Stopped blackhat SEO for a month. Results.

As an avid user of SER and many other shortcuts for SEO, I grew frustrated this year of being penalized by G, and when Fred hit my site, I had enough. So I took a break from SER, SERE, etc. I wanted to see what would happen to my money site if I did...nothing. 
At first I was nervous. I had used SER for years to build a pretty big link profile for various MS.  So not blasting tiers at my main MS seemed unnatural to me.
So I basically set out to create a dozen PBN sites. Each PBN was a new URL and hosted separately. I did no SEO for any of them. I wrote two articles per week for each, ranging from 500 to a little over 1000 words. All content was unique, non-spun content. The goal was to get about 6 - 10 articles on each PBN. Was fairly easy to do. After three articles posted I dropped one contextual link. That was it.
The first thing to report is that my MS did not drop at all. While it dropped on tracking services like ahrefs, it did not drop in the serp. So this told me that G had already discounted nearly all of the SER generated links.
Secondly, I freed up lots of time I had been using to do keyword research, create projects, and spin my wheels. I used this free time to actually add new content on the MS and pay attention to onsite visitor experience.
Finally, just this week the MS bumped up nicely. Not a huge movement, but a solid trend upward.
I find it hard to believe that this makes sense as I conditioned myself to thinking that the only chance I had in seo was to blast like a maniac. More proxies, more lists, more links, etc.  Along the way I lost site of something much more important. That is that owning unique well-written content matters more than anything else for search engines. If thousands, or more, are scraping the same sites for targets, scraping content, and posting links, it does seem like not doing that makes more sense as a way to stand out a bit.
Where to go from here. Well, I am not quite sure. Mainly I wanted to share this story as it may be helpful to others that like me lost sight of what my actual goal should have been. I am guessing I will continue to tinker around a bit with SER in some way, just not like before. Those days have passed and are no longer productive. I will build a few more PBN's. But mostly I will spend the bulk of my time on my MS. Over the years, what G has allowed to remain indexed is pretty clear in my PBN's. Given that, it doesn't make sense for me to waste my time doing things that will have no benefit in a month or two.
Good luck to all, and I will continue to read across the threads to see if anyone cracks it with SER/SERE in a sustainable way.


  • Accepted Answer
    Cool mate, I was in a similar position May 2016 - I stopped SER, just built out some PBNs, saw some good results within 1-2 weeks, kept on going. Stopped and revamped everything 3-4 times (most recently 2 days ago) already seeing good movement from just adding better content.

    New money site - in fact totally new offline business - started the site 2 days ago, ranking at #19 for main keyword just from adding quality SEO content, there's plenty of WP theme pages with Lorum Ipsum, so I'm frantically changing it all. No PBNs thrown at it, but it's a 100k a year market so I'm looking to move from SEO clients (been my goal for a few years) as they're still holding my invoices ransom.

    I found that moving hosting, changing names (wife/brother's name), no GA, no Gmail mentioning the sites, different PayPal address, it's all looking good for my latest sites - i Must have triggered G into not liking me or my email address or anything related to it.

    I started using SER a month ago but gave up after a few days of having to babysit it. I see it as an indexer to some inner pages now and to dilute anchor texts, but really my spam content just doesn't cut it and SER needs far better content to really make it make a difference. I will start using SER again to boost up PBN domains (but only a handful).

    As with Scrapebox what used to be known as just blog commenting blasts, SER does so much more so will always be in my SEO arsenal.
  • shaunshaun - The Ultimate Resource For Free GSA Tool Tutorials!
    Accepted Answer
    I have a few projects climbing but they all have RX links involved in them now with my more recent ones having a manual T1 with RX/SER used in other tiers and stuff. I have a few 100% SER link projects going but its too early to see if they will do anything. None of them are behaving like my sites from last year though :(.

    Started messing with PBNs recently and one from about 6 weeks back is climbing pretty steadily, my newer one is only three or four days old so Google are still bouncing it but I cant wait to see how it gets on.

    @Viking when you say you are using PBNs do you mean expired domains with existing link profiles or fresh domains that you own? My sites mentioned above are using expired domains with existing links but I have been thinking of trying a bunch of fresh satellite sites with 100% unique useful content for a few month now so might try that next.
  • I use GSA SER for most seo tasks. But always use good spin readable content.applies for all tiers not only for money sites. Gsa ser mostly on my PBN backlinks.
  • @JudderMan right on. Sounds like you found a nice niche. And not having to chase clients for payment is a good thing too! Couldn't agree more with you. Common sense is the rule. Separate everything and one is fine. And I look at SER the same, part of my tool-kit.

    @shaun agreed. I don't see how straight up PBN with unique content can fail. ok, maybe it doesn't shoot through the serp as quickly, but it isn't going to go down on the next update. My findings were that my SER link cloud was largely not a factor and looking at the time and cost invested in creating and maintaining it opened my eyes. To answer your question, of the dozen PBN's created, two were expired domains, the remainder fresh domains. 

    I'll report in end of next month with an update. I am going to add 4-5 new PBN's and the rest of the time is adding fresh content/images/video to MS and PBN's.
  • At 1st, i must thank you @viking. As a beginner of the SEO, you taught me a lot. I need to express my gratitude to you. 
  • shaunshaun - The Ultimate Resource For Free GSA Tool Tutorials!
    Nice, just noticed a total fuck up on my part on my new PBN project but once thats done I will probably look to making a bridging network of fresh domains.
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