The Shotgun Theory of SE positioning and promotion.


Site promotion is a very wide field that can be divided in smaller categories: online advertising, direct mail, SE (search engine) optimizing and positioning, link-builders and several others. Some companies in these fields are credible, which you can distinguish by their modest claims, and some are not, like those that promise thousands of visitors in a short time for a small price. 

When trying all those strategies one by one, we found only one cost-effective way of bringing visitors: fishing for lots of keywords at a time in the main SEs. Our "hook" or gateway pages, which are designed for top SE placement, are not a novelty. The fact that they are also called doorway pages, pointer pages, anchor pages, entry pages, landing, bridge, crawler, jump or supplemental pages reveals their age and popularity...

Several systems exist for automatically generating these Gateways. However, they are not easily found while searching: either SEs easily spot them and exclude them from their listings, or they lack the necessary content for being effective. "Content pages" is a good word among SEOs, meaning smartly hand-made pages, while "Gateway pages" is a bad word associated with abusive, cookie-cutter made pages.

Keyword selection is a very tough exercise. Some people purchase frequent keyword lists, some make research on search habits. Every promotion expert has its own views about selecting keywords. There are two guys who claim to have broken the Google algorithm, and one of their recommendations is in the keyword selection step. We publish their article in

Why not to use a shotgun instead of a rifle?. We do not concentrate our effort in the top, highly competitive keywords. Every keyword or keyword phrase we can think of, we use. We have enough disk space for them all. Hosting is cheap enough. We then use software to make enough content, SE optimized content pages that accommodate our army of keywords. We use so many keywords that we have to distinguish between parent keywords and child sub-keywords, in order to arrange them in interlinked page families. Our parent-child pages only mention keywords within the family, to avoid keyword-stuffing and build theme.

Ok, someone will claim: "You can not make hand-made pages by software. It is like the antique factory paradox: either they are antiques, or they are made...". That is true. We got tired of making our content pages one by one; there are many parameters to look at. They must have the correct amount of links. They must be spread across several domains. They must have all a different title and description.  They cannot all point to the same target. They must have an exact keyword density and prominence. And most importantly, they do not have to look like gateway pages. Believe me, they are a pain in the eyes...

Anyway, our "Shotgun" approach involves creating about 200-250 Gateway/Content pages for a standard website. We start obtaining enough content, either taking it from the main website or by making standard changes in the existing text. We then build a database of as many keyword phrases as we can find, content text, file names and other data. The last step is page generation following the accepted rules for good positioning, devoting each page to one keyword (parent-child pages) or two randomly chosen keywords (random pages).

The "random" pages are an important, additional component in this strategy. We must admit that nobody knows how to make top-ranking web pages, except for the SE algorithm designers themselves. Thus, we make lots of pages with randomly chosen parameters: keyword selection, density and order, page length, image selection, metatag wording and others. We upload them all, submit them to the SEs by means of a hallway or sitemap page, and wait until the next Google dance.

It usually works quite well. But there is one problem remaining: the pages that we manage to locate in the top ranking are usually ugly and only indirectly point to our main website. They are not keyword-stuffed, but they still have more keywords and links than a normal page, and they would not resist an abuse denounce and a review by a human Google reviewer. This is a consequence of our positioning effort, our random mixing of elements and our fear of challenging the SEs abuse squad.

The solution is simple: after we promptly identify the pages that came to the top, we make a little retouching: colors, logo, structure, content. We leave title, metatags and a few other critical items intact: colors, logo, structure, content. Like in most favoured positions in life, it seems that staying in the SE top is easier than arriving there...


Sergio R. Samoilovich

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