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N00b, 4 months of learning smashed by Penguin

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by trizzypballr, May 5, 2012.

  1. trizzypballr

    trizzypballr Regular Member

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    I am a Novice at IM, I just started in January. I started off the route that im sure many of us do. I read the forum for about a month and read so many posts that said that the only way to become good at IM is to actually act, so I did. I didn't feel comfortable enough yet to do the whole "sha-bang" on my own yet so I ordered a few websites threw 2 different Micro Niche services on here, ordering 6 sites total.

    In all honesty looking back at things now, all this really did was help me realize ways not to exceed! Truth be told I invested about $250 on these 6 sites, not including hosting or backlink services that I purchased. The articles were written by foreigners(certain articles cant even be understood fully), the layouts were extremely basic CTR pages, honestly they were pretty much exactly what Google is trying to stop. I didn't know any better at the time, so I couldn't complain about them.

    I did as both Micro Niche Builders told me to, and ordered backlinks for the sites and got a few of them to actually rank. StatCounter showed users coming to my site (On average 30 a day) but little or no clicks. I believe I made $5 via adsense my first month after ranking those sites, which made me assume that the keywords were bad. I chalked it up to experience and moved on.

    My next step was to purchase a keyword from someone selling keywords, I thought by doing so I know my keyword would be good and it would just be up to me to get the site itself right. I didn't feel totally comfortable doing the keyword research on my own yet, so I thought this would be the next step in my learning process. I grabbed the domain, built the site, but this time I could not get the site to rank.

    During all of this time, I was still reading and learning everyday, so I decided to take what I learned to at least attempt to check my keywords in Google Keyword Tool, Traffic Travis, and Market Samurai. Upon doing so this new keyword seemed easier than some of the other sites I ranked. I used a small private blog network (that wasn't hit when the others were), social bookmarks, and web 2.0s to rank these sites. So post penguin this was a safe and supposedly effective way to rank easy ranking sites, it almost seemed as if maybe this domain was penalized previously or something.

    Frustrated, and now owning 7 sites and still profiting nothing, I began searching for answers. I ended up friending someone on BHW who I thought was a sincere person really trying to help me out. He offered to sell me a .com MNS that he claimed he was making $50+ a month with to help get me moving in the right direction. Still not fully knowing the ropes I gladly made the purchase, not knowing at the time that a domain with a brandname in it was a no-no. Even though I didn't encounter any problems with the domain name yet, the site is not making any earnings at all. Now that i understand more, I realized that looking at the site AS A CUSTOMER there are no Adsense links on this page that a user would even be remotely interested in clicking. Its a "Medicine Side Effects" site, so there are no amazon products to try to sell on it either. The site gets approx 30 unique views a day, and has only earned maybe $5 in 2 months.

    My next step as I learned more was to go back and look threw each of my sites and decide which ones I thought may be salvageable, and add more articles and do a total rehaul of the sites. Try to make them more user friendly to help with the bounce rate. Get them custom headers, add a you tube video..... I picked out 2 sites that were both products and seemed like buyer keywords. 1 of the sites, I couldn't get to rank, while the other was ranking on the first page, so I focused on that one.

    The site I decided to focus on was seasonal, a pest product... So there were not very many adsense ads that actually pertained to the site, but I assumed it would get much better as it got warmer outside. I got the site up to about 70 unique views a day, and began to slowly implement a few amazon products onto it. They were very cheap products, so not much commission, but any income is better than what I was currently doing. Last month was my best month so far earnings wise, which was about 90% from this site. I made about $13 from adsense, and about $8 from amazon.

    Things are starting to look good for me! I am starting to see some form of income, I begin to feel great about myself! I've finally made it! Now I just need to do what I did with this site, to more sites and my earnings will start to climb!

    I came across Jan Roos method of building Amazon sites, it seems awesome! So I do my research and build my first site! Meanwhile, while I see my Amazon site start to honeymoon, and starting to build up more and more unique viewers every day, Penguin hits!

    Penguin killed my site that was doing well for me! I went from about 70 unique views a day, down to 20! About half the pages that were ranking on that site are now no where to be found! Instead of getting down on this, I thought ok thats fine, I still have my Amazon site! Slowly I see my other site start to regain what it lost from Penguin! I got back to 30-40 uniques a day, and many of the pages that dissapeared were slowly coming back. This is great!!!

