By King Douche | May 27, 2011
So, let’s just start this off by all agreeing that I was a total noob dumbass. Great. Let’s continue. This is a long-windy post but I have to tell this story and get it off my chest. Get some coffee and prepare yourself.
Now, let’s get into this true story that happened in 2008.
THE SHITTY PLAGIARISM CHECKER
One of the first successful sites I developed was a shitty little plagiarism checker that I paid a Russian $150 through GAF to build for me based on a simple premise: break an article up into small fragments and search Google using the SOAP API for the appearance of these fragments then report the results. The tool came out of necessity (as most good inventions do) and since all other plagiarism detection tools charged monthly fees, or offered limited functionality for free, my fully functional, free tool gained popularity quickly and word spread at Universities for teachers to use the tool to pre-check students papers for blatant plagiarism. The site gained PageRank quickly and I got it jacked up to a PR6 in about 2 years with LOTS of inbound .EDU links.
THE POWER OF THE PR6
Now, for an SEO, a PR6 site is pretty powerful shit. You can pretty much put a link on that page and it’ll pop up to first page for most any medium-competition keyword so I used the site to introduce new niche markets and it was the catalyst for all of my successful sites. I pwned the competition quickly for my niches simply by introducing new sites with a link from my PR6 site and the new niche site would come out a PR5 right out of the gate. A PR6 site is a powerful tool if you can get one.
So, I was new to monetizing sites and I had the bright idea to sell Text Link Ads and i was fetching $280/month per link and I had 4 links paying me monthly. For a SEO noob, to have 1 site that generated over $800/month was pretty good. That, combined with the new-site-introducing power of the PR6, I had a nice thing going. So, of course, I found a way to fuck it up as efficiently as possible.
I had the idea to sell the site and ‘cash out’ my PR6. I figured I could fetch 15 months ROI and get about $15K for the site. I put an ad up on EBAY then did screenshots of the traffic and some of the link-revenue I was generating to backup the claim ‘this site makes so-and-so per month’ for the eBAY auction.
Wait! It gets worse.
HEY! I’VE GOT AN IDEA!
Then I had the bright idea that I wanted to advertise the EBAY listing. I found an SEO article recently published on Google News then created the auction link as comment spam then justified it by saying ‘Hey! Maybe an SEO wants to buy this site?”
Again, this is fucking hard as hell for me to write this—I was such a dumbass. It was the first project that I had undertaken and this was what got me started in SEO as a full time job. I was starting to make money from creating websites, then getting those sites to rank, then making money off of the ranking. But every successful SEO has the project where they learned *NOT* to do a certain action. This was my fuckup story.
So, like watching a slow-motion trainwreck, let’s continue.
Let’s paint this picture now. I have a PR6 site selling links. I then created an EBAY auction listing announcing that I was selling links for the purpose of passing PageRank and you could own this wonderful site for only $15,000 which was about 20 months ROI. I then advertised this auction by comment spamming the EBAY listing on an SEO forum site (searchenginejournal.com). Holy dickwad, Batman!
About 48-hours later I get an GMAIL CHAT instant message from some guy. It wasn’t broken English he was chatting but perfect, eloquent English. American name, I forgot….we’ll call him David Andrews (fake name but you get the idea on how normal the guy sounded). So DAVID asked me a few questions over chat. ”I see you’re selling your website?’ and “I see that you’re making about $800 per month selling assets on those website?”
“Hey! This guy really knows his stuff,” I remember thinking to myself as the chat progressed.
I then went into a record-setting, chat marathon, rapid typing-session, bragging on how good the PR6 site was at getting other sites to rank and that $280 per month was CHEAP for such a powerful ranking service. It was then that the dagger-question came from DAVID ANDREWS (CAPS and punctuation are for editorial emphasis).
“So, you ARE selling links on your site then for the purpose of passing PageRank?”
My response, “Hell yeah! And it works awesome, too! Any link that gets put up on that site ranks at or near the top for medium competition keyword.” I then pasted examples of the people’s websites that were currently advertising with me to prove my claims.
DAVID ANDREWS then simply responded, “I have all the information I need now. Thanks for your time.”
And just like that he was gone.
I thought to myself “Damn I was pretty sure he was gonna buy it to! He seemed really interested and asked some good questions. Oh well!”
So the next day I awoke to my site completely de-indexed from Google. Not a listing to be found anywhere. Yes, the EBAY ad was in it’s 5th day of the 10 day auction. Wouldn’t even come up for the DOMAINNAME.COM search.
Yep, it got nuked.
“What happened?” I thought.
The next day, still no show, The 3rd day, it was back. I checked the Toolbar Pagerank and it got reduced from a 6 to a 3. Just like that. 3 full PR coefficients. It was then I realized that I had been nabbed by the Google manual penalty police. The user DAVID ANDREWS never answered any emails nor responded to additional chat requests. He was gone, 100%.
THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON? THE LIFECHANGER.
So, about six months later, the good news is that another buyer eventually came along and bought the site, unsolicited.
After the site got demoted, I didn’t even have it up for sale. Who would want a PR3? Then I got contacted over email asking if the site was for sale. The buyer, who was adamant about remaining anonymous, gave me an cash offer for the site through Escrow.com. His offer was *coincidentally* $15,000. I was on vacation at the time in Sunriver, Oregon and accepted the offer using the resort’s Internet business kiosk.
I took the $15,000 and steamrolled it into a nice portfolio of Internet businesses across different markets. It’s what I do to this day.
“Create an EBAY listing about selling my PR6 site and monetizing said site with Paid Links then comment spam the listing in an SEO forum. ” Sheer genius, dude. Sheer fucking genius.
God, what a dumbass. Cheers.