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A Penguin 2 Success Story

By Alex Cardinell on June 11, 2013

At WordAi we are doing tests and case studies all the time trying to test and determine what is working best in the content and SEO industry – it is what helps us innovate and stay a step ahead of the competition… and Google! So when Penguin 2.0 hit, we got to take a look at the major case studies and tests we were working on to try and make sense of what was going on. From our own data and from talking to other SEOers, this update seemed very tame – almost all of our projects either went up in rankings or had no changes at all. However there is one SEO method I want to spotlight that improved after Penguin 2.0.

The Winners of Penguin 2.0: Big Authority Domains

One of the first things we saw from the Penguin 2.0 update was that one of the biggest gainers were authority domains.

This graph from MozCast shows that over the past month, the amount of top 10 rankings from the top 10 most ranking sites (YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook just to name a couple) have gone up. We checked in Microsite Masters and found very similar data there as well. Unlike the last major Penguin update there were no big losers, but we found that large authority sites were definitely big winners.

What Does That Have to Do With Our Case Study?

Several months ago we started working on a case study with Link Emperor to see how their links were working on authority sites. Link Emperor was one of the first WordAi customers way back when WordAi was in an early beta. I love artificial intelligence, and from the moment we first started working together I’ve really respected Link Emperor because they are one of the few link building providers I know of that has a similar artificial intelligence focus to their link building. Instead of randomly picking link packages that may or may not work in the current SEO environment, they are always tracking the results of each link building package available and use those results to automatically pick the links that are currently most effective. This way you are always using the most up to date link building strategies available. So I felt very good about this case study going in.

I started the experiment by choosing a broad medium competition keyword and created five different properties on high authority sites to go after them. I created Twitter Accounts, Facebook Pages, YouTube Videos, as well as high quality threads on relevant and high quality forums, with my goal being to try and get as many of those properties into the top 10 as possible. All of these profiles acted like landing pages to bring traffic to the main site I was trying to help promote.

And Then Penguin Happened

Link Emperor only started sending links for the experiment a couple weeks before Penguin 2.0, so when I saw that the Penguin Update was rolled live I was a little unsure about how the rankings would react. Would the so far promising rankings go upside down, or would the rankings stay true? To my surprise the rankings actually increased dramatically, with results like this one:

I saw results like these across all of our properties after Penguin – out of the top 10, 4 of the spots are currently being held by these properties (3 of which are in the top 5), and the #1 spot is being held by the money site that these properties are all linking to.

What Conclusions Can We Draw From This?

We have a lot of different case studies going on at any one time, and this was the first one where we were able to very quickly dominate a SERP result by taking 4 out of the top 5 results! Seeing as a lot of those gains (especially properties entering the top 5) came during the Penguin 2.0 rollout, I wanted to share these results and see what type of results everyone else is getting with these sorts of properties. Since the sample size is small I don’t want to make any sweeping statements, but I do know the results I saw, and they were nothing short of amazing!

With such good results, I would absolutely recommend Link Emperor (no affiliate links here, we only recommend what we use!) If you do sign up let us know what results you had so we can update this case study with even more data!



One response to “A Penguin 2 Success Story

  1. Scritty on said:

    Used correctly Link Emperor is excellent. They provide a ton of links in a lot of formats.
    I would add two bits of advice.
    Keep on top of the content. (Use WordAI maybe) For many of the content types LE can scrape articles or has direct api calls to places like “Article Builder” but now and then you might want to get your own written – well spun and added. Posting the same or veryt similar hundreds (thousands) of times a month is not good.
    LE allows you to set up keywords and variations, use naked anchors and generic terms, Do all of these!
    Le also allows you to manage the link types (WIKI, WEB2 etc) Do this as well. As much variation as possible.
    It even allows you to create basic “tiers” with some pointing directly to your site and more to a first tier. You might want to consider this.
    Overall the service is above average and great value at just under $150 per month for the bottom level of sub. Just make sure you get the variation in!

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