Is Google Penalizing Sub Domain Rentals?

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Issue #143
September 3rd, 2019

Hey, lunch buddies. What happened to the summer!? For me, when the kids go back to school and fantasy football drafts are completed, the summer is all but wrapped up.

The goal, for me, is to be “heads down” on work and a few side projects until October when my family heads out for our family vacation. Does anyone have any last-minute summer travels or big events that are coming up? Hit reply to this email, id love to hear what you have planned.

Finally, I found a dozen #SEOForLunch stickers that I evidently misplaced. They are FREE to anyone who wants one. Just respond to this email and shoot me your address. I’ll get them out in the mail this week. Below are what they look like. They are super easy to remove so your IT team won’t freak out if you choose to add them to your laptop 🙂 

Per usual, there’s a bunch of good content to cover this week. So let’s stop the chit chat and get right to the goods. 

– Nick

What you need to know

Article: Google penalizing sites leveraging subdomain rentals

What’s Important:
Last week, we pointed out a comment Google rep John Mueller made regarding hosting sites/content on other websites subdomain with the idea of leveraging that sites domain authority for SEO rankings. Since then, several folks in the SEO industry have identified sites leveraging “rented subdomains” as seeing significant decreases to their organic traffic.

Nick’s Take:
Was this a true “penalty”? I’m guessing no. The days of algorithm updates and penalizations are a thing of the pass. In most instances, Google focuses on updating its core algorithm which tackles manipulative tactics such as subdomain rentals. While I’m all for pushing the limits, I’m feeling for those companies that signed long term contracts to rent out subdomains on authority sites.

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Interesting Reads in Your Spare Time

How expired domains are leveraged for SEO – BillHartzer
I’m not afraid to admit that I have a little experience with expired domains. Let’s just say it works — really well. This post by Bill provides details on how folks are leveraging expired domains through redirects, site rebuilds and even private blog networks (PBNs) to boost their sites SEO rankings. 

Analyzing 5 million SERPS to determine click-through rates – Backlinko
Brian Dean is on fire. His team reviewed over 5 million search result pages to determine C-T-R for the top 10 search results. Did you know that position 1 averages a CTR of nearly 32%? Would you guess shorter title tags drive higher CTRs as well? I recommend reading this entire post to learn MUCH more about SERPS and CTR findings. 

A developers guide to SEO – Portent
Ian Lurie sold his agency, Portent last year. This past week was his official last week and not surprisingly he published one last post on the Portent blog. This post covers what developers need to know RE: SEO. It’s not their job to optimize a website but it is their responsibility to support building a site that is foundationally sound for organic growth for years to come. Congrats on the new adventures, Ian!

7 awesome 404 error pages from the worlds largest brands – GotchSEO
Nathan does a really good job covering one of the least interesting topics in SEO. 404 pages are fairly easy to set up. However, executing a top-notch 404 page takes time, energy and creativity. Admittedly, the 404 on needs work. Does yours?

12 Excel formulas for SEO – BuiltVisible
Excel is the most amazing tool when it comes to SEO. It’s also one of the most frustrating tools ever created. How often do you write a formula to work in one cell but break without “doing anything different” moments later? ARGHHHH. Fiona wrote up this post covering 12 excel formulas that we all can thank her for later. BOOKMARKED!

Nick LeRoy
Nick LeRoy
Nick has 10+ years of SEO consulting experience building and executing strategies for clients ranging from multi-billion dollar consumer packaged goods to fashion entities with hundreds of physical store locations. He also writes the weekly SEO newsletter #SEOForLunch that allows you to stay up to date with industry updates in the amount of time it takes you to eat your lunch.

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