I've had GSA for almost as long as it's been out, it is a great piece of software and has earned me well over $100k in little over 1 year.

Back when it was new I was using it to dominate the payday loans sector in the UK (see attached) as well as a few other niches.

Then everyone started doing it and I moved onto new areas, in this post I am going to show you how to use GSA effectively post penguin..

Everyone says the sky is falling, they say automated link building doesn't work, I am here to tell you they are wrong! It's not the tools you use but the way you use them that counts.

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Pre Penguin
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Before penguins and pandas rolled out it was easy enough to fire up GSA, use any old content and throw a bunch of links at a site and get it ranked as long as you were careful with your anchor text ratios.

[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

Thats from 2 months and only with 1 programme! It was so easy it was unbelieveable but like all things with a low barrier to entry it becomes saturated and you have to differentiate yourself from the competition.

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Post penguin- Content is king?
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Way back in 2012 I was using auto-generated, mashed up content that was semantically relevant but didn't make any sense (who wasn't?). This worked amazingly well and continues to have it's uses even now but things have moved on.

1) Nowadays you want to have content of decent quality, I am not saying you need harvard grade content but it needs to read well or at the very least not be scraped from the same sources that thousands of other SEOs are using. Todo this I recommend getting articles written, you can pick them up for a couple of $ per article on TextBroker, Freelancer or ODesk. My rule is 50 articles per site/project, which is usually good for up to 5k submissions (depends on how well you have spun them). If you're looking for a cheap/free way to do this build yourself a scraper that will scrape newspapers, blogs and other sources that other SEOS are not using.

2) Spinning! I love TheBestSpinner, it's probably one of the only tools I have used that have stood the test of time but it just doesn't spin well enough if your submitting to thousands of sites and there are thousands of others who use the exact same software spinning out the exact same synonyms. I recommend you use HumanSpinner or something similar, of course you could spin them by hand but who has the time for that!

3) Article titles are a great way to indicate to search engines what your article is about, but forget about stuff your keyword in there. Ideally you want a brand new title for each and every submission. I have thousands of my own title templates but there are many tools out there that do too (WickedArticleCreator) - my favourite method is to find a trending news story and scrape titles from Google, then replace the keywords with placeholders - this gives you an almost limitless supply of titles and there are always more being produced every day.

4) Keywords in content, if your promoting a site about Volvo cars you are going to want your keywords surrounding where the link is in your article. Don't stuff your keywords, use partial matches and natural phrasing. For example instead of Volvo cars try "Where can I find a cheap volvo estate car"

5) Article structure. One mistake I see a lot is people who submit articles just tend to use blocks of paragraphs, where are the headers? The sub sections? The bullet lists? The images! It is so easy to include these randomly using GSA macros and you can use them again and again.

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It's all about the links
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So you've fired up GSA, you've got a huge list of verified sites and your submitting thousands of links each day. Still not ranking? Have you actually checked the sites you're submitting too? You can bet your last buck that hundreds of GSA users are hitting those very same targets, most with some really shady stuff. Go for it, check one of your most recently verified links and search for "domain.com viagra" or another spammy keyword and you'll probably find thousands of other pages on the same domain linking to all sorts of bad neighbourhoods.

1) How do you overcome this and find worthwhile targets? What I like to do is fire up ahrefs/majestic and download all my competitors links/ and load them into GSA. Also do the same for those keywords where spammers are ranking high (think viagra, garcinia cambogia etc). It may well take a few days to get a decent list but a well researched list of 1000 targets is better than a list of 100k crappy targets.

2) Indexing. I hear a lot of people complaining that they can't get their links indexed. This is a problem but it has nothing to do with indexing services or tiering, it's because the sites you are putting your links on are CRAP!

3) Tiering. Yep this is a biggie, it's a popular subject at the moment, many are saying it's dead, it's NOT! You are just doing it wrong. Build slowly, over time and naturally. Link out to other sites on your tiers, there is no bigger footprint than having 5k tier2 links pointed at 500 tier1 links all pointed at the same "money site". Pointing crappy links (see 2 above) at your quality tier1 links is only going to ruin those links, don't do it! Again it's about quality not quantity.

4) Engines! Engines! GSA posts to a huge amount of platforms but the engines are not configured to post to every site and smarter site owners remove footprints from their CMS (Pay attention to the following variable in the engine files "page must have"). I suggest you start a new project for each engine and run through your list of URLS with the debug tool on, watch out for no engine type matched.. Spend a day or two going through all those errors and find out why they didn't post and modify as needed. If you have a list of 10k sites even a 2-3% increase in success rate will greatly increase the amount of links you can build. Smart GSA users know this but don't ask them to share their engines, it won't happen, why? Because you are their competition, why invite increased competition when you don't have to!

5) Captchas. ReCaptcha is by far the most popular kind of captcha on some of the more valuable engines, always setup a separate project and get it to send captchas to a solving service (vbulletin blogs, drupal, ning.com, wordpress), this can be slow and costly but it is well worth it.

6) Footprints! (only applies if your using GSA to scrape targets). GSA has tons of engines it can post to which are controlled via the engine scripts (C:\Program Files (x86)\GSA Search Engine Ranker\Engines). Inside each engine there is a list of footprints GSA uses to find targets when it searches (open up and engine file in a text editor and you'll see something like "search term="RSS Feeds" "Add us to favorites" "Make us your home page" "Submit Articles. That example is for Article Directory Pro, there are tons of other footprints for that engine, start adding them to the engine files. If your using the same footprints as everyone else you are most likely posting to the same engines as everyone else (top tip, make a duplicate of your engine files as GSA overwrites them each time it updates, that way you can keep your modifications!).

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Other tips
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1) Use proxies & a lot of them! It's no good buying 50 private proxies and using the same ones for months on end, you need fresh proxies all the time! Your IPs get banned and with the spread of things like cloudflare its more important than ever to have a constant stream of fresh IPs

2) Don't use hotmail or other free email providers! There are a ton of sites that block them and they get killed so easy. Hosting your own email accounts is the best way but do it on a cheap ass VPS where you can control the firewall, shared hosting providers will block your IP for making to many POP connections. Go buy a cheap VPS from OVH and invest in some throwaway domains each month for your emails.

3) Timeout! If you're using proxies posting will be slower, even slower if you are using hundreds of threads, it's important to give GSA time to complete it's job. Set your HTML timeout settings to 90+ seconds, some engines are notoriously slow and are getting hammered every second of the day.

4) If you have the cash invest in a dedicated server with multiple IPS, that way you can forget the proxies and switch IPs every day. This is less effective if your submitting hundreds of thousands of links each day but very effective if your using it for only HQ tier1 links.

5) CaptchaBreaker is excellent but it can do oh so much more! Again it's down to you to make it work, fire up the SDK and try to improve the captchas, it isn't difficult and a minor increase in solve rates will save you money, speed things up and increase the amount of links you can build

6) TEST TEST TEST. Get your hands dirty in the engine files and play about with the settings, GSA comes pretty well configured out of the box but hundreds if not thousands of other SEOs are using it too and if your doing the same as them you are easy picking for Google.

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Post Penguin
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Now heres a snapshot of some stuff I have been working on for the last few months

[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

I could go on and on but I think I've written enough, apologies to you all for this long post, hopefully someone will find it useful.