Link Building: Site Directories

An easy way to build backlinks is through directory submissions.  Anything hard though is worth more, so keep in mind directory submissions don’t carry the weight that in content links will.  With that said there is still diluted value in link directories, just don’t focus on them.

Here are some link directories and they are organized by SEO power.

The button below opens a new window with about 100 sites. We also have the following directory sites maintained by Ultimate SEO and these are always free to list with.  This site also has a directory on it built in…you can access it by the top menu bar.

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Link Building: Site Directories

Multi-Domain Strategy In SEO … Risky But Lets Have Some Risk

So I feel like its everyone’s dream to be a media conglomerate, why buy one newspaper when you can buy 100s?  Well, SEO and the internet are one big community…so in the analogy … why build multiple newspapers in the same city?  No one would do that and it’s about the same with the internet or at least it should be…but everyone wants to have multiple top ranking domains.

Real Life Examples Of Multiple Domains

There is only two ways this could work out…

  • Your brand is merging with another equally powerful and recognized brand and dissolving either brand will leave a huge gap that competitors will fill fast than you can with your one brand.  Example … Zillow bought Trulia for 3.5 billion they represent the number one and number two home listings sites.  They have continued to operate two sites in the same niche because anything other than what they have now is less than optimal.  SO … you can do the same when your billion dollar company buys out your #2 competition for 4 billion or so dollars.  Until then…this first scenario doesn’t work for you.

zillow has a multiple domain strategy

zillow has a multiple domain strategy

Trulia Is In A Multiple Domain Strategy

  • Your brand is buying a vertical business…(word for it escapes just now but its not the point so moving on) Let’s say you make eyeglasses, you make almost all of the eyeglasses.  So you buy the stores that sell them and then you buy the vision insurance company too.  Thats what I mean…Your original business was production and you dealt with retail outlets, you couldn’t make hardly any more glasses so you expanded vertically in the supply chain.  Its the story of that famous eye glass company you know that owns all the others… Luxottica.  Never heard of them well…they did a “Multi-Domain” strategy and you have heard of these companies… EyeMed, Target Optical, Pearle Vision, Lens-crafters, Sunglass Hut, … theres more but you get the point.  A consumer believe they have choice in the market but thats because you let them.  Combined all these companies are 1/4 of all eyewear value in all the little pieces of that industry.  They command it.  Your new domain is not them you need one domain…so buying 8 other T-shirt domains wont help you other than maybe you got a better name than that monster.  Now the key part of this strategy though is vertical integration…your retail store isn’t competing with your vision insurance company and its not competing with the factory … they’re all buyers of each other till a consumer gets it.

Increased Competition But Not Sales

Thats really about it.  You’re likely going to have room to grow in the sector you are in for sometime and you wont have the funds to buy up a fourth of the world’s T-shirt makers so focus on your one domain.  Why?  Well…changing the names to protect the guilty.  I had a client who insisted on multiple domains we’ll say they were a tour company that ran guided tours of Liberty Island in NYC.  Its a weird niche just cause you don’t have to have a guided tour to see the Island but because of the demand and popularity several companies sprout up and sale tickets to a national park property.  Its easy money with online sales being where its at … but if you have 5 competitors sites you figure well lets add two more so now there are 7 sites and your competition adds 2 sites thats 15 now plus your 3 …. so we now have 18 sites all competing for the same audience and the same experience.  Did you know that it’s really hard to rank up to the top 3 spots with one site?  So now to benefit from what you’ve done you need to rank up 3 times that and fight off 15 instead of 5 other sites.  We didn’t even have a second page until now in search results and someone has to be on it.

Multiple Domain Canabalism SEO

Multiple Domain Canabalism SEO

When Multiple Domains Don’t Work

So thing about your multiple domains, assign keywords to one … then move to the next domain … don’t assign the same keywords and the same role to that site, you’re just competing with yourself.  Also you’re diluting your search traffic maybe combined you have 30% of the traffic but Google doesn’t see that, it sees 15% here and 10% at this second domain and only 5% at the last site.  Say a competitor has a site thats at 16% his one site will out rank your three because you’ve split up all your efforts and resources.  Thats the problem with the Multi Domain Strategy.

