Are you ready for the Google Penguin 3.0 Update?
CashLady.co.uk is a Payday Loan site “Stuck with a manual penalty”
Google had picked on the very spammy Payday Loans niche for years and even gave it it’s own “algo update”. After Matt Cutts discussing detail problems about a penalty case it was time to do a deep dive on the domain in question. Bartosz and his team cranked out a highly impressive analysis in only 48 hours finding a plethora of problems and related sites, just as Matt Cutts advised that it could be “quite difficult”.
After reading this case study you will understand why.
And if you only read one of our 30 case-studies, read this one.
We look forward to your feedback and always appreciate you sharing the work of our Certified LRT Professionals.
- Enjoy & Learn!
Christoph C. Cemper
Bonus: Download the FULL PDF report of this Payday Loan Manual Penalty Please TWEET for PDF
Table of Contents
- History of CashLady.co.uk
- Short introduction to “payday loans” niche
- Manually moderated niche?
- Registration and ranking history of CashLady.co.uk
- Spam comments – examples by Matt Cutts
- Footprint behind Cashlady.co.uk
- Sites owned by Money Gap Group Limited
- Sites from PDB UK Ltd
- Getting to the root of the problem
- Finding more links with Link Detox
- Finding more comment spam links
- Redirects check
- Why redirected domains should always be a part of a link audit?
- Redirects to CashLady.co.uk
- What else can should we look for?
- How to spot cheap SEO from India?
- Wiki links
- Question and answer sites
- Comment spam
- Different sites owned by Money Gap Group Limited/PDB UK Limited
- Money Gap Limited owned domains DTOX:
- Buzz after Marie and Matts conversation on twitter
- Is the payday loans niche different now?
- Googler test
- My recommendations for lifting the penalty from CashLady.co.uk
- Future of CashLady.co.uk
In this case study I will try to shed some light on some of the techniques that can be used when dealing with lack of backlinks from customer, crawlers etc. We are trying to help Marie who is working for a pay day loan company trying to help get a manual penalty lifted.
During this case study I will combine the huge power of Link Research Tools, the fact that Link Detox gives me access to 24 link sources (!), combine it with my own experience from finance niche, and SEO knowledge.
History of CashLady.co.uk
For those of you who don’t know, the Cash Lady/Kerry Katona case has been going on for a couple of years. In 2008, Katona was declared bankrupt after failing to pay her taxes. So it seemed fitting that, after she’d got back on her feet a little, she should become the face of a payday lender, and that payday lender was Cash Lady.
However, the ad received a flood of criticism. It was accused of being “irresponsible” and encouraging people to look for shortsighted solutions to their financial troubles, and it ended up being banned despite Cash Lady’s owner’s assurances that that was not the case. It seemed that that would be the end of it, but to add insult to injury, Kerry Katona filed for bankruptcy soon afterwards. A spokesperson for Cash Lady then released a statement in which he announced the end of the company’s cooperation with Katona, wishing her well attempting to move his company as far away as possible from the whole fiasco.
Short introduction to “payday loans” niche
Payday loans niche was one of the spammiest niche worldwide until the 2013 and “Payday Loan algorithm” update.
It was officially launched June 11th 2013. The algorithm targeted notoriously spammed Google results. It was rolled out over a 2 month period.
If you want to read a little bit more about finance niche in UK, you can also read my Halifax Google Drop Case Study. The finance niche is really dynamic and always keeps me busy with link audits.
Is Payday Loans a Manually Moderated Niche?
There were some rumors claiming that this niche is manually moderated by Googlers. There was no official report confirming it, so for the sake of this case study I’ve decided to prove it.
March 7th2014 around 5 PM CET (+1), I created a spammy payday loan site and added many spammy links to it with anchors “payday loans” and similar internet trash.
Of course all the content etc. was scraped and site was a really low quality.
I did add thousands of spammy backlinks pointing to the site within just few hours.
How long do you think it was till the site got penalized?
Between 12 and 36 hours!
Sunday morning I logged in to my Webmaster Tools to see “pure spam” notification.
