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playbook press


This article was originally published in 2017, receiving over 10,000 visitors in the first week thanks to Reddit and Hacker News press. Now, four years later (2021), affiliate SEO is still a hugely popular way of making money online (though certainly more competitive).

The practice has also been made infinitely more credible, with the likes of the New York Times purchasing Wirecutter for $30m to add to their affiliate revenue streams.

While the specific case study screenshots (below) are now dated, the Gaps in the market are still viable today — especially our focus on sentiment, which we’re starting to see in more and more projects.

Finally, we accept that this ‘dated screenshots’ warning may make you less likely to read this specific article, but it hopefully shows our focus on Gaps is to show you what’s working, right now. We constantly update our playbooks (see /latest for our daily changes) to help with your digital empire efforts.

Last year I wrote an article about how four numbers could send you millions of visitors from Google.

Despite the ambitious headline, it wasn’t clickbait.

The tactic I shared genuinely sent me tens of thousands of extra search visitors, was used by some to build $10,000/m online businesses (from scratch) and was shared on social media more than 4,000 times.

While what I’m about to share is more of a marketing tactic than a specific niche, it will help you find thousands of potential industries you can make money in this year.

I’ll start by covering the main points of the original article (with updated content and images) and then cover actual successful stories that people have had with this, which I wasn’t able to share before.

It all started with a business book…

Or rather, the search for a business book.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook then you’ll know that I frequently set new disciplines for myself which I hope to turn into habits.

One discipline was becoming an early-riser.

Another was quitting alcohol.

And another, the most recent, was dedicating more time to reading and trying to finish two books per week.

Since I was fresh out of books on my Kindle – I had just finished reading The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone for the second time – I decided to search for some recommendations.

I’m not a fan of fiction books, so I headed on over to Google and typed in “best business books”. The results, from the likes of Business Insider and an array of personal development blogs, sadly suggested books I had read a year or two prior.

I then naturally changed my search query to “best business books of 2016” to get some more recent suggestions.

I started looking through the new recommendations and then suddenly had to stop.

“How many people do what I just did?”, I thought.

How many times in the past year have I searched for something with the numbers 2016 on the end to make sure I get the latest results.

I know I’ve searched for,

“macbook pro alternative 2016” this year.

“Science behind meditation 2016”.

“top goal scorers 2016”.

And on the list goes.

As you probably see where I’m going with this, we’ve just entered 2017 and those hundreds of millions of search queries are going to change.

Could you capitalise on what is about to happen? Do you instantly see the potential here? Is there any potential? Let’s find out…

Interesting idea, but do the numbers back it up?

I know there are billions of search queries entered into Google every single day, but maybe I’m just one of those weird few – an oddball – that likes to prefix his search terms with 2016 to get the latest results.

To test my oddball hypothesis, we can head to Google Trends, which is described perfectly by its name.

Since my hunt for good business books was the inspiration for this idea, let’s first look at the Google Trends chart for “best business books 2016” and “business books 2016”.

business-books

Both terms have spikes at the start of the year, which only keep increasing as time goes on; reaching a peak at years end.

This makes a lot of sense since you can’t really judge the best books until the year is coming to a close. That being said, the spike at the start of the year still suggests a lot of potential.

What if I check “best movies 2016” and “best movie 2016” together?

movies

Again their search volume grows steadily throughout the year with a huge spike in December.

Continuing to look at other angles, another query, “best album 2016”, has a very interesting spike at the start of February and never gets higher than that.

best-album

The reason I wanted to show this example is because you don’t have to wait until the end of 2017 to benefit from ranking for 2017-related search terms.

I’ll get to queries with a lot less competition in a moment, but – coinciding with the Grammys – even search terms like ‘best album 2016’ can hit their peak at the beginning of the year.

It’s interesting to note that the Google keyword planner doesn’t actually seem to match Google Trends at all, with a higher figure in November than February and a steady climb across the year.

I am honestly not entirely sure why this is – some forum threads suggest they use similar datasets – but Trends may be a ‘normalisation’ of the data whereas the Keyword Planner is focused on more accurate numbers.

Last but not least, let’s throw one more generic niche into the ring with “Video games 2016” and “best games 2016” side-by-side.

video-games

Video games 2016 doesn’t seem to get too much love but best games 2016 gets a huge spike early on with an almost vertical line, suggesting that this term is hot any time of the year.

No matter the industry, the results are clear: People love adding ‘2016’ to their search queries to make sure they’re getting the most up to date search results.

Moving from theory to results (the fun part)

When I wrote about this marketing opportunity last year, it was based on a strategy that had worked for me back in 2010.

The terms that sent one of my websites the most traffic back in 2010, alongside how many visitors they sent, were:

  • Vancouver 2010: 41,270 visitors
  • Super bowl 2010: 32,836 visitors
  • Olympics 2010: 6,216 visitors
  • Valentines day ideas: 5,688 visitors

I didn’t bold it, but hopefully you see that the year in those search queries played a big part in why I received so much traffic. The writers for the site were covering these topics frequently, putting 2010 in the headlines, and I received a lot of traffic in return.

But that was six years ago, and six years is a very long time on the internet.

On the same website of mine where I wrote about this tactic initially – ViperChill – I also wrote an article at the start of 2016 with 2016 in the headline, specifically trying to get traffic because of its inclusion.

It worked.

I received tens of thousands of visitors from Google to that article alone.

And I hadn’t tried to pick an easy niche, either. I was specifically looking to rank for “make money online 2016” where there are a lot of competitors with authority like Inc.com, Forbes.com and Entrepreneur.com.

Below you can see some of the specific queries which sent traffic to the page.

2016-make-money

I had to put the “1-5% of actual traffic” text on the graphic for those just skimming the article and thinking “those numbers are low”. There are three reasons they are lower than what I’m claiming them to be.

1) I only put Google Analytics on my site on the 25th of September – I was using Clicky analytics before that – which excludes 75% of traffic for the year.

2) My rankings were higher when the article was published but slowly dropped as more people wrote about the topic, making traffic from Google later in the year lower than average.

3) Most importantly, Google Analytics shows “Not provided” for 90-95% of search traffic, so you can’t see most of the terms driving people to your website.

We can get a better idea of the figures by looking at search traffic to the page in general, but again keep in mind that this is only data from a quarter of the year.

google-make-money

In other words, 61% of the 13,500 people who visited the article in the last quarter of 2016 arrived via Google.

If I am very pessimistic and say that the traffic was no higher at the start of the year than at the end (I ranked #1 for a long time but dropped off slowly) then that’s 33,160 people who landed on a single article of mine, primarily because it had 2016 in the headline.

This is just for one article. What if you did this for an entire website?

Eight “2016” Articles. Brand new website. $4,687 in month four

In April of 2016, Luqman Khan launched the website 10beasts.com.

His goal was simply create a ‘list website’ featuring the best products to purchase in 2016 in different categories.

Just four months later, his site was already number 1 in Google for some of the hottest product-related terms of the year, as shown below.

luqman

In the first three months of the site, Luqman made $223.30 as an Amazon affiliate which was generated from just 905 people finding his website via Google.

Here are the exact numbers:

  • April: $16.5 from 29 unique Visitors
  • May: $34 from 197 unique Visitors
  • June: $170 from 679 unique Visitors

To put it another way, he made $0.56 per visitor in April, $0.17 per visitor in May and $0.25 per visitor in June.

In July, things really started to take off.

Here is his search traffic via Google Analytics.

2016-traffic

Here’s the traffic he sent to Amazon and his earnings for the same period.

income

That’s $100,000 in sales he sent Amazon, for $4,687 in commissions.