When Might You Use Multiple Domains?

I like to think I don’t do that.  I have and its SEO.  I have and it is cloud computing and I have and its Data Analysis.  Related?  Of course but very different.  A person googling “AWS servers” isn’t going to click on a site about SEO.  You find niches for the domains and target the audience and keywords for those domains.

So in the end, before you grow to more than one domain ask yourself if this new domain will have a different audience than the first.  If not and if you can argue the same keywords fit both sites, you need one site.

So don’t eat yourself up with Multiple Domains.  I’ll be posting in the next day about my addition of .. how I intend NOT to canabalize this site.

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Multi-Domain Strategy In SEO … Risky But Lets Have Some Risk

How To Rank Your Site On Google…Forget the Keywords

Ultimate SEO

Well don’t totally forget the keywords but I think if you spend more than 5 minutes on keywords you’re going to be pretty surprised by some purported data I stumbled across.  As you likely know Google uses about 200 factors in determining your sites ranking.  I personally have place a lot of emphasis on speed and backlinks and while I have thought it was important I must admit I didn’t give the social media factor as much attention as I should.

The first big thing to not is that 10.3% of ranking is CTR so if you have ever seen your content just jump up on the rankings and then slowly (or quickly) taper off as time goes its likely that people are clicking on you less and less as you slide below the pages.  Its the single biggest impact.  I feel Google gives you the benefit of doubt at first ranking you higher than average and then they allow people to determine if your site is worth it.  That’s important to consider and similar to conversion rates.

When we take human behavior out we have largely backlinks and social media deciding your ranking ability.  These make sense, if no one is talking about you but they are about your competition and more people click on your competitors site who also has the most backlinks you’re wasting your time trying to get your keywords exactly right in the headers, description and title….they combined contribute a value of 5  where backlinks are over 120.

If you’d like to access the Data Studio report directly you can visit

If this graphic surprises you it might be a good plan to check out our SEO Store or Upwork Profile.

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Updates That Matter AND Updates That Don’t :SEO Basics

This post was originally made 3/7/2019 but was lost during a restoration from backup while Ultimate SEO was dealing with a DOS attack.

I’ve heard things come in threes so curious whats next because 2 big updates this week are out.  Now unfortunately the one that matters is unlikely to gain as much attention as the one that doesn’t mean anything.  So lets begin on what folks are focused on…something that means nothing.


MOZ Domain Authority 2.0

Moz redid their Domain Authoritycalculations and the implications are HUGE for those who workat Moz.  If you don’t workthere then its not a big deal.  Domain Authorityis like a fake credit score.  Your bank will likely use your FICA score but no one can release your FICA score to you but FICA.  To solve this banks and other organizations created their own scoring systems that attempted to mimic your FICA score that they can give out to you on credit monitoring sites.   These numbers though aren’t really that important as they are guesses to what your FICA score should be…VantageScore for instance gives a person a score based on their credit history thats also 3 digits but it isn’t a FICA score.  If you bank uses FICA scores who cares what your score is at VantageScore.

Moz made up Domain Authorityand Google doesn’t use it.  So a change to calculating Domain Authorityfrom Moz does not mean a change in search engine ranking.  Domain Authority is useful to you because it’s an educated guess as to what Google thinks just like Citation and Trust Flow are guesses by Majestic.

I don’t know about everyone else but the new calculations vastly changed the impression some would have of several domains I operate.  Here are some examples:

Moz DA April 2019 – March 2019 – Backlinks

So am I upset that Ultimateseo.orglost 5 points?  No.  Cause its like it lost 5 Matt Dollars …. But Matt Dollars don’t matter and NEITHER DOES Moz Domain Authority.

But again, Domain Authority has value when used among multiple other metrics geared at assessing a site’s rank ability.