I didn’t receive a letter yet, and it is still too early to find out the exact hour of the penalty, but between 12 and 36 hours from domain creation clearly shows that this niche is definitely under different rules and a lot of scrutiny from Google.
That is probably why it might be harder to lift a penalty in this niche than in any other. I have some experience in Manual Penalties in the payday loans niche in UK, and those are the some of the most difficult cases I have worked.
Registration and ranking history of CashLady.co.uk
CashLady.co.uk is a domain registered February 19th 2011. I will cover a history connected with this brand later in this case study but first let’s look at the initial overview of this domain.
CashLady.co.uk was created 3 years ago, but it was in the “spotlight” only for 1 – 2 months before it got slapped by Google.
I can only guess that the site got penalized around late September 2013. I didn’t find any backlinks created after this date and there was massive link building campaign in progress in September 2013. This adds even more fuel to the fire because most (if not all) link activity stopped right around the penalty time. Almost like an admission of guilt from the company side.
After many unsuccessful attempts to lift the penalty form cashlady.co.uk Marie Haynes started to look for help at Webmaster Central.
We have all been there, unable to see the forest because there are so many trees in the way. Google put the forum together for people to get help and insights from others which will pay off after she reads this case study.
After not getting much help in the google forum, Marie Tweets to Matt Cutts asking for help. Now it is getting more interesting, because Matt does not usually reply to personal tweets. He gets thousands of those monthly so you can assume it is unusual for this type of exposure.
— Marie Haynes (@Marie_Haynes) March 6, 2014
Initial Tweet started a whole discussion with Matt (again pretty unusual to me).
As you can see above, Matt suggests that the Googlers may consider different sites from 1 owner while looking at a manual penalty. This is a great example of how Matt has helped Marie. While I was putting this deep dive together the internet exploded with rumors that Google is now checking every domain a company owns. The reality is that the payday loans niche is one of the most scrutinized niche’s on the internet and in this case it is easy to see many the domains owned by this company (which I will address later). I think it would be safe to assume, as I said it in the Halifax case study, if you crap all over the internet Google will make you clean it up.
Having Matt Cutts showing examples of bad links pointing to your site is priceless. He gave some examples of bad links from the past.
Before we get into the comments examples, let me shed some light on how easy it was for Matt to find their domains. For anyone with even remote experience in finance niche in UK it takes 5 seconds to find more sites by the same owner.
Now all you have to do is Google “Consumer Credit Licence 626678/1”. After that you have got all the “live” sites by the same owner.
We don’t know if Matt Cutts used this way of checking, but in this case the SEO company working for cashlady.co.uk made it really obvious that they are working on many sites for 1 customer.
Spam comments – examples by Matt Cutts
I can only guess he has those links visible as flagged in Google’s internal system. Let’s take a look at some of the examples from Matt.
OK, some of you may think there is nothing interesting in those examples. But if we look closely, we can find a lot of interesting patterns.
Footprint behind Cashlady.co.uk
If Matt Cutts was able to see a clear footprint, why shouldn’t we be able to find it too?
We have more than enough data to find the problems behind Cashlady.co.uk from Matt’s tweets. All we need to do now is to process it and find the real problem that the Googlers have with Cashlady.co.uk.
To do it, I will come back to the link with spammy comments quoted above.
This link is a really great example. I think it was flagged by Google as part of the pattern. In my opinion, the SEO agency responsible for those backlinks got a little bit lazy (or just not skilled enough to realize their mistake). They used places with do-follow backlinks for all the sites belonging to 1 customer (Money Gap Group Limited). That created a pattern that is basically asking Google for manual penalty.
Getting to the point; those are links from comments links.
Sites owned by Money Gap Group Limited
- www.paydayin1hour.co.uk – currently redirected to www.cash-in-1-hour.co.uk
- www.mypayday.co.uk – currently redirected to www.cash-in-1-hour.co.uk
Sites from PDB UK Ltd.
- www.12monthloans.co.uk – currently redirected to www.flexcredit.co.uk
I am going to cover many different sites owned by Money Gap Group Limited in-detail in a separate chapter of this case study this clearly shows how easily Googlers were able to find the other associated domains.