    About a week and a half later, total tragedy hits! I wake up in the morning and check my rankings, sadly enough, but as I expected the honeymoon period of my Amazon site has ended, practually all of the pages dropped out of the top 100, and I had no unique views for the day yet. I thought to myself though, ok this was expected, I still have my other site that is slowly climbing back up from the "Penguin Massacre" it endured. I log in to statcounter to see how I am doing on the day, when I realize that I have NO VIEWS on that site! I go back to Rank Tracker to try to figure out what was going on, has Penguin hit twice!?!?!? 12 of the 15 pages on the site have dropped out of the top 100! The 3 pages still in the top 100 have dropped down to the 60s and lower...

    I am trying so hard to get my foot in the door of IM. I lost my job due to a layoff back in January, and have yet to find another job, so I have been putting a lot of focus into IM since I have all of this free time, although I feel that every time I begin to get going with IM something forces me to start all over again! I am not the type of person to give up, I want to make IM my future! I want to be able to be my own boss, and give my family the lifestyle they deserve, as guys like Jan Roos have been able to! I do need some sort of guidance though. Is there a way I can save my site that Penguin demolished, or is it now damaged goods? I'm afraid to even try to backlink my new Amazon site, as I am afraid that even if I do backlink to to conform to what needs to be done according to Penguin, eventually another update will come out to kill that site also...

    I've started a 2nd Amazon site, hoping to make a few sales during the honeymoon period while I try to figure out what to do about my other sites as far as backlinking goes, but obviously building a site every week and trying to make it off the honeymoon period isn't the way to go.

    Any suggestions pointing me in the right direction would be a great help!
     
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  2. illfounded21

    illfounded21 Senior Member

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    I suggest maybe summarising better, as a thread this long will put a lot of people off reading it.

    All I can say is keep going, success doesn't occur overnight, most people have to work at it and see what is good and what is bad. Fingers crossed you will get there.
     
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  3. VinBed

    VinBed Regular Member

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    If you're just simply building or buying a site without adding content, they won't go too far. Google values fresh content quite a lot. I think you need to select a niche with high profit potential, and then create a content strategy that focuses on a number of keywords (between 5-10) and write your content to fit all of these keywords. Rewrite articles from the news on the subject. Make a business out of providing exactly what those customers are looking for.
     
  4. trizzypballr

    trizzypballr Regular Member

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    That is pretty much what I did with the site that was doing the best for me before Penguin wacked it. I removed the 2 junky foreign written articles, and added 15 well written informational pages, based off of what it looked like people were searching for according to googles keyword tool.
     
  5. trizzypballr

    trizzypballr Regular Member

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    Sorry about the long post, I didn't realize how much I rambled on until after I submitted it and refreshed the thread to see if anyone had replied.
     
  6. MrBeastsOnToast

    MrBeastsOnToast Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    i feel your pain man, been at this about 6 months and ive only just started to think of myself as past the total noob level - its damn hard in the beginning, and i had/have a awesome mentor to help me.

    If your thinking of starting a new site ive got a couple of good and reasonably easy kw's im not going to go after you can have if you want. PM me (offer only open to OP)
     
  7. apoorv

    apoorv Regular Member

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    I read it all. The first piece of advice: don't get disheartened.

    Since you're new, it's very easy to get frustrated because all the work you've put in is down the drain. I had quite a few sites go down once the update was pushed out of which a small percentage have come back, some are still dancing around and some aren't showing any movements. It's a given with SERPs since you're not in control of anything.

    There are a lot of intelligent discussions going around here — and some other blogs/forums — which you may want to read and adapt your backlinking strategy around that. It'll take time to get out of this rut but it's not impossible; it's just a matter of understand what's going on as the first thing and then making modifications to what you were/are doing.

    Right now, there isn't any conclusive data and everyone has a different opinion of what might have happened. In your place, I'd keep away from backlinking the original site unless I know what I'm doing. For the new site, stay away from any blog networks as of now; don't concentrate on a couple of anchor texts and get links from a variety of sources. That would get you started.

    Again, I'm oversimplifying here but complicating things at this point won't do any good. You don't need to stop backlinking to your next site altogether although what you were doing earlier might have to be changed.

