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Keyword Research Training: Sneak Peek At Smart Keyword Research

Joseph Magnotti Updated on February 29, 2020

Keyword Research Training: Sneak Peek At Smart Keyword Research
In October 2011, Justin and I were approached by a reader, Vic Dorfman, to be interviewed for his new training course.  We’re usually very wary of such offers, as we prefer a more “open” information policy as we have here on AdSenseFlippers but, we liked Vic’s approach — he was honest, gave us personal background and allowed us to review his product before agreeing to anything.  We thought, what the heck, this was our first video interview (we had already done some voice only interviews) and thought it will be great practice.

When actual interview day came around, Justin was had just fallen quite ill…he was bed ridden and out of commission, so this was going to me me solo.  Yikes!  Butterflies to say the least as I don’t think of myself as a terribly great public speaker.  But looking at it afterwards, Vic set me up with many questions that I was familiar answering in private, like those about our background and our niche site creation process.   I felt more confident and less nervous in this video than I do with the podcasts and I think that shows.  So take a look, I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome:

It’s a bit long and some of the details have been discussed elsewhere, but I highly recommend you checking this interview out.  BTW, my t-shirt says “Damn it feels good to be a gangster” and is available from deezteez. (LOVE those guys….check them out!) Some of the topics discussed in the video include:
  • Our history with AdSenseFlippers and how we transitioned from our outsourcing company, TryBPO, to a true internet marketing company.
  • Our initial failures in keyword research and the importance of patience with sites monitized using AdSense.
  • When we “saw the light” and moved to a scaled niche site creation machine run on AdSense and site sales.
  • How we organized and automated the niche site creation process.
  • Ratio of winning sites to loser sites and cost benefit analysis.
  • Why we got into auction sales and flipping our sites.
  • Starting the blog and documenting our process.
  • How much it costs to build our sites and how newbies can get started.
  • Knowing the process before starting a team.
  • Tips on CPC and niche predictions.  What niches usually provide better AdSense revenue results.
  • First page evaluation and it’s importance on micro site success.  We use Long Tail Pro!
  • Doing things yourself and figuring out your own way instead of following the advice of gurus.
Vic’s course is has something we don’t offer here at AdSenseFlippers — a video walk-through of how to pick good niches for AdSense sites.  Could you find these kinds of keyword research tips elsewhere for free?  Maybe, but not in a concise visual presentation as Vic has done.  So if you kind of person who learns better form actually seeing things laid out, instead of reading or just listening, I suggest you check out Vic’s course.

Here’s our affiliate link to Smart Keyword Research with a discount to $37.  It’s $20.00 off and will revert to the regular price of $57.00 on Dec 20th.  If you’d prefer to go direct, because you just don’t dig affiliate offers, click here, but the price is higher.

Please let me know your feedback on the video interview and the course.  I’m always interested to hear from you guys!

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  • Cam Collins says:

    Great overview guys. After watching your video I went over to LongTailPro, was really impressed with the demo and bought the product. I liked the concept of higher CPC and less competition with female products and higher CTR with “blue collar” products. That’s why we like food and beverage.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Awesome, Cam…great to hear it. LongTailPro is pretty basic, but it definitely gets the job done. It’s fast, which is really helpful for us as we have to chase down a ton of domains every week. Glad you liked the tips about which niches to target.

  • Looks good Joe, good content there! Vic seems like a pro. You guys are getting to be big inspirations for other folks…I saw you mentioned in the Warrior Forum threads this morning too:

  • Kreativedevelopments says:

    Hey Joe,
    I know you use Long Tail Pro for your keyword research but I wanted to know if you have ever tried SEcockpit?? I haven’t tried LTP yet so I am looking for reviews of both.
    Thanks for your time!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey there,

      We’ve never tried SECockpit, but have heard good things about it. I think it has a heavy, recurring monthly fee. Still…if it’s significantly better it would be worth it…it’s such an important piece in the puzzle. Maybe we should check it out?

      • Vic Dorfman says:

        Hey guys, if you Google “SECockpit trial” you can give it a whirl for 5 days for $1 or something super cheap like that and determine whether it’s worth the price 🙂

  • Tom says:

    OMG – I was listening to this and figured some qudos was due NO WAY DUE ITS NOT.

    If you think Trent is anything other than a snake oil salemen… Just look at his adsnese Turnover is what $1500 thats not even monthly profit. That dude spend that much on hair and clothes!!

