Search Engine Optimization (SEO) For Adult Sites
Adult Search Engine Optimization (SEO) presents some challenges that mainstream SEO doesn’t have to deal with. Mainly with linkbuilding. There are many places that mainstream SEOs can go to build links to a domain that the adult industry can’t due to the fact that they don’t accept adult content. The other major issue is that people don’t typically link to porn sites. Porn is fairly closet in nature. Bloggers don’t blog about the last scene they jacked-off to and what they thought about it.
The one thing to remember is that all SEOs are facing these issues. Therefore, even though adult SEO is far more difficult than mainstream SEO, it’s still a level playing field. Learning how to actually build adult backlinks and put more emphasis on onsite SEO and how to shuffle the PageRank around internally can help you better compromise with the challenges and succeed in the industry. Here’s some tips and techniques for doing adult SEO.
Submit Site / Sitemap To Webmaster Tools
Perhaps the easiest thing you can do to help the SEO of your porn site. Both Google and Yahoo/Bing (one of the same, basically) have their own Webmaster Tools section where webmasters can submit / verify their sites and submit sitemaps. Just verifying the site will ping the major search engines and let them know your site exists. Submitting a sitemap will let them know the URLs of everything on your site. This helps search engines crawl and index your site. The search engines will also give you valuable data, such as what people are searching to find your site and how your ranking for those particular queries. This helps you better plan your content strategy and SEO strategy.
Linkbuilding and Offsite SEO For Porn Sites
The number of links from other sites to your site is one of the main Google ranking algorithm signals. In theory, people are only going to link to good content. Your not going to put a link from your website to something spammy, false or otherwise low-quality. You’re only going to link to good, quality content that supports the content you have on the pages linking to the site.
Because of this reality, the number of Backlinks or links going to your site from elsewhere is a great way to determine a site’s authority and how the pages should rank. There’s some other signals involving backlinks that are important as well. For example; the Anchor Text or highlighted words creating the text-link are used to determine what the linked-to content is about. Having keyword-rich anchor text will help that page rank for whatever words / phrases are contained in the anchor text.
It’s also important to know the difference between DoFollow and NoFollow backlinks. DoFollow backlinks are the only links that actually pass PageRank, which is the magical ranking score Google assigns to every page. PageRank makes your pages rank higher. Although NoFollow links don’t pass PageRank, Google still looks at the anchor text and some other link-based algorithm signals come into play, so just because a link is NoFollow doesn’t mean it’s useless.
But enough about the technicalities of linkbuilding, here’s some place to build the links:
Adult Directory / Review Sites – There are tons of adult directories and review sites out there. Many of these sites you can submit your sites to. Sometimes it’s as easy as filling out a form, other times you’ll need to email the webmaster. Be careful, as there’s both quality review / directory sites out there, as well as spammy ones. You don’t want links from spammy directory sites, but the good ones will do wonders for your SEO.
Adult Forums and Communities – There are many, many, many adult forums out there on the internet. Hell, there’s niche adult forums out there that will provide quality traffic in addition to backlinks. There’s also adult communities such as ImageFAP that can be used to build backlinks as well. Forums aren’t the best source of backlinks, but in a niche where backlinks are scarce to begin with, they’ll help.
Whitelabeled Adult Sites – Many whitelabeled adult sites give you the option to add custom HTML or URLs and anchor-text. This makes it incredibly easy to build a couple root links from the whitelabeled site to your other web properties. In addition to building links, the whitelabels can also generate revenue.
Blogging Sites – Sites like Blogger, Tumblr, ect. Depending on what you’re using to build your site, there might be some ways to syndicate or import content for easy links.
Porn-Pinning Sites – There are many, many Pinterest-style porn-pinning sites out there. Some of them DoFollow their backlinks, some of them don’t.
“Who’s That Pornstar?” Sites – These are quite honestly the only sites I’ve gotten backlinks from (or at least a *GOOD* amount of backlinks from). There are tons of sites out there for finding the names and other scenes of pornstars. People post a photo, link, whatever and people are able to provide answers and links to back their answers or to share more content from that performer. This is a huge reason to have good SEO for performer names. People will find your site while trying to provide the answer and give you a link in the process. Best type of Link Earning I’ve found in the adult industry.
Link-Wheeling – I’ve found link-wheeling to be incredibly effective in the adult industry. Read the next section to learn all about link-wheeling.
Link-Wheeling and Adult SEO
Some people look at Link Wheeling as a dirty blackhat SEO technique. Like most SEO tactics, there’s a blackhat and a whitehat way of doing it. Just because the concept was most notably used in a very spammy way with article spinners and bullshit domains slapped together solely for link wheeling, doesn’t mean there isn’t a whitehat way to go about it.
