AdSense Challenge – Part 4

So far in the challenge, we’ve picked a group of keywords, set up a site and added keyword-relevant content, started building backlinks to one specific page on our site on a regular basis and picked a “backup” keyword group that we can use to repeat the whole process on a second site. Next, we’re going to add a little more oomph to our backlink building.

If you’re familiar with some of my stuff, then you’ve probably heard me talk about “link reinforcement”. This is the principle we’re going to start making use of, next. In case you aren’t yet familiar with the concept, here’s a explanation:

Link Reinforcement

Link reinforcement is simply the process of “backlinking your backlinks” or, more accurately, building backlinks to pages that contain your backlinks.

Here’s a simple example: You register at a forum and create a forum profile link to your site. Now, you build links to your profile page on that forum, adding a second layer of backlinks.

The reason for doing this is that by reinforcing your backlinks like this, you increase their value to your site. One of the criteria used by Google to determine how valuable or important a backlink is, is by looking at how many other sites are linking to the page containing that backlink. If there are dozens or even hundreds of links pointing to the page containing your backlink, it will give your rankings a much more significant bump than if there were no backlinks to your backlink.

Link reinforcement is an essential component to the way I personally build backlinks. I like to create several pages, linking back to my site and then backlink those pages heavily (hundreds or even thousands of links to the page). I call these pages “link hubs”.


Build three link hubs.
Create three properties containing a backlink to your target page, that you will then reinforce by building more backlinks to them. Where to create those hubs? Basically, anywhere where you get an anchor-text, dofollow backlink is good. Even better if you can build a link on a high-PR domain, where the page you create might get some link-juice from the homepage. Here are two options:

Option 1: Web 2.0 Sites

Here are some of my favourites:

Option 2: Profile on High-PR Forum

Links from high-PR forums or even signature links within individual posts and threads can sometimes be made quite powerful with a bit of link reinforcement. Where to find such forums? One way is to go to and take a look at the forums listed there. Another option is to find forums by their footprint (a footprint is some piece of text that all forums based on a particular platform have in common).

Here are some footprints you can use:

  • “powered by phpbb” site:*/forum [keyword]
  • “powered by vbulletin” site:*/forum [keyword]
  • “powered by smf” site:*/forum [keyword]

Type these into Google and use SEO Quake to find the ones forums with high pagerank. The forums don’t have to have anything to do with the topic of your website, the keywords are just used to find various lists of forums. Instead of the site:*/forum parameter, you can also try inurl:forum or other variations.
The point is: Find a bunch of forums with high PR, create a profile and add your backlink to it, then start building links to that profile page.


Include link reinforcement in your link-building ritual.
In the previous step of the challenge, we started a daily backlinking habit (a.k.a. “the grind”). It could be something like submitting one article a day to a blog network, or just taking out a fixed amount of time each day to build links to your AdSense site.  Now, include building links to your three hubs as part of this daily ritual.

That’s all for this update.

Time: 5 days for all the steps above.

Let me know how things are going for you, so far!


About the Author Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • Rema says:

    Hi Shane,

    Great information as always. Though I’m not taking part in the AdSense challenge (I wanted to but find that I simply don’t have the time for it),I.m following the updates religiously. Whatever you talk here about backlinks is extremely helpful for me in my link-building work. Of course your Back Link Battle Plan is my most treasured guide and it has helped me gain success in my work.

    Thanks for the knowledge Shane


  • Thanks Shane, good stuff. This is a great method to learn your system step-by-step. I much appreciate your effort. Hope you are better soon and have a great 2011.

  • Hi Shane, just to clarify, is it the forum itself that has a high pr or would it still be beneficial if the forum itself has a low pr but is part a website with a high pr homepage?
    Thanks for all the tips – am creeping up the rankings!

    • Shane says:

      Hi Alison,

      That’s a good question. I’d definitely prefer the forum itself to have high PR. Ideally, there should also be a list of “newest members” as well as “now online”, which gives you a (temporary) direct link from the homepage to your profile. Makes it all the more likely that Google will find the profile.

  • Gerry says:

    Hi Shane,

    I wonder if you could link this strategy back to the Backlinks Battleplan which I am following for my adsense 100k blueprint site.

    I think I am getting a little confused between the activities requested for the Adsense Challenge and what I would be doing anyway by following the Backlinks Battleplan.


    • Shane says:

      That’s a good point you make, Gerry. Here’s my advice: Concerning the link building tasks, stick to Backlink Battleplan. For any other steps, follow the challenge, but in terms of quality and scope, the hours of material in BBP are naturally superior to anything I can put into a few blog posts.