    Hes the typically selling how to do something he cant do. Now spencer and adse guys can but Trent get real…

    Try making a comment on his bloke thats not sucking up.. guess whathappens… yep delete :_0

    • Tom not sure what you mean. This interview is with Vic Dorfman, not Trent. Vic is a stand up guy and we find his video series to be useful, especially for those who find learning that way more intuitive.

      I think I know the guy and site you’re talking about, but I’m not sure how it’s related to this post. In general if you ever have a question regarding someone posing as an “expert” simply look at their income reports. Do they even have one?

      • Tom says:

        Well if ou dont know trent thats ok. He’s turning over less than $1400 a month on adsense but has the cheek to sell to newbies a course that cost like $90 how t make money with adsense!! Its what makes a lot of folks fail and give up heart.

        If the GooRoo is making $1000 whats the hope for the folks hes charging money !!!

        Sure LP now he’s fleeched peopel of their money he can invest it in his own money

        hes one sharp snake oil sales guy thats for sure 🙂

        he does have earning reports jo online income lab

        • dean says:

          Tom, I think you got it wrong with Trent. If he was fleecing people, why would he tell what he is making in adsense? I didn’t sign up for his course for his adsense success but more for his automation/outsourcing that he’s developed and constantly evolving. I find it very useful. There has been other benefits as well. I’ve found Trent to be a ‘straight shooter.’

        • JustinWCooke says:

          I think earnings are a bit relative though, anyway. $1,400/month in AdSense would be a TON to some people. Also…we only made around 3K in October and around 4K in November in pure “AdSense”…does that mean we’re not worth reading?

          If Trent’s making most of his money other ways…find out where he talks about how to do that and…do it! Maybe discount the niche AdSense site creation stuff from him? If you’re looking to only hold your sites for long-term passive income, I would recommend Spencer from NP or Cary Bergeron as that’s their area…we make a good amount of our money from selling off newish earners…just different models, heh.

    • Lpcollins18 says:

      Trent knows what he’s talking about, but you are for adsense earnings he do not have a ton. The thing is Trent only started doing the mass building of adsense niche sites not long ago, before that he was doing affiliate sites along with a few adsense sites. I understand what you are saying because Trent is teaching people all about adsense sites when he does not have a HUGE income from Adsense. Like I said though, he knows his stuff and he now is actually making a lot of sites, give him a few months and I bet his adsense earnings is going to skyrocket.

  • Alex Murphy says:

    I was wonder when this video would emerge. I saw it some few weeks ago on your Youtube channel. Lot’s of great information! Keep up the good work fellas. How was Bali?

    • Great! Highly recommended for anyone in the SE Asia area. I found it a bit tough to get much work done however as there are lots of distractions. We also hit Singapore too, which has to be the most expensive city in the world. No joke it makes New York City look cheap!

  • Johan Woods says:

    New post, finally! 🙂 This is great information, as I’ve been doing a ton of keyword research for my own endeavors.

    I’ve only gone for EMD so far, but I’ve found a few niches where the domain (.com, .net, .org) are all taken BUT they are only pages that sell the domain and not developed.

    How useful is it to buy a, for example? Or add “review”, “shop”, etc. to the end of it to get a .com URL?

    • Alex Murphy says:

      It’s definitely possible. Have a look at Pat Flynn’s Niche Site Duel. I can’t say from experience but from what I’ve observed people are still ranking sites with prefixes, suffixes, and dashes.

      • Good point Alex. We don’t use them in our process but it’s something we are considering testing, especially for the more valuable niches. As always it’s best to experiment with what works best for you.

    • Vic Dorfman says:

      Hi Jonah!

      Adding a suffix is perfectly fine.

      You can also get a hyphenated domain, which is SEO-equivalent to a standard EMD. Most people don’t realize that but it’s just as good as a non-hyphenated one.

      I’m also a big fan of .info, .us, and .biz domains. Matt Cutts of Google has repeatedly gone on record to explain that domain extensions do not affect SEO whatso-freaking-ever!

      I can vouch for that as I have several high page 1 rankings with said extensions. 🙂

      • Alex Murphy says:

        Thanks for sharing the bit about domain extensions. I think it’s mere superstition floating around the net that different extensions are easier to rank than one another.

        • JustinWCooke says:

          Vic’s right in that Matt Cutts has stated specifically that the domain doesn’t matter when it comes to ranking. That being said…there are other considerations as well:

          1. Are people less likely to click through on the SERP if you’re using a .info domain? (Do people associate .info with spammy sites?)

          2. Does the perception remain that a .us, .biz, .info etc. is not worth as much? Will it hurt the resell value if you go to flip the site?

