So Penguin 2.0 release has come and gone and I was curious how my site was doing after I worked hard getting my site back in the SERPs after 1.0 slapped me silly. I definitely wasn’t unaffected and did take a hit, but I am looking at my Google Analytics account and saw some promising things as well.

I took a snapshot of equal time before (April 7 – May 21) and after (May 23 – july 6th) the release of Penguin 2.0.

When I started looking at my analytics, my total visits were down a few percentage points, but as time is progressing, my total number of visits are now up 3.38%. Even better is that my unique visitors are up 21.99%.

Everyone knows that bounce rate is important, but my rate is rather small – usually under 5%. This holds true after Penguin 2.0 where my bounce rate is at 4.94, compared to 4.71 during the time period prior to Penguin 2.0.

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When I look at the SEO section, there is more give and take there as well. My impressions decreased a bit by 9.73% but my clicks increased by 21.26% and my average position increased by 2.77%. But I don’t really think that is a great number to look at since it takes in account of all keywords that I am ranking for. The KY’s that I actually optimize for have either stayed the same or increased since 2.0 and the “Payday Loan” update was released.

One final improvement since 2.0 is that my CTR also has gone up 34.38%, which I think is more indicative of my focused KY’s and the longtails that I am ranking for.

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All in all, I don’t think 2.0 hurt me very much. I also don’t think it helped either. But there are some factors in these numbers post 2.0. I actually closed on my new house May 22. As I was getting ready for the move, I was already unplugged and hadn’t been regularly posting new content. I have been back to posting regularly now that the dust has settled a bit and the To Do List my wife has for me has decreased.

So why do I think I came out relatively unscathed?

First I worked on escaping Penguin 1.0 by migrating to a new server and redirecting my site to a subdomain. That seemed to have gotten me out of from under 1.0.

Since then I have focused highly on on-site SEO. I created custom tag and category pages and interlink every new article to one or two old articles or even a category page. I also started a new section of my blog post that is updated daily. Finally, I brought on a writer to help with regular content on a weekly basis which adds to the content I also create.

My off-site SEO has improved too. Before 1.0 I was just learning how backlinks help and purchased some seedy packages/services. I had backlinks on very low quality, irrelevant sites.  All my previous campaigns were complete blackhat SEO, and I know that had to be the primary reason I was slapped by 1.0.

Another project that I started since 1.0 is starting to build my own network of self-hosting sites as well as free Web 2.0 blogs. Each site and Web 2.0 platform is customized in look and content. Also, each of my new sites is of a different element in the niche of sports betting: Free Picks, Betting Products, etc. So they aren’t just a rehash of every other site.

On this network, I don’t only link out to my site. I also post articles with links to other sites. Most of these links are from members of a niche webmaster forum that provided a quality article. I also try to limit the use any spun content on this network. I might rewrite an article on occasion, but my goal is that each and every article on each property is unique.

I have acquired backlinks from other site like before, but I now make sure each and every site is relevant and of good quality. However, I am trying to do less of that and focus on my sites and my network. I think the time and money spent developing this network to something more than just an SEO thing will be much more beneficial on its own.

What is My Future SEO Plans?

I want to develop each site in my network even more with the idea of making them a quality and stand alone on their own that are optimized for certain KY’s and such. So at the end of the day, they won’t only be properties to help the SEO of my flagship site, but, hopefully, revenue producing sites that help my bottom line.

I am also working on a network of 2nd tier Web 2.0 sites. These will be lesser customized properties pretty much solely for SEO pointing towards the 1st tier sites.

One thing I have realized over the last year or so is that quality is more important than quantity and my focus is on quality in every aspect of my site.

How have you changed your SEO since Penguin 1.0 and 2.0? Leave a comment, I would love to hear!

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