob Wilson saying, “At last someone talking about AdSense as a business.” We’ve got Christopher Moss, “Enjoyable and inspirational.” We’ve got Chris52 says, “It’s a great podcast.” We’ve got said, “Inspired me and Beepie’s characters straight to the itch content.” Not too bad, huh?

Joe: Yeah. Loving the international love out there and it’s nice that one of our readers pointed that out.

Justin: I love the Beepie’s character men with the little funny pics. I should advice to have a Facebook. Dude, that’s awesome. I love his work. It’s really, really cool.

Joe: So, we’re doing a hire me page, Justin. Tell me about that.

Justin: Yeah. So here’s the deal. It’s kind of a consulting page. We’re not exactly sure we want to take this yet but here’s our thinking. First up is email support. So, we’ve got emails from a lot of people that have like one question something about our process they want to know a little bit more about. That’s fine. We handle those emails. No problem. But the ones where we get like 18 bullet point emails right with all the follow up questions and those are pretty intense. So we’re thinking what we can do is offer a way to pay for our time. Now, we love free. We’re big fans of free. We put all of our information out for free. But when we’re handling just one person and we’re not putting it out as a blog post or a podcast, we’re not getting the same “Ump!” we’re not helping as many people. So, I was thinking we could charge for that as kind of a consulting email.

Joe: Yeah. Also I think there’s people out there that probably have thought, “Well, I don’t want to bother those guys. They seem really busy.” And in this case, they pay us and they shouldn’t feel bad about it.

Justin: Yeah. It don’t bother me at all. Next thing is we have a 2 hour consulting call where basically we get on the phone and help like maybe with one particular part of the process. So, if there’s stuck on content management or link building or something they need some help with that’s very specific or they have a unique problem, we can get on the horn with them and help out. Now, we also have a 6 hour consulting call where basically if they want us to run through the entire building of sites with them, we’ll sit down go over via Skype and build the sites out of their owns sites with them which I think is pretty interesting.

Joe: Yeah. That’s more of almost a coaching kind of aspect, right?

Justin: Yeah. Yeah. Like a one on one thing. So, I think that’d be great? I’ll put a link to it in a show notes. People can check it out if they’re interested. Then give us some feedback on the sales page. I’m not very good on the whole sales “pagie” kind of thing. Let me know what you think. Next point I want to talk about is a couple of changes from Google “Dum! Dum! Dum!”

Joe: “Oh, no!”

Justin: Yeah. Google’s beating us up a little bit. So the first thing is on April 19th, there was a Google part domain issue where a bunch of people’s sites were dumped in the rankings because Google put in a new change that was looking for part pages. They’ve since corrected that. They’ve made some changes and then they added the Penguin update on April 24th, right?

Joe: Yeah. That was the big one.

Justin: Yeah. So were getting a lot of people go, “Making rankings are hurt, it’s this, that and the other.” We’ve seen a bit of that too. We’ve seen a lot of changes in the rankings for our sites. So we’ve seen some go way down. We’ve seen some go way up. Overall net, a slight difference of slightly lower on our income is what we’re noticing. We’re not sure how it’s going to play out yet though. As we’ve given it a few days now. And it seems to be just slightly under. But we’re going to continue to monitor that and let you know kind of where we’re at.

Joe: Yeah. I would say though there’s a lot of doom and gloom out there about this Justin. It’s not that bad. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not the end of niche sites. You can still make money from small mini niche sites on the internet.

Justin: Yeah. Or expanding authority sites, I mean, there’s lots of different ways to skin the cat, right? So, i mean the people are saying that the sky is falling or SEO’s dead, I mean, that seems a bit ridiculous.

Joe: Yeah. What did the Penguin updates specifically go after?

Justin: It went after spun contents, they gave a few examples and I’ll link that in the show notes as well. But like really horribly spam content or like really spammy links where it’s kind of throw into the content and not really, it’s like nonsensical. They gave examples of that. I think some of that, in addition to the blog networks, some of the like really crappy article directories they’re talking about them going after which we’ll talk about toward the end of the episode on some changes that we’re going to be making. But we’re going to talk about our new link building strategy here as well but yeah, I mean.

Joe: And then duplicate content too, right?

Justin: Duplicate content dude, I mean, that’s one of the things we were looking to change is that right now we have, our home page content is actually in a post and it has its own longer URL and points to the homepage. We want to 301 that to the homepage so that we have noticed a problem where we think it might be duplicate content on some of our sites and we’re going to see if we can fix that if it makes a difference or not. We noticed that on some of the sites that we had go down on the rankings that might have been a problem. So, we’ll have more on that later. The last point we want to hit you up with is an update to our link building strategy. Talking about like Submit Your Article and UAW, I know we’ve got a couple of emails of people saying that UAW has taken a real hit recently. I noticed at submit your article, if you put some of the links in the content, they submit to some other blogs, right? And they’re not their own blog network but it’s other people’s blog and some of those may be bad neighbourhoods. I don’t know. I’m kind of down on the whole, I’m just down at link building right now to be honest with you. The whole deal, everything, all of that stuff, I’m kind of down on right now.

