Rank and Rent: He Has 56 Million Rankings on Page 1 and Makes MILLIONS


  • 00:00 👨‍💻 Introduction and background of James Dooley
  • James started with a construction company and realized they needed SEO for their website to drive more inquiries.
  • They gradually transitioned into the rank and rent business model, where they rank websites and rent them out.
  • James now has a successful digital real estate portfolio with over 56 million web pages ranking on page one and 850 different paying clients.
  • 03:00 🏢 Evolution of the rank and rent business model
  • James shares that their rank and rent business model evolved over time, starting with the need to get their clients busier to generate more work for their own company.
  • They developed a strategy that allowed them to build a successful digital real estate portfolio.
  • Their growth was facilitated by an in-house testing team, good people for team management, and effective systems and processes.
  • 07:09 💡 Insights into SEO nuances and algorithms
  • James highlights that there are multiple algorithms and different SEO nuances across various niches.
  • The specific requirements for achieving topical authority, quality content, and backlinks vary depending on the niche.
  • Different markets require different link building strategies, such as local citations, guest posts, and niche edits
  • 08:55 💡 Overview of the rank and rent model
  • The rank and rent model involves ranking a website and renting it out to customers.
  • It is similar to real estate, where you buy a house and rent it out, but this is done digitally with websites.
  • Plumber analogy: Plumbers are experts in their field but may not understand SEO, so they rent websites ranked by SEO experts to generate inquiries.
  • 12:09 💡 Differences between rank and rent and client SEO
  • The rank-and-rent model avoids client SEO, as there are many unreliable SEO providers without regulations.
  • Lack of trust in SEO results in clients questioning every step, leading to managing expectations and spending time on reports.
  • Rank and rent offers a more predictable and efficient approach to generating returns on investment.
  • 15:21 💡 Benefits of the rank and rent model
  • With proper SEO skills, a website can be ranked and rented, allowing for a substantial return on investment.
  • The model offers a good yield, where a large initial investment can be recovered within a year or two.
  • It provides a simpler and more compelling sell for clients, as they can skip the negative perceptions and buy leads from already-ranked websites.
  • 16:45 💡 Process and starting point for rank and rent
  • To start with rank and rent, it is essential to have strong SEO skills.
  • The process involves building a brand new domain or using expired domains.
  • Keyword research, quality content creation, site architecture, and effective link building are key steps in the process.
  • 16:59 💡 Choosing the domain and industry for rank and rent
  • Selecting a domain related to the industry is important.
  • Going broad in the chosen industry helps gather real data from Google search console.
  • Adding multiple clients within the same industry increases competition and drives up the finders fee.
  • 19:03 💡 Discovering profitable niches within the industry
  • By listening to customer needs and following the money, one can identify profitable niches.
  • Expanding from a general industry like Plumbing to subtopics like shower rooms and wet rooms increases profitability.
  • Focusing on disabled wet rooms with higher budgets allows for higher kickbacks.
  • 22:02 💡 Strategies to rank a website for rent
  • Creating informational content and driving traffic to the website is crucial to rank.
  • Behavioral signals, such as user engagement and traffic, play a significant role in ranking.
  • Monetizing initial traffic with display ads while aiming to rank for bigger keywords helps generate income.
  • 24:19 💡 Building specialized rental sites
  • When focusing on smaller, more profitable niches, it’s essential to build a site that represents the client’s business.
  • Allowing the client’s staff to operate on the site creates a sense of ownership.
  • Providing the client with a site they couldn’t afford on their own increases their willingness to pay for the rental site
  • 25:13 💼 Building specialized rental sites
  • Outlining the process of building rental sites with specialized content for different locations and niches.
  • Utilizing plugins like Ser Shaker and Magic Plugin to create multiple pages with unique content.
  • Incorporating on-page optimization tools like Page Optimizer Pro, Surfer SEO, Eric Leries, and Market Muse.
  • 29:37 🗺️ Framework for ranking sites
  • Discussing the shift from raw HTML to PHP and WordPress websites.
  • Merging location-specific pages using plugins like Magic Plugin or duplicating pages and modifying content for different locations.
  • Utilizing different on-page optimization tools like Surfer SEO, Page Optimizer Pro, and Market Muse.
  • 31:39 🚀 Acquiring power for the site
  • Diversifying backlinks by using citations, social fortress, and forum links.
  • Leveraging the power of private blog networks (PBNs), guest posts, and link insertions.
  • Ensuring a balanced mix of homepage power, relevant guest posts, and other inner pages’ power.
  • 33:45 📌 Importance of social fortress and citations
  • Emphasizing the importance of social fortress and citations in building a strong backlink profile.
  • Recommending revisiting these steps if they were initially missed to enhance site performance.
  • Note: The requested sections have been divided based on the stated criteria. The timestamps and contents are as accurate as possible
