11 Oct 2007

Jim might stop blogging – Stay Under the Radar – 2005 Flashback

Sometimes I ask myself, "Shouldn’t I just stop blogging about link building, and just go as far under the radar as I can?"

People can debate all day long over what works, and what doesn’t (when it comes to search engine rankings). People can debate what is Good, and what is evil, what is white hat, and what is black hat, and what is a paid link, and what can be "caught/filtered", and what those  Filters/penalties are and how thay can be applied (to whom, and how, and why, and where and when, Google might play a role in these things…..should I be trying to convince or inform, or even state what I think when it comes to these matters?

Why bother? I’ve already written my views. My favorites are listed on the bottom of all my pages under "Jim’s Favorite Posts" (last updated in April)….

I’ve been blogging since September of 2005, and I can say this, I still believe, and act upon almost everything I’ve ever said as far as link building. Even that stuff I wrote back in 2005, I still feel is relevant in today’s ever changing world.

Jim goes into 2005 time machine for a minute here…..

In September of 2005 I laid out the ground work for how I envision search engines rank sites (or at least how they are trying to). I still believe in this.  October of 2005 I also laid out more of my SEO framework in my thoughts on what google likes to rank in the top 10 for many search results.  We’ve been lucky to compete with sites like these by keeping a regular flow of quality links coming in to sites we work with…it works.

October of 2005 I wrote about Changes and Paranoia in the SEO World. This advice is so useful even today, 2 years later, where FUD and Link Blue Cool Aid is being served to the masses, to those who think the sky is falling every day. SEO goes on, always will. Check your beliefs with facts and observations, and do what you think is right, and then measure.

In November of 2005 I spoke of the difference between what a link ninja does vs a link monkey. (before Stuntdubl helped us to coin "link ninja"). At that time we had about 12 employees that included 4 link ninjas. Today we have 28 employees which includes 17 link ninjas.

In September of 2005 I wrote about how I liked old websites. I still believe this to this day, but Oatmeal recently proved there’s at least one exception. Maybe with a lot linkbait, and few bait home runs, it can be done….but I’m not the one to try it….I’ll stick with what I know I’m good at working on…and that’s old sites. I like old websites so much, that since 2005 we very rarely have work with sites that are newer than 2 years online.

In October of 2005 I also taked about screwing the sandbox, and buying old websites. That one post haunts me to this day, 2 years later. I swear, Every Week, I get at least 1 or 2 emails asking me about buying old sites. They’re either seeking consulting, or the service of finding old sites. I no longer wish to mention any more than I already have on buying old sites.

In October of 2005 I also wrote on how link pages are dead. Back in the day I considered myself the link trade king. No other trader had as many PR8’s and 7’s as we did…and man it worked great….but shit, that was back in 2003. I can’t believe I still get crap link trade requests every day in my email, My responses to what to do with link trade requests are the same as it was in Oct 2005.

In December of 2005 I wrote about buying links under the radar. The closing paragraphs still hold true to my heart today.

So my new years resolution is to  get better at what we do which would include moving even more under the radar with our link buys – grab a link from a virgin site (a site that’s not openly selling “ads”) and move on.

Bottom line – As an SEO you’ve got to distance yourself from other fellow SEO’s in your link building.

Jim steps back out of time machine now in October 2007….

SEO hasn’t changed much since 2005 – really….there’s always been fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Links still work just as good as they ever did. The whole game is to stay under the radar, and don’t piss of Google.

Maybe I’ll just take a year off from blogging…or maybe I just won’t blog about link building anymore….who knows…maybe I’ve already said all I want/need/can say. I’ve thought of tons of other posts, but always axe them when I think "stay under the radar"….which means there’s often not much more to say beyond what I’ve already said publically.

I don’t know…what do you think?

In any case, I’ll be in NYC next week for SMX, and the following week I’ll be in Ireland…and between now and then I’ve got a few very important meetings. Never a dull moment….but I’m still feeling really Lucky today and everyday.

Comments

  1. Tyler Dewitt October 11, 2007 at 8:22 PM

    LOL great post

  2. Burgo October 11, 2007 at 8:44 PM

    Certainly agree with the heart of this post… there are phases, I find, in my usual “industry blog reading”, where you have to ask yourself… How often can the same old thing be rehashed and restated?

  3. Harvey October 11, 2007 at 10:02 PM

    Shit, I just typed up a big long reply in my RSS reader (thunderbird) and lost my post when I hit submit. I’m not sure if I should be blaming Mozilla, WordPress, Jim or myself for this.

    Anyway, the gist of it was that the blog probably plays an important part of why you have loads of good work piled up – it’s an easy sell when someone has been reading your blog for a year or so.

    If link building blogging is getting thin (and I agree with all of the above) then there are plenty of other things to blog about. SEO Book is much less about SEO now and more about big picture stuff and having a go at Google for whatever sneakiness they are up to 🙂

  4. Michael October 12, 2007 at 4:50 AM

    Jim I certainly hope you’ll continue blogging. I’ve found your blog posts really helpful. There are many SEO bloggers out there .. but not many know what they talk about sometimes … or want to share as genuinely as you had.

