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The SEO Impossible Experiment

Matt Giovanisci, March 19, 2018 | Subscribe for awesome f**king updates!

Why is this project marked: running?

I'm currently producing content in an attempted to rank for a very competitive keyword. This experiment could take 3-6 months to complete when all the results are in.

My rule for conducting a “Money Lab challenge” is it must have a tight deadline with the goal of making money. Experiments, on the other hand, can be ongoing and don’t have to make money directly.

The Hypothesis

This experiment is to prove I can rank on the first page of Google for a highly competitive keyword simply by creating the best page on that topic. That topic is “affiliate marketing.”

I’m trying to rank for this keyword to promote my affiliate link manager WordPress plugin called Earnist.

Earnist: Wordpress Plugin for Affiliate Marketers Price: Starting at $49/year A premium Wordpress plugin that lets you add, manage, and display your affiliate links from any program, including Amazon! Full Disclosure: I make money if you click this link and make a purchase.

According to, “affiliate marketing” has a keyword difficulty score of 67 out of 100, which means it’s VERY competitive. A lot of pages rank for it (2.5 million) and sees about 61,000 searches a month.

Ahrefs overview for Affiliate Marketing

What I’m Starting With

I studied SEO for over 10 years and been hired by companies to improve their rankings. I own three websites that rank for highly competitive keywords and I created an SEO video course for bloggers.

SEO For Bloggers Price: $99 A full video course on how to do high-level SEO on your website or blog. Full Disclosure: I make money if you click this link and make a purchase.

I know how to design and code a web page from scratch and I’ll be doing all the research and writing too.

I’m publishing the post here on Money Lab, which is hosted on WPEngine Full Disclosure: I make money if you click this link and make a purchase. . This comes with some built-in SEO benefits:

  1. A free SSL Certificate. Google has made it clear that they reward sites that are protected by an SSL cert. All that means is you use HTTPS instead of just HTTP.
  2. The WPEngine servers are super fast! They even have a built-in page speed analyzer that lets me know ways I can improve the speed. And speed is VERY important for SEO. Not just for Google, but for users on mobile devices.
  3. A motherfucking CDN. It stands for “content delivery network,” and it makes your pages fast as balls by displaying your images from a different server!
  4. Built-in SEO power from WordPress.The guts of WordPress are SEO-friendly. And I use a popular plugin called Yoast SEO, which handles all the extra SEO goodies.
  5. already has a good backlink profile and domain rating. According to, money lab has 810 backlinks, which is pretty good since I didn’t build a single one of these. These are 100% natural. Most of these links came from my viral post about email pop-ups.

Money Lab Backlink Profile

Also, this domain is about two years old. That helps a bit too.

How I Plan To Prove That “Epic” Content Actually Works

The online entrepreneur and blogging community talks about creating “epic” content, but what does that mean? Long articles or well-designed infographics?

I believe it’s creating a one-stop-shop for solving a particular problem. In this case, that problem is affiliate marketing, which can already be solved by Googling to find the right articles in the right order.

But what if one web page had all the information you need in an easy-to-read format with lots of visual aid and downloadables?

I’m assuming that creating this web page will:

And because of all these benefits, I’m hoping Google rewards us for the effort of creating the best content on the web for affiliate marketing.

NOTE: I understand that SEO is a touchy subject. I never speculate or assume what goes on behind closed doors at Google. So again, this is all speculative and based on my own theories. My assumption is that you can rank any web page, regardless of authority, with great writing and design.

The SEO Impossible Plan

1. Collect An Insane Amount of Data

To create a one-stop-shop, I have to cover all the bases in affiliate marketing. This means collecting a ton of data to make sure I cover everything.

My research tactic is simple: Google “affiliate marketing,” open up every link in the search results in different tabs, and start taking notes in a Google Doc.

2. Create a Massive Outline

Once I have all the research completed (or during my research), I will create an outline in a Google Doc.

This will be a long process, but the most important if I plan to make the best content on the internet for this topic.

3. Start Writing As Much As I Can

Once I have my outline and subtopics, I’ll add them all as tasks in Asana and assign them to myself one by one.

Writing is my greatest weakness, so this will be the hardest part of the challenge for me.

4. Edit Like Crazy

Editing will be non-stop. Even after it’s been published, I plan to continue editing the words and updating the content as the industry changes.

This will make the content “evergreen” – a dumb internet marketing term for timeless information.

5. Start Designing

I’ll be working on the design and user experience of the page while researching and writing.

One of the bigger challenges will be user experience. Since I’m dealing with a large amount of content on a single page, I may have to add some fancy javascript to make it easier to consume.

We’ll see. I would like to avoid that.

6. Share and Promote Like Crazy In a Single Day

My theory is that it’ll only need a jumpstart. I won’t need to tweet it multiple times a day or add it to an autoresponder. I can just spend a day promoting it and let it take off from there.

Here are some things I can do:

Other than that, it should take a life of its own pretty quickly. Then, it’s a matter of waiting and sharing the results as it climbs in ranking.

Traditional SEO Tactics I’ll Be Using

SEO might be a mystery to you; it should be. It’s even a mystery to people who study it professionally.

These are tactics I’ve used for over 10 years. They don’t go out of style, and most importantly, they help the reader.

  1. Title and Description – I spend a lot of time crafting the headline/title. First, I come up with a title that feels natural. Then, some research to make sure I’m using the right keywords.
  2. Headings – The title of the page will be the only H1 tag. Then, each section of the web page should have it’s own H2 headline (which we can use the Headline Analyzer tool for) and H3 tags to further breakdown content.
  3. Responsive Design – Google has made it clear in the past that they reward sites that work well on mobile. So it’s important that it’s responsive.
  4. Speed – Google has also made it clear that they reward fast websites. This makes what we’re doing a bit challenging because the page will be massive in content.
  5. Off-Page SEO – I’m not building backlinks. I’m focused on the content itself and how the page is designed.The only off-page SEO plan is to do a single day of promoting and sharing. I’m hoping that this little jump start is all it’ll need.

I had comments for a while because it was a "best practice." However, fuck that! I prefer to have personal conversations via email or Twitter. So, let’s do that instead.

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