A Backlinking Strategy Experiment for a Small Niche Site

Backlinking Strategy Experiment for Niche SitesIn June of this year I published an article explaining my specific backlinking strategies for niche sites. In it I admitted my dislike for having to do backlinking tasks but also acknowledged the need to do them. I highlighted and linked to some of the stuff I had read recently about link building – stuff written by some of the leaders in the internet marketing and niche site building space. I concocted my own customized link building strategy based on stuff that was working for others. I even set up spreadsheets for each of my current niche sites in order to keep myself on track. The purpose for the spreadsheets was to act as kind of a check off list for each of my backlinking tasks. It has now been about two and a half months since I published that post. Would you like to know how it is working out for me?

Backlinking Strategy Results

I really wanted to put the strategy to the test and stick with it for one specific site. And I did stick with it…. for about the first 3 weeks. But then, as I often do, I got sidetracked and started working on other things. Although I knew better, I grew impatient after not seeing immediate results. I still had intentions to keep up with my backlinking schedule. I just didn’t. The other things I started to work on gained higher priority status in my mind. Copy & pasted from my previous post, and then updated, here are some stats and thoughts from the site I am talking about.

Niche Site #7

  • Keyword: not revealed
  • Domain: not revealed
  • Current monthly searches: 1900 US – 3600 global
  • Long Tail Pro Avg KC: 26
  • Monetization: Adsense
  • Current ranking in Google: #47 (Highest #36)
  • Earnings: $15.43
  • Thoughts: The site has 12 posts published (all in May 2013) and is currently getting about 100 visitors per day from a few long tail search terms. That’s pretty good traffic, considering most of these search terms are leading to one of the specific secondary articles on the site. I still have high hopes for this site and still plan to build a few more links to it when I get some time. When or if I start ranking for the main keyword and more of the long tail keywords, this site should still do pretty well.

The SocialADR Only Experiment on a New Niche Site

Having another keyword to go after along with the new domain already purchased, I decided to build out another smaller niche site. This time the keyword I was going after had even less competition, meaning it should be even easier to rank for in Google. This I determined by its lower KC Score in Long Tail Pro, which was 24. I’ve had success ranking single blog posts on this site (Dumb Passive Income) around keywords with KC Scores in the low 20’s – so I knew an entire site built around a keyword with a score this low would be really easy to rank. Also, this particular keyword gets 2,400 local monthly searches and has a lot of available Adsense advertisers bidding on this keyword and keywords like it. This was a perfect keyword to build out a small site around and monetize with Adsense.

I outsourced and published only 4 articles on this site. The main article, optimized around the main keyword, is about 2,000 words long and is stuck to the homepage of the site. The three secondary articles are only 700 words each and are optimized for a few highly related long tail keywords. These outsourced articles are very high quality and probably turned out better than if I had attempted to write them myself.

Now for the SocialADR ONLY backlinking experiment. I did absolutely zero manual backlinking for this site (other than SocialADR). No blog commenting, no directory submissions, no expired domains. Nothing. I only added all 4 posts to SocialADR 10 days after the first post was published. Below is a timeline showing my rankings each and every day, plus my activity showing exactly what I did and when.

Rankings and Activity by Day

Day Date Ranking Activity
Day 1 7/23/2013 135 Main post published
Day 2 7/24/2013 137 1st secondary post published
Day 3 7/25/2013 136
Day 4 7/26/2013 139 3 posts total published
Day 5 7/27/2013 154
Day 6 7/28/2013 151 4 posts total published
Day 7 7/29/2013 151
Day 8 7/30/2013 52
Day 9 7/31/2013 44
Day 10 8/1/2013 56 added all 4 posts to SocialADR – main content 100 – other articles 50 each
Day 11 8/2/2013 58
Day 12 8/3/2013 46
Day 13 8/4/2013 53
Day 14 8/5/2013 55
Day 15 8/6/2013 51
Day 16 8/7/2013 27 SocialADR – main 76/100 | article2 50/50 | article3 50/50 | article4 39/50
Day 17 8/8/2013 27 put Adsense on site plus some Clickbank banner ads
Day 18 8/9/2013 25
Day 19 8/10/2013 25
Day 20 8/11/2013 24 On vacation -doing absolutely nothing
Day 21 8/12/2013 23
Day 22 8/13/2013 23
Day 23 8/14/2013 24
Day 24 8/15/2013 25
Day 25 8/16/2013 25
Day 26 8/17/2013 24
Day 27 8/18/2013 25 ordered 50 Facebook Likes on SocialADR
Day 28 8/19/2013 25 sent out 3 articles to be published on relevant blogs linking back to niche site
Day 29 8/20/2013 26
Day 30 8/21/2013 29

Notes and Comments:

  • Day 1 – I published only the main 2,000 word post and ranked at #135 in Google that same day! Great sign.
  • Scheduled next 3 posts to publish every other day for the rest of that week
  • 2 days after all posts scheduled, rankings shot to 52 in Google with zero backlinks
  • Day 10 – added all 4 posts to SocialADR – 0rdered 100 submissions for the main post and 50 each for the others
  • Day 16 – rankings shot up to #27 – checked SocialADR main post had 76 of 100 submissions complete, article 2 – 50 of 50, article 3 – 50 of 50, and article 4 – 39 of 50
  • Day 17 – put Adsense on site plus a few Clickbank banner ads that are somewhat relevant
  • Rankings stayed between 23 and 29 all the way up to day 30 – which concludes my 30 day experiment
  • Day 27 and 28 I started to implement some other link building tactics, knowing that they wouldn’t take effect until after Day 30

SocialADR Experiment Conclusion

It appears that SocialADR bookmarking links, as I explained in more detail in this previous post, actually do help at least by a little bit. Only 6 days after adding my posts to SocialADR, I started to see results. (Results may vary depending on your settings in SocialADR – I set my submission rate to Slow in order to make it look more natural). I’ve said all along that bookmarking links and using a service like SocialADR are not the be-all end-all answer to link building for niche sites (or any other site). But these types of links absolutely help as part of an overall link building or backlinking strategy. They provide a bit of link diversity and even help drive some initial traffic to a brand new site.

As of Day 30, here are the rankings in Google for each of the 4 keywords I am going after with this site.

  • Main keyword – 29
  • Keyword 2 -24
  • Keyword 3 -27
  • Keyword 4 -30

And here is a screenshot from Ahrefs for this site after doing only SocialADR submissions for backlinks for 30 days.

SocialADR Experiment for Backlinking Strategy for Niche Site


So there you have it. 100 backlinks from doing nothing but a few SocialADR submissions. Now I just need to add a few more links that hold more value to this site and it should be ranking on the first page of Google in no time. I have plans in place for this, including three articles on 3 different relevant sites that an acquaintance agreed to post for me in exchange for some links I provided for him in the past. I also found one relevant expired domain with a great backlink profile that I plan to build out and point to this site.

But overall, I am pleased with the results of my SocialADR only experiment. I wanted to do this just to see what affect these types of links actually had. I had already liked and believed in the service, but now I am more convinced than ever that it actually does offer some value. I wasn’t completely certain before that these types of links held any value with Google.

If you want to consider trying out SocialADR for yourself, feel free to check it out here or by clicking the banner below.

Click here to check out SocialADR for yourself

They have both free and paid versions of the service available. I myself started with the free version and used it for a very long time. Only recently did I upgrade to a paid account. If you are considering a paid account, make sure you grab the 20% off coupon code by entering your email address in the form below.

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Remember that there are several dumb ways to create passive income online, but only one site that is blogging about it! Dumb Passive Income… dot com.



Image: “Iron link” from Flickr by Andreas Levers

Matthew Allen
Matthew Allen
Matthew Allen is a full-time trucker, part-time blogger, and imaginary entrepreneur. He's probably not the only trucker who calls himself a dumbass. But, he is the only known trucker who is blogging about passive income."Might be crazy, but I ain't dumb!" ~ Crazy Cooter (also Matt's CB handle) 
Matthew Allen
Matthew Allen
Matthew Allen is a full-time trucker, part-time blogger, and imaginary entrepreneur. He's probably not the only trucker who calls himself a dumbass. But, he is the only known trucker who is blogging about passive income."Might be crazy, but I ain't dumb!" ~ Crazy Cooter (also Matt's CB handle) 

42 thoughts on “A Backlinking Strategy Experiment for a Small Niche Site”

  1. John – I’ve been using the same writer for all of my article outsourcing. I originally found her on Odesk. We’ve built up a really good and trusting working relationship and I now work with her on a private basis.

  2. hey Matt

    SocialADR sounds interesting

    I’ve heard about it before, but didn’t give too much though into it, as there are many other back-linking
    platforms out there (plus, I have my own) – so it’s a hassle going with less… the trend is to apply for more, and test-drive each, but all these cost money, and we have to be careful to get the highest ROI, is it?

    P.S. AdSense sites require 50k+ of visitors to make sizable income, that’s why I gave up years ago this
    model, and focus on product review sites instead… if any of you is interested to see how I operate my niche site empire, check out the PDF report I give away…

    John Gibb

  3. Hey John – thanks for the comment. It’s hard to measure the ROI on SocialADR. They do offer free accounts, so that return would have to be weighed only against the time invested.

    My next site is actually going to be a product review type site – so it will be interesting to dig into what you do. Thanks for the link.

  4. I don’t think there is a magic bullet for making money online, sometimes it’s hard work and sometimes its luck. For example, look at Michelle’s site, Making Sense out of cents, she posts updates on her blog income and last month, she took $9200 and this is after only 2 years of blogging. Her friend told me that she did a lot of commenting on other blogs when she got started. Personally, its luck and a little hard work, IMO.

