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Building Niche Sites After the Google Penguin Update

Building Niche Sites After the Google Penguin Update

Ever since the Penguin update came out from Google just a few short weeks ago, I have basically taken a “breather” from building any new niche sites.  This has given me a chance to analyze my strategies, determine what sites were affected (and why the were affected), and consider my future of building new sites.

I want to cover some of these thoughts and findings in detail and overall address the issue of building niche sites after the Google Penguin update.

How Are My Sites Doing?

I am like many other people out there, some of my sites were hit pretty hard, but others were not.  Here is an example of one of my sites that was hit by the Penguin update.  You will notice that it was receiving between 130 and 150 visits a day, but once Penguin hit, the traffic went down to around 80 to 100 visitors a day.

On the flip-side, I also had many sites that were unaffected.  For example this site as you can see from the analytics below has been totally flat before, during, and after the Penguin update…no effect whatsoever.

Overall, the Penguin update hurt!  I didn’t like it at all.  However, it has given me a chance to step back and take a look at what may have caused some of my site to get hit, while others were not.  For those of you who were on the webinar I did last week, I gave you an early scoop on some of my findings.  If not, here’s what I’ve discovered.

Penguin was primarily targeting sites that were using too much keyword anchor text or were linking for less than relevant sources.  At least these were 2 of the bigger parts of the updates.

By contrast, the Panda update was targeting sites that had poorly written content or had very short/thin articles.  This is why article directories or wiki type sites like Mahalo.com and others were hit so hard.  The Panda update had nothing to do with targeting “small” niche sites, but targeted both large and small sites that had either short articles or poorly written content.  Both big and small sites were affected equally.

This is also true of the Penguin update.  Big sites were hit just as hard as small sites.  Again, this update had nothing to do with targeting small niche sites and everything to do with targeting link building practices.

Link Building Strategies Targeted by Penguin

So, for example if you were targeting the keyword “best laptop computers” and 100% of the anchor text that you used to link to your site was “best laptop computers”, then your site was likely penalized heavily by the Penguin update.  This didn’t matter if your content was amazing or if you site was extremely large; if you used this kind of link building practice, then you site was “Penguinized”.

The second type of link building strategy that was targeted by Penguin was linking from non-relevant content.  Matt Cutts, gave an example of this here. Notice in that image, that the links are using anchor text that is not relevant or doesn’t make sense to the article itself.  I have to confess that I have done something similar – although not as blatant.  Usually if I wanted to link from a less than relevant article, I would do so in the author box at the end.

So, essentially this is why some of my sites were hit by Penguin and others were not.  My sites that were built a couple of years ago for example all used a high percentage (75 to 90%) of the anchor text was the keyword I was targeting.  These sites were Penguinized.  However, other sites that did not use as much keyword anchor text were not.  Others are finding the same thing to be true.

How to Build Links Post Penguin

Some are saying that as long as you use under 50% keyword anchor text, then you will be fine.  I would personally be even more cautious than that.  In the future, I am going to try and and keep my keyword anchor text below 30%.  The other 70% may just be the site name, generic words (like read more, and click here), or secondary or unrelated keywords.

Overall, I’m not ready to write a full blog post on a link building strategy that everyone should follow, but a lot of the principles that I outlined in my previous backlinking post will remain the same.  Pat Flynn has also done a good job of that. The difference will be linking from more relevant content, using keyword anchor text less, and finding higher quality sources to link from.

My Challenge: Lots of Small Niche Sites vs. 1 Large Site

I suppose now is as good a time as any to let you know about my plans.  Even though some of my niche sites were hit by Penguin, not all of them were, and many of them are still earning quit well, despite the loss of my Adsense account. I have been using several Adsense Alternatives, and although its not as much as Google adsense, its still a very nice income.

Now that the dust has settled a bit from the Penguin update, I plan to start building more small niche sites.  There is still money to be made here, and I’m more than happy to collect some of it.

However, on the other hand, I have been thinking a lot about focusing some time and energy into 1 large site that I write all the content myself and put some real “Spencer love” into; like I do for NichePursuits.com.  Especially as I see the success that Fraser Cain has had with his site.  He made some very good points in the recent podcast interview I did with him here.

