Archive for May, 2009

10 Things I Learned In The ‘DK is a Street Performer’ SEO Challenge05.27.09

It’s Wednesday night, and tomorrow Dennis Karganilla will log into Google and type in the phrase “DK is a Street Performer,” at which point he’ll pick the winner of the dkisastreetperformer contest.

A few weeks ago, Howie Schwartz decided to challenge the members of Dennis Karganilla and Jimmy Davis’ “90 Day Challenge” marketing group.  The question was, who can rank on the first page of Google multiple times – as many times as possible – for the long keyword phrase.

Personally, I took massive action, and remained consistent throughout the month of the competition.  Here are 10 things I learned about SEO, challenges, and what it takes to rank on the first page of Google multiple times.

1. Quick action gets you on page one fast.
When the challenge began, there were no results for the given keyword phrase in Google.  Acting quickly got me on page one, where I immediately owned at least six of the 10 sites.

2. A good blueprint is essential.
I used a marketing strategy I learned from Howie Schwartz.  Without this strategy, the competition would have been a big game of “who just posted last.”  But using a specific link-building trick, I was able to give my websites authority that helped them stay high on page one.

3. Consistency is a must.
Because I promoted consistently for 3 weeks, I was able to monopolize page one, getting as many as 9 out of 10 choices on the first page of Google, but more often getting 8 out of 10. Even when my competitors tried to catch up after taking a break, they couldn’t.

4. No automation = time suck.
I managed to automate a few of my processes.  Had I not, I would have spent at least 10 more hours each week trying to promote my sites.  Or I would have had less substantial results.

5. Outsourcing is a necessity in the real world.
One keyword phrase is easy.  But when it comes to really ranking on Google – in normal situations – you need to rank for multiple keywords.  That’s why you need more than automation.  You need someone – or a group of people – who you’ve trained and can take over the day-to-day tasks.

6. In a new niche like this one, Google lets you decide.
Yep – that’s right.  YOU decide what goes in Google.  But it’s more complicated than that.  Google consistently optimizes its search pages.  And it wants to know, what are people clicking on, and what are the media related to this new niche.  In the beginning, many competitors were using blogs and videos.  So for a long time, Google placed two videos, side-by-side, on the first page of search.  Towards the end, most of the marketers leaned towards press releases, and today, as I write this, there are 3 press releases on the first page of Google.

7. Google gives new sites the benefit of the doubt.
So when you create a new webpage, Google throws it on the first page of results – just to see if people like it.  It’s a good way to get quick rankings.  Follow this up with a good marketing campaign, and you can stay on top of the results.

8. Social marketing has a strong influence in several ways.
Tweets on twitter actually can rank on the first page of Google.  But that’s not the really important part.  What’s really incredible is how much social media – twitter, facebook, etc., can influence success in a new market.  When videos were on the first page of search results, the videos shown were ones that had been visited the most and had some ratings.  Someone with a good following on any networking site can post a link and have immediate rankings on YouTube or other video sites.

9. Challenges help people take action – especially when there’s a prize.
You may be wondering what the point of this challenge was.  Other than bragging rights, the winner gets an Amazon Kindle from Howie Schwartz.  The possibility of receiving a prize gets people in motion.  Good thing to remember if you’re trying to motivate a team.

10. The only way to really learn about something is to do it.
I thought I knew a lot about ranking on Google.  And I did.  But now, after being “intimate” with Google for one keyword phrase, I know even more.  And when Google introduced a new tool, I was one of the first people to see it.


That’s what I learned in the DK is a Street Performer SEO Challenge.

Do you think you could use some of these tips to help you in your marketing?

Leave a comment below – I’m curious to know what you think!

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Google, Why Do You Keep Giving Different Answers to the Same Question?05.20.09

In the last two weeks, I’ve probably typed the keyword phrase “DK is a Street Performer” into Google 300 times…

I’m just trying to keep track of my rankings for this previously non-existent keyword phrase (believe it or not, two weeks ago there were ZERO listings on Google for the keyword phrase DK is a Street Performer – but now, there are about 7,500!).

What I’ve noticed is something very peculiar – and I want to know what you think!

Watch the 6 minute video below and then tell me your opinion on this topic.  Why is Google consistently changing its answers to the same exact question?

Leave your answer in the comments below!

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Final Results of the “DK is a Street Performer” Challenge – And Lessons Learned05.14.09

If you’ve been following the fierce competition on the dk-is-a-street-performer Google keyword challenge this past week, then you’re probably just as tired as I am of typing the phrase

“dk is a street performer”

into the Google search bar.

I’ve personally gotten very involved in the challenge (and done very well, as you’ll see in the video below) – but if you think this is all about winning…

Okay, you’re partially right.

After all, in real life, you make money when people see your website and click on your links…

But here are seven very important lessons that I’ve learned along the way.  I’ll put them in the form of action steps, so you can print it out, or copy and paste it – save it somewhere for future reference.

  1. When it comes to new long tail keyword phrases (ones that have very little to no presence in the search engines) –

    be the first, and act fast.

    The first two sites to rank for the keyword phrase “dk is a street performer” were two twitter accounts who had simply blogged about the contest – and added the keyword phrase to their twitter bio.  These sites later stayed on the first page for a while – and then hung around the second page.

  2. Create as many different sites as possible.

    The strangest sites will rank on the first page of Google – for example, my flickr account.  You never know which site will end up on the first page.

  3. Don’t wait to see what your competition is doing before you act.

    Stay ahead of the game by going to new places – but be sure to check out your competition and also emulate what works for them.

  4. If something works, keep doing it!

    This blog post is a perfect example.  Google seemed to rank my blog very high, and in several places every time I posted using the keyword (dkisastreetperformer).  So I’m posting now – in hopes of bringing yet another website to the first page of Google.

  5. Watermark your pictures.

    Other than awarding an Amazon Kindle for the person who is able to rank the most sites on the first page of Google, Howie also offered a bonus for anyone who places DK’s face on the NYC Naked Cowboy.  When I uploaded an image that my wife had photoshopped for me, another marketer snagged it and put it up as his own.  This was actually the first lesson I had learned.  A watermark would have either kept him from taking the photo, or would have been even more advertising for me if he put it on his own site.
    Believe it or not, people take photos off the web all the time – even when they are not public domain.

  6. Use good SEO strategies.

    Sites come up on the first page of Google all the time – and then shift back down to the second, third, or even 47th page.  The way to get a site up and KEEP it up is to use good search engine optimization strategies (these can be learned in a variety of ways, but no one teaches them like Howie Schwartz.  Check out Howie’s Apprentice (link on the right).

  7. Even when you think you’re ahead, keep going.

    At one point, I had 8 of the 10 top spots on the first page of Google for the keyword phrase “dk is a street performer.”  Had I stopped at that point and declared myself victorious, my competition would have completely obliterated me.

So what happens now?

Well, personally, I’m going to be watching the keyword phrase dk_is_a_street_performer for a while.  Here are some things I’d like to find out:

  • Which sites have staying power?  Why?
  • How long does it take the search engines to see all strategies I used?
  • Which sites completely disappear?  Why?
  • Which of the SEO strategies I used worked best?  Which gave little to no result?  How can I improve those strategies?
  • Which sites creep up to the first page – even after marketing strategies have stopped?

Here is a video showing last night’s rankings.  But don’t stop with the video, read below!

So now…as we come up to the final hours of the competition…I need to ask you:

Who do you think will win the “dk is a street performer challenge,” Liane (me), or Rick?

Check out the photo below and then leave a comment with your response.
DK is a Street Performer: Liane vs Rick

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