Here's my problem: I got kicked in the pants by Google.
Suddenly, my site that seemed to be gaining momentum quite nicely dropped 150 places or more for most of my keywords. My primary keyword isn't even ranking in the top 200 anymore.
The site's still #2 in Bing for some of those lesser keywords, then for Google it's at, say, 168.
I believe this is called a 'sandbox' penalty?
I have no idea how long this will last or what I did to cause it. And, most of all, what I should be doing now.
This is a small Amazon affiliate site focusing on a niche product.
It's about a month old, and has a bunch of 500-1000 word original articles about that product and other related products, all written by me.
I've been building backlinks by hand over the past month; mostly blog comments (the non-spammy kind, where I'm actually reacting to the blog post and not just saying "Nice post!") and social bookmarking/profiles.
The backlinking volume is anywhere from 1 to 10 backlinks a day, but no more than that. There are no-follow links as well as do-follow links. I haven't done any automated submissions, link wheels, spun articles, etc.
I'm surprised at how personal it feels to get slammed by Google this way!
I just wonder what I did wrong, to put my website in the icebox.
If you guys have any idea, I'd love to know. I hope you don't mind if I don't give out the URL of the site itself.
I've also read Spencer's post about something similar that happened to a site of his (sorry, can't post the link yet), where he decided to just give up on that site and start another, clean domain.
I don't want to do that with this site; I've put work into it, and I want it to succeed.
But what do I do now?
- keep adding content at a slow, steady rate (1 article a week)
- keep adding backlinks the same way I've been doing (1-10 a day)
- stop doing anything, let it sit for a while (how long?)
- intensify my efforts and add content/backlinks FASTER?