It’s interesting to see how his traffic stats almost perfectly align to his Amazon affiliate account, showing how ‘buyer-intent’ the traffic is that he’s receiving.

Since all of his sales were thanks to Google traffic and specifically people searching for something with ‘2016’ in their query, Luqman had to put the work in to get Google to notice his site.

He says,

I wasn’t just praying for higher rankings, I was working my butt off. I was doing email outreach and was trying to build quality backlinks as much as possible in those 3 months.

I love these type of success stories as they show you really don’t need a huge marketing budget or a team of developers to make money online. With a bit of grit and perseverance, there’s a lot of money to be made.

Most people would be more than happy making $4,500 just four months into a new online venture, but that was only the beginning.

5 months later, the site generated $80,000 profit in December alone

In November of 2016, Luqman’s 10 beasts website generated more than $40,000.

In December, where people are more likely to be shopping for products, Luqman told me via email that the site generated more than $80,000 in commissions.

The bulk of his traffic from search was sent to three main pages which covered the best wireless routers, the best 3d pens and the best electric shavers to buy in 2016.

bulk-traffic

It’s interesting to see that his title tags (part of the title you see in Google search results) had been changed to also include months, rather than just the year. So each month he was changing these to (Nov), (Dec), etc.

Although he did start experimenting with other revenue sources, Amazon still provided the bulk of his earnings.

In November alone he earned $35,631 from Amazon and $3,520 from a program called LixPen. I hadn’t heard of LixPen before, but it turns out they sell 3D pens so Luqman had started going direct to product creators and becoming an affiliate for them.

november-amazon

His site is now entirely focused towards ranking for 2017-related terms and as he told me, he’s now trying to turn the website into a real brand.

Congratulations for taking an idea and putting it into practice, Luqman!

We’re not done just yet.

There’s a bigger fish in the 2017 pond.

The Link Network That Will Dominate Google in 2017

To regular readers, it’s no secret that I’m disappointed as to how well BestProducts.com are ranking in Google.

Primarily because the main reason they do so is thanks to sitewide footer links on Esquire, Cosmopolitan and Elle.com which are all owned by their parent company, Hearst Media. In other words, they use their current “authority” with Google to help their little, newer brands rank well too.

Linking to their own sites is fine, but they do it in a really sneaky way.

It’s ironic that Google will go through black hat forums looking for sites and networks to penalise but totally ignore the big fish right under their nose.

I guess Hearst spend enough money on Google AdWords.

My mini-rant out of the way, there is something to learn from BestProducts.com: They absolutely dominated Google for 2016-related keyphrases, and they’ll do the same again in 2017.

Let’s look at the meteoric growth, first of all.

similarweb

They’ve tripled their traffic from 2.5 million visitors to 7.5 million visitors in just five months.

When you consider that BestProducts wasn’t even online at the start of 2016 that chart becomes a little more mind-blowing.

With 90% (!) of their traffic coming from search, just take a look at the huge search volumes of these keyphrases and how well they’re ranking for them.

Data via Ahrefs
Data via Ahrefs

These terms in this screenshot alone, where I am excluding hundreds of keyphrases with 2016 in them, could potentially send 429,400 visitors to the site in a single month.

When you consider Luqman was making an average of $0.30 per visitor, that’s an estimated income of $143,000 for just the terms above, and just for one month.

Keeping in mind that they won’t have 100% of people searching for something landing on their site – even if they’re ranked first – it’s still clear to see why Hearst Media are willing to use risky tactics to get to the top of Google.

There’s an incredible amount of money to be made.

Finding the Keywords That Will Make You $

If you see the huge potential available to you in 2017 and want to profit from 2017-related terms, let’s take this further.

The examples above were simply that. Examples.

I don’t expect to rank for ‘best album 2016’, even if I have an exact-match domain name. I expect Billboard.com and MTV and whoever else will dominate those search rankings as soon as they write a single article on the topic, regardless of how many backlinks they receive.

I also don’t expect to rank for ‘top goalscorer of 2016’ since FIFA, the BBC and the EPL website will probably be up there. Alongside everyone else who is featured in Google News or creating content for properties like YouTube.

That being said, I wouldn’t actually want to rank for those terms.

There’s no point in potentially getting millions of visitors to your site (capitalising on a lot of angles), if you aren’t going to make any money.

Am I really going to sell match tickets or club merchandise to someone checking whether Lionel Messi has scored more than Cristiano Ronaldo this season? It’s possible, but unlikely.

We’re getting to the point now where you need to take action.

If you want to make money with this method, you have to take the time to do proper keyword research. You can’t write a single blog post with “2017” in the headline and expect to suddenly get thousands of visitors to your site.

The more obvious a keyphrase is, the more likely other people are going to be targeting it.

The whole premise behind Gaps is that I want to help create more online success stories, so please be willing to put in some time here. Deal?

Let’s go and find those keywords with both traffic and income potential.

Source #1: Google & Google Trends Suggestion Boxes

When I type 2016 into Google Trends, Google are kind enough to suggest some terms that I may be looking for. They do the same for regular Google queries as well, as shown below.

2016-top

Just finding inspiration from “2016 top” will get you the same results as everyone else reading this article – at least for English speaking audiences – so try adding some other words into the mix to get some other angles to target. Some potential queries that come to mind include:

  • top
  • greatest
  • fastest
  • newest
  • oldest
  • strangest
  • cheapest
  • most expensive
  • easiest
  • unbelievable
  • weirdest
  • best
  • shortest
  • tallest
  • biggest
  • smallest

There are a lot more I can add to this list but you get the idea. When I did this same exercise last year I quickly found four industries to potentially capitalise on.

While there are dozens of ways to make money with this type of traffic, a simple rule of thumb is to find keyphrases related to things that you can buy on Amazon.com. If it’s available on Amazon, you can link to it as an affiliate, and make money if someone makes a purchase.

Keep this in mind for the following keyword sources.

Source #2: Google Trends Related Queries

Not only will Google Trends give you an idea of how popular search terms are over a certain time period, it’ll also give you related search terms you can use to narrow down your targeting.

For instance, if I type in “best games 2016” I see the following related queries:

related

I now have a few new industries and angles to think of such as “best android games 2017”, “best PC games 2017” and so on.

For another example, let’s say I type in “best album 2016”, I see the related queries are:

  • best songs 2016
  • album releases 2016
  • 2016 grammy winners

You can guarantee these are all going to be searched for in 2017 as well.

Take your list of terms from step one and run them all through Google Trends to see if there are more varied terms that pop-out which aren’t so obvious (and others wouldn’t find so easily).

Source #3: The Google Keyword Planner

Although the Google Keyword Planner is undoubtedly the most accurate keyword tool on the planet (since the data comes from the source), the reason I’ve put it third in my list is because it’s a little…obvious. Anyone who knows anything about SEO is going to head here first and put 2017 in the search box.

Just because it’s popular though, that doesn’t make it bad. Many thousands of people will read this article, see the potential with this idea, and then do absolutely nothing with the information here.

Once you open the tool, remember not to search for 2017. The planner is delayed by a few months so there aren’t going to be many results for 2017-related terms.

Start with 2016, and then “be creative”.

keyword-planner

By default, you’re just going to see generic results like “movies in 2016” and “star trek 3 2016” which get searched a lot, but aren’t likely to make you any money (unless you happen to sell Star Trek memorabilia).

Start typing in terms that may have came to mind from previous research or what you can see other websites (like BestProducts) already ranking well for.

One term that sent them a lot of traffic was ‘best router 2016’.

