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When SEO Was Hot and Easy

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T J Tutor

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"When SEO Was Hot & Easy" is a statement you made regarding earning from the net in your earlier years. Is there still a place for SEO in your current business model? If so, do you find it only useful for your niche sites?
 
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Matuloo

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Yes, I still own some older sites that are getting SE traffic and making me some money.

I stopped building SEO sites at some point, because didn't like to be googles bitch :) But the truth is, when something ranked, the profits were pouring in slowly for a very long time. So I'm thinking about taking a closer look at SEO in 2017 again.

The feeling of making money without doing any work is still pulling me back :)
 

thommy

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The topic is confusing me a bit.
SEO was never so easy as now because in all those years Google came nearer to what they were talking about.

There have been still a lot of tricks around to play with Google but they are becoming less and less.

All you really need today is a good content a great usability and returning customers.
The rest you can read from analytics because it shows you all - even the future ranks of a website if you know how to read it.
So thank god that the time of big SEO fairytales (and lousy tricks) is passed and the user decides for a position.
So I personally would change the topic to "When SEO was only good for the SEOS"
 

Matuloo

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Not sure about your experience Thommy, but couple years ago I had a network of about 300 domains and I could basically rank anything with them, just by linking from them. I wasn't building sites with good content or usability, I was building simple sites populated with ads :) So yes, from a user standpoint, the times have changed for the better. But from my point of view, those were the easy times to rank stuff.

I also had a couple of really high quality sites, part of them was taken down by google anyways ... collateral damage maybe.

I'm also not such a huge fan of bending over for user experience, since the hunt for better user experience can actually take down a whole industry. Since you come from the adult industry, I'm sure you know how damaging the approach "users want free videos, let's give it to them" has been.
 
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T J Tutor

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I'm sure you know how damaging the approach "users want free videos, let's give it to them" has been.

Exactly, the "Free Line" has pushed itself out there a bit too far IMO. There has always been one in most industries one way or another, but this industry has redefined the "free line" and it has users expecting too much now from site owners.
 

thommy

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Not sure about your experience Thommy, but couple years ago I had a network of about 300 domains and I could basically rank anything with them, just by linking from them. I wasn't building sites with good content or usability, I was building simple sites populated with ads :) So yes, from a user standpoint, the times have changed for the better. But from my point of view, those were the easy times to rank stuff.

but this is exactly what i meant - EVERYBODY could do that and a ranking was based on how many links you were able to set. but that was never google´s goal because they always wanted to have the best and most related search results.
I also had a couple of really high-quality sites, part of them was taken down by google anyways ... collateral damage maybe.
exactly - because google started then to fight links instead of using them.

today things are very easy because google did not buy all these companies where millions of users are permanently logged it. they did not push chrome on the market for no reason.
today they can prove how good a link is and what happens after a user clicked it. the good on that is that nobody can fake that and the next good thing is that you can see EXACTLY the same in analytics.

if you understand analytics you are even able to push ranks with internal links and you can even see BEFORE they rank if that will happen or not.

i am coaching a webmaster who was calling himself SEO and after he crashed i had to wash out these fairytales from his brain and just go the logic way. he is now one of the biggest in Europe and he receives around 1 million unique users per day ONLY from google.

and there is only ONE rule I gave him:
if you link - no matter if internal or external - do it as you want to promote a product and SELL IT.
a click on a banner does not have value when a user does not buy - and a click on a link does not have value when the user close the page after he reached it.
it is really THAT SIMPLE.

Just try the following in analytics:

Find all your entry pages

analyze the links there and wich one is followed.
Look even a step deeper and see how many users leaving the Domain from the following page. If the bounce rate on this following page is low - you see already your next good ranking result page.

I'm also not such a huge fan of bending over for user experience since the hunt for better user experience can actually take down a whole industry. Since you come from the adult industry, I'm sure you know how damaging the approach "users want free videos, let's give it to them" has been.

I think this problem is just a problem for people who do not think any further. The same thing happens when television came up and "killed" cinema.
I am in this biz since 1997 and I think I did all that you can do in this niche. I was a publisher at the start than I had my own affiliate program and a bunch of member sites and today I am just the man in the middle who brings new products and potential advertisers in a niche what was for many years a closed one.

All the "big inspirations" in the adult industry were just causing that the users "porn-budget" went from one corner to the other in the same room. So there was always the same money in this game and that was from beginning til today worldwide 0,25% of the spending budget of all users on adult sites.
now when you start to give that what they have paid before for free you have 2 effects:
1. you can not sell what you give as a gift
2. you get even MORE people on the websites and have a much bigger audience with potential buyers.

As I saw that really right away when the tubes came up I changed the slogan "sex sells" into "sex sells - but what"

I can say that the income of my company and our advertisers have increased A LOT. but today we are not only selling adult related products anymore. we even sell car tires and breast surgeries. Around 50% of our sold ads you would not expect 10 years ago on an adult site.

So yes - this is mass business and we need the masses and this is why I am happy that Google of today is just that what they told us that they are for many years but they did not have the solutions. Now they have them and they get a bit nearer every day.

The rest is entertainment - if you do it good the users come back - if they find a better place they will "pay with their presence" there.
 

Matuloo

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I don't share your view, especially not when it comes to what happened to the adult industry. BTW, I'm around since 1998, so don't think I didn't see a few shifts during the years.

10 years ago, there were many thousands of adult paysites, 1000s of small-medium webmasters making a living online - there were tons of high traffic webs - TGPs, blogs, MGPs, toplists, indexes, model DBs ... and what not. The whole industry was huge, and the traffic was distributed kinda evely, everybody could get his share.

Then the tubes came and since google decided to favor factors like time on site and bounce rate ... they shifted all traffic to them. If it wasn't for google, there wouldn't be such huge sites as xhamster, xvideos etc ... But while "feeding" these huge sites, they took traffic away from the smaller ones and effectively killed a lot of them.

Combine this with a total disrespect for copyrights by the tube site operators and it's not hard to imagine why surfers started to favor these tubes.

What followed was a mass extinction of adult paysites, small free sites and a huge decrease in the affiliate numbers. So where there was once a huge industry, there is now a bunch of MEGA sites that work with a small amount of traffic networks that all sell adspots to mediabuyers selling dating from the most part. The production also shrinked to a handful of companies that can still survive in this situation where everybody things adult videos should be free.

I don't see how this is a good or visionary thing for the industry itself. I also don't agree that there is still the same amount of money in adult, people are not willing to pay for adult sites that much as they used to. They still sell but not so well. Dating also still sells, but not as good as a couple years ago... same with cams. Adult mobile did a lot of money for the past few years, but that's almost over too.

Running a traffic networks is one of the last business models in adult that have growth potential and since you run one, I'm not surprised you see a bright future ahead :) And I'm not blaming you, you adapted and survived. I'm doing the same for years, I just don't like the way it all went.
 
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Nitin Ravale

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When SEO was Hot and easy it was more of fake people ranking for no reasons.where now SEO is lit bit tough but still it has shown it's Importance due to Panda and Penguin updates recently.
 
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