This client provides the latest news and updates for third-party services. They also offer coupon codes as incentive to download the app and make a purchase. Therefore, the more people viewing those discounts and downloading, the more money the site makes.
However, towards the end of last year there was some negative SEO from competitors. We needed to prevent these attempts from triggering an algorithmic penalty and revive their rankings. We also wanted to strengthen the website’s authority, and improve visibility of core terms.
Within 7 months from when the negative SEO attack hit the website, we were able to prevent getting an algorithmic penalty, stabilize the campaign during the January 2018 and increase the organic traffic by 241,4% (357,830 organic sessions) from 253,033 organic sessions in November 2017 to 610,863 organic sessions in April 2018. The traffic went a little bit down after that, however, the majority of newly acquired position in SERPs have been solidified and the website continues to rank for those keywords, reaching 506,779 organic sessions during July.
The competition for the top positions in this niche is enormous. Each website in the top 10 has a huge turnover, and the profit they make is huge. So to achieve our goals, we needed to outsmart our competitors.
However, from November 2017, the campaign was under a negative SEO attack that have harmed rankings. This, despite our constant monitoring, undermined their website's ability to rank.
Before the beginning of January, we disavowed almost 1,100 domains. The website was hit by another wave at the end of February. But by this point we had already stabilized the site and it was no longer impacted by this.
The main focus of the campaign was to stabilize the website and make sure that the negative SEO from competitors will not trigger an algorithmic penalty from Google, bring back the decreased organic positions in SERPS, strengthen up the website’s authority in this niche and improve as many positions on the first and second page as possible.
Our approach to protect the domain from low quality targeted backlinks was to address the following:
- Monitor link profile and link velocity on a day to day basis,
- Disavow batches of 50-100 low quality domains and reflect on changes if needed,
- Monitor rankings of targeted pages throughout the day,
- Build links from high-authority relevant websites,
- Supporting newly expanded content by high-quality links.
Our approach for boosting the domain authority and increasing the overall keyword visibility in SERPs was to address the issues discussed below:
Comprehensive CRO audit has been delivered, addressing various recommendations with regards to the AMP pages, navigation menu, main category pages, internal linking, email opt-ins, call-to-action buttons (links) and more.
Site-wide redirect links were repaired, broken links removed or repaired. Also, unnecessary WP short links, pingbacks and trackbacks have been removed.
The number of pages crawled per day was unnecessarily too high. Ridester had at that time around 800 pages in the Google index, crawl rate was around 30k pages per day. Unneeded parameters were blocked off in robots.txt and set up in Google Search Console, reducing the average crawl rate per day down to 4000.
THIN & DUPLICATE CONTENT
The niche is content heavy, WP theme and its configuration were creating a lot of duplication and thin content. Google rewards fresh and long content that addresses user intent so we needed to address the issues with regards to Google indexation and clean the Google index. Hundreds of URLs were removed from the Google index, most of them have been noindexed, some of them have been blocked.
With our recommendations actioned throughout November to February, successful disavow of hundreds of low-quality domains and links pointed to the core internal pages, traffic continuously grew month-on-month.
Organic sessions during December 2017 were 264,197. Organic sessions during January 2018 were 231,765. Numbers went up to 320,553 during February, reached 326,112 organic sessions during March and climbed up to 610,863 organic sessions during April. The traffic has decreased by around 15% during May, however majority of newly gained positions were stabilized. The website reached 506,779 organic sessions this July and continues to grow steadily.
KEYWORD VISIBILITY - TOP 10 POSITIONS
KEYWORD VISIBILITY - TOP 10 PAGES
TRACKED KEYWORDS IMPROVEMENTS
Across the 50 core keywords, we monitored for this campaign, registered a net increase of 187 positions in Google.com.
A number of high volume keywords have increased their position on the first page, some of them have entered the first page and as the keyword visibility grew, a number of highly competitive terms entered the index and continued to rise in SERPs.