Seth Godin and the Google Panda Update

What do Seth Godin (author, marketing cult-figure and notorious bald guy) and the Google Panda update (change in Google algorithm that left a lot of sites in the dust) have to do with each other? Watch the video below to find out:



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Note that what I’m talking about aims to go beyond the niche marketing grind. That grind being: you pay someone to create mediocre content based around a set of keywords, throw that content on a site, then pay someone to create some junky spun content and use that to build tons of backlinks from wherever you can. The grind still works, but if you’re looking to go further than that and looking to get more traffic, traffic that sticks and returns and looking to “future proof” your sites, then I think what I talk about in the above video is highly relevant.

I think that especially in the IM niche, there’s too much emphasis on the “factory produced” type of 800-word-keyword-rich-article content and there may just be huge potential for traffic and profit if you consider some alternatives.

Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.


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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  • First: Quality content is not to be confused with unique content… Content curation plain works. That’s why it is regarded as a problem by some (=Google).

    I disagree with you Shane. Good content is and should be the fundament. It does not need to be outstanding. Even usual good content does get shared. You just have to think about the sharing options you add to your content…

    Using video and images enhances what you have to say, thus resulting in longer time on site and more shares (if sharing is easy to do).

    Social sharing definately is a Google raning factor. They even confirmed it and I have done 2 case studies proving it.

    You need likes and even more important you need shares. Why: because quality stuff gets shared ofcourse. (i call this the quality circle: QC)

    So the bottom line is: you need quality content. This can be 1 sentence (a quote) or a full book, a video, a 300 word article etc. And it has to be really easy to share that content from the place you are digesting it.

    Simply look at how facebook, youtube, twitter offer content sharing options. They are integrated! Where are your social (sexybookmarks plugin or so) share buttons Shane? :)

    Quality gets shared. Produce quality in any business and you are good for the long term.

    • Shane says:

      Hi Emiel,
      thanks for your input!
      Very interesting perspective, too. As I said in the video it’s my impression (and it’s been my experience) that just “good” content doesn’t get shared. Making sharing easy is definitely something to consider. I don’t have any sharing thingies on this blog and it’s because I believe they wouldn’t get used anyway. I used to have some sharing stuff here and on a previous, personal blog. Especially on that previous blog, I was working very hard to create awesome content and I had social sharing options right on every page and post.
      Guess how many shares I got, in total, for everything I ever put on there? Zero.
      So, maybe I’m just bitter or maybe I did something else wrong.

      But here’s a different question. How about incentivizing sharing, rather than just facilitating it?

  • Norma says:

    It amuses me a bit when people like Seth Godin talk about creating all this compelling content–which of course is ideal, but unattainable for the average affiliate marketer.

    If I had not a whit to do all day but research and create memorable content, especially for only one site, I could do it. But I have to manage my stable of affiliate sites, get back links, monitor site stats, create landing and opt-in pages and all of the other mundane things it takes to be a successful affiliate.

    Seth and his ilk neglect to mention that sites that do create this type of content likely have staff writers whose sole function is to produce this type of content. Their writers never have to worry about all of the details mentioned above.

    Seth has also been online forever, and has the type of reputation that people would read his stuff even if it turned into total drivel.

    Most of us don’t have the luxury of waiting five or ten-years to build up the reputation that Seth has before we can make a profit.

    So what’s the answer? I don’t know.

    Are we destined to see a world where the only people who can make a buck online are the ones who have the most resources at their fingertips? An interesting point of discussion, at any rate, Shane.

    • Shane says:

      I think you make a really good point there, Norma.
      Specifically that “celebrity status” is a huge ranking factor. When a person or brand gains a certain status, then anything they say or produce is treated with reverence. And quite often, celebrities or cult figures do make rather mundane or uninspired statements, but the statements are still received with great enthusiasm because of who made them.

      So, is branding the answer?
      This is certainly something to consider. Problem is: becoming a celebrity isn’t exactly easy or replicable either.

      • Kelvin says:

        Norma, continue thinking this way and you will be sure to suffer more in the near future.

        For now, the typical 10 to 30 pages of affiliate sites with backlinks and keyword research done properly can get you some quick and fast cash, but it isn’t that difficult for anyone to see that model is going to die out soon.

