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Showing you how I build profitable authority sites!


I will show you everything but my password! This site is dedicated to providing you USEFUL posts on how to build profitable authority sites. I share the systems I have setup to produce great content and properly use expired domains and private blog networks to rank quality sites.

Purgatory Link Building Strategy

Building links in an efficient way has been something that I have enjoyed systematizing for almost 10 years online now!

This purgatory link building strategy is on track to be one of my all time favorite strategies! 

As “white hat” link building goes this is a great strategy since it…

  • is scalable across many sites
  • get you niche relevant links
  • doesn’t require a cost per link (typically)
  • doesn’t require you spamming the entire internet
  • is an efficient use of your teams time. 

It does require you to use a few tools, act reasonably quickly and create a solid piece of content…but what are you doing running an online business if those stop you 🙂 

Enough talk… let us get to the details of what the Purgatory Link Building Strategy is all about…

Basic Link Building Concept:

Stealing backlinks from your competitor is great but really hard! 

Stealing competitors links when they are almost dead is easy!

Why is it named “Purgatory” Link Building – These are links that still have unfinished business, the pages they link to are not quite dead and the links themselves have a lot of life left! 

For other link building guides:

Simple Steps:

  1. Find expiring/auction domains with a lot of links and are reasonably relevant to your site
  2. Create an improved version of the pages that people were linking to (quickly – time matters with this strategy)
  3. Outreach to get people to link to you instead of the almost expired and now useless page

 

purgatory link building strategy

 

How is this different from Broken Link Building? Broken link building is about finding a resource that a lot of people linked to that is no longer available. The difference is in timing and scale… when you do broken link building you are reaching out to people who have had that broken links on their site for a number of weeks/months etc… when we are reaching out to domains that are about to expire it may be the first time that they know about the asset they were linking to no longer being active. Often the expiring domain will be a landing page and never actually show up as broken. Plus, you can do this at scale for smaller resources resulting in a lot more opportunities. This is much more scalable with a lower level of overall effort since you don’t need to find a page in your space with 100’s of links to it. 

How is this different from the SkyScraper Technique? With the skyscrapper technique you need to create a resource that is sooo much better than the page the website owner is currently linking to they are willing to either add your link or replace the link. This is a much tougher ask and not as scalable since you need to invest heavily in each piece of content. With purgatory link building you don’t need to create a 10x better piece of content. 

How is this different from my 301 Building Block Strategy? The 301 building block strategy is related where you leverage a micro site of your content on an expired domain and then move that site to be a content cluster within a larger site leveraging the links to the expired domain to raise the authority of the entire larger site. The 301 building block strategy requires you to actually purchase the domain and create a small cluster of content on the topic. Purgatory link building strategy allows for a more efficient/scalable approach to achieving a similar result.

Step by Step Purgatory Link Building Process:

Part 1 – Find Expiring Domain:

In this step you are going to find a domain that has people linking to it, they may not yet know that the link on their site is useless since the domain they are linking to is in “purgatory” not yet expired but the page is no longer live. 

We will identify a domain, the optimal page on that domain and the type of asset to create to then reach out to. 

1-1 – Find Domains

In this stage we want to identify domains that have solid real links… the best way to do this is to filter on TrustFlow from Majestic and verify it has at least a little traffic. This shows it has quality links and likely not terribly abused from an SEO standpoint since it ranks in Google (meaning the links we are going to want to get are ones that are actually useful). 

  • Go to SpamZilla 
  • Enter into the search term
    • TF > 15
    • Keywords > 1
    • Pick the Topical Trust Flow Category if you want to ONLY look in your niche

Purgatory Link Building Strategy

One other filter to apply is to select “MarketPlace Domains” and then only select GoDaddy Auction

Purgatory Link Building Strategy

You will be using this filter a lot so be sure to save it!

Open up each of the domains that look like they might make sense for you first in MajesticSEO looking for a site that has “real” and “relevant” links to the URL. Looking at both the Ref Domains and Pages that links have been built to help show what site would make a good target.

Purgatory Link Building

We need real links to a decent resource.

Here is an example we will do real time… publishing the alternative page here for these 1,414 domains to link to instead here at the same time I publish this article. 

Purgatory Link Building

In the pages tab we are looking for a page that can be created better then it was before which received several links and had a high Trust Flow. Often building a page to be an alternative to link to instead of the homepage is hard however many sub-pages will be a lot easier to build a similar page to. In this case we are targeting people who linked to the homepage and now need an alternative. 

Purgatory Link Building

Now we have an idea of a page or an article that could replace the homepage to recreate on a reasonably relevant site. 

1-2 Verify the Content in Archive.org is Recreatable

The next step is to check to see if we can recreate content that is superior to the expiring content.

If we were to execute this example we would need to re-write and add some additional value add that would have people taking the time to link to it. 

Checking in Archive.org to see that the page can be re-written/created anew…

Note – Archive.org and TheWaybackMachine are often down or not working and here are some alternatives

Purgatory Link Building

1-3 Build Outreach List using MajesticSEO and ahrefs.com 

This step is about preparing for the link building outreach plan. 

Using MajesticSEO and ahrefs build as complete a list of everyone who links to that page…

MajesticSEO:

  • Enter the URL in Site Explorer
  • Go to Backlinks
  • Export Data

Purgatory Link BuildingAhrefs:

  • Enter URL 
  • Select Backlinks
  • Export Data

Purgatory Link Building

Part 2 – Create a Link Worthy Piece of Content

Creating “just” an article may not be enough. The goal isn’t to just match the quality of the content but to top it to provide the extra incentive for the site owner to replace the useless link with your own. 

Article: 

Certainly matching the article quality is important. Doing a little bonus keyword research at this stage so that the article is being created to both be a suitable link alternative but then have a reasonable shot at ranking for a keyword that matters in terms of organic traffic. 

The link juice makes this strategy often worth it on its own but if you can find an angle that will move the needle for traffic that is even better! 

