American Idol Meets Guerilla Marketing

    January 16, 2009
    WebProNews Staff

Dave Desvousges has skills. Not nunchuk skills or bow hunting skills (he might, I don’t know) but mad SEO skills and a ton of entrepreneurial spirit. Turns out, he’s also the manager and agent for “international superstar” Renaldo Lapuz.


This guy:

That was from American Idol Season 7. Why am I talking about these guys now? On Tuesday night Katrina Darrell, a.k.a. bikini girl, debuted on the show. When every lust-struck male in the universe googled her, they found at the top of the search results, a website that didn’t exist until 15 minutes after she appeared.

That site was made by Desvousges, manager and agent for international superstar Renaldo Lapuz.

This guy:

Wednesday night, he repeated his success with Casey Carlson, now famously known as “the other bikini girl,” pictures of whom already appear on and are newly promoted by CampusGirlsUSA.

Guess which newly-created website outranks CampusGirls and TMZ at number one?
American Idol Meets Guerilla SEO, created by Dave Desvousges, manager and agent for international superstar Renaldo Lapuz.

After Casey’s “official” website popped up, we noticed the template was remarkably similar to Katrina’s “official” website. WebProNews caught up with Desvousges, who says he’s been a fan of ours for years—no wonder he’s got those mad SEO skills.

“I actually claimed Renaldo’s website as soon as American Idol popped up his name last year, and then 15 minutes later I had a low budget site up.  Then he called me four days later and asked me to be his agent and manager. It’s like field of dreams ‘if you build it, he will come.’”

Dave says Renaldo’s fame has been short-lived, though. “Renaldo was even on the Grand Finale right after Jonas Brothers with no commercials, and it’s still hard to get someone to pay over $1,500 to book him for an appearance.  I was booking him like crazy all over the place and got him two commercials with AT&T thanks to the #1 placement on Google when you searched Renaldo Lapuz, but now I get about 4 booking requests a week, down from 50 a week last year.”
American Idol Meets Guerilla SEO
He hopes to repeat that success with Katrina and Casey. “So far I have the two hottest contestants for Season 8 names #1 on Google.  I hope in the future to help out as a booking agent for them since I’m capturing a ton of great opportunities already.  Some great offers rolling in for these ladies!  I also have hundreds of emails from fans (well bikini girl has her critics…mostly girls).”

Regardless of what may appear to be various legal and ethical issues, and whether or not he has secured himself as representation for the two young ladies—tough gig there, Dave—Desvousges has at least shown how a little pop culture foresight and fundamental SEO can catch that Google wave. The Minnesota resident let us in on his secrets.

“Make sure the meta is solid—very few keywords—and then it’s all about links. I post replies on relevant blogs and news articles and always include a link to my website.  I put my link everywhere but I don’t spam, I register myself. I don’t use any bots or anything automated. I keep the sites low budget on purpose, though I get a lot of emails from web developers that hate them and ask if they can fix it. I can make pretty sites myself, but my goals are completely based around SEO results.”

Those results, all three times, scored his “official” sites 100,000 unique visitors in under 24 hours, enough that he exceeded bandwidth limits and had to switch to unlimited hosting.

Note: Some of the tactics described in this article–domain squatting, self-linking, for example–may be considered black or at least gray hat. WebProNews doesn’t condone or endorse SEO tactics that may be illegal or unethical.