Joe: Yeah. It seems like they’re finding a way to go after unnatural links. I’m not sure how they’re doing that algorithmically but they’re doing it somehow and the best way is to make your links look as natural as possible.

Justin: We’ll give you just kind of a preview of what we’re thinking right now. This is not at all fleshed out and we have not implemented it yet. But one of our ideas is to take really good 10 options. So, like Squidoo, Hub Pages, EzineArticles, have 10 options total, have 5 different profiles or authors that we use. And then what we do is for every site, they get 4 to 5, what I’ll call tier 1 like pillar links, unique content, good content and those are linking to our niche sites. Now, our niche sites are pretty basic. They’re going to have really like low hanging fruit kind of terms. So they don’t need a ton of link building. Honestly, a lot of our links don’t even get index, right? So, these will definitely get index and we’re even only going to have a few of them but they’re really strong pillar links. What we can do is after 3-4 months, if we need to boost the link building, what we can do is build links to those tier 1 or those pillar links and then make them more popular, give them more juice.

Joe: Interesting! We’re going to do this all manually too, right?

Justin: Yeah. Manually, no spinning, no articles suspicions, we’re going to go old school. That’s what we’re thinking. We still haven’t fleshed it out and we’ll definitely have more updates on that in the future but we want to get away from anything that’s even semi-close to spammy, spun, automated, any of that. So, we really want to get away from that and go towards the manual stuff. So, let’s go ahead and get started. We’ve got a back to basics link building interview and let’s get started with the heart of this week’s episode.

****The Adsense Flippers Podcast****

Justin: Alright! We’re excited to have Joseph Archibald from Joseph here today. We’re going to be talking a little bit about link building strategies, the different types of things he used to help his sites ranked. I’m really excited to have him on the program. What’s going on Joseph?

Joseph: Hi Justin! Hello Joseph! I’m very well here in Malaysia. Here in Cochin in Malaysia. Very, very warm today.

Justin: Awesome men! We’ll let’s get started really quick, tell us something a little bit about yourself. Like where are you from originally, what the heck are you doing in Malaysia, that kind of thing?

Joseph: Originally from Scotland where I spent most of my life working, slave labouring, went to college, went to University for a few years, didn’t really use that much. Then went down to England for 8 years and did some terrible jobs down there. I realized that I had to escape from doing that. I did some network marketing for a while as well. That’s kind of first came in to the idea of websites and making money from websites when I was doing that. That would be about 8 years ago I think. It’s kind of like bit me from that. I was aware of that. I just didn’t, I couldn’t progress from there because I didn’t have enough knowledge about HTML code and various things. It just didn’t really hit home.

Justin: When did you start off building, when you said, “Okay. I’m going to do something online.” Did you build a website, was it a niche site, or was it more like informational, what were you doing?

Joseph: As far as I remember, I think it was a Jim Edwards product that I bought probably about 5 years ago, 5 and a half years ago and I decided that I would try and follow that through. It was, I sell five DVDs and then it was just a case of following that through and it was HTML coding basically. That was the first site that I actually made and I just didn’t know how to rank, I didn’t know how to get people to it. So I thought, “Oh well, here’s another problem.”

Joe: Joseph, this is Joe. Just so we can distinguish ourselves. I’m Joe and you’re Joseph. But you’ve got the funny accent. I’ve got the American one.

Joseph: Yeah. Thanks Joe.

Joe: So, we found that keyword research is our first step to getting sites ranked. What do you think holds more weight after that, the onsite or the offsite SEO?

Joseph: Well, the way Google are saying these days, they put an emphasis on the onsite and they’re saying that it shouldn’t necessarily be about linking so much but it is, I mean, Google are notorious for telling tales of war, whatever you call it. So, it’s still very much about the back linking and it really depends, I mean, in your line of business, obviously you’re looking for very low hanging fruits.

Justin: Probably a good thing that Google’s looking at onsite SEO, I mean, if they want to get the sites ranked that have the better content, right? So I get that and they don’t want the sites to be on the second or third page that should really be up there. I think our process, the fact that, you’re right, this like really mini niche keywords is what helps us get ranked and not so much the onsite or the offsite SEO. It’ll be interesting to see how that changes but one of the reasons we’re having you on the program is we’re big fans of your back linking strategies. It’s your back linking strategies but it was popularized by Pat Flynn when he did the back linking strategy that works. And a lot of it from a Warrior Forum post that you have done showing how you can get ranked involved a lot of different things. How did you come up with that strategy? How did you put that together and figure it out? Was it in the thread itself or was it before that?

Joseph: Well, I used to frequent a lot of forums, internet marketing forums, and I used to buy tons of glossy eBooks and all sorts of things because I was desperate to get some success at SEO and Google. No matter how much I’ve tried it, it just never seemed to work out but slowly and surely a piece part that seems to be working together. One of the main strategies was John’s xFactor. You know who I mean?

Justin: Yeah. He had that big site when I was getting started.

