Link building Strategy after Penguin Update Hi fellow BHW'ers! I have never posted anything other than replies and reviews before because i'm too busy working and reading/learning from all the guide's and journeys here. After the most recent penguin update rolled out, my money sites lost quite a few of it's top three positions. Some slipped to bottom of the page and some when to page two. I also lost quite a fair bit of backlinks at the same time. My money sites are my own real business sites/client sites and none of them are affiliate or amazon/Drop shipping types of money sites. As a result, i've been forced to re-think everything I thought I knew best. Google has come up with emphasis on machine learning algorithms like rankbrain and the latest penguin roll out which essentially targets off page activities (Link building and related signals). For the most part, I have always focused on and dabbled in: 1) On page SEO ( super important IMO) 2) Tiered link building and Citations 3) Social media promotion and real events for brand awarenes. I do my own copywriting, so a lot of my efforts has borne great results this past year. Simply because, I have to do my own research in order to create content. And when you do your own research, you tend to have more insight on customer behaviour, demographics and segments and their preferrences- all of which are vital in creating a successful sales funnel or marketing campaign. AdWords doesn't seem to work for for what I do (maybe I suck at it), and SEO has been the #1 source of traffic and lead generation for my sites since 2012. Seeing as the organic search listings are now occupied by even more ad listings, and the latest algo updates are designed to prevent people like me from ranking and banking- i have decided to embark on a different route to ensure that I can keep ranking and making money month in and month out. What am I referring to? PBNs. Yes, its not the newest or safest thing to do, but I hardly care about White/black/grey hat labels. What I have always focused on is: Can my business stay afloat and how much revenue has been accrued this month? And with that In mind, I give zero fucks about webmaster guidelines and the great debate of ethics associated with PBNs. In the past, my experience with PBNs were simply buying posts from public networks on the BHW marketplace or creating PBNs with irrelevant topics albeit with decent metrics. One thing is apparent: none of this should work anymore, or at least stop providing the same quality results as it once could. My uneducated guess is that Google simply CANNOT detect every damn network in existence without the help of whistleblowers and snitches or stupid people who inadvertently out themselves by using the disavow tool without knowing how it works. But what Google CAN do, is to be more stringent in attributing points to links based on relevancy and quality. My conclusion of this is based on why rankbrain was created (it's not cheap, and I'm sure there is an underlying purpose unbeknownst to us). So what's my plan? Since two weeks ago when my rankings starting dancing all over the place, I made the decision to pay a bunch of different providers for high metric expired domains based on the topicals I require (or as close as it can get). I do not do any such activities on my own- i pay others so my time is freed up for other shit that needs doing ,like you know- netflix and shit. So far, I have acquired a small pool consisting of 43 domains ranging from TF23 to TF33 in the following topicals: A) Health (my niche, and some client's are of the same niche too) B) Shopping C) Reference/Education D) Travel and Society E) News/Media F) Business/directories & Business/Construction G) Arts Now seeing as my own business as well as my client's are within the health and beauty topical, why am I buying domains with the above topicals? This is what i'd like to share with you all. But first, let me declare that I am no guru or SEO magician. What I'm doing is based on the following principles: 1) Diversity of topicals 2) Natural occurrence of links 3) Quality of content including the design of the PBNs. I am going ahead with the strategy for myself, and if anyone here follows it, I cannot make any guarantees of success. I'm doing the PBN network up with the standard do's and don'ts. I'm paying my guys to restore some sites according to way back history and some just redone overall. Content will all be 800-1500 words each written by quality writers from multiple sources so that all the writing styles will be different. I will proofread and edit each and every article myself for every site. One important note: Some domains I picked up have teensy weensy bits of traffic! So I'm not gonna block crawlers on those domains. I will put up 7 articles with no outbound links for every 1 article that links to a money site and if the bounce rate is low, i may convert those sites into money sites for paid offers or whatever. Gotta keep it natural looking,right? Now, I had a long brainstorming session on how I could make my links stick and not get devalued by the algorithms, and most importantly- not having to spend more money each time google comes out with some new weapon of paranoia and fear ( Remember mobilegeddon?) So I did something I never bothered to do before: look at the backlink profiles of authority sites OUTSIDE of niche( yes, I know I should have done this long ago) I wanted to see how diverse their backlinks were, and I noticed that even logistics or transportation companies benefited from links coming from different types of sited in different industries as long as the articles were properly constructed to stay on point and yet allow the mention of the logistics company to be inserted in a very natural way. Eg; Town hit by earthquake gets help from public transportation company two states away , or when the contaminated water crisis in Michigan attracted plumbers from neighbouring states who help refit pipes free of charge. So I looked at my very vanilla and boring health/beauty niche and pondered what i could do to create links that didn't all come from health related sites, but yet could pass a manual review and also not get devalued so I could receive awesome rankings? And thus the following strategy was born: A)The shopping topical sites will be used as review or recommendation lists for my money sites' services or products. Think: "10 best gift ideas for your loved ones" types of articles. B) The referrence and education sites will be used to post academic style write ups on certain health concerns with my money sites as the referrence. C) The travel sites were picked