I started this as a comment to an article at viperchill.com about WordPress SEO (something I know a lot about), but I tend to get very wordy so turned it into my own article. Also you’ll note the weird title for this article “Viperchill.com, SEO Nofollow PR Sculpting, RSS Feeds and Social Networking!” it kind of went all over the place :-)
Viperchill.com Viral Marketing Website
One of my regular readers (Mark) made a comment on the article Making Money Online with a Funny Jokes Site? and referred to viperchill.com (which I’d not seen before).
The sites by a young man (early twenties I think) that’s getting a lot of traffic, but unlike my network of sites (90%+ of my traffic is from Google and other major search engines) his traffic seems to be mostly from social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter) and lots of RSS feed subscribers and his search engine traffic is relatively low.
See his recent months stats breakdown for one of his domains viperchill.com:
1. Direct: 13,350
2. StumbleUpon: 12,038
3. Google (organic): 4,978
4. Twitter.com: 2,407
5. Google.com: 1,694
6. SmartPassiveIncome.com: 1,310
7. Facebook.com: 567
8. Rentier-blog.pl: 478
9. Thirdtribemarketing.com: 390
10. Farbeyondthestars.com: 306
It’s not a lot of traffic overall for a month at about 1,500 visitors a day (though not bad for a 8 month old site in that niche), but traffic from Google (less than 200 visitors a day) is a very small fraction of his traffic compared to direct and Stumbleupon (close to 900 visitors a day)!
If I had those sorts of figures from social networking sites relative to my search engine traffic on all my sites I’d be looking at 200,000+ visitors a day! Unrealistic since it’s probably a case viperchill.com isn’t doing great in Google like some of my sites are, so it wouldn’t be such a dramatic increase. A more realistic example is this site ( 45-year-old-millionaire.co.uk ) which only gets ~3,000 visitors a month, pretty much all from Google and it’s not an important site to me (I’ve not put any real effort into it, somewhere to track my affiliate earnings mostly, not many articles). So I would be very happy if this site generated so much non-search engine traffic relatively speaking (especially if it wasn’t too much work :-)).
I was looking at his site for ideas, trying to figure out which WordPress plugins he uses etc… for getting feed subscribers etc… (I don’t even know how many subscribers I have on any of my sites!) when I took a look at the WordPress SEO: The Only Guide You Need article and had to comment on the nofollow advice which is out of date and wrong.
Why Nofollow PR Sculpting is Bad for Search Engine Optimization
Nofollowing sculpting, as it is commonly referred, is simply about keeping and diverting link juice (link weight) to the pages where you want it to go. For example, on every page on my site there is a link to the contact form. Does it really need to be a powerful page?
Just linking to the page once is enough to have it indexed in Google, and that’s all that matters for a number of my pages. Similarly, I nofollow links to my about page, my category links and my RSS feed. This means that the ‘weight’ from backlinks I’m getting to my own post won’t be spread to those pages.
That was true a couple of years ago, but Google has changed significantly how it treats a nofollow link and so it’s no longer a good idea to use nofollow, the above is no longer true.
Where nofollow used to protect link benefit when nofollow was first introduced so we could sculpt PageRank etc… today Google DELETES the link benefit it used to protect!!! Bloody stupid way for Google to bring in a perfectly useful tool (nofollow) and then change it to damage a sites SEO, think about all the WordPress blogs that are filled with nofollowed commenter’s links!
What this means is every nofollow link is counted as a normal text link in link benefit usage terms (so uses PR/link benefit), but doesn’t benefit the page that’s linked to. PR sculpting no longer works if you use nofollow, it damages a sites SEO efforts quite badly by wasting link juice that could be used elsewhere on or off the site!!!
I was looking through the code of viperchill.com to try to figure out which WordPress plugins he uses (in particular that subscribe to RSS feed email form) and saw he’s got a LOT of nofollow links!
I use WordPress on over 50 domains and there are ways to remove all the nofollow links created by default WordPress through various template customisations like I use on my WordPress SEO Theme and WordPress plugins that prevent commenter’s links from turning into a text link (so plain text rather than a click-able link). Not very user friendly having links you have to copy and paste from comments, but it’s better than wasting so much link benefit on nofollow links that pass no benefit to a commenter (unless you dofollow your commenter’s links of course).
RSS Feeds and Social Networking
I’ve been an SEO purist (only concentrate on search engine traffic) for a very long time and get 95%+ of my traffic from Google and other major search engines and have to admit haven’t embraced what the author of viperchill.com does to generate traffic (social networking, Facebook, Twitter etc…), for example I have over 5,000 Twitter followers (2,000+ more than he does), Tweet all my important articles, but it’s rare to get traffic from Twitter etc… (I could delete my Twitter account and I’d notice no traffic loss!).
We just had a general election in the UK and my General Election site received over 100,000 search engine visitors on election day (crashed my dedicated server!), but never really received a lot of non-search engine traffic despite all those visitors. Right now traffic has died to around 1,500 visitors a day for June, which is a big drop from the average daily traffic for April and May of around 25,000 visitors a day. The site has almost 7,000 comments, but does not have a current repeat visitor attraction and know some of that is due to me not embracing other forms of attracting and more importantly keeping visitors.
Basically every day my sites receives tens of thousands of brand new visitors from search engines and like sand trickling through my fingers I don’t grab many of them long term.
I’m going to at least use a Feedburner RSS feed on a site and make subscribing easy just as soon as I find out how :-)
I feel like such a newbie to making money online when I write articles like this one and yet will probably make over $60,000 from affiliate type revenue this year on top of my main income.