I know from Marie’s post at Webmaster Central that most crawlers didn’t index the backlinks to cashlady.co.uk, but she mentioned that she used only Ahrefs, OpenExplorer and Majestic SEO. Link Research Tools gives me access to 24 link sources, so there is a huge chance that we may find more links than Marie.
Let’s see if CBLT (Common Backlinks Tool) will find any common backlinks for domains above.
Here I am running the CBLT with the desired domains, 5X link boost for maximum results and the other options check to review all the data offered by the tool.
Once the report has completed, let’s take a quick look at the results.
WOW. 366 Backlinks in common here already. Talk about an agency reusing their network for multiple sites.
Now let’s look at the common backlinks sources.
As you can see above, there are many sites linking to 7 out of 8 domains I used for CBLT. When looking at common backlinks for large sites, we can often find “normal” common backlinks. Those come usually from forums (niche specific) or some popular sites (e.g. Feedburner.com). In this case we can clearly see a lot of comment – spammed blogs, forums and wiki sites with CEMPER Power*Trust = 0.
Let’s look at some of the examples.
The site above is using the old Weebly engine redirected to its own domain. It used to “give” do-follow links from comments which were pretty powerful around 2012.
There are many more links based on Weebly engine installed on a custom domain.
There are many more Weebly sites in CBLT with 7 common targets.
I did show you many of the comments examples and Weebly sites examples for a reason.
My SEO background helps me understand what happened to CashLady.co.uk. It also allows me to explain why there are so many no-follow Weebly comments to CashLady.co.uk. Let me give you some information about Weebly that will shed some light on what happened to Cashlady.co.uk:
- All those Weebly links were do-follow in 2012. Weebly changed it recently (I am not exactly sure when, but around Q3 2013).
- Weebly was never an over spammed platform, which is what made it attractive and powerful.
- Weebly was really hard to spam with bots compared to WordPress, Discuss etc. So Scrapebox and other auto-submitters were not able to add comments there. To this day I haven’t found any Weebly comment submitting software or bots (there are more than 50 for WordPress)
- Within 1 – 2 hours of manual commenting you were able to get 10 – 20 links from PR 4 – 6 PAGES (!) and 100 of PR 0 – 3 links.
- Most of Weebly comments are auto-approved.
- 90% of the backlinks are deleted within a week, or when the blog owner noticed them.
Getting to the root of the problem
Let’s go back to Matt Cutts tweets for one more second. I think that most of you know that Google sends out manual penalties when they find a link pattern(s).
From what I saw in Matt’s tweets, he seemed to give a first reply to Marie looking at internal data (flagged links) only.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 7, 2014
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 7, 2014
From the tweets above, you can clearly see that Matt is pointing out comment spam. I would definitely focus 90% of my efforts on tracking every comment – link to cashlady.co.uk and try removing it manually and if that doesn’t help, documenting every email in reconsideration request.
Finding more links with Link Detox
As I mentioned before, Marie used only 3 crawlers and she did a lot of manual searching. She also had access to the reports with link lists from an Indian SEO team. We didn’t have those, but that would have enriched the analysis.
Can we find more links to www.cashlady.co.uk with Link Detox?
Remembering to upload Marie’s disavow file. This way we only see the Toxic score of the “leftover links” and we can see if Marie missed something.
We got access to 19 more link sources after all
We got 1,708 links, but after filtering sitewide links, we are left with 415 links from 124 domains.
Now, the question we all have been waiting for. Did we find any more links?
Can we help Marie and CashLady.co.uk?
Before we check it, let see DTOX score for CashLady.co.uk.
Keep in mind that Link Detox Tool score doesn’t take any disavowed files into account. The score presented is based only on the links Marie missed using only 3 tools.
Drum roll please…
Again, please keep in mind that the score above is based ONLY on links that Link Detox found using its 24 link sources, and that are NOT present in Marie Haynes disavow file (containing more than 2500 domains).
One more thing that should be worrying for CashLady.co.uk is huge disproportion between CEMPER Power TM and CEMPER Trust TM. It is a clear sign that the links pointing to the site are coming from sites of a low quality.