Make sure you are using strong internal linking strategies from these pages to the pages that matter most for your site so that you can pass the link juice along to the pages that really matter. 

Infographic: 

If you can get a decent infographic created in a matter of hours for $5 (via Fiverr) with the research already done (share the archive.org link for the data) then it is a great means of getting some additional link love!

Video:

If there is a simple video that can be created that will also fulfill the searchers query that might be enough to reach out and share. 

Tool / Aid:

If the opportunity is large enough there could be a simple template or tool that would make the effort to swap out the link worthwhile. 

Publish the content and be ready for the next step.

 

See example – 10 Best Note Taking Apps for Windows

 

Part 3 – Outreach

If you want to build a really robust outreach machine then have a look at this B2B Lead Generation article! 

However, for this relatively efficient outreach system focused around linkbuilding than the outreach tool from SEMRush fits the bill. 

  • Upload list
  • Create template
  • Start sending 
  • Monitor and follow up if needed

SEMRush Link Building Tool

More on this Content Marketing Strategy…

This is just one of several strategies we have been developing and scaling within the ContentRefined.com team to be able to REALLY push a site! 

Fun Story About the Inspiration for This Strategy – I am a Terrible Loser!

I was buying some expired domains with traffic and lost one I REALLY wanted… being a terrible loser I decided to quickly create some superior quality content then what the site had and “steal” the links going to the domain that I just got outbid on. Yes, I am a petty and a terrible loser! But now hopefully you can be too!

Purgatory Link Building

Later talking with the ContentRefined team we decided that this wasn’t just something to execute on a one-off basis but to scale and hence the reason for this post existing.

Very interested in hearing your thoughts on this strategy and more importantly the results you are able to achieve with it! 

 

10 Best Note Taking Apps for Windows in 2020

Gone are the days where you needed a pen and paper to take notes, jot down your ideas, and write your to-do lists. Don’t get me wrong, you can still use this surefire method if you prefer, but with today’s technology, you are doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t taking advantage of convenient note-taking applications and note-taking software. 

One of the best note taking apps that entrepreneurs used to use was TreePad. Unfortunately, TreePad is no longer available, but these are some alternative note-taking apps for Windows that I had tested and want to share with you today. I will also include which I feel is the best note taking app Windows has to offer. 

1. Sticky Notes

Best Standard Windows App – 3.9 out of 5 stars

The Sticky Notes app comes standard on PCs with Windows 10 or higher. You do not have to download or install additional note-taking apps or note-taking software if you have a Windows 10 PC or higher. Sticky Notes is a basic, simple, and effective app for taking and saving notes and reminders. Sticky Notes can be pinned to the desktop or home screen, come in a variety of colors, and can sync with Microsoft OneNote. 

Sticky Notes defaults to a size of approximately 2×2 when opened on a PC, but the notepad can be expanded or condensed as needed. If using a Microsoft Surface Pro, you can write notes directly on the area of the Sticky Note using a stylus pen.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Comes standard on Windows 10 or higher operating systems
  • Ability to sync with Microsoft OneNote and calendars
  • Different colors available
  • Can pin to desktop or start menu

2. Microsoft OneNote

Best Note-Syncing App – 4 out of 5 stars

The good news about Microsoft OneNote is that you can use it in a couple of different ways without having to pay a dime for the app. It is completely free and works with Windows 7 operating systems or newer. If you have a Microsoft account (Hotmail, Windows Live, Outlook), you can access Microsoft OneNote directly from the application you are in. For example, if you are in your free Hotmail email account and need to create notes, calendar events, or organize information, you can do it directly from the Microsoft OneNote add-in that is included. 

The other way to use Microsoft OneNote is as an application on a phone or tablet. As long as you are signed into your Microsoft account, all your Microsoft OneNote files will sync, and you will be able to access them on any desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone that uses the application.

Microsoft OneNote saves your notes into your “Notebook” for you to access from any Microsoft-based application. Microsoft OneNote is free, but if you need the full Microsoft Office 365, it costs $69. 

Pros:

  • Free and paid versions
  • Easily access your notes by signing into your Microsoft account on any device
  • Syncs with Microsoft programs and other note files on your computer
  • You can add pages and sections to each note 
  • You can create more than one “notebook” on OneNote, making organization easier

3. Evernote

Most Popular Overall – 4.2 out of 5 stars

I wanted to go ahead and knock out the two most common note-taking applications that come standard with Windows operating systems today before I dive into the details of Evernote.

Evernote is the most popular note-taking application for Windows – and for a good reason. Evernote gives users the option to choose a free version or a paid plan. As for myself, I like options. Maybe I want to spend a little money on an application if it’s worth it, or maybe I can be perfectly happy with a free version; at least give me the option, and that is exactly what Evernote does.

Evernote Basic is the free version of this notes app, and it doesn’t cut any corners. You can access your notes from any device when you log in, you receive 60MB of file storage each month, and you can save a webpage directly into a note with the “Web Clipper” add-on. You can also create a to-do list with the Evernote Basic version. 

Evernote Premium is $7.99/month, and I would recommend it if you needed daily organization in your life. If you have multiple meetings, deadlines, and projects, Evernote Premium may be worth the $7.99 each month. Perhaps the best feature of Evernote Premium is the access you have when you are offline. You can also attach emails, Microsoft Office and Google documents, PDFs, business cards, and handwritten notes with Evernote Premium making it a highly organizational note-taking application.

Pros:

  • Basic (free) or Premium (paid) versions available
  • Large storage capacities each month with a cloud-based file system
  • Web Clipper add-on lets you save webpage information directly into a note
  • Multiple types of files can be saved in Evernote Premium
  • Connect the Evernote application to your smartphone to use voice commands to add notes (Hey Siri, Hey Google)

4. Simplenote

Best Text-Only App – 4.3 out of 5 stars

Another free note-taking app for Windows that I have tested is Simplenote. I like Simplenote because it is free, simple, and functional for the note-taking I do. I don’t need to add audio files, pictures, and attachments to every note I take which is what makes Simplenote so appealing to me, but this may not be enough of an application you need. 

