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3 SEO Cheats to Push You Higher in the SERPs

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Photo Credit: Augur Marketing via flickr

There was a brief time in SEO history where you could build thousands of spam links and watch your site climb to the top of the first page 2. Those days are long gone. SEOs that do well today dedicate serious resources (time, money, and skilled labor) towards their link building campaigns.”

— Brian Dean, CEO of Backlinko

Nearly every SEO tactic today falls into one of three categories; white hat, black hat, or the nebulous gray. White hat tactics are those recommended by Google and other search engines which take a straightforward approach to reaching the top of the SERPs. Black hat tricks, on the other hand, are methods that are considered unethical in the world of SEO. Yet no matter how you slice it, there are plenty of strategies that fall into the gray.

The SEO cheats presented here are neither black nor white; they just are. Some may consider them to fall on the black hat side of things, but that’s only a misconception. Keep reading and you’ll see.

If you are seeking genuine SEO tactics to give you a rise in the SERPs, look no further. Here are three SEO “cheats” that will deliver impressive results.

1. Targeted Outreach with Google Keyword Planner

Most leverage the Google Keyword Planner simply for AdWords purposes and keyword research. This tool, however, is far more powerful than its implied uses. The Keyword Planner is a stellar tool for identifying outreach opportunities for your site to benefit from.

When conducting an outreach campaign, it is vital to focus your efforts on those who are already discussing similar products or services. Anything broader and you are likely to waste massive amounts of time getting turned down. To find the most relevant sources, focus on those who are already incorporating your long-tail keywords into their mix. You can locate these bloggers by simply loading your keywords into the Keyword Planner and filtering the results for low search volume keywords. Once you have your list, export it.

From here, begin plugging your long-tail words into Google individually while actively searching for blogs or articles that cater to these topics. With this list in hand, you can begin reaching out; you will likely have far more success with your campaign as these folks are already engaging in your industry’s conversation and will be far more apt to respond.

2. Building Links through Building Connections

This method involves persistence and patience, but it will pay off if you remain steadfast in your efforts.

The typical route for many SEOs is to employ tools that will automate and scale their efforts for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. The rationale here is fairly solid, granted that the right elements are scaled. For this approach, however, we are going to take a seemingly counterintuitive path and refrain from scaling.

Much of the online world revolves around relationships, and this is exactly what you are aiming to build. This is the sweet spot on how you will earn your links. When reaching out to potential partners, you may have to contact them a half dozen times before making your pitch. Cold pitches are rarely received well so playing the long game is essential for this to work.

Additionally, with this tactic you have to be willing to go the extra mile and do something that 95 percent of SEOs won’t do; pick up the phone and call people.

It may sound absurd calling someone to ask for a link, but the power of human-to-human connection is something that should not be underestimated. Next time you find yourself inspired by someone’s post, locate their contact information and give them a call to thank them for the information and share your feedback with them. As this is an uncommon practice, you are going to stick out in their memory. And in many cases, that will pay off big.

By connecting to various voices, authorities and influencers in your niche in this manner, sharing and interacting with their materials will feel natural and they are more likely to take notice. This amps up the possibility of them linking to you exponentially because they know who you are.

3. Comment on Blogs – A Lot

Commenting on blogs is one of many tactics that is perceived to be black hat. This is simply not true. Google’s Matt Cutts has been a proponent of this strategy for a long time and has even gone on record stating that he does this as well. In reality, blog commenting is a fantastic way to acquire more traffic, gain visibility and even drive revenue. Since very few people leverage this strategy, it becomes all the more powerful.

The key to gaining the benefits of blog comments lies in ensuring your statements feel natural; automating this process will ultimately backfire. Your comments need to be organic and useful to the overall conversation.

Approach this by compiling a list of reputable, high-quality blogs within your industry. Then narrow things down by entering the URLs into the Moz Domain Authority tool; only keep sites that have a comparable domain authority to your own. Once you have your list, start engaging and driving people to your site. Just bear in mind that most sites have an approval filter for comments. To ensure that yours passes, make sure that it looks natural and adds to the conversation in a valuable way. If it doesn’t achieve these two aspects, you are just spamming someone else’s blog. While this strategy is no quick fix, it is quite effective.

