Case Study Ranking a site without original content

Discussion in 'Case Studies and Journals' started by dzianis, Dec 17, 2015.

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  1. dzianis

    dzianis Moderator Staff Member

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    A couple of conversations here have evolved around spinning content and publishing the result on your money site for your visitors to read. I do not think that is a good strategy - I've tried it in and out many times and I know it leads nowhere (or to be more precise it leads to writing content from scratch).

    Several times content curation came up and this is where I want to challenge myself and get proof for something I wondered about for ever: can you rank a site without any original content?

    I grew to hate content for the sake of content. All those 500-word articles that have an introduction, a conclusion and three subheadings... Does anyone even read those? I know I don't when I shop online or do my research on something. If you do not have good content you are not obliged to use crappy content!

    Thus the assumption of this case study: you can build a successful site based on content other people have created. My site will be organizing and filtering information for its' visitors, and for that it will be rewarded with traffic - that's what my place in the food chain is going to be.

    ===============

    Now to some bulletpoints!

    Limitations:

    I won't write more than 10 original words per post/page. The rest will be content from elsewhere. Those 10 words will be used for micro-introductions like "here's a great post from Andy Dwyer".

    What I won't be doing:

    Creating content. No text, no videos, no infograpfics.

    What I will be doing:

    - Seeking out good content, organizing it and publishing to my site;
    - Building links to my site;
    - Promote the site on social media or anywhere else where my target audience may be. Anything goes promotion-wise!

    Landmarks

    this is hard to or plan so I'll keep it minimal & vague for now

    - ranking on the first Google's page for at least 8K monthly searches' keywords combined (e.g. one 8,000 keyword or eight 1,000 keywords) - according to Goog's Keyword Planner avg. monthly searches for last 12 months

    AND*

    - earning $200+ per week

    ...in 4 months, by March 18th 2016.

    * I already know I won't only be using Google's traffic, but I want to prove it can rank too, so I set both SEO and monetization goals.

    Giving estimates is probably the hardest task in the world for me so I tried to keep these modest. We'll see how it goes. I definitely won't be ashamed to admit if I fail, and I might adjust something based on other members' input, so I think such a 3-month plan should be enough for a start.

    ===============

    So this is it - I'll register a new domain now, outline the niche generally and start posting detailed updates. I might disclose the site in the end so everyone can take a closer look.

    This is what I already know I'll have to ace:

    - make the site clean-looking (content must be easier to consume on my site than on the source sites);
    - site must be lightning-fast;
    - I need to get creative with linkbuilding;
    - an out-of-the-box social media strategy can make my victory.

    All in all I'm pretty inspired by this myself as I think it'll be challenging - yet I'm pretty sure things will go well.
     
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  2. mstchr

    mstchr Active Member

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    Nice man, this sounds hot.

    I'll be interested to hear how you'll be handling the content itself, i.e. scraping, reformatting, scheduling/autoblogging, etc.

    Since it sounds like you're going to be completely transparent about the content coming from elsewhere, are you going to incorporate that into the brand and feel of the site, like 'the best selection of info in blah niche'?
     
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  3. cardine

    cardine Administrator Staff Member

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    The sites that I've seen do the best job with content curation like this are very heavy on social - pick up some linkbaity content, "curate" it, and then share it on Facebook. Is that where you imagine the bulk of your promotion will come from?

    This case study sounds awesome, I'm looking forward to following it from start to finish!
     
  4. Dhiru

    Dhiru New Member

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    This case study is looking solid..
    I have been doing something similar from last 4months but am manual spinning curated content, it's achieving Good ranking in Google with few high pr blog comments. As keywords are of low competition.

    Will follow you up to see how this goes.
     
  5. dzianis

    dzianis Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes I'll try to be detailed about things.

    Definitely, still looking for a nice twist on that today.
     
  6. dzianis

    dzianis Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah I plan to go on social media for traffic once I set up the site and build some initial links. I'd love to actually get it ranked and get organic traffic though. Primary focus will be on just aggregating stuff and ranking it with links, since I can't even rewrite titles according to the rules I set :)

    Yeah, you basically just create new content and rank it, which is exactly what I want to bypass in this case study.
     
  7. Brad

    Brad Active Member

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    I like this challange... and will watch closely as you progress.
     
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  8. dzianis

    dzianis Moderator Staff Member

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    Day 1:

    Registered the domain, pointed DNS, installed Wordpress. The domain is a generic TLD, exact match for a very high-volume, broad keyword.

    The niche is, largely, "beauty". It's an evergreen thing that's in demand all year round and there are many products on the market.

    I've also started my keyword research: outlined several large categories and scraped keywords for them, then checked search volume in Keyword Planner:

    [​IMG]

    I'll be creating pages for the top 3-5 keywords in each group and then drip a number of posts with links to those pages. Keywords in the column below will give me ideas for post topics - and respectively the content to copy/paste to those posts. Siloing a site topically is important since it gives a lot of ranking power to internal links. Posts from the column on the left will only be linked to their bros above and below, but not with other category posts. I'll make sure any "related posts plugin" I install will be pulling the right taxonomy. Finally, the links I will be building will also funnel more relevance to these category posts, I'll have a separate linkbuilding campaign for each (more on that later).