If I type 2016 router into the Keyword Planner I get back results like:

  • best wifi router
  • wireless router reviews
  • best wireless router

They don’t have 2016 in the query, but now you know people are going to be adding 2017 to those search terms, so if it’s a niche you’re interested in, add them to your list.

Source #4: Reverse-engineer popular websites

We’ve established that a good way to consider if a niche is valuable is to find keyphrases related to products that would be sold on Amazon.

To take that a step further, you can start looking at the search traffic of sites that talk about things that are for sale on Amazon.

Since Best Products and 10 Beasts both cover tech products, let’s use Engadget – a large tech blog – for this example.

If I put Engadget into SimilarWeb, I can see that the top five search terms estimated to be sending them traffic are:

  • engadget
  • ポケモンgo
  • 瘾科技
  • Google home
  • watch dogs 2

The Chinese (Japanese?) characters were not a typo. I guess the second one is related to Pokémon Go. You can uncover 8,198 more terms via SimilarWeb but that does require a premium account.

We did get one interesting product we could promote though: Google Home.

Similar to Amazon Echo, it’s going to be a hot product in 2017 and people will definitely be searching “Google home 2017” and “Google home review 2017”.

Another free keyword tool we can use is Amazon’s own Alexa.com. Putting in Engadget again, we get the following terms:

  • Engadget
  • google docs
  • spotify
  • wirecutter
  • google pixel

You aren’t going to get the best results from free tools, but once again we find a product that people will be searching for in 2017: Google Pixel.

Just like with Google Home, they’ll be searching for things like “Google pixel review 2017” which you could rank for and then promote as an affiliate.

Again, these free options aren’t the best, but they can give you some insights if you use them on enough sites (you don’t just have to check Engadget).

If you do have a bit of a budget and you’re looking to do more reverse engineering, I can’t recommend Ahrefs highly enough. In the past I would have recommended SEMRush, but since Ahrefs have really upped their game on keyword research (they provided the data on BestProducts above) there’s no other tool you need.

For Engadget, we can then see what they were really ranking for in 2016, with data on more than 12,000 keyphrases in the US alone.

2016-engadget

I’ve highlighted a few that stood out to me from the first page of results but there really are thousands of terms to go through for just this one website alone.

Source #5: Your Own Experiences & Imagination

The best source for niches to target is without a doubt…you!

If there is some angle or industry that instantly came to mind when you thought about search terms for 2017 then start looking into it more with the keyword sources mentioned above.

Also head over to Google and check the 2016 search results to see if anyone else capitalised on them.

One tip, to see how popular certain topics were in 2016, is to find blog posts trying to rank for 2016 related keywords and seeing if they have a lot of shares and comments.

Using your own imagination can be both the easiest and the most difficult source to work with.

On one hand you will likely have hobbies and interests I didn’t mention here which will give you ideas other people reading this won’t have, but on the other – because I didn’t talk about them here – you may doubt the potential that particular industry has.

There’s no fool proof formula to guarantee your success with this.

My best advice is to target a lot of terms and most importantly, dive right in with both feet. With a domain name at $9 and hosting at a couple dollars per month, there really isn’t much to lose besides time, but it’s a learning experience anyway.

If you’re looking to dive in and take action with this, I do have four strategies to help.

This is half the story…

For every success story we feature, we highlight gaps in the market which reveal additional opportunities to be successful. Many are possible by simply changing the industry (or location) to focus on while others look at how to profit from other traffic sources or monetisation options.

If you want to know exactly what types of sites I would build to dominate this ‘2017 angle’ and how to analyse the people who are already ranking in Google, then carry on reading.

this is what we’re known for

Gaps in the Affiliate SEO Space

Below this box is the text we’re famous for, but out of respect for you, we do have a disclaimer in place.

We spend dozens of hours preparing these reports and coming up with opportunities you can capitalise on, but we also don’t want to put your life-savings into an idea just because we wrote about it.

For that reason, we have an $8.88 request: Please don’t spend more than that testing out an idea (it’s the cost of a .com on Namecheap) to see if it has legs and makes sense for your business.

We’ve made many successful predictions and even ran our own case study, but we’ve also invested time and money into ideas that didn’t pay off. We’re not directly making money from this report, but still want to be respectful of your own finances.

Strategy: Ranking in Google for ‘2017’

I believe there are four ways to truly capitalise on the upcoming opportunity I’ve highlighted in this post in regards to SEO. Looking at the top trends for 2016 may give you ideas for great blog posts that Facebook users will love or opportunities for PPC campaigns, but I’m primarily focused on organic (free) Google search traffic here.

The four avenues are:

  • Adding content to an established website
  • Creating a minisite based on a topic
  • Creating an authority site with focused sub-categories
  • A bonus fourth angle

I’ll cover each in a little more detail now so you can see which route is more likely to suit you.

Adding content to an established website

If you already have an established website, there may be opportunities to ‘piggyback’ off your existing authority and rank pages with ‘2017’ in the headline more easily.

To give an example, let’s assume I have a very popular tech blog that covers all of the latest gadgets from companies like LG, Canon and Samsung.

Let’s also assume I focus on writing about the news rather than creating videos for YouTube like others in my niche, and often try to cover obscure items which may get more social media love than the newest laptop coming out of DELL.

One way I can see myself using this idea is to focus on the ‘best’ tech items of 2017. So, as mentioned earlier, things like:

  • The best webcams for 2017
  • The best laptop for 2017
  • The best printer for 2017
  • The best USB microphone for 2017

And on the list goes.

If you have an established site already or even just a mini-niche site which you could use this method on, set-up quality, dedicated pages for each query you’re looking to rank for.

Of course, they should be relevant to the theme of the website so don’t go and try to rank for everything. And of course make sure there are options to make money with any potential sales you send, such as being an Amazon affiliate or an affiliate for a specific manufacturer.

Creating a minisite based on a topic

If you don’t have a website already (or at least not one that you can piggyback off) then you should consider creating what I call a ‘minisite’ based on certain search terms.

For instance, a website about the Best Anti-Virus Software 2017 may be able to make you a lot of money with software installer bundles or affiliate links for premium software. All I would put on the site would be a few genuine reviews of the latest anti-virus software and try to get a domain as close to the keyphrase as possible.

I know exact-match domains don’t have nearly the amount of weight they used to have but they certainly haven’t been wiped from search results.

Another example could be building a minisite around the best [category] books of 2017. So trying to rank for “best sci-fi books 2017” or “best children’s books 2017” and so on.

You could track them on the likes of the NYT bestsellers list, 800 CEO-READ, their number of Amazon reviews and possibly even incorporate social media mentions to see which are being talked about the most.

Or – we’re going into avenue three a little early here – you could build one authority site then have different categories which rank the best books on personal development, meditation, becoming an early riser, leadership, autobiographies and every other category of book out there.

The key with a minisite is to make sure the theme of the website stays on point. You don’t want to be covering both anti-virus software and the best sci-fi books.

Pick one topic and stick with it.

Of course, there’s no reason why you can’t build multiple sites.

Creating an authority site with sub-categories

For me, this whole ‘method’ is something that should be a side-focus of people who are already successful online, but a potentially huge focus for those who are just starting out.

If you’re really looking to get stuck into a big project, there’s no reason it can’t be using this strategy.

You could set-up a software review site and every sub-category could be a different type of software you try to rank for ‘best [category] software 2017’ related terms.

You could set-up a tech review site and every sub-category could be a different type of gadget or hardware you’re trying to rank for with 2017-related search terms.

You could set-up a gifts guide website and every sub-category could be focused on things like ‘best men’s gifts 2017’ or ‘best kids toys 2017’ and so on.

