Shepherd - 1:07 pm on May 8, 2013 (gmt 0)
As I've mentioned before we had some penguin damage on a few sites. One of the directions we went post penguin was to test new sites (in the same niche). We were unsure whether junk links or interlinking between owned sites could have been causing problems.
With one of the new sites we employed the same junk link strategy with no interlinking between owned sites.
We targeted a few main keywords and used an EMD matching the main keyword we targeted. The site is a very thin site, minimal content.
domain: widgetexample.com; keywords: widget example, discount widget example
Links were all pointed to widgetexample.com (home page) with some varing anchor text (like "website" and "widgetexample.com") but the majority of the links were anchored with the target keywords.
After a few months of link building the site started to rank, currently #9 for "widget example" and #7 for "discount widget example".
The interesting thing is: google refuses to rank the home page for these terms, they rank deeper pages like widgetexample.com/red
No link building was done for any pages other than the home page.
Rankings have been steady, within 2 spots for over 3 months now.