So as I mentioned in my post about how to build a blog network, for advanced people you might want to buy aged domains or build your own websites and not just rely on web 2.0. This post is a case study of someone who is ranking for massive keywords and will probably hate me if he ever finds this post but I think this will be of great value to those who want to see what advanced people do and how far you can push SEO. I was doing keyword research in the acne niche and found this website http://www.acnetreatment-reviews.com/ (not gonna link to him to not give backlink.. + he probably is not happy that I reveal his network) ranking for (as discovered thanks to using semrush.com that I explained in this post)
#3 acne treatment (50k exact match!!!)
#1 acne treatments (8k)
#1 best acne products 5k
#2 acne products 4.4k
Impressive rankings huh? He ranks for way more keywords but I just put the ones that jumped in my mind as being very good and only 2-3 words which is usually even harder to rank for. His site has a PR2 and has been registered in 2008 so it’s definitely not super old (you can find that info using http://whois.domaintools.com). It also says his website might be for sale on sedo lol. If true, pretty sure you’ll have to spend a couple thousand if not more depends how much those keywords convert I suppose… Not sure when he started working on his website, it doesn’t show in web archive.
Anyway, if you look at his backlinks with a free tool like http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/ you can see that he has a lot of sitewide links from high PR links, as high as PR6! (some examples of lower PR ones are http://jodifur.com/, http://www.3daymom.com/) I’m not sure if those are his blogs or hes buying PR links but either way… It does show that sitewide links probably still helps rankings (I do not currently contact people to test this, but I think I should… I’ll never buy PR links though if that is what he does to get those links.. I think that’s very risky especially when he does it from websites that are almost completely not related to this acne website…)
Anyway, what is most interesting is his blog network that if you drill down his backlinks you will eventually find a private blog network. Look at a few of these websites below, do you see a recurring theme ?
http://womenscarecottage.org/ (PR 0, registered in 2010 so he does not only buy aged domains)
He uses sitewide links to pass PR on to other websites in his “backlink” network. He also mixes those sitewide links with some high PR websites like mayoclinic, wikipedia, ask.com, bing.com… etc I guess this is done so the websites also links to high PR websites and not just his low PR ones that are all probably somewhat recent websites. Or maybe he thinks this will make it harder for people from google to notice his network…
A quick scan shows that they are on different hosting accounts, or at the very least IP address. They don’t seem to be shared accounts so he must have his own hosting or pays quite a bit for these accounts, much more than the $8 per month with hostgator.com 😛
Anyway, the links to his “money sites” are done in the form of in text links. You can see that he is in many niches. Maybe he shares that network with some other people doing IM but I highly doubt it’s part of a big public network like UAW or AR. His in content links are done with spun content and if he’s smart (and I’m sure he is) he probably might not even manually upload all these articles.. He might just use a tool like Article Marketing Robot where you can put your own network of wordpress sites and use it to distribute articles to websites you control. This is definitely something that everyone doing a blot network should implement… including me since I currently manually use spun articles from TBS and then post them on each of my websites once a month or so(as I said they have no links to my money site for now), just make sure your articles at least look readable after they are spun… His articles also seem to fit this criteria.
I’m not sure how effective that network is since I’m not the owner but they probably help with his rankings and after looking at the keywords he is ranking for he definitely knows what he’s doing. To me it still seems very obvious it’s a private network used to game google (you do not want google to find that). I imagine he must be making a fortune out of this blog network to cover the related expenses and time investment to make sure some of them have different themes, setting them up, buying the domains with PR etc.
I’m currently doing something similar, I think you are safe as long as you in content link to other relevant websites but I’m a bit worried by how his sitewide links make it obvious those blogs are only meant to game google. Personally I’m still seeing great results from public blog networks like the ones I always mention but I’m still building one as a backup solution for in the future, and also to see how effective they really are once I finally use them. I think I will wait 6+ months and use them for some of the keywords I have a hard time ranking for after all this time.
Hopefully you guys enjoy this post, I often analyze my competitors backlinks in this way, if you guys enjoyed this post I might post more of these case studies.