        It is getting too ridiculously easy for anyone to making such sites, some people can churn out 10 or 20s of them in a single day…

        One should consider starting to build up a brand of awareness around their site.. it actually isn’t that difficult as hard as people think it is. I know of a guy who built practically 0 backlinks to his site but he is ranking for a lot of terms (including a one word term) because he has good siloing structure and onpage SEO.

        But of course – theres a catch … his website currently has more than 20,000 pages indexed in Google… more than enough to become “authoritative” in Googles eye.

        So start expanding the sites that you can see potential in to something much more bigger and build a brand around it before it is too late to play catching up later on in the game.

  • Ben Wan says:

    Hi Shane,

    You’ve asked a very interesting question about remarkable content.

    First, I’m glad that you’ve point out that Google is and remain a robot it can’t read our content the same way a human do.

    Ok to your question, how can one determine objectively what is great content objectively and what is remarkable content. It all depends on the audience to determine that. I find what gets viral most of the time isn’t great content but funny stuff/videos, outrageous content, gossips, shocking news, and mostly shallow content etc. Great and profound content will rarely get viral except among small circle.

    Where does that leave us as marketers? Those who are great communicators are have an unfair advantage of course, nevertheless in the IM niche you can also count on affiliates to be the one sharing your contents.

    Also the question I ask, with Internet marketing are we trying to be remarkable or simply trying help people to solve people their problem?

    Ben Wan

    • Shane says:

      Hi Ben,
      Thanks for your comment!

      Yeah, isn’t it crazy how a video of a cute kitten can get a thousand times more traffic in a week than a site where somone worked for hours and hours, month after month to create great content?

      As for your second question, my take is that as an affiliate marketer, you are really mainly concerned with connecting the right people to the right product. If you have your own product and/or your own brand, being remarkable becomes more important.

      On the other hand, look at something like Groupon.
      They don’t have “quality content”. What they have is a concept that is remarkable and that is, by nature, viral.
      My affiliate sites with loads of content are making a couple thousand $. They, with no content to speak of, are making billions… (and they are essentially also just affiliates).

      That’s one of the things that got me thinking about this whole topic.

    • Russell Hall says:

      I think you’ve really nailed it here Ben in relation to your comment about remarkable content taking somewhat of a back seat when compared to the “funny stuff/videos, outrageous content, gossips, shocking news, and mostly shallow content etc.”

      Maybe the answer then is to study comedy, satire and social psychology and somehow weave that into one’s site or blog?

      In any case I just felt that I would let you know that your observation and comment resonated with me as that too has been my observation and experience.

      Cheers Ben,.. and thanks Shane for this very interesting post.

      Russell Hall

  • matt wiggins says:

    Good video, and a lot of cool stuff to think about.

    Here’s the thing – Google keeps updating their algo for two main reasons:

    1 – give the user the best possible experience

    2 – to keep people like us (IMers) from easily gaming the system (which I think is not only to accomplish #1, but also somewhat based in the idea that if SEO is a big enough pain in the ass, advertisers will eventually just jump ship to PPC, but that’s a whole other topic)

    But, like any other system that can be gamed, every time google changes the rules, IMers will still find a way to game the system – it just takes time. I mean, when google first decided backlinks must be a sign of good content, what happened? IMers went nuts on backlinking campaigns.

    In my mind, google doesn’t know what’s remarkable content and what’s not. And it’s not just b/c it’s an algo doing the analysis – humans couldn’t even necessarily do it. If I were to come upon a blog about gardening, I wouldn’t know if it was awesome or it sucked b/c I know nothing about gardening. So, even then, google would have to have legions of humans all well-versed in different areas of expertise browsing the entire intrawebz to determine what’s remarkable and what’s not. And we all know that’s not going to happen.

    That’s why (IMO), google has to rely on these outside factors – and social media is just the next factor that’s come along. But I don’t think it’ll be that long before IMers are gaming that, too.

    Go to fiverr – there are tons of people that can get you hundreds of ‘likes’ on your FB fan page overnight for just a few bucks. Well, I don’t think it’ll be long before you see people offering services to ‘share’ your content on FB or re-tweet your content or the like pretty soon, as well.