PHP 7.3

PHP 7.3 Released And Available To Cpanel Servers

Its out and you can now run your site on it if you’re using Cpanel/WHM servers.  Im focused on Cpanel because its highly popular …. unless you use Wix or Shopify which use propreietary server management software that isn’t an industry standard.  Now, likely you don’t even use 7.2 as many sites still operate on PHP5.6.  BUT here are the advantages of 7.3

Now its relevant to SEObecause WordPressruns on PHP and WordPressis an SEOfavorite.  While new features are great and PHP 7 has proven much faster than PHP 6 this newest update may require some caution.  PHP 7.3 Issue With WordPress 5

Php7.3 And WordPress Speed

We have some testing done by others that note”

Is PHP 7.3 faster than PHP 7.2? Should I use PHP 7.3 for my WordPress site? We have done our own performance testing for WordPress running with WooCommerce and benchmarked PHP 7.2 against PHP 7.3.

We installed a standard WordPress 5.0 with the Storefront theme and imported the 50 products supplied by WooCommerce as sample data on a standard Servebolt High Performance plan.

We wanted to test whether PHP 7.3 was performing better than PHP 7.2, and therefore bypassed the reverse proxy and ran tests directly against the backend web server running the PHP, effectively bypassing all caching. The tests were run from the server to eliminate network bias.

We used as the testing tool, running 3 000 requests with a concurrency of 1000, with keep alive enabled. ….

We did a few more compiles of PHP 7.3, and tested benchmarked those. We also did benchmarks on all major versions from 5.6 and up. See the results in the table below.

PHP and Database

Req/s PHP 5.6 PHP 7.0 PHP 7.1 PHP 7.2 PHP 7.3 PHP 7.3 v2 PHP 7.3 v3
PHP 5.6 74 data-sheets-numberformat=”[null,3,”0.00%”,1]”> data-sheets-numberformat=”[null,3,”0.00%”,1]”> data-sheets-numberformat=”[null,3,”0.00%”,1]”> data-sheets-numberformat=”[null,3,”0.00%”,1]”>
PHP 7.0 177 239.19%
PHP 7.1 183 247.30% 103.39%
PHP 7.2 192 259.46% 108.47% 104.92%
PHP 7.3 221 298.65% 124.86% 120.77% 115.10%
7.3 v2 221 298.65% 124.86% 120.77% 115.10% 100.00%
7.3 v3 223 301.35% 125.99% 121.86% 116.15% 100.90% 100.90%
7.3 FINAL 224 302.70% 126.55% 122.40% 116.67% 101.36% 101.36% 100.45%

We ran this test 3 times on PHP 7.2 and three times on PHP 7.3, and compared the numbers.

PHP 7.2 average: 192 requests per second
PHP 7.3 average: 224 requests per second

The results were consistent with very small variation. WordPress with WooCommerce running PHP 7.3 outperforms PHP 7.2 by 16.67%.

So what are you waiting for? It is time to get that extra performance boost. Upgrade your site to be PHP 7.3 compatible today, and get the 10-17% extra performance boost!”

Techy Stuff In 7.3 Update

From we get the features listed below:


Not having an adequate way to handle errors when using JSON has been a problem for quite a long time, and web developer all over the worlds have seen this as a huge downside of the language,

The RFC of PHP 7.3 has accepted this update by a 23 vs 0 vote which says how much this feature has been requested.

Until PHP v7.2 we needed to use a workaround to get an error from JSON and it was not reliable nor proficient in its job;

The new flag I am about to show you is an excellent alternative because give to the programmer the opportunity to use the power of exceptions that can be managed within the “try-catch” block of code.


A countable element in your code can be a variable with an array format or an object whose class is implementing the Countable interface.

Last year PHP 7.2 added a warning that shows up whenever the web developer was counting or trying to loop an uncountable element.

It is possible to solve this problem and one of the best solutions currently used is to apply a check like a snippet below:

The code checks whether the variable is an array or is an instance of the Countable interface.

And it will work but it seems a little bit “crowded” and as many of you that work long hours, after a while seeing this kind of lines wear your eyes out.

The teamthat is developing the new version took accountof this and added a new function that will help the web developer immensely.

The is_countable function takes a variable as a parameter and then return a boolean depending if the function is countable or not.

There is no restriction about the format the parameter has to be, of course, if you put a non-countable variable the return will be false.

array_key_first(), array_key_last()

As per version 5.6 of PHP, there are over 75 built-in functions that belong to the arrays’ category.

Despite the vast numbers of tools available, at the moment, if we need to retrieve the first or the last key of an array we have to get all the keys using array_keys()and only then go for the first or last values of the array.

