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I Have Been Challenged by Alex Whalley!

My dearest friend, and most hated enemy (or enema as I like to call him) Alex Whalley challenged me. The challenge? He said I could not get on the first page of Google for the keyphrase “Make Money Blogging”. Keep in mind that this is my target phrase and it has over 12 million results now. The first site on their is ProBlogger, and I intend to knock them down and replace their listing with mine (nothing personal to Darren Rowse, but this is business).

I am stating this challenge publicly because I want it to hold me accountable and keep me on course. I will post my updates right here to let you know what I am doing and the results I am getting. I plan to own that first page within 3 months!

How do I intend to do this?

If you recently noticed, I released a web template called “Ghostly Acres” the other day. That template was released under creative commons and can be used for personal or commercial purposes. The only catch is the footer link requirement which links to this blog with my anchor text. I invite you to download this template and use it as you wish.

The reason why I did this is because I have previously tried this experiment on another website I was marketing at the time. I released it on an open source web design site under the same terms, and it was downloaded over 180 times. I used “Chicago Web Design” as my anchor text and easily killed it within 3 weeks. I am not taking any chances this time, and I am releasing multiple web templates. I may even release a few WordPress themes if I get around to it.

This technique is called Google Bombing, and it is a well known method. Funny thing… most people think that this method was “patched” by Google but unfortunately their algorithm relies heavily on outside factors such as links. There is no reason for Google to de-index me because I am not doing anything bad. In addition, I have build up many backlinks to this blog with other anchor texts, so an advance in this specific phrase wouldn’t look improper. It also matches the title of my blog, and more specifically, the niche. So again, I am 100% relevant to this phrase. The only difference between me and ProBlogger is that Darren has had since 2002 to build up his links and his reputation. I have only had since February of 2010.

Aside from the whole google bomb thing, I still blog hop and write articles everywhere. Expect my request to guest post on your blog or at a blog near you πŸ˜‰


I will be updating you on the progress on this specific blog post. Make sure you bookmark it now and intend to check it here and there.

UPDATE #1 October 29th 2010 @ 2:49 PM CST

Last night when I wrote and scheduled this post, I was at #83 for my target keyphrase. I just checked and I am now at #65. Keep in mind that this may be just Google shifting around because of my recent template release which has already been downloaded a huge number of times. I am keeping an eye on my ranking for the keywords and will update accordingly.

Make Money Blogging

UPDATE #2 November 6th 2010 @ 12:01 AM CST

I spent a large chunk of the day today (or last night depending on how you look at the time) hand submitting this blog to maybe 200 directories. I used my anchor text every single time, and switched the description and keywords on the listings here and there.

I believe it took me a few hours, and half of them were PR6 directories. These links should all be approved in sprinkles over the next month. I will probably submit another couple hundred tomorrow. Luckily, I have the holy grail of a directory list with a huge number of free directories (maybe 1,000 or so).

All of these links, paired with the links from the free template(s) I released or am releasing should really take a huge bite out of the ranking I am trying to achieve for make money blogging.


I have gotten to the #3 spot on Google for “make money blogging” right under problogger and nicheblogger. See below for yourself! I did this in under 2 weeks time. If you cannot see the image below, access it directly at or of course do a Google search.

Make Money Blogging

About the author

Brandon Connell

I am an author, blogger, investor, musician, and internet marketer among other things. I believe that one person can do many things in life.

Learn how I get FREE advertising and MAKE MONEY doing it with M.P.A. This is the best of both worlds and FREE to sign up NOW!


  1. Jason
    Twitter: jasonmanheim

    Brandon, this will be a GIGANTIC achievement if you manage to pull it off. I don’t even care if it takes you longer than 3 months, I want to see it done.

    Good luck, you crazy SOB. I’ll be watching closely.

    Posted on 29-Oct-10 at 2:43 pm | Permalink
  2. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Thanks Jason. But to be honest, I have done much more with harder keyphrases. I already posted an update on my ranking for the keyphrase.

    Posted on 29-Oct-10 at 2:51 pm | Permalink
  3. Jason
    Twitter: jasonmanheim

    Awesome. I shouldn’t doubt you then. So is the themes/templates your main strategy? Are you going to be talking about the different techniques you’re using in future updates or will it just be rank monitoring?

    Posted on 29-Oct-10 at 3:00 pm | Permalink
  4. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    I will provide updates for everything regarding this challenge. Templates are one of the best ways to achieve this. But it is not my only strategy.