The good news about this application is that it is free, so you can at least download it and add it to your repertoire of note-taking applications if need-be. Maybe there are basic text-only notes you need to take and organize? Simplenote is perfect for organizing text-only notes which is what makes it one of the 10 best.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Text-only notes
  • Tags for easy searching
  • Online publishing 
  • Access your notes on any device

5. Google Keep

Best App for Google Lovers – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Google has become my go-to for docs, sheets, and cloud photo storage or organization, so I was excited when I discovered Google Keep. Google Keep is the best note-taking application for those who enjoy Google-based applications. Google Keep has that same Google feel you get in other Google applications.

Organizing your notes in Google Keep is simple and straightforward. You can organize your notes according to how you label them. Google Keep has three preset labels that you can use to organize your notes, or you can remove them completely and make your own. You can create a label for work, personal, financials, sports, or as many or as little categories as you need.

Google Keep allows you to add a collaborator, which is someone who can also edit the note. You can also change the color of each note and add images in addition to text.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Google feel and design
  • Effective organization through colors and labels
  • Add text and images to notes
  • Invite a collaborator to add and edit notes

6. Dropbox Paper

Best App for Groups – 4.4 out of 5 stars

Most of my notes are not required to be shared with others, but there are times when I have wanted an application that my colleagues and I could each access, edit, and publish. Dropbox Paper gives me exactly what I need when needing to share information with others. On the flipside, Dropbox Paper is great for me to go into to see what my colleagues have added so that I can stay up-to-speed on the latest project. For a complete list of cloud project management software checkout this guide

I think the best feature of Dropbox Paper is its immediate integration with the Dropbox application that allows every file I have uploaded to Dropbox to be accessed and attached to the document on Dropbox Paper if need be. 

Pros:

  • Free
  • Easy sign-in on computer or smartphone to access documents anytime anywhere
  • Dropbox files are synced and accessible to add to documents
  • All file types can be added to documents 
  • Cloud storage for documents created

7. Typora

Best App for Formatting – 4.3 out of 5 stars

There are times when I need to immediately access a note, which is why I recommend the Sticky Notes application. Then, there are times when I need to create detailed and organized notes that I may not frequently access yet I need them on standby. This is when I would use Typora.

If you are a visual person like me, you respond to titles, headings, and specific formatting of text. This is what landed Typora on this list. Typora is extremely customizable. You can make any note in any format you choose. The markdown editor formats text as you type, making note-taking quicker and more effective. You can even create a table of contents to look at specific headers, titles, and outlines. 

There is one setback to this app – once you create a note, you have to save it as a document to your computer. You cannot save it within the application and come back to it later to view it or organize it within the application. The good news is that you can create quality, detailed notes with the Typora app and save them on your computer for quick and easy access whenever you need it.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Extremely organizational with titles, headers, and outlines
  • Customizable with markdown editor that formats text as you type
  • No mobile app version available – desktop only

8. Microsoft WordPad

Best Get-the-Job-Done App – 4 out of 5 stars

 

The pioneer of note-taking apps is Microsoft WordPad. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, and this note-taking application has lived up to the test. A basic note-taking application for you to add text, bullets, and outlines. 

If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to grab a pen and paper, open up Microsoft WordPad on your desktop computer and begin writing. It’s that simple, and it has stood the test of time. Microsoft WordPad first debuted on Windows 95 and it is still going strong today. Microsoft WordPad has evolved since Windows 95, but it has still retained its basic interface.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Comes standard on all Windows operating systems
  • Limited customizing options; colors, font-size, bullets, and outlines only
  • Notes must be saved to the computer they are created on

9. Standard Notes

Best for Private Notes – 4 out of 5 stars

Private notes should be private, and Standard Notes has ensured just that. Standard Notes has promised that your notes have AES-256 encryption. This means that only you can read the notes you create and no one else. The best part is that the free version of Standard Notes offers you more features than some of its competition’s paid versions. 

For example, in the free version of Standard Notes, you can edit documents while offline, there is no data limit, and the notes you create are automatically synced and available to access. 

The paid version is still affordable at $2.48/month. The benefits of the paid version include receiving encrypted copies of your documents that can be stored on Google Docs or Dropbox, automatic backups so that you never have to fear losing anything you have created, and Two-Factor Authentication to ensure your privacy stays private.

Pros:

  • Free and paid versions
  • Private 
  • Automatic sync
  • No data limits
  • Offline accessibility

10. Notion

The All-in-One Note-Taking App – 3.4 out of 5 stars

Notion has been described as the organizational note-taking application that can take all the information from Google Docs, Google Sheets, and other databases and combine them into one organizational app. Notion can be used individually or in an office or group setting. Not only is Notion used for creating notes and documents, but you can also assign tasks, create questions and answers, and record spreadsheets and databases.

Notion comes in different tiered plans. There is a free plan, a $4/month plan, and an $8/month plan. 

  • Free plan includes 1000-block storage, 5MB upload limit, and bulk export of files
  • $4/month plan gives you unlimited block storage, no file upload limit, priority tech support, and bulk export of files
  • $8/month plan gives you unlimited block storage, no file upload limit, priority tech support, admin tools, and bulk export of files

What is the Best Note-Taking App for Windows?

Now that I’ve given you my tried-and-true recommendations of note-taking apps that work, it’s time for the big reveal.

The best note-taking app for Windows is Evernote

Evernote was founded in 2000 and has been evolving ever since. In 2018, CEO Chris O’Neill announced he was stepping down from the company. He was replaced by current CEO Ian Small. Ian announced that Evernote was going to continue building the future, and they have delivered.

