The Strategy We Used To Rank #1 for “Unhealthiest Foods"

Today you are going to learn the exact formula we used to rank #1 for the keyword “unhealthiest foods” and #4 in the same search.

They have been there for over a year and are stuck in the top 5.

This is a white hat method with some grey hat mixed at the beginning since we “built some links”.

What You Will Learn

  • How we ranked #1 for “unhealthiest foods” for years
  • How to blend white hat content marketing with grey hat SEO for huge results
  • The exact strategy we used

The Strategy

We were approached by an online content distributor who wanted help with SEO. My company, Grey Umbrella Marketing’s (now Visiture) process back in 2014 was to pick target keywords, create content and then rank for them.

We didn’t use any black hat strategy, but we did build links via relevant web 2.0 sites and we were very good at it.

This is how we did it step by step.

Step #1 – Keyword Selection

First we selected keyword phrases to go after. Here is what we chose-

Keyword Search Volume CPC
what happens when you quit smoking 5400 5.27
health benefits of honey 5400 1.57
how to increase libido 2900 2.62
honey health benefits 2400 0.21
how to communicate effectively 2400 2.4
coffee nutrition facts 1900 1.41
how to increase s** drive 1600 3.05
natural s** 1300 0.06
increase s** drive 1300 1.83
should i shave my head 1000 4.34
negative self talk 880 0.01
how to have good posture 880 0
shaving your head 880 2.35
college booty 880 0.04
how to increase libido in men 880 1.33
what happens when you stop smoking 720 5.43
foot massage techniques 720 0.11
how to increase your s** drive 720 1.69
what happens to your body when you quit smoking 720 5.81
how to increase your libido 590 1.42
how to have better posture 590 0
what happens after you quit smoking 590 3.26
different types of tea 590 3.68
benefits of smiling 480 0
how to declutter your house 480 1.73
how to prevent bronchitis 480 1.57
famous presidential speeches 390 0
how to boost libido 390 1
healthy frozen pizza 390 4.22
how to get good posture 390 0.74

Overall, 38,000 people a month searched for these phrases. If we could secure the top 1-3 positions, we would be able to achieve a lot of targeted keyword traffic.

We picked these phrases based on the relevance to the website and competition. The lesser the competition, the better the keyword to go after. I always recommend using Adwords keyword tool to do keyword research.


So once we had this list of keywords, we needed to create an article that targeted each one.

Step #2 – Content Creation

We used Buzzsumo to do all of our content research for each keyword.

BuzzSumo makes it really easy to see what is popular and we entered each keyword into the tool and then picked an article to replicate or “make better.”

This is what it looked like-


Once we knew roughly what we wanted to write for each one, a content team wrote the articles for us and published them on the site.

The content team did a great job with a significant amount of research in producing “bad-a**” pieces of content that really blew you away.

Here are all of the articles we created-

Keywords Article
what is personal development
personal growth and development http://
a diet to lose weight http://
medication for sleep http://
what is a heart healthy diet http://
best workouts to gain muscle http://
ways to lose weight in 2 weeks http://
foods you should buy organic http://
healthy high protein breakfast http://
healthy takeout options http://
health benefits of honey http://
worlds healthiest foods http://
healthiest food at mcdonalds http://
what happens when you quit smoking http://
unhealthiest foods http://
coffee nutrition facts http://
top ten healthiest foods http://

We then went in and optimized them for their target keyword.

This was really pretty simple, we just made sure the article was fully optimised for the target keyword using the SEO by Yoast plugin.

Each of the articles was written with a great deal of research and depth. You cannot create subpar content. It has to be the best on the top three search results – this is very important.

A good rule of thumb is to write the content, then look at the content on the top three results. Is your content better? Is it more in-depth or more informative?

If not, keep making it better.


Once we had all of the articles optimised and published, it was time to do the real work!

Step #3 – Building Links

We built some web 2.0 property links to the individual blog posts first. Each one was basically a private blog network which had an article that we could link to each of the blog posts.

They were all created with relevant unique content and I suppose this is what would be considered a grey hat strategy.

Here is a sample link that is still alive:


We used a service called POSI rank back then to create the web 2.0 properties along with some guest posts. We had them pointed directly to the articles and sure enough we popped into the first page for lots of terms.