    Posted on 29-Oct-10 at 3:02 pm | Permalink
  5. Patricia@lavenderuses
    Twitter: lavenderuses

    Hi Brandon
    Alex tweeted the challenge and as I have huge respect for him and he’s a fellow Aussie had to come see what this was all about. Wow, a big challenge and I hope you succeed. Will be coming back for the updates. All the best with knowcking the big hitters off their perch.
    Patricia Perth Australia

    Posted on 29-Oct-10 at 7:25 pm | Permalink
  6. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Thanks Patricia. No worries as you Aussies like to say. I am not worried one bit about losing this challenge!

    Posted on 29-Oct-10 at 7:28 pm | Permalink
  7. Alex@nichesitemarketing
    Twitter: buildrankprofit

    I love it Brandon!

    For those playing at home – I recently posted an article (can’t bloody remember where now) where I talked about ranking for long tail and why it was necessary, stating that phrases like ‘make money blogging’ where out of reach for mere mortals.

    Granted Brandon’s face suggests that he may indeed not be 100% human, but still – the fact that he has taken this challenge as a personal one is BRILLIANT to say the least.

    Respect man.

    Oh btw – ranking where you are at present – not friggin bad man

    Posted on 29-Oct-10 at 7:30 pm | Permalink
  8. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Look who’s talking man! Your nose looks like it’s curled toward your lips. Looks like you got stuck kissing someones a$$ LOL! Thanks for the kudos man.

    Posted on 29-Oct-10 at 7:33 pm | Permalink
  9. Alex@nichesitemarketing
    Twitter: buildrankprofit


    Posted on 29-Oct-10 at 7:36 pm | Permalink
  10. Devesh -
    Twitter: blokube

    Hi Brandon,

    Great ! You’re rocking.
    From last month i’m thinking to work on my seo of my blog, but i never got time. After reading your post i finally decide to work on my blog seo.
    Thanks for the kick brandon.

    Btw. I’m ranking for the same keyword on 7th page πŸ˜‰ !!

    Posted on 30-Oct-10 at 9:22 am | Permalink
  11. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Hey Dev. Haha thanks man. Careful, I might consider your 7th page spot a challenge also!

    Posted on 30-Oct-10 at 9:26 am | Permalink
  12. Devesh -
    Twitter: blokube

    yeah.. i would love to challenge you, my friend πŸ˜‰ !!

    Posted on 30-Oct-10 at 10:47 am | Permalink
  13. Richard
    Twitter: richescorner

    Hey Brandon,
    Great challenge. I’m looking forward to seeing you get to that first page or better yet know out problogger for that number 1 position. That’s a really high competition key phrase, so I’m rooting for you.

    Posted on 30-Oct-10 at 11:49 pm | Permalink
  14. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Thanks Richard. It will be fun to do, and then I will find another challenge πŸ˜‰

    Posted on 31-Oct-10 at 8:28 am | Permalink
  15. Keep on working. I think you can do it. Good luck man

    Posted on 04-Nov-10 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  16. Typegeek
    Twitter: typegeek

    I’ll admit it is a great technique. I hope it works for you. Too bad the template wasn’t a little nicer…but maybe its just the graphics. Hope you are still doing well, I can’t find you in the 5,6,7, or 8th pages but it could be because I’m searching from Canada or maybe I just missed it.

    Posted on 05-Nov-10 at 10:07 am | Permalink
  17. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Wasn’t a little nicer? It has gotten great reviews in my email, and has been download hundreds of times already. I guess it is all about tastes. I design different styles, and this one was a grunge darker one.

    Posted on 05-Nov-10 at 10:10 am | Permalink
  18. Mike
    Twitter: eblogcamp

    I love the goal you have put yourself into a challenge, Brandon, but I wonder whether it’s realistic goal? Just did a quick research on what you’ll need to get to the top position and it’s likely that you need more than a thousand backlinks, DMOZ listed and at least one year old of page to get into the first position. I think 3 months will be too short to achieve this result. And instead of focusing your effort into this keyword, there are maybe other keywords you can target to get greater traffic (think about long tail keywords lol).

    In addition, you are talking about submitting to directories, right? I want to ask what title you put for your website. I have tried to submit to directories once and I know we can’t name one title for many directories. Just my 2 cent πŸ™‚

    Posted on 06-Nov-10 at 3:47 pm | Permalink
  19. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Hi Mike. My goal is 100% achievable coming from 16 years experience here. Remember, don’t believe everything you read online about what’s needed to reach your goal. Also to answer your question, I am using “make money blogging” as my keyword because it is the title of this blog. I have submitted to 300+ directories already since yesterday, and most of them have already been approved.

