Taking action

Installment 7 in an opinion series by Linda Bradshaw about blogging and SEO

So now those bloggers using these “Black Hat” techniques may very well ask, “Linda, please help me! What can I do?” Well, I’m no expert on that. Really, I’m not. But this is what I did, and hopefully it is bringing me back from the brink of blog extinction.

I started buying new domain names with no PR and started building the blogs from the ground up. And I did a lot of learning about how to build a blog in such a way that the almighty Google would hopefully throw me a reward in the way of Page Rank somewhere down the line. I knew that it would take a very long time for that to happen and I had to be patient. I bought several different domain names and worked on all of them. I tried to work on them equally, but apparently some were “better” than others and some got good PR quickly, some got low PR and took a very long time to improve their PR. But it had to be slowly, over time, as Google is suspicious over anything that happens fast, and I do not want to incur the wrath of Google!

Through a lot of trial and error, and good advice from my good sister N, and a lot of independent reading of things that I found online I slowly started to make money blogging without buying and using the expired domains, without using spun or scraped materials (I never did that, never heard of it before this group!)

I learned that in between each post where I am providing any links (whether do-follow or no-follow) I should put in a post that has no paid links at all. I learned to only use unique content that I wrote myself. I learned to make sure that there is fresh content on each blog more than once a week. I learned to not allow spammers to publish their comments on my blog, for they are trying to steal my PR and that will cost me at the next sweep. I learned to not take any pay-per-click or pay-per-action jobs. They don’t pay me anything and they make my blogs look spammy, which is a huge “turn-off” to any potential advertiser. I learned to not take any banner ads. I learned to not blog about porn, pills, gambling, religion, politics, or to promote any controversial “cause” that is likely to cause any business (potential client) to decide to avoid using my blog.

I have joined local Chambers of Commerces and gone to a lot of their free lunch and learn programs, networking meetings, and met a lot of people who consider themselves to be experts in SEO. When I tell them that I am a professional blogger they sometimes get quite upset and tell me that some of their clients lost PR because they had paid bloggers for back links. And some get very interested in talking to me about blogging for them. It’s all a good learning process.

And I learned that the vast majority of SEO experts, both local and online firmly believe that Google is now taking aim and targeting companies that have websites that have links from blogs that use the spinning/scraped content. And they believe that Google will be penalizing link farms and any website that has nonsensical strings of letters/numbers etc. They are going to penalize them, and they are going to be banning/blacklisting those blogs that use those techniques.

Opinion disclaimer
Opinion disclaimer

4 thoughts on “Taking action”

  1. Linda,

    The domains I purchased were bought at Godaddy auctions. They were domains that were not renewed by their previous owners when the time came up for their renewal.

    I did not get any of the content that was on the site. In fact, by the time I was aware of the sites, the content was already gone. The only thing I saw was a page that Godaddy had thrown up there as a temporary homepage for the site.

    It is not uncommon for the PageRank on those sites to zero out right after you buy them. But, the next time a PageRank update occurs with Google, those people will probably see their PageRank return. It might not return to be as high as it was. Instead it might be a point lower.

    It really depends on the domain in question though. If the reason that domain had a PR5 was because it had one good link from a PR7 page and that PR7 link gets removed, then obviously that site is going to lose all its visible PageRank.

    If your primary purpose is to buy domains with PageRank that will stick, then you have to do some backlink analysis before you purchase the domain. You should check to see where the PR is coming from so that you get some sense of whether or not it is likely to stick. If your PR is coming from ten different higher PR links from ten different domains, then your PR is more likely to stick than it would be if it was coming from just one place. But then again it depends on the places that are linking to you and what kind of sites they are and whether they are actively monitored for such things.

  2. Linda,
    From reading this post and some earlier posts of yours here on your blog, I got the impression that you think it might be bad to buy an aged domain with pre-existing PageRank to use for a blog. I just thought I would chime in and share my personal experience and what I have learned about doing that.

    Google isn’t against people doing that unless it is being done to sell that PageRank. So in other words, if you are buying a domain – NewYorkCityBlogger.com for example and you then blogged about New York City topics, Google really wouldn’t care. It wouldn’t raise any red flags with them.

    Problems come into play when a person buys an expired domain with PageRank like JamesSoandSoforCongress.com and then proceeds to use it as an article directory for any topic of articles ranging from butterflies to e-cigarettes to make money online to payday loans. Google hates that. They hate when you are buying PageRank to use to bump rankings.

    I have purchased and continue to run a number of blogs that I purchased because they were aged domains with PageRank. They have done fine over the years because I only bought domains that were relevant to what I wanted to build a site about. I used the Wayback Machine to see what had been on those domains previously.

    1. Hi Ted!

      Thank you for taking the time to read my article and comment on it. Yes, the impression that you have regarding my feeling that it might be bad to buy an aged domain with pre-existing PageRank to use for a blog is correct. I am glad that you have had positive experiences with doing that. I am wondering if the domains that you purchased were expired and you bought them from a reseller of expired domains, or did you buy the domain from the person who owned it before the domain expired so that the ownership was simply a transfer of ownership? Were the original articles from the original domain kept in an archive, or deleted? I don’t know if it makes any difference or not – I am certainly no expert on anything. Just gathering data to try to understand the patterns at play, if you know what I mean. I am definitely learning more every day about the Internet, blogging and SEO, and your comment has brought something to my attention that I had no idea existed! You said you used the “Wayback Machine” and I had never heard of it! So NOW I have to get more information about that! The saying “the more I learn the more I realize how dumb I am, and how much more there IS to learn” is certainly true!

      I am acquainted with some people that are new (as in newer than me) to the blogging experience and recently I have been getting personal private messages from them about how they had bought two expired domains twelve days ago. One was a PR 5 and the other was a PR 4. Two days ago my acquaintance messaged me that the page rank of BOTH of those domains changed overnight and were now Page Rank 0. I did not go into deep details of the situation, but I did encourage that person to stop spending hundreds of dollars on expired domains with high page rank and to focus on getting new domains and build his own page rank from the beginning.

      One of my rationalities behind this is that part of the existing page rank of that expired domain is based on links that went to the domain when it was owned by someone else. Once that domain expires, it is conceivable that the links that went to that domain might be withdrawn, for various reasons. And once the repeat visitors to the site come back to the site and realize that the site has changed, they may be inclined to not continue to visit the site, for one reason or another. And perhaps the new owner of the site changes the coding of the site, and the code has errors in it, no new sitemap, no meta tags or descriptions.

      I do think that you make an excellent point, and I thank you for your input!

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