Then you could repeat the same thing next year with the same site, building on the authority you’ve created in the year previous.

I don’t want to go into too many industries and give away someone else’s ideas but you’re hopefully starting to get an idea of the potential here.

Success here will go to those who are willing to do the research with the sources I suggested and find some great, hot topics of their own.

Then you just need to follow the avenue which suits you best and kill it.

A bonus fourth angle

As I was wrapping up this Gaps report and running it through Word to check for spelling errors before hitting Publish, I had one more idea. It’s almost enough to be a niche idea in itself. As a personal experiment, I had initially decided to put the angle behind a social locker, so you had to like or share this page to view it.

I’ll be a little fairer though and say if you’re not already considering going all-in on this project, don’t bother reviewing the next couple of paragraphs. They require a bit more work.

You agreed you’re willing to put the work in, so here’s the idea.

When I was writing about creating a site that ranks the best books across different categories, I had another idea of how to rank them which could be very interesting. What if books were not only ranked based on your opinion or sales numbers, but on the number of social media mentions they receive, and sentiment?

Bear with me here.

The reason I’m giving you the idea to potentially do more than just rank things based on your opinion is because search traffic isn’t always going to come just because you created something.

If you create something cool on the other hand, which interests a certain audience, then you can likely pick up social media mentions and more importantly, backlinks, because you created something different.

Sentiment analysis basically takes text as an input and then decides whether it is positive, neutral or negative. While sentiment analysis does have its fair share of criticism, it’s certainly getting better.

I personally would absolutely love to see rankings of the best business books based on how many people are talking about them on Twitter and the sentiment towards that book.

I would also love to see the rankings of USB Microphones based on their reviews on blogs around the web and the sentiment I can get from those reviews.

Now you’re probably not a programmer who could put this together yourself – I personally don’t have the skills to do this – but I have had a number of tools built based on Twitter and can’t see this costing more than $200.

First of all, there’s a huge list sentiment analysis API’s over here that any half-decent programmer could use. All you would then have to do is scrape results from Twitter or use their API. I don’t see a need for your rankings to constantly be updated live, you could run your script once per month or so and then update the rankings.

I could really see this being hugely interesting across so many fields. Make the website design very clean and you’re on to a winner.

As a little bit of fun, here’s the kind of site my brain conjured up so you can see what I’m talking about.

book-sentiment

The levels or red, amber and green indicate the levels of negative, neutral and positive sentiment the item has received around the web. The chart representing how many people are talking about that item over the past year or however long I have my tracking set-up for.

I could see this working in so many industries. Who knows, maybe it’s the basis for another multi-million dollar startup?[/sociallocker]

Next level: Analysing search results

This is for more advanced (read: experienced) readers so if you have never built a website before or don’t know much about analysing search results, don’t worry if you don’t totally understand what I’m about to say.

One way to see what it takes to rank in Google is to analyse those who ranked for the hot terms of 2016.

Since ‘routers’ were mentioned twice in the original article – and both 10Beasts and BestProducts rank for this term – we can look at the search results for that specific query.

You may see something slightly different to me based on location and personalisation, but here’s what I see for “best wireless router 2016”.

wireless-2017

It’s interesting to see that three of the results have already changed their targeting for 2017.

Go to Google and search for the 2016 equivalent of the 2017 term you’re looking to rank for and check things like:

  • The word count of the article ranking
  • The links to the page of the article ranking
  • The links to the domain ranking
  • How many social shares the page received (where applicable)

Some rankings will be easy to figure out “why” they’re ranking – such as CNET which is a huge brand – but others will be niche sites where you can really delve into their backlinking strategy using something like Ahrefs.

If you’re confused with any of this don’t worry. Everything is new to everyone at one point in time. That’s what I’m here for (in the comments below).

Don’t make this complicated

Luqman made more than $80,000 in December and he still has spelling and grammatical errors all over his site. Not to take anything away from him, but he hasn’t added many pages either (he’s now sitting at 23).

It goes to show that the success here is partly about picking the right niches to target but mostly about getting links to your site so Google will notice it and rank your pages higher. I have a free guide on link building here.

I think this is an incredible opportunity for people to take action with since it doesn’t require much upfront investment (neither money nor time) and the potential payoffs are absolutely huge.

We’re not in ‘shopping season’ right now but Easter sales and Black Friday will come back around quickly enough so take action now so your site is in a position to benefit from those huge boosts in product-related searches.

···

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P.S. Clicking the heart button below to lets us know what types of success stories and opportunities you would like to see more of. Thank you for reading!

We’re a bootstrapped team of three, trying to create some of the best “niche opportunities” content on the internet. Clicking the heart tells us what you enjoy reading. Sharing is so appreciated (and always noticed) that we often discuss tweets and FB mentions internally. – Glen Allsopp

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    148 comments
    1. Absolutely.

      Bonus Gap:
      I run a digital marketing agency for photographers and looked up the 2016 version of “best dslr” and it was satured. The 2017 version has a freaking youtube video and an EMD on the first page. Somebody could go in there and crush for all photography gear related searches with 2017 tags 🙂

    2. Glenn, great advice and insight as usual. A question I have is about the actual content. What’s your recommendation/experience with conducting reviews for generating site content? I mean, do you reach out for review units from brands (seems a long shot for a new, unproven site); do you just “wing it” by aggregating reviews of others (feels like not a lot of added value); just review stuff you own (small pool to work with).

      This one area I’ve always struggled with. I had a cheap-laptop recommendations site for as few years but it never did much (maybe $400 over 3 years) mostly because I didn’t know how to keep the content fresh without having a steady stream of hardware to work with.

      I wonder how the guy in your case study does it. Any thoughts on how to best approach this would be great. Thanks again.

      1. Thanks for the comment, Ed!

        From a moral standpoint, the best solution would be to use each item personally, yes. But obviously that’s not easy to do when you’re just starting out.

        I would basically share stats like the number of 5-star reviews on Amazon and then also contribute real reviews from different sources so you can point out the best and lows of each product.

        Try to be honest with what you promote, rather than just pushing the most expensive item.

        As time goes on (once a page is getting traffic) then you can invest more into trying to do hands-on reviews.

        1. It feels a bit uncomfortable to recommend/review a product without actually using it. Also, not sure of the legal implications.

          I’m entertaining the idea of creating a product fact comparison site. When I shop on Amazon, often times I compare 7-8 products before I buy. There isn’t easy way to do it on Amazon itself, except for those pages that they themselves have, like the kindle products page for example.

          Thoughts?

    3. Incredible – and a little sad – to read it now and remember that I’ve read that post one year ago and did nothing.

      We should be able to begin have a sense o “idea monogamy”, to end more things we find promissing…

      I’ll add this idea to the authority site I was planning… or almost change all the post schedule to be something like that.

      Thanks one more time for the content, Glen!

    4. Hi Glen

      Would you undertake link building or do you belive first mover advantage for some niches could be enough to rank (for a time, anyway) with this strategy?

      Also please add a “notify me of replies” to your comments section 🙂

      Liking Gaps so far.
      Jon

      1. Hey Jon,

        Looking at some search results there’s definitely an opportunity for first movers. In almost all cases though you will need to do some link building.

    5. Hi Glen, great case study! I have a quick question though, I have focused on the 2016 keywords for quite a few urls on one of my sites. Can I change the titles to 2017 and should I use / not use the last updated tag? I ask as I know I am not supposed to write more than 1 page on the same subject per site so checking that updating just the title and a bit of content is going to be enough, Thanks

      1. You’re unlikely to be getting any 2016 search traffic now Paul so would definitely re-optimise them for 2017 (leave the URL’s alone though).