Joseph: Yeah. Now, I looked into his stuff and I joined the forum there as well when I was, it just kind of like it was watching what other people were doing and on that forum and they were getting some results but it was pretty low end stuff. And I was thinking, “There has to be more to it than this.” So I started adding up other stuff that I learned over the years basically by then and to come up with something of a different strategy even though some 1 or 2 people have said, “You’ve copied somebody else’s strategy.” But that’s not the case at all. As far as I knew at that time, it was just something that I came up with and no big deal. It worked. Yeah. I basically decided to just do the Warrior Forum thing. I didn’t intend to make any money from it, nothing at all. It was just for fun really, to tell that other people who were struggling with back linking and seeing success. I just wanted to allow them a bit of insight if you like just so they could take that strategy and then use it for themselves and progress from that.

Justin: We’ve got a link to that Warrior Forum post in the show notes if you want to take a look, I warn you it’s pretty long, they are very detailed about some great information and it’s kind of the tier 1, tier 2 idea. What I really love about it though is it’s so diversified. But again with that comes some cost.

Joe: Tell us though Joseph, with all the recent changes in Google like the old optimization penalty, blog networks being need to be index, do you think the strategy is still effective?

Joseph: Yeah Joe, I did a recent study. Actually, it’s based very much on 40 days thing I did. Yeah, it’s working. The rankings are coming along. There’s been minimal work on this. I made this specifically for this particular adventure if you like. But the rankings are coming along very well indeed. It’s based on very much this same idea. And the same way of back linking, it’s very slow and it’ very sure. And I know almost for a fact I can say, even though I’m not top-10 for anything at the moment, it’s just outside and I feel that even if I did nothing more, the rankings will probably get top 10.

Justin: Are you the one that came with a process for doing this officially and so that is a package? I would think there must be something more useful. I could take this exact package, nail it down through outsource agents, really have it down and offer that as a back linking package. Have you seen that?

Joseph: Is somebody offering that Justin?

Justin: Yeah. Do you know of anyone that does that now that takes your strategy, packages it up, keeps it manual, not some SEnuke stuff but like keeps it manual and packages it off for 60 bucks 100 bucks kind of, whatever the price would be.

Joseph: Yeah, I do. It’s an expensive service though. A couple of guys came to me a while ago and they said, “can they try it, if I setup a site and that’s the fact, that’s the service I was talking about here because it’s based very much on a very similar process and the results I’m seeing from it are quite encouraging because, as I say, it’s slow but it’s sure. I think there’s probably a few services that are offered, this particular one I’m talking about is expensive, very costly.

Justin: What’s the price?

Joseph: What was the price, it’s $249 a month.

Joe: That’s not cheap. How many sites does that cover?

Joseph: Just one.

Joe: Yeah. So that definitely wouldn’t work for micro niche sites. But do you think your strategy overall can be effective for micro niche websites?

Joseph: Well, I think I emailed you probably about a week ago or so and thinking about getting together for this and I said that there was one weekend in particular when I was sitting thinking about the possibilities of how could this work for your sites and yes I think it’s possible. The main problem I saw at that time was, not that I actually put this into practice, but the main problem I thought was kind of like in tabs in what you’ve done. But then I guess that’s part of your daily strategy, isn’t it? Really, you’ve got to keep very close tab on exactly what you’re doing and your progress otherwise you’re not going to make profit at the end of the day. So, you’re very good at doing that.

Justin: Yeah. We’re really good at the process and I think we could nail down the process. I think the problem with doing it for our sites is the cost, right?

Joseph: Yeah.

Justin: We could do something like, well I’d like to do it and we could talk about this offline without the broadcast, try and come up with some kind of plan where it’s the same thing but much water down version that will be effective for the niche sites that we build. You know what I mean?

Joseph: I think the cost could be kept down very nicely indeed you know. So, it probably would be worthwhile analyzing this a bit more or closely.

Justin: What do you think are the really critical components? What are the pillar links and the requirements to make that work on a smaller scale do you think? Is that the Web 2.0 tier 1 links, is it, which are the most important?

Joseph: Well because you’re not really having to link much to the actual site and you don’t really have to worry too much about that. What you could do is you could actually get like a plug-in for your WordPress sites and just pop this plug-in in every site. And what you can do is just set that up with Web 2s. And that’s the fact it’s almost like push button profits if you will. Basically, you just setup your accounts. And then every time you put a post up on your site, you syndicate it out to the Web 2s. So it kind of like gives you a nice link back again to your site. And then you can actually hit these web 2s that you’ve built just by pushing a few buttons if you will with off the back links.

Justin: That’s interesting. So let’ say you put a new blog post up. You put a few internal links. So you’re linking to the homepage, you’re linking to a couple other post, whatever and you have that automatically syndicated to the 2.0s. What about the duplicate content problems that would come about? Would that not be an issue do you think?

Joseph: Yeah. There is, I am trying this at the moment and so far so good. I can’t say for sure. I guess if you just keep it very low, if you’re just looking for a low hanging fruit, then it might work pretty well. But yeah, that is open to question.

Justin: What I like about that though is you’re not like dumping just like crappy spun content out there. You’re taking kind of useful from your site and syndicating it, I mean, ultimately it’s more useful for the average web user than it would be to put crappy spun content out there right now.

Joseph: I totally agree with you Justin on that point. Yeah. It’s quality content that’s gone out. So yeah, there is that aspect to it.