So, do I spend my time building lots of small sites or focusing on one large amazing site?

For the next 6 months, I am going to do both.  I work at this full-time, so I have the ability to do that.

For my small niche sites, I will outsource everything and spend perhaps an hour a day building up my portfolio of sites.

For my one large site, I will write all the content, promote it myself, and put some real love and care into it.  I will probably spend 2 hours each day focusing on this one site. Eventually I would like to create my own products for this sites and build real active community there.

The linkbuilding for this large site will all be done through “natural” methods.  In other words, I won’t be doing any manual link building; 100% white hat SEO.

Overall, that’s the plan.  I will build lots of small niche sites and 1 large site over the next 6 months and report back how it going along the way.  I don’t know what to expect as far as earnings from either project, but I think it will be interesting either way.

In conclusion, just because you may have been Penguinized, doesn’t mean that SEO is dead.  Small niche sites are ranking just as well as large sites.  Penguin and Panda could care less if you had a large or a small site; they only cared about the quality and length of your articles, and your link building methods.  Perhaps its just time to re-adjust your strategy slightly.  That’s what I’m doing.

Your Thoughts

Overall, I’ve laid out why some sites were hit by Penguin and why some were not.  In addition, I provided some basic guidance for how I will be building sites down the road.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject!  What do you think of my challenge to build several small sites and 1 large site?  What plans do you have for building niche sites after the Penguin update?

77 Comments for this Post

  1. Brock

    Brock

    Man you got hit with the AdSense thing THEN Penguin. Bet your not Google’s biggest fan right now…

    Yeah, I think the authority site model is the way to go. I’m letting my Amazon niche sites (that ALL got hammered) sit for a while. Working on them kind of sucks anyway. It’s way more fun working on stuff you actually like.

    Keep us updated!

    -Brock

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Yes, got hit twice – but the best part is that my sites overall are still profitable. Still worth the effort. Newer sites should just be better ideally.

  2. Adam

    Adam

    Hey Spencer,

    Your strategy seems pretty solid to me and would make for a great case study comparison.

    I like the idea of seeing what your diversity brings you.

    What I am curious about is will you be linking your large site down to your niche sites like a tier drop kind of platform?

    Major Site
    -Niche
    –Niche

    and so on? Or will your large site stand alone and away from your smaller ones?

    Personally my strategy is the same as yours except I am coming in “post penguin” with my niche sites so I am interested to see how well my linking strategies work.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      No, I won’t be linking the larger site to the smaller sites – they will be completely separate.

  3. ryan

    ryan

    Spencer,

    I’m really unsure about the idea of using too much exact anchor text in backlinks. This would in essence open up a simple means to push competitors out, but then I also read all the time that you shouldn’t be concerned about this, as there is not really a penalty for too many links. Thoughts?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Do a search on “negative SEO”. Its here unfortunately. I linked to an article on SEOmoz recently where Rand Fishkin walks through the fact that its happening.

  4. Ben

    Ben

    Spencer great post as usual! Since you will be creating an authority blog with no manual link building, what will be your primary method for driving initial traffic? Looking forward to seeing your future authoritysite!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Word of mouth, telling my friends, interacting on forums or blogs where other in the niche are interacting. Getting my name out there – kinda like I did with this site. I’ve never built a link to nichepursuits.com either.

  5. Chris G.

    Chris G.

    I’ve been pretty Jaded since the Penguin update. It rolled out just when I felt I was just starting to gain some ground. I had 50 micro niche sites built up, with about 10 of them earning a fair amount every day. Since the Penguin update only one of my site’s home page is still ranking at all.

    I believe the largest contributing factor to my loss in rankings were the links from un related niches.

    I’ve been kinda in a daze since the update. I haven’t done any work on the sites at all.

    But my wife and I are starting up a blog for. This is going to be a mommy blog with a certain spin. It is going to be 100% white also; no link building at all.