  5. I just became acquainted with her blog and almost fell out of my chair after reading how she is doing. My 2 year period will be next June and personally, if I am making $500-%1000 a month profit, I would be happy and quite surprised.

  6. From what I see, Michelle STILL does a lot of commenting on other blogs. Her plan must really be working. I only wish I had the time to read and comment on so many blogs.

  7. I love reading well documented niche site case studies. Thanks for your share here Matt.

    Ever since you encouraged me to try Social ADR, I do have to admit I love the “laziness” of this account. I do very little work and just keep letting the backlinks flow in. My one concern however is that the backlinks are only half of what I expected. I have received very few from Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc, and am instead getting links from social media sites I am unfamiliar with. I was also disappointed to see that they do not use Reddit, Blinklist, or Chime. For those sites I’m using two VA’s to submit my posts and build up the backlinks.

  8. @The Frugal Exerciser: A lot of Michelle’s income is from freelance writing assignments, private advertising, and blog management activities for her other sites. While there may be some luck, there are very specific things that if you target them, you will find a way to make them work for you and generate real income. Do you have anything specifically you are trying?

  9. Hey MMD – I’m glad you’re enjoying the laziness. I hope I didn’t mislead you as far as the types of links you would receive automatically. And I guess I can admit that my sentiments about the service were the same as yours when I first started using it, yet I continue to do so. I believe that it still offers value and is definitely worth the little bit I pay each month.

  10. No problem and no misleading involved. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re getting until you try it. And it very well still might be useful. I did notice one of my posts recently got 44 Stumble Upon’s which almost never happens for me. I’ll keep my dual strategy of VA and Social ADR going for a while longer or until I decide to use the money elsewhere.

  11. Hi Matthew since the keyword was very low competition, it’s possible you could have ranked without any off page.

  12. Maybe. The keyword was KC 24 when I found it. It is now showing as KC 27 in Long Tail Platinum. After this experiment, I only did a few blog comment backlinks and pointed one relevant expired domain to the site. It stayed around the low 30’s as far as ranking in Google. More recently, I added 2 more articles. Got a few natural backlinks – and now it’s at 19 in Google. I’ve seen enough to know that this site is going to be a winner, so I ordered more content for it. More content targeting more longer tail keywords, plus more internal links pointing to my homepage. Should be to page 1 of Google real soon!

    Thanks for spending some time on my blog today Marc. I appreciate your input.

  13. Hey Matt,

    I find that if you can find LOW competition keywords you can rank with just adding quality content consistently.

  14. Yeah Marc – I am actually experimenting with that right now on a few of my sites. Not having to do backlinking is definitely preferable. But at the same time, it’s hard to find those REALLY low competition keywords that have enough searches. I’m actually starting to target LOW competition keywords with less monthly searches for many of my secondary articles.

  15. Hey Matt, glad I stumbled upon your blog. Thanks for the in-depth review I’ve been looking at Social Adr for awhile as something to get more social signals. Unless I missed something you used it specifically for backlinks then is that right ?

  16. Yeah – that is correct Ryan. I only use it for links. I’ve used Social Dr quite a bit, and I’m still using it. In my experience, I haven’t seen a lot of real social interaction as a result. But then again, I don’t have social profiles set up for the sites I use it on.

  17. Matt, approximately what should I pay a good writer I might be able to find through Odesk?

  18. Matt. Thanks! I really appreciate your blog. BTW, besides Pat Flynn’s podcast, what podcasts do you recommend listening to?

  19. Oh my gosh Martin! I listen to way too many to list out in a comment reply. I may have to write an entire post about that – or create a page on my site that lists out all of the podcasts that I currently listen to. Thanks for the idea!

  20. catherino – actually yes! In fact, the site that I used in this experiment is now my most successful niche site. I ended up adding a whole bunch of content. I’m ranking on page 1 for lots of terms and making hundreds of dollars every single month from the site with Adsense. Steadily holding the #2 position in Google for the main keyword.

  21. Thanks matt for your reply, I just start use socialADR for my new niche site so I will let you know about the result, because I start the niche and the same day I put 10articles, 7 of the secondary keyword are ranked the same day with two in the top 100, so i want to experiment socialadr to see what will happen.Thanks

  22. cool catherino! Just remember, SocialADR alone probably won’t get you to the top. You’ll need other more powerful backlinks too. But SocialADR does help diversify your backlink profile and get those ever-important social signals.

  23. Yes, I know that because after your experience, you build your other backink after. I just build my website almost 5days, it won’t cause any problem if I start using socialadr? Because some person said it is good to let the site survive a little time before start build back link.

  24. I usually start my SocialADR submissions the same day I publish each new post. I have not had any problems. Just make sure to use spintax so your titles vary. These act as anchor text and you don’t want those to all be the same.

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