    However, after doing a lot of talking about certain sites and why they seem to be ranking well (looking them up in site explorer), this video made me realize a common denominator for several sites – blog comments.

    If this whole social sharing thing is true, it’d stand to reason that blog comments (from a backlinking perspective) could be very helpful.

    At the same time, one would think if you have a blog and can convince others to comment on your posts, then that would carry some of the same sorta social weight, as well.

    No proof for either one – just thinking out loud…

    • Shane says:

      Hey Matt, thanks for your comment!

      I do believe that it’s important for SEO to remain “complicated”. As you say, this will send people to AdWords. It’s probably also the best prevention of search engine spam: if it’s more difficult to get free traffic through spammy methods than it is to just buy traffic or create better content, then Google wins.

      Interesting point concerning blog comments.
      One way in which they add value is definitely in that they simply add more content to a page.

      Look at this page, as an example: there’s already more content on here that isn’t written by me than content written by me…
      If comments are also a ranking factor beyond adding content, what would happen if I deactivated the spam filter? :D

      • matt wiggins says:

        Gotta say, I hadn’t even thought of the content side of things re getting comments on your own blog. I was just thinking in terms of google seeing social interaction and the social ‘juice’ (kinda like a localized social media thing…not sure if that makes sense).

        But it does add additional content…and google loves constant and new content, right?

        Thoughts on how new content in the form of continuous additional blog comments (over a short period of time, of course – no blog post is gonna a significant number of consistent comments in the long-term) vs adding a new post/article?

  • Fran Civile says:

    Interesting thoughts Shane, somewhat straining my attention this Monday at 6 am. I’ve been put off lately by this onsite SEO concept that has – for example – Copyblogger’s Scribe giving points for including one hyperlink per 120 words!

    I suppose writing remarkable content or content that sells something depends on who I’m writing for: people or search engines. But do I really need five hyperlinks in a 600 word article to recommend buying a product?


    • Shane says:

      That’s a very fitting example, Fran.
      Scribe SEO is an attempt to break down the on-page “quality content” thing into a very clear pattern. And you end up with something like one link per 120 words which just makes you think: “that can’t be right…”

  • Pearson Brown says:

    It surprises me to hear you criticise your own content. I think is regularly of the highest standard. You produce content WITH ATTITUDE and I would repost it to Facebook if you provided me with an easy way of doing it. But I think Facebook remains one of your blindspots ;-)

    The question is, is it possible to have attitude in a post on acne or dog training or the rest of the IM markets?

    • Shane says:

      Ah, attitude!
      That’s a very intersting point. Something mundane said in a colorful way is more remarkable than something interesting said in a boring way, right?

      I can imagine that it’s possible to do this with topics like acne or dog training as well.
      Look at Gary Vaynerchuk and his wine show. He brings a completely unexpected level of energy to the topic, but it ends up working.
      Taking acne as an example, I bet someone could create a lot of buzz by ranting about the woes of having acne and about how most of the industry based around it is a huge scam.
      Just a thought.

      • James Oliver says:

        it is an interesting point about the attitude thing… and the spicing it up with humor thing etc… but what I see here is really content that is ‘designed’ or enginerred to be optimum for social media sharing is essentially the same types of recipes for what is more traditionally known as link bait –

        so on an average site maybe you don’t have every post designed this way, but you have a few or add one once in a while depending on scope of the site the uses some angle just like link bait to get people to share (and link to as well)….

        an example i was thinking of – in a niche of mine it which it seems every new company opening up claims to be the first to sell this product, the best company in the market (out of hundreds now), the ‘best’ product offered (when most are oem clones of literally the SAME product) etc… so making a spook company up exaggerating all these points and showing it sort of as a comic/brochure of something on one of my review sites would be a potential idea of good link bait / share-friendly content. Especially if I make it visually compelling – which as a designer who does IM I am lucky I can do myself, but it is not hard to hire that out… it is only one example – just look into other types of link bait strategies (controversy, bold statements, free resources/download, something really useful like a good tutorial etc could apply in many many niches)… heck even a flash zit popping game might actually work as something funny on an acne site if done the right way….