    We will still be doing keyword research, but not as intensive as before. I really like Fraser Cane’s method for keyword research and I like his Keyword Strategy tool. I believe his keyword tool better suites the nature of the large, personalized, 100% white hat authority blog.

    I don’t really have a solid traffic generation plan yet, but it will involve plenty of twitter and blog commenting on other mommy blogs within the niche.

    Short term monetization will be with adsense. The site will also feature in depth product reviews of mommy and baby products so we’ll be linking to Amazon within those posts… But our long term goal is to publish a book using the content from the blog posts.

    In the mean time, I plan on letter about 45 of my micro sites die out and keep the 5 that were earning the most before the update. I plan on trying to remove the backlinks on those 5 sites and take it from there. I also am going to start building new sites and back link to them much more selectively.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks for the update Chris – sorry to hear you were hit so hard with Penguin. Best of luck with your new site, sounds like a good one.

  6. vin

    vin

    Spencer,

    We’re on the same wavelength with this. Instead of creating all new “large” sites, I’m planning on taking one or two niche sites that weren’t hit and expanding them to really dominate the area.

    However, the domains I have registered in the last few weeks seem to be all ranking top 20 without ANY link building. I’m giving them all 5-10 pages of quality content and they show up in the top 20 within 5-10 days. I wait about 30 days before I start link building, so hopefully that will boost them right to the top. Fingers crossed!

  7. Sunil l Internet Marketing

    Sunil l Internet Marketing

    of the 20+ niche sites i manage, about 6 were hit pretty badly. i went back to analyze the common denominator and totally failed at it. just so hard to pin point the cause.

    the strategy going forward is to diversify anchors more, and slow down the submission rates (drip feeding).

    i will focus on a couple authority sites however that are in relatively high demand, low supply and high profitability areas mainly by strengthening the content and occasional link building by myself unlike the outsourced links done by my VAs for my niche sites.

    i have also contemplated completely laying off niche sites for now and focusing more on my blog, iphone app development business and my new SEO firm

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Hey Sunil – sounds like a solid plan; and its always a good idea to re-consider the direction of your business when things aren’t going as expected. Best of luck.

  8. Eric | My 4-Hour Workweek

    Eric | My 4-Hour Workweek

    Hey Spencer,

    Good post, and I like your plan going forward. I’m in the same boat as a lot of other people here – hit hard in multiple ways (Penguin/Panda, AdSense account ban, etc.). It kind of leaves you in a bit of a confused mess (especially when you’ve been working at it for a couple years, yet only have 30 minutes a day to work on it). I don’t want to say I’m back to square one, but it feels pretty close to that.

    At the end of the day though, this is the game, and you have to roll with the changes. It sucks, and this will discourage/weed out a lot of aspiring internet marketers, but there will always be a way to make money with it.

    I’ve taken a bit of heat on my blog from a few individuals who believe I’m wasting my time trying to make money from niche sites now, and there’s a good argument there.

    Even though Google has taken a much more strict approach to how it evaluates backlinks, I HAVE to believe there will always be a way to use some of the lower quality links (article directories, Web 2.0, services like UAW, etc.) to rank for LOW competition keywords. The main caveat here is that you need to build the links carefully (slow velocity, wide variation in anchor text).

    With niche sites, I always felt that the big advantage was the choice of keyword AND having that keyword in the domain (exact match keyword domains preferred). I’ll admit, I’m a little worried that Google has significantly devalued the weight it used to give to exact match keyword domains, but it’s tough to tell – I assume more of my problems were due to having poor anchor text variation.

    Anyway, right now I’m probably putting 80-90% of my focus on a new authority site where I’m trying to build it similar to the way I built My 4-Hour Workweek (100% “white hat”). I still want to have niche sites in the mix though, and I’d love to be able to revive some of the ones I previously built.

    Looking forward to reading about your progress in the future.

    – Eric

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Eric – It does leave a lot of people in a confused state. It certainly does weed a lot of people out and leaves perhaps even more opportunity for those who learn how to “do it right”. I do believe that Google is giving less weight to exact match domains, but the foundation of keyword research remains the same. However, some of my best performing sites have always been non-exact match domains, so I really don’t think its that big of a deal.

