Site Changes and Backlinking Strategy, Lot’s of Work this Month!

Wow, it’s been a month of clawing and scratching to get my soy candle site back up to the top in Google! I’ve made quite a few changes. Some are mistakes that I had made that I didn’t know about and I’m hoping these are what has kept my home page from even being in the top 800, if you can call it that…… I had found it on page 88 at one point and then “Poof” gone! Nowhere to be found! And then I’ve been working on my backlinking strategy which I will go into detail about. So far I’ve seen a little movement from some pages in my site, but not much. It is a bit early to tell yet though so I’m optimistic about it.

Questioning Myself…..

So a few months ago I changed my soy candle business “Homemade Candle Creations” from a candle sales website to an informational website on making soy candles and starting a business. So I had found out about exact match domains and thought, maybe if I change the address of the site to something that was more specific to making soy candles, that that might help me to get to the top for my main keyphrase of “how to make soy candles”. My homepage had originally had a target keyphrase of “Soy Candles” and although it never did rank well for soy candles, it did rank well for Homemade Candles and Homemade Soy Candles, most likely due to the fact that the name of my business and the url is Homemade Candle Creations.

So , around March or April I had the brilliant idea to change the domain name to learnhowtomakesoycandles.com .¬† I thought I was so smart, putting in place my 301 redirects for each page that I transferred over. And you know what? Traffic started picking up about July. I shot up to the top of the page for “homemade candles” , though still did not rank well for “how to make soy candles” and my traffic steadily increased¬† and so did my Adsense earnings until that fateful day, September 27th 2012…… “homemade candles” dropped some that day, (see my first income report for a analytics chart)then more the next, then down to nothing the day after that. Since then, it has gone up a little, but is still buried around page 20. What would cause this drop? Well, the update Google rolled out that day was the EMD update (Exact Match Domains). Now I’m not sure why mine got penalized since the keyphrase that got dumped wasn’t even in my domain name. I am assuming that I just got penalized all around because I had an exact match domain name.

So I’m thinking that I made a mistake in changing my domain name. I could have kept “Homemade Candle Creations” and it still would have worked with the theme of my site. So now, do I try changing the domain back? Probably not since I just sent out a bunch of articles using the learnhowtomakesoycandles.com domain name.¬† I’m thinking I’ll just have to keep adding content, keep creating quality backlinks and keep plugging away to see if I can climb back to the top for some sort of good keyphrase!

Attempting the Backlinking Strategy that Works

So I’m attempting to follow Pat Flynns Backlinking Strategy That Works. I realize that after these last few Google updates, that this may not work as well as it once did. I really wish I had found out about this like, last year….. Do you ever feel like you’re two steps behind? I do! I’ve been building websites and trying to start an online business, oh, since 2003 and I never heard of Pat Flynn till now. I know I shouldn’t think of it like this, but if I had known about this strategy even just last year, I could have been ahead of the game and maybe already making more money by the time Google rolled out all these updates.

I mean, think about it. Pat started his Security Guard Training website back in 2010 for a niche site duel to see who could get a niche site started from scratch and earn money from it. Well, he used this backlinking strategy and wrote great content and made it to the top in Google. So by the time all these Google updates rolled out, that site was already an authority site in that niche with an exact match domain I might add, and so Google most likely will not touch it, and rightly so. If I had been able to do that through lots of backlinks, I could have made it to the top most likely(making soy candles is not a particularly large niche) and maybe, with lots of good content, have started getting “authority” status too and then most likely I wouldn’t have had these problems with keyword ranking. I should say, I ranked well for several of my pages when I was selling my soy candles, and business was growing. It’s since I changed to an informational site that I’ve started running into road blocks although traffic was growing and growing until the google update in July and September. That’s when my site was dropped out of the first page (around position 1-3) for “homemade candles” which was where much of my traffic was coming from. I ranked great for it when my site was www.homemade-candle-creations.com (wouldn’t that be considered exact match, or close to it?) but when the EMD (exact match domains) update happened, I was dropped out even though my domain wasn’t exact match anymore www.learnhowtomakesoycandles.com. Keep in mind, I changed the url of of my site before the google updates and traffic continued to climb, even more than it had before.

Doesn’t make sense to me.

So anyway, that’s my little pity party. I promise I won’t do that again any time soon!

Illustration of the Backlinking Strategy

Sorry this illustration isn’t the easiest to see, but you can click on it to enlarge it. As you can see, I started with my main site in the middle “Learn how to make soy candles” and then the Anchor layer that links back to the main site are the Ezine Article, Squidoo, Web 2.0 properties, WordPress.com site, Blogspot site and so on. Then I use anchor text directed to the anchor layer sites to submit mass articles and also submit the anchor layer sites to social bookmarks. You can check out Pat Flynn’s post on the Backlinking Strategy that Works for a more in depth explanation on all this.

So to recap what I’ve been doing the past couple weeks, I’ve submitted a spun article to each of the top article directories. Then created some web 2.0 properties and blogs with an anchor text linking back to the main site. Then I’ve submitted my own original article, spun, to Unique Article Wizard with anchor text linking back to 2 of my anchor layer sites like Ezinearticles and Squidoo. They send out hundreds of different unique versions of your original article to different article directories and blogs. This is supposed to increase the link juice to your anchor layer (squidoo, ezinearticles, wordpress.com, etc.) and pass it on to your main site through the links from your anchor layer.

Then you do mass social bookmarking to your anchor layer articles too which is also supposed to create link authority.

So will this all still work after Panda, Penguin and EMD? Pat seems to think it still works, though probably not as well as it used to. So I’ve decided to try it anyway and just make sure to vary my anchor text and try to make things look as natural as possible. And the cool thing is, that Unique Article Wizard has a 30 day money back guarantee, no questions asked. So if I don’t start seeing results after I’ve been working my rear off with this article marketing campaign, I’m going to request my money back.

I’ll post updates on how the site is doing. It’ll probably take another week or so to really see some improvement.

So that’s it for now! Next up should be my income report for last month…..

Until next time!

~Melissa

 

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