    Right now I'm planning the site design and structure, I want to have a lot of dynamic elements (e.g. feeds) embedded on my pages so I'll need some plugins for that.
     
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  9. dzianis

    dzianis Moderator Staff Member

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    Days 2-4

    Finished putting together the semantic core for the site; created respective categories and subcategories. Without original content I will need to leverage everything I can here so I'll be siloing and funneling link juice like crazy.

    I've spent a lot of time setting up the site using a clean easy-to-read theme I bought some time ago.

    Then I installed plugins:

    - A simple meta description adder, which is the only thing I use SEO-wise, it always does the job;

    - Social share buttons that don't have any Javascript: https://wordpress.org/plugins/optimized-social-share-buttons-by-strikable/ ;

    - A bunch of plugins that will turn my site into a mean sexy aggregator pulling all kinds of stuff together: RSS feed aggregators, social media feed grabbers, Pinterest/Twitter feed creators and so on. I am still playing with them and once I delete all the redundant stuff I'll post my picks here;

    - A plugin to widgetize pages and create custom content sections wherever I want with just shortcodes;

    Next I created Twitter & Pinterest accounts and set them up.

    I'm hoping to finish the first stage of my plan this week. Namely - set up all dynamic content sources, make sure everything works well on my site AND launch offpage content storm with IFTTT, so the site keeps growing those social media mentions and links.

    Once that is all set up and tuned I will move to building some "money" pages with actual text content, scheduling blog posts to promote them, and building some links.

    Near future challenge: compress, cache and minify all this stuff properly so it keeps working but loads faster
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
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  10. Golan

    Golan Established Member

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    Is this drop with some existing backlinks and history, or fresh reg?
     
  11. dzianis

    dzianis Moderator Staff Member

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    Freshly registered
     
  12. emp

    emp Senior Member

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    What a lot of people don't realize is that curating content is adding value to it.

    Just think "everything about X in one place"
    When you add a good categorization, tags, and search to it, you might have very well created a one-stop information hub for a specific niche that did not exist before.

    Very interesting to see this, will watch and add some running commentary.

    ::emp::
     
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  13. Golan

    Golan Established Member

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    ^^ "one-stop information hub" - you nailed it. I have a few in a very narrow niche and they have been bringing very good traffic to my ecomm funnel for many years, without any significant changes or updates. But again, my niche is very small; for broader niches you would need to have a huge amount of content to cover all the basics.
     
  14. dzianis

    dzianis Moderator Staff Member

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    Day 5

    Finally pleased with the way my homepage looks. I'll just say it's a long-scrolling mixture of links and images. It's all dynamic content so part of it updates automatically and part will be updated by me once I start getting busy socially and set up some IFTTT recipes.

    Plugins I ended up using:

    - Widgetize Pages Light https://wordpress.org/plugins/widgetize-pages-light/

    - Feed Them Social https://wordpress.org/plugins/feed-them-social/

    - WP RSS aggregator https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-rss-aggregator/

    ^ all good stuff that will allow me to get more creative later on.

    Now on to creating "money" pages (that I will be ranking) for some 10-20 of the highest traffic keywords.
     
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  15. Murat Kerim

    Murat Kerim New Member

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    I'm following this topic, I hope you can be successful by using a copied article. I wonder, what will the results are ..
     
  16. latin_sydney

    latin_sydney New Member

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    Dzianis,

    I remember how you came in second in the Blue Hat SEO Contest in 2013 doing something similar.

    To create your blog posts you used WordAI to make them unique.

    I followed what you did and created a few local lead gen sites with WordAI and I'm happy to say that they are all still doing very well.

    Thanks for this case study Dzianis.

    I always buy your services and read anything you put your name to.
     
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  17. Jeremy

    Jeremy New Member

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    Thanks for the case study. Good spun contents can beat original content. People always mentioned about high quality contents but it doesn't really matter in any churn and burn campaign. But for long run. I think high quality content does matter if you really want to build your own audience. All the best to your case study and looking forward to your success.
     
  18. dzianis

    dzianis Moderator Staff Member

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    Hah - yeah, that's true, definitely easier to rank with more content. Thanks for the support :)

    I'm not spinning anything in this case study. Any content I will be using is taken from somewhere else as is.
     
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  19. dzianis

    dzianis Moderator Staff Member

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    I've been building the "money" pages - these are centered around high-volume keywords.

    For each page I'm compiling a bunch of articles into a new one - just the stuff I liked while researching. I don't edit or rewrite anything - just copy/paste the text and glue it together, then citing my sources.

    I'm also adding other media content to the pages using all the plugins I listed above.

    ***

    Looking forward to building some links - I'm scraping a HUGE target list for that. I've got a ton of related keywords and scraped about 1M Google's results; I'm now checking their PageRank - the metric is still a good filter for quality domains, I mean if you see PR8 domains they will probably be good link targets and have good trustflow numbers and all that.

    So I've scraped my whole niche, now I'll take the juiciest websites from that list (say, with a PageRank of 7 and above) and I'll go through that list placing manual links or even plain text link mentions anyway I can sneak that in. This is a very creative process and it's a lot of fun - once you end up with links from webmd, ebay and amazon things look a lot better.
     
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  20. dzianis

    dzianis Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry for being silent about this - I'll be posting an update after I recover from the fever. Daily visits to a kindergarten sure put you into the danger zone
     
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