    One last thing: things like these have happened in the past and in all likelihood, will happen in the future. You need to #1) prepare for these cases (as difficult as that sounds) and #2) move on.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  8. reallife

    reallife Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Sorry about everything that happened, and I sympathize with your struggles, but you've learned perhaps the most important lesson in IM: nothing stays the same. It's a matter of watching, learning and adjusting - and if something is working today, don't count on it working tomorrow - just hope that it will, as you continue adding to your portfolio. Hang in there :)
     
  9. trizzypballr

    trizzypballr Regular Member

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    Thank you for the response. Its great to hear that you feel that you are starting to make it in IM, it makes me feel better about my chances of making it also, seeing that other newcomers are too. I sent you a PM
     
  10. Nemizr

    Nemizr Regular Member

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    TL;DR: trizzypballr started IM in Januray, bought sites which were bad, earned close to nothing, he began reading some more, bought keyword - failed, bought a site with a copyrighted domain by a "scammer". Sat up amazon site, things getting good, earning some decent money, penguin hits kills his site.

    Good luck further. :)
     
  11. Walker2k11

    Walker2k11 Junior Member Premium Member

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    Unfotunate time to be getting into IM, but as people have said before me, you need to think about the quality of sites and giving your visitors a better experience with quality content. Thats what its all about these days
     
  12. Clicks4Cash

    Clicks4Cash Registered Member

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    I feel you OP. I am 6 months into IM.

    I started off strong building some nice sites, but the last update has whacked those down. I have since then messed around with other areas such as PPC, Pinterest and Youtube, but I have yet to find anything that makes a decent amount of income beyond a few dollars here or there.

    Now I am also at the stage where I am just not sure what to make as a next move. I am too nervous to backlink any of my sites anymore until I have a better idea of how we should dance to please the last update.

    I am also thinking of starting new sites too, just so I can forget the others. For these new sites I am just going to stay whitehat until we have a good idea of how to game the new algorthym.
     
  13. trevorhoang

    trevorhoang Power Member

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    lol i read the first paragraph but i couldnt continue. I read the comments to get what op was trying to say.
     
  14. trizzypballr

    trizzypballr Regular Member

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    Sorry to bore you, basicly what I was trying to say is that I am new, and every time I feel im starting to succeed I seem to get smashed.... It was a long post but I was trying to give everyone an idea of what I have actually done, so they may be able to give me an idea of what i was doing wrong, or where to go next.
     
  15. zmoney

    zmoney Senior Member

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    What is your current backlink strategy look like?
     
  16. trizzypballr

    trizzypballr Regular Member

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    As far as backlinks go, I was using Fiverr for Bookmarks, and Web 2.0s. I also got a few private blog network posts from the guy who I had a few of my sites made by originally. I just ordered fiverr gigs of those 3 things until I ranked where I desired.

    I checked out the main site threw Spyglass and noticed that I probably had at least 50% of my anchor text the same, which I am assuming does not look very natural at all. I also had about 70% of my backlinks pointing towards the root, which I was also told looks very unnatural. Not really sure how to fix this problem now though...
     
  17. lanbo

    lanbo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Make sure you add some good content to your site to not get fully killed.
     
  18. akazzz

    akazzz Regular Member

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    So, did you learn anything from those mistakes?
     
  19. smallman

    smallman Newbie

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    Hi trizzypballr;

    -On your long post: My old eyes aren't the best anymore. So I use a reading program for most of my online reading. This is what I can tell you.
    I can write MILES when I get going. But I CANNOT write like you. Some people have the 'gift', some do not. trizzypballr has that gift. Use it.

    -do a google on the letter a. Then the word the. Then something like (without any quotes) the quantum physics of boiling an egg.
    The pages that come up, I think it's like 1.4 million or so. Some have like 23 k pages to the site, 30k backlinks or some rediculous similar situation. No One 'competes' with wikipedia and similar or the big natural sites out there, and there usually are some for most any keyword phrase imaginable today. So forget google. If google wants to send you traffic to your content pages, good for google. Don't write 'for' google, it IS a waste of time. Just Write.

    -go to google and dump in youtube google whiteboard. From the youtube page, find and view every single one of those. It's a series, ungoing I think. From those whiteboards, you'll also discover the q and a series, watch every one of them as well. Then don't ever spend a cent on any seo product ever again. You'll allready know more than many of the publishers of such products yourself.

    -If you are not allready doing lsi keyword extraction from your logs and re-optimizing/building new pages from that, start now.

    Finally, thank you so much for sharing your experience.
     
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  20. trizzypballr

    trizzypballr Regular Member

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    One of the large issues im struggling with now figuring out how to do real backlinks, the kind that woulnt be succeptable to googles new algorithms. I never had a real backlinking plan besides buying fiverr gigs.