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Old 05-26-2014, 05:53 PM
Bree Normandin's Avatar
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Exclamation Watching a Major Brand Content Strategy Crash & Burn

Creating content that includes links to "doorway" pages with common extensions like /sch and /bhp could never be a bad idea, could it?

Google would never penalize a major site for something like this, would they?

Oh yes, Google did, in a very bad way.

This major brand just lost 80% of their organic rankings and I'm betting a few people on this forum know why. *wink *wink

Read more: Deconstructing eBay.com?s Organic Loss Using SEMrush | RefuGeeks

If a client comes up to you and wants you to create long how-to articles with links to doorway pages littered throughout the content, get your money up front.
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Old 05-29-2014, 03:08 PM
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I believe I may have worked on some of these pages. Bummer. lol
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:52 PM
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I was really surprised at how quickly the site ranking changed, I have wondered if it has something to do with the recent Google update. It's a great content marketing lesson.
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:20 PM
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I sort of thought adding 500000 links throughout any article, especially repetitive ones (in terms of the words you have to use) was a no no a long time ago. But, since the work I did was through a third party business, I just wrote the content and followed the rules with no real input. At least I got paid.

I guess it goes to show even the big guys don't always make good decisions in this regard. There have been a few times where I thought a client might have been making a mistake SEO wise, but they were always the "experts" in that area, so I kept my mouth shut. Maybe next time I will say something...
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Old 05-30-2014, 03:32 AM
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Oh wow! I wrote a few of those.

Obviously for a huge project/client like that, I wouldn't put in my two cents, but I certainly do when dealing with my regular clients who are not SEO people. Sometimes I'm presented with some pretty wacky ideas! LOL
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:46 AM
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You know, it might have been more effective to just link to another guide and then add one product link to the primary key word. I don't understand why a major brand would go into content marketing overkill. I would definitely use this example to warn my future clients about this type of strategy and I would definitely advise an accounts manager against this in the future. However, I've learned the hard way that giving someone a heads up at a content mill will often lead to getting ousted from a project...especially at one of the content mills that were involved in this project. The other mill that was involved in this project is usually more receptive to writer input. (My opinion, your mileage may vary.)
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:12 AM
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What's interesting is that they're still doing it. I'm literally sitting here right now proofing a bunch of pages for one of these sites where the requirements are for 5-7 bhp links per article. If it hits their rankings, why are they still doing it?

Last edited by springtulip; 06-04-2014 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:13 AM
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There are lots of possibilities:

I assume that the content has already been ordered. It would cost less money to continue getting the content than to cancel and get nothing.

Perhaps there is a long term strategy involved.

Perhaps eBay is so big that a drop of a few places won't matter.

Who knows?
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