6 replies
It's 01:41 in the morning here (UK) and I just fooked up:

Site #1: Ranking no. 1 this morning, now #14
Site #2: Ranking no. 21 this morning, now #N/A
Site #3: Ranking no. 9 this morning, now #N/A
Site #4: Ranking no. 12 this morning, now #N/A

And so it goes on.

What is the common link between all these websites? It's simple, AdSense...building too quickly, with next to no regard for quality. Sure, all the content is unique, it all provides some sort of purpose, but all in all, when you look deep into the INTENT behind these sites there's the typical common theme:
  • They were built with search engines, not users, in mind
  • They were all made for my own gain, not that of my users

Is this anything new? Of course not. Was it to be expected? Of course it was. I've not really lost anything here...not financially anyway, but the time investment is something else entirely.

Just to caveat this here, I'm not a newbie. This is my first ever post but I've been in this space since I was about 16 (I'm now 24), building, marketing and learning all the way along. I've been reading the Warrior Forum for many a year, and I've come to know and respect a lot of you in these forums just through careful observation.

About six months ago, I decided to leave my post as an SEO Account Manager at a very large Digital Marketing Agency in the UK -- and it was, and still is, the best decision I've ever made. I left job security, a prominent position in a rapidly expanding company, to sit at home and manage my own portfolio of SEO clients and build my own websites. Right now, I'm failing - and here's why...

BUILDING FAR TOO FAST: I love this forum, it's a great resource and it has informed me very well over the years -- but here's to anyone new to this space: SEO, building something sustainable, takes time - at least six months (if you're starting afresh and going at it like there's no tomorrow). Today I've made a mistake (well, really the mistake was made two months ago when I started building) -- I've been dedicating my days, 16 hour days, to building junk websites. I've been dipping my toe without ever committing...and I should know better.

The world is full of empty promises, and despite our best efforts not to be taken in by them, we invariably are -- after all, who doesn't want quick riches? We all want them and we're all here, except the more philanthropic among us, in the pursuit of money. But my advice to you is not to be taken in -- selling on the web is an art form (and much of it is designed to lure people into buying something they don't really need), but SEO can be dwindled down to a few core components, ALL of which you can learn from studying and observing the more experienced people in these forums.

PICK YOU NICHE AND STICK: How many websites do you conceivably need? I needed 50...and the Maths behind it was simple. Each website was going to be an exact match domain name and each was going to contribute a minimum of $150 per month. Build them up, get the revenue through and then sell them on Flippa a few months later...simples.


It was all going so well until the Google slap came along -- too much interconnectedness. Granted, there was no internal linking, all unique Class C IPs, blah, blah, blah...but Google did pick up on that nice AdSense account that was building at a rate of 2 a day. It also picked up on that Google Analytics info and that common WHOIS info most likely, too. How do I know this is the reason? Well because all of the sites in this particular interconnected chain all dropped...ALL of them.

The truth is, there are many people online who make a VERY good living with AdSense and it works for them...however, do you really want to hang around on the edge of your seat for that ill-fated day when everything in the chain decides to drop? Google is savvy and it has LOADS of ways to identify common ownership of websites...(just to clarify, the sites were obviously all brand new, which has also played a significant part).

All in all, do you really want to spend the large part of your time covering your ass? I know I don't.

So here's the remit, and my advice: pick your niche, learn it, love it and stick with it. That E-book that you are thinking about buying, that one that promises instant riches, a condo in the city and a 28 year old drop dead gorgeous wife...put it to one side and invest the money back into where it needs to go: THE FUTURE OF YOUR WEBSITE.

The entire tone of this post probably sounds a bit dispirited, but that's not my intention -- I just want to communicate to you my latest life lesson, and hopefully, if you're a newb, save you some time along the way. Nor is it my intention to undermine the efforts of the many people on here who build, flip and sell...I've done it myself and will continue to do it myself in the future.

SEO, marketing and building takes time, perseverance and resolve...but once you get there, do me a favour...come back here in two years time and share your success story with me.

Right now I'm off to write a new FREE E-Book, it's going to be called "How NOT to do SEO" with a final chapter, comprising one full page, on what you really need to know about building and profiting from websites that can't be learnt through these forums.
#home #truths
  • Profile picture of the author George Katsoudas
    Some people like becoming an authority in their niche, while others prefer to use a system that builds sites across different niches.

    Both can work, for different reasons. Both have pros and cons.

    I enjoyed your post.
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  • Profile picture of the author matt5409
    absolutely fantastic post and something i can completely identify with.

    i am in a similar position - work at home designer and SEO. i started IM in january and have launched around 10 sites in this time. i have worked hard on their content, and am knowledgeable about the subject matter of each.

    this week, 2 have dropped out the rankings with no explanation, but your post has enlightened me. i dont run adsense and i dont have analytics on ALL of them, but what is there coupled with the WHOIS info could well lead to google sussing out that i'm building sites quickly.

    right now, i'm backlinking and not creating any more sites. i HOPE that my previous rankings return and that my plan actually forms. my plan was very similar to yours.

    it still is - i believe i can make this work but i truly want to offer something good. i've seen so many god awful affiliate sites in the past that i didnt even enter this business because it felt too dirty. however, i believe that if you can offer something to the user, you fully deserve a good ranking AND to make some money along the way.
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    • Profile picture of the author iansinfo
      ah google they are the bane of an IM's life nice post

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  • Profile picture of the author YseUp
    Authority sites for the win.

    Become a trusted brand that people will come to through word of mouth.

    Don't rely on Google or any other website for traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    Why anyone would try to build a serious income from a network of adsense sites without doing basic track-covering is beyond me TBH. There is putting all your eggs in one basket and there is handing the basket over for free.
    CONTENT WRITER. Reliable, UK-Based, 6 Years Experience - ANY NICHE
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    • Profile picture of the author clickwork
      Here's the update...

      I started again.

      3 weeks in, I'm making £30 per day AND I've done it all from nothing.

      Would I now say disregard my entire post? Of course not. The difference has been placing a dedicated focus on the needs of EACH PARTICULAR SITE, and doing exactly what I KNOW I should have done in the first place: CREATE QUALITY CONTENT. I've narrowed my focus, played hard and I'm winning. It will take time, but a lot less than I expected!

      The aim: £100 per day by the end of three months. And I will get it.
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