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From RPGStash To SEO

RPGStashNowadays my main occupation is SEO consulting but I started out in the opposite end of the online business world. As a webshop owner. The commodity was Diablo 2 items and the year was 2001. Much time has passed since then and the sequel Diablo 3 is out but it is of no consequence to me. I am over and done with that type of business. It’s still a good story though.

I started selling runes, sojs, jewels and other uniques on eBay in early 2001. By mid 2001 I had my first webshop ready. I duped, I boted and I traded. I sold tens of thousands of items. Some of them at ridiculous prices. It was certainly no charity but nevertheless I made many people happy.

The business seemed to have potential so by 2004 I moved to with the intent to offer more games and services. This was the time when I started looking into search engine optimization. After having aquainted myself with the mundane task of on site optimization, I quickly moved over to directory submissions. This job was too tedious so I hired some indians to do it for me. In the end it was probably not worth the money or the submissions themselves for that matter. After that I started looking into keywords based on adwords keyword tool, half of the time forgetting to set match type to exact, and then buying domains and creating satellites based on those keywords.

This was all good and well but what truly made a difference was the aquisition of a few old expired domains with pre-existing page rank. The only seo strategy that will prevail on the ever changing web I reckon.

At it’s peak towards the end of 2007, RPGStash averaged around 8000 visits per day with a bounce rate around 50-60%. After that it went downhill. And quickly at that. Our market niche in the game Runescape was lost due to a major game update, and there was not really anything we could do about it. At the same time the Diablo 2 market was consumed by competitors with better technology. With both games gone it was just memories of good days left. I left the ship in 2010 and have not looked back since. Too much competition and too much pressure from game companies. I have been threatened with law suits, I have had hosting accounts shut down, and I have had my files held hostage. But never once did I break any law. It’s just the way it works. Big guy bullies small guy. I have had enough of that for a few life times.

My partner still runs the show though. He has registered a company in Hong Kong and sorted out hosting in Netherlands to minimize problems with game companies. The cms is also changed to Prestashop to keep maintainance at a minimum. Currently site has around 8K visits per month but it is on the rise. A long way to go but it’s going in the right direction. Best of luck to him in RPGStash vs China round 2.