As you can clearly see; a vast majority of links are disavowed, but there are many toxic links banned in Google, that are still live and not removed/disavowed.
What can we do in such cases?
TOX1 links are not indexed in Google – usually banned domains. Because of that, you cannot find any of those links using manual search. There is no way to find those links but:
- a) Get a report from the SEO company – which we know didn’t include those links
- b) Find more link sources (crawlers) – screenshot above shows that Link Detox is sometimes best (and only) solution to find all the backlinks necessary to remove manual penalty.
- But we still didn’t answer most important question. How many links did we found, that are NOT in the 2500 domains disavow file?
To do it, we need to filter out the results.
After applying those filters, we are left with 161 links that are not present in Marie’s disavow file.
- 35 out of those 161 links are marked as Toxic!
- 116 are marked as Suspicious
- 10 links are marked Healthy
To show only unique domains, we need to apply further filtering.
We filtered sitewide links to only 1 per domain.
This way we are left with 59 links, each one from unique domain.
- 13 of those domains are marked Toxic
- 36 of those domains are marked Suspicious
- 10 of those domains are marked Healthy
If you like black on white numbers, I got a really nice chart that is a really good visualization of our findings.
Link Detox was able to get almost 40% more links “missed” by other crawlers.
Finding more comment spam links
We know that crawlers (probably due to low quality of the sites and on-going redirects) didn’t index some of the backlinks. We’ve managed to find 161 links already, but I am sure that there is even more links not indexed by crawlers.
What do we do with that knowledge now? Common Backlinks Tool did point us in a right direction, but again there may be backlinks that didn’t get indexed by ANY crawler.
But if the site got penalized, did Google have those indexed?
Most of spammy sites got banned already and we can only find them with crawler data, but I highly doubt that all the blogs with spammy comments (e.g. Weebly) would get banned (de-indexed) by Google. This is not a link network, but sites with spammy comments that can hold some value to Google users.
We can look into the disavow file attached by Marie at Webmaster Central.
Any link not in this disavow file is a step closer to success. Keep in mind that with Link Detox, we already found 161 new links!
Fortunately, that’s not everything I am capable of. Sometimes at Link Research Tools we come across some hidden links that we have to rip out of Google’s index.
So let’s see if we can find a way to help Marie and CashLady.co.uk.
@mattcutts Thank you SO much. But what do we do if we can't find any more comments to remove/disavow?
— Marie Haynes (@Marie_Haynes) March 7, 2014
Falling back on my past experience in SEO and this niche I’ve managed to find links that are not present in disavow file AND not present in any of 24 the crawlers. I did it after finding link patterns created by previous SEO company.
Here is a sample one:
Link is also not present in Link Detox, so it was not crawled by ANY of 24 crawlers used by Link Detox.
But we only covered Weebly backlinks. There are hundreds if not thousands of links to go through. There are at least 5 other commenting platforms spammed by CashLady.co.uk.
Of course, to get back the rankings of CashLady.co.uk, our goal is to find ALL the links and footprints. Not only comments that seem to be targeted with this manual penalty.
With my past experience in this niche I did manage to find 61 more backlinks and a good footprinting of the backlink platforms used for comments.
But our work is not finished yet. Let’s take a look if there are any domains redirected to cashlady.co.uk.
Why redirected domains should always be a part of a link audit?
Sometime around May – July 2013 the Google algorithm got much better with spammy 301 redirects. Christoph believe’s it changed with Penguin 2.0 as he pointed out in the Home24 case study. Before May 2013 you could redirect the domain endlessly and re-gain the rankings within 1 – 2 days.
From what I saw while looking at some of Money Gap LTD. domains, they are not 100% percent aware of these changes.
After 2013 Google “looks” at the redirected domain as a “merge” of domains. Basically if you have got domain A redirected to B, Webmaster Tools for domain B will show you backlinks to domain A as they were direct links to domain B. So if you redirect from Domain A to Domain B you are passing the good AND the bad link juice, in many cases this is one of the biggest mistakes SEO’s can make.