        “as I know I am not supposed to write more than 1 page on the same subject per site so checking that updating just the title” that’s not really true but you shouldn’t be creating multiple pages for the same thing – at least with these type of websites – yeah.

        For any additional pages you create I would refrain from putting the year in the URL and instead keep it in the headline and title tag.

    6. I deal with WooCommerce A LOT! From our WooCommerce Facebook group of over 13,000 people, to contributing to WooCommerce core, optimizing sites, speeding them up, converting more sales, setting Fb pixels to behave correctly ….. yadda, yadda, yadda…. it’s always about WooCommerce.

      I’m sure most of the ViperChill audience knows that WooCommerce is all about sales & that sales are pretty stinkin’ proportionate to SERP positioning. You get that. I get that. And, it’s something that I have {what’s the correct way to phrase this…..} compensated for with ADs.

      So, when I read that Luqman

      “…trying to build quality backlinks…”

      here’s my pondering question:

      I get that backlinks take effort, time, & resources, and that they are valuable, beneficial, and much needed. But WHO wakes up one day, opens an email, and says to themselves “Sure, I’d gladly and happily give someone or some site a backlink?”

      And, in case the innerwebs might have interpreted that question as satire ~ IT’S NOT!

      Seriously, how does one do effective (non-time & resource wasting) backlink outreach that actually lands in the mailbox of a site-owner who says YES?

      More importantly and precisely asked: Once this article’s advice is understood and implemented, “What do you think convinces a site owner to actually give a back link?” in your opinions Glen & Luqman?

    7. Glen Thank you for the amazing article! Mind blown, as your content usually does. 🙂

      So by updating titles and headlines (not URLs) to include 2017 you’re getting the first mover advantage on a keyword that’s almost certain to increase in search volume over the year, but without losing the primary keyword’s (non-2017, like “best blender”) current traffic volume? Is that right?

      1. If you’re the first mover, yes. You’re not going to be the only one trying to rank for everything.

        Links / site authority are going to be very important as well though.

    8. Any thoughts on whether the domain has to be a .com, or can some of the newer domains work, such as .gear, .bike, .kitchen etc? Are they worth the extra cost since some of the better match “best______.com” are gone? Thanks!

      1. Thanks. Just snagged three ‘obvious’ domains I’m surprised were available. Brilliant article. Thanks for the depth of help you offer. (And please unsubscribe my email from comment notifications. The comment manager is locked or not working. ;-))

    9. Your stuff is gold Glen gold! Your in depth posts are like a drug when I read them, I just want more and more. I love the the detail and actionable content without the sugar coat. Now I just need to find the drug that makes me take consistent action.

    10. Hi Glen, great read as always! One thing though, there is an issue with the social locker. If you click to tweet and then close the tweet popup without actually tweeting the content still unlocks. That probably shouldn’t happen 🙂

      1. It’s a known bug, which I can easily fix, but I keep it in place for those two say they tweeted and it didn’t unlock for them 🙂

    11. I really can’t say this enough times: For people like you, who really enjoy the tech stuff, all of this is really easy. But for the rest of us…ummm, not so much. I’d love to set up a bunch of sites; I have all manner of ideas every. single. minute. so many that most of the time I feel as if I’m drowning and I can’t swim. But the end result is paralysis because I can’t do any of that stuff, and I don’t want to spend what little money I do have on a mistake…so basically no progress gets made. If, and this isn’t a criticism or a doubtful comment, you really want more success stories, and I believe you do, then it seems to me the step that needs to be taken is some sort of “bridging” service. A way for people like me, with zero tech skills, to have the work done under your services umbrella, without as much risk. An agency maybe, but one that focuses on building out the bare bones sites et al. If the client gives you the niche and the budget-and I’m guessing that there would need to be baseline amounts-then the tech elves do the mechanicals.
      Either way, I read every single word you write the minute it lands in my in box. You really inspire me, but I’m a tech-not so all I can do is stare in the window at the feast going on before the fireplace.

      Cheers!!

      1. We’ve been talking for a while now Quantella so I know that isn’t true.

        You have the skills, you just need to start taking action. Setting up a WordPress website on a hosting company is something that can be learned in the next 2 hours (yes, even for beginners).

        I appreciate your support, but I also need you to step out of the delusion that you don’t know how to do this stuff.

        1. OK, technically you are correct. I can set up WP. But it takes considerably longer than 2 hours and I truly have no idea what some of those settings are and what they do. I suspect that that is the reason so many WP sites get hijacked-because the site owners are as clueless about which settings are important and which are not. I also suspect that most people feel like I do about WP-they don’t like it. It’s admin is confusing, it’s very fiddly and it is the most hacked CMS. I do need to take action, that’s true, but I’m not alone in that…but the biggest problem is that I really do not know what what actions will bring the best result while wasting the least amount of time/capital.

          In this example, several things are discussed as if we were all just making a cup of tea: Google AdWord searches, Amazon affiliate programs and all the rules and technicalities that go with them. I’m not a detail person, I’m not a coder and I’m not terribly interested in becoming one. In the US, there is this mania now to make everybody a coder, but in my view two of the main side effects of this has been a lot of really bad code and a huge rise in hacking incidences/ID theft. I realize that my little site won’t be collect any emails, but if people click on my webpage they at the very least expect that they won’t pick up malware or anything similar. I don’t personally have the skills to make this assurance. That is not delusional; it is simply common sense awareness of various issues which may affect people who visit my site. I think I should be worried about this if I am trying to build a lasting internet presence and I’m am sorry if you think I am being delusional.

          Cheers,
          QCO

          1. Ok quick edit…for a few hours, I couldn’t post a comment…and now I see that my comment actually posted twice and out of sequence. Sorry, folks.

          2. No offence man, but you have possibly the worst case of analysis paralysis I’ve ever seen, and I should know – I often suffer from it as well.

            If you don’t know how to do something, do a quick search for it. You’ve got the resources of the freakin planet at your fingertips. Seriously – we haven’t been this advantaged in the history of mankind as we are now.

            We have Google & YouTube. Those two alone will answer 90% of your questions.

            The other part is simply perseverance.

            I’m not a coder either. Never studied it, never plan to. However, using basic logic I can figure out quite a bit of how things should work, and then get them to work. It doesn’t always work out right away, though.

            You should hear me when I’m getting frustrated trying to get something to work that isn’t. I’ll say “this *should* work”. And my wife just looks over and shakes her head, and says “you always say that”. Because I do. Pretty much every.single.day. Because that’s life, and unless you have the perseverance to push through when things aren’t working or working right, you’ll never get anywhere.

            It’s NOT rocket science. Coders have made things SUPER easy for the rest of us. We don’t need to code in consoles anymore (I remember the days of DOS), these days it’s 1-2 clicks to get a brand new site setup, then you can start writing content that people all over the world will be able to digest.

            Anyway, I’m ranting.

            Suffice to say, I’ve managed to support myself and my wife by doing this full-time for the last decade. If a college dropout like me can do it, so can you.

            1. @JEFF

              If this is to me, I am not talking about any of that. I’m glad you’ve had success with this method, but my comments were specifically aimed at addressing security issues for those of us who want to build long-term businesses online and who are also online customers of various sites ourselves. I will probably buy SSLs, but maybe the problem is that so many things remain unspoken and when someone (me in this case) brings it up someone else feels they need to share their two cents. I left a response here because that is what Glen asked us to do, and since you obviously ain’t him, I hope you won’t be offended if I put your response in my round file. I am sure that the almost daily reports of cyber hacks and id hacking are just a figment of my “delusion” and that you are of course completely correct.