      Thanks for the thoughts Eric!

  9. Josh Kohlbach

    Josh Kohlbach

    Hey Spencer,

    Interesting thoughts and I look forward to seeing how you do over the coming months.

    One question: Are you going to go back and adjust the link profiles on your older niche sites to reduce the amount of exact keyword links the the sites? Do you think this is a worthwhile thing to do?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Josh, I should go back and adjust the link profiles. I do plan on trying this on a couple of sites to see what effect it has and then moving to other sites as I see results. Its very time consuming, so I would only recommend it on your highest earning site or sites to start.

      • Dale P

        Dale P

        Curious to know if you were able to recover any of your site rankings by adjusting the link profiles?

        Was thinking of doing the same thing with one of my sites.

  10. Nino

    Nino

    That’s a good way to look at this stuff : authority vs small sites.

    And your post made me realize something: You don’t need to to work on the authority site a lot! Just a few hours and the right ingredients and you can surely make it a winner!

    Sorry for your Adsense account, but one kick in the ass is one step ahead! :)

  11. Eric

    Eric

    Hi, Spencer

    I read your post and the other post that you linked to and I have a question.

    If google will tank a website because there are lots of links that come from un-related content, then everybody can tank his competitors’ website by doing so, right?

    For example, if I am in weight loss niche, and my competitors sites rank on the first page of SERP, then I can blast tens of thousands backlinks from articles about credit repair, pay day loan, make money online, etc.

    What’s your thoughts?

    Thanks

  12. Ralph | Niche Websites

    Ralph | Niche Websites

    I’ve questioned this myself too.

    1 big site or various smaller ones.

    Since the update 2 of my sites which had 2000+ (each) visits a month dropped to 50 or so. Sucks but hey.. Frustrating thing is that I didn’t really use a lot of grey hat stuff.

    I have a few sites and I’m currently debating if I should combine the sites and another site into one big site (100 post +)

    This for various reasons:
    1. Better quality
    2. I’ve outgrown one site a bit (was about running and now I’m doing more than just running)
    3. .com instead of .com.au in relation to #2.

    Is this a good idea?

    Ralph

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Ralph:
      Its tough to say if that’s a good idea. you don’t want to actually take content from one site and put it on another site – duplicate content. But you could just focus on building up one site to make it bigger.

      • stevewyman

        stevewyman

        HI
        I read that as combing the sites content. Thats fine as long as you get the content your moving Removed from the google index before you re-install on the new destination. then schedule the posts out over time.

        regards

  13. Ric

    Ric

    These recent Google updates have the search results a bit mixed up. For example: I have had interest in the search term “Online Income”. Before the updates the first page had websites focused on online income ideas and methods. Now, the 2nd website is about IRS tax returns, and another tax preparer (HR Block) pops up here and there.

    I’m sure in time Google will straighten this out, but in the interim, as you well know, they have messed with a lot of peoples incomes and this should be a wake-up call for all of us to not put to much stock in Google. It’s easy to get angry at Google, but they only control us to the point that we let them, it will take a little work but we will find viable alternatives.

  14. Kent @ Earn Extra Income

    Kent @ Earn Extra Income

    Spencer, definitely, I think Authority Site is way to go. I haven’t had much luck with those 3-5 page micro niche sites yet.

    I love to catch up how you do with your Authority Site. I’d suggest you to have a brandable name for long term. Also build a great Facebook Fans page. Recently, I learned that you could have tons of share traffic via FB without Google love.

    For me, I plan to work on “semi-authority” site like those 20-30 page one on monthly basis. Identify winners and grow it as 50-100 page ones.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Kent – thanks for the encouragement. It will indeed be a brandable domain rather than a keyword domain. I agree on the social media aspect, that’s what I’m planning on.

  15. Joe

    Joe

    Hi, I’ ve one question:
    Do you monitor all of our Niche Sites with one Analytics account? I’m asking that because it would be easy for Google to connect all your Niche Sites and find out that backlinking was used there.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      No, I have many analytics accounts. Or don’t use Analytics on some of them.