Link wheeling is the concept of using multiple domains you own to build links between each other. This is something that’s done all the time (without spammy article spinners) and is something that is even more popular in the adult industry. Hell, it’s a tactic that’s being leveraged by the biggest sites! Just look at PornHub, for instance:
See how all the sites in the PornHub network give each other sitewide links? That’s called link-wheeling and it helps boost up the SEO of all the linked-to sites. Seeing how it’s difficult to get sites to link to you naturally, link-wheeling is a very effective method of link-building. It’s especially effective since you’re doing off-site linkbuilding for your other sites while you’re doing the onsite SEO (in the form of posting content) for another site.
There’s many ways to do link-wheeling. Here’s some examples of link-wheeling:
Site-Wide External Links: More Adult Sites – The simplest way to do link-wheeling is with sitewide links. In example; What PornHub is doing above. You simply create a section of the site-wide content listing a bunch of additional sites. Of course these sites are owned by you. It’s best to link to sites in the same niche or that has some type of crossover between niches. For example; a Busty Teens sub-niche site linking to a general Teens niche site and a Big Tits niche site. In addition to helping the SEO, it’ll also drive traffic between sites.
The major advantage of site-wide links is that it’s easy. You only have to create the site-wide element once and it’ll build a link for every page. The disadvantage is that the value of each individual link diminishes slightly as the bulk number of links build up. Since it’s sitewide, there’s also no way to change-up the anchor text of the links to help target a wider range of keywords.
More Info and Full Scene / Gallery Links – With this style of linking, you have a site that gives a little teaser and links to another web property with the full scene or more content. This is really effective because you’re deep-linking instead of only linking to a single page. Not only does this help spread the PageRank around, but you’ve got more anchor text control and it’ll help each individual page rank better, instead of only the homepage.
Linking To Pornstar / Site Directory Sites – If you’ve got a site that works as a pornstar directory site, or a studio directory site, this can create some great link-wheeling opportunities. You can link to the pornstar / studio pages from pages on sites that contain that particular pornstar or content produced by a particular studio. From the directory-style site, you can also link to individual pieces of content containing said pornstar or studio.
People commonly Google specific pornstars or studio names. For example, someone might Google Brazzers or Asa Akira, hypothetically, looking for a scene from that particular pornstar or that particular studio. Putting together a link-wheeling strategy like that can really help you optimize for those type of queries. Every link from the sites going to the pornstar / studio pages will have the pornstar or studio name in the anchor-text, helping those pages rank for that content. Those pages are naturally optimized to target those particular names and with the added backlinking they’ll easily rank higher.
Those pages return the favor by linking to the individual pieces of content on other sites, helping your other web properties link for the more long-tail search results.
Linking To Same Niche, Different Type of Media – What I mean by this, is you could have your Big Tits tube-style site linking to a Big Tits dating site, Big Tits gallery site, Big Tits camming site and a Big Tits review site. Since all the sites are in the Big Tits niche, it’s relevant for the sites to be linking to each other. Because all of the sites are drawing traffic interested in big tits, the links are more likely to refer traffic and the traffic is more likely to convert as well.
Create A Review Site – Not only can you use this site to post reviews to all the paysites with affiliate offers you’re promoting, but you can also use this site to review your niche sites, whitelabels and other web properties.
Adult On Site SEO Tactics and Techniques
There are two major reasons that onsite SEO is *VERY* important in the adult industry:
- Linkbuilding opportunities don’t exist
- Porn sites have tons of pages / content
Whenever you have larger sites, there’s more opportunities for longtail targeting and you can do more with sitewide internal linking and pushing the PageRank around. The fact that many linkbuilding opportunities don’t exist in the adult industry, and the fact that people don’t naturally link to porn also places a bigger burden on the onsite SEO to do what’s not possible with offsite SEO. Here’s some tactics for doing onsite SEO for porn sites.
Important On Site Algorithm Signals To Be Aware Of
Just like there’s offsite algorithm signals, there’s also tons of onsite algorithm signals. Here’s what’s important with onsite SEO:
Word Count – Your traffic is probably coming to the site for the photo or video content and is basically ignoring the majority of the text. That doesn’t mean it’s not important to search engines. Search engines read text easier than they can analyze the content of photo of video files. This means that text content is just as important for SEO. You’ll want to include a description of the gallery, video or whatever other form of media is included on the page. Even if your traffic doesn’t read it, search engines will.
