escaping-google-penguin-updateIt has been a while since I have posted here. The last year or so has been very interesting to say the least. But I have also learned a great deal.

I have been so busy with my main website that I actually thought about shutting this site down. In fact, the domain had expired, but I have received some really nice comments on my YouTube channel, some of the posts here and in a few emails. It felt so good knowing that people are learning from my experiences, that I decided to keep the site and start posting again.

But I digress…Let’s back up to early 2012.

Everything was going great. My main site was flying to the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), my Kindle Book was selling regularly, conversions were increasing and I saw a nice trickle of money coming in. Everything was looking good.

Until April 24, 2012!

That is the day that Google released their Penguin algorithm update, now known as Penguin 1.0. As a result, my site was crushed, along with my heart. I wrote about this heartbreaking event in my post My Failure with Blackhat SEO.

I sulked a bit and contemplated in cutting the cord on the server and starting all over.

About after a few weeks of reflection, I started getting back to the reason I started the site in the first place and was adding regular content. But nothing seemed to help get the site back into Google’s good graces.

After researching for months and months, I finally had reached out to a contact, who is also a SEO expert, and he offered some advice.  Since, then, I am back in the game and even Penguin 2.0 didn’t hurt me!

How Did I Escape The Penguin?

It all started while I was thinking how Google works and first was thinking of simply migrating my site from one hosting company to another. My thought process behind this was maybe a new IP address would help. I wasn’t sure if it the penalty was associated with the domain or IP address, but desperate times call for desperate measures and I was willing to test and try anything.

This is when I sent my SEO contact a private message on a webmaster forum in my niche. I told him what I was thinking of doing. He said I was on the right track but added that one more step in the mix.

Why I Moved My Site to a Subdomain

A subdomain? It seems so simple, but that seemed to be the trick.

My SEO contact suggested this because Google looks at subdomains as separate websites. I don’t know why they do; they just seem to do it.

So I set up a new subdomain and copied the entire site and added a simple 301 Redirect from the main domain to the subdomain.

I actually started seeing results in one or two weeks!

What’s Next?

Since my escape in January, I have been steadily growing the SERPs while also growing my site. I didn’t stop all SEO and still create backlinks. But I also started focusing on on-site SEO like creating custom tag and category pages as well as interlinking posts.

My off-site SEO mindset has changes as well. I learned from Penguin that links must not only be on quality and relevant sites with good content, but also you can’t use the same keyword over and over again.

To allow myself access to quality and relevant sites, I started creating my own private network. I started this prior to Penguin 2.0’s release on May 22, 2013 and saw no ill effects after its release.

I am now in the next stage of my network and finding the best ways of using it and will be posting much more about this in the near future.

Stay tuned!

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