Today I have published 2 new strategies that have indirectly come out of my Parasite Experiment – this one here is on my brand new 2014 SEO strategy called “Switchbox SEO” (yes I have already registered the dotcom) and the other one over here is on Amazon S3 Parasite Strategy.

So what on earth is ‘Switchbox SEO’ as I call it?

Switchbox SEO

In SEO, I’m a little bit obsessed with getting ever greater control over my backlinks and I’m a firm believer that you should always have complete control over pretty much all your backlinks (press releases notwithstanding, not much you can do there – or can you?)

Like to get my complete 2015 SEO resources list – the exact tools & services I use every day in my SEO business – click here to get the PDF now.

Current linkbuilding which has been around forever looks like this pretty much (I’ll get to tiered linkbuilding shortly):

switch1aand this has many drawbacks such as:

Any change in the backlink profile must be done one site at a time e.g. changing Anchors if overoptimized, removing links before applying for a Reconsideration Request if manually penalised by Google, sending begging emails to webmasters to remove links, removing harmful links to a site/specific page etc.

And what if a high ranking client stops paying for your SEO services and the links aren’t built on sites that you own (even if you do, it could be hundreds or even thousands of webpages, not exactly easy).

I know that Dori Friend has been developing some high end master admin panel for managing links from a central point – she has even applied for patents on it! Sounds intriguing. 

What if, instead of this cumbersome old-school way of managing links, we:

1. Laid a foundation of thousands of perfectly normal press release backlinks (just like normal companies do in their whitehat SEO) to create the illusion of a semi-normal backlink profile, and then,

2. Ran all or almost all OTHER backlinks through ‘switchboxes’ that we could turn off or send elsewhere with the flick of a ‘switch’ e.g.

switch2aSounds perfect right but what exactly are the ‘switchboxes’. Stay with me here but our ‘switchboxes’ would be new domains that we 301 redirect to our Money Site.

And if you think that you can’t have many 301s to a site, checkout how many these sites use:

switch3a

switch4a

BTW, I find Open Site Explorer the best reverse engineering tool for spotting 301s.

Yes, these are big authority sites with big backlink profiles but what if we scale down this 301 backlink principle to smaller sites.

And Switchbox SEO can be configured in many ways, not just for much greater control of your backlinks, but also for testing (wish I’d been doing it from the start of my Parasite SEO experiment!) e.g.

switch5a

or divided up by campaign/link type:

switch6a

Obviously you just need to properly document which new domain ‘switchbox’ is being used for each individual Anchor keyword or campaign type/link type. We will start testing this out properly this week and with different new domain types e.g. .pw (under $4 each), free .tk domains from http://www.dot.tk/en/index.html?lang=en (can 301 from there).

What I love about this approach is that you can keep quickly adjusting the ‘settings’ on your ‘switchboxes’ to find the sweet spot for your pages’ rankings. And, if you do make a mis-step with a new type of campaign, agency, link type or keyword, you can undo that by turning off that last switchbox by stopping that redirect.

And what if you lose one client in a niche and acquire a new one in that same niche? Using your switchboxes, you can quickly redirect some/all (stagger it slowly) of your links in that same niche to the new client.

Like to get my complete 2015 SEO resources list – the exact tools & services I use every day in my SEO business – click here to get the PDF now.

Once you make a switchbox change, Google should catch up with the new configuration in a few days, especially if they are crawling your Money Sites and switchboxes regularly (use that free IM Talk Mass Submitter to get Googlebot back quciker after a settings change).

In the case of tiered linkbuilding, Tier 1 link pages certainly can act as your ‘switchboxes’ (Matt Cutts talks below about the difference in link juice between 301s and links) but I haven’t heard of tiered linkbuilding being designed with this kind of architecture and clear campaign/Anchor text division in mind in a way that allows fast switchbox shutoffs or redirection elsewhere.

Here is what Matt Cutts publicly states about 301s – both are worth watching, even if he can’t be trusted a lot of the time (“I’d be surprised if there would be any further PR update in 2013” – apparently December 6 2013 is in 2014!):


 

  

Stay tuned for more on Switchbox SEO…

Now over to the Amazon S3 Parasite approach here:

http://seotraffichacks.com/december-8-2013-amazon-s3-parasite-strategy/

Previous Parasite SEO Experiment Days Here:

Read Day 1 of this experiment here.

