Matt Diggity is Building an SEO Empire (Tell-All Interview)

Last updated: Jul 1, 2023

The video is an interview with Matt Diggity, who discusses how he got into SEO and how his background in gaming helped him with efficiency and competitiveness in the industry.

This video by Nathan Gotch was published on Dec 13, 2022.
Video length: 55:22.

The video is an interview with Matt Diggity, an SEO expert who has built a successful empire in the industry.

He talks about how he got into SEO after reading the book "The 4-Hour Work Week" and participating in the 30-day challenge. He also discusses how his background in gaming helped him develop efficiency and competitiveness skills that he applies to SEO.

Overall, the video provides insights into Diggity's journey and strategies for success in the SEO industry.

  • Matt got into SEO after reading "The 4-Hour Work Week" and attending meetups for enthusiasts.
  • Gaming taught him about management, efficiency, and competitiveness, which he applies to SEO.
  • He transitioned to entrepreneurship after making his first dollar through SEO and affiliate marketing.
  • "The 4-Hour Work Week" gave him the confidence to try entrepreneurship and make money while he slept.
  • His engineering background led to a systemized mindset and single variable testing.
  • Early days of SEO involved PBNs and web 2.0s, but now quality backlinks and content are important.
  • He built an agency and an SEO empire by focusing on scalability and delegating tasks.
  • Building authority sites in competitive niches involves starting small and building topical authority.
  • Links are expensive, but grinding it out and putting in the reps is necessary to understand SEO strategies.

Matt Diggity is Building an SEO Empire (Tell-All Interview) - YouTube

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Background into SEO

  • Matt got into SEO in 2009 after reading "The 4-Hour Work Week".
  • He attended meetups for enthusiasts of Tim Ferriss and the 4-Hour Work Week.
  • He learned about the 30-day challenge, a course by Ed Dale that teaches SEO and affiliate marketing.
  • He was hooked on the concept of a leaderboard and making money while he slept.
  • He had a stable job as an electrical engineer but hated the 60-hour work weeks and the corporate ladder.
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Gaming Background and Efficiency

  • Matt played MMOs like EverQuest and World of Warcraft and was super competitive.
  • Gaming taught him about management, efficiency, and batching.
  • He learned to manage his time and resources by saying yes to multiple quests at once.
  • Gaming made him competitive, and he applies that to SEO, which is also a competition.
  • He played first-person shooters like Day of Defeat and Counter-Strike and even went to LAN parties.
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Transitioning to Entrepreneurship

  • Matt wasted a lot of years in his stable job before fully diving into SEO and entrepreneurship at age 30.
  • He tried being an article writer but didn't like trading time for money.
  • He wanted freedom of time and location.
  • He made his first dollar through SEO and affiliate marketing in the 30-day challenge.
  • He realized that he had to switch things up and take a leap of faith.
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Matt Diggity is Building an SEO Empire (Tell-All Interview) - YouTube

The Influence of "The 4-Hour Work Week"

  • Both Matt and Brian Dean credit "The 4-Hour Work Week" for giving them the confidence to try entrepreneurship.
  • Matt had a stable job as an electrical engineer but was unhappy with the 60-hour work weeks and the corporate ladder.
  • He was inspired by the idea of making money while he slept and having freedom of time and location.
  • He attended meetups for enthusiasts of Tim Ferriss and the 4-Hour Work Week and learned about the 30-day challenge.
  • He made his first dollar through SEO and affiliate marketing in the 30-day challenge and was hooked on the concept of a leaderboard.
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Background and Mindset

  • Learned teamwork and various skills from gaming.
  • Tendency to be obsessive about missed money and broken affiliate links.
  • Engineering background led to a systemized mindset.
  • Conducts single variable testing and testing ranking factors one by one.
  • Used Market Samurai to find low competition keywords for first site, yoga-traveler.com.
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Early Days of SEO