        yes these are more intensive to do than most average seo article pages and posts, but once you get people to your site – and I’m sure google factoring in some highly shared pages will improve your whole sites ranking (i would suppose at least)

        … and one last point – which was raised in the link liberation course i was a member of for a while – basically no one wants to be the first to share usually (in the same way as no one wants to be first to comment)… I notice Shane you have a good way of engaging readers and asking for comments by raising questions… you have to find a way to ask for the share in some similar manner I think, but ALSO using fiverr or other services to yes admittedly fake the first few shares isn’t a bad idea… or using your own roster of accounts can make this easy ;)


  • Pearson Brown says:

    Ok you have got a like button now. I’ve used it. Welcome to the twenty-first century.

  • J Wilson says:

    Interesting post Shane, asks more questions than it answers which is unusual for you. Let me give you my take on it.

    First of all it does not always matter, if you are just looking to get a backlink on an article site you might well assume that only a bot will see it. Assuming that it DOES matter then the forumula is simple; treat each article like a product. Put yourself in your customers shoes, what are their problems, how can you solve them and how will you communicate the BENEFITS rather than the features?

    What this ultimately means is that you have to do your homework and get passionate about your subject. Of course this does mean that you have to give up your time and it is only when you do this that you realise that $7 an hour is cheap if the article is good enough.

    The alternative is to stick to what you know, so if you are mad on Golf and have learnt some great tips, TELL THE STORY. So the first article is about how you got started in Golf, how awful your game was and how you felt you would never improve, then one day a good friend of yours gave you some advice…and so on.

    If you tell a story you can lead things on to the next one, I do it with by kids with bedtime stories and I then have tender for good behaviour because they won’t get one the next night if they don’t behave.

    Sometimes it is the obvious, I know a skinny runt like you might find it difficult to relate to weight loss problems, but go join some forums and just read. It won’t take long for you to pick up some great ideas to share and the value YOU add may be just to organise the tips into logical steps.

    Hope this helps!

    • Shane says:

      This is some really good stuff!
      I like the idea of treating a piece of conent like a product. Very interesting approach.

  • felipe says:

    hi shane
    the reason i dont share a lot of good stuff (such your posts) is because none of my facebook friends are interested on that. I don’t have a twitter account but if i had it would be the same case.

    I have a micro niche website and well, no one wants to share stuff from a website like “sony vacuum cleaner models”. So what I do is to add link baits content related to that such “top 10 vacuum cleaner explosions” or whatever

    Also, whenever a 7$ articles start getting traffic and generating revenue, nothing more intelligent than invest into it again in order to keep shaping a better content, something that really deserves to be on 1st spot, something that you would show to you grandma.

    So, at the end of the day (IM marketers love to say this phrase), Google can manually visit my website….probably recognize as a made for adsense website…but the content is topnotch comparing to the top 10

    • Shane says:

      Ah, that’s another interesting point. Things like cute kittens or funny videos (see Ben’s comment further up) are more universally appealing and so they are more “shareable” by nature.

      I love the example of “top 10 vacuum cleaner explosions”, by the way. That’s brilliant!

  • steve says:

    People watch reality programs on TV, these are low cost to produce and the quality is often not that good but they get lost of eyeballs watching that little rectangular window called a TV.

    I’m not certain it is about quality at all. Being remarkable is a word that is multi-faceted. For example, people will watch a video of someone acting a fool or a cute kitten chasing it’s tail and won’t watch a video about building a better society.

    The reality in this context is that; Google drive our behaviour, our culture and society drive our behaviour, the way money works drives our behaviour.

    Seth and other guru’s may talk about being remarkable but it’s not the real truth.



    • Shane says:

      Yeah, much of the most successful media is really just garbage.

      Then the question is, can you create successful garbage like that and still make good money off of the traffic?
      And if you can, would you even want to? Not sure myself.
      Although maybe mixing in some “lighter” and more shareable content with the more serious content might be an option.

  • Norm says:

    Hello Shane,
    As usual you move the bar up a notch.

    I must say also that the advice and opinions of the authors above is even better than usual this week. They have their heads screwed on right.