              One would hate to add accountability for customers to the feeding frenzy or fear of getting sued by any one of the various agencies in the US that are bound to start poking around once the losses get big enough or hits something really sensitive. Is there any chance you would be so kind as to share your site names with me so I will know to stay away from them?

    12. Hi Glenn,
      quick question about what you wrote in the main article: “..hosting at a couple dollars per month..”.
      Could you please name the hosting service you are using which has this sort of prices?

      Many Thanks and keep up the great work.

        1. Glen,

          I see that 10beasts.com plans to go for a brand approach soon, but the wording of the above comment (“Don’t use it for anything other than this type of website (or something you can risk getting penalised)” makes me wonder if we’re possibly building on sand. Is the penalization risk you mentioned from using months in the title tag? Don’t want to be penalized/de-indexed. 🙂

          1. Always the possibility Will, but this has been happening for a number of years.

            We never know what Google are going to do; it’s a risk you take getting involved in any new venture.

    13. Hands up, I’m one of those people that have followed you for a year or two and have done nothing. But this idea really resonate with me so I’m going to give it a crack, plus been scared to ask questions for fear of looking like a novice. Anyway here goes…

      1) As Ed mentioned, generating the reviews has always been a concern of mine. Do you have any good examples of sites doing well that are not carrying out their own reviews, but are sharing stats? Is it legal to borrow stats/content from other sites as you’ve mentioned to Ed?

      2) Do you have rules for markets that you won’t enter? For example if I found a product where the first results page showed everybody using this method (e.g. best 2016 wireless routers) or perhaps they may not have the 2016 (e.g. best wireless routers) — would this put you off?

      3) Are there any platforms with good ready-made website templates that you are a fan of? Seem to remember you like WordPress (or did I make that up?)

      4) Do you have a few other quick recommendations of current sites that you like (not your own obviously) that doing well?

      That’s it! Thanks

      1. Hi Tim,

        Don’t over analyse this.

        1. I do not, sorry.

        2. Even if others are using the method, they can still be outranked. Depends if they’re actively working on the site (Luqman could have done a lot more with an $80K/m website).

        3. Yes, I would recommend WordPress for the CMS. Any theme will do to get started. It’s really not important until the site has content and link building.

        4. Again, you’re thinking too much Tim. Literally just go to Google and search ‘anything 2016 / 17’ and you will see them.

        Just jump in and see what happens 🙂

        1. Thanks! I think you’re right, I think I’m over-analysing to the point of paralysis. Just need to get stuck in and learn as I go along. Considering how cheap is it too.

    14. Hi Glen,
      I’m going to be taking action of this and I will let you know how it’s going in a few months. My one main concern however is the content creation for the website. Would you suggest outsourcing someone to write the articles as I’ve had virtually no experience in writing blog posts.

      1. Look at 10 beasts. There are spelling and grammar errors on every page.

        If you have the budget you can outsource otherwise…well, the only option is to write the content yourself.

        You have to start some time 🙂

      1. When I look at 10beasts.com, I think he actually did a pretty commendable job by apparently *studying* the Amazon product page, and producing a review, product-by-product, for each product on his own “best of” reviews page.

        That’s what it appears to me that he did, and he does come across as honest and simply appears to read the actual page and re-write the points he found important to put across to his readers.

        I can’t prove that’s what he did, but, pull up one of the 10beast.com review pages, then click on the Amazon link and read the Amazon page. It appears that everything you’d really need is there for you – you’ll just need to really sit down and jot down some notes when you want to “review” a product.

        I’m not going to say this is necessarily a straight, honest review, but he does produce a useful, credible summary that’s actually a good condensation of a lot of the information on the (usually voluminous!) Amazon page.

        In other words, if you’re wondering how to produce the content for your site, print out this comment and post it on your wall, next to your computer. 🙂

    15. Thanks for this Glen. I’m an ultra-runner, and a while back I was waiting for Suunto to update it’s Ambit line of watches. I made a few pages focused on the year (2016) and guessed at what changes would be implemented with the new line when it finally did hit the market. I was on top of Google – #1 – for close to a year. I was able to sell through Amazon some Suunto watches and other Garmin watches because I had nailed the first spot. It’s crazy that Suunto themselves were not even beating me for their own watches. Anyway since then, I’ve soured on their products and turned the page into a “Suunto is junk” page. But, just goes to show that focusing on a year, and trying to guess what new features might be in store for a new model coming up – can be seen by Google as important enough to rank you above everyone else, even the manufacturer. The page was: http://www.crank101.com/athlete-technology/suunto-ambit-4-speculation-and-rumors/ some keys were “suunto ambit4” and “Suunto ambit 4” gave same #1 results. Still #1 now, but not doing anything with the page, they came out with a new line of watches not named “Ambit” anymore. lol.

    16. Hey Glen,
      I was counting the days to the new gap 😉 Really happy and grateful to start the year with so many great opportunities every week and ideas. Great content and energy!

      So I have a site with almost 100k visitors per month and I feel I monetise it really bad lol 😉

      We are actually on amazon advantage as a publisher and can we link(on our own page) as an affiliate to our own products on amazon and get the extra 8%?(I think it’s 8% from amazon right?) 🙂

      Maybe a list with commission what you really get from amazon would be good to know in the article?


      When I browse to gaps it is really hard to find the podcast. Is this intented?
      When I visit gaps the only way I see is at the bottom the podcast footnote.
      Why don’t add an audio/sound icon in the list of the newest article so every reader instantly know ah I can read and listen to it or at least at the very top of the article click here for the podcast version of this post? Or do you want ppl to subscribe via the podcast stations?

      In this post there is an unlock via share but it will share the other non subscriber/listener link???


      As a subcriber I got the link in the email with only the non “-gaps” link and I am reminded again in the article to subscribe to unlock more.
      I could offer an easy solution to this if you are interested.

      PS: My all time favourite business book recommended to me personally by Billionaires is the uncut Think and Grow Rich book by Napoleon Hill 🙂 and all his books.

      1. Hey Bernard,

        When there are so many pages on a site it’s hard to give prominence to everything.

        A link is also available in the header menu (you need to click the ‘hamburger icon’ on mobile).

        I’m not sure if you can get the extra money from Amazon but according to this thread there are no issues with that: https://kdp.amazon.com/community/thread.jspa?messageID=744785

        Open to hearing your suggestion on a solution, though it’s just easy to keep in mind that every strategy will add “-gaps” to the URL.

    17. Interesting idea about the sentiment analysis. I am a programmer and would love to create something like that. Do you want to partner up? I’d love to have you as a visionary and I’ll do the work. Let me know if you are interested! Would definitely be a cool project to work on

      1. Gaps is really to share ideas I don’t have time to work on myself, so I’ll have to say no to that, sorry.

        No reason you need a team though 🙂

      2. I do have an idea for how I’d use this on a website, but I’m not Glen and have a much smaller audience 😀 Still, I rank on page 1 for a keyword this would work perfectly for.

    18. Great article. Just reflecting on the opening paragraph read Grants new book – be obsessed or be average! A great read and compliments 10x perfectly:)

    19. Best piece of content I’ve ever read online. Whenever you post something new, reading it it’s like reading Peter Thiel – Zero To One

    20. I can’t thank you enough Glen!

      There’s so much that I’m taking from this mind boggling content (and it’s just the start of gaps in 2017?).

      First, I have an established site I was already using 2016 (now 2017) keywords in it. But I took it for granted, and now I’ll take it to the next level.

