Craig Campbell Reveals Black Hat Secrets and More!
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Craig Campbell has been doing SEO for 20 years, has a YouTube channel with over 118k subs, has spoken at pretty much every SEO conference in the world, and does a lot of affiliate SEO and buying/selling websites.
In this episode of SirLinksalot’s SEO Podcast, Chris and Nick talk with Craig about his affiliate site portfolio, his current workload, how he’s using artificial intelligence to help his SEO, and a bunch of black-hat secrets.
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[02:24] What does your day-to-day look like when you’re not on the conference circuit?
I don’t do conferences as much as others think I do. I only do around five a year. I like to be hands-on with the businesses that I’ve got, overseeing them, making them better, strengthening their systems. I do a lot of YouTube live sessions.
[08:24] What kind of team do you have behind you these days?
I have a team of five in Glasgow. But they’re middle management, so they don’t do a lot of the grunt work. They have people below them who change all the time and do the grunt work.
[10:01] You used to do local SEO, but now you focus on affiliate and flip websites. How do you like what you’re doing now compared to when you first got started?
I did ten years of client work, and I needed tons of them to make substantial money. It became really, really stressful. I also didn’t have very good systems and processes and found myself working in the business rather than on the business. Today, I have a portfolio of anywhere between five-to-seven websites at any one time that I flip. People tend to see affiliate websites as a joke and just play around with them. The difference between success and failure is one’s willingness to take care of the small details. I focus on quality over quantity.
[17:48] As a website flipper, how do you know when it’s time to offload or sell a site? How about buying a site?
It depends on what you want from a website. You can work on one for six months and flip it on, but you won’t get your money’s worth as compared to working on it for nine-to-twelve months. As for buying a site, I look for scalability. I start out buying a site for $5-10,000 and look for weaknesses, whether on-page or off-page. I don’t have a preferred niche. I consider seasonality and favor sites with a higher ticket price.
[29:56] We heard you’re a fan of black-hat SEO. How black hat do you get when working on your websites?
It depends on what you call “black hat.” I’ve probably been as dirty as you could get in the past. GSA would form part of the link-building structure. There’s no advantage to denying something that works.
[40:00] Which black-hat tactics no longer work in 2023 that you were a fan of in the past?
I can’t think of any that don’t work at all anymore. It’s where and when you do it that are the key factors. Before, you could GSA blast your money website, and Google wouldn’t give a shit. Now, you can’t do that.
[46:59] Are there any black-hat gurus that you get updates from?
Chris Palmer, Holly Starks, Brian Kato.
[59:10] What is your opinion on AI content?
I’ve tried AI content as much as anyone out there, and I’m still struggling to see how it can stick around for the long term. I’ve seen too many ups followed by downs. I’m not trying to shit on AI, but a lot of things have to follow AI-generated content in order to make it work, such as a lot of human editing and not just simple copy-pasting text. I use AI for everything that I can, bar content… mainly social media posts and email replies.
[1:05:17] What AI tools do you use?
KoalaWriter, ZenWriter, and Article Fiesta mainly, after having tried every tool on the market.
[1:10:34] What are your thoughts on the SEO industry now that AI is here?
I’m positive about it. Human beings will still want to hear from human beings. You have to embrace automation, as we have embraced other developments over the years. ChatGPT can make our lives easier, but it’s about utilizing it for the right reasons.
[1:13:48] Where should beginners focus their energies at this point in the SEO cycle?
I would highly recommend building a personal brand and creating content like SirLinksalot. For me, video is king. You need a voice and a face in the industry. You can’t be the guy hiding in the background anymore. If you have skills but no brand to let others know about them, you’ll have an awkward predicament ahead of you where you drown in the crowd. Taking AI into account, you have to emphasize your humanness in the age of robots.
Hey I'm Chris, one of the founders here at SirLinksalot. I'm into building internet money machines (affiliate websites) and specialize in building backlinks. Find out more about me and my link building team.
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