  16. Anisul Islam

    Anisul Islam

    Hi Spencer,

    I have got a question. I build 2 websites from around 3 months ago. My primary keyword was a long tail one and in total i have 8 articles now each targeting different keyword. My site was ranking well before penguin and currently none of my keywords are at top 1000. I lowered the keyword density from 3% to 2% , used LSI keywords , build backlinks to each pages varying anchor texts, even i resubmitted the urls in webmaster. Yet I don’t see any results. any idea? another problem i got is after putting 8 articles i don’t see any other keywords or points to write on. Some of my keywords have heavier competition than main keyword. So do you suggest to put more articles and should i try to rank for all keywords at once or 1st build backlinks to few pages and then moving on to others?

    Thanks

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Wow, 2% keyword density is really high. I would never go more than 1% on any articles (and even that is high). Its hard to say, could be issues with keyword density (ie keyword stuffing), low quality links, or other issues. So many things that it could be, but certainly sounds like Penguin hit your sites.

  17. Matt

    Matt

    Best opening picture ever. Didn’t notice it on my first read.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks Matt! I was going to point it out, was having a little fun with Matt Cutts and Penguins…:)

  18. kyle proctor

    kyle proctor

    I agree with building smaller websites. I do not back link to my websites and with your longtail pro and good keyword research I have several websites that have more than 1500 visitors a month. amazingly with good content I am also getting back links naturally now from those using my content and linking back.

    I always say content is king. No one can touch you with good content. everything else will fall into line.

    we need to stop thinking we can manipulate Google. They will do what they want and we have to follow suite, plain and simple.

  19. Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    I definitely think that authority blogs are the way to go now. While niche sites may still be a viable business model right now, that will most likely not be the case in the near future – it’s just a matter of time. In my opinion, it’s better to be proactive and start transitioning into authority blogs instead of niche sites than be reactive and be stunned when the death of niche sites actually comes and have to start from scratch.

    Plus, authority blogs like you mention allow you to put your own personality into your content and legitimately make a difference in people’s lives – not just get them to click on an ad.

    Glad to see you realize this and are starting to try out authority blogs other than Niche Pursuits! Can’t wait to see how you make out with it!

  20. Andre Garde

    Andre Garde

    I can’t believe you guys missed Matt Cutts himself telling you how to rank #1 in Google. Here’s the webmaster help video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7W0o65tTIQ

  21. Ric

    Ric

    Tremendous video! I can’t wait to pump up my kw density to 77% and start building those porn links!

  22. Daniel @ My Financial Freedom Challenge

    Daniel @ My Financial Freedom Challenge

    Hi Spencer,

    I got hit pretty bad my Penguin, went from earning $25+ per day from two sites to earning around $1 per day, pretty disappointing but i won’t let it stop me.

    I have now changed my strategy and will be building one very large authority site, and just like you i don’t plan on building ANY backlinks, it will be interesting to see how it goes!

    Im going to post regular updates about it on my new blog if your interested.

    Daniel

  23. Austin

    Austin

    Hey Spencer,

    Sorry to hear about you getting hit my Penguin! I was lucky to avoid it, however I was the victim of negative SEO uprising that followed it. Yucky!

    Glad to see you’ve got plans to further build out niche sites, and your podcast certainly did spark my interest into building a larger auth niche site. I previously have done this multiple times, but I’ve always sold them short of becoming a powerhouse. Your podcast allowed me to reflect and reconsider that my decisions may not have been the best in terms of the long run haha

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Austin – there’s lots of different strategies to try, but maybe building a “powerhouse” will work well for you.

  24. Amit

    Amit

    hi when you are saying you will make some small sites .. how many pages on these small sites?

  25. James

    James

    Hey Spencer –

    I like your plan for the next 6-months. Doing one really large fantastic authority website and then doing some niche sites as well.

    Shows that you aren’t giving up on the little niche websites that made you so successful in the first place.