    If not SEO, blog about other topics. I enjoyed your post about feeding the homeless … it really inspired me!

  5. David Leigh October 12, 2007 at 12:47 PM

    Jim,

    Keep on blogging, we need you. I’ve got so much useful stuff from your blog and really value you opinion in this stuff.

    David

  6. Jake October 12, 2007 at 1:31 PM

    nice…and don’t stop blogging. It’s part of what keeps you feeling Lucky!

  7. Hobo October 12, 2007 at 11:57 PM

    I think you blog too little as it is.

  8. Chris October 13, 2007 at 3:39 AM

    Jim,

    I’ve enjoyed reading all your link building posts. I hope you’ll continue to post on the subject if you feel at any point you do have something to add to the past body of work.

  9. Jonathan Dingman October 16, 2007 at 11:35 AM

    Jim,

    Great meeting you last night! I’ll post some pics later on my site when I get them on my computer.

  10. sola solarium October 16, 2007 at 5:08 PM

    Well, its probably an easy sell when someone has been reading your blog for a year or so!

  11. batteryfast October 16, 2007 at 9:14 PM

    I have read your for blog one years and found that it is really helpful. Personally, I hope you can continue your blog.
    best regards!

  12. Photoshop user October 17, 2007 at 3:13 AM

    I say – keep your great blog going – please!

    Thanks

  13. Stephan Miller October 18, 2007 at 11:44 AM

    I hope you continue too. Of course, I could spend a year just reading everything you have already posted. But my votes for “keep blogging”.

  14. Aurelius Tjin October 19, 2007 at 8:08 AM

    Please don’t stop blogging. You provide useful information to people, that’ more than enough reason to do so. 🙂

  15. narender October 20, 2007 at 1:54 AM

    You should better goes on…You guys are really inspirational…See I read the article of Andy Morgan and Allan Wall some 2 months ago ….and its really a pretty handy explanations for the budding SEOs…So its really great that you guys the biz experts must moves on …

  16. Jeff October 23, 2007 at 7:07 AM

    You said it Jim, Seo hasn’t changed much over the years, why bother rehashing a thought over and over again? I’m surprised you’ve kept going this long.

    It has however been an very interesting read, thanks for all your efforts!

  17. Manish Chauhan October 24, 2007 at 7:48 AM

    Don’t stop blogging….If you stop then how we’ll get valuable resources…..
    Keep posting…

  18. Scott Hendison October 24, 2007 at 8:52 PM

    Don’t stop blogging Jim – Love your insights, and would be sorry to see you slow down…

    Instead, tell us about your selective use of nofollow on commenter names… WTF?

    A. How do you do that? Is it a plugin?
    B. Why do you do that? – I found a post with the same commenter that posted twice, one link was nofollowed and one was not – What’s that all about?

     

    *** Jim’s Response:
    It’s a plugin….the way it works is links are no-followed for 48 hours…that way I’ve got time to humanly review suspected spam and remove it before the no-follow is droppped. – Jim

  19. Alex October 25, 2007 at 5:50 AM

    By all means continue! I read only your blog on SEO.

  20. Darrin Ward October 25, 2007 at 1:20 PM

    I’m glad that I made the decision to go (and stay) under the radar!

    Of course, if you were to do that, I’d miss you!

  21. Greg October 25, 2007 at 5:48 PM

    Come on Jim. I feel your pain. But you are one of the smart guys. If you quit, I’ll have to hang it up for sure. Or just do what others do and resort to posting mis-information and FUD. 🙂

  22. Robert T October 25, 2007 at 6:27 PM

    Jim,

    Amid all the BS and dryly written SEO blogs out there your approach is refreshing. Would miss your insight so hope you keep blogging at least some….

    Yours is a great example of writing with personality.

  23. Betty October 27, 2007 at 2:09 AM

    You know though Jim. Linking is paramont I’m sure, but a constant flow of really good content (like what you are doing on this blog) means so much. I’ve run a few blogs where I never worried about linking much at all, and they did really well because the content was really good, and people linked to a post once and awhile.

    I think time is a huge factor in response to your conversation on “old sites”, and I’m always saying to myself,

    “if I knew then what I know now”

    In other words, I’m still starting new blogs because I started my old blogs so poorly, messed around with some stupid engine manipulations etc. Those blogs recovered fine because of the natural linking and amount of quality (original content 1200 posts or so), but they’ll never do as well as the new ones in the long run.

    So as the guessing game continues I think it’s time to quit guessing and make great posts. A fresh, well written blog post on a blog that is fully configured to spread it’s seed ala ping, is like crack cocaine for the spiders.

    Then again….what do I know…. ;-P

    Betty

  24. Ryan October 27, 2007 at 5:03 AM

    Don’t stop blogging…

    If you do, I might have extra time to actually blog myself a little more often!

