Dear fellow blackhatters I have been cooking up a little case study for, well, for myself but I guess it is only fair that I share it along the way with all of you since I have been following a number of case studies here which have been very helpful. So let's cut to the chase: Hypothesis 1: Do EMDs still carry any value? Hypothesis 2: Does spamming still help to rank a website if pointing directly to the site? CONTEXT: I am currently working for a customer for which I am building a tier 1 site. The purpose of this site is of course to point links to his main site for SEO, but I also want to redirect targeted traffic to it. I will therefore be putting banners for my client's site here and there on the case study site and will count clicks on those banners as conversions (see below). I want to rank this site highly for the main keyword, but don't really care since its just a tier 1 and will not matter if its sandboxed/penalised. I purchased an exact match domain for my main keyword about one month ago, which is why I don't want to blast to heavily. CMS is Wordpress, i've installed AIOS and optimised the basics on-site. The keyword gets 1300 exact searches per month (8100 large) and it's competition is medium (0.55/1) WHAT HAS BEEN DONE: - I have published 18 articles, some of them are very decent hand written ones, some are just spun from bits and pieces out there, some are just photos/videos with short descriptions. I was posting 1 article every 2 days approximately, the last one was on the 1st of Feb. - I have done a tiny bit of link building, that is a bit of scrapebox and social bookmarking (circa 100 of each) to get my site and articles indexed quickly at the beginning. CURRENT RESULTS: At the moment my site is actually already on the first page, #9!! But only for the EMD keyword, for all the others it is miles away in the SERPs. However, it came up on page 1 pretty quickly and has danced between #6 and page 2 spots, before settling at #9. So OK, its a low competition keyword, but I will already conclude that EMDs still carry some weight when it comes to ranking for a medium-comp keyword. I think as long as the content is rich on the site, EMDs can still be very successful. The site usage metrics are also not bad, bounce rate around 50%, which may also be an indicator for Google. Ideas and comments about this are very welcome! However the traffic is very low at spot 9, so I am aiming for top 3 (I still want my client's site to be #1). WHAT I WILL DO: - The aim of the case study is to determine what kind of links still work well for ranking sites. I'm going to test various link gigs from BHW (if anyone wants to offer review copies for the benefit of the case study!) and I will try to spread each one out to see what is actually benefitting and what is useless. I will update everyday (I'll try my best) with number of traffic, rank, number of links indexed (ahrefs), ranking in SERPs and clicks on the ads which lead to my client's site. Any comments, suggestions or questions are more than welcome, that's also what the case study is for. To kick this off, I want to buy a service that provides high quality links, rather than big blasts. I was thinking about this one: http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...blic-view-able-profiles-service-only-5-a.html but I have already ordered for another one of my sites 1-2 days ago and am still waiting for report (TAT 2-3), so if in the meantime anyone has some services to suggest (preferably not your own ), please post in the thread, or else I will order it tomorrow if hopefully i get the report. NUMBERS 6-2-2012 Traffic: 12 visits Rank: #9 Backlinks: 236 Conversion (to client site): 1 Bounce rate: 33% 7-2-2012 Traffic: 14 visits Rank: #9 Backlinks: 236 Conversion (to client site): 1 Bounce rate: 64% Note: Please do not PM me about this thread, PMs will be deleted. PS. Sorry, I didn't want to make this OP so long, but I tend to spread out a bit.. Wish me luck!