When I first purchased SeanHakes.com in 2005 I used it as an affiliate marketing website, primarily to resell web hosting services through GoDaddy under ‘ZS Internat Solutions.’ I’m not entirely sure where I came up with that name. In 2009, it was my blog. In 2011 I finally had some direction and created my first successful digital marketing agency that was quickly sold to an investment group in Boise, ID. At that time, I lost control of the website and was officially under ‘new ownership.’
The new company continued to operate it until 2013 when it was redirected to their primary business website, then later completely shut down.
For over 6 years, I had no control over SeanHakes.com including the backlinks.
I kinda felt like I sold my soul. I had no control over a domain that kinda got me jumpstarted in the SEO business, not to mention was my name. I decided to reach out to the owners and plead to buy my name back. Surprisingly, they agreed and it was transferred to me in Sept of 2017.
The domain had some history, most of it from a recent backlink report I pulled was pretty rough. I could see why they didn’t hesitate to sell it back to me. Upon receipt of the domain, I quickly put up a starter website and submitted it for indexing through Google Search Console – I was curious to see if it would rank for anything, and it didn’t.
That’s when I started the SEO Detox process. Using my favorite link research tool, I analyzed every link I could find. If it anyway, shape or form violated Google Webmaster Guidelines, it was quickly added to my site’s disavow file. During that same time, I decided to continue to build the website out. I was eager to get my blog going again as I was using a knock-off TLD, hakes.co.
Before I get to my next point; another quick disclaimer. I am the Founder & CEO of Altitude SEO. Why does that matter? My website, AltitudeSEO.com ranks extremely well for Denver SEO keywords. This is important for my next point.
Outside of Altitude SEO, I work as an independent SEO consultant. Specifically, for Enterprise organizations, or website owners may have an SEO related action, and need help removing it, just like I did for SeanHakes.com which is independent of Altitude SEO (yes, this link is no-followed).
Naturally, I know there’s a lot of search volume for keywords like Denver SEO, Denver SEO Consultant etc. So, I decided to ‘optimize’ this website for those particular keywords. While doing that, I continued to ‘detox’ my links, and continue to build out my disavow file.
In Jan of 2018 my rankings starting to shift. In Feb, they really started to take off. I started showing up on the 1st page again for some pretty good ‘money’ keywords and by March, I was even ranked #1 for many of the targeted keywords resulting in $77K+/mo in free search engine traffic.
How about that?
Let the haters hate, but strong Google results, never lie.
Sean “Shakes” Hakes.