I am WORN OUT and tired of SEO

Profile picture of the author jordanwarrior by jordanwarrior Posted: 02/14/2013
I've been in the employment niche for a couple of years now, and at this point, all I can ask is, "what happened?" At first things were going fine and my sites were actually earning something. However, ever since the first Panda update came along, everything has been going downhill. Nothing I try has had any positive effect whatsoever. I've worked with a couple of SEO consultants on JV deals, but these petered when they weren't making a million dollars in 3 months. Basically, I'm at a point where I'm pretty much convinced that a very, very small percentage of IM'ers are actually making a living online anymore.

Before you start bashing me, the content I've written, and had written by others, is absolutely freakin' excellent. There has been no imported work, and I managed to keep my nose clean for the most part in regards to linking, etc. Efforts included guest posting, videos, some social bookmarking, tried forums, etc, etc. Even tried blog commenting, and by that I mean it would take a good 5 minutes to write a comment. However, these didn't yield anything either. Honestly, I'm ready to get a job and live the rest of my miserable existence like the rest of society; going to work everyday and doing my best to keep up with the Jones's.

I'm wondering if anyone else is actually having success in competitive markets these days. If so, what general strategy are you using. Also, is anyone actually making any money, and if so, how much are you earning. BTW, please keep all theoretical seo BS away from this thread. I don't need to be sifting through poorly worded responses about "making Google rankings is easy," etc, etc. Please excuse the tone, I'm like the guy who bought the tractor with no seat or steering wheel.
#clueless #tired #worn

  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    Moriarty
    It strikes me that you are experiencing what many offline businesses are experiencing: margins are getting tighter. People have to do more and usually earn less as thanks.

    A question: are your backlinks getting you quality traffic? As mentioned elsewhere, Google has stated that their aim is to provide quality answers to their searcher's questions. That goes for your sites too. In terms of backlinking, good quality traffic means people who come to your site and stay around. Oh, and buy too.

    What are your thoughts on this?
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    yukon
    There's defiantly more to life than SEO, SEO is a single source of traffic. You said you did the forum thing, not sure what you did but there's money in forum traffic (not talking IM forums). You said your in the employment niche, what does that mean, is your traffic looking for an employer because that would probably never be able to get repeat traffic. Usually when someone has a 9-5 job they stick with it until forced to look for another job, not the ideal traffic source IMO.
  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    PerformanceMan
    Originally Posted by jordanwarrior View Post

    Basically, I'm at a point where I'm pretty much convinced that a very, very small percentage of IM'ers are actually making a living online anymore.
    Whoa. Careful of generalizing. Your lack of success does not translate to anyone other than you.

    It's important to blame yourself for your failure. When you assume it's part of a worldwide trend - you're letting yourself off the hook.

    The bottom line is it takes more effort than ever to make money online. I blame it on the recession. As more people lost money offline they turned to the Web to make ends meet. Most of these people learned the same 'IM tricks' that were making all of us easy money.

    That means it's time to adjust.

    You're running a business online. Businesses advertise. Forget 'pure SEO' and build a profitable sales funnel that uses multiple traffic sources - including paid ones - to make money.

    As to your question about whether people still make money. Yes, my 'pure SEO efforts' still bring $60K yearly - down from a 2007 high of $230k.
  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    nik0
    You can build a site with 5 great articles, fact remains that it's still a very thin affiliate site, no matter what quality of the content, not sure if that's the case but sure to consider.

    Besides that I miss quality links in your back link profile. Ranking based on some video submisison, blog comments, bookmarking and forum posting won't get you far. And the guest post sites that you used, we need numbers to say anything usefull about that. If you just did 2 guest posts at PR1 sites that get spammed all day long cause they are in some guest post network then it still equals close to nothing.
  • Profile picture of the author jaisonjohn
    jaisonjohn
    First of all cross check the activities done for your website related to offsite for which you have to cross check your webmaster tools of your account, list out keywords in the notepad and upload it in disallow option of webmaster tool. At the same time, you need to cross check for content in your website and review title, description and keywords for website and thoroughly work on onsite changes.
  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    MikeFriedman
    Originally Posted by jordanwarrior View Post

    Basically, I'm at a point where I'm pretty much convinced that a very, very small percentage of IM'ers are actually making a living online anymore.
    Actually, it has always been that a very, very small percentage of IM'ers are actually making a living online. That has never changed.
  • Profile picture of the author trafficmasters
    trafficmasters
    I would recommend out sourcing your SEO to a local company near you, a company with a building and employees - that way you will know that your site is at least in good hands and you should see some improvement

    A lot of sites got hit because of poor seo, too much focus on anchor keywords and less focus on natural looking profiles

    Its easy to get sucked into a sales page on these forums. Promises of hitting page one in a few months. Your niche is pretty competitive and will need constant, high quality work.

