SEO Success Story: AlphaTweaker

AlphaTweaker is an anonymous blog writer who discusses his life through addiction, imprisonment, and recovery. This is his SEO Success Story.

Who is AlphaTweaker?

Well, no one really knows. What we do know about Alphatweaker is he worked as a Wealth Manager at a Fortune 500 company, lived in Austin Texas, and spent 6 months in Harrison County Jail.

Alphatweaker was a clever young man working in a tough industry. During his preparation for his Level 2 CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) exams he began taking Adderall, which led to Opiates, mixed with heavy drinking, eventually lead to his adoption of meth.

While flying high, Alphatweaker formed a fraud ring, saw friends die, has since joined rehabilitation and is doing well for himself.

What is most special about Alphatweaker, is despite the sensitive material he discusses on his blog, he does it with such authenticity and pronunciation, that he has seen incredible growth since his launch. He puts extensive time into planning and writing each of his posts, along with pictures, quotes, and accounts of exactly how he remembers the situations he were in.

The potential for the writing may even one day lead him into the Hollywood showrooms! The online community often remarks that not only his story, but his writing is definitely worth one day being shown up on the big screen.

For those of you who want to know a bit more about Alphatweaker, here is a quick excerpt from his Home page:

My name is irrelevant and I have become a statistic.  I am a recovering meth addict that had the American Dream locked up and threw it all away.  I was an honor student in high school, went to a very good university, and had a dream job in my major.  I was an up and coming leader in a Fortune 500 company and I fucked up and lost EVERYTHING.  I still have trouble processing it all, but I am dealing with it.  If you have royally fucked up your life, are close to someone who is, or are just a normie looking for something different to read, then by all means this blog is for you.  I created this site to share my story and give some insight and perspective into the addict-side of meth addiction.   I also view it as somewhat of a life preserving activity to cling onto as I tread in the ocean of recovery.  I am branching out and seeking new hobbies in an effort to find healthy and sustainable outlets for my energy

Alphatweaker

SEO Success – on a sensitive topic.

Drugs, gambling, laundering, and other crimes are often highly sensitive in the eyes of Google, or most other Search Engines. This is understandable as no Search Engine wants to put forth common techniques for laundering money, thus contributing to crime. However, Search Engines DO want to display content which is personally written, factual, and informative with the objective of committing content from the illegal point of view.

Lots of bloggers, and domains, struggle “finding the line” with sensitive information, whether Google is going penalise them in the rankings, mark them as “sensitive content,” or be de-indexed completely due to their nature. We’re here to tell you that it is completely possible, much as Alphatweaker has done, to be transparent and receive incredible exposure as a result of this fine line.

Alphatweaker is currently ranking #1 for the terms “alphatweaker,” and “alpha tweaker,” and ranks top 10 for more than 80 queries containing “tweaker.” Garnering more than 17,000 impressions per month and nearly 1,000 clicks, he really has mastered the ability to juggle sensitivity, and value.

How did he do it?

So the question remains, how has he pulled it off? Has he evaded Google’s ever-watching eye: RankBrain? Maybe he has a foot in the door at Google due to his network back in the Fortune 500 company? Maybe he’s just got a great content strategy going!

Well, there are a few things which have to be taken into account, like the consideration of “sensitive content,” and then the consideration of user engagement.

RankBrain is a complex algorithm that combines more than 200 ranking factors in the Hummingbird Code to create a ranking and sorting matrix. Fraudulent sites that deal with “sensitive information” are quickly identified based on a few specific indicators, such as:

  • High content to ad ratio’s
  • Spun content or illegible information
  • Fraudulent backlinks
  • Illegal material in the country of operation
  • Webmaster Guidelines misconduct
  • Cloaking

Alphatweaker, through his uncanny ability to write extremely well, also steers clear with all of the above. In fact, his site is void of any advertisements and considers his blog an act of love rather than a channel of monetisation. Other domains and bloggers should be tentatively aware of the above when considering monetisation methods, as simple things such as advertisements could lead to serious penalties.

So having avoided the baseline of online penalties, Alphatweaker now has to engage his target users, to ensure his rankings start floating. Through his responsiveness and advice in online forums such as Reddit, he has gained the trust of a rather large community. He provides insights into the minds of an ex-addict, and earnestly wishes to help those going through addiction and rehabilitation. This is prevalent in his blog writing, and also his behaviour on platforms like Twitter and other forums.

Through the baseline pass, and a growing community, Alphatweaker successfully ticks both boxes to begin ranking well. However he is still yet to deal with one serious threat to his Search Engine Visibility.

Avoiding Google’s “sensitive content” mark.

We can all agree that a blog written by a persona like Alphatweaker consisting of his adventures, is extremely interesting. More so than interesting, extremely unique. Being interesting is important, but if you have simply rehashed old content form elsewhere in the web to be more interesting, then you have served in Google’s eyes, very little purpose. This content is often even marked as duplicate, and will struggle to rank.

Alphatweaker has dodged both duplication AND Google’s “sensitive content” mark. Here are a few key concepts we have recognised which are be important indicators to other sites:

  • All of his writing comes from his past experience, providing hard to beat authenticity.
  • The writing is of chronological nature, creating long-term engagement for users.
  • Well placed, uniquely provided, and captivating images support his writing.
  • Commenting users are completely organic, with separate search patterns and history.
  • He works hard to develop “social signals” toward his site.
  • Site navigation is simple, and easy to use.
  • Well targeted keywords has helped him dominate a sensitive niche.
  • Regularly updated content spanning a variety of lengths.

Of course, these are just things we could pick up on the forward facing end of the site, there may be a lot more going on in the back-end that nobody knows anything about.

Defining “Success.”

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

For a blog that is not much older than 3 months, with content only really streaming in at about the 2 month mark. Alphatweaker has done astronomically well.

He has gained significant social traction through his unique story which continues to surprise the community he has built. Through this uniqueness, community, and adoption of best-practice, he has become a dominating writer in a sensitive niche.

We consider success, for Alphatweaker, simply being able to avoid Google’s sensitive content mark, and making it into the SERP. According to those metrics, he has gone above and beyond that by actually thriving in a bit of a content-wasteland!

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