Podcast 19 – Building a brand the grey hat way (with Travis Jamison)

Travis (@travis_jamison) from Supremacy SEO.

Travis Jamison from Supremacy SEO is a grey hat SEO specialist. This week he steps us through a step by step grey hat brand building strategy. He also makes an offer that hopefully Pat Flynn can’t refuse.


or Download the file or visit iTunes.

Pat Flynn offer

Travis wants to take on Pat in an SEO challenge. If Pat loses he has to interview Travis on his podcast. Either way Travis will donate $1,000 USD to a charity of Pat’s choice.

Pat, if you are reading feel free to email me dan@inform.ly to make it happen.


Grey hat brand building formula

1. Brandable domain

  • Focus on a brandable domain name and do the traditional brand building that you would do regardless of SEO.
  • Have one main brand website
  • Don’t worry about keywords in the domain

2. Content / long tail

  • Build quality content
  • Always use long content – 2,000+ words
  • Look at the top results in Google and model off that
  • Focus on buyer keywords
  • Add media to your pages (pictures, videos) – google loves it. Take other images and crop / resize and re-name after keyword
  • Link out to high authority sites but not to your competitors. Better to be relevant but Travis doesn’t see this as essential.
  • Doesn’t bother with no follow or do follow on the outgoing links

3. Pre-reputation management

Review sites and Q&A sites

  • Don’t wait till your brand is hurt before paying for reputation management
  • Provides social credibility, buffers against bad press and helps rankings to own more sites in your niche
  • Make sure you rank for reviews of your products
  • Q&A sites – paying a team to ask and then answer questions
  • Review sites – set up a site as an affiliate site that you own

 Social Signals

  • Buying Facebook and Twitter follows from Fiverr
  • Uses social signals for the main site – at the moment Google not smart enough to know the likes are gamed
  • Not all social profiles are indexed
  • Can get more quality bought likes and tweets

Social profiles

  • Setup accounts on the main social sites
  • Can use these to outrank bad reviews later on
  • Travis uses Hootsuite

4. Feeder sites

  • Sending grey hat links through to feeder sites
  •  5-40 pages ok content focusing on brand keywords
  • These sites server as backlinks and traffic for the main site
  • High quality backlinks should pay for themselves
  • Uses keywords for domains for the feeder sites – uses keyword tool
  • Uses a team to write the content and update WordPress
  • Banner goes at the header of each of the feeder sites
  • Puts a bit of text up the top before the banner so as to not be slapped by Panda
  • Images pass plenty of link juice, Travis usually links back to the site with keywords links as well
  • Unsure whether Google looks at both links on the page but it helps for relevancy anyway

5. Link building

  • Uses exact match anchors less of the time
  • Most like building tactics still working like they used to
  • Main keyword should be used in anchor around 10% of the time
  • Uses keyword generator or google keyword tool to generate a lot of longtail keywords for the anchor text and focus on buying keywords – keyword diversity – around 10%
  • Uses the main domain as the anchor (naked URL links) for around 40-50% of backlinks
  • Uses words like click here, read more etc – around 10%
  • Uses the same strategy for feeder sites but builds a lot more links in more automated ways

 Recommending for new person

What’s coming next?

  • Google will start targeting platforms. Things like wiki links, social bookmarks.
  • Dan thinks 2 tiered structures will be next, Travis thinks it’s a long way off.
  • Try to appear natural and you should be ok
  • Web 2.0’s probably won’t work for much longer


Dan Norris is a co-founder at WP Curve and a passionate entrepreneur with an obsession for content marketing.

WordPress problems?

Our WordPress experts have you covered.

Hyper-responsive 24/7/365 WordPress support, maintenance and small fixes.