Optimal GSA SER Configuration Tutorial [Updated Regularly]
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything related to GSA SER so it’s about time to say the least. A lot has happened in that period and I’ve been getting a lot of questions about current best configurations, settings, what emails to use, best captcha solving services, etc. So, I decided to write this article which will basically contain the full set of services, settings, and configurations that we currently use. Keep in mind that I will update this whenever something changes so it will always be up-to-date.
Last updated: 11.10.2017.
What You’ll Learn
- The best GSA SER related services that you can use – and that we are using as well. If you ever want to squeeze out the maximum from your GSA Search Engine Ranker campaigns, you need to consider these.
- Optimal GSA SER settings – this includes general settings of the software that apply to all projects.
- Optimal GSA SER project configurations – how you should configure your projects so that you actually achieve results from them.
The Best GSA SER Related Services
This one is actually very simple and I have barely changed anything since the very beginning when I first started using GSA SER. Most people who are thinking about purchasing Search Engine Ranker think that it is all they will need, but the truth is that you are going to have to invest a few extra bucks in order to run it properly. Here are the current best GSA SER related services that we use:
- Captcha solving – GSA CB (tutorial and review) + CAPTCHATRONIX or 2Captcha for hard-to-solve captchas.
- Content generation – Kontent Machine (tutorial and review) or SEO Content Machine if you need a lot of non-English content.
- Content spinning – WordAI (tutorial and review) + Spin Rewriter (tutorial and review). Why both? Because we run a lot of projects and the API on WordAI has a monthly limit. So we use those for the upper Tiers and Spin Rewriter for the lower Tiers. If you are not a fan of those, check out this content spinners case study for alternatives.
- Emails – SEOSpartans (tutorial and review).
- Proxies – dedicated ones from BuyProxies (tutorial and review) or check out this GSA SER proxies case study if you can’t afford them.
- Verified site lists – in the best case scenario, you’d create those on your own (here’s how), but if you don’t have the time, you can check out this GSA SER site lists providers case study or look at our site lists we sell. But again, creating your own link lists is the optimal option here.
- Tier 1 links – nowadays, I tend to use less and less GSA SER projects as Tier 1 (not that it has ever hurt me), but because of the PR thing falling out completely, I now focus more on using FCS Networker (tutorial and review) for building Tier 1 links. The alternative is RankerX, but to be honest, I’ve never tried it so I cannot really say which one is better. I’ve been using FCSN for a long time and it’s true that it has also fallen off a bit when compared to before, but there really isn’t any better option on the market right now.
- Hosting – we use the Windows SSD Two of PowerUpHosting for all of our VPS. The 2GB of RAM and the 20GB SSD is more than enough to run hundreds of projects on one instance of GSA SER. The best thing about PowerUpHosting’s VPS is that they don’t have a meter on the bandwidth and that’s really important for a GSA SER user.
And that’s basically it for the GSA Search Engine Ranker related services that we use. I’m pretty sure that these are currently the best options out there, but if someone has found a better one than any of these, I’d love to hear about it. Now let’s optimally configure your GSA SER.
Optimal GSA SER Settings
This includes all the settings from the “Options” menu of GSA SER plus settings related to the log, statistics at the bottom and the projects area. Let’s start with the settings in the “Options” menu.
The Options Menu
This menu has 5 tabs on the left side, 2 of which we don’t need and will ignore – “Indexing” and “Filter”. We will only look at the remaining three – “Submission”, “Captcha”, and “Advanced”. I have disabled both the indexing and filtering of GSA SER backlinks so we don’t need to look at those because you don’t really need them.
The Submission Tab
Here’s what this tab looks like on our main VPS:
This GSA SER instance has 100 dedicated proxies assigned to it and we tend to run at about 7 – 10 threads per proxy depending on the amount of work the software needs to do in a certain amount of time. One thing I want to note here is that you might want to check the Verification option if you are not using SEOSpartans for your emails.
The Captcha Tab
Here’s what the “Captcha” tab looks like on our main VPS:
The most important setting here is “Number of simultaneous captcha requests”, especially if you are running a lot of projects like we are. The default value is 999 I think, and before I dropped it to 99, GSA CB was crashing constantly because it just couldn’t handle all of the incoming captchas from GSA SER. I played a bit with the values and found 99 to be the sweet spot.
Nonetheless, regularly check the connection to your GSA CB with the “Test” button because sometimes it just fails and your GSA SER can’t do anything without a connection to GSA CB. I used to emulate GSA CB as a web server and then connect it to GSA SER, but I switched to the general approach because it has started working better for me.