If you don’t have adaquate text, you also run the risk of being penalized for having thin content. That means having a bunch of pages that are pretty much barren. Having a simple title and description can be enough to counteract this and provide a valuable boost to the SEO of every individual page.
Domain Name – You’ll want a keyword rich domain name. Even though the weight on the keywords in the domain name has diminished over time, it’s still very important, especially once combined with linkbuilding. You want to have keywords relevant to your site in the website name. This is also an argument for going more niche instead of more general. With niche sites, you’ve got a more keyword rich domain name that is complimented by the fact that all onsite content is relevant to the name of the domain.
URL Structure – You want to have keywords in the URL structure, separated by ‘-”s. There is a real strategy to the keyword structure; each word in the URL helps boost up the SEO for that particular word (or combo of words) but each dash is a negative ranking signal. There’s a balance that you must find in order to do proper SEO. The URL structure on pages targeting longtail search results can have more words and dashes. The pages targeting specific keywords should have a much more basic URL structure, containing only the targeted keywords. Example; category or pornstar pages.
Header 1 <h1> – You should only have one header 1 <h1> per page. The header 1 should be keyword rich and make up an actual search query if targeting a longtail. You can target multiple variations through having multiple header 2 and header 3 on the page.
Header 2/3 <h2> <h3> – You can have multiple header 2 and header 3 on a page. I typically use these to target variations of the search phrase or keywords being targeted with the header 1.
Internal Linking – Internal linking is huge and I’m going to cover it more in-depth in a section below. Internal links behave much like backlinks. You can strategically use internal links to shift PageRank around and use the anchor text to target specific keywords / search phrases.
Meta Title / Description – The meta title and description of each page carries a slight ranking factor to it. Including keywords or phrases can help the SEO of a page. In addition to helping rankings, the metadata can also help with click-through rates.
The meta title and description dictates what shows up in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Page). The meta title will always be the title, and the description, the supporting blurb beneath the title. By picking a catchy title, you can increase the click-through rate. Search engine rankings aren’t important if people don’t click on your pages, so optimizing meta titles for click-through can be just as important.
Image / Media File Name – Image and video files all have file names and alt text. Because search engines have a hard time determining what multimedia is about, they look at the file name and alt/meta information to get a better idea of what the file is about. Having keyword-rich file names and meta information will help that page rank better for those keywords. This is especially important, as the descriptive text isn’t as important for porn.
Targeting Adult Keywords / Queries
Now that we’ve gone over the bulk of the onsite / offsite algorithm signals, lets talk about the actual strategy of targeting search terms. There’s a lot that goes into the actual keyword / search phrase strategy. You’ve got your main pages that you’ll build up the SEO for over time, and the individual content pages that should each be targeting specific search phrases. The individual pages work to help boost up the main pages through internal linking, while each targeting a longtail. Here’s some things to consider with targeting search results.
Targeting Adult Longtail Search Results
A Longtail Search Result is an actual phrase and not a keyword. For example; “Blonde college girl deepthroating a dildo” would be a longtail search result. ‘blonde’, ‘college’, ‘deepthroat’ and ‘dildo’ are all keywords, but the combination of all those with the filler words put together to form a search term is what’s known as a longtail search.
obviously it’s going to be much easier to rank a site for “Blonde college girl deepthroating a dildo” than it would to rank it for all the individual keywords relevant to that search term. All you need is one piece of content with a blonde college girl deepthroating a dildo and apply all the appropriate onsite and offsite strategies and there’s a good chance that you’ll rank good.
Ranking pages for actual keywords though? Much more difficult and something described in detail in the section below.
Targeting Adult Keywords
The keywords bring in the big traffic, but are much more difficult to rank for. unlike longtails, you usually can’t just create a page and have it rank for the desired keyword. Achieving those rankings requires a methodical onsite / offsite strategy. This ranges from planning out what keywords are valuable to the actual algorithm signals that are important to getting them ranked. Here are some valuable pages that are easier to rank than individual pieces of content:
Pornstar Queries / Pages – People are Googling their favorite pornstars. They might be including the pornstar name in a longtail search results or just doing a generic search for the pornstar. If you want to target the exact-match pornstar name, it’s best to create a pornstar page. Whenever you add a piece of content to your site featuring the pornstsar, include a link to the pornstar page. The link will page PageRank from the page to the pornstar page. The pornstar’s name in the anchor text will also help the pornstar page rank higher for queries for that performer. Slowly over time, that page will rank higher for searches containing the pornstar’s name.
