Slapped Again By Google -Here's What I'm Gonna Do

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  • SEO
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OK so the dreaded new update has finally arrived. After Penuin and Panda I've learned not to worry and lose sleep over it and just carry on. I have about 8 websites and this update was the worst - it finished every single one of them!

Each time there has been a major update at least some of my sites have suffered and each time with a bit of work they have came back. I'm not so sure that will happen this time but hey it's made me more than determined than ever to make this thing work.

All of my sites have been built by myself and I have also done most of the SEO too like many of you do. There is one site that I had been working on that just wouldn't convert (it's in my signature) and that has really made me think. Maybe it is just crap and that is why Google doesn't like it?

This site got slapped before. I fact I had done some pretty blackhat stuff on it to get it to the first page of Google until they cracked down heavily on that sort of stuff. So after the introduction of the Penguin update I got a new domain name and put it on a 301 direct it. Fresh start to it I hoped?

As with most of the other sites that tried this it worked great for a few days - back on page one for many many long tail keywords but then the penalty kicked in and down the rankings it fell again.

So then I searched the Warrior forum for someone to do the SEO for me for a monthly fee. After very careful consideration I found one guy that seemed to know what he was doing and had many good reviews. I signed up to his monthly plan and within about 5 weeks I was back on page one. Ok not all the long tail keywords came back but the main one was there so I was happy.

Then Friday night disaster happened I lost that site and all of the other as well. Just like many other people did. So I got in touch with my SEO guy for a little advice and to see what his plan of action was. He was very honest with me and basically said he didn't have one!

I don't have a rescue plan, and no one has cause the update is still so fresh.
That's fair enough I thought as each time there is an update many people have many ideas about it but 90% of is is just crap. He also recommended that I cancel the monthly plan until I resolved an issue that he had noticed on many sites that got slapped.

I use a redirection script to send my visitors to the vendors. The idea behind it wasn't to be sly and hide the fact that it's an affiliate site from Google - It was there for the purpose of reducing the bounce rate and then letting me know which offers were the most popular.

So now I'm sat with no ranking websites and no income as a result. I have had a look at the other sites that are still ranking and noticed that the top website still uses a redirect script but it does something that really impressed me. What it does is it links to another page with just a few more details about the offer and the company and that asks if you want to carry on the site.

This in itself shouldn't be too hard to implement to my site. Yes it still uses a redirect script but in fact I don't think it needs to even do that. Bounce rate down and more value to the user is there to be taken - job done once I add it!

Something else that has been worrying me was the company banner image at the top of the page. I asked a friend about it to see what he thought about it and he told me that he wouldn't buy off the site simply because it didn't have a proper company logo.

Now I have started to redesign it with not only a company logo but also with the emphasis on the strengths of the website and what you can gain from by shopping with me so to speak. Tomorrow when I get to work (and I can't wait) I'm gonna finish it off and put it up.

Now this site had the worst conversion rate out of any of my websites and I've sat down and thought about why. My conclusion is simple - it is crap. My focus over the last few years is to make money money money.

Yes I've had a good run and am lucky enough to be able to work till the end of the year without making another penny but this has really got me thinking. Good bounce rate but crap conversions and people only spend on average about 1 minute 30 seconds on the site.

No wonder Google crapped on me because I'm not giving the user exactly what they want and where I do I'm not putting enough emphasis on the strengths of the site. It could be improved not just a little but in fact it needs to be improved massively. In fact all of my sites do. I make affiliate sites - what I should be doing is creating price comparison websites instead. Yes could be another word for the same thing but I don't think it is really.

Now social media! Hmm there's a black spot for me. I've attempted this a few times and failed to get any interest. I'm not doing it right and that need to change. I need to master this and get it right. I do have an idea but need many more to finally master this.

In the new 'more details page' that I am going to create for each product there will be an option to find out more or ask a question via a Facebook and Twitter page. Not much but maybe a start in the right direction. Not really sure until I try it but an idea all the same. I do know I need more ideas for social interaction and will need to think long and hard about it. The trouble I have always found is I'm selling other peoples products. This sites I make are intended for you to visit once and make a sale - no need to come back.

Another idea I have had is to finally add a blog to the site but more importantly a forum as well. The idea behind this is to let other people add relevant information to the site and be constantly updated by other people - surely this would be good for SEO and with minimal effort as long as I can get on top of the spam which would come with it. Also I should really start to write on other related forums to try and get a few of their visitors to my sites.

One of my biggest regrets looking back is the fact that from the visitors I have had on these sites is not giving them exactly what they want. If I had just concentrated a bit more on user experience instead of SEO I think I could have doubled the sales that have been made. So much lost money! That has to change.

