Marketing an adult site? Focus on everything but Google
It regularly appears on adult webmaster forums in one form or another: “Google won’t list me. Alexa gives me the lowest possible rank. And no matter what I do, nothing works.” Yes, it can give you a headache. But – as the wise monk said: “anger only lives in your head.”
As annoying and unfair as it is, the fact is that Google and a whole host of other respected (wannabee) Wall Street companies don’t want to be affiliated with the porn industry. Some of their reasons for this attitude are valid: there is too much fraud within the industry, a bad general “image,” and people are still trying to sell what is seemingly and blatantly illegal.
On the other hand, adult-related Internet traffic can make up between 20 and 30 percent of total Internet traffic, so it’s hard to ignore. And no one wants to annoy consumers by not giving them what they are looking for. So instead, Google and others are doing both – they won’t care about most adult-oriented traffic, but they’ll feed consumers some food. The game is called “keep the customer happy (but not bloated).”
So what do you do?
First of all, no (more) gray hairs need to appear, and aggravation is very bad for your blood pressure. Make sure your site is “Google-fashion,” i.e., you have good and above all sensible meta tags, that there is a robot.txt file and a Google-friendly sitemap on your site, submit it once to Google, and leave it there to stand. If and when the Google bot wants to find you, it will.
Second, focus on others. MSN Search and Yahoo can both get you the same amount of traffic, and both are (at least now) a lot less problematic. Again, though, the doctrine applies here: make sure your site meets their criteria and submit only once — not every week, every month, or whatever.
Next, focus your promotional efforts on three other things:
1. Get listed in search engines and on adult-friendly directory pages. There are many. Individually, each will probably get you five or six hits a day, but remember: these aren’t just high-quality hits because the surfer went to the trouble of actually not using Google and second, making five hits from 1,000 “small” referring sites 5,000 hits a day!
2. exchange links with your fellow webmasters. And if you’re an individual webmaster, don’t come up with crazy requirements like ridiculous banners, fancy table-based text links, and a “link me first” policy that will only ruin your fellow webmaster’s layout. We need each other! An old marketing credo: one high street shoe store will struggle – ten high street shoe stores will all prosper because the consumer has both a reason to go and a choice!
3. focus on content.
Is What should?
What is and isn’t content is different for surfers and search engines. A surfer is probably a visually-oriented person. A search engine is a computer that only wants simple binary code. Content is simple binary code text.
Back to our old friend Google and the other major search engines. They like text content, as long as it’s to the point, factual, and relevant to the site’s topic. Having an entirely “visual” set of pages – i.e., an image-based layout like most adult-oriented sites have – is great for the surfer but anathema to looking for robots. Fancy flash layouts and the like are even worse.
And guess what: “old school webmasters” know how to do this. Back in the day, with slow dial-up modems, photo-intensive pages weren’t exactly user-friendly, as they would massively increase their phone bills. So what the old school webmaster did was provide a text version of such pages as a form of service. And a ‘s the trick! If you have a visually oriented layout, make a text version of that page. And that is very simple. Just sit down and try to explain in words what a blind man can’t see on your page.
What is most likely going to happen is that Google et al. will pick up this text version and mention it anyway.
Good, isn’t it?
And there’s one more thing. Let’s say your adult-oriented site is about “spanking”. What you do is.”r ite a “spanking FAQ” and put it in the free section of your adult site. This is likely to be useful to your visitors anyway, and is an excellent, valid, and to-the-point text page for your site. Just the kind that Google likes.
Oh and…… FAQs or parts of them are excellent publishing material for blogs, forums, and groups. Even all of these will get you surfers as well as backlinks – the other thing Google loves.