      The most stunning idea was the 4th one. I can’t find any perfect blend for me than that. I’m a book worm, I have a passion for building online businesses, and I’m a programmer (and have access to a community of nerdy programmers). And the best part, this kind of rating algorithm can be applied to ANY industry (why not on my already established site?). I’m SO excited and passionate to put this strategy into action, and I’m pretty sure I can nail it.

      Thanks a ton again, Glen! This gaps stuff is FREAKING amazing! 😀
      – Sheikh

    21. Glen,

      You mention a few times that success is partly about picking the right niches to target, yet I’m noticing that 10beasts.com doesn’t seem to have any particular niche (at least to me it doesn’t). Admittedly it claims (judging by the top menu bar) to have three niches – but with 23 or so pages across all three niches?

      The only niche I can really say that I see across the whole site is that it is about Amazon products. 🙂 Not that I have a problem with that, of course.

      Since this kind of site doesn’t really have too much in the way of repeat visitors, what’s the advantage/point in choosing a product category and sticking to it?

      Am I right in thinking that technically (for ranking purposes) you don’t *need* a niche?

      Help me understand! 🙂 – Will

      1. I would still stick with a niche, because it helps with aspects of link building and the overall ‘theme’ of your site.

        Although it’s loose, he still has a niche in terms of a category and ‘tech’ overall.

    22. Hi Glenn,
      Thanks for the great read. I am having a hard time identifying which niche is wort focusing on. Do you have some metrics that can help us out?
      Example, how many searches per month minimum do you suggest? How do you evaluate if you stand a chance of ranking for certain keywords or phrases?
      Do you also offer a better guide in building the sites? or what about an affiliate store? Any experience with this?
      Thanks in advance!
      Best regards,
      Jeremy

    23. Amazing article, Glen! Thanks alot for that!
      I will be guinea pig for it. Totally newbie in SEO, with Zero practice and experience, without a website. From Belarus (one of the poorest countries according to the latest Credit Suisse report). Without a budget. Only my time and effort. This is the starting data…

      Will see what will happen in one year. Be sure I will share the results with you.

    24. Hi Glen,
      Firstly thanks a lot for the informative replies on all of the other questions on here, they’ve been very helpful. Secondly, my question is whether to chose a .com or .co.uk domain name. I’ve done some research on it yet nothing really tells me about how it will affect ranking worldwide.

      I’m based in the UK and I want to create a product review site, now by putting .co.uk as the domain (due to more availability) will this mean that I end up missing out on lots of US traffic regardless of my ranking in UK searches?

      Also do US web users prefer to not see .co.uk in a site’s URL? I’m just worried that I will be limiting myself to the UK by using a .co.uk domain name and want to see what your view is on it.

      Thanks again for all these blog posts, they’re really insightful!

    25. Hi Glen
      You are sharing valuable content it helps to start own online Business I am going to launch my own online Business how do I get best domain name for any industry ? which can stick . any suggestion from your side.

    26. OK, technically you are correct. I can set up WP. But it takes considerably longer than 2 hours and I truly have no idea what some of those settings are and what they do. I suspect that that is the reason so many WP sites get hijacked-because the site owners are as clueless about which settings are important and which are not. I also suspect that most people feel like I do about WP-they don’t like it. It’s admin is confusing, it’s very fiddly and it is the most hacked CMS. I do need to take action, that’s true, but I’m not alone in that…but the biggest problem is that I really do not know what what actions will bring the best result while wasting the least amount of time/capital.

      In this example, several things are discussed as if we were all just making a cup of tea: Google AdWord searches, Amazon affiliate programs and all the rules and technicalities that go with them. I’m not a detail person, I’m not a coder and I’m not terribly interested in becoming one. In the US, there is this mania now to make everybody a coder, but in my view two of the main side effects of this has been a lot of really bad code and a huge rise in hacking incidences/ID theft. I realize that my little site won’t be collect any emails, but if people click on my webpage they at the very least expect that they won’t pick up malware or anything similar. I don’t personally have the skills to make this assurance. That is not delusional; it is simply common sense awareness of various issues which may affect people who visit my site. I think I should be worried about this if I am trying to build a lasting internet presence and I’m am sorry if you think I am being delusional.

      Cheers,
      QCO

        1. Oh wow, the interface looks really nice. Hopefully they’ll update it soon for all other countries’ associates programs as well.

    27. Glen,
      I was considering signing up for keywordtool.io until I read that you recommend ahrefs. Have you ever used keywordtool.io? If so, could you tell me how it compared to ahrefs?

      Thanks! Love your content!

      1. Yes, I had a keywordtool.io account for 3 months.

        Ahrefs not only has the keyword research but also does all of the backlink analysis as well (their speciality).

    28. Awesome case study ! Such amazing results 80K in 8months blowed my mind and I decided to analyze 10beasts a little bit . “best Xxxxx 2017” strategy really works. I’ve read about it last summer and decided to implement it. In October I’ve put small 600 words “5 Best [main keyword] 2017 ” article on one of my niche sites and forgot about it. In December it was nowhere. And today it is #2 in Google. With 0 back links. So as I said this strategy works… But it’s not what makes 8 figures to 10beasts.
      What really works for 10beasts (and it is Really amazing idea, thanks for that) is the $1000 scholarship . This gave him several really powerful .edu back links and this is what made the greatest impact to 10beasts results. That’s my opinion. (P.s. I’m not a newbie in SEO 🙂 )

      1. May I ask how you found out about the scholarship? 🙂
        it’s interesting you mention that because I actually came back to this article to ask about his link building techniques. I can’t imagine many bloggers would link to a review of a product on a site with little content and personal feel while there are so many things (not to mention, their own affiliate programs) they could link to.

    29. Glen,
      Thank you for the great write-up. On the first article you mentioned that Khan was getting $.30 a click.

      Can you clarify if that was $.30 per click for traffic he sent to Amazon? Or for traffic to his site?

      1. It was basically just an average of how much money he made based on how many visitors landed on his site from Google.

    30. Hi Glen, great stuff as always. Is there a search volume you would be looking for? I notice that there is a big drop off from on a lot of terms once you add the year – best routers vs best routers 2016 for example.

      1. Not really. Mostly it’s going to come down to testing.

        The reason adding the year works so well is because fewer people target it so I wouldn’t worry about seeing lower volumes.

    31. Thanks for another great article, Glen and for all the insights.

      I’ve already done a lot of research regarding affiliate webpages and products, and there is one question that keeps popping up in my head. I would like to hear your opinion:

      Do you think it is better set up an affiliate webpage in a small language where it is much easier to rank but the earning potential is quite limited due to a small number of speakers of the language (my language – Slovene, ca. 2 million).

      Or would be better to choose a larger language (German or English) where the google ranks are already quite saturated and it is more difficult to rank (I’m a beginner of SEO in practice, although I studied it in theory) but the customer potential is a lot bigger.

      Appreciate your answer, thanks!

      1. Do both if you have the time, and see what works best.

        Less popular language = easier to rank but also less money to be made.

    32. I’ve been hooked in gaps for a couple of days now , can’t get out 🙂 great content and insight and this article is just awesome ,,
      I’ve a website where i’m starting to build a blog , and i have a question that i saw a lot of fighting on the internet over it and i need your advice , is it better to build the blog on the main domain like domain.com/blog-post-title or host it on something like medium (i’m currently doing this) so it’ll be blog.domain.com and it’s actually hosted on medium .
      I did this because i love medium and i see that you can get some decent traffic just having your post on medium , any ideas ?