Justin: I think with that strategy that would keep your cost pretty low obviously. What can you do to that? Would you build back links to your Tier 1s, to your Web 2.0s that type of thing? Joseph: Yeah. Actually I do. You can use something like BackLinks Genie which is a very powerful tool in itself, very cost effective really. They’ve also got like article piracies now and they also create Web 2s as well. So you can use them to back link to your site. You just, you can either use their system to spin content which quite frankly I wouldn’t force myself, or you get your own spun content and put that up on there which is I prefer to do.

Justin: So you want to use back link genie straight to your money site, you would use that only to the tier 1 links, is that right?

Joseph: If it was a more mature site then I’d probably use back link genie to my money site just with the articles and with the web 2s with the spun content that I’ve created myself or outsourced myself that’s what I would do. But if it’s a site like what you’re working on then I would certainly hesitate about using back link genie to link straight to the money site.

Joe: Interesting! So, what do you think you could get the bare minimum spun down, if we had to strip your process down and make it into an absolute bare minimum, how much do you think we could spend per site in order to do that?

Joseph: I don’t know..It runs about $12 per site.

Joe: So that’s very interesting. That’s kind of in the wheel house of micro niche sites when you’re building them out at scale. So, that definitely would work.

Justin: Yeah. So here’s the thing. I mean, ultimately we’re all about ROI. I wouldn’t mind spending $300 per site if it was giving me a fair return, right? We can spend 50 bucks and get $10 a month sites. That’s great. I’d spend 300 bucks if I was getting $60 a month site. So, it’s all about scales. At least at this point we’d like to keep our back linking cost under 30 bucks and if you think we can do something to back link for 12 to 20 bucks. That’s definitely something we should talk about for sure.

Joe: Yeah. Well, just moving along a little bit, I was also thinking about how we have access to all these cheap labour here in the Philippines, we have talented people, they’re skilled at doing all this stuff, and so when we talk about this kind of money deals, we usually involve a lot of manual labour because we like to avoid automation and tools at all possible because we feel these are more natural footprint if you do it all manually. What do you think in terms of link building? Do you prefer automated tools? Do you like to do it manually? What do you think?

Joseph: I think the more automation you can use the better provide and it’s still producing good content. I’m not really one for chucking out any old grout on to the web. A lot of people criticize that and that’s fair play. But yet, they also make things in a whole of a better really because you probably got a better return on investment.

Justin: Yeah. I love the speed and the push buttons that comes with automation but I always worry that it leaves too big of a footprint that’s going to make it too obviously spammy. Do you know what I mean?

Joseph: Yeah. It can do that. I guess so. You just have to be very careful about what you’re doing.

Joe: What tools do you think are problematic and should be avoided?

Joseph: Now you’re asking. I’ve used so many tools over the years Joe that I can’t even remember the half of them. Sometimes, when I’ve seen that other people are having good success with various tools and I’ve tried them and I find that they’re not working for me so I don’t know why it is but it varies quite a bit as well. You know what I mean?

Justin: It does seem a little bit that whatever tool is like really effective and really working, all the internet marketers head over to that and then that doesn’t work anymore, right?

Joe: That’s a great example, right?

Justin: Yeah.

Joseph: Yeah.

Justin: Here they are tomorrow and then it stops working. And now everyone’s looking for the next best and greatest thing. What I realize in my being naïve that old school processes and link building still work, right? So old school processing setting nice pillar links to your site, that’s still effective, it’s been effective for a long time. I’m thinking the short cuts are probably not such a good idea, definitely not long-term.

Joseph: Yeah. I agree with that. There’s no doubt about it. Article marketing, I know a lot of people criticize the UAW tool unique article was a bit of hit, it still works. Let’s face the facts here, it still works. It might not be as good as it once was but it still works, it’s still very effective.

Justin: I’ve got a good one for you. A lot of people talk about social signals as being key, right? And let’s say that that’s a big effect on rankings. I get that more large authority sites are really competitive stuff but let’s say that I own a site like or like I’m not going to be Facebook liking and Tweeting my post. You know what I mean?

Joseph: But you can try.

Justin: How do you, the odd’s like don’t just get them as much social attraction. If social signals are really important, do we get it industry by industry? Do you compare it to your competitor or you compare it to other sites overall? I’m wondering like how much do social signals come into play especially in niches that aren’t very social?

Joseph: Yeah. Well, I’ll tell you something. What was that about 3 weeks ago or so, I came across this WSO yes I sometimes dub into the WSOs, and Nate Rivers, have you heard of Nate Rivers? Justin: I haven’t, no.

Joseph: Stray blogger. He’s come up with a system. I presume it’s his and basically what he’s doing is he’s building up niche sites probably very similar to your niche sites as well that sort of thing. But what he does is he builds them out with content that it’s very much can be leverage if you like by things like Twitter and Facebook. So it’s not all monetize stuff. A lot of his pages are not monetized. It’s much more about being social friendly but he also puts a bunch of monetize pages and then he links all his non-monetized pages to the monetized pages and kind of funnels traffic that way. And upon me, that’s working out pretty well these days, there’s quite a few people jumping onto that bandwagon and not seeing quite a bit of success which is interesting.

Justin: It have to be kind of related though in other words you’re getting just kind of random traffic, right?

Joseph: Yeah. It is.