          • Alex Murphy says:

            Dude spot on. This, I think, could be easy to research without having to create websites to test it. In fact there might already be research out there related to this. I haven’t checked..

          • Steve Wyman says:

            Hey Justin, how’s it going?

            From matt cutts

            “It’s complex”
            “Probably more of a nuance to the tld”

            I’m 100% sure that my .com with the same quality and quantity of content and the same type, strength and number of backlinks will out rank any .info every day of the week on GOOGLE.COM

            Can you make an .info rank sure as hell you can but it’s going to be more work. If the niche is weak or you’ve done an outstanding job. Yep .info will rank. But it has no longevity. If somebody targets with .com, .net it will pass the .info eventually. Tons of testing has been done on these things.

            Lastly I believe that 2012 and onwards is going to be more about branding. And a .com in the USA market just has a much higher consumer acceptance than .info .ws etc. You’ll get more clicks which will improve your ranking just look at this

            Great toys shipped today
            A wide range of toys to fit all needs. In stock ready to go

            Great toys shipped today
            A wide range of toys to fit all needs. In stock ready to go

            Would you in the USA click on the .info or the .com?
            I do believe the algo biases .com over other TLD due to geo targeting. If makes sense to down play a domain on as by using your saying you’re a UK business. Does that make sense?

            If you doubt this concept then got to instead and do a search for dog food not the domain extensions no .com. Ok now go to do the same search.. Wham no However what you will see is the Wikipedia entry on an .org on both searches// Why well .org is not geo targeting… nor is .info etc.

            There a lot of confusion about ranking due to the vast number of variables and the need for the spam team to not tell us everything.

            Plus to understand why a specific domain outranks another you have all the age, pr, backlink, backlink strength, penalties, -, etc to take into account.

            I as always hope this contributes and is not too much of an essay. I am writing a guest blog about this so im kinda intense on it at the moment 🙂

          • Steve, while I get what your saying, point 1 of Justin’s reply above (people less likely to click through on the SERP if you’re using a .info) has a direct impact on bounce rate which we know is a part of the Google algorithm. Also, if you don’t get as many clicks as your peers on the SERP (as I imagine .info sites suffer from), expect your rankings to decline.

            I have no data to support this but it makes sense — Google is going towards a more user driven model. Just look at the +1 push. This is something the people in SEO will just have to deal with.

          • Steve Wyman says:

            Hi Joseph,

            I think you must be misreading me. Im not suggest .info is any good at all! Im saying it will rank. But im saying going forward it would perform as well as .info hence my two simulations of the .com and .info listing.

            this is what i was saying in response to the idea that a .info was a good idea

            “Great toys shipped today
            A wide range of toys to fit all needs. In stock ready to go

            Great toys shipped today
            A wide range of toys to fit all needs. In stock ready to go

            Would you in the USA click on the .info or the .com?”

            Dont hold your breath on +1. I expect it to be dead by the end of 2012 UNLESS they can find a way to make it better. which i personelly doubt. For business sites people dont +1 them unless its a resturant or food place. But then you want to be able to -1 them as well or its meaning less. Every place as some happy customer, family and firends to +1 them.

            Likes will win but +1 is not a social indicator that folks are using.

            Im suprised by the comment about SEO people having to deal with +1! why would we not be? its easy to go buy a ton of +1 if google really make it a serious indicator of authority. This is no different to when we had to take on web 2.0 practices a few years ago!

            For me SEO is about testing whats working and reading the guys that test to see what actually makes a difference right now. So as the Algo changes SEO guys adapt.

            Six months ago i had no interest in long articles now the shortest is 500 words normally 750 words and moving towards the home page being 1500 words at least. Plus at least 10-15 articles ona good site.

            As I always try to do I was attempting to share my experiences and people i work with to contribute to the blog. Not many people get to do this type of work.

            I hope that clarifies what i was trying to add and that your business is going great guns.


          • Yep, I agree with you Steve just trying to point out how Google is already using social indicators like bounce rate in their algorithm. It only makes sense that +1 is next.

            And how do they prevent SEO agencies from gaming the system? By using circles, country of origin, known bad IPs. It coming, get ready to make your sites and content better.

          • Steve Wyman says:

            Hi Joseph

            Sure Im as i said going for bigger better sites. The quality is higher all round including the theme, les ads more social interaction etc.

            You know that today you can buy circle packages which are multi country and ips? for those that want to beatthe bot its still quite easy.

            I just dont see that as a long term business model

            hence my personel drive towards microbrand Authority sites of 100’s->1000’s of pages.