    Me, I’m a pretty good writer. I was a writer decades before I was a marketer. Occasionally I produce a really outstanding blog arkle with the intent of seeing it go viral. Unfortunately, it’s never happened. It’s an unrealized goal and sadness in my life.

    I console myself with the notion that viral is a splash in the pan. Here today, gone tomorrow. Of little value, really. Much more important is the long slow slog of producing those standard articles you speak of that will stand the test of time and flip the right switches with that nasty Googlebot.

    I’ll say this. Several of my early sites were built on a keyword stuffing model. Many of those went by the wayside in the Google revision before last. But they sure worked great guns while they worked.

    Lately, one of my quality sites went to #1. It’s an amazing thing, the difference between #1 and the middle of page one as for Adwords. That site was built on the good old standard model of good articles, etc.

    So, the wrap up is that unless you can hit them out of the park on a regular basis, the next best thing is to use the Backlinks Battleplan model of good craftsmanship.

    More often than not, it will yield the results you are after. I say more often than not, because Google is still undependable. Some days they reward crap, and some days you can’t get to page 1131 with a gem of work. Blessed be the name of Google.

    As always, I look forward to your weekly video!


    • Shane says:

      Hey Norm, I have a similar take on the whole “viral” thing. It’s really hard to make it happen and even if you do, it’s only one spike of traffic. Not really that great.

      The goal would have to be to make something more consistently remarkable. Not just one piece of content, but an entire concept for a site.

      On the other hand the “grind” of good articles and good backlinks is definitely still a viable strategy and may continue to be so for years to come. We just don’t know yet.

  • Olivia says:

    Norma says it all.

    With everything else I have to do everyday to keep my online business going, I hate working under the pressure of having to chase a train that’s leaving the station, carrying passengers who could, easily, afford the price of a ticket.

    • Shane says:

      Yeah, I have that problem also.
      The video above is part of my search for a better solution.

  • Shane,

    You do generate really important content… I know because I’ve been coming back for more every Sunday and for a few months now.

    But what I learn from this is that the ability to hold people’s attention and get them to interact is even more of an important skill than writing content that is pure genius. Offering people something in return for Facebook likes and Twitter shares does seem to work… unfortunately too many people are forcing “likes” before sharing any content.

    Also, I am not in agreement about great genius content… just lots of content seems to be good enough in Google’s eyes. Annyone who can write unique content of 500+ words and keep it up will definitely see improvement in the SERPs. As for social sharing… I can see a new SEO industry of buying Facebook likes and Twitter shares on Fiverr.

  • Bruce says:

    Seems to me quite a few contributors have nailed this one.

    Speaking as someone who has neither a Twitter nor a Facebook account (and is thus in a state of “ignorance is bliss”), much of the social comment stuff is froth – here today and gone today, not even tomorrow. Lightweight comments, lightweight opinions.

    While most affiliate sites may not be built for the real long haul, they are at least middle distance runners, not sprinters.

    I’m getting clicks from material I wrote and published three years ago. It wasn’t earth-shattering stuff, but it was longish, original, and tried to solve a problem or at the very least provide useful information.

    I have to believe that ultimately Google will value that approach somewhat higher than whatever great thoughts can be expressed in 199 characters (or whatever the number is that Twitter allows one).

    • Chris says:

      I couldnt dissagree more regards the social media comments and as much as I hate the concept of social media, it is very real and very much here to stay, the basic facts of how huge it has become in such a small space of time speak for themselves and if you are trying to make money online now and in the future regrdless of whether you are a brick and mortar offline buisness, a huge nation wide brand, an affliate or an info marketer, if you dont fully appear to be embracing it, you will really suffer.

      Your suggestion that the comments are just fluff, is totally correct, BUT, those ‘fluff’ comments prove to the search engines that people actually like or dislike your site / product and this percieved level of social interation will become probably THE biggest influence on organic rankings, as back links as we know them now become just a distant memory.

  • Kim says:

    Hello Shane

    I have a short list of roughly six people I follow. I look forward each week to their [remarkable] updates. You are one, Seth Godin happens to be another.