Justin: Like comedy stuff? That’s cool but it has to be at least in the same space otherwise the traffic he’s sending over is not going to convert or anything.

Joseph: Yeah. That’s why, he’s got ways and means of doing, he says it’s working out pretty well and from what I could see, yeah, it’s a good system. It’s a nice idea.

Justin: We have to check that out.

Joe: Interesting!

Joseph: Sure.

Joe: We’ve been seeing a lot recently with negative SEO. There was actually a guy that got attacked who’s from traffic planet.

Justin: Recently there’s some guys on traffic planet that attacked the guy and in need of getting a warning through webmaster tools. He was a guy that says something about how he was happy, that Matt Feds shutdown the blog network, so people said, “Oh, let’s make a case study out of this guy and attack his site.” So he ended getting a message through webmaster tool. And then recently Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz put up a challenge saying, “Do your best to take us down. Send us all the negative SEOs you want. So there’s an astounding chants there.” Do you think that works or will it only work on less established sites? Do you think someone could take SEOmoz down or no?

Joseph: I doubt it. I think as you say it, like it’s something as a so called authoritarian, this SEOmoz. I think you’ve got a job on your hand but for smaller size and far less mature, I think you can. There’s a post that Mark Thompson who you interviewed a few weeks ago. You’re on a podcast with Mark Thompson. He put up a post on a blog just a couple of days ago and what he was highlighting was Google have changed a statement that they made initially about whether you can bring down a competitor site by back linking to it in a negative fashion. And initially they said, “No, you can’t.” And then a few months later they of changed that to kind of say, “Well, maybe you maybe you can’t.” And then now what they’re saying is that you definitely can do it.” Yes, it can be done apparently.

Justin: What do you think Google’s thought is there? Why would they make that okay? What’s their game do you think?

Joseph: There’s a good question. I really don’t know. I think, I don’t mean to kind of  go on about Google in a negative fashion like most of us do and I certainly do as well but a lot of what they tell you initially is kind of like healthier you know that they’re just trying to protect themselves. That’s what I think.

Justin: Maybe they’re thinking that most people aren’t going to do it to a SEOmoz or they might to SEOmoz but they’re not going to do it to the New York Times or New York Times is so safe it’s not even an issue. The only people that are going to do it are these like low level internet marketers. And so they figure let them cannibalize each other and hurt each other and knock all the stem out themselves. Do you know what I mean? That might be their strategy. Let them knock each other out and we’ll keep all the good sites.

Joe: Still though I think Google has to address this because eventually somebody with access to cheap labour is going to get the idea in their head that they’re not nice guys like we are they could take that cheap labour and use it very effectively to attack very expensive niches and knock all the competitors out except for themselves.

Justin: Yeah. They’ve got to come up with an answer with that I’m sure when they discuss it.

Joseph: When I talked to Mark Thompson, he said that some people have found their certain services on being offered to take down your competition for 5 bucks. So yeah, it’s now available.

Justin: Fiverr hasn’t created that anyway. There are folks on fvberr that say, “Pay me 5 bucks and I’ll make sure I get you $15 worth of AdSense clicks” right? That’s just like, I’m just keep going back to him over and over again and in all of them that’s tens of thousands of dollars and I make myself a killing. Yeah. Not such a good idea.

Joseph: No it’s not.

Justin: Let me ask you, before we get out of here, what do you think your top 2 tips are for people that are building many niche sites, what’s your best link building advice?

Joseph: Top 2 tips, I would say that what you should be doing is paying attention more to the social media these days, yes, call it what you will, the Facebook’s and the Twitter’s. One that I think people in our line of business should be paying even more attention to is Google+. I think you’re making a major mistake if you do not pay attention to what’s going on there. It’s still early days. I’m currently doing a bit of study on my own blog about it just took kind of like chip into surface and see how it works and what have you but I sense that Google+ are going to be a pretty major game changer. I know a lot of people will say, “Oh no, here we go again. I’m going to Facebook or whatever.” No, it’s not. This things going to be a different ballgame to Facebook, I think it’s going to be far stronger as far as internet marketing is concerned.

Justin: Google+ and Facebook or do you think one’s going to devour the other?

Joseph: I’m not really too sure. I think they’re quite different entities to be honest even though there seems to be quite a lot of competition now. But Facebook is not a search engine, is it? Whereas Google+, it can be use as a search engine. So, they’re quite different facilities if you like. I don’t know. For me, Facebook’s not really too much of an SEO. Yes, I share my stuff from my blog onto Facebook nowadays. There’s nice glossy pictures and everything else. But I don’t really use it for SEO, never have. You know what I mean?

Justin: Yeah. We use Facebook just for reaching out and like to share some photos, that kind of thing. But we use it for link building either but it’d be interesting to see how that plays out. If they want to get in touch with you, what’s the best way to reach you?

Joseph: Well, you want my phone number dude?

Justin: That type you know.

Joe: I don’t think you need that on a podcast.

Joseph: I can never remember. The best way would be through my blog I would imagine as you mentioned at the start If you can spell Archibald, when people are searching for it a lot, there’s a lot of misspellings there for Archibald.

Joe: I believe that I would have trouble with that one as I am a horrible speller. So, what can our listeners expect if they read your book “The Warrior Forum 40-Day Challenge”?