The more content containing the pornstar on the site, the better the SEO for that pornstar, as there’ll be more links passing PageRank to that page.
Studio / Paysite Queries – People will also be searching for content from a particular studio or paysite. You’re almost never going to beat the official website for the exact-match keywords for their website, but that doesn’t matter. A lot of people are looking for teaser / free content which means they’re not going to go to the official site first. Ranking the first place (doesn’t have to be 2nd or 3rd) is enough to drive traffic for the paysite / studio exact-match.
Raising up the SEO for studio / paysite exact-matches is done the same way as the pornstar pages. If you’ve got content produced by that studio or site, link to a studio / site page from each piece of content. Those links will drive PageRank to the studio page and the anchor text will help target queries containing the site’s name,
Category Pages – If your site contains category pages, these pages are the best and easiest to rank for particular keywords. Each category is it’s own keyword. Each piece of content that belongs in that category can contain a link to the category page. That link should contain the category in the anchor text. The category page itself should be optimized to rank for the category keyword. The more pieces of content you’ve got linking to the category page, the more PageRank will get shuffled and the more anchor-text rich links you’ve got to that page.
SEO On The Homepage – The homepage has the best chance for ranking for valuable keywords. This is because the majority of backlinks and internal links are generally directed towards the homepage. Therefore, doing proper SEO (onsite and offsite) on the homepage can have the best results. This is especially true with niche sites. With a niche site, the majority of the backlinks and internal links are going to be much more keyword rich, making the SEO much easier. I cover this more in a later section.
Using Internal Linking To Boost Up Important Pages
If you haven’t realized the core concept of internal linking yet; It’s very important! Internal links pass PageRank just like backlinks and the search engines look at the anchor text of internal links just like backlinks. Because linkbuilding in the adult industry is much more difficult, there’s a larger emphasis placed on internal linking and strategically moving Pagerank to select pages.
By pre-planning what pages should be ranked for what keywords, and developing a comprehensive internal linking strategy, it’s possible to effectively raise the rankings of particular pages for particular queries over time.
The “Magical” Creation Of PageRank Through New Pages
Before you bash this theory, please experiment with it. I have, thus my proposing this theory. Unfortunately, I don’t have the resources of MOZ, Search Engine Land and all those other major resources experimenting with individual ranking signals, so none of my experiments are as “laboratory” as theirs, but I’ve seen this concept illustrated in the field enough to give merit to it’s existence. Hell, it makes more sense than “social signals”, and that’s a stupid theory that’s widely accepted in the mainstream community, meaning that acceptances isn’t always an indicator of truth.
In theory; each new page crawled by Google gives birth to a pathetic amount of PageRank: Consider this; If my theory isn’t true, how does new PageRank come into existence? Since the internet is constantly growing, PageRank should scale with it. One could argue that it’s a percentage thing, instead of a metric on each page, but that brings forth some more questions, such as; How can a site with zero backlinks rank for queries, as it’d technically have zero PageRank?
Add to this, experimentation that shows that sites with zero backlinks can boost the SEO of individual pages through internal linking without doing any linkbuilding to the individual pages to create a linkwheel effect. We can demonstrate that internal linking affects rankings in this circumstance. It’s either through passing PageRank, of the anchor-text signal with PageRank completely disregarded.
My personal theory is that each new page initially crawled by Google is attributed with a pathetic amount of PageRank once it’s first crawled, dsicovered and indexed. That PageRank immediately starts being distributed to the other pages / sites through the links found on that page. Although there is barely any PageRank to be allocated to the other pages, if you’ve got thousands and thousands of pages, those internal links and the PageRank created from those pages can be enough to have a noticale affect on rankings.
Don’t see eye-to-eye with my theories? I invite you to experiment (you’re in the perfect niche!) for yourself and interpret the results. If you think the cause of being able to boost up the rankings is something else, I’d love to hear your theories. Please reach out to me.
Running Niche Sites Vs General Sites
Niche sites are easier to run SEO on than general sites. Sub-niche sites are even easier to run SEO on than niche sites. This is for a number of reasons, listed below.
Keyword Rich Domain Name – When comparing LatinaTeenSex.com and ACMEPorn.com, it’s easy to see how LatinaTeenSex.com would be easier to run SEO for “Latina Teen” than for ACMEPorn.com. Not only does the domain name contain the keywords, but any links to the site will contain the keywords as well.
All Content Is Niche – With a niche site, all the content on the site is niche. That makes it easier for the search engine to identify the site as being relevant to the niche keywords. All the internal linking will also contain niche anchor-text, making it easier to run SEO for the keywords relevant to that niche.