  • 33:59 💼 Importance of citations, social fortresses, and forum links
  • Emphasizes the importance of diversifying backlinks by acquiring citations, social fortresses, and forum links.
  • Mentions the benefits of citations in terms of trust and local ranking, especially for Google My Business (GMB).
  • Highlights how social fortresses can be used for brand control and reputation management.
  • 36:39 💼 Importance of content and backlink diversification
  • Stresses the significance of having high-quality content and diversified backlinks for successful SEO.
  • Recommends creating informational pages based on extensive keyword research.
  • Advises targeting specific locations and variations of key terms to maximize visibility.
  • 40:08 💼 Doing enough to win in the SERPs
  • Encourages focusing on achieving sufficient optimization rather than striving for perfection.
  • Suggests prioritizing producing enough content and building backlinks to secure a competitive position in the rankings.
  • Explains that going beyond the minimum requirements is necessary when expanding with more locations or targeting harder-to-rank terms.
  • 41:43 💼 Importance of site structure and internal linking
  • Discusses the significance of site structure, navigational elements, and internal linking for SEO.
  • Recommends internal linking extensively within single-topic niches.
  • Highlights the importance of linking in the navigation bar, footer, and sidebar to enhance site navigation and user experience.
  • 42:40 💼 Importance of internal linking and site structure in single-topic niches
  • Discusses the significance of internal linking and site structure in single-topic niches.
  • Advises linking extensively within single-topic niches, but mentions that over-optimization of internal link anchor text is not a major concern.
  • Differentiates the importance of internal linking and silo structure in single-topic niches compared to multiple sector markets like casinos.
  • 45:37 💼 Similarities between rank and rent and classic affiliate marketing
  • Highlights the similarities between rank and rent and classic affiliate marketing.
  • Mentions that good quality content, internal linking, backlinks, and ranking knowledge are essential for both approaches.
  • States that citations and forum links are more important for rank and rent models in local markets compared to traditional affiliate sites.
  • 49:20 💼 Bolting rank and rent onto an existing content site
  • Discusses the possibility of adding rank and rent pages to an existing content site.
  • Mentions the potential to leverage existing informational content and location pages to monetize the site further.
  • 50:02 💼 Acquiring established content sites for rank and rent
  • Highlights the opportunity of purchasing established content sites monetizing through display ads.
  • Suggests transforming the acquired site into a rank and rent model by adding affiliate marketing, lead generation, or renting out the Facebook pixel.
  • Mentions the potential for high-quality guest posts and various other ways of monetizing a website.
  • 51:12 💼 Challenges of interacting with clients and the need for a sales team
  • Emphasizes the importance of building relationships with clients and understanding their business goals.
  • Suggests the need for a sales team or business partner to handle client interactions if the SEO professional is more of an introvert.
  • Explains the significance of having open conversations with clients to explore ways to charge more and provide additional services.
  • 54:16 💼 Common mistakes in the rank and rent business model
  • Stresses the importance of internal linking and recommends optimizing it to pass page rank throughout the site.
  • Highlights the value of using tools like Phrase Surfer, Page Optimizer Pro, or Market Muse for proper on-page optimization.
  • Mentions the significance of writing concise and optimized content, avoiding keyword stuffing or excessive fluff.
  • 54:44 💼 Pitfalls in link building and focus on link quality
  • Notes that many people buy toxic backlinks without considering trust and toxicity thresholds.
  • Argues that high domain rating (DR) and high website authority (HS) are not enough to determine link quality.
  • Expresses the need for education on different link metrics and the importance of considering trust, power, and toxicity when building links.
  • 59:06 💼 Importance of networking and continuous learning
  • Emphasizes the need to attend networking events and connect with experts in specific areas of SEO.
  • Highlights the importance of innovation and continuous learning to stay ahead in the industry.
  • 01:00:03 💼 Diverse insights and masterclasses throughout the discussion
  • Mention that the conversation covers not only the rank-and-rent business model but also provides insights on starting a site, evaluating links, and other aspects of SEO.
  • Recommends revisiting the discussion multiple times to gain a deeper understanding of the various topics covered.
  • 01:01:00 💼 James Dooley’s online presence and willingness to share knowledge
  • Provides information on how to follow James Dooley’s work through his website and various social media platforms.
  • Mentions James’ increased activity on YouTube and his desire to elevate others through sharing techniques and knowledge.
  • 01:03:01 💼 Sponsored segment on digital PR link building
  • Highlight’s Search Intelligence’s agency’s success in building digital PR links for a client.
  • Describes the campaign and the resulting link placements in reputable publications.
  • Encourages listeners to consider using similar techniques for their own link building efforts.


