Hey BHW Community!
I wanted to share this post with you guys as I have been steadily monitoring the SEO scene daily over the last few months and specifically the Oct 4th Penguin update and its effects on various websites and niches.
Now to give a bit more background information, our company manages around 200 clients spread across various niches that include a few highly competitive keywords as well as easier local niches that are comprised mainly of mom and pop shops.
Now after the Oct 4th Penguin update we immediately spent the following weeks gathering up all the analytics and details from all our client's websites to try to pinpoint what factors were involved in causing our websites to go up in rankings as well as down in rankings.
So our first observation we noticed which wasn't too surprising was that the smaller mom and pop websites and their local keywords didn't get affected much as the search volume and niche wasn't and isn't one Google really has a spyglass on since the niche is not as profitable and thus it is a useless target for spammers to pinpoint for churn and burn spam tactics
Now here comes the real interesting information we discovered from one of our clients sites who is in a highly competitive niche (50k unique searches a month and dealing with big brand names) and surprisingly survived the Oct 4th Penguin update and is still ranking stronger then ever.
To shed some more light and give a bit more insight behind our client and the niche, they are in the clothing industry and ranked for a few highly competitive national keywords and share Google's page 1 real estate with websites such as Nordstrom.com, Macys.com, etc.
Now although our client's site has over 800k backlinks as verified by ahrefs, nearly 99% of the anchors consisted of raw urls mixed with brand name, etc. So that means less then 1% were allocated towards its money keywords. Furthermore, we believe the reason the website ranks so well is simply because we have the keyword in the meta title, which thus indicates Google is even placing further value on meta titles.
So our take away and strategy going forward with all our existing clients and new clients is to heavily heavily focus on building the majority of links, over 90%, towards the brand name and raw url of the website and perhaps later down the line, after a solid anchor text profile has been established slowly throw in some money keywords and longtails but still ensure to keep the anchor text ratio under 2% for each money keyword.
Hope this helps those out there looking for some tips after these last few hectic months