How To Increase Organic Traffic By 5 Million In Just 3 Months – By Neil Patel

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Is it a Joke? No really It is not a Joke, Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics has told to Quick Sprout, how he increased the Gawker Media‘s organic traffic by 5 million in just 3 months.

Gawker Media

Neil PatelWe always think that our Big brother were doing some special techniques for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to drive a huge organic traffic but is this really true? May not be in all the cases. Neil Patel shows working with basic SEO techniques still gives a positive output like he did for Gawker Media. Neil Patel improved the site by cleaning out the links, duplicate content, improving image search and rendering speed to achieve incredible results in a short period of time.


Read the full story here:

The Problem

The Gawker Media network approached me for an SEO consultation because it was clear that – despite their tremendous brand recognition amongst consumers and the shear volume of incoming links to their properties – they weren’t getting the share of natural search traffic they deserved. There was something off with their on-page SEO and they couldn’t figure out what it was.

The Results

In just 3 months, I was able to drive an extra 5 million visitors to Gawker Media’s web properties through natural search alone. When compared to the PPC ad spend necessary to recruit this number of new visitors, it’s estimated that it would have cost them over a $1,000,000.

Neil's Results


When addressing SEO deficiencies on the Gawker Media network of sites, we stuck to the basics. By making substantive improvements to the company’s on-site optimization, link profiles, duplicate content concerns, image search optimization and site speed (as described in greater detail below), we were able to bring about truly incredible results in a short period of time.

TECHNIQUE #1 — Implement On-Site Optimization Best Practices

The team at Gawker Media does a great job of both publishing content regularly (which is essential for enhancing perceived authority and SEO keyword exposure) and writing on engaging topics that promote community involvement.  Unfortunately, a number of on-site optimization errors were preventing the search engines from recognizing the value of this accumulated content, including all of the following:

Pagination issues were limiting many of Gawker’s pages from being indexed appropriately by the search engine spiders. By implementing page management best practices, my team was able to improve site crawling and, consequently, the natural search presence.
Gawker Media’s existing Sitemaps weren’t up to current SEO best practice standards, which led to improper indexed by the search engines. By creating new sitemaps that prioritized the appropriate pages, we were better able to control how the search engines crawled and reported Gawker Media pages.
Removing branded keywords from the internal page title tags across all Gawker Media properties enabled our team to reinforce the unique content found on each page, preventing portions of this vital SEO text from being filtered out as potential duplicate content.
By custom crafting keyword-rich headings for each page on Gawker network sites, we were able to capture the full SEO value of <h1> tags, contributing to stronger placements in the natural search results.

Eliminate Duplicate Content

TECHNIQUE #2 — Enhance The Value of Gawker Media Link Profiles

In our analysis of the Gawker Media network, we found that the company wasn’t capitalizing appropriately on the tremendous internal linking potential offered by its partner sites.  To remedy this, we took the following actions:

Instead of simply linking articles within individual network properties, my team magnified the SEO potential of the breadth of Gawker Media network sites through the use of internal links between individual blog posts and other brands found across the company’s web presence.
Throughout the site, we identified opportunities to code related blog posts and stories into individual Gawker Media sites, in order to improve the flow of site authority across Gawker properties and provide additional chances to use keyword-rich anchor text via internal links.
To ensure that the value of these link profile improvements continues beyond our limited engagement, we also trained the company’s writers on how to correctly identify and insert internal links into future blog posts to bring about the benefits described above.

Ensure Proper Site Indexing

TECHNIQUE #3 — Reduce Instances of Duplicate Content Filtering

Upon accessing Gawker Media network Webmaster Tools accounts, we uncovered a number of duplicate content instances that had been flagged by Google and were potentially limiting the company’s inclusion in the natural SERPs.  To prevent these instances from resulting in penalties, we made the following corrections:

In addition to crafting custom meta descriptions, we added “no follow” tags to unimportant site page links. By telling the search engines not to pass PageRank to account pages, comment pages and other insignificant items, we were able to better control the flow of authority (and, as a result, proper indexation) throughout the company’s sites.
In some cases, we found that Google was incorrectly pulling site slogans as meta descriptions for each page, resulting in a large number of duplicate pages. By correcting this issue with individually crafted, content-rich meta descriptions, we were able to eliminate a significant number of duplicate content errors.

Optimize On -age Code

TECHNIQUE #4 — Boost Search Traffic Through Image Results

Optimizing website images for discovery through Google Images and related image search tools is a great way to boost natural search traffic.  However, as we found the Gawker Media network websites to be sorely underutilizing this technique, we made the following changes to all images hosted by the company’s sites:

Beyond enhancing the site’s existing image ALT tags, we implemented additional image optimization best practices to maximize the network’s potential for natural image search traffic by renaming image files to reflect target keywords and adding long image description attributes to all website pictures.
We added ALT tags to each image that reflected both targeted SEO keywords and helpful information for users browsing the web via accessibility devices. By tailoring these text items to both users and the search engines, we were able to improve on-site SEO while at the same time minimizing the risk of over-optimization penalties.
To improve the Gawker Media network’s image optimization, we compressed image file sizes to a level that didn’t impair the user experience, but still minimized the amount of resources needed to load the company’s sites quickly and correctly.

Leverage Network Assets

TECHNIQUE #5 — Improve Site Load Times For Proper SEO

Google’s recent insistence on prioritizing and rewarding sites with fast load times isn’t something that should be taken lightly.  To give the Gawker Media properties the best possible chance of ranking well in the natural SERPs, we implemented the following measures in order to improve both the network’s SEO and the user experience on each Gawker property through faster site speeds:

We eliminated inefficiencies caused by excess Javascript and other coded elements. Removing these items from the network’s code base minimizes the number of external files that must be downloaded before a site can launch correctly, leading to overall faster load times.
To further improve site load times, my team cleaned up Gawker’s HTML and CSS codes, in addition to optimizing database tables. Doing so should provide substantial load time improvements that enhanced the viewing experience for both users and the search engines.
By enabling proper caching on the company’s sites, our team was able to maximize the content stored on readers’ computers and reduce the amount of new resources that must be loaded on launch. This technique is a “must do” for all websites that are concerned about site speed.

Maximize Social Media Marketing



Site speed matters – Because the Gawker sites had been developed well before the introduction of site load times as a natural search ranking factor, their sites were missing critical site speed optimization measures designed to make their web properties as appealing as possible to the search engines.  If you haven’t yet implemented site speed based SEO techniques, now’s the time to do so!


Search discovery doesn’t only occur through the traditional SERPs – Though the team at Gawker Media was primarily interested in growing traffic from the traditional SERPs, we were able to generate a significant number of additional visitors via avenues beyond Google’s standard results pages.  By expanding into areas like image search, Gawker is now poised to generate the maximum number of visitors possible from the web’s full range of search services.


SEO requires consistent improvements – There’s no arguing with the fact that search engine optimization is a rapidly changing field.  But although most of the improvements we made to the Gawker network of sites followed widely accepted SEO best practices, the sad fact is that the company’s web properties likely missed out on a significant volume of traffic before our efforts…simply because they hadn’t kept up with the times!

If you’re concerned that your site may be missing the key SEO elements that could be preventing you from succeeding through natural search traffic, feel free to fill out the form fields below.

I’ll show you exactly how to remedy the common SEO errors that could be seriously limiting your ability to secure both the traffic and profits you need in order to prosper Online.

It was a pleasure working with Neil. Over a 3 month period he not only taught us about SEO, but he also drove an extra 5 million visitors to our sites.