    My plan for the next few months is pretty similar to yours. However I am working on building up 2 large websites and in the meanwhile updating and adding content to my existing niche sites I created (around 25 of them).

    So the main focus will be the two new larger websites and then every once in awhile I’ll write one article for each of my 25 other niche websites so they move from one page websites to 5 or so page websites.

    Then will have to assess from there.

    Hopefully I have as much success as you do. Cheers and good luck!

  26. Marc Possoff

    Marc Possoff

    Hi I’m just starting out in niche’s. I still see affil type review/best type sites still ranking in niche’s.

    I’m new to all this and been working hard. I have been working to find niche’s and have found a couple. I joined a coaching program and the following is some criteria.

    With someone just starting out and since I don’t have any sites yet, can I still rank in a niche/micro niche.

    The criteria I have been following is;

    1- page 1 have at least 3 affil type review/best etc sites

    2- the affil type review/best etc sites have no more than 200 back links

    The reason/ s are that affil sites are easier to unseat and 200 back links isn’t much. I assume this is more of a longer term goal to rank.

    Then add content consistently to the site with no affiliate stuff, just info content related to the niche. And a you tube video.

    This model sounds good to me. My site is well optimized on page.

    So I’m looking for off page info. This is where I’m at.

    Maybe I’m in a good position just starting out because I can learn off page the right way after this update.

    I’m confident I can rank in my current niche if I do what it takes, consistent info content and off page. It’s a 3600 a month exact match phrase.

    For someone who has a well optimized on page site, and that’s going to add info content consistently….

    What’s the best back link strategy?

    Marc

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Natural link building is always best. Other than that try to find relevant and as high quality link sources as possible. (This could be a really long blog post to discuss).

  27. thegrizasonline.com

    thegrizasonline.com

    It seem that only high value content and branding survive after many Google changes.

  28. Phil Jensen

    Phil Jensen

    Spencer

    Almost all my rankings got demolished in late April and May (other than a few sites). Once it happened I quickly changed my focus towards social media marketing (mainly facebook and twitter) and spent many hours improving my content on my biggest sites.

    The hard work seems to have paid off as I had my biggest day ever the other day $2,225!

    Although I haven’t breached any of the Adsense TOS, I’m a little nervous about my account after what you’ve been going through.

    Once again, great post!

    Cheers

    Phil

  29. NP 7: Building a Brand with Pat Flynn | Niche Pursuits

    NP 7: Building a Brand with Pat Flynn | Niche Pursuits

    […] Many of you are already familiar with Pat’s story, but this podcast interview certainly covers more than just his background and what he’s up to right now.  I was able to dig a little deeper into his thoughts about his niche site strategies and some of the recent Google updates. […]

  30. Dev Bhushan

    Dev Bhushan

    Awesome report. Some really good information here and surely this information will help us in web marketing. Your post is excellent. Thank you!

  31. Mike Newhouse

    Mike Newhouse

    You make a great point with the micro-sites or niche sites. The niche sites for our clients have been going crazy, while the larger sites have been pretty much sitting still. They weren’t affected at all actually, but it has been a very positive affect on our clients niche site rankings.

  32. Alex

    Alex

    I think your strategy of splitting your energy between small sites and a large one makes sense. I tend towards larger sites by preference myself, but I really look forward to seeing how the numbers lay out.

    You might convince me to move towards smaller sites!

  33. Jose

    Jose

    Hi,

    So, if I want to place an anchor text to lets say an article about cell phones, what do I write on the anchor text, lingerie ?

    José :-)

  34. Robert

    Robert

    Google has been rolling out Penguin 1.1. This time, my site gets hurt. Yes, my biggest site drops significantly and cut off 80% of my income.

    It hurts, seriously.

    I have to build everything from scratch again, but I hope that everything will be okay soon.

    To me, I wouldn’t focus on small niche sites, they will be caught sooner or later. My plan is to build large sites with thick content.

  35. How I Was Able to Launch My First iPhone App Today! | Niche Pursuits

    How I Was Able to Launch My First iPhone App Today! | Niche Pursuits

    […] as I’ve recently discussed, and discussed on the Niche Pursuits Facebook page, I am planning to put a lot of time and energy […]

  36. JVerstry

    JVerstry

    Hi Spencer,

    I have been reading several of your posts, very valuable information here.