    It’s sadly true that remark-ableness can be achieved easily and fleetingly by posting a trashy YouTube video or offensive blog rant. This is cheap celebrity. However, it can feel disheartening if we newbies start to think we must play that game as part of driving traffic to launch and sustain a IM business.

    However, to steer us away from this disheartening notion, I need to introduce another Seth Godin idea – Tribes.

    Shane, you are creating a tribe – a remarkable thing. Unlike cheap celebrity, or gaming the “like” button using offshore talent, the leadership of a tribe is organic, takes time to grow, and has a give-and-take between members. And now, with technology, we can create our tribes without leaving our desks. You are a [remarkable] role model for that.

    Shane, you don’t have to produce exceptional content every week to retain my loyalty as tribe member. You just have to remain congruent. (Ex.: You changed your tongue-in-cheek “RichQuickReview” to “IM Impact” as you evolved your message to ensure there was no misunderstanding of your intent.) The result: I follow your blog and bought one of your awesome, er remarkable, products.

    I believe I can run multiple niche sites as I develop a tribe. That’s a key part of the business model I am using – and it’s slower. Not everyone in one niche will want what what I’m selling in another niche – but a strong congruent identity will umbrella it all. I need to dig really deep into who I am, and why I care about each niche topic. I believe my much-needed success now at the age of 56 will depend on creating a tribe by being visible and congruent. I hope others will find it worth-remarking-upon.

    Shane, your Sunday Update is always engaging, sometimes fun and rambly, sometimes a bit of a rant, and sometimes, like today, it rises to the exceptional. I feel I am part of something remarkable when I read your stuff, and remain loyal through it all.

    I’m off to hit the ‘like’ button.


  • matt wiggins says:

    Something else to think about…

    WHY is it that you care about social media? Is it b/c you think your content has the true potential to go viral, or is it b/c we know (or at least strongly believe) that google gives juice to social media?

    IMO, social media like Facebook and Twitter are just the next steps in the content syndication process. For any of us that have done any form of content syndication, did we do it b/c we thought we were actually going to get a lot more traffic to our sites and/or eyeballs on our content? Likely not. We did it for backlinks.

    If you can get people to ‘like’, ‘share’, or ‘tweet’ your content at the click of a button (say offer a one-click freebie), then, aside from the possible sales funnel you could lead them into, would you do it b/c you thought your content had a better chance of going viral, or b/c it’s a way of getting your traffic to actually help perpetuate your SEO?

  • We live in a culture where TV dinners weren’t fast enough, so they invented microwavable TV dinners. I’m afraid that same attitude has infected Internet marketing. People aren’t content to build a website naturally, they look for ways to speed the process up. Just as a microwaved TV dinner doesn’t taste as good as a home cooked meal, these ‘microwave’ websites just aren’t as good either. Whether it’s push button software, social media blitzing, or whatever the new shortcut method is, it works for a short time and then stops.

    The real secret is high quality content and TIME. Provide your visitors with the information they want and the rest will take care of itself. It just takes longer. Maybe a lot longer. But you’ll have a site that is more likely to last and less likely to be affected by any changes in the Google algorithm.

    Well, just heard the microwave timer beep, so it’s time to eat. Gotta go.

  • Peter says:

    Wow….some great interaction here Shane.For those who have contributed to the discussion and given your answers….thanks…..this is a great community to learn from.

    On a lighter note….my thoughts were dashed at the 5’40” mark of your video Shane when you asked US for the answer. You were doing so well up to then. I thought you were going to excel even more than you have in the past and provide US with the answers.

    I am like you Shane and am not fantastic at writing sensational content which people will bookmark or share but I get the job done.

    My contribution to the answer….yes, it’s a robot and it can’t read….yet.

    Our real readers will react differently to content in different ways. The same piece of content may not appeal to one as is would to another and therefore sharing will be subjective to persona.

    There is no definitive answer to what makes the best content people will pick up and share. The most prolific sharing I see online is based on humor…..perhaps we can all build some of that into our sites content.

  • Sirian says:

    I haven’t gone through all of comments as yet……but I did want to share my 2 cents.

    I would believe that remarkable content has more to do with the “value” it provides than anything else.