  • Easy and articles.com was a popular directory for backlinks.
  • PBNs and web 2.0s were effective for link building.
  • Ranking was quicker and easier, with sites ranking within 30 days.
  • Basic sites with little content could rank with a few PBN links.
  • Penguin update changed the game for SEO.
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Monetizing with SEO

  • Started with affiliate marketing and building a portfolio of sites.
  • Met online community of SEOs on Becker's Forum and started sharing strategies.
  • Started offering a service called Diggity Links, selling PBN links.
  • Biggest change from then to now is quantity over quality of backlinks.
  • Niche sites and EMDs were effective for ranking and monetizing.
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Transition to Agency and Empire Building

  • Started working with clients and building an agency.
  • Started investing in other businesses and building an SEO empire.
  • Focuses on building systems and processes for scalability.
  • Believes in building a strong team and delegating tasks.
  • Continues to innovate and stay ahead of the game in SEO.
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SEO Strategies in the Past and Present

  • In the past, SEO was about blanketing page one with niche sites that were not professional-looking.
  • Back then, people trusted unbiased reviews from sites that did not have great design skills.
  • Today, quality backlinks and content are important factors in SEO.
  • Building big sites and hitting a point of authority in a niche is where gains start to add up.
  • It is not efficient to make little niche sites to target a whole bunch of niches.
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Building Authority Sites in Competitive Niches

  • Building a huge authority site in a competitive niche like fitness or health can be daunting.
  • There is a lot of knowledge available now compared to before.
  • Start with a branded domain name and a small silo, and niche down to get small wins.
  • Build topical authority in specific parts and let it snowball and build authority in other areas.
  • Links are one of the biggest investments in SEO, and there are still free ways to get backlinks like HARO.
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Overcoming the Cost of Acquiring Links

  • Links are expensive, and even sweat equity is not always enough.
  • There are still free ways to get backlinks, but it takes time and effort.
  • Grinding it out at the beginning is the newbie zone, and it is where all the learning takes place.
  • Putting in the reps is necessary to understand SEO strategies.
  • Wasting time on tweaking design is not efficient and can be avoided.
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Site Flipping

  • Matt has flipped around 30-40 sites.
  • He considers selling a site when he wants to make room for new projects, staff, and resources.
  • He wants to leave some room on the table for the buyer and not max out the niche.
  • He keeps some sites that are cash cows and don't require much effort to maintain.
  • Some sites won't sell because they are in naughty niches or have exact match domains.
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Deciding to Sell a Site

  • Matt debates whether to sell a site or not.
  • He gets nervous when a site makes more money.
  • He grows the site at all costs in the beginning.
  • He gets nervous when a site is in the intermediate stage because any update could hurt it.
  • He considers letting a site go when it hits its peak.
  • He doubles down on a site when it's growing super fast and brings in creative monetization strategies.
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Monetization Strategies

  • Matt's sites are mostly monetized through affiliate and display.
  • He is working on e-commerce plays, but it takes time to get them up.
  • He brings in creative monetization strategies like white labeling products, JVS with drop shippers, and renting out audience data.
  • He recommends renting out pixels on the site to other e-commerce stores.
  • He wants to make his own products and rent out audience data to other e-commerce stores.
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Working on Your Business

  • Matt emphasizes the importance of working on your business, not in your business.
  • He says that if you're tweaking sidebars all day, you don't have time to think about macro changes.
  • He suggests asking top-level questions like whether you're getting close to maxing out a site or if you need more resources.
  • He says that it's always good to work on your business because it allows you to think about macro changes.
  • He debates whether to sell a site or not and considers the safety band.
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Site Acquisition Strategy

  • Buying existing sites is the main strategy
  • Building from scratch is only done for new or super niche topics
  • Time equals money, so wasting time on a site in the sandbox is not ideal
  • Buying working websites takes the randomness out of the equation
  • Starter sites can be bought for a good deal and turned into high-earning sites
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Due Diligence Process