    You could always try looking to setting up a different domain it may be easier to rank than your current one, however this is something to discuss with your SEO company

    Good luck, stay positive
  • Profile picture of the author 11811
    11811
    How are your social media efforts? Are you engaging users on Facebook and Twitter?
  • Profile picture of the author jordanwarrior
    jordanwarrior
    Originally Posted by Moriarty View Post

    It strikes me that you are experiencing what many offline businesses are experiencing: margins are getting tighter. People have to do more and usually earn less as thanks.

    A question: are your backlinks getting you quality traffic? As mentioned elsewhere, Google has stated that their aim is to provide quality answers to their searcher's questions. That goes for your sites too. In terms of backlinking, good quality traffic means people who come to your site and stay around. Oh, and buy too.

    What are your thoughts on this?
    The problem with the backlinks is that they do not provide much traffic, no matter where they're at. Conversions aren't too bad at around 3%, but average time on site has never been above 2.60. I did have a 4% bounce rate about two years ago.
  • Profile picture of the author jordanwarrior
    jordanwarrior
    Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

    You can build a site with 5 great articles, fact remains that it's still a very thin affiliate site, no matter what quality of the content, not sure if that's the case but sure to consider.

    Besides that I miss quality links in your back link profile. Ranking based on some video submisison, blog comments, bookmarking and forum posting won't get you far. And the guest post sites that you used, we need numbers to say anything usefull about that. If you just did 2 guest posts at PR1 sites that get spammed all day long cause they are in some guest post network then it still equals close to nothing.
    I had one site with 350 or so good articles, and another one with 150. Tried all manner of getting quality backlinks , but getting even just one can take months. Another issue with the niche is that there isn't a ton of visitor interaction with any of the competitor sites. Guest posts were on reputable sites, and the links were in-context.
  • Profile picture of the author jordanwarrior
    jordanwarrior
    Originally Posted by 11811 View Post

    How are your social media efforts? Are you engaging users on Facebook and Twitter?
    Trying to as well, but man it's tough getting people excited about something they're going to spend a couple of hours doing and forget about.
  • Profile picture of the author jordanwarrior
    jordanwarrior
    Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

    Whoa. Careful of generalizing. Your lack of success does not translate to anyone other than you.

    It's important to blame yourself for your failure. When you assume it's part of a worldwide trend - you're letting yourself off the hook.

    The bottom line is it takes more effort than ever to make money online. I blame it on the recession. As more people lost money offline they turned to the Web to make ends meet. Most of these people learned the same 'IM tricks' that were making all of us easy money.

    That means it's time to adjust.

    You're running a business online. Businesses advertise. Forget 'pure SEO' and build a profitable sales funnel that uses multiple traffic sources - including paid ones - to make money.

    As to your question about whether people still make money. Yes, my 'pure SEO efforts' still bring $60K yearly - down from a 2007 high of $230k.
    Thanks for the reply. I'm not blaming anyone else, but more so my seeming lack of being able to make any progress. Also, I would say dropping from 270K down to 60K is a pretty good indicator of the state of the web, and illustrates just how difficult everything has become.
  • Profile picture of the author jordanwarrior
    jordanwarrior
    Originally Posted by trafficmasters View Post

    I would recommend out sourcing your SEO to a local company near you, a company with a building and employees - that way you will know that your site is at least in good hands and you should see some improvement

    A lot of sites got hit because of poor seo, too much focus on anchor keywords and less focus on natural looking profiles

    Its easy to get sucked into a sales page on these forums. Promises of hitting page one in a few months. Your niche is pretty competitive and will need constant, high quality work.

    You could always try looking to setting up a different domain it may be easier to rank than your current one, however this is something to discuss with your SEO company

    Good luck, stay positive
    In this niche I haven't seen a new domain actually rank anytime in the past couple of years. I think I'm better off trying to improve rankings for my PR3 site, than spending 2 years trying to get a new site going from scratch. In fact, I don't think I could do it, and outsourcing the project would be extremely cost prohibitive. There are still black-hat masters getting sites ranked quickly for a couple of months, but these never last.
  • Profile picture of the author jordanwarrior
    jordanwarrior
    Originally Posted by yukon View Post

    There's defiantly more to life than SEO, SEO is a single source of traffic. You said you did the forum thing, not sure what you did but there's money in forum traffic (not talking IM forums). You said your in the employment niche, what does that mean, is your traffic looking for an employer because that would probably never be able to get repeat traffic. Usually when someone has a 9-5 job they stick with it until forced to look for another job, not the ideal traffic source IMO.
    Can't specify the exact nature of the niche, but depending on who I target it can be a one-off or recurring market. It all depends on the customers preferences. As far as forums are concerned, there just aren't any relevant, high traffic forums. I tried to start one, but it just didn't fly. There is a lot of money in it, but as usual brand names are taking over the SERP's.