Evernote has something for everyone, and you don’t have to pay for the app if you don’t want to. Their free version is effective, and you don’t lose any of the operational features of the app. The paid version is affordable, and you do get a few more options, but I like the features I receive from the free version. 

I also like that Evernote can transcribe handwriting. If using a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet or a smartphone with the Evernote application installed, you can use your finger or stylus pen to write handwritten notes and Evernote will turn it into a document, organize your notes, and save it. 

Why You Need the Best Note Taking App for YOU

Everyone is different, so what may work for you may not work for another. Identify the reason why you need to be using the best note-taking app. 

One of the features I have found that is worth its weight in gold is being able to access the app while I’m not online. You may need the same feature in your line of work. Perhaps you are on-call even when you are on vacation in remote areas where Wi-Fi service is non-existent. Being able to access or create valuable notes pertaining to the phone call you are taking may be a selling feature of one application over another. 

Applications that have both desktop and mobile app versions make it so much easier to access notes on-the-go. You can be sitting at your desk updating a note and then grab your phone for a meeting and continue adding to the note when the meeting starts. Applications that have handwriting recognition can also help you record notes as you jot down key points from a meeting.

Storage, Storage, Storage 

The number of notes you write each month may determine the application you choose. You will not want to choose an application with a monthly upload cap or a storage limit. 

While Notion is a great note-taking application, it does not offer much storage allowance at all. This may be the factor that determines if you use Notion or another application. Dropbox Paper, Evernote, OneNote, and Standard Notes might be a better option for you in this case.

Conclusion

As you can see, I made mention of Evernote multiple times throughout this article. Evernote is hard to beat with all of the features, both free and paid, that are offered in the app, but Microsoft OneNote is a close second. 

When searching for the best note-taking app for Microsoft Windows, a Microsoft product is hard to beat. Just remember you must have Microsoft Windows 7 or newer to be able to download both of these!

Income Store 75 Million Ponzi Scheme? – What will this mean for the industry?

It has been a whirlwind over the last month when it comes to Income Store! I am going to go over what has happened and how it seems investors have been ripped off. Is it an old fashioned pyramid or ponzi scheme? was the moratorium on payments just a stall tactic?

UPDATE JAN 15, 2020 – The SEC has issued a press release alleging that Income Store operated as a PonziScheme with investor funds coming in used to pay off investor returns and personal expenses including mortgage and private school tuition.

UPDATE Jan 10, 2020 – A website for IncomeStore investors has been setup to share up to date information. http://incomestorereceivership.com/ It is not 100% clear who is behind the website but seems to have the most up to date information.

As it stands right now Income Store assets have been seized by the SEC and employees have been told not to come in. 

First – If you have been ripped off by this – as I know some of you have, I feel for you!  Very sorry to hear!

Second – I am not a lawyer, if you are involved in Income Store, I recommend discussing with one. 

If you are new to the industry and trying to make sense of the potential scam with Income Store, here is a buying and selling websites guide covers the industry and process in great detail!

In this post I will go over…

  1. What is (was) Income Store
  2. What has happened and how did we get here
  3. Share the information (mostly links) that people who have been involved with Income Store should be aware of. 
  4. What does this mean for the industry?
  5. My personal regret and 2 similar ticking time bombs in our industry. I don’t want to Monday Morning quarterback and not also provide some similar warnings.  

The situation is scary for many and as some write “This is the kind of money that ruins a retirement or changes life plans significantly.”

The best place to go right now for breaking news is the forums and Emilia Garner’s YouTube channel who is a lawyer and a website site owner/operator. 

Her combined legal and site experience along with some internet sleuthing is providing really great coverage! Thanks Emilia. 

I am going to aim to provide reference links and my thoughts on what this will mean to the industry over the next 1-3 yrs.

What is (was) Income Store?

Income Store would solicit an investment from a “Site Partner” with a minimum of $100k investment, buy a website and split the proceeds 50/50 with a guaranteed return of 15%.  

Their website is now offline but here is a recent video which is still live on their Vimeo page that summarizes their offering and the image below shows some of their stats:

From their Brag Sheet below they were a well established player with a lot of history of operating sites.

What Has Happened?

In the middle of December an email went out saying that no site partners would receive any money and contractors reported on forums they were not getting paid. 

Here is a video from Ken (the founder, CEO) communicating that they needed to seek a moratorium on payments to site partners. 

See this video https://vimeo.com/380803495/94b2cf1584

Since then, the SEC has seized the company’s assets and employees were told not to come in according to posts in this forum. Below is the breaking news from Jan 6, 2020

Re: Securities and Exchange Commission v. Today’s Growth Consultant, Inc (dba “The Income Store”) and Kenneth D. Courtright, III, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Civil Action No. 1:19-CV-08454

Date: January 6, 2020

Attached is a Temporary Restraining Order Freezing Assets and Imposing Other Emergency Relief and Order Appointing Receiver that have been entered in the above referenced matter.

The Court has determined that the appointment of a receiver is necessary and appropriate for the purposes of marshaling and preserving the books and records and all assets of Today’s Growth Consultant, Inc.

Within the next few days a website will be established that will provide court documents and other information regarding the case that will answer many of your questions. For additional information, you may contact the office of the Receiver at (305) 542-4410 or incomestore@dvllp.com.

Temporary Restraining Order (01792605x9E1D6).pdf

Order Appointing Receiver (01792604x9E1D6).pdf

How Did We Get Here?

Reading between the lines, it seems the business model imploded and attempts to save it failed.

This is all educated speculation but it seems like this was the most likely way that things played out…

It would appear that it all started out well with great profits from the content sites – but doubling down on whatever strategy was working resulted in exposure to Google penalties- which enacted their toll in 2016. 

This is a common death nail for portfolio managers when they have one set of strategies that they double down on across their entire portfolio. Leading people think they have diversified their risk but the reality is they have a single point of failure exposure with the same strategy used across all their properties. 