Important Note

Since we executed this strategy we have updated it. Instead of creating web 2.0 sites now we just create 10 relevant high quality unique articles and perform guest post outreach to other sites to get them published with a link back to your target blog post.

Just make sure that you do not use the same anchor text as the keyword you are trying to rank for!

You should only need a handful of them and then promote the links and the post on your social channels. You can also use other successful pieces of content on your site to interlink to that particular guide.

Once we hit the first page with our posts, over time natural white hat links started appearing–


Because the page was now easy to find on the first page, the natural links just kept on coming!


Then a crazy thing happened.

It exploded on social media.


We found that once someone had shared it, it got shared again and again until eventually a famous celebrity shared it and, sure enough, thousands shared it behind him.


After this, it exploded to the 2nd positon in Google and after one and a half years, it remains #1 (and now has the Schema markup) and the #4 position as well.


Then over the next year, it continued to be shared and now has 70 white hat acquired backlinks.

This page brought hundreds of thousands of views and tons of social signals and also attracted 151 real comments.


I hope you understand that you can use link building to get a white hat campaign started, but at the end of the day – the content has to keep you there.

If the engagement metrics for your content are poor then Google will drop you from the first page entirely!

Lessons Learned

  • Social media has a huge impact on rankings & Google will always keep quality content at the top of search results.
  • One good retweet or share can make a huge impact. Promoting to the right people can make the biggest difference.
  • Acquiring White hat backlinks is often a “the rich get richer” scenario because the people who already rank high attract lots new links naturally with no effort.
  • Spending time & money to create quality engaging content is worth every penny

Wrapping It Up

What I want you to take away from this article is that no matter how much research you do, you will never really know what is going to work until you try it.

Don’t be scared to come up with a small list of keywords and create the very best content on the web for each of them.

With a few backlinks and social signals you will be surprised at what sticks!

But don’t forget – links will get you to the first page but engagement with your content will keep you there.

2 Comments – Read what others are saying about this post…

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How We Ranked #1 for “Unhealthiest Foods” for 1.5 Years was originally published on February 04th, 2016 07:00 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.
Matthew Woodward

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  1. 808406 63600Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO? Im trying to get my weblog to rank for some targeted keywords but Im not seeing extremely good outcomes. In the event you know of any please share. Thanks! 490361

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  3. ?锟ワ俊鈧?/a>on February 4&#44 2017Verified Purchase^COOL HAT.NICE AND WARM.~5|Mr Graphics^Somewhat large&#44 but I like that baggy very casual look. Elastic band keeps it on even in stronger winds. Material is thicker than I expected&#44 but it’s still wearable as long as not an extremely hot day in South Carolina Summer. I have received several compliments on it.Recommended if not worn in really hot climates. If you are in a hot climate&#44 buy a hat with thinner&#44 cooler material.~5|JRP^This was for my adult son to use in a stage production of Music man&#44 and it suited the period perfectly. We wanted it larger than actual size&#44 as we didn’t have time to return and it was ‘Prime ‘ of course. Excellent material and manufacture. He never cared for hats before&#44 but really likes this one.~5|Amazon Customer^Thanks for a great product. Love my new hat and the fact that it fits perfectly. Better than any store bought hat where one size fits all. This one actually fits and I like it.~5|Sal^The hat designed for my head perfectly. Looks great and is true to the era.~5|David^good~4|Amazon Customer^PERFECT SIZE COLOR!!! GREAT BUY!!! THANKYOU!!!~5|Julianna Smith^Used this in my wedding for a groomsman. It was just what I wanted. He got to keep it as a groomsman gift&#44 and he loved it too.~5|NE Plains Farm^It’s very comfortable seems to be well put together~5|Sarah^Way toooo big!! More like a costume hat. Too big for any persons head&#44 ever. Like a bubble on your head. Definitely returning.~3|

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  5. Robert Kelly^This hat is honestly not was I was looking for. Looks different than the pics once you get the hat. Very cheap. Almost like a hat you buy as a tourist in Cali. I did not like it&#44 it’s in the trash~3|Mario3^It’s a replacement cap but it is nicer than the one it replaces and the family likes the “bear”!~5|Agnita A.^A gift my brother loves~5|