For some strange reason, many SEOs didn’t make a big deal out of it.
However, I believe that change alone was one of the most important changes in SEO in 2013.
Redirects to CashLady.co.uk
This is an unusual case where every single link and redirect we can find will help Marie Haynes and CashLady.co.uk.
To find redirects it is best to go back to Link Detox report and simply filter the list.
So this is good news.
We got 2 more links
www.cashlady.com and www.cash-lady.co.uk
But that is not enough to make me happy though. We need more links don’t we?
Let’s run Link Detox with Marie’s disavow file uploaded and see if we got any new links pointing to this redirected domains and this way directly to www.cashlady.co.uk.
I did point that huge red arrow to DON’T KNOW button, because you also need to remember that penalties can be transferred through 301s after 2013.
I did upload Marie’s disavow file from Webmaster Central. This way we get Link Detox score without the disavowed links.
Now let’s take a look at the results.
We got 15 more links. Great huh?
Even Obama thinks it is good, I can now tell you the bad news.
No backlinks for www.cash-lady.co.uk.
As we see in examples shown above, with a redirect check we’ve managed to find 2 more domains and 15 new links. In general 17 new links to check.
What else can should we look for?
Remember how I’ve managed to find a link not present in disavow file and online scrapers? In my experience finding a pattern created by previous SEO agency is the key to finding all the backlinks possible.
I went through a lot of link audits and it is a clear footprint of cheap outsourced India (sometimes also Bangladesh or Pakistan) SEO. Those sites hold my records with the “high-scores” for Link Detox risk scores.
We know that CashLady.co.uk had an SEO agency from India working on their SEO so it is a good idea to look for some of their patterns.
Here is what Marie Haynes wrote at Webmaster Central:
For those of you who may not have experience with link audits yet, short tutorial on spotting such links.
How to spot cheap SEO from India?
To stop all the comments about this point: NO it is not off-topic J. I want to cover it in-detail as I think it is crucial to understand the strategy of India’s SEO agencies. This way we can easily find more patterns, more links and get the penalty lifted.
Any SEO agency (or even Matt Cutts) get hundreds of emails from SEO agencies offering outsourced SEO services.
What should we be usually looking for while cleaning up after cheap (Indian) SEO companies?
- Q&A sites
- Forum links
To finally lift the penalty from CashLady.co.uk, I would try to find all the patterns and link types/engines created by the previous SEO company and then try to remove them, and then if not possible – disavow the backlinks.
To find clear patterns, we can take a look at CBLT again.
We can clearly see Wiki sites (named as article sites by Indian SEO companies).
Question and answer sites
I’ve already mentioned Weebly spam too many times so now different example
After we know exactly what kind of links were built by the previous SEO Company, we can find a pattern and find more links pointing to our customer’s site.
Different sites owned by Money Gap Group Limited/PDB UK Limited
I am not sure what the exact name of the company behind cashlady.co.uk is. Their SSL certificate says PDB UK limited, but their “Contact Us” info shows the company name as “Money Gap Group Limited”.
Matt Cutts mentioned that if Marie wants to have the penalty lifted from CashLady.co.uk, she should take a closer look at different sites by the same owner. This was addressed earlier, the following will blow your mind and show where the root of the problem is coming from.
I actually did it, and the result is pretty shocking. I had to stop after few hours of searching, as I had only 48 hours to create this case study, but the number I came up with is going to be quite shocking to you!
Once again let’s come back to Matt Cutts tweet.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 7, 2014
If we open http://arnoldboris.blogs.jcsearch.com/14059, we can see a fake user “Krista Watson”.
The comments were posted by user registered by SEO agency working for CashLady.co.uk. The same user – “Krista Watson” also posted some links to www.cash-in-1-hour.com.au
Most of the comment backlinks to cashlady.co.uk are on the same domains as links to those .com.au sites owned also by PDB UK limited.
Now let’s take a look at HTTPS certificate of https://www.cashlady.co.uk.
OK, I think that connection between PDB UK Limited and Money Gap Group Limited is clear now. Now please take a look at the domains owned by this company (companies).