If you are trying to reach the top of the SERPs, you can’t just follow the same practices and tactics that everyone else is. You have to think outside the box and employ strategies that others won’t. By breaking away from the herd and forging your own path to SEO prosperity, you gain a much more solid foundation to your ranking status.

What SEO “cheats” do you use to climb the SERPs?

About the author

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Tina Courtney

Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Visit My Google+ Profile

32 Comments

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  • A great piece although whilst I am sure these efforts will pay off, the continued use or varied and good quality text featuring your keywords is still the best way to SEO glory in my book. We used this and only this technique with our Computer Recycling business and for our main keywords followed by the area’s we worked in, we shot to 1st and 2nd place in Google within a couple of weeks.

    • So Tim, you don’t do any blog post anchor text backlinks you say? I see what you did there, nice one. Brian Dean’s Backlinko is a great site for intuitive information. We have used it to to take our RV Dealership site to the top of many SERPs. The longer the keyword the more thinking you need to do. It is like anything else, it take work and practice to get results that stand out.

  • Blog comments are a great way to build credibility for the link you post, especially if your contribution makes a nice impact on the readers.

    Of course, they’d want to visit your site to learn more about or from you. Such site traffic is as organic (and valuable) as it gets.

    Speaking of value, a good way to know whether your efforts are paying off is to maintain a steady eye on your SERPs and watch how you move (up or down) soon after any “big” changes you make to your site (on-site or off-site).

    You’d need a monitoring plan to know what’s working and what isn’t, so you don’t waste your effort on the latter.

  • Blog commenting is one of the techniques I use to get links back to my website, but many of the links you gain this way will be ‘nofollow’. So does that matter?

    I have been told that it doesn’t because it will look more natural to search engines, but I guess at some point you will need at least some good quality links that are not ‘nofollow’ to gain any authority.

  • Thank you Tina for the good SEO insights and advice. I have always wondered what impact blog comments would have on a website and have really held back in fear of being branded as a spammer but from what I have just read in your article it seems like an acceptable practice so long as the postings are original and inline with the post being commented on so I may start giving it a try and see how it goes. Thanks. -Geoff

  • Great post and good to get some real advice as some now think SEO is dead, I would disagree.

    On point three there is something you didn’t mention a lot of blog comments will only give you no-follow links. I know you didn’t insinuate this and said it will drive traffic and increase exposure but just wanted to highlight that point.

  • Hi Thank you for this information, Reference to point 2, what in your opinion is the best way forward to connect with other Blogs and sites within our preferred domain, when we do not know the authors, and how does one discover all blogs and sites of a particular domain, without manually checking each one.

    Rgds

  • Hey Tina, people don’t understand this fact that links can be a powerful source to build networking. People are still not using this method to build a authority and helpful network. Your points were all helpful.

  • I do blog commenting for backlink purpose and it really works for me. My website also have good SERPs for long-tail keywords. I use industry based keywords in my campaign.

  • Thank you for nice hints. It’s always good to remember how important personal relations in business can be.

  • SEO is a hard nut to crack. put simply, “SEOs that do well today dedicate serious resources (time, money, and skilled labor) towards their link building campaigns.”

  • We’ve found that reaching out to people we know in our business and just asking how we can work with them, provide them some content or just connect them to someone else is a great way to get a link or two. Simply asking how you can help them and their business is huge!

  • Thanks a lot for sharing such informative content with us. As per my point of view building connection with social audience is more important than making link building.

  • Blog comments are a great way to
    build credibility for the link you
    post, especially if your contribution
    makes a nice impact on the readers. Of course, they’d want to visit your
    site to learn more about or from
    you. Such site traffic is as organic
    (and valuable) as it gets.

  • I try and blog comment for each of my sites that I manage in their respective niches every day. It has helped bring a lot of eyeballs to them, and developed some great links along the way. Also, I have developed some good relationships with folks, and helped people too. I feel like it is all about adding value to each piece of intellectual real estate I visit. Great article, and great value. Thanks!

  • Thanks a lot for sharing such informative content with us. As per my point of view building connection with social audience is more important than making link building.