Backlinks Will Be Keyword Rich – In the example above, any links to LatinaTeenSex.com will probably be like; Latina Teen Sex. The natural anchor-text would help the site rank better for any of those keywords, especially the combination of them all. You can see how backlinking is easier for niche sites.
Niche Sites Are Less Competitive – There are less Latina Teen niche sites than general pornsites out there. This is a reason to even go sub-niche. For example; Latina Teen is a sub-niche of both Latina and Teen. Latina Teen fits into the Latina niche, as well as the Teen niche. Therefore, running SEO for the sub-niche (combination of the two niches) would be much easier than running SEO for the Latina or Teen niches. The more niche you can get, the easier the SEO. To take it a step further; running SEO on BustyLatinaTeens.com would be even easier than SEO for LatinaTeenSex.com, as there’s far less niche sites dealing with Busty Latina Teens to compete with.
Learn More: Niche Sites vs General Sites
SEO Concerns With Redirect Scripts
I always warn people not to use redirect scripts on their websites for SEO reasons. Although they can be very profitable, Google frowns on them for a number of reasons. For one, the redirect scripts threats traffic differently than Google Bot. This is against their TOS. Second, it’s a terrible user-experience. The user clicks on the search engine result expecting to see what’s indexed, but instead gets redirected to a different site or offer. Both of these are frowned upon by Google and the first point is actually against their Webmaster Guidelines / TOS.
SEO Concerns / Tactics For Adult Whitelabeled Sites
Whitelabeled adult sites carry with them some extra SEO concerns. Search engines don’t like duplicate content. When dealing with duplicate content, they try to find the original site or the site with the most authority and only rank one version of the content. With whitelabels, there’s tons of webmasters running tons of whitelabeled versions of the same site Not only is the content duplicate, but it’s most likely running on the same nameservers, which is another red flag. Although this is something that you should really be aware of, know that there’s some ways to combat this. If done correctly, it’s very possible and profitable to rank a whitelabeled adult site. Here’s some things to consider:
Selecting Specific Niches / Categories – If a whitelabel doesn’t allow you to select / exclude individual categories, I would try to find another whitelabeled solution. Being able to select specific niches allows you to make niche sites. Not only does niche whitelabeled sites perform better in search engines, but they get better conversion rates. You get traffic that’s only interested in the particular niche / fetish you’re catering to. This makes them more likely to register for the site.
Modifying Header / Meta / Text – Many whitelabels will let you modify the content / metadata for certain pages. This is a great way to make the pages on your site unique and eliminate the risk of duplicate content penalties.
Customizing Site-wide Elements – Customizing the site-wide elements is a great way to combat the possibility of duplicate content penalties on every page. By changing the site-wide content, you slightly vary the content on every page if compared side-by-side with another whitelabel. Although the variations are slight, it’s still enough to make the versions slightly unique.
Modifying Individual Pages – Some whitelabels let you modify the content of individual pieces of content. Going through and changing up the text on every page is the only way to really mitigate every chance of a duplicate content penalties. Know that not every site allows you to customize their product to this extent.
Best Search Engine Optimization Resources
Here are my top SEO resources. Keep in mind, this is basically where I get all my information from, outside of my personal experience and experimentation.
Google Webmaster YouTube Channel – Get your information straight from the mouth of Google. The Google Webmaster YouTube Channel is like the illuminati and the SEO community is like the conspiracy theory nutjobs. SEOs will listed to every single piece of content released and look for the smallest indicators of what Google is really looking for behind the scenes.
MOZ – A company offering an SEO / analytical suite. MOZ also has their own crawlers and has reversed-engineered Google to a certain percent accuracy (Not 100% by any means). MOZ has used these crawlers to provide data for their tools. MOZ has developed their own set of metrics (mainly DA / PA) that have been adopted by the mainstream SEO community.
Search Engine Land – A thought-leader in the industry. Search Engine Land does plenty of experimenting and covers the industry thoroughly from a journalistic perspective. I highly suggest subscribing to the daily Marketing Day newsletter by Search Engine Land and their sister site Marketing Land.
Distilled – An SEO consulting company. As far as I’m concerned, they’re the best as far as some of the angles / methodology used when analyzing specific algorithm signals. Distilled can get very technical.
SEO Rants – Real SEO. And by Real SEO I mean SEO strategy from someone who’s out there experimenting and looking for leaked indicators of algorithm signals. This is not your bullshit whitehat consultant doing nothing but aggregating the best practices being spoon-fed to him by Google. This is real SEO.