  • Backlinks are important, but a disavow can be done if necessary
  • Look for sneaky stuff like hidden 301s or PBNs that aren't propping the site up
  • Content quality can be determined by traffic and growth
  • Check if the site is ranked on page one for some keywords
  • Use open link profiler to find PBNs that are not blocked
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Expired Domains

  • Expired domains are used sometimes, but niche alignment is crucial
  • AI content can be used to publish multiple articles per day
  • Expired domains are not a 100% reliable strategy
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Controlling Company Culture

  • Working on sites that are growing is preferred
  • Sites in the sandbox for months can mess with company culture
  • Buying working sites takes the randomness out of the equation
  • Time equals money, so wasting time on a site in the sandbox is not ideal
  • Starter sites can be bought for a good deal and turned into high-earning sites
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Expired Domains and Link Velocity

  • Success rate with an expired domain is highly dependent on link velocity.
  • Good link profile does not necessarily translate well to the site's topic.
  • Google can tell if there is something off in the connection.
  • Be selective with the domain that you pick.
  • Link velocity triples when you start building links again.
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Relevance in PBNs

  • Domain level relevance is the whole domain relevant to the topic.
  • Article level relevance is the article about the topic.
  • Sentence level relevance is only needed for linking.
  • Way back restorations and sentence level relevance can do well with PBNs.
  • Relevance is not required as much as people think.
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Links on Websites with Traffic

  • Getting links on websites with traffic is a popular opinion in the SEO industry.
  • One broken part of this is that the website could be totally off the wall.
  • It is better to have five to ten weaker websites to get the unique referring domain.
  • Unique IPS relevance is important.
  • SEO is multi-factor and complicated.
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Google Ignores Spammy Links

  • Google ignores a lot of spammy links.
  • Negative SEO hardly works these days.
  • Google is pretty good at ignoring spammy links.
  • Google ignores spammy links because they are irrelevant to the topic.
  • Google ignores spammy links because they are not natural.
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Link Building Strategies

  • Google's ranking algorithm is stingy with traffic, so sites with traffic are likely to be okay with outbound links.
  • Guest posts from sites with traffic sent to a test site with low competition and no backlinks showed an increase in consistency.
  • Combining relevance and traffic is the best play for link building.
  • The minimum traffic threshold for most links is around 500.
  • Link builders who focus only on DR are not identifying the best links.
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Expired Domains

  • Even with a good link profile, an expired domain requires continual link building to maintain link velocity and prevent link loss.
  • Joshua or Gaffaloo, an SEO expert, recommended not stopping link building as soon as an expired domain is acquired.
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Managing Multiple Revenue Streams

  • As an SEO and marketer, Matt Diggity's job is the same across all of his businesses.
  • He focuses on strategy and deploying it to his team.
  • His businesses synergize together, with each one supplying links or services to the others.
  • Andrew Wilkinson, considered the Warren Buffett of the Internet, was a guest on a podcast Matt found interesting.
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Staying in Your Lane

  • Look at where you're spending your money and at least service yourself.
  • Stick to your core competency.
  • Don't venture too far outside of your expertise.
  • It's hard to talk about SEO as much as we do, but it's necessary.
  • It's a grind, but there's no way around it.
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Overcoming Burnout

  • Good teams are carrying out the SEO work.
  • Focus on mergers, acquisitions, and business ideas.
  • Other people are helping with operations.
  • It's hard to talk about SEO at the frequency and length that we do.
  • It's a grind, but there's no way around it.
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Moving Up in Your Niche

  • It's possible to move up in your niche.
  • Going up makes more sense than going laterally.
  • Grant Cardone advises going up to make a bigger impact.
  • Transitioning to a broader niche can be successful.
  • YouTube is hard, but it's fulfilling.
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YouTube Content

