As a part of our SEO process, we here at Orion Group keep our eye on the competition, just as we track our client’s competitors websites and search engine rankings.
One competitor in specific started an SEO website to promote his new potential business, with no information on who he was, no name, no email address, just ‘Milwaukee SEO Consultant’. Back in April 2011, he boasted over and over on his brand new blog about how his Google rankings were climbing high so quickly. We all wanted to know, just like you may be wondering too, ‘how did he do this’?
In my opinion the tactics this Milwaukee SEO professional has used is shameful and makes the overall internet marketing consultant look bad. Well, below I have documented a few of his ‘tricks’.
Here is his first blog post from back in April 2011. He has yet to rename the URL from the default WordPress sample post URL name. That is not using SEO to it’s fullest!
He said that once he got to #1 in Google, he would start taking on clients for SEO work in the Milwaukee area. Well, he managed to achieve this goal (for certain non-competitive keywords at least) … but at what expense?
SEO Tactics Used
Here is a very small sample of how he got #1 in Google so fast… blog comment spamming! He has ‘magic tricks’ for everything!!! Oops again, he didn’t get the HTML code right in his first blog comment, so he re-posted it again.
If you perform a backlink analysis for his domain name, you will notice hundreds (or thousands?) of spam comments, worse that this!
The Proof is in the Pudding
Well, enough said about his link building tactics… the following chart is the proof in the pudding. This professional SEO consultant got slammed hard by the Google Penguin update on April 24, 2012.
In the first column is shown the particular keyword phrase, the 2nd column shows his Google ranking (the position his website showed up in the search results) for those keywords before the Google Penguin algorithm update, and the last column shows his rankings the week after Penguin hit.
As you can see, every single keyword we were tracking for his website took a nosedive in rank in the Google search engine! But Why?
How Can This Happen?
Perhaps this SEO pro used black hat or grey hat SEO techniques to achieve his Google rankings… regardless of what color hat he was using… it is evident that his backlinks were devalued as they were most likely from poor quality sources.
Another theory is that his backlink anchor text profile is likely very unbalanced and heavily weighted with exact match anchor text pointing to his website. How can we test this theory? We can examine his backlink profile with a look at OpenSiteExplorer.com.
Ewww… this isn’t looking good already! The anchor text from his highest Page Authority backlink is in an other language, definitely not what the majority of Milwaukee residents speak!
As you can see in the image below he has 220 URLs pointing to his website with the exact match phrase [milwaukee seo]. The rest of the top anchor texts are also exact match keyword phrases, except for a few domain name URL anchor texts mixed in there. Google obviously detected this as an ‘unnatural linking’ system and whacked it down in their Panda update.
Here is what a Google whack down looks like in graph form, from day to day… Before Penguin the site was ranking in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd position for many terms.
After the Penguin update those same 1st page results appeared mostly on the 2nd page of Google (not bad, I’ve seen worse!)
In the ranking comparison chart shown earlier in the article you can see that the average rank for the 25 keywords listed is 5.4 in Google. After the Penguin update the average rank (only for the keywords that ranked in the top 10 pages of Google) for the same keywords went down to 37.2. This is an average loss of at least 3 pages in Google for each keyword!
The average rank of 37.2 is not counting the keywords that dropped off the face of Google and don’t have a ranking within the top 10 pages. If we assign a generic rank of say, 120, for each of the 3 keywords that no longer rank within the top 10 pages of Google he would end up with an average keyword rank of 47.2. This is an AVERAGE loss of about 48.1 positions for each keyword as a whole.
Recovery In Sight?
The question is now… what can he do to recover? Well, he has a lot of work ahead of him to regain rankings the honest way. It will be a long road to recovery!
First of all, he would need to try to diversify his backlink anchor text profile. Then perhaps he should try to build links, over time, with longer tail anchor texts leading back to his website from quality, contextual articles on reputable niche venues. Perhaps a few guest blog posts on industry related websites? A mix of generic anchor text in there could help to balance out his backlink profile as well, such as ‘click here’, view website, or ‘read more’, plus more mentions of his domain name / company name as the anchor text could help too.
Would you trust your website to a Milwaukee SEO expert with THIS track record?
Please let us know your thoughts below!