Joseph: I supposed in a sense it’s kind of like if you like these old fashion ways, it still work like what we’re talking about like article marketing, it’s based on this old very old fashion ways, old in the sense that they’ve been around for a few years not really old as such. But they still work. They work very well in a sense. So, it’s quite a lot of hard work if you follow it point A to point B but there are certain tools around like BackLinks Genie which I mentioned which you can use or the strategy nowadays and there’s various ways and means that you can change it a little bit and make that a lot less work for yourself without having to outsource even. So, it doesn’t have to be expensive either. But yes, it works.

Justin: Listen, I’m going to end up picking a copy of your book, I get a discount too, right? How much are we getting off Joseph? Give us a deal buddy.

Joseph: Well, the discount to you 5%. How does that sound dude?

Justin: Sweet Lord! Come on men there’s got to be something better than that, maybe 60%?

Joseph: Yeah. I said 60% in my email. So that’s fine.

Justin: I’m going to check it out myself and see what I think. I’m digging the older back linking strategies. I want to go back to what’s worked for a long time. I’m over the shortcuts and the quick gains. Now, let’s go old school.

Joe: Yeah. What we were doing last year, it’s was working better for our site. So we should probably go back to that.

Justin: Agree.

Joseph: That’s interesting.

Justin: Joseph, I love having you on the podcast. It’s been fantastic. Thanks for sharing with us and our listeners about your back linking strategies. It’s been really helpful.

Joe: Thanks again. Joseph: Cool, It’s been great being here.

Justin: Alright! Thank you.

Joe: Bye-bye now.

****The Adsense Flippers Podcast Continues****

Justin: Well that’s it for the heart of this week’s episode. Let’s get right into our ninja marketing tips, tricks and our plans for the future.

Joe: So we’re going to be holding off on site sales in May.

Justin: Yeah. We’ve seen a bit of a dip across the board, we’re talking about income, right? Early in the program, we talked about a dip in income. Want to make sure that our sites are stable and make sure that we don’t have any problems. So we’re going to hold off on site sales. Maybe add some ones we are finishing up in April. We’re pretty much going to hold off in May and just going to see where that plays out, see where it ends up and then probably resume in June.

Joe: Yeah. It’s been really strange like we saw some sites go up and some sites go down and either way I can’t stabilize over 30 days what the price should be. So, either we’re losing or the customer’s losing and it’s just not a good deal for both sides and so those sites needs to stay in the incubator a little bit longer before we sell them.

Justin: Yeah. Let’s see how it plays out and then we’ll go back to the nitty-gritty and get back to business. A second point I want to talk about and this is pretty interesting, we get a lot of emails from people saying, “What do you think about this site or this keyword? Do you think I can get this ranked? Is this a 4 or a 5 on your evaluation scale?” and we get a lot of those. I like it. It’s interesting but it seems to be a big question, right? People are always kind of unsure about whether it’s a keyword they should go for. And here’s the other thing, right? This is the last bit of business that you and I are like heavily involved in. You and I have to sit down every week and look at the first page and go through the process and pick the keywords that we think are going to work or not and it’s just a pain. I’d like to get rid of that pain point for me. So, we think we have a way of basically evaluating the first page and seeing what we can do or seeing where we think our sites is ranked based on our process. The cool part about this is we have a ton of data, over 12,000 keywords I think we’ve ever researched ever. So, we can look back at these that met our criteria, look at the ones that earned well for us and then apply our process, apply our chance to rank algorithm.

Joe: Right! Kind of reverse engineer in algorithm, reverse engineer in mathematical formula that will improve success.

Justin: Yeah. If we can get over 80% of the time our system is right, then what we can do is basically try to back ourselves out of that process and see if we can pick based on our new process. And if we have that available, we can now offer that to other people. So they can plug in their keywords, their URLs and see kind of like where it falls on the scale and see if it’s worth them taking a stab at. I think that would be really, really interesting. I think a lot of people would benefit from that and that’s not just for niche sites that would work for authority sites, anything, ranking for that particular keyword on a highly targeted page.

Joe: Yeah. Like I’m going to mock up a little UI and then we’ll go through and see if it’s, we’re both on the same playing field before we hire a programmer and get started on it.

Justin: Well hell men, if we can knock out the 8 or 10 hours that either of us is doing on the first page analysis every week, if we just did that, I’d be pretty happy with that, right? We could knock that down to like 1 or 2 hours out of our time, it’d be fantastic. I can get on to get my foot massages, whatever I did. So anyway, that’s about it for this week’s episode. Episode 20 men! Joe: Yeah. Justin: We knocked 20 out. That’s pretty awesome. I like this weekly format. It seems to be going pretty well.

Joe: It is. It’s great. I think we have plenty of stuff to talk about in the future and like you said, we can always revisit topics that changed.

Justin: Cool! Well, that’s it for this week’s episode, Episode 20 of The AdSense Flippers Podcast. Great to have you with us! Again, you can check as out on Twitter @AdSenseFlippers. We’d love to see you and we’ll see you next week.

Joe: Bye bye everybody.