The Advanced Tab
Here’s how this tab looks like on our main VPS:
We keep only the verified site lists as that is all you actually need. Now, in the past, you needed to remove duplicate URLs and domains daily, but nowadays, I guess the software does it on its own so you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Your work on this tab will basically be to import new verified site lists and clean them up when they get older and cluttered with bad targets.
Another thing on this tab is SERengines, which I no longer use as they have become oblivious of their service. I keep hearing that version 2 is coming out at some point in the near future, so I’m hoping for a really good Web 2.0 engines pack for GSA SER – kind of like SERengines were when they first came out.
General GSA SER Settings
Aside from the “Options” menu, there are a few other things that I recommend GSA SER users to follow:
- Disable the log if you are not debugging something.
- Switch to VpM instead of LpM as LpM is basically worthless. VpM is what matters.
- Group your projects by deadline or by whatever you want otherwise if you create hundreds of projects, it might get hard to navigate through them.
- Restart GSA SER daily – every night, when I am generating reports for the projects that have reached their deadlines, I restart GSA SER so that it can remember its current state. Sometimes, not restarting the software for too long might cause it to crash.
- Follow the changelog so you can be aware of new engines and bug fixes that the GSA SER team has implemented.
- Update the software regularly.
- Use the “Scheduler” if you are simultaneously running more than 100 projects. On our main VPS, we have around 200 – 300 projects running simultaneously at all times, so I always run the “Scheduler” of GSA Search Engine Ranker and set it to run no more than 100 projects at a time and change to the next batch of 100 projects after 30 minutes. Running too many projects simultaneously will cause the software to crash. I have found 100 projects at a time to be the sweet spot.
And that’s it for the general settings of GSA SER. These don’t change a lot, but I do tend to tweak some of them when I feel like it. As I said in the beginning of this article, I will update it whenever something like this happens.
Optimal GSA SER Project Configurations
If you’ve seen our services, you’d know that we offer 3 different types of basic link building campaigns:
- Standard 3 Tiers GSA SER link pyramid.
- Higher quality GSA SER link building campaign with 4 Tiers and 7 projects in total.
- And a standard Web 2.0 link pyramid that includes Tier 1 links from FCSN.
Now, aside from those and a churn and burn campaign, there aren’t many other types of link building campaigns that you can run. Sure there would be some custom ones that intertwine with each other, but the three ones above you will most probably use the most – especially the first and last ones.
Even though these 3 GSA SER link building campaigns differ from one another by engines, quality filters, and other settings, we will still look at them as the standard Tiers-separated hierarchy of quality. Let’s start with Tier 1.
GSA SER Tier 1 Project Configuration
Each GSA SER project has 6 tabs (5 if we don’t select contextual engines), so we will basically look at each of these tabs (without “Notes”) for each of the 3 Tiers, including the engines that we select for each of them. Just keep in mind that all of this configuration varies from campaign type to campaign type so I’m showing you the default one that we use for all of our Tier projects. Let’s start with the engines.
GSA SER Tier 1 Project Engines Selection
For Tier 1 projects, we use only the higher quality engines of GSA SER:
GSA SER Tier 1 Project Data Tab
Most of the fields on this tab are filled by the content generated by Kontent Machine and WordAI/Spin Rewriter, but there are those at the top that need a manual touch, specifically the anchor texts distribution. For Tier 1 projects, we mostly run with the following anchors ratio:
- 20% keywords – those are the keywords that we want to rank for.
- 50% branding anchors – the strongest ones in my opinion.
- 20% generic anchors.
- 10% naked URLs.
Keep in mind that these percentages vary a lot and I tweak them for every campaign that I think needs it. For instance, If I have a YouTube video that I will be ranking, I would lower the branding anchors to something like 20 – 30% and increase the keywords. Or if I have main keywords and secondary keywords, I would split the 20% into something like 5% and 15% respectively for main and secondary keywords. So always keep in mind that this is just a general anchors configuration that needs to be customized for each campaign.
GSA SER Tier 1 Project Article Manager Tab
In the beginning I played a lot with this tab trying to find the optimal settings and since then, I haven’t changed them much at all. Here’s what we are running with today:
GSA SER Tier 1 Project Options Tab
This is where most of the magic happens and I tend to change these a lot from campaign to campaign, especially the filtering section, but here are the general settings that are mostly used:
- If a form field can’t be filled – “Choose Random”.
- Verified Links must have exact URL.
- When to verify – “Automatically”.
- No search engines are selected as we use only verified lists for targets.
- No scheduled posting unless the client requested it himself.
