BBC Recycling Own Blog Posts

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This was the most read shared on the BBC today, note the date of publication. Since this was first published I have read this twice before. I wonder how much of the content on the BBC is reused.

It does make sense to reblog when you have great stuff in the archives as demonstrated by this becoming the most read. Content should be seen as an asset and squeezed for every last job of juice.

Newsjacking for Australians Who like to take the piss

Men in Nappies

I feel a bit guilty over the British team’s celebration over beating the Aussies in the Ashes, which if you didn’t know is a cricket game and if you don’t know what that is, I wouldn’t worry about it.

This from the BBC

The England team have apologised for their “inappropriate” behaviour in the aftermath of their Ashes triumph, following reports some players urinated on the pitch at The Oval.

So, if you want a bit of buzz, a bit of publicity today and your customers are mainly Australian, do the following.

Go buy some nappies.
If brave, buy a pair of adult nappies hire an actor (student) or wear them yourself and head down to the Oval Cricket ground if nearby.

Stand outside the Oval banging on the door, saying you have a delivery for the English Cricket team.
Video and photograph the whole thing.
Live tweet the event to Aussie sports commentators and UK ones, as the English love a good piss take, even when aimed at themselves.
Make sure you quickly take the recorded content, create a web page around it and blast it to those who may be interested.

You could do this quite cheaply if you have the time and are geographically positioned well.
It would work best if in London, but it could also work if in Australia, near a symbol of Englishness. Lots of English pubs in Sydney would probably be up for the joke.

This works because it’s the current conversation with strong feeling on both sides. Journalists would love to grab a funny story with which to highlight the event, and even if the national press did not take advantage of this it would be worth some great content with which to get links from Australian sporting sites.

And yes, I realise there is a high risk of this not working, but the payoff if it did would be huge.
It’s worth at least a few links, and you get to wear a nappy. What’s not to lose.

P.S. Nappies = Diapers in American

Picture source

SEO is Dead Headline Inspiration

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To help people write their “seo is dead” blog post I offer headline help to inspire you.

Seo is dead
Why seo is dead
Seo is dead again
Seo stubbed my toe
Seo is walking dead
Seo is breaking bad dead
Did Rand Fishkin kill seo
How social media killed seo
Has content marketing killed seo
Seo is dead, but no one noticed
Seo is finally dead, long live seo
Seo has been dead so long it smells
Why Frankenstein Seo is the new new thing
Seo ressurection, behold it walks again
Seo is dead, only the death twitch is left
How to make money from the dead corpse of seo
Why seo blog posts are Immortal but seo is not
Now seo is dead can we stop writing seo is dead posts
Seo is dead, but only if you are a journalist sssshhhhhh
Why I buried Seo in the garden hoping it would grow into a linking tree
I thought seo was dead but then I woke from a nightmare after a weekend binge of watching Hannibal

Picture source

SEO is Dead

There has been a lot of navel gazing within the SEO industry this year.

You couldn’t move without someone numpty publishing an SEO is Dead post

This is mostly because the landscape has changed. The way Google ranks its results has changed. What was working within the SEO industry was not aligned with what Google wanted.

A number of techniques that only recently worked very well to get a website ranked in Google no longer works, although it’s interesting to note that quite a number of people and seo agencies are working in an outmoded fashion.

We already know this and many bytes of blog posts have been crunched to bring us that news, again and again.

The old way of working is mostly dead

I say mostly dead as there are exceptions, the old way of doing things still works for those who have built a machine with processes that are efficient enough to dodge the Google hit squad.

We even see that dodgy widget links still work and even work for Google themselves, whilst preaching it is a sin and will send you to ranking hell. Blackhat still works, but the probability of being crushed is way to high.

The point being, that if you want to build a decent, medium to long term business that delivers an effective you need a new way of doing things.

The methodology of SEO has mostly been about busting the algo, backward engineering how the Google machine works, identifying weak spots and then drilling into those spots. It’s a methodology that requires a specific mindset, a somewhat technical ability and a super hero ability to wield Excel spreadsheets without having to wear underpants on the outside.

This mindset is still needed, it’s simply no longer the killer it used to be.

Vomiting the long tail onto your title tags not longer emits the sweet odour it once did. Even hardcore, outsourced to tropical countries, manic article creation no longer works, and also industrial guest posting is liable to send your website down the toilet.

Interesting thing is, a lot of websites still employ these tactics.

It’s interesting, because it means that those working the “new way of thinking”, are going to be those who will win.

So what is the new way of thinking?

