Note from Ann: for anyone who might disagree with this strategy, I’d like to note that we welcome your opinion in the comments and also that this post reflects author’s opinion only. I do realize the tactic can be turned for bad in the wrong hands but you can actually make it work if you approach it properly. I for one don’t support some of the ideas expressed in the post below but I welcome a friendly discussion if you have anything to say.
Well… What is a Placeholder site? All it is, is a web site that takes up space on the Internet while gaining age and getting indexed in Google. Think of it as “Internet Matter.” Is it a pyramid scheme? – Well no not the ones that you are used to seeing where people are trying to get you to sign up for some ridiculous cause where the only profit comes from signing somebody else up (aren’t those ridiculous!).
This is more of a pyramid “scheme” that helps you make money on the Internet by process of elimination and by manipulating the search engines (rightfully so) so that you can kind of – shall we say – automate your search engine rankings. It lets you put in time without putting in time. And it lets you get results without having to force it. It’s using Google’s algorithm against itself, but really all in good will.
The Basics of a Placeholder Site
First off this used to work really well with renting out space to local businesses, although that plan is not recommended anymore because you never know what Google is up to locally, and your plan could ultimately be ruined by a simple algorithm update. This is because the main ingredient of a placeholder site is to own the exact match domain name of what you are trying to rank for, and for that exact match to be very low in competition, but to still have high value in it. Like for example turning the keyword phrase “Atlanta Masonry” into a domain name and web site and renting it out to a masonry company in Atlanta. The concept however, is recommended.
Start with an idea. And old love – a passion of yours that you think will allow you to scale things out and open up. Research keywords with low competition. Your domain name should be 2-4 words but not too long. Think of 100 of them to play it real safe and to play it real good. After you have done this you can start building your placeholder sites. All a placeholder site is, is a one page web site with about 500-600 words of key word dense content, a few back-links, and a few links that link out to authority sites within the content. A simple Word Press theme will get the job done for this, and actually works very well in the search engines too.
For back-links all you will need are a few free link directories, like 5-10. In your content you should link out to big sites, like Google, Bing, or DMOZ, and you should link out to two authority web sites that are related to your topic. Remember that the whole goal here is just to get indexed by Google and to gain domain name age. The idea is to advance as far as you can in the search engine rankings with the least amount of work and doing it in this manner will give you substantial amounts of SEO benefits.
Let Time Tell You What to Do Next
Once you have created these 100 or so place holder sites, let them loose on the Internet and see what they can do. You will be amazed at how high some of these place holder sites will rank. This will allow you to get a good idea of which ones you should start working on and turning into actual sites and this will tell you which ones have less potential and to which ones to eliminate.
This minimum amount of work to get good search engine rankings allows you build up a crucial dynamic of SEO – domain name age – and allows you to do it without quitting your day job or dropping whatever it is that you are doing that moment to work on a new idea. Ideas have to stand the test of time before being a good one, and this process of eliminating bad ideas and holding on to the good ones will help you realize which ones were actually good ideas and which ones were bad ones.
This article was written by Philip Rudy. He has been working in the SEO field for close to 3 years and has been does Internet Marketing for many different web sites and companies.
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