because my client's have a shit load of influencers who are beauty bloggers who are actually over rated influencers with very badly maintained blog categories. They contain a mix of beauty endorsements, write ups of restaurants or whatever trending food/snack they have tried, and posts of their staycations and getaways to foreign countries. I'm going to use these domains to push these Barbie like Bimbos up a notch or two. I'd like to spend less money on this, but apparently these influencers do provide valuable traffic that converts. D) The news sites. Ahhh my favourite of all topicals. These domains are great for creating diverse topics all in one place. It is especially handy for local businesses. If you are in a non-US country, all you have to do is post news stemming from your country like financial forecasts/ Public health announcements/ local film reviews etc to build up the geographical/regional relevancy. Don't you just feel lost when you have a longtail keyword like "Cute cushions Malaysia", and you have no freaking clue how to get a believable blog post for this anchor that doesn't come come from a web2.0 or spam my looking site? Well a 'news' topical site is your best friend if you know how to tweak it to your own purposes. Anything from opinion posts, viral news, national announcements and event product reviews can be posted on such sites. No PBN is complete without one. E) The business/directories topical sites will be used to post 1 on 1 interviews about my client's industry, and feature them as an authoritative voice or leader giving their two cents worth about the trends and practices, expectations and predictions of what the industry will face in time to come. Think of this as a budget style "TED talks" platform of sorts. I'll pad these sites up with some B2B style articles to make it look like a business knowledge repository or something to that effect. F) The business/Construction domains will be used in this manner: imagine my client owns a spa business. We'll create a short 4-10min YouTube video showcasing the premises and facilities, and fill up the description with about 300 words of text that contains the services and keywords we want to rank for. Add the relevant tags in video. We'll then write about 1000 words about how the premises design came about and what it is for (keyword insertion opportunity right here!), include info about it's neighbouring landmarks, add images of the logo, interior ,hardware and EMBED the aforementioned video in it. This will give the video which essentially is a web2.0 property some juice, then we will build tier 2 & 3 links with as much original articles as possible to push more juice to it. The ideal direction of these sites is to be like Houzz.com or architectural digest meets "Mtv Cribs". You can post stuff like :" An inside look at copywriters' desk spaces", or " What does the office of a tax attorney in Florida look like?" See what i did there? Even if my client's business isn't about home repair or construction, this method will look natural and believable. The hassle involved is very worth it IMO, just need good videos and images and a very decent writer to make this happen. G)The arts topical domains will be split into a few categories: Some of these topicals are "Arts/ Reference", " Arts/Bodyart" , "Arts/shopping". I will be using these to link out to the beauty blogger's/influencers posts, link out directly to some products on money sites, and create a directory of "where to find" whatever service/product using the 'arts/referrence' domains. H) I will create another bunch of e-mail addresses and fake profiles to register domains and hosting and create a separate cluster consisting of all the above topicals, but using only the domains that are above TF30. This cluster will link out to aged and rethemed web2.0s that have at least 5articles with only one article containing an outbound link to the above PBN sites. The five articles will be interlinked to each other for improved relevancy, and to look natural so they don't get banned or removed. This cluster should ideally consist of 20 domains ( I'm still short of a few more) My Reasons for doing this : I believe the above strategy will be effective, very safe or as safe as it can get and most importantly, every aspect of the quality is within my control. I cannot hope to achieve this by buying links on public networks in the marketplace. Even if some are topically themed, it is mixed up with a whole bunch of unrelated stuff or linking out to low quality sites using articles with sub par standards. The key here I believe is the contextual relevancy of the content and what else is on the homepage linking out to what type of websites. With every aspect under my control, I think it is safe to assume that I will be seeing a much higher return in rankings. What I need to do now is to continue buying up more domains, order a ton of content after I think of what article topics and headlines to use, and drip feed the links slowly and naturally. Following that, I gotta prep the web 2.0s and link them out to the first network, followed by the 'cluster' linking out to the web 2.0s. I will be creating social media profiles for each PBN site, and sprinkling each site with social signals and traffic for intermittent periods whenever a post is published to make it look more convincing. Sure, the costs and upkeep is a lot to bear, but if it works great- why not? I don't have any problems with costs really, but I may consider selling a link or two in the very distant future if I make any friends who have near identical niches and needs as what i have. But that's not why I made this lengthy post. I merely wanted to illustrate how we should all look at link building after the latest penguin update. Buying links on domains with high metrics isn't going to work if your lawyer niche spun article is posted on blog with other spun or crappily written articles about pet grooming and halloween costume capes with about 30-40 OBL and some spam because you know, some public networks provide 30% percent or partial reports. God willing, my strategy will open the floodgates to glorious link juice, stay reallyyyyy private and keep my business overflowing with leads like the proverbial cup that runneth over. And this concludes my contribution to BHW, this is NOT a AMA thread or a journey - it is simply sharing of knowledge to see how best our linkbuilding efforts can get us more mileage for our monthly budgets. Feel free to rework the strategy to your own niche and needs and please exercise caution and due diligence that is required with building a PBN. Thank you, and keep hustling.