    Posted on 06-Nov-10 at 3:51 pm | Permalink
  20. Mike
    Twitter: eblogcamp

    If it’s so, I will be looking forward to see your blog at the first position for this keyword. Good luck with the challenge, Brandon πŸ™‚

    Posted on 06-Nov-10 at 4:12 pm | Permalink
  21. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Thanks man. I’m looking forward to it also.

    Posted on 06-Nov-10 at 4:14 pm | Permalink
  22. Jeffrey Morgan
    Twitter: BloggersMarket

    Hi Brandon,
    I think you and Alex are dangerous Bloggers! Good luck with the “Make Money Blogging” thing. I’ll be over here in my sandbox avoiding the “Google Bombs”.

    Posted on 06-Nov-10 at 8:26 pm | Permalink
  23. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    LOL Dangerous? Why’s that? Thanks on the make money blogging thing. Can you say it a few more times? It adds to the keyword density on the page LOL!!

    Posted on 06-Nov-10 at 8:32 pm | Permalink
  24. Jeffrey Morgan
    Twitter: BloggersMarket

    Hey Brandon did you read Alex’s post today. You no longer have to worry about ranking for “Make Money Blogging”. The fix is in! Just pay Google $25,000 a month! Of all the …………

    Posted on 07-Nov-10 at 8:59 am | Permalink
  25. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    But Jeffrey… that would defeat the point of ranking naturally which is to make money from the free traffic. Besides, I’m not one to bribe anyone…

    Posted on 07-Nov-10 at 9:06 am | Permalink
  26. Jason
    Twitter: jasonmanheim

    That’s amazing. Congrats!

    Posted on 09-Nov-10 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  27. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Thanks man! I knew it was going to happen, but I expected a bit more of a fight before it did. 2 weeks is pretty quick.

    Posted on 09-Nov-10 at 1:04 pm | Permalink
  28. Jason
    Twitter: jasonmanheim

    Hmm…when I search it shows you at the top of page 5…

    Posted on 09-Nov-10 at 1:04 pm | Permalink
  29. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Sounds like it hasn’t propagated across all of Google’s data centers. I am looking at it right now in the #3 spot on 1st page just as shown on my screenshot.

    Posted on 09-Nov-10 at 1:07 pm | Permalink
  30. Jeffrey Morgan
    Twitter: BloggersMarket

    Hmm … when I search it don’t even show period!!! Talk about a Google Slap!

    Posted on 09-Nov-10 at 2:36 pm | Permalink
  31. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    LOL Jeffrey. No slap here. I still see it on #3. It seems it hasn’t been changed across all of the Google data centers yet, but it should be within the next couple of days.

    Also, I noticed that when you are loggen into Google services, you see me on page 5. When logged out like an average searcher, I am #3. I am getting a lot of traffic from it.

    Posted on 09-Nov-10 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
  32. Jeffrey Morgan
    Twitter: BloggersMarket

    Hi Brandon,
    Before you sail away to the Caribbean. How’s bout letting us know how you did it. Talk about a killer post!!!

    Congrats Man!

    Posted on 09-Nov-10 at 3:21 pm | Permalink
  33. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Thanks Jeffrey. I may write a post about it in more detail. I will think about that tonight and see what comes of it.

    Posted on 09-Nov-10 at 3:33 pm | Permalink
  34. Awesome Brandon!!! You are definitely a force to be reckoned with!

    Posted on 06-Dec-10 at 6:45 pm | Permalink
  35. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Thank you Diane, I don’t play! πŸ˜‰

    Posted on 07-Dec-10 at 8:29 am | Permalink
  36. What is your next thing to prove you don’t play?

    Posted on 14-Jan-11 at 11:46 am | Permalink
  37. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    I dunno. I believe I am going to increase my adsense income to over $20,000 per month. That might be a fun project to take on.

    Posted on 17-Jan-11 at 12:16 am | Permalink
  38. Well,
    congratulations, Brandon !

    Posted on 15-Dec-10 at 8:19 am | Permalink
  39. Brandon, You definitely don’t play. πŸ˜‰

    Posted on 13-Jan-11 at 4:46 pm | Permalink