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  8. Michelle Turpin^Bought a small for my daughter who is 10 and weighs about 70 pounds. Fits good!~5|EricaD22^Purchased for my 11 yo daughter. She is a little below average height and is medium-small build. The youth medium fit perfectly with some room to grow. Nice fit and would definitely order it again.~5|joseph mcguire^Great jacket 11year old daughter loved it~5|UMAN^Looks great and true to size~5|Mari^My son has worn this every single day since receiving it as a Christmas present. Definitely a great purchase!!~5|janyah morten^Jacket was great~4|Kari Jordan^My son loves this jacket~4|Amazon Customer^Awesome~5|JimTX^My daughter loves it.~5|Katherine R.^Washes nicely&#44 perfect for my athlete~5|

  9. Berry853^It runs a little big. We needed a size 5 so I ordered the Small. I shrunk it a little bit&#44 but it was still big. He wore it&#44 and it was a hit. He looked adorable in the show!!~5|K. Hupp^Perfect for what we needed. My son did a James Bond themed dance and needed something for a costume this worked perfectly.~5|Karla Grassano^So cute! My son was ring security at my wedding and wore this shirt. So cute!~5|Gina L.^The quality of the shirt is good but I ordered an XS because it said kids size 2-4. My son is a 4 so I was concerned it might be too small but it was way too large. The XS is definitely more like a kids 5-6.~4|denise^I ordered an XS for a boy who is a 4 and a S for a boy who is a 6. These were to be worn at a wedding-and they were. I had to shrink the shirts by washing in hot and over-drying. This had some effect. Both shirts however were too big they worked for the occasion. In two years they’ll fit both boys perfectly.~3|Jessica Mendonca^good quality tee~3|Catherine T.^The shirt is ok quality but shipping took almost a month and my son didn’t have it for what he wanted to wear it for. I tried cancelling it after 2 weeks “in processing” but they wouldn’t let me.~3|JJ Trachta^Very cool shirt!! It’s a little short in length&#44 not out of expectations&#44 but I would prefer a little longer.~4|rsingleton^It’s really comfy&#44 the design is fun and trendy! It fit exactly how it should. It’s one of my favorites to wear. It’s held up through the wash&#44 and hasn’t faded at all!I received this item in trade for a review~4|Avid Shopper^The shirt is really cute&#44 but definitely runs large. I’m glad I ordered a size down because it was still big&#44 even after washing in hot water and drying.~4|

  10. T. Lewis^the sizes go 3m&#44 6m&#44 9 m&#44 12m&#44 2T&#44 3T&#44 4T&#44 xs. I wrongly assumed the XS would be a child’s (rather than a toddler size) extra small. I’m pretty sure it’s an adult X-small shirt.other than the size&#44 it’s a Gildan shirt (a brand I’ve had good experiences with lasting for years!) and seems to be a good quality*lettering seems to be of good quality&#44 the shirt went through the initial washing & drying with no flaws.~4|Katlyn K.^Perfect gift for a big sister to be to feel special too! Colors are bright and nice and we were please with the quality.~4|Abbey^It worked for our purpose&#44 but it’s not fitted at all. Very boxy more like a boys t-shirt.~4|GrandmaD^I found the sizing chart for this item to be quite confusing. I ordered a size S (7-8 yrs) for my almost-6 year old. The shirt is so cute&#44 but it is so small. I was really disapponted.~4|HEIDI^It is a cute shirt&#44 just a little larger than I expected. I haven’t washed it yet but it is 100% cotton so it will probably shrink a bit.~4|Amazon Customer^I ordered this shirt for my granddaughter and we both loved it! It fit her nicely and the colors were beautiful! Her mom is planning on her wearing it to a baby shower for her little brother.~5|Angie Thomas^This shirt seemed somewhat large BUT our granddaughter is petite in size. However&#44 other similar sized items seem to fit her okay. Shirt is of good quality. It did seem to take a long time for delivery but overall we were pleased!~4|Sue^Very good quality and also cute!~5|Amazon Customer^Our granddaughter loved the shirt&#44 when her brother arrived on the seen. She is very excited to be a big sister!~5|Carise Martindale^Too big.~4|