    I’ve read short blog post that provided extremely high value b/c they were either the right information at the right time or provided some intrinsic value – like out-of-the-box perspectives, innovative thinking, or plain and simple entertainment. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve run across 1000+ page books that probably have more use as a doorstop or paperweight – to me, at least.

    In short I think people are more likely to remark about content that provides them with value & the more that value is perceived by a wider audience (or more audiences) then the higher it’s “remarkability” is.

  • Sirian says:

    Shane…..also, where can you get re-markable, quality content written for $7/hr? Please share.

  • Chris says:

    I would echo Sirian’s comments that ‘remarkable’ content is very much in the eye of the beholder and because of this we should all ignore trying to create it unless of course someone can come up with a completley new concept, then that by its very definition will be ‘remarkable’.

    I would say if people want to attract social interaction to their common and garden amazon review site or affilate review sites etc then a change in tac needs to take place.
    You have to accept that the content is never ever going to be useful or helpful to the majority of people, its only ever going to ‘remarkable’ to people with a particular probelm that needs solving at that particular moment.

    How do we know what they are thinking? Through their tweets, their facebook status’s, their you tube vid searches and many many more ways, so all we have to do is change the way we market and get our message to them at the right time, be it through a ‘helpful’ tweet, an infromative, ranked video, a targetted facebook ad, basically we can spy and track on what words people are using, so we can go direct to them and say ‘hey, heres a potential soloution to your problem’

    Net effect is they go to your page and becuase they were already talking to their friends / followers etc about the said issue then they will more than likely say, guess what problem solved I went to http://www.xyc and it was really good etc etc etc and instantly you have caused a miniscule amount of ‘social buzz’ and it just rolls on from there.

    Now thats a pretty simplified version, but hopefully you will get what I mean, its not so much the content that needs to change or be awesome everytime, its more how clever we are when it comes marketing and positioning our selves through the medium of social media to allow people to find us.

  • Grateful Al says:

    Seems to me that unless one is very creative, terribly witty, semi-wacky, or brilliantly controversial, making the social networking thingy work is less than an optimal choice.

    I guess since no one has written the definitive “Guide to Social Networking Success For the Social Retard” yet, I’ll stick with the backlink building so clearly laid out in Shane’s BLBP and look to find relevant blogs to submit guest posts.

  • teatree says:

    Google is still just a bot. So the only way they can tell if content is “remarkable” is by looking at it’s link profile.

    If you think about a piece that goes viral – it will have ALL of the following elements in it’s link and social media profile: lots of mentions on twitter; lots of shares on traditional bookmarking sites (digg and reddit). Links ranging all the way from hundreds of minor insignificant blogs to authority websites and news sites. Not just facebook likes, but the appearance of the link to the content on a lot of facebook WALLS (and we know that G spiders facebook walls).

    One thing you won’t see on content that has gone viral is a lot of profile links – because why on earth would someone share your link on their own profile? Only self-promoters put links on their profile, and these are always their own links, never other people’s.

  • Norm says:

    I just read all the new comments. Here here! This is the best discussion yet. Super job, Shane! Good work all!

    One last thought on the viral topic… My brilliant political site (with which I have ALL the fun and make absolutely zilch profits) gets a re-run on a place called Before It’s News ( ) . For the reprint rights I get another backlink to my site and I kind of include a link to one of my other sites at the bottom of the arkle post as well. Ok. Fair enough.

    Before It’s News is a compendium of this and that kind of WordPress site in the newsy vein. It’s an excellent concept. It has a ton and a half of contributors.

    At first, my posts were viewed big time. Then the views fell off big time. A little checking shows that as BIN matured the consistent top views are stuff like:

    — Mars Probe Shocker – Are There Trees On Mars
    — Exploding Watermelons – Acres of Crops Erupt

    My poor political site is a serious mix of high brow serious/satire think pieces. By the BIN stats, it’s a loser. The winners are stories in the tinfoil tabloid vein.

    Common sense tells me that if you want to produce a popular website, all you have to do is to write total crap. Writing good crap is harder than it looks though.

    So, if you or your readers want to go for a super popular gee-wow site, go with aliens and watermelons.Pet rocks still sell. It’s what the world craves.


  • Hello Shane,

    I like your videos.