Leveraging the Rank and Rent Model: A Profitable SEO Business Strategy

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, new opportunities arise for entrepreneurs to tap into the vast potential of search engine optimization (SEO).

One such strategy that has gained traction in recent years is the “rank and rent” model. In this blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of this model and explore how it can be a profitable business venture for those with expertise in SEO.

What is the rank-and-rent model?

At its core, the rank and rent model is a strategy where an entrepreneur builds and ranks a website for specific keywords and then rents it out to businesses seeking online visibility in their respective industries.

The rental fee is typically a percentage of the client’s return on investment (ROI), and the more they pay, the more websites and backlinks are provided to improve rankings and generate more business.

The Role of Expertise in SEO

Before delving into the rank-and-rent model, it’s essential to have a deep understanding of SEO and the ability to rank websites effectively.

James Dooley, a seasoned SEO expert, stresses the importance of honing your SEO skills before venturing into the rank and rent business. Non-ranking sites simply won’t attract clients for rental purposes.

Overcoming Negative Perceptions

One reason why the rank-and-rent model has gained popularity is its ability to overcome the negative perceptions that some people have of SEO services.

Many entrepreneurs have experienced unreliable SEO services in the past, leading to a lack of trust in the industry.

By offering already-ranking websites for rent, the rank-and-rent model offers a simple and compelling solution for clients looking to improve their online presence without the lengthy process of enhancing their organic SEO efforts.

Building a Profitable Portfolio

To embark on a successful rank-and-rent business, it is crucial to build a strong portfolio of websites that rank well in their respective industries. James Dooley, who boasts over 850 paying websites ranking on page one in the UK, stresses the need to choose domain names related to the industry, ensuring relevance and appeal for potential clients.

The first website should cover a broad range of topics related to the industry to gather real data on search volume and keywords.

Niche Specialization for Optimal Results

As your rank and rent business expands, it’s essential to listen to clients’ needs and identify profitable niches within their industries.

By going deeper into specific niches, such as specialized services like “wet rooms” within the plumbing industry, you can improve rankings and establish more profitable partnerships with clients.

This approach allows for a higher ROI and helps you stand out in a crowded digital landscape.

Optimizing Website Performance

To ensure the success and profitability of your rank-and-rent websites, it’s crucial to optimize their performance.

Focus on creating relevant and optimized pages for different locations within the industry, complete with engaging content, images, and videos.

Behavioral signals and traffic to your site are considered essential ranking factors, so investing in on-page optimization tools like Ser Shaker, Magic Plugin, Page Optimizer Pro, Surfer SEO, and Market Muse can provide a competitive edge.

Crafting a Robust Backlink Profile

Building a diverse and powerful backlink profile is a vital component of the rank-and-rent model. James Dooley highlights the importance of foundational links like citations and directory backlinks for local markets.

Additionally, using a social fortress strategy, which includes platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Weebly, Rebel Mouse, and Blogspot, can help establish a strong brand presence and generate valuable branded anchor building opportunities.

Expanding your network and leveraging the power of guest posts, tier two backlinks, and existing pages with authority can further enhance the strength of your backlink profile. Remember, diversity is key to creating a powerful and trustworthy digital presence.

Continuous Learning and Innovation

In the ever-evolving realm of SEO, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. James Dooley emphasizes the need for continuous learning and innovation to adapt to the latest algorithms and trends.

Networking events, speaking to experts in your field, and staying connected with the SEO community can provide valuable insights and keep your rank and rent business on the cutting edge.


The rank-and-rent model offers a profitable business opportunity for those with expertise in SEO. By leveraging your skills to build and rank websites, you can provide clients with an enticing alternative to traditional SEO services.

With the right strategies, a robust portfolio of ranking websites, and continuous adaptation to SEO trends, the rank and rent model can become a thriving business venture.