Read Day 2 of this experiment here.

Read Day 3 of this experiment here.

Read Day 4 of this experiment here.

Read Days 5 & 6 of this experiment here.

Read Days 7 & 8 of this experiment here.

Read Day 9 of this experiment here.

Read Days 11 & 12 of this experiment here.

December 2 2013 Update.

December 5 2013 Update.

As I have switched over to FB comments for my blog here, I wanted to keep the original WP comments so they are added as an image below i.e. you can’t ‘Reply’ to them – it’s an image, please add your comment/questions in the FB comments area below the WP comments image:

Posted by Terry Kyle

John says:

Hey Terry,

thanks for the wonderful stuff you have shared on your blog! I’ll be signing up to your private training as soon as my budget allows me to.

I’ve created a Blogger and used switchboxes as a filter for my GSA campaigns (full out spam)!

Currently ranking around 3-4 keywords in top 10 (all 20K+ searches) and I’m probably ranking for many longtail keywords too but I’m not tracking that. Any ways, I was just wondering how would I push more of my keywords up? I’ve also had 1500 PBN links sent direct to the parasite. Should I just keep spamming the 301s (switchboxes) ? They are currently on around 40 PA…

Cheers buddy

Hi Terry,
Great idea. I have a question. Let’s say you use the 1st switchbox for anchor text A.
Does this mean all the links coming into the 1st switchbox have the same anchor text?
Won’t Penguin recognise this as over-optimised achor text and penalise the switch box? e.g. .pw domain.
Futhermore, doesn’t a 301 redirect from a penalised site (.pw )just pass on the penalty to the money site?
Regards,
Michael.

ZacB says:

Hi, is there a part 2 to this post? You’ve got me really curious and I’d like to find out more.

Max says:

It’s a great strategy, however I don’t think Google completely forgets the backlink history of a given website. Link penalty half-life may hang around for quite some time: You may redirect the link to another site, but it doesn’t mean the previous 301 will be “forgotten”, or at least not that quickly.

Also, I wonder how Google may qualify a domain only serving 301’s. Not all URL shorteners are created equal. Domain trust would also apply to the switches. If the trust of the switchbox is damaged, all the websites receiving backlinks through it would be as well.

In a way, this strategy may actually increase your risk of penalty. Even if you kill the 301’s, don’t you think the switchbox domain will be contaminated? And in this sense, being contaminated, it might actually spread the penalty/shadiness to the other domains which backlinks are routed through it. Best scenario would just be a loss of efficiency for all backlinks going through a given switch. Worst case scenario the penalty would spread to all destinations if the domain trust of the switch got too low.

Just some thoughts, no definitive answer – am in the process of testing, but wouldn’t do this for my money sites at this point.

Dima says:

This is what about I thought when you redirected your new pw domain to parasite page- what url I need to link to? Parasite page url or this new pw domain with redirect? And here you’re talking exactly about redirecting to this pw domain in order to have control over your links and not parasite url. Great! But it’s need to be tested anyway. Thanks, Terry!

Terry Kyle says:

Hi Dima, the URL that you put into the IM Talk Mass Submitter is the .pw or .tk new domain AFTER you make sure that the new .pw or .tk domain is properly redirecting to your Parasite Page (e.g. Buzzfeed). The reason we do that step is that the IM talk Mass Submitter can’t build links to inner pages, only root domains.

Mike says:

might be missing something here (usually am) but when penguin runs how will you know which “switch(es)” are causing the problem? as the peng algo wont run again for god knows how long and only then can you get an idea if turning off certain switches worked.

Terry Kyle says:

Hi Mike,

There are at least 2 ways you can apply switchboxes in the Penguin 2.1 era e.g

1. Assuming you have divided up your switchboxes on the basis of Anchor groups, where you have a particular keyword drop for a particular page (Penguin tends to target individual pages whereas Panda normally inflicts broader site rankings damage), you can simply switch off that affected Anchor switchbox for that page and minimize the page’s ranking impact for other terms.

