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A simple but effective SEO strategy: the middleman

Published on 9/23/2019
Categories: SEO
A simple but effective SEO strategy: the middleman

The SEO (search engine optimization) trick called "the middleman" solves a very common problem in corporate websites with excellent results.
I myself applied it many times and I always got it great results in a short time.

The trick I'm going to explain to you this year has saved the positioning of one of our clients.
In short, a very fierce competitor had overtaken my client by creating a PBN (Private Blog Network). PBNs are black hat techniques, that is prohibited and penalized by Google, but we’ll talk about it another time.
At that point I had two solutions: either to create a PBN (with the costs that this entails) or to apply the middleman method, which by the way is a white hat technique, that is absolutely lawful.

Let's start by understanding what problems the "middleman" can solve.

The problem of commercial pages

The pages of corporate websites (but also of other types of sites) are divided substantially into 3 categories.

  • The main page, the so-called home page of the site.
  • Commercial pages: the internal pages that describe the products/services of the company, those in which we hope with all our heart that our visitors go.
  • Informational pages: are those that offer interesting and non-self-referential content, typically blog articles.

As is well known, the more a page is referenced by other websites, the more it is placed at the top by search engines. The problem is that when someone wants to quote your company, she does it by linking the home page. No one would ever link a commercial page.
The result is that if you have been good you will find the main page positioned well in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page), but the same thing cannot be said for all the other pages of the website.

This is a problem especially if your company offers many products and therefore cannot be all listed and gutted down to the smallest detail on the home page of the site.
For example, if your company produces clothing, maybe your home page is also positioned well for the word "clothing", but your commercial page that talk specifically about ties is probably relegated to the last positions in search engines, precisely because nobody cites it on their websites.

This is why it is very important to have a corporate blog, thanks to it you will be able to write articles that use the keywords of your commercial pages. If you write interesting and not shamelessly advertising articles, then other websites will begin to mention your informational pages.

However, the problem remains that at this point in the search engines there will be your homepage and blog articles, but commercial pages will continue to be missing.

I will now show you two ways to index commercial pages, one manual and one fully automatic.

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The middleman method

The method consists in creating an informational page, placed halfway between who will quote it and the commercial page we want to index. In doing so, part of the so-called link juice acquired from the intermediate page will also be inherited by the commercial page by transitive property.

Let's take the example of the site that sells clothing to explain the method in practice.

  1. Suppose we want to place on the search engine the page where the ties we sell are listed. As already explained, unfortunately nobody links to our page dedicated to ties.
  2. Let's create a series of articles in our blog that teach how to tie the ties in many ways. In each article we could give a hint of history, list the movie stars that made that particular tie knot famous, show beautiful photos of models and maybe embed explanatory videos that teach how to tie a tie.
  3. Within each of the articles, at the first occurrence of the word "tie" we will put a link to our commercial page dedicated to ties.
  4. If our series of articles is successful, we will probably get many external links and this will contribute to their popularity on search engines.

Technically what we have created is a series of internal links to the commercial page starting from the blog articles.
When Google scans a site and sees many internal links that start from well-positioned pages and all end up on a given page (the page of the ties for sale), it understands that the final page is important and significant for the keyword in question.

Middleman

It is therefore a matter of doing some editorial work.
Can these internal links be created automatically?
This is a legitimate question, especially if you have a blog with many articles already written.

The answer is yes, especially if you are using the Infrared CMS.

How to automate internal links

I honestly don't know if other CMSs or any plugins have similar features, here I'll show you what I developed myself.

Among the administrative tools of the Infrared CMS there is the command Glossary.
Using regular expressions you can define your keywords (in all possible variants) and link them to the commercial pages of interest. When rendering any blog article, the system will automatically search for keywords within the article and link their first occurrence to the chosen page. I have chosen to only link the first occurrence of each glossary entry to avoid the negative effects of keyword stuffing, that phenomenon whereby if Google sees too many keywords, it judges the page as spam.
It is beyond the scope of this article to explain regular expressions, but on the Internet you will find many articles that will do it for me.

Infrared CMS

To give you a practical example, you can also see it in the image above, in the glossary I created the expression b\SEO\b and I linked it to the page of this site that advertises search engines optimization services. The symbols you see in front of and behind the acronym SEO are to tell the system that it has to look for occurrences of the whole SEO word.

You can also see the result in this article.
If you go back to the beginning you will see the first sentence (The SEO…) has the word SEO linked to the commercial page of the same name. The link was made automatically, you will also recognize other links around the blog, because I chose to display them with a dotted underline.

That’s all.
I recommend you to implement the middleman SEO strategy as soon as possible, it will allow you to make the most of your company blog and you will find indexed in a short time pages that you never thought you would ever see in the top positions of search engines.

Let me know what results you got.

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