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Do Your Research: From Porn to Music Blogs

Posted By Frank Eybsen On June 3, 2009 @ 12:33 pm In Featured,SEO | No Comments

When beginning my research on any single large traffic source I begin with a deep analysis of the major players. For any large traffic outlet, there are usually a handful of major players that have the game figured out.

In this article I will take a handful of large traffic sources and present a jumping off point for discovering how successful sites are leveraging this traffic.

Outreach

I’ll admit I have a leg up in this area of research, not only because I have run a large number of outreach campaigns, but also because I run a music blog [1] in my spare time. Many marketing firms and blogs [2] have taken considerable time to investigate [3] the ‘perfect pitch email’.  There are many schools of thought on how to achieve successful response rates while running a promotion, but the common goal remains the same:  How to generate the most exposure while minimizing hours spent.

I would argue that music blogs are one of the most saturated [4] niches within the blogosphere.  Blogs have become one of the primary outlets for music listeners to find new music.  Consequently, publicists, marketing firms, and DIY bands are constantly hounding the blog community in hopes of a mention in an upcoming article.

Take into consideration that unlike niches that involve licensed businesses grabbing for attention, there are literally an endless amount of new musicians.  And not just from speculation, but also personal experience, tells me that these are the most talented and innovative group of outreachers.

  • With so many music blogs, their pitch lists have to be meticulously researched.  They are able to categorize different types and styles of blogs to hit blogs that they feel will have the most positive result.
  • Their template emails are creative and entertaining, the better ones are personalized.
  • They are at the cutting edge of on-site components (digital press kits), often including sharable media and widgets.
  • Successful replies are immediately met with personal relationship building tactics.

To really see what the most progressive outreach experts are doing, I suggest getting involved with a successful music blogger, and check out their inbox for a few months.

Blackhat / Tail Traffic

If you have ever watched the lame ‘You wouldn’t steal from a physical store [5]” commercials before a movie and thought to yourself, “Haha, you’ll never catch me coppers!”  Then you are probably aware of torrents [6].

I was a little unnerved one day when George Gearhart [7] became excited about some SERPs he was looking at (George is sharp as a tack, and usually anything you’ve found he found a few months ago and already wrote a dissertation on the subject).  He was, of course, looking at a keyword that fell into the realm of torrent-interest.  See: music, books, movies, television shows, etc.

I won’t go into a full explanation, but let’s just say torrent sites will often fill the first page of Google for a term that the ranking sites didn’t know existed.  Imagine running a PPC campaign, one that included the searched keyword in your description (we all know you’ve done it).  But then imagine you didn’t even make the keyword list, it was made for you.  And finally imagine that we’re not talking about a PPC campaign at all but rather organic first page results.  Boom.

Image Search

While we are drudging along the lower belly of the internet, let’s talk a bit about Image Search. It wasn’t long ago that everyone started to notice the increasing amount of traffic they were receiving from image search.  And immediately after that, they asked their SEO people, “How do we get more?”  I’d suggest looking at porn (sort of).

It is no secret that past innovators in search have been porn, pills, and poker.  Kudos to Google for keeping their Safe Search pretty safe, but I’m a bit of a rebel and like my results unfiltered.  Once you have your results unfiltered you’ll begin to notice a pattern – everything you search for returns with porn.  I have been asked to not provide any specific examples, but it won’t take you too long to find out what I’m talking about.

These results do have some morally sound applications as well.  Just consider that these sites are gaining inclusion in SERPs for VERY common place words that have nothing to do with porn.  A good jumping off point for some research in how they are doing it – if you can handle it that is (see: cubicle drapes).

Video Search

Video Search is a tough cookie to crack – many sites have fallen to the adage, “if you can’t beat them, join them”, and simply used third party sites for video hosting after coming up short with their own poorly conceptualized player. But if you have the resources and are willing to take a shot against YouTube (which Google owns of course) there are some huge traffic rewards waiting for you at the end of the rainbow (not to imply the reward is imaginary of course).

The sites to watch here are Metacafe [8] and Dailymotion [9].  Dailymotion’s motions best performing content revolves around music, and hopefully if you are interested in Video Search you are well aware of Metacafe.  To get started on your research I would first pop open the source code and take note of additional video identifiers (be sure to compare to find a middle ground).  And further, some very important elements not to miss are their RSS/Feed tactics and their linking strategies.

Social Bookmarking

Performing well on social bookmarking sites is an increasingly complex subject that goes well beyond writing good content into networking, baiting, and manipulation. However, I find it to be one of the most interesting traffic sources on the web to study.

You can make a good list of sites that hit the first page of Digg [10] on a regular basis by simply keeping an eye on it for a couple of weeks.  You will start to see a handful of regular players – and upon visiting these sites you will start to notice a pattern of architecture, internal linking, social badges, and the link baitiest of content.

My particular favorite is Cracked [11], who is arguably the current king of Digg.  I wouldn’t study them in a bubble, as even they are missing some opportunities, but they are by far the best place to start your research.  And when browsing these sites, put yourself in the mindsite of Digg’s key demographic, teenage boys, and you will quickly see what devices they are using to grab as much traffic and pageviews as possible.

Have other suggestions for high traffic sources that weren’t explained here? Let your thoughts be heard in the comments below!


Article printed from The Search Agents: http://www.thesearchagents.com

URL to article: http://www.thesearchagents.com/2009/06/do-your-research-from-porn-to-music-blogs/

URLs in this post:

[1] music blog: http://audiomuffin.com/

[2] blogs: http://wiep.net/talk/link-building/link-request-email-template/

[3] investigate: http://www.searchengineguide.com/jennifer-laycock/link-building-i.php

[4] saturated: http://hypem.com/#/list/

[5] You wouldn’t steal from a physical store: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byRlOcRd3Z0

[6] torrents: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torrent

[7] George Gearhart: http://www.thesearchagents.com/author/george/

[8] Metacafe: http://www.metacafe.com/

[9] Dailymotion: http://www.dailymotion.com/

[10] Digg: http://digg.com/

[11] Cracked: http://www.cracked.com/

[12] Pew Research’s Breakdown of Online News Traffic: http://www.thesearchagents.com/2011/05/pew-researchs-breakdown-of-online-news-traffic/

[13] The Week We Searched For- September 3, 2010: http://www.thesearchagents.com/2010/09/the-week-we-searched-for-september-3-2010/

[14] Yahoo! Rich Ads in Search: http://www.thesearchagents.com/2009/09/yahoo-rich-ads-in-search/

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