2. If you are keeping an SEO Diary (you should be!), when there is a change in the algo and you see a rankings hit, you can refer to your SEO Diary (discussed here: http://seotraffichacks.com/experiment-update-december-5-2013/ with a pic sample) and see if there is any correlation between the drop (using http://mozcast.com or http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change) and the addition of a new switchbox links group. Even if there isn’t, you can start playing with turning off certain switchboxes and monitoring changes for a few days before trying others (one at a time). That may sound slow but it’s way way faster than getting on the ‘Reconsideration Request begging for forgiveness’ treadmill.

In short, Switchbox SEO MUST be used with accurate SEO Diaries to work properly…

John Pickering says:

I’m going to sign up for SEO Hacks, just to see how this technique gets developed further.

The fear I’ve always had about starting to do seo for clients is the fact that you can get them ranking, they sack you and then the hard work you put in and links built, power the ranking for years and years later. Free for the client.

Terry Kyle says:

Hi John, the solution is Switchbox SEO: http://seotraffichacks.com/december-8-2013-switchbox-seo/

Very creative and inspirational.
But can’t it be more pricey for each backlink?

Will follow your updates on this.

Leo

Terry Kyle says:

No Leo, each switchbox is for a group of links, not per link.

Dude!!!! So sick!

I just started building my own PBN, and loved how when a recent site got hit by 2.1, I could just move most of the links to a new domain.

This just takes it to a new level… and explains a lot of the links I see coming into hayneedle and Wayfair.

I’m gonna take the competition DOWN!

Tanya says:

Isn’t this the exact same method which was posted months ago on Agent Blachat’s blog and also the thread he made in BHW?

http://agentblackhat.com/how-to-easily-bypass-google-and-reach-position-one-for-any-keyword-using-blackhat-301-redirects/

http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/black-hat-seo/579328-learn-how-easily-bypass-google-hit-position-one-any-keyword-using-301-redirects-20.html

Terry Kyle says:

No Tanya. 301s for SEO have been around for a long time. Using them to totally manage (almost) your entire backlink profile is different.

Mark says:

I just applied this tactic last week. My ‘switch’ domain was #5, money site #7. I did a 301 to my money site. The ‘switch’ domain dropped to #62, my money site has stayed the same 🙁

(As I had many keywords on this domain, I only 301’d the homepage, not the entire site…..)

Terry Kyle says:

Hi Mark, not exactly what I was describing but did you turn off the 301? If so, what happened then and in what timeframe? Thanks for sharing.

Nice Terry, I use this technique all the time – It’s just the 301 technique which is used by tons of black hats but for more client side SEO.

I’ve been using it for a couple months now on clients that want quick rankings but no penalties, hence a switchbox you can easily turn off the 301, submit a quick disavow file and voila – Penalty removed! – Though we, so far haven’t got any penalties as of now.

Gossapril says:

Hi Charles, thanks for nice information. How long did you apply 301-redirect seo technique for your clients? I heard that 301-redirect temporary affects to money site. What do you think?

Roland says:

That’s pretty innovative! Thank you very much for such a nice idea. This tip is especially useful for those who are running an SEO agency. It surely worth testing!

We will be tuned for you upcoming updates.

All the Best!

John says:

Hi Terry,

Thanks for the update.

I’ve been experimenting with 301’s for a while and it does work but I get the impression that quite a bit of link juice is lost.

Also, wouldn’t it look highly unnatural if all the links to your site are 301’s only?

Cheers!

Terry Kyle says:

Hi John, that was the point of the press release campaign links (which could be in the thousands across different press rel services). We’ll see in testing anyways.

Jemma says:

Terry,
Wouldn’t this require a portfolio of different domains on different IPs to run the redirects through?

I thought about doing something like this some time ago using the paid Pretty Links plugin, but decided against it as I thought it might leave a footprint of some kind.

Terry Kyle says:

Hi Jemma,

The 301s can be done at the domain registrar rather than needing any actual hosting so spreading the domain switchboxes across many different domain registrars should make that end of the strategy work OK.