    There has been one bit of consolation, however warped. A major company in the niche bought an EMD right before Penguin came along and jumped from a thousand visitors to >50,000 within 2 months simply because everyone else was getting de-ranked. However, as soon as they had the rankings, they turned what had been a great blog into a commercial site, and promptly lost the rankings again. Don't know who was managing the decision making, but it must hurt to watch a $45,000 project going down the drain. Don't actually know what it cost, but judging by all the content they had and buying the domain, etc, it must have been expensive.
  • Profile picture of the author adeptbob
    adeptbob
    No job will ever guarantee you stability, ever. Businesses fire people all the time, and industries shift just the same.

    Never put all your eggs in one basket, utilize multiple forms of traffic. Do some research on targeted media buys...

    And just and FYI, SEO still works amazingly well. You just have to read past the white noise everyone spews out there. The same methods to rank have remained the same year after year. You need HIGH PR DO-FOLLOW links with diverse anchor text. Everything I know I learned from spending countless hours researching. If you want to build anything in life you must invest time and effort.


    Never make fear based decisions. If you do, you'll never succeed in life.
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    yukon
    Originally Posted by jordanwarrior View Post

    Can't specify the exact nature of the niche, but depending on who I target it can be a one-off or recurring market. It all depends on the customers preferences. As far as forums are concerned, there just aren't any relevant, high traffic forums. I tried to start one, but it just didn't fly. There is a lot of money in it, but as usual brand names are taking over the SERP's.

    So your problem is traffic, where's the traffic for your niche (besides SEO)?

    I don't recommend depending on SEO 100% for anyone, the SERPs will never be guaranteed positions. The SERPs are good traffic but you have to look out for yourself, nobody else will. Create multiple sources of traffic.
  • Profile picture of the author SearchEngineNerds
    SearchEngineNerds
    what are your revenue streams? Ads? Affiliate income? Selling your own stuff?

    Also, you say you have 150-350 quality articles. How is the internal link structure? Are you focusing way too much on getting backlinks and not enough on internal link structure?

    Also, have you ever tried analyzing the quality of the incoming traffic?
  • Profile picture of the author jordanwarrior
    jordanwarrior
    Originally Posted by SearchEngineNerds View Post

    what are your revenue streams? Ads? Affiliate income? Selling your own stuff?

    Also, you say you have 150-350 quality articles. How is the internal link structure? Are you focusing way too much on getting backlinks and not enough on internal link structure?

    Also, have you ever tried analyzing the quality of the incoming traffic?
    It's all commission based affiliate relationships, which included both traditional streams using a network and working directly with companies basically as a sales rep. The traffic I was getting in the niche was pretty much all worth something, even the less targeted keywords. Point is, my traffic is about gone at this point.
  • Profile picture of the author jordanwarrior
    jordanwarrior
    Originally Posted by yukon View Post

    So your problem is traffic, where's the traffic for your niche (besides SEO)?

    I don't recommend depending on SEO 100% for anyone, the SERPs will never be guaranteed positions. The SERPs are good traffic but you have to look out for yourself, nobody else will. Create multiple sources of traffic.
    The plan was to diversify into PPC, but at $7 per click, I just never had the capital to really get it going. Offline advertising would also work well, but the money just wasn't there either. I also had plans for hiring sales reps, which would have been extremely effective, but once again...Basically, the online aspect was to help get things going so I could expand offline, which others in my niche have done.
  • Profile picture of the author dburdon
    dburdon
    There's no two way about it. SEO is getting tougher. Google's algorithms are getting smarter. Translating effort into results requires increasinly acute strategies and tactics.
    Essentially there's more data out there, more SEO software out there, more content out there and therefore, many more optimised sites.
    In some categories everyone in the top 20 rankings will be optimised. So its effectively a zero sum game. Its especially tough for small websites and small SEOs as Google's latest algorithm changes appear to favour the bigger sites with more domain power behind them.
    However, what's the alternative. More PPC? Yes, PPC has a role. But would you want to be entirely dependent on paid search? Social media. Hmm. I've yet to see anything coming out of social media that compares with the results of SEO.
    Its about getting smarter and smarter. Refining and focusing your efforts to concentrate on the stuff that makes a return.

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