  • Posting non-SEO content on YouTube can be more successful than on a blog.
  • YouTube viewers are more engaged than blog readers.
  • There's a silver play button for reaching 100,000 subscribers.
  • Grinding on YouTube can be fulfilling and a dopamine train.
  • It's hard, but it's worth it.
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Video Production Process

  • Matt creates a new piece of content per week.
  • He writes the script himself and has an editor.
  • He has a big cue, so the content he creates this week may not be published for a month or two.
  • He finds it difficult to outsource scripting because of his high standard of quality.
  • He needs a full script because he is introverted.
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Learning to Make Videos

  • Matt is an introvert, but making videos is easy now because it's a one-way conversation.
  • The biggest challenge is writing every week, and a 10-minute video is like seven pages of content.
  • Writing a script for a video is more difficult than writing an article because the flow is different.
  • The title and thumbnail are important for keeping people engaged.
  • Open loops and storytelling are effective ways to keep people watching.
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Video Production Tips

  • Adding suspense to the title can create an open loop and encourage people to click.
  • Every second of the video is an opportunity to lose someone, so it's important to give them reasons to keep watching.
  • Open loops and storytelling are effective ways to keep people engaged.
  • Roberto Blake, a YouTuber in the YouTube Health space, taught Matt a lot about video production.
  • A consultation with Roberto Blake was the most impactful consultation Matt has ever done.
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Challenges of Video Production

  • Writing a script for a video is more difficult than writing an article because the flow is different.
  • It's important to keep people engaged throughout the video.
  • Creating a title and thumbnail that encourage people to click is important.
  • Open loops and storytelling are effective ways to keep people engaged.
  • Roberto Blake, a YouTuber in the YouTube Health space, taught Matt a lot about video production.
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The Decline of Blogging

  • Many people no longer visit blogs regularly.
  • Content is created primarily for Google, not repeat visitors.
  • Blogging is trending down while platforms like YouTube and TikTok are trending up.
  • Creating video content is not as scalable as blogging.
  • Blog posts that used to do well now receive fewer social shares.
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The Influence of Becker and Others

  • Becker was a monumental figure in the early days of SEO.
  • He taught the importance of taking action and niching down for agencies.
  • People often repurpose others' methods as their own.
  • Becker is a master salesperson and can sell anything.
  • Other influencers have also had an impact on the industry.
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The Power of Asking for Things

  • Asking for things can generate more money than a blog.
  • Many people are timid about asking for things.
  • Asking for things can lead to good leads.
  • Asking for things is a skill that can be developed.
  • Asking for things is a way to generate income beyond a blog.
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The Future of SEO

  • SEO is constantly evolving.
  • There is always something new to learn.
  • SEO is a long-term game.
  • SEO requires patience and persistence.
  • SEO is a valuable skill to have in the digital age.
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Topic Generation and Idea Generation

  • It's not sustainable to come up with new ideas all the time.
  • It's a good 4 to 8 hours per week to generate new ideas.
  • It's okay to say the same stuff all the time because not everyone watches every single video.
  • It's sometimes difficult to create new videos because of the effort that went into previous ones.
  • It's okay to make a new version of a video that has hit before.
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Daily Routine

  • Wake up and drink a glass of water with salt and lime to prep the digestive tract.
  • Take some supplements.
  • Do some meditation and yoga for about an hour.
  • Cycle for half an hour when the weather is good.
  • Get the best work done in the morning because creativity dwindles down after that.
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Turning Off Work

  • It's hard to turn off work because the brain is still spinning after work.
  • It's difficult to transition into chill mode.
  • It's hard to cut off work because it's enjoyable.
  • It's not worth it to work all day because it's not sustainable and not effective.
  • Compressing the work day can actually lead to making more money.
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Conclusion

  • The interviewee thanks the interviewer for having him.
  • The interviewee is heading to the gym to break things up a little bit.
  • The interviewer hopes to talk to the interviewee again soon.

Watch the video on YouTube:
Matt Diggity is Building an SEO Empire (Tell-All Interview) - YouTube

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