In 2017/2018 they went full throttle on ECommerce sites (specifically Shopify) building up 422 of them and at the start of the year Facebook paid traffic changes resulted in a significant negative impact on that business.

It is not clear in the end if they were still buying sites or taking peoples investment and then “building” a site and using that difference to continue the 15% guaranteed payments. 

Ultimately as the number of investments where they had to dip into the profits of other recently acquired businesses grew, they needed to keep raising money at a faster rate to bring on more sites/capital. Although based on the number of employees and knowing they were active in buying sites I may not go as far as calling it a ponzi scheme (although I am not convinced)- it had a similar failure mechanism. Once the money flowing in to acquire new sites was not enough to cover operating costs and payback investors their guaranteed 15% the model collapsed. 

Again the majority of the section above is pieced together speculation.

via GIPHY

Reference and Resource Information

Here are other links sourced from Emilia’s YouTube videos (seriously make sure you subscribe to get some really great coverage!)

What Does this Mean for the Industry?

Income Store is just a single operator in the wider online business world but a failure of this size in the industry is going to cast a long shadow! 

The impact will be tough to identify on its own- but there are a couple of predictions to take away…

  1. Investors will be more cautious of any passive operator model
  2. Additional fear may reduce the risk people are willing to take when it comes to debt financing and reduce multiples on businesses especially in the $200k+ range

My Personal Regret:

Although I never endorsed Income Store, I would privately share my reservations about a guaranteed 15%. The business model would look like a graph with the limit converging to zero as it scaled, but I was hesitant to share it more publicly or strongly. I regret this now and apologize to anyone who might have read a post on my thoughts and made a different decision. 

To that end I will be sharing a few thoughts I have been sharing with people more privately but not being outspoken enough on them. 

First though how will this impact the industry for buying and selling websites.

Operators (similar but smaller to Income Store):

The current operator model has some similar but smaller risks. Although there aren’t players as big as Income Store there are some risks I have shared privately but will do so here as well.

First let me show you what a typical website operator agreement looks like…

Typical Operator Agreement:

  • Give an operator $50k-$1,000k+ (for the purposes of this example lets say $100k)
  • They buy a $100k website making $2.8k/month in profit
  • They manage the website taking $1,000/month in management fees and 50% of any upside 
  • If the business stays flat and operating costs in growth efforts are lean at $800/month you receive $1k/month (or a 12% return)

Problems with This Model: (can’t let the losers be losers) 

Internet businesses are volatile, some will go down! When an operator has a portfolio of businesses all with different owners they are unable to cut their losses on the losers. 

This hurts both the losers and the winning sites. 

How does this hurt you if you have a loser?

If you have a site that is down- then the operator is a long way from seeing a return on their upside. So their incentive(whether they act on it or not) is to operate as efficiently as possible, ensuring they do just enough to not get fired. As a result, the squeaky wheel gets the grease analogy becomes applicable and time/resources are allocated to appeasing the site owners who have assets that are down and complain the most.  

How does this hurt you if you have a winner?

If you have a winner the operator will be distracted by dealing with the portion of the portfolio that is down which will reduce the total upside you would otherwise be able to capitalize on with your winner.

Either way the operator is limited in their ability to maximize the value of the sites they are managing. This is a problem that will only get worse with both time and the number of sites limiting the total scale that any operator is able to achieve without resorting to tactics that allowed Income Store to grow as big as it did and fail as dramatically as it has. 

SBA Loans or any other Personally Guaranteed debt is almost always mistake:

Taking on debt to finance the purchase of an online business can generate some phenomenal returns! Borrowing at 8% and generating a 30% return works out to some very incredible numbers. 

The appeal is very strong! If you have that same $100k mentioned above, you get an SBA loan to cover 80% of the purchase price you can end up buying an asset with earnings of $160k/yr! (before covering the interest costs). 

If this works out, the results are amazing, for $100k you can have an income replacing, financial freedom achieving online business! 

However, online businesses are volatile and SBA loans are personally guaranteed. This risk is real and the dangers of SBA loans to buy online businesses is only now starting to be felt. With the increase in SBA loans over the last 1-2 years the first people who have bought an online that had a decline are only now getting impacted. 

There are already some stories of people who have had a site decline and as a result lost their house/financial security for their family. 

I am fiscally conservative- so others will have a different view- but I do not see a scenario where I would take on debt that was personally guaranteed and risk my families financial security in a high risk attempt to achieve financial freedom. 

Talking with others in this space who also manage a portfolio or a single successful income producing website they agreed. 100% of the 5 people I asked all making over 10k/month from their portfolio and have been doing so for years(they know what they are doing) would not take on personally secured debt to buy a site if it meant risking their families financial security. 

Final Thoughts

Many people will wonder why I would write this article throwing some shade at the industry I am heavily involved in with MotionInvest.com among other projects like ContentRefined.com etc. 

Part of the reason is guilt that I didn’t speak up more publicly about my reservations with Income Store.

But more importantly, is the realization that I will certainly be in this industry for the next decade and ensuring an efficient marketplace with minimal booms/busts by trying to be a voice that brings euphoria or fear back to reality- seems like it won’t be a waste of time. 

Hopefully the largest implosion of the decade in this industry is now behind us only 0.19% of the way into it.

If you have any other thoughts on anything I shared please leave a comment below.

Best Autoptimize WordPress Plugin Configuration Tutorial for 2020

Since you have already searched for a WordPress Autoptimize tutorial on Google, you are certain you want to know how to configure an Autoptimize WordPress Plugin to make your website faster.

Hence in this post, there is no beating around the bush. I will go straight through to the important actions you should perform to configure an Autoptimize plugin because I value your time.

Remember that I will explain only about the optimal configuration for an Autoptimize plugin. It is a configuration I have achieved after several tests and I believe you will get an amazing site performance with that particular Autoptimize configuration.