    Can you share the average revenue you got per thousand display when you were under AdSense versus the alternatives you are using now (or some equivalent ratio)?

    I am looking for a rough estimate of revenues in your case.

    Thanks!

  37. Worried Your Business is Based on an SEO Loophole? You Should Be. | Niche Pursuits

    Worried Your Business is Based on an SEO Loophole? You Should Be. | Niche Pursuits

    […] a bit more aggressively.  I haven’t done much since my Adsense account was banned and the Penguin update hit.  But now I’m comfortable with my business and can afford to take on some more risk.  (And […]

  38. AurangZaib

    AurangZaib

    Great post, Spencer can you please explain the methods / techniques to recover the ‘Penguinized Niche Website’. What are the best methods / path on we should go through to recover the penalized website?

  39. Jimmy Cataldo

    Jimmy Cataldo

    It’s definately about links from unrelavent niches AND to much exact anchor text.

    I did a little experiment on my site got hit by penguin(i’m living in the netherlands)…

    First of all when is started in this i only made links from relevant niches. So no unrelevant links..

    That would explain why everybody got HIT HARD by penguin and i got hit soft. (i see everybody talking about links from unrevelant niche sites)..

    I got kicked from place #2 first page to place 9 first page.Seems not much but enough to eliminate all my earnings from the sites that got hit by penguin.

    I HAD lots of exact keyword anchor text, the one where i mixed it a little bit was dropped from #2 to #5.. The site where i had a lot of exact keyword anchor text was dropped from #2 to #9 like i said above…

    So what i did, i started working on the site that got hit from #2 to #5, i started making WIKI page links with articles i wrote myself. Articles from 300 + words… I made 15 articles and in 13 articles i placed a naked url backlink… in two of the 15 articles i tried AGAIN exact keyword anchor text.

    I waited for some time, bam my site got hit again a little bit. From place #5 to place #8. So i thought, okey now is a beautifull time to test if it has to do with exact keyword anchor text like everyone is saying. I removed the two exact keyword anchor text backlinks…

    Waited some time, bam, site went back up to #5, so it really has to do with exact keyword anchor text and unrelevant backlinks. My sites were not hit HARD by penguin because i always made backlinks from relevant sites.

    So revelant sites + use a lot of different anchor texts for your backlinks. So now i’m going to try and get all my sites back by making wiki backlinks or other backlinks where i control the content myself. Then use a lot of naked url’s and also partially exact keyword anchortexts.

    I hoped i helped a bit with this!

  40. Tritonal

    Tritonal

    Great post and also very-very informative site, thanks alot for doing this blog :)
    When are we going to see the next (3rd?) part of this article series?

  41. I Can Only Handle 1 Authority Site, Back to Niche Sites! | Niche Pursuits

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  42. Niche and Authority Site: What’s the Fuss All About?

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  43. Ranking In Google After Penguin and Panda – Part 3 | Link wheel . PRO

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  45. Clint Wilde

    Clint Wilde

    Spencer,

    After hearing all the penguin update stories, I have gotten paranoid using any kind of automated link building strategies.

    I have never built any links using automated tools but I want to start doing it.

    Can you recommend the best way for me to start building links with a budget of about $20-30 / month?

    Thanks much!
    Clint

  46. Pratham S

    Pratham S

    Dear Spencer,

    What about websites which sells facebook fans, twitter followers etc.

    Would they be hit same by Penguin update.

    Also for websites using facebook, twitter as keywords would there traffic be affected.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      You mean sites buying facebook fans and twitter followers (not selling)?

  47. My 2 New Niche Sites: Showing Positive Results! | Niche Pursuits

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  48. facebook

    facebook

    Good day! I know this is kind of off topic
    but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?

    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  49. Jay H

    Jay H

    What an interesting article! So informative!

    I’ve must say though, your introductory image put a smile on my face – thanks for making my day at 7:30am! :)

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