Another way is to opt for end()or reset().

As you may know, all the methods just described modifying the array pointer, which is something that (other than be resources consumer) you just may not want to do.

The RFC of the upcoming version proposed the introduction of 4 brand-new methods the were set to solve this issue.

The four methods were:

  • array_key_first()
  • array_key_last()
  • array_value_first()
  • array_value_last()

Among the four of them, only the one set that fetches the keys were accepted with 18 to 14 votes.

They work for both numeric and associative arrays.

The same would have worked for the other two functions illustrated in this chapter array_value_*

Just to be clear, let me repeat,

Those functions have been refused with 18 no and 15 yes.

In my opinion, these two functions would have been useful as well but according to several web developers, in certain cases, the value returned would have been ambiguous.

Here is why:

An additional option that I come across browsing on forums and talking to other web developers was to return a tuple like [$key => $value].

Even though this option will not be available on the new version, seeing the favourable responses, it might arrive with the following RFCs.

Since this is a function that did not exist before there are not going to be any backwards compatibility problems, the only issue could arrive if you have created and you are using your own version of array_key_first()and array_key_last().

Same site cookie

Deploy secure application must always be the main focus of every programmer.

One task that each of us is facing of daily basis it to diminish the risk of CSRF and information leakage attacks.

Same-site cooking declares that cookies must be sent only with request initiated from the same domain.

This is not an official standard but Google Chrome and several of the best PHP frameworks already implement it whereas Firefox and new version of other frameworks confirmed that they are planning to do so.

Here is the support schema for same site cookie from

Currently, cookies are issued by the set-cookie header, a web developer can set a key-value pair alongside flags for the browser in order to agree if a cookie should be available or not.

This way to do things allows a vulnerable access to CSRF attacks.

The new RFC adds is suppose to solve the problem is a non-breaking mode by adding a new parameter and also modify four main functions of the language.

  • setcookie
  • setrawcookie
  • session_set_cookie_params

Two ways were proposed.

Adding a new argument to the function or allowing an array of option for moving all the options of the cookies inside.

How it will work?

Two values can be added to the same site flag present in the above functions

They are Lax and Strict.

Cookies that are using Lax will be accessible in a GET request that comes from another domain, while on the contrary Strict will not be accessible in a Get request.

Include features that Increase security in the code seem always a no-brainer but as always before deciding to apply them in our scripts we need to properly evaluate the pro and the cons of our choices

The main risk implied for using the same site flag as a supplementary argument to those functions is that it might never become an official standard.

It means that eventually browser will downturn the flag.

If this happens and you have already implemented it, it will result in you applications stuffed with junk code that need to be removed.

Ultimate SEO

Creating A Private Blog Network: PBNs In 2019 For SEO

Typical Parts Of A PBNEach PBN site will include registering the domain, setting the name servers and hosting the site.

First and foremost the most important aspect of your Private Blog Network is randomness.  Consider what pattern or foot print your PBN might have and avoid that commonality.

patterns that give away a PBNPatterns and commonality to avoid in building a Private Blog Network

Good PBNs Are Random, Start With Different Name Registrars

First off you need private domain registration, if not private then you’ll need people and addresses from all over.  If you always use Godaddy you’re going to have to try out others to avoid a pattern.  Incidentally if you always use Godaddy you’re getting ripped off as they will charge you for privacy and many others don’t.  Some popular Name Registrars are each of these can save you a considerable amount over Godaddy considering they offer free private registration and using more than one breaks a pattern.

Each time you add a new site to your PBN you need to approach it from the beginning as if you’re playing a character in a story who has never made a website before, when I say that I mean if you know you have a site on Host A and you like that host you’re making decisions based on previous sites and are more likely to create a pattern.  Forget Host A how would you find a host for the first time?  Google popular web hosts and pick a cheap new partner.

One thing that’s really beneficial about building PBNs that is more helpful to you in the long run is the forced exploration.  After you’ve built ten sites on ten hosts using ten registrars and ten WordPress themes you’ll be able to write three top ten lists and rank the best of the 720 combinations that were available to you.  It’s a lot of practice and as you’re avoiding patterns and repetition you’ll find yourself stepping out of your norm.