Well it’s actually quite simple and it’s something I have been preaching for years, so it’s not like I am revealing a huge secret.

The New Way of Thinking is:

You Publish for People.

Which has actually been working for thousands of years, it’s only recently we have been formatting our communicative output for the Google robot.

And yes this does include social media an mobile, but it’s more than that, it’s about taking the news and creating fresh content around it. Google is not the only thing that likes fresh, people like it too. People like to experience content that is aligned with what is currently on their mind.

No longer should you be chasing the algo, you should be chasing people.

P.S. Apologies for the headline, I couldn’t resist.

Create Linkbait like you are Channeling Elmore Leonard, adding Hookers and Xbox along the way

This week one of my favourite writers, Elmore Leonard died.

His work makes for a great read. His stories flowed like an electric eel going down the Alton Towers log flume. Along with James Ellroy and other American writers he really helped me nail my writing and ultimately my linkbait.

What these guys do is reach down deep into the brain and bring it to the open and do it with wit and intelligence.

I wrote a story back in 2008, some of you will remember it, some of you may not have heard about it.

It got a lot of attention.

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Some people did not like what I did and even went to the extreme of saying I should go to prison for it.
Matt Cutts even made me the subject of a Keynote talk about such marketing tactics.
All for few hundred words of pure fiction.

What I learned from that time is the power of the written (OK typed, but written sounds better) word and how it can be used to get people to react.

I don’t know if it was the biggest linkbait ever, it got 10K links and mentions in every mainstream media I can think of. But it’s certainly one that people don’t forget.

One of the puritanical nutters who at the time were saying that such work is the spawn of Satan just reminded me of it.

The story is quite simple.I had a short story knocking around my head that I had not used when I was in my creative writing, poverty induced period. I had a client that wanted some linkbait so I wrote it as spoof news and posted it. With zero indication that it wasn’t actual news, it was blatant and beautiful hoax.

As the piece was written in a ” too good to be true, this is nuts mode”, I expected people to quickly figure out it was not proper news and just a bit of fun. This did not happen, you see the article what designed to engage with the primal brain, it was littered with psychological hooks that would keep people reading and keep people thinking long after.

And it worked.

Back in the day, getting a front page digg was all you needed to do to launch a bit of linkbait, nowadays it’s a bit more fractured, but still doable.

A mainstream journalist picked it up and of course did not check the story, rewrote it and put it in their newspaper. With of course no accreditation to where it came from.

And then it kind of went mental.

It was picked up by as many people as I could even think of and I had people contacting me from places like Greece, saying they heard it on the radio.

The results were huge.

And then, just as that was dying down, Matt Cutts hinted that Google was not going to allow websites to benefit from stories that are not true. And of course things went mental again, with a good write up about this from Lisa Barone.

Which was bigger news than the original story.

The debate over if this kind of marketing was ethical or not raged for weeks, with a number of people foaming at the mouth doing their “burn the witch” routine.

Planting an untrue story in the media is, I agree unethical. But when it’s crafted as a funny story that hurts no one, does not sell a product and includes Texan’s of restricted growth trying to get laid, Hookers and pizza delivery, less so. It’s completely missing the point to start thinking along the ethical/unethical argument.

What is far more interesting is how the human brain craves a good story and how newspapers create not-exactly-true stories. And Google loves this, it gives these newspapers huge authority, to the point where SEO agencies have to buy links in the online version of the newspaper, planting a story that promotes their client.

Here is Fox news doing a piece on the story.

And Simon Mayo did a bit on Radio 1


I don’t talk about this stuff publicly anymore, not because I am ashamed and think it unethical, I am extremely proud of the work, and as for it being unethical, well that’s just silly.

I don’t talk about this because it’s a technique that most cannot do well. Some can and a lot of people have contacted me privately to tell me of how they created a completely faked story that got traction in the news media.

Something like this is extremely sophisticated and hard to pull off, although it happens more than you realise it and yes, I have done a few of these since.

Now I mostly consult with companies how to utilise content marketing for their websites and create content that gets publicity. You note I did not say links, because its people you need to target, not links. The links come after you attract the people, not the other way round.

I do sometimes talk about this marketing event on Linkbaitcoaching.com as I am able to teach the technique in a more detailed way. A number of people I have coached have gone on to create thousands of links using it.

In conclusion, if you are going to create linkbait. You may as well write it about a 13 year old boy coming back from a World of Warcraft tournament who wants to score chicks and play Xbox.

And if you want to know more about this, Google it, go read all about it, good and bad and then join linkbaitcoaching.com to learn how to implement such techniques into your content.