Download your free report

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Google’s April 19th update, the Penguin update on 4/24, and their effect on our niche sites Joseph Archibald’s background and history with internet marketing
  • The difference between on-site and off-site SEO and their importance post-Panda
  • What an over-optimization or the “Penguin” update means for niche internet marketers
  • Modifying Joseph’s backlink strategy to cut down on cost but retain effectiveness
  • Automated Linkbuilding: Is it worth it?
  • Negative SEO and the types of sites that can be attacked
  • Cutting back on site sales in May and work on a competition research tool


  • Joseph’s blog where he covers linkbuilding and other internet marketing tips and tricks
  • 40 Day Challenge – Joseph Archibald’s definitive guide to SEO and linkbuilding – 60% off with coupon code: AdSenseFlippers40Just for AFP readers and listeners! After purchase, email him with your Paypal receipt and coupon code and he’ll refund you 60% of the purchase price.
  • Hire Us Page – Our consulting page, where you can purchase either email or phone support and Joe and I help you out directly!
  • Google’s Penguin Update  – Examples from Google on the types of content negatively targeted with Penguin

Did you like this week’s episode?  Let us know in the comments below or give us a shout on Twitter!


  • Andy says:

    Excellent interview, and Joe seems very white hat; I just figure the good stuff will get more valuable as time goes by, and I definitely agree about Facebook, although it seems like a good link the times I have used it for small geographically based blogs and businesses – good post!

  • Dan Norris says:

    Hey guys another great show.

    This backlinking stuff is interesting. I’m refining my longtail strategy and I’m using a variation of the 2-tier link building method for that. I do wonder though if this might be the next thing on Google’s radar. It seems everywhere you look this is what people are recommending. However it’s not really solving the problem – i.e. you are still building low quality links through to your tier 1 web 2.0 sites. And not only that you are probably building something that doesn’t look natural (i.e. web 2.0 pages that only link to 1 site, pages on your site that only get links to them with the exact keyword, web 2.0 sites with thousands of low quality links going through to them).

    You aren’t going to be getting the webmaster notifications for these web 2.0 sites so if Google doesn’t like the amount of links through to these pages then what do they do? I guess they de-value the page and therefore the linkjuice that flows to your money site. Perhaps they will see the pattern and make some examples of people and de-value the money site? Who knows.

    For my longtail strategy I need something that is scalable and automated (delegated or outsourced) and this is exactly the sort of thing that Google doesn’t seem to like so it’s pretty tough. Short of paying a good writer to go out and organise guest posts or create as many manual web 2.0 articles as it takes, I can’t really see an easy answer.

  • I am absolutely new. Coming in as the world is in flux. Now I had in my mind over time to build up a number of sites somewhat similar to what you are doing. Do you think as an individual signing up for adsense they will freak out if i get to the point of having a large number of legit clean sites. Or would I be more secure if I incorporate and do it under a business. I read somewhere that someone thought a large number of sites could be a red flag but the more I read no one has any concrete answer. What would you suggest and do you know if they don’t scrutinize the site count if you are a company.

    • No one will be able to say for sure how Google does it’s review process. However, I don’t see why you should be concerned with a personal AdSense account. Just stick to the rules and you’ll be fine.

  • Justin,

    You got the foot massages in there just at the last minute mark 🙂

    I enjoyed listen as usual.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Yeah, Mike, that was just for you!! 🙂 I thought about what you said and thought I had to sneak another one in there for you, lol.

  • After the penguin update all of our sites stood pretty strong. Not only that, but many actually gained in ranking. Now it could be because it’s early, or it could be because we’ve been only using unique content and really reaching for that “low hanging fruit” like you guys have been saying. In the end I think the micro niche sites won’t ever completely die because there’s always gonna be topics where our sites are just the best content out there because no one else bothers to write about them.

    On another note, I have actually been adapting my strategy to incorporate bits and pieces of tier building just as Joseph Archibald said. I think backlinking just solidifies our positioning though because we’re already obtaining top rankings before we ever backlink… just good keyword research I guess.

    BTW, we have you guys to thank for all of this because we’ve gained most of our knowledge mainly from reading blogs like yours, pats, and spencers.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      That’s good to hear, Josh!

      Glad to hear it…you guys are continuing to cruise along quite nicely!

  • GPT says:

    where do you enter that 60% off code? when I click the link it takes me to the clickbank cart and there is no promo code field. Is it already taken off the price?

    • JustinWCooke says:

      I’m not sure…I just took a look and didn’t see it either. Let me check with Joseph Archibald…

      • Lainehmann says:

        Any answer here? I would love to scoop this up! Thanks for a great interview- the jargon went over my head but I’m hoping all will become clear in the book. 🙂

        • Joseph says:

          Hi GPT and Lainehmann, sorry about the mix up here. In order to get the 60% discount, you simply need to purchase the ebook at the full price via Clickbank (use the link on my website which you will see at top right on the home page), then email me with the promo code AdsenseFlippers40 along with a copy of your Paypal receipt and ensure you include your Paypal ID so I can then reimburse you for your purchase.

          Thanks indeed!

  • Doug Yuen says:

    Great stuff, as always! I appreciate hearing about how you guys have been affected by the Penguin update. Glad you haven’t been crushed like some others have.