Vary Your Web Hosts

Speed of a web host is important normally but not necessarily when your building a PBN.  While you want your primary or money site to load in under 3 seconds its perfectly fine if your PBN site loads in 7 seconds and that opens the door to all manner of generic no name web hosts.   Your primary goal with multiple web hosts is to utilize a different IP address.

Organizating A PBN Gets ComplexConsidering the complexity that can quickly arise when seeking randomness of your sites.

The only two big issues with this model …

Organization OF PBN Resources

What site is down?  Oh….well which domain registrar did I use?  Am I using their nameservers, someone else’s?  Where did I point that to be hosted?  Sure these aren’t that annoying to answer with a 10 site network, but try answering it when you’ve built and scaled up to 200 sites using 7 registrars, 20 name servers, 150 different IPs … it becomes unmanageable as you find yourself searching for your site more than you are building new sites, and why are you having to search?  Maintaining a site is essential, as updates roll out to WordPress, plugins get updated and hackers exploit new vulnerabilities.  If you log into every site you own and spend 5 minutes on each site your 200 domain name network will take 16 hours … or two days a week and consider that you only spend 5 minutes on a site, you likely didn’t fix any issues and took no breaks!  It’s time to consider an apprentice or spreadsheets that fully document every aspect of your network, or both.

Uptime Monitoring

Somewhere around 100 domains I figured out I needed to approach this like an enterprise would and have actual uptime monitoring allowing me to see the state of the network easily.  UptimeRobot allows you to set up 50 monitors on a free account.

Uptime Monitoring Your PBN

In the real world 94% Uptime is horrible.  Consider that in the last 30 days I had a recorded 104765 minutes sites were down in this sample of sites.  I had issues with a server getting attacked by someone using 1700 servers causing a DOS attack.  Why?  Anyone’s guess … usually its a game to them and they aren’t paying for those 1700 servers but they’re other people’s hacked resources being used to grow their network.

You may be interested in MainWP or InfiniteWP … Godaddy provides Godaddy Pro.  You need to be mindful that these only work when they work and will they give away a signature pattern?  Likely they can create an easier management solution but easier is dangerous.

Costs Ballon And Randomness Prevents Savings

As you scale up from 10 to 20 to 50 sites your going to wake up one day and realize youre spending hundreds of dollars a month on infrastructure and all of your time will now be consumed with maintaining your network.  Adding someone to help you is going to increase costs and take your time to train them in being effective at maintaining the network.  Be careful who you bring in to help you, friends are obvious choices but when they get upset about something unrelated to the network they could leave you high and dry.  Worse yet, they are the most likely to teach you a lesson by bailing on you for a couple weeks.  Trust the people who are in it for the money … pay them more than they can get at a retail job to build loyalty to your mission. They need not be technical people but they need to understand that if a site is down, Google can’t index it and that backlink is missing now.  They need to be able to follow a logical progression and understand the parts that are in play to help you maintain the site.

The obvious answer to addressing costs is to bundle services and make sure you’re utilizing resources in the most effective manner but that is accomplished by making patterns.  You can’t find cost savings by giving away your sites.

Cloudflare Allows Consolidation And The Pattern Is Indistinguishable

Cloudflare Use For PBNsCloudflare allows some consolidation while masking the pattern

12,000,000 sites utilize Cloudflare’s free services which include masking your host servers IP, CDN services and security.

Cloudflare offers the ability to hide among the masses.  Who is Cloudflare?  They stand in front of your server and take the brunt of the internets crap.,,, are among the names using services.  Some estimates suggest that Cloudflare is about 8% of the entire internet.  Thats huge!  At one point they found themselves protecting the Israeli government’s network as well as the PLOs.Cyber Warfare: Cloudflare In The Middle

Using Cloudflare is hiding in plain sight and free.  I recommend it but in a mixture capacity still have some sites out side of their network just to avoid any one bottleneck, it would seem odd if 100& of the sites linking to a domain are using Cloudflare….remember they are 8% and while the largest chunk of the internet they aren’t the internet.

This article has focused mainly on external and infrastructure concerns of building a PBN.  This is really a third of topic and in the coming weeks I’ll include two more posts that address on site content issues of building a PBN and site design considerations for a network of sites.

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