- We don’t really use the PR filter that much anymore, but for Tier 1 projects we can go up to 3 depending on the campaign.
- All types of backlinks to create are selected.
- Because the PR filter is not working that well anymore I tend to filter targets by country nowadays – US and UK tend to give the higher quality links.
I still haven’t implemented PR Jacker or something similar because the problem with it is that I cannot customize the filter to be applied only to specific projects and we run hundreds of them. Some clients want to filter by TF, some want to filter by PA, and so I still haven’t found a reliable replacement for the PR filter.
GSA SER Tier 1 Project Email Verification Tab
Not much to say here so let me show you:
Now, this is the configuration I go with because I use SEOSpartans for my emails. If you are using Yahoo or any other similar email provider, you need to check the “Time to wait between two logins” and the “Delete message if older than” settings.
GSA SER Tier 1 Project External APIs Tab
We use this tab only when we have our Tier 1 links created by FCS Networker. We just paste in our API Key and the Project ID and the GSA SER Tier 1 project “downloads” the verified links from FCSN.
And that’s basically it for the GSA SER Tier 1 project configuration that we use. Again, I want to mention that this is not a static config and it does change from project to project, but that mostly happens in the anchors ratio and on the “Options” tab. Now let’s look at Tier 2.
GSA SER Tier 2 Project Configuration
Again, the procedure will be the same for the Tier 2 GSA SER project. Keep in mind that there are a lot of similarities with the Tier 1 project, so wherever there are, I will simply mention them instead of showing a screenshot or whatever.
GSA SER Tier 2 Project Engines Selection
The engines for the Tier 2 project include all of the engines of the Tier 1 project plus the following engine groups:
- Image Comment
GSA SER Tier 2 Project Data Tab
The first important thing I want to note here is that we link only to DoFollow links from the Tier 1 project. The way you do that with GSA SER is via the “Edit Tier Filter Options” button and then selecting the “Do-Follow only” setting. The general anchors distribution for the Tier 2 GSA SER project goes as follows:
- 40% keywords – those are the same keywords from the Tier 1 project.
- 30% generic keywords.
- 30% naked URLs.
Again, this ratio varies from project to project, but in most cases, this is what we go with. Sometimes, I might lower the percentage if there are way too little keywords or if the client requested specifically generic anchors and naked URLs only for the lower Tiers.
GSA SER Tier 2 Project Article Manager Tab
This one is completely identical to the Tier 1 project’s “Article Manager” tab.
GSA SER Tier 2 Project Options Tab
This one is also completely identical to the same tab from the Tier 1 project with the only difference being the filtering section where I lower the filters so that more links can go through. For instance, if I have set a PR filter of 1 in the Tier 1 project, I might go with 0 here or with no filter at all depending on the campaign and client requirements.
GSA SER Tier 3 Project Email Verification Tab
Again, 100% identical to the one from the Tier 1 project. And that’s it basically for the Tier 2 GSA SER project. Let’s finish this GSA Search Engine Ranker link pyramid with the final Tier 3 project.
GSA SER Tier 3 Project Configuration
While Tier 1 and Tier 2 are quite similar, the Tier 3 project differs completely in terms of engines selected.
GSA SER Tier 3 Project Engines Selection
Here are the engines we use for our Tier 3 projects:
GSA SER Tier 3 Project Data Tab
Similar to the Tier 2 project, the Tier 3 project will link only to DoFollow links from the Tier 2 project. As for the anchors distribution, here’s the general one we use:
- 60% keywords – again, the same ones from Tier 1 and Tier 2.
- 20% generic anchors.
- 20% naked URLs.
GSA SER Tier 3 Project Article Manager Tab
Identical to Tier 1 and Tier 2.
GSA SER Tier 3 Project Options Tab
Identical to Tier 2, but without any filters whatsoever unless explicitly requested by the client or unless we decide that the campaign needs it.
GSA SER Tier 3 Project Email Verification Tab
Identical to Tier 1 and Tier 2. And with that, we are basically done with the optimal GSA SER project configurations. Let’s wrap this up.
By no means am I speculating that these are the absolute best services and configurations for a GSA SER environment, but it is what we are going with and it seems to be working pretty well. Of course, as I already said, things tend to change from time to time as I learn new stuff and as the GSA SER link building scene grows more and more.
So, I’m always open to suggestions and corrections from fellow GSA SER users. If you have any of those, just leave them in the comment section below and I will read them and update this article accordingly. As mentioned in the beginning, I will try and keep this article up-to-date at all times so that people can have a reliable source of basic GSA SER configuration and usage at all times.