  11. Roanemermaid^The shirt looks exactly like the photo. The fabric is super soft. The fit is true to size ordered. Washed and dried with no changes to color or size. I am extremely pleased with this purchase.~5|Laura^I love my MTV t-shirt! Great quality. Soft and comfortable. I always get compliments when I wear it. Tommy Heath of Tommy Tutone loved it too!~5|Jacar^Bought this for my son to wear on 80s day at school. Nice quality and he received several compliments.~5|Sally Gump^Bought for an 80s theme cruise and was just right!~5|Paul Bullock^Grey is more stell blue color but a great shirt~4|Amazon Customer^Love the Shirt! The arms might be a little tighter than the rest of the shirt&#44 but it shows off my guns!~5|Terri Levesque^Soft – fit as expected~5|Timothy Thomas^Fits wellLooks goodQuality material~5|Dcc1970^awesome!!~5|Kristen Daniel^love it! just ordered another for my husband~5|

  12. kv^Bought for my 4 y/o to wear on vacation in the Florida keys and he wore it proudly and received a gazillion compliments. Adjustable size so it fit great. Hand-washed a few times when it got dirty and it cleaned up great!!!~5|Doshcokyco^I bought one of these hats last year to take on the cruise and have a little fun. Last year I bought one and it was not adjustable&#44 this year I bought another that said adjustable and it’s not also. I’m done buying these hats because the standard size is for “the mountain” from Game of Thrones. Dont watch the show? Well If you look like this guy&#44 I’m sure it will fit you fine.|Emily B Mitchell^For what it is it is fine. I was hoping for a hat that could be fun to wear out on the boat occasionally but I suspect this will just be worn for one picture than used occasionally as a costume. It is better than it’s adult counterparts and actually looks like a captains hat.~4|BigR1g^Got this hat for a gilligan’s island costume for our 2 year old. On it’s smallest setting it fit him OK&#44 but he does have a large head. Would do well for an average size adult head also. Quality is about what you expect for a costume captain’s hat&#44 but the price was much better than others I looked at. Will be able to use for several seasons if needed.~4|JK81^I liked it. It runs a bit big but it’s something my son can grow into. His father went through two captains hats when he was a child and I wanted our son to have one too. For his first birthday we had a sea theme (his father and grandfathers are both sailors) so I was searching online for a captains hat. This one was the best out of the ones I’ve looked at. Price was reasonable too.~3|Raquel D^Hat was part of a Halloween costume and my kids still love to wear it.~5|Barbara Encinas^We didn’t know whether my 2-year-old grandson would wear this hat for Halloween&#44 but he loved it. It adjusts and stayed on well.~5|Phantom Vox^Wayyyyyy to big for a “kids” hat. Ended up buying another last minute~3|Gabrielle B Shough^I was a little hesitant to order because of some of the reviews but I’m glad I did! It came exactly as pictured. I ordered it for my 2 year old nephew to wear on our cruise in a month. I gave it to him early and he won’t take it off. We all love it!~5|Lynette J.^Nice quality…better than expected! I ordered 2. one child size and one adult. This is the one for CHILD…and the quality is much better than the adult hat. the other is all out of shape and cheap. This one is much better~4|

  13. soyrobo^Now the true darkness of my soul can be expressed through a visual representation emblazoned upon my chest. At last&#44 when I sip from my goblet of red wine&#44 surrounded by dead flowers&#44 weighted by existential dread&#44 I can know that I look exactly on the outside as I feel inside… undead.The bats have left the belltower.~5|Margaret M.H.^I received this shirt on time and was pleasantly surprised that it fit perfectly. Seems so many times I order too large. The fabric is great. No scratchiness that comes with subpar quality and the screen print is clean and professionally done. I’m very pleased with this shirt overall and will wear it for many years to come.~5|Brian Phillips^Not the Same as listed. Front design is faded and there is no print on back. Took longer to arrive than expected as well. Poor Quality.~3|MM^I had the same experience as another reviewer–the design is different than advertised. The front is faded and there is no lettering on the back. A waste of money.~3|colby stein^Love it&#44 nice soft quality shirt! Athletic fit rather than classic&#44 order up if you aren’t.~5|Larry . S .Garcia^This was the lowest quality shirt they could have possibly made . The print and fabric are weird are horrible ! It’s some kind of shiny weird polyester. I can’t believe I wasted money on this !~3|Pedro Alvarado^It’s great&#44 very soft fabric and print is placed proportionately. The shirt is just a hair longer than what I like but it fits great.~5|Yoko Mono^Fits perfect…great quality!~5|David Hoddle^love this shirt. print is good&#44 fit is comfortable.~5|Danger Kallisti^I like it&#44 and I’m wearing it now.~5|

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