  25. Ciara Writer October 28, 2007 at 8:18 AM

    Hey, don’t get too wet in my homeland…

  26. Loren October 29, 2007 at 5:20 AM

    Aww, no need for that. There’s so much crap out there that your higher quality methodologies are pretty damned safe and sound.

  27. Dave October 30, 2007 at 10:24 AM

    Jim,

    A blog is a place to put your own ideas, thoughts and whatever else you want. It should be an enjoyable experience and should be continued only if it remains enjoyable for you..

    I hope you do decide to continue blogging. Your insights, openess and resistence to acknowledge the herd are paramount to not only your success, but I’m sure to that of the many readers of your blog.

    If you fancy lunch on me in Ireland, hit me up – it’s only a hop, skip and a jump away.
    Dave

     

    ***Jim’s comment:
    Dave, you’re a day late, just got back yesterday. But Man, I do love Scotland, and Really want to go back there. When I do have plans I’d love to grab a beer with ya! – Jim

  28. AdMainiacs November 1, 2007 at 5:09 PM

    Personally, except for popping in here every now and again, I stay completely away from blogs.
    I’ve heard all the buzz since blogs began of how you can build links – more links higher serps – more traffic.
    Is it really true?

    To the help you rank higher, I have to say a resounding, and big fat NO! – (or may this is disinformation)

    Proof is that we took a site in what is probably one of the most competitive industries out there, and with no blog placement (sept on here, and I’m sure they come with nofollow, we have now got a site in the top 5 in Google.co.uk for the search term ‘internet advertising’.

    What tickles us is that all the other sites on the page are pr7’s, pr6’s and pr5’s, and there our site, a tiny little pr 3 stuck right in the mix.

    What makes us laugh even more is the fact that there has just been a pagerank update, so the pr score is probably as close to what Google see internally as it can be.

    Work that one out – no blogging, no authority site links, and yet there the site sits, proud and loud in amongst all the power sites in UK search results.

    Would love to here any other stories of sites ranking for pretty competitive phrases with no crazy mad off-page optimisation, all that flying around looking for relevant links, authority links and high pr links.

  29. Aidan Rogers November 1, 2007 at 9:47 PM

    Jim

    I think I have the ultimate solution for you and stop you from tossing and turning at night.

    Keep on blogging and in fact let all the linking posts flow…

    Right into my inbox.

    (I promise won’t tell a soul 😉

  30. David Brown November 3, 2007 at 7:18 AM

    I just stumbled across your blog for the first time. This post outlined a lot of entries that I can’t wait to read. I haven’t been in the business too long so you lost me on some stuff. I look forward to actually learning something. Thanks a lot.

  31. Vicki Flaugher November 5, 2007 at 8:47 PM

    I like what you have to say, Jim. For those of us in SEO and internet marketing, the industry is finally starting to feel like there are standards that consistently work rather than the wham, bam, oops Google blocked my scam techniques that have been so prevalent in the past. Fly under the radar if you feel you must, but speaking for myself, I’d love for you to keep blogging. It’s helpful to me and I appreciate that you’re out there. Heck, I’d like you to submit info to an Internet Business membership site that I’m helping launch. You’d be a great source of inspiration to many! Thanks for being willing to talk about it.

  32. Back November 10, 2007 at 8:15 AM

    Jim I certainly hope you’ll continue blogging. I’ve found your blog posts really helpful. There are many SEO bloggers out there .. but not many know what they talk about sometimes … or want to share as genuinely as you had.

    If not SEO, blog about other topics. I enjoyed your post about feeding the homeless … it really inspired me!

  33. Boris November 10, 2007 at 9:31 PM

    Don’t piss of Google… No write wonderful things about them… That’s my motto. Hey, with the big page rank drops mine went up 3 positions so I’ll keep on stroking that 800 lbs. gorilla. But, they still make up only about a 1/3 of my traffic. So my eggs aren’t in the single basket. Even thou as a SE they beat Yahoo and MSN 18 to 1 on my sites!

  34. Jenna Ryan November 20, 2007 at 1:26 AM

    Have you written a post yet about, “How to Stay Under the Radar?” Or, would that be to much in the spotlight?

  35. FiestasBenalmadena December 13, 2007 at 5:36 AM

    Definately keep blogging. I think blogging is important because you can actually get things accomplished.

    The other day I blogged about how DMOZ was currupt and wouldn’t list my perfectly valid site that was better than many others that were in the category. I submitted to digg and in a couple of days the DMOZ category was updated and my site listed after 3 years of trying to get it listed on DMOZ.

    Your blogs are seen by a ton of people and it would be a disservice to us all if you stopped blogging.

    Keep up the good work.

  36. Jafus December 28, 2007 at 8:57 AM

    keep blogging. it´s important. your blog is too good to die!

  37. Jason Duke January 30, 2008 at 8:29 PM

    Just thought I’d add my input, glad you kept with it 🙂

  38. Shopwiser February 12, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    I have always enjoyed reading your posts, it’s a little more interesting than the sometimes one sided view of things you see on blogs such as mattcutts.com. Happy you kept blogging 🙂

  39. Peter March 15, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Jim .. come on man, start blogging again!!

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