4 Figure Keyword: Black Hat SEO Case Study

A Little Back Story

The website i am going to attempt to rank is in the bingo niche. I am going to 301 re-direct a panda penalized site to a new site, the content is going to be roughly the same but i am going to do a few tricks in order to avoid a panda penalty again.

For the most part this will be out of the scope of this article, i am mostly 301ing the old site just for the link juice.  The SEOmoz open site explorer metrics of the domain were a DA:45 and homepage PA: 55.

Previously this site was making in the region of $1500-$2000 a month from ranking for various bingo terms. And was getting in the region of 150 visitors a day. After the site got pandered i pretty much gave up on the site and let it sit for around 9 months whilst working on other projects. A quick check of my stats show the site was getting roughly 20 visits a day after the penalty.

New Site and New Keywords

The new site i am going to attempt to rank for some new keywords. I registered an exact match domain.  90% of my traffic will come from the UK, i have a UK domain.

I dont want to give everything away, but the keyword will be related to “free bingo”.

The keywords i will be targeting will be:

Exact Match Domain Anchor: 9990 exact searches month.
Partial Match Keyword #1: 880 exact searches month .
Partial Match Keyword # 2:  880 exact searches month .

Difficult partial match #1: 2900 exact searches month .
Difficult partial match #2:  14800 exact searches month .

I would estimate a #1 ranking for the exact match domain anchor would bring in over $1000 a month in revenue. Although this is hard to quantify right now, that is my current best guess. Ranking #1 will be difficult though.

There is another exact match ranking #3 right now and has a page authority of 51 and 200 linking root domains. I will have to outlink these guys to claim the top spot. It will be hard but i am up to the challenge.

Current State Of Site

After the 301 redirect my traffic jumped up to around 120 visitors a day, now a week later it is settled around 70-90 visitors a day most days.

The site currently has 40 pages of content, a contact page, a terms of service page, a privacy policy page. Each page of content has between 500-900 words and most have relevant images and one or two affiliate links.

I have started my link building spree already. Here are my current rankings as things stand:

Exact Match Domain Anchor: Rank 35
Partial Match Keyword #1: Rank 9.
Partial Match Keyword # 2:  Rank 8.

Difficult partial match #1: Rank 37.
Difficult partial match #2:  Rank 54.

The Link Building Strategy

The crux of my link building strategy will be throw everything at this site and see what sticks.

I will be using a two tier strategy.

Tier 1: Blog Network Links, SE Nuke Links. Creating manual web 2.0 blogs and submitting articles to main article directories.

Tier 2: Xrumer and Scrapebox links from my BHSVPS.

Essentially i will be getting as many high quality tier 1 links as possible, and then i am going to throw as much link spam as possible at all of those links in my second tier and i will see what happens. My prediction is this will work, and it will work very well.

The blog networks i am currently using are: Traffic Kaboom and Article Ranks. This strategy is simple, but requires a lot of work. I already have a fair few spun articles but i will need even more.

I will update back here once every 10 days to talk about serp movements.

First Update: September 28th

So far there has been little keyword movement, i have started blasting Xrumer and Scrapebox links today to my first tier. Currently this is approximately 300 links made in SE Nuke. I also have around 300 pingbacks showing in my WordPress from blog network links. I will start blasting to them soon also.

The reason for the update today was i wanted to talk about Panda and how i think i got out of it.

Reasons why i think my site was penalized: Poor user metrics, designed purely for conversion, content designed purely for seo value etc.

I did the following things in an attempt to fix it:

  • Completely new design and layout.
  • Increased content length on all pieces of content (30+ articles).
  • Added relevant images to each piece of content.
  • Removed all standard banner sizes and just had text call to action’s.
  • Used SEO Smart Links to interlink many of my posts together.
  • Commissioned 10 articles of high quality content which were not designed to be landing pages/highly monetized.
  • Created about page, terms of service page, privacy policy page, added a phone number and address to the site.

Right now the results are saying that this is working. Right now i am getting a ton of Google image traffic because i added images to the top of every post. I am not sure how valuable this is but its free traffic so can’t complain. As far as the site goes, all the interior pages are ranking, but they are ranking lower. Pages 2-7 in most cases, this brings in very little traffic but goes a long way to show that the site is not penalized.

That being said i have not got my hopes up, i will need to wait until the next runs of Panda and Penguin to find out whether this works or not.

Also, should the site get penalized again, i might just remove the 301 redirect and remove the old site (Had lots of low quality links going to it). The current site should do well, it has good pageviews per visitor metrics, good time on site and should meet a lot of Panda quality metrics. So time will tell whether this pays dividends or not.

Second Update: October 2nd

I have seen good ranking improvements. Here are the new rankings:

Exact Match Domain Anchor, 9990 exacts: Rank 12, up from rank 35
Partial Match Keyword #1, 880 exacts: Rank 7, up from rank 9.
Partial Match Keyword # 2, 990 exacts:  Rank 12, down from rank 8.

Difficult partial match #1, 2900 exacts: Rank 36, up from rank 37.
Difficult partial match #2, 14800 exacts:  Rank 39 up from rank 54.

Obviously these are good ranking improvements for very competitive keywords. I have seen a trickle of traffic come in, obviously i wont start to see major traffic until i hit the main page. Current goal is to get the exact match anchor to the middle of the first page within the next 10 days. That would be awesome and should start bringing me income producing visitors. I would also want to rank high for the partial match keywords, i will keep link building with diverse anchors though, hopefully we will continue to see improvements for all the keywords.

Overall traffic is pretty steady in the 80-90 visitors a day region for the whole site. So far so good!

Third Update: November 5th

I am now at ranking #1 for my primary keyword. All other keywords i am either ranking page 1 or top 20.

The website is currently getting roughly 200-250 visitors a day right now, so things are going great.

On top of that i secured a paid advertising deal for the month of November from a leading advertiser in my niche.

All things considered i would like to say this case study has been a huge success.

I will update this case study with further panda and penguin roll outs to document whether this was sustainable or not.

Until then i am retiring this case study. I hope you all enjoyed it!

I posted more information and answered lots of questions about the case study on Traffic Planet forums. I also had my rankings interdependently verified. To see the thread, please visit: http://trafficplanet.com/topic/4411-how-i-am-going-to-rank-for-an-xxxx-month-keyword-using-blog-networks-se-nuke-xrumer-scrapebox-and-other-tools/

One Response to “4 Figure Keyword: Black Hat SEO Case Study”
  1. John

    Hi there,

    Ive been following your thread on Traffic Planet regarding this case study and I would like to share a few ideas regarding blackhat methods.

    If you are interested in doing regular Skype/IM session discussing about different methods strategies/and or make case studies, feel free to email me with the email provided.

    Looking forward to do mutual business.

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