      • Gerry says:

        Thanks Shane.

        Now I know to stay focused on BBP.

        So far, after two weeks, my Adsense site has 94 incoming links according to Yahoo site explorer, and growing. The BBP really works.

      • Shane says:

        You’re welcome. 94 links showing in Yahoo is pretty good. It seems to me that they’re showing fewer links now than they used to.

  • Ben says:

    Cool challenge Shane. I didn’t start the challenge with you, I was a little behind, but I got my first 100K Blueprint click about a week ago for $2.24. Yeah baby! LOL.

    My business partner and I are going to implement this strategy as a main part of our online business. This challenge should be fun.

    • Shane says:

      Awesome! Well done, mate! :)

      If that first click is any indication, that site could turn into a real cash-cow for you.

  • Ben says:

    Yeah it definitely is an inspirational first click.

  • Ellen says:

    Hi Shane!

    I am not entirely clear with the profile-backlinking. Does this mean, you look up a worthwhile forum, register an account and put a link to your website into your profile?
    -is there actually a difference in profile and signature regarding the quality of a backlink?
    – do you post in the forum? (I cannot imagine to keep posting in all forums where I would have to sign up for)
    – how do you link to a forum profile, so that it makes sense? Can you show an example, please?

    My site is getting first clicks and is also slowly creeping up the ranks. Number of backlinks is growing nicely, although one strange thing:
    I made a comment on one particular blog and within 2-3 weeks, I saw that I got about 80 backlinks from this one blog alone… I am quite worried, as I don’t think this is a good thing.
    Any advice on this would be much appreciated!

    Thanks and Happy New Year,

    • Shane says:

      Hey Ellen,

      – Yes, you simply sign up and put a link in your profile as well as in your signature (if you can). Particularly because the signature allows for anchor-text links, while the profile usually doesn’t.
      – No, you don’t have to post in the forum.
      – There’s usually an option like “my public profile” or just “my profile” that will take you to the correct URL. I’ll make a video illustrating this in the next update, ok?

      Congrats on your progress with the site! Don’t worry about the links. What probably happened is that this particular blog has a “recent comments” widget in the sidebar. If it’s in the sidebar, it means that your comment shows up on every single page of that blog, hence the large amount of backlinks from one single site. Absolutely nothing to worry about. :)

      • Ellen says:


        Thanks, this is good to know. That blog has indeed such a widget :o:
        So, once more with forum sigs: if you put a link into a sig, but never post, will this be found at some stage?

        Yes, a video on this would be really a great idea! Thanks so much,

  • Dave says:

    Thanks Shane

    Didn’t catch the adsense challenge, but I came here looking to see if the Backlink Battle Plan would be better to follow than the plan in AS100K. Already have one site up, and am just about to enter week 3 of the link plan. Have a couple Web20 properties, a couple article submissions and am trying to keep up with 10 links a day, plus the other items that are pretty good ideas (new posts every other day, articles to key article sites, etc) … but I still think focusing on BLBP techniques would be best.

    Taking it slow since this is a brand new domain (not aged at all).

    Any thoughts?

    Tks Shane!


  • Jim H. says:

    Hi Shane,

    An update on my first Adsense Challenge site …

    The site was created on 12/22 with a constant addition of content and links since that time. As of the last few days, traffic has been bouncing between 12 and 20+ visitors with most coming from social media sites (< 10% SE – mostly long-tail):

    Per Yahoo Site Explorer: Total logged backlinks: 29

    Google SERP positions range from 114 to 529 (broad match) & 102 to 514 (phrase match);

    Bing/Yahoo SERP positons – most KWs aren't ranked; the one that is #4

    I changed the theme from Bluesense to Socrates this week and have yet to activate Adsense on the site though I probably will within the next few days.

    I knew this KW group was fairly competitive just not quite this competitive. I started building this site following my initial read of the 100K Adsense Blueprint. Before this point I had only used Adsense as a secondary monetization method on sites I had developed for list building and wanted to see how well it works compared to my previous efforts on the list building sites.

    The 100K authors made the point in their KW research section about # competing pages not meaning that much so I went against one of the criteria I had used previously (along with assessing PR, age, links, on-page factors, etc).

    When I went back and checked # competing pages (phrase and allintitle) most of the KWs I originally targeted had loads of competing pages. I have since selected a few more KWs to target with lower traffic, but far less competing pages and meeting the other criteria. We'll see how it goes after adding content/links for the new KWs over the next weeks.

    I also started a second site (last night) for a domain I have owned for a few months that appears less competitive. I add updates relative to that site as it progresses in the future.



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