After doing some research, I found out that PDB UK Limited changed its name to Money Gap Group Limited in September 2013.
Are you ready for the list of the domains owned by Money Gap Group LTD?
Drum roll again please…
I can only add that those are not 0 backlinks domains. Their DTOX scores also are not the lowest I saw.
After hours of research I’ve managed to find 37 domains owned by Money Gap Group LTD.
One thing is sure now, Marie – you got a great customer for link audits and penalty removals
With such a network, they are probably going to focus only on their most important domains. Most of the domains are 10 years old, so I would just in try to clean most of them (in case Googlers are going to be checking it in future).
Money Gap Limited owned domains DTOX:
Here is a great start for Marie. To spot most spammy domains I’ve split them and ran a CDTOX on all the 37 domains.
After going through the domains, I did choose the 5 most spammed to run a detailed analysis.
SEO visibility in UK
Now let’s take a look at the Link Detox Risk.
72% of Toxic links and more than 5000 Link Detox Risk. I am speechless. I need to let Obama do the talking again.
SEO visibility in UK
Link Detox score
78% Toxic links and almost 5500 Link Detox Score! Again, I’m speechless.
SEO visibility in UK
Link Detox Score
This one is a little bit “better”. 57% Toxic links and Link Detox Score of 4612.
SEO visibility in UK
This one was ranking for just few days. Lets see why.
2200 Link Detox Risk and 63% of the links are marked as Toxic, all that on top of only 2 healthy links!
Sisitrix doesn’t cover Canada so I don’t have that screenshot to share
Let’s take a look at how Money Gap LTD. Did SEO in Canada.
As you can see above, Link Detox Risk is 4300 with 59% Toxic links and Payday Loans Canada with Link Detox Risk of… 165974.
Buzz after Marie and Matts conversation on twitter
Earlier in this case study the addressed the Search Quality Team checking your customer’s domains, Matt Cutts mentioned it to Marie Haynes. It started a huge buzz in the industry.
@Marie_Haynes and make sure to press your client about exactly how many "quick case" sites they own, because it appears to be several.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) marzec 7, 2014
After this Twitter conversation, there are a lot of opinion’s and even post topics saying that the “Search Quality Team will look at your other domains” Etc.
I think that some SEO’s get too obsessed with Matt’s tweets.
If you take a look, it was nothing unusual. I would reply to a similar tweet just like that. First he did show Marie the backlinks (IMHO flagged links from Google internal index. This is where everyone would look after a question like that). After that he just LOOKED at those backlinks to see loads of links to different domains by the same owner.
Any SEO would do the same. If you take a look at those comment links one by one, everyone would point it out, ESPECIALLY Matt Cutts.
Is the payday loans niche different now?
Year ago, “payday loans” were spammed even more than “Louis Vuitton outlet” and “nike air max” keywords. Now I don’t see so many black hat’s going after these keywords.
But what about the sites that are still ranking top 10 for “Payday Loans”?
It is still flooded with spam.
Without even using any tools, let’s go through the top 10 results for “payday loans”. I call it “The Googler Test.”
Top 10 results for “payday loans” in google.co.uk (results for March 11th 2014)
- No. 1 – www.ocics.co.uk
- No. 2 – www.findyourhost.co.uk
- No. 3 – www.maxi-media.co.uk
- No. 4 – www.paydayloans.money.co.uk
- No. 5 – www.wizzcash.com
- No. 6 – www.productswelove.co.uk
- No. 7 – www.berkshirebrides.co.uk
- No. 8 – www.wonga.com
- No. 9 – www.peachy.co.uk
- No. 10 – www.moneysavingexpert.com
Now – it is a tricky one. Many Googlers fail this test since I started doing it in July 2013. By only looking at domain names. Find 5 that don’t fit the word FINANCE.
Did you pick your 5 domains?