            Ill still build niches sites they still work its just the landscape is evolving.


          • Yes, I know these types of services are for sale. However, you also have to remember that Google has access to mountain of data, of which they only give us a tiny fraction. They are getting better and better at tracking these things. You and I can’t even imagine the elements they are using to make these decisions.

            Trust me, I used to think like you, that any user based feedback would be easy to game. Lately though, thinking about the sheer amount of data out there and access to a former Google employee is making me reconsider. A small group of Indians clicking the +1 button over and over, even if they switch IPs, is going to be found banned and perhaps even a penalty applied to site.

            This does not mean niche sites are dead — far from it. I think as more data comes online there will be more long tail traffic and niche sites will do even better. You just better make sure your content is good and your sites have “user appeal”. Meaning people stay on the site at least somewhat without immediately clicking off to an ad or back to the SERP. Answer the question and give, good, well researched info. We’re guilty of not following that, but we’re trying to change.

          • stevewyman says:

            Hey joseph, this box is getting really small to type into now 🙂 a very nested conversation.

            I think were 99% on the same page. Ive always kept a bbit away from the dark side and mostly in the moddle ground of SEO.

            As to the algo against the “indian” people are cleverer than algo’s 🙂 Take HideMyarse for example thats doing more than changing the IP its changes the datacentre location. but i very much take your pointi do.

          • JustinWCooke says:

            Hey Steve,

            Great points! In this latest video, Matt states:

            “In the past we’ve said that we don’t look at the TopLevelDomain in terms of our scoring…I would put a nuance on that now and say that if we see that a particular TLD is spammy then that could affect your overall…the way that your search results rank.”

            Now…I’ve ALWAYS said that a .info (for us) seemed to take more effort/energy to rank. That being said, our .info domains seemed to make more money! I think this was because picking up a .info or .biz allowed us to target more aggressive keywords…so that the few that did work were bigger winners, if that makes sense.

            Domain age/authority has quite a bit to do with it. If you look at most SERP’s you’ll often find the .com EMD’s ahead of the others, most of the time. I wonder if it has to do with that domain/site being older than the others?

          • stevewyman says:

            Hi Justin,

            sure well targetting tougher comp could well result in better adsense revenue.

            I dont think site age isnot that big a factor now. I often over take aged domains. even 10 year old ones. I bought some aged domains (7 years +) EMD’s and .com with sites in place on them earlier this year and I find they can be a bit sluggish. However you can hit them with more links quickly it seems.

            To a large extent id ignore site age when looking at a niche in SEO comp.


  • Seth says:

    Wow dudes nice to see a new post. Thought you guys went off the grid. Glad you are back 🙂 Great article.

    Looking to buy a couple of your sites can you tell me if the Adsense API is updating, haven’t seen much movement on what you have you listed?


    Keep at it. You are one of three others I read (Pat, Spencer)

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey, Seth…thanks for the comment! We are back in action, although Joe’s got a case of the post-travel blues, I think, hehe.

      AdSense API is NOT yet updating, unfortunately. We thought we’d have it up/running by Dec 1st, but the development got delayed. It’s too bad for us…we just sold a site for around $700 that should have went for around $1,100…ugh. Should have them start to update in the next few days or so…now that we’re back we’re going to be all over this.

      If you want, just email us the site #’s you’re looking at and we can give updated information for you specifically. Once the API is up/running we’ll be adding more sites to the mix as well.

      Glad to hear we’re on the short list! We’re regular readers of Pat/Spencer as well, of course.

      • Seth says:

        Thanks Justin. You guys are awesome. I will shoot you an email in the morning. Can I ask a question? Do all of the sites sell for 20x revenue? I’m looking to buy a few of the smaller ones just to get some income coming in and see how all of this works out.

        Thanks again. Yep I try to keep a short list of people to read because you really can get boggled down and not take action if you are just reading all of the time. Glad to see you guys are back

        • JustinWCooke says:

          All of our sites on AF sell at 20x, yes. We’ve toyed with the idea of adjusting depending on certain variables and we may do in the future, but it’s stuck there for right now. We usually sell on Flippa for 18-25x so it seems to be a reasonable pricepoint.

          Agreed with the short list, hehe.

          • dean says:

            You use google analytics to help sell your sites I believe. If one uses a different analytics than google do you think that would or would not make any difference in the sale? Do buyers want G analytics versus other kinds?

          • I would say use Google Analytics as that is what people tend to trust the most. Expect to have too many questions and doubts when using another product.

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