If, at any point in time, while reading this tutorial, you will feel lost or confused, please send me your feedback via the contact form or comment down below. I will happily reply to your genuine feedback into this blog post, so future readers will have an even better website creating experience on their end.

Before we proceed to the proper and most effective configuration and optimizing for these plugins, let me introduce you to some reviews about it from real people who are currently using these kinds of plugins.

If you have noticed that your WordPress site has begun to experience much higher bounce rates or your Metrix reports have begun to minify HTML, CSS, and JSL files, then you may also find a slower-moving website and as a result, you are looking for the option to enable better performance and speed by optimizing the plugins you are using.

A WP optimize plugin is one of the best WordPress plugins to get if you are looking for effective ways to speed up your website and improve its performance with optimization. 

In addition to combining all of the CSS and JS files, this WordPress plugin loads them into proper order and helps with minify HTML codes and cache different files. 

Results of Autoptimize Plugins

When the Autoptimize plugin is run correctly, you will find a reduction in the number of requests being made to the server, a reduction in the page size and file size of the website and decreased initial load times for the website. 

To optimize the HTML code on your website, you want to remove all of the white space that is between the HTML code. This will go a long way in helping to reduce the file size of your site. This is just one of two HTML code options. You can also enable it so that all HTML code comments remain on the page.

How to Optimize a WordPress Site

A good way to optimize your WordPress site, as you may already know, is to monitor your plugins. The plugins used on a WordPress site are one of the biggest reasons the site begins to slow down. If you continue to install these plugins without doing any research, you will also find a ton of performance issues you will need to address as well.

Bad coding and calls to external servers can both be reasons a site can slow down, so only use plugins that will help you. P3 Profiler is a good tool to use to see how much load time the plugins you are adding to your site are taking. This is one of the more effective ways of pinpointing which plugins are affecting the performance of your site.

You should also optimize any images you use for the web as well. Optimize the images before you post them using a photo application like Photoshop that allows you to choose a save for the web option. There are other plugins you can use to optimize images that have already been uploaded as well.

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin-review

These are some examples that some people love to use that autoptimize plugin as they find it works better than other plugins specifically on their website. But one or two reviews can’t prove that Autoptimize will always work well with you. Some people even find it difficult to run/open/load their site after installing the optimization plugin.

For example, This is the reason why you should be very careful while setting up the plugin with WordPress. After reading this guide, I hope you can complete the setup easily and be able to achieve a faster site speed as well as better performance in many types of networks.

How Do I Set Up Autoptimize?

Install the Autoptimize WordPress Plugin

Either install the plugin from WordPress admin panel > plugins >add new > Autoptimize or download the plugin from WordPress repository and upload it to your WordPress.

When the installation is done, activate the plugin and proceed to settings > Autoptimize. On the main tab, find “Show Advanced Settings” on the top right corner and active it.

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

Autoptimize-Options

Configure HTML Options

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

HTML-settings-autoptimize-WordPress

*** You can enable and disable the HTML comments and check if it does affect your website or not? If not required, you can disable it, but I recommend to keep it enabled.***

Configure JavaScript Options

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

Autoptimize WordPress-JavaScript-Options

  1. If you detect render-blocking on tools like Gtmetrix or Pingdom, then enable the Aggregate JS-files.
  2. For faster page loading, activate the aggregate inline js but practice clearing your cache regularly.
  3. JavaScript in the head can lead to a slower loading page due to rendering blocking.
  4. Enabling the catch-wrapping can fix the JavaScript problem of your website.

Configure CSS Options

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

CSS-Configuration

Should You Inline All CSS?

  1. Back in the day, CSS optimization was easy; put all CSS in your head, aggregating everything in one CSS-file per media-type.
  1. Inlining all CSS has one clear advantage (better PageSpeed score) and one big disadvantage; your base HTML-page gets significantly bigger, and if the amount of CSS is big, Pagespeed Insights will complain of “roundtrip times.”

Configure CDN Setting

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

MISC Configuration

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

Extra Settings Configuration

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

Extra-Autoptimize-Settings

Important: If you notice a huge drop in performance score due to multiple content delivery networks, then disable the ShortPixel Optimize Image.

*** Autoptimize 2.4 beta 3 includes image optimization ***. So, keep that enabled.

You can also read our previously published guide on: How to reduce server response time.

Install Async JavaScript Plugin

When Autoptimize is all set up, then install another plugin to extend the java-script control. This plugin is developed by the same producer of Autoptimize, so it will totally work with the main plugin.

Go to the WordPress repository and download the plugin and install it. When the installation is done, activate it and follow the given configuration.

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

Async-JavaScript-Plugin

async-javascript-plugin

When done , click on save and test your website.

CriticalCSS.com Power-Up

There’s one more plugin you can add for a more optimized performance. The Autoptimize criticalcss.com Power-up is available in the WordPress plugin repository. This plugin integrates with and extends Autoptimize. It integrates with criticalcss.com, a premium service that uses a “headless” browser to extract real critical CSS.

It charges $2/month to provide the service. CriticalCSS fully automates the extraction of high-quality critical CSS and the creation of rules for that critical CSS. It can work 100% automated, but also allows semi-automated jobs and manual rules.

When activated, it will appear inside the Autoptimize settings and gives you the following features.

crtitcal-css-settings

Critical CSS Alternative:

In case you don’t want to go with a premium critical CSS add on, you can use “Speed Up – Optimize CSS Delivery” plugin. This is an automated plugin, and the purpose of using this plugin is to load your vital stylesheets synchronously and non-vital CSS files asynchronously.

Non-vital CSS-files can be, for example, fonts, icons, before the fold template-specific CSS, etc. Additionally, you can choose which files to load synchronously with a filter in your function.php files. To do that just modify(add) the function.php files with the code below.