- No. 1 – www.ocics.co.uk – Expired domain
- No. 2 – www.findyourhost.co.uk – Expired domain
- No. 3 – www.maxi-media.co.uk – Expired domain
- No. 4 – www.paydayloans.money.co.uk
- No. 5 – www.wizzcash.com
- No. 6 – www.productswelove.co.uk – Expired domain
- No. 7 – www.berkshirebrides.co.uk – Expired domain
- No. 8 – www.wonga.com
- No. 9 – www.peachy.co.uk
- No. 10 – www.moneysavingexpert.com
Yes – a black hat solution to moderation of Payday Loan niche (whether it is algorithm or manual), is using expired domains. It has worked for more than 6 months now.
As I mentioned before, I am deeply involved in finance niche. It is extremely dynamic, mostly because of the spammy sites that come and go. Each of the expired domains above didn’t rank for “payday loans” 2 months ago. One thing is clear – Googlers are always close behind spammers. I don’t want to give CashLady.co.uk any excuses. They worked extremely hard on spamming this niche a lot to get fast results.
I am far from proposing a simple solutions (like hiring 1 person to solve this problem worldwide by watching the niche every day). I am sure they have got more sophisticated solutions to this problem.
With one of the largest computing powers worldwide, Google have got to have a way to see that www.berkshirebrides.co.uk is somehow not fitting into top 10 for “payday loans”.
My recommendations for lifting the penalty from CashLady.co.uk.
What I covered in this case study was everything I was able to come up with during 48 hours of work to uncover links that were not in the initial disavow report this includes 61 from my initial search, 161 links from the DTOX, 17 Redirections with who knows how many links, and 1 from Weebly. It is far from enough. I tried to cover all the solutions for cashlady.co.uk in this case, but I definitely didn’t find all the backlinks that are possible to find. With more time and cooperation from site owners, reports from previous SEO agency, it is possible to find even more crucial data.
It definitely requires a lot of time, experience and patience to solve such a difficult problem. I also don’t think that Matt Cutts will be very helpful now after seeing that Money Gap LTD is responsible for so much spam on so many domains.
I think I’ve managed to shed some light on this case and actually help Marie (and CashLady.co.uk) a lot.
We highly recommend Marie to use all the extra links to get that penalty lifted.
After all “Humans do review every reconsideration request” – so better not mess with them.
Future of CashLady.co.uk
Let’s imagine for a moment, that penalty for CashLady.co.uk is lifted.
They will be left with only a few links and a domain that in my experience is going to be much harder to rank than a new or clean one.
If you look at the chart above, CashLady has a lot of power and trust to build (skip those expired domains, because they are based on 301 redirects).
I actually work on white hat SEO for few sites in finance niche and I know that gaining 1 natural link to those sites is close to impossible. At the same time, a new site may get penalized even for few links that seem unnatural.
There is a huge challenge ahead for Marie Haynes to lift the penalty, and after that for Money Gap LTD. to come up with a really good strategy.
One that will not include using tens of thousands of domains and low cost SEO agency.
What do you think?
This case study was written by Bartosz Góralewicz, SEO Consultant, Online Marketing Specialist, and proud user of Link Research Tools and Link Detox.
A word from Christoph C. Cemper
This analysis was conducted and written by our Certified LRT Professional, Bartosz Góralewicz. The case study was completed in approximately 48 hours and required a team effort. To learn more, you can check out his own post here: From the outside looking in…
Bartosz demonstrated his expertise in doing a SEO link audit on CashLady’s penalized SEO strategies. I am thrilled by the dedication he continues to display in his case studies. Already a Certfied LRT Professional, Bartosz Góralewicz publishes his 3rd case-study and is one step away from becoming a Certified LRT Xpert.
Our goal is to provide our user community and clients with quality service and knowledge. Our Certified LRT Professionals and Xperts are key to achieving this goal.
I look forward to his future work, and personally recommend working with Bartosz Góralewicz whenever you get the opportunity!
This analysis was created using our Superhero Plan and the new Competitive Link Detox tool extensively. The Superhero plan allows you to perform professional SEO and backlink analysis for your own or your competitor’s sites. If you only need Competitive Link Detox (CDTOX), that’s also included in all new Link Detox Pro plans and up.
Don’t miss our next FREE LRT Associate Training. Get one of the last spots if you’re up for 8 hours of free professional training with Christoph C. Cemper.
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