    The site I bought from you guys a couple of months ago hasn’t been hurt, and last month’s earnings are actually 25% higher than the 30-day earnings at the time of purchase. Google rankings on the top keywords have gotten slightly higher, and visits have been slowly but steadily increasing. I didn’t add any new content or do any link building for the site yet (which probably helped me, given the recent Google updates), though I did change the theme and test a few other changes.

  • Andre Garde says:

    Fun interview! Would love to head to Malaysia one of these days.

    BTW guys for your competition analysis, check out SerpIQ for ideas. They have a free trial and you can see how they analyze the top 10 and assign it a difficulty scale in terms of ranking. It might give you some ideas for your tool.

  • Looking forward to listening to this podcast. Joseph knows his business.

  • Vin says:

    Sorry to hit you up twice in one thread, but I wanted to tell you guys about an awesome site that will definitely help you with your backlinking issue.

    It’s a unique Social Network search engine that allows you to search for available Usernames (read: keywords) on just about every relevant social network, web 2.0, blog, and bookmarking site in existence.

    This gives you the opportunity to pretty much OWN all relevant social properties for your keyword. These will be your Tier 1 links. What’s great about this is that you have complete access to update and edit these links to keep them fresh over time. I know that niche guys like us won’t ever need to do that, but it’s definitely an added value to potential site buyers who may want to grow the niche site down the line.

    It’s easier to understand if you can see it (rather than me telling you). Go to, type in your target keyword and click “check it.” On the resulting page, click the “Social Networks” tab and you’ll be presented with every available social site that you can build out with your specific keyword.

    I know they have a service that will actually take your keyword and create accounts on all the available sites for you, but I don’t think it’s going to be cost effective for niche sites.

    Once you “own” these social properties/tier one links, you can start filling them up with content. Whether you use spun content, outsourced content, or content you write yourself is up to you. I haven’t come up with a good strategy for this just yet, but it is a potential “penguin killer” if we can nail it down in an inexpensive way.

    Hope this helps!

    – Vin

  • stevewyman says:


    Excellent podcast and as always interesting to hear your thoughts on this business.

    Great to have Jo on the show many insightfull comments. I feel the strategy will need some clarfication/refinement going forward as a lot of folks use heavily spun content for anchor and secondary layers. I think thats OUT with the anchor layer, we probably need to start thinking of them as sites in thier own right. Not to have them ranked highly but at least somewhere. just a theory.

    I do think you can relook at automation tools guys. Find an SEnuke EXPERT (not guru) if used properly i think it can produce the quality of work you need in a way thats not spammy at all. Theres a huge amount of control inside that system thats not general understood. There are so amazing multi tiered structures that folks build. the content will be spun BUT it can be very high quality article like theleadingarticles.

    may 5c worth.

    Glad to hear Penguin has not killed you thats confirming the MicroNiche site strategy is stil sound. It kinda feels like we have MicroNiche and authority sites going forward with not a lot in between?

  • Paul Kassens says:

    I just had to listen to the podcast #20 as soon as it was on iTunes, before heading to Davao in the AM to meet you guys! Another great podcast – and a very informative interview with Joseph Archibald. A lot of information on backlinking strategies to digest – I think I’ll need to listen to this one again for it all to sink in! I have enjoyed all of your podcasts, and I really look forward to finally meeting you guys tomorrow in Davao!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Sweet, Paul…looking forward to meeting you tomorrow! And good luck at immigration. The last time I was there they’d changed the rules once AGAIN to where you have to wear pants. I promptly headed over to Victoria Plaza, bought some outrageously yellow sweatpants and threw them on over my shorts…approved! lol

      • Paul Kassens says:

        LOL! They added the dress code back in November? – had a paper sign on the gate with no advance warning! Fortunately they let my honey go inside (she had on long pants) while I had to wait outside (with all the other pissed off foreigners!) I have my long (but NOT yellow! LOL) pants ready for the trip in the AM. Yet another days adventure… ahhh… life in the Philippines! (I DO love it here!) I look forward to swapping more stories tomorrow!

        • Paul Kassens says:

          I just wanted to say that it was really great to finally meet the Adsense Flippers guys (& gals) yesterday in Davao! It’s always fun to actually meet people in person that you’ve “met” online, but in this case, after listening to all of your podcasts, I felt like I already knew you. I was a bit shocked when I left & discovered we had talked for 3 hours! The time really flew by, and we covered a ton of topics. I really appreciated you inviting in the family and including them in the conversation when they came by to pick me up. I know how busy you all are, and I really appreciate you taking the time in your busy schedule to talk & answer so many questions. Thanks again!!! – and I look forward to listening, reading, posting, & keeping in touch!!!

  • Matt Hagens says:

    Can’t wait to have a listen! Jo is the man, and you guys aren’t bad either 🙂

  • Vin says:

    Listening in now. Looking forward to this Penguin stuff.

    Also..just realized….you guys aren’t rocking a newsletter?

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey, Vin!

      Sweet…we don’t currently have a newsletter, but we share additional content and give updates via our email list which you can subscribe to.

      We’ll be starting a keyword research newsletter in the next couple of weeks, so keep your eye out for that!

  • Watsonovedades says:

    awesome content you guys rock


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