// exclude main and child stylesheets from delivery optimization function exclude_from_delivery_optimization($handle){ return in_array($handle, array(‘main-stylesheet’, ‘child-stylesheet’)); } add_filter(‘speed-up-optimize-CSS-delivery’, ‘exclude_from_delivery_optimization’);

One Last Step: Keep Your Database Optimized

Removing all the unnecessary data is precious. A junky database takes more time to respond to any queries. So, it’s better to keep your database clean, compact, and de-fragmented. To shape your data tables clean, install WP-optimize.

When activated, you will get a WP-optimized link on the bottom of your WordPress left-bar. Once you click on there a dashboard will appear with all the cleaning options with priority. It’s better for you to follow their recommendation.

autoptimize-wordpress-plugin

*Consider installing WP-draft to back up your site before cleaning your database. It will keep you safe from losing precious records. When you are done with these settings, go to GTmetrix and check your domain name. (you can consider checking any other pages too).

For this website, I have really good performance ratings. Look at the test result screenshot below.

gtmetrix-test-autopimize-wordpress-plugin

Conclusion

So, these are the settings I have found useful for performance improvement as well as providing a better user experience overall. Feel free to try these settings if you are using the Autoptimize WordPress plugin and see the output and the results for yourself. Also, keep testing your page speed and performance to make sure your site is not losing user impact due to bad performance and slower load speeds.

If you find this article helpful, send me your feedback & don’t forget to share your experience with other readers. Have any questions about any of the info we have included above? Get in touch with us.  Also, send me a review so that I can work more on my crafting and come up with more resources to help you in the future.

12 Best Website Checker Tools 2020

After building a site, you need to analyze the performance and speed. The full insight of the site will give you a performance report so that you can monitor it easily.

However, the website checker tool will detail performance and page speed at the same time. Monitoring and optimization are always key after building a site.

Moreover, you can even check the performance score of the AMP version and desktop version. Usually, after installing any optimization or security tools, you should check the performance score.

So, after checking the score, you will have a better idea about the page load time, YSlow score, and other analysis options are well or not. YSlow is a tool that analyzes the page and tells you exactly why it is slow. This can help you when deciding to reduce the page loading times and improving the user experience. 

You can base these changes off the check-list style suggestions this website checker tool provides. What’s even better? This tool is free and open-source!

Let’s check the best website checker tools

To give the best experience to your page visitors, you will need the best website checker tool to monitor the site.

1.GTmetrix

GTmetrix is an efficient website checker tool that will give you a full insight report of performance.

The bottlenecks can be detected easily if you will have detailed information on the performance score. The tool will also give you a recommendation on how to optimize.

website-checker-tool-gtmetrix

The details include page speed, YSlow score, waterfall, video, and history with other recommendations. You can check the individual load time of the page.

The data of recommendation consist of grade, type of data, and priority of data. The summary report will indicate the total page size and total requests.

You can easily compare the performance of the website relative to the average of all websites checked by this tool. The tracking of performance by interactive visual graphs showing the detail information is easy.

You can monitor the page by scheduling the time, whether monthly, weekly or daily, to ensure the optimal performance.

Pro users will get some advanced features such as simulate a device, change the screen resolution, add a custom DNS and create presets etc. In videos, you can slow the playbacks and view the page load in a filmstrip view.

Moreover, the plus users will also get advanced features such as HTTP authentication, connection throttling, URL whitelist/backlist, and AdBlock plus for security.

GTmetrix

Related resource: How to Fix Image Optimization Issues in Gtmetrix

2. Pingdom

Pingdom is another one of the best choices when you are looking for the website checker tools. Monitoring website performance is easy to accomplish with this analyzer tool.

The key features consist of uptime monitoring, real user monitoring, synthetic interaction testing, page speed monitoring, and many more. The tool will alert you whenever there are real faults that occur along with poor performance.

 PingdTools-website-checker-tool

There are four different sections, which include waterfall breakdown, performance grade, page analysis and history.

The page analysis will display the information such as size analysis, size per domain, the number of requests per domain, and what type of subject matter had most requests.

It will also outline where bottlenecks are and where to make the improvements.

Pingdom Tool

3. Google Page Speed Insight

Google PageSpeed Insight is an effective analyzer and optimizer tool for website performance. It will instantly give you the results of the performance score.

There will be two scores for the mobile version and for the desktop version. It will display the optimization, which will speed up the page load.

PageSpeed-Insightwebsite-checker-tool

In this report, you will find other valuable data, as you can see above. It includes the speed index, time to interactive, first CPU Idle, and the first meaningful paint, etc. It also suggests areas in which other improvements may be needed.

The lab data can also be used for debugging performance issues. Field data is used to capture the true and real-world user experience.

However, a lab data score is only considered good if it is more than 90. Diagnostics provide additional information about how the page adheres to the best practices for web development.

Page Insight

4. Website Grader

Website grader is also one of the instant website checker tools. However, the performance report has four different sections: performance, mobile, SEO, and security.

In the performance section, you will see page size, page speed, a page request, browser caching, and page redirects.

Website-Grader-website-checker-tool

In the mobile section, you will see the score out of 30. It shows how effectively your website is optimized in the mobile version for mobile applications.

In the SEO section, it has also score out of 30. That indicates how much your website is easy to reach out to your audience. It includes the check of the page meta description, headings, site map, and more.

In the security section, it indicates a secured website score out of 10.

Website Grader

5. Web Page Test

WebPageTest-website-checker-tool

WebPageTest is an easy to use website checker tool that helps you monitor performance levels. You can run simple tests with some advanced settings options.

The test this website checker tool uses includes multi-step transactions, video capture, content blocking and much more. The advance setting option provides advance, chromium, auth, script and custom options while testing.

The visual comparison also can be made via various test configurations by entering multiple URLs. It has a unique feature of showing the first view and repeat view.

That indicates the first time DNS lookup delay, which was mentioned earlier. The grade is assigned from F to A depending on different performance tests such as compress transfer, compress images, and effective use of CDN.