    I encourage everyone to take one day out of each month to improve and refine their content. Such as:

    – Copy and paste your content into your word processing software, and correct any typos or poor sentence structure.

    – Run your webpages through and correct coding errors.

    – Spend an extra 5 minutes before you post something online. Make sure it is readable and try to make it unique.

    In addition, Facebook is more important than twitter for many reasons that I won’t get into here. Go make money on facebook, and realize that it’s a different game than search engine marketing.

  • Pepper says:

    Hi Shane:

    Re: SAMs Social Appreciation Matrix/Reaping Relevance Rewards From Your Tribe

    I sometimes find it instructive to “post hubbub” ….let the comments die down and then come back with a mental mine sweeper.

    This is one of the best comment threads I’ve ever seen on an IM site.

    Building A Site With the End in Mind

    At the end of the day, aren’t we all looking for actionable insights for affiliate site builders and for authority site builders focused on how to bring to blog remarkable content to earn online back pats (plaudits) to burnish our brands?

    Would it be possible to plan our new online property with not only target keywords, and a Backlink battle PLan but also include a Socail Appreciation Matrix

    Constructing a SAM Social Appreciation Matrix

    Seems Clear that Blog Comments based on relevance + number of uniques, is a keystone natural social appreciation metric. How do we gather the comparative data across blogsite/website subject matter categories?

    Would it make sense to flaunt it if we’ve earned it……xyz has an average community comment volume ex spam of 100 + 24/7 putting this info in the top 2% of the im category for the 30 day period June 1st to…

    FB likes, how much weight should be put on this? ***

    Retweets, hashtags, and any postings or whatever to DIGG et al same question and

    Forum Comments?

    Viral Propensity: how novel is the content, what’s the medium of the message e.g. how fast does a You Tube video reach a designated threshold of views, + a trust/reputation factor.

    We can actually test the tone of writing for social appreciation for example: matter of fact, sarcastic, black humor, ironic, cynical, how close/far away from The Rich Jerk.

    Stir All this Together by Weighting and You Get Social Heft/SAM Social Appreciation Matrix


    ***As one commentator said mentioned above, it so easy to game the system with help from Fiverr.

    That’s why I’d like to come up with an “Organic Seal of Good Quality” that confirms that FB likes are not artificial votes.

    Remarkable Writing

    When it comes to Souped Up Consistently Remarkable IM Writing My Mind Turns to Naomi Dunford and of course to Kern.

    Obviously one way or the other Remarkable Content must engage the reader, viewer, listener.

    Hopefully this metric is adequately covered by Facebook likes if they are not gerrymandered.

    Finally I think we should add in a Celebrity Affiliation metric. After all if a proven guru like ….Shane MeLaugh or say Aaron Wall write a comment on my blog then it gets higher social appreciation ..juice.


  • Boris says:

    High quality content… Let’s make it clear that if the content is not being judged by a robot but a human being there will be always a degree of subjectivity in grading that content.

    People don’t like the same movies, people don’t like the same books and the same celebrities. What I am talking about is creating a profile of your target market. What type of individuals do you pitch to? Smart? Not so smart? Age, interests, ability to read, their needs, likes, the list goes on.

    Big marketing companies have this data, in fact they have a psychological profiles on their target market. This type of info is very powerful if used properly of course in creating a what Seth refers to a “remarkable” content.

    I recommend to everyone, start digging deeper into what makes your target market tick. Too many marketers rely on pre-canned letters, calls to action, squeeze pages, the same page layouts and sales cycles. Yes, it still works but not as it used to. Besides, the competition is getting stiffer by day.

    I see a possibility where next Google update will specifically target micro niche sites and compare them with authority sites on the same topic/keyword theme and will result in downgrading their search results even they appear ahead in the link battle.

    Thank you Shane for your contribution and this post.

  • Mike says:

    It’s very strange Seth’s blog doesn’t allow blog comments.

    • Shane says:

      I think it was something about getting flooded with spam. If I recall correctly, he stated that nowadays, practically everyone has a blog of their own, so if you want to comment his stuff, you can do it on your own blog.

      I gotta say that I can understand. A blog as popular as his must get billions of spam-comments…

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