      1. Since they just got rid of a lot of staff, I would be very worried about relying on Medium.

        You also have very little control over exit pop-ups, retargeting, ads and so on.

    33. This is maybe more of a moral question than anything else, but whenever I see these “best of year x” posts in year x, I’m thinking: “How do you know? The year has only just begone”.

      I guess that’s something to just set aside and potentially update the post(s) as the year progresses and new things of the keyword your targeting are released?

    34. I don’t know why I stopped following your posts/podcasts, big mistake.
      Appreciate the time and work invested to share this with us.
      Hopefully will share with you a big success story at the end of the year.

    35. Hey glen

      I have seen some sucess in some previous years with these keyword strategy..unintentionally.. so i am definetly going to go more focused on this one .. and add this strategy to sone other cwebsites too

      Cheers
      Jeff from digitalgrog

    36. Jeez dude, this is unbelievable content! Thank you for posting it.

      Quick question(s):
      Suppose I am reviewing sports watches (which could cost hundreds of dollars). How can I afford to buy these watches before using/reviewing them? I mean, I do have it personally use them to review, isn’t it? How is the owner of 10beasts handling it? Is he spending a fortune buying those products or is he buying them and returning them all the time after using it for a few days (good enough time to review)?

      1. Hi Jay,

        Make sure you read the comments above as this has been covered already.

        Typically you’re not actually reviewing the products yourself. Or at least not until you’re getting traffic to the page so it is more financially affordable.

    37. Hey, read your article on Viperchill over the summer. I started a website in August with “2016” keywords. I wrote all of Septemeber, all of October and part of November. By month five (December) I made $1350. I’ve been working on 2017 posts since mid November and they’re starting to rank. I’m up to $1000 halfway through January (6 month mark). I’ll keep you updated on my progress – my goal is 5k a month by August. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without your website. Thanks for writing it !

      1. Quick question too.. So just to be clear if I’m trying to rank for best laptops 2017 I should leave the url best laptops and just update the headline every year so it keeps ranking? For example, next year I just change the title to 2018 and it’ll rank for 2018 too?

    38. Hi Glen, Thanks for providing another great article.

      You have referenced your link building article from viper chill.com. It looks like it was written a few years ago. Most of the techniques mentioned still seem like valid, logical techniques, but a couple things seem to be possibly dated. Any update to this article planned in the future. Have you added any new techniques you might share? How often do these strategies seem to change, in your opinion? Thanks again!

    39. Hey Glen,

      Just want to say I really appreciate your desire to coach and inspire your audience with actionable content such as the Gaps site & podcast. The gears are turning to identify review opportunities in my niche for the new year. Keep up the good work. I hope to report huge success back to you later in the year as a result. Cheers!

    40. Hey Glen, Do you think we can compete with Bestproducts using a more focused site? Or do you recommend picking something they don’t target?

    41. Hey Glen, as mentioned on Twitter, I’m working on your 2017 approach but forgot about the latest change in the Google KWT, listing search volume by range vs specific numbers. Did you happen to write about this already with a proposed work around solution? If not, any thoughts or suggestions on obtaining this data (hopefully subscription free)? Thanks.

    42. Glen,
      Great information on using common sense for search.
      Question if working in the service industry such as plumber, electrician, roofer how would apply this. My thinking is that when someone is looking for one of these services they need help now. They do not need a website overloaded with information. Just good basic content with a call to action.
      1. What is you view point on this.
      2. What keywords or methods would do you think would help. Best plumber xyz city is used by everyone.
      Any ideas would be appreciated.

    43. Do you suggest EMD with – or with -?
      Say I am targeting best laptops 2017.
      Should I go for bestlaptops2017.com or best-laptops-2017.com?

    44. like the article but “doesn’t require much upfront investment (neither money nor time)”
      seems a little contradictory to:
      “I wasn’t just praying for higher rankings, I was working my butt off. I was doing email outreach and was trying to build quality backlinks as much as possible in those 3 months.”

      I will be utilizing these techniques however I am aware the amount of work (time) put into it will determine the output.
      p.s. – love the domain and idea for site
      p.p.s – your favicon is almost exactly the same as The Guardian

      1. Hey Jon,

        I think it’s quite clear looking at Luqman’s backlinks that the ones which are helping the most really don’t require that much work. For 8 months the site still only has 23 pages as well, which is something most people could do in a month or two once they get going.

        Not to take anything away from him of course, but also keep in mind that your upfront investment is a lot less when you’re targeting fewer terms.

        Glad you like the domain!

        The favicon was actually inspired by Smashingmag.com, but yep, a few people have commented on The Guardian similarities. Time for a change 😉

    45. Awesome content as always Glen. However one thing confused me. In your article you said that we shouldn’t be trying ( or at least that’s what I understood ) to rank for different kind of products.

      However 10beasts ranks for items that have nothing in common. Is it possible to rank for multiple categories which are totally different on one website?

      Thanks in advance,
      Cheers!

    46. Wow. Based on what you have written here, I am in the process of adding a WordPress blog to one of my Shopify stores. I think this can be used with a straight e-commerce twist as well. Great stuff!

    47. I love this idea! Thanks Glen. I wouldn’t be creating micro sites but rather add to my site. Even though my site isn’t successful yet, it ties into my brand (top personal development books tying into my brand for coaching, self-help). Something I had always wanted to do to document the books I have already read or want to buy and this is a great way to monetize my love for books.
      Thanks again. You are one of the few who puts out amazing, high-quality content! Much appreciated!

    48. Brilliant article. I am thoroughly inspired. Now to take action over the coming weekend. I have started to make a list of potential topics for a minisite. I know that you know Noah and I am a big fan of Noah as well. His work is also what I would call Just Brilliant.

    49. Hi Glen, great report.
      With KWT and others it’s easy enough to determine valuable search terms, levels of competition, backlinks, referring sites, and all that. I’ve got several ideas for sites — random (sort of like 10beasts), slightly more focused, and narrow focused.

      Potential profitability is another thing. Say you’re considering “high-powered blenders” and you see “Ninja Professional Blender with Single Serve.” It’s #8,036 in Home & Kitchen, and #51 in Kitchen & Dining. What does that really mean in terms of dollar potential?

      Assuming you search out and rank for terms that drive decent numbers to your site, is there any tool or method to get a decent ballpark idea on what a review on high speed blenders would be worth per visitor? In the absence of actual sales figures, which are not available, the only evidence seems to be that other review sites have invested in the term(s), and they might have a reasonable sales ranking on Amazon. Maybe that’s enough. I don’t know. I’m just trying to get my head around how to choose profitable content topics. Everything else looks doable.

      Thanks.

    50. How does one go about creating a review with integrity without actually buying and testing the products?

    51. Felt inspired by this and registered bestest.co.uk to build something.

      I reckon I can pick a genre/niche – and then use either subdomains to determine yearly sites, or some strong categories to handle that.

      Thanks for the inspiration!

    52. Awesome content as always Glen. However, one thing confused me. In your article, you said that we shouldn’t be trying ( or at least that’s what I understood ) to rank for different kind of products.
      However, 10beasts ranks for items that have nothing in common. Is it possible to rank for multiple categories which are totally different on one website?

    53. Hello. thank you for sharing this great article. Just want to know this technique still works for 2018? Appreciated your kind answers.,

    54. Thank you so much that you are share an good article . It’s must be help all SEO expert for their work.I am already follow all your post and try to work them. I hope very soon

    55. But EVERYONE does this now. In fact, most people have it automatically coded into their titles and so it flips over every Jan 1, even though the post is actually three years old.

      You don’t even have to put in the year and the top spots are usually taken by an article with the year in the title.

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