The report is divided into various sections, including summary detail, performance review, a breakdown of subject matter, and screenshots.

Web Page Test

Additional resourcesWordPress Maintenance Mode Plugins

6. Uptrends

Uptrends is also a tracking tool to check the performance report. You can monitor various things by using this tool, such as website monitoring,  web application monitoring, and server monitoring.

 Website-Speed-Test-website-checker-tool

The report has two sections: waterfall and domain groups. The domain group is further categorized into different sources such as CDN, statistical, first party and third party overall.

This website checker tool provides you with a location-based report created by measuring minute details. The tool supports many useful protocols for your website, including, but not limited to, HTTP/HTTPs, Ping, DNS, and SQL.

You can easily share the report by sending it through email in a PDF or excel export. The Uptrends downtime double check ensures the bug before sending an alert message.

Up Trend

7. Semrush

Semrush is the multitask tool for both tracking and performance. You can check multiple things such as your analytics report, visual charts, and have access to a content analyzer.

Keyword-research-tool-website-checker-tool

You can easily compare your competitor’s position changes with your position. The analysis will be created by gathering all the data in One elegant with drag-drop.

Moreover, you can easily customize the reports online by inserting a logo, branding, and commenting features. You can even schedule your report time daily, weekly and monthly.

The content analyzer will access the website content online and measure it externally.

The content audit feature is also provided, which compares the performance of different content pieces.

Semrush

8. Dotcom-Monitor

Dotcom-monitor is an instant website checker tool. This particular tool offers 23 different locations and 7 browsers to run the performance test.

dotcom-monitor-website-checker-tool-2

The geographical tests can be run simultaneously, which will consume less time. You can even check the individual report of the waterfall breakdown.

The analysis is separated into five sections. These sections include summary, performance, waterfall chart, and errors. It will show the performance of the fastest and slowest elements.

To diagnose the connectivity of the network and error, the ping test tool is provided. This website checker tool is a cloud-based load testing platform and can provide you with fully managed and scaled load testing results.

Additional resource: How to Configure the Cookie-Free Domain in WordPress

Dotcom-Monitor

9. YSlow

YSlow is also a webpage analyzer tool which will be based on the yahoo’s rules for high performance. Remember, we touched on this website checker tool a bit in the introduction. This tool offers valuable suggestions and bottlenecks for improvement.

YSlow-website-checker-tool

It also provides other tools for performance analysis, such as Smush.itJSLint. YSlow will first crawl the domain to find all the components and gather the information of the components.

After gathering the information, it generates the grade for each rule and then turns each of those grades into the overall grade. It has 23 different rules for checking the performance including CDN and CDN, reducing DNS insight.

Yslow

10. Bitcatcha

Bitcatcha is another one of the best website performance checker tools you can utilize for performance and improvement. It checks server speed as delivered by the web host. It also checks the overall performance of the website as well.

Bitcatcha-website-checker-tool

Bitcatcha checks your overall web design, the cleanliness of the code, cache, plugins, and visual media. The tool will give a speed rating in grades, so it is easy to understand and follow.

The ideal speed rating for your server should be B+; however, it gives the grade from A to E. It will also give the recommendations for improvement of page speed score.

BitCatcha

11. IONOS

IONOS is a website optimizer tool that shows you the overall performance of the website. The report is divided into four sections: BE PRESENT ONLINE, GET FOUND, BE SECURE and BE FAST.

IONOS-website-checker-tools

In the Be Present Online section of the report, it will show if the site is optimized or not. It also shows if a favicon and touch icon is present or not.

It will also let you know if the page title is easily found by visitors or not. The ideal domain length is also displayed with character.

In the Get Found section, it shows how the website is displayed on the search engine. The page description improvements and other recommendations will also be listed under this section of the report.

In the Be Secure section, it shows secure cookies, server version, and apache status for the site.

IONOS

12. Free Analysis Tools – Neil Patel

This free analyzer tool by Neil Patel will give you almost the full insight performance of the website.

The analysis includes website analyzer, competitor analyzer, and keywords. You will instantly get the page speed test and recommendations that are required.

SEO-analyzer-website-checker-tool

The analysis includes load time analysis, size analysis, and request analysis. Web performance is displayed with a grade and scores.

However, you will find each and every element of the website with the grade. Moreover, this tool also checks the SEO analysis.

Neil Patel SEO analyzer

Honorable Mentions

To have a well-rounded breakdown of the best website checker tools currently available, we can’t forget some honorable mentions you may want to consider as well. 

Ryte

To increase your digital marketing success and for another great SEO checker to have under your belt, you can use Ryte software for single page analysis, innovative technology, and technical optimization. The three top features of Ryte that can help you boost the overall performance of your page include Website Success, Search Success and Content Success

Website Success is a good tool to help you create an almost technically perfect site and page that search engines will favor. Search Success is how you can monitor and analyze your real-time rankings using real data from Google. Finally, Content Success shows you different ways to create more valuable and relevant content while also providing suggestions on how to improve what you currently have.

Ryte

Silktide

If you are looking for one platform to monitor and manage your sites more effectively, then you will definitely want to check out everything that Silktide has to offer you for performance monitoring and so much more.

With this tool, you will get an analysis that provides you with a clear overview of everything you need to change to improve your page and your site. From ranking the overall quality of the site to filling you in on the effectiveness of your website marketing, you will find that this is a valuable tool to have.

With this tool, you can check and fix any misspellings you have, add a privacy policy, check and fix broken links, link pages, and even review any potentially offensive language there may be. 

Silktide

Conclusion

The above-mentioned website checker tools will provide you with detailed insights and valuable checkpoints to watch regarding the overall performance levels of your webpage for more business success. The performance statements will be location-based as well as based on the options of various browsers.

It will be easy for you to choose any website checker tool for monitoring the performance of your webpage after reading through everything each of the 12 best website checker tools, and the two honorable mentions have to offer you in 2020.

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