I now have to make the most of the visitors that I do get. In fact one of my sites got rejected from Google Adwords because the homepage linked direct to the offers and as it existed for the 'sole purpose of making money' Google rejected it. They won't let you advertise a page that links directly out to another site. Bit weird because they are quite happy for you to put Adsense in which does exactly the same.

Anyway my main goal now is to completely forget SEO and look to see what the rest of the sites that are still ranking are doing. Not following their linking strategies but what they are doing onsite and replicate the good stuff. If I can get my sites approved for Adwords then I know I will be heading in the right direction to start with.

Sorry for such a long and boring post but I hope I does give people a few ideas as what to do for themselves or a least to think about what they could do. I'm fed up of chasing Google to earn some free advertising because in truth the time spend could be invested elsewhere. The way I see it I'm actually losing money by putting my efforts into trying to beat Google - No more. If my sites become good enough to convert a lot better then in truth I won't need it.
#gonna #google #google penalty #panda #penguin #slapped #update
  • Profile picture of the author Carl Brown
    Good post. Thanks. That's where Google is pushing everyone. There is a place for onsite and offsite seo, but at some point we have to focus on competing, quality-wise with the sites occupying the top spots as far as user experience.

    I now have to make the most of the visitors that I do get. In fact one of my sites got rejected from Google Adwords because the homepage linked direct to the offers and as it existed for the 'sole purpose of making money' Google rejected it. They won't let you advertise a page that links directly out to another site. Bit weird because they are quite happy for you to put Adsense in which does exactly the same.

    Anyway my main goal now is to completely forget SEO and look to see what the rest of the sites that are still ranking are doing. Not following their linking strategies but what they are doing onsite and replicate the good stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author Geekgirl01
    Really good post! And its good to see you can pick yourself up and carry on and learn from it. Thats what life is all about right?

    This could have been a blessing in disguise for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
      but at some point we have to focus on competing, quality-wise with the sites occupying the top spots as far as user experience.
      I've been too concerened to try and get rich quick so to speak. I must admit I have been able to live of the income it has bought in for the pasr few years but in all honestly this is a very bad long term plan. Maybe if I had thought about quality first then I would be one of the ones not looking over my shoulder every time Google decides to change things.

      This could have been a blessing in disguise for you.
      That's how I'm looking at it. Had to do a total re-think and if things could be different then I would have gone for quality first. Yes maybe it would have taken longer to make some money but I'd like to think that if I had done it that way then I would be one of those that would be thinking 'I'm so glad it wasn't me' at this moment in time. Either way I can't wait to get into work in the morning to start to put things right. SEO is the last thing on my mind at the moment.
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      • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
        I've decided to turn this into an experiment and record my progress (or most likely not). I'll report of things like bounce rates and time spent on site as well as if there are any serp improvements. Basically I'm gonna try and turn my crap site into something of much better quality and try to give Google what it wants. So here goes...

        Ok. So my quest to improve quality has begun. No it won't affect my search engine positions because it's just an image change. I'm not very good with Photoshop but hey it's got to be an improvement on the one I had.

        Here's the old logo.



        And Here's the New one.



        I'm thinking it may be a good idea to remove my signature link at the bottom whilst I do this simply because if any of you visit the site to have a look then you wouldn't really be targeted visitors. This could have a more negative effect simply because the bounce rate would increase and the time spent on the site would decrease.
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        • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
          I just wanted to put an update on here. I know no one is follinging but just for my own purposes really. Anyway it's been 2 weeks since I stopped the SEO and decided to clean up my website. I have been tempeted to start the SEO again but thankfully changed my mind.

          So what have I done in the last 2 weeks? Well I redesigned the logo yet again (I know I'm really sad) and will probably mess about with it some more. I also added a scrolling bar accross the pages with some of the offers on it. This may actually harm the site as people on mobile devices may not click on the links.

          Last week I got rid of 90% of the redirect pages and changed the to new pages with gives the visitor a bit more info about the product and the company selling which provides the product. The difference is that the visitor not has the choice to go on to the product or stay on the site.

          One thing I noticed was that over the passed week my bounce rate has dropped by about 10% which I'm really happy with. Another good thing is that the average time the visitors stay on the site has doubled - Again Good.

          Just by doing this has lead to the site genterating the same amount of sales from 50 visitors a day than it did from 500 visitors a day. so as far as a Google penalty on this site - I now doesn't make any difference!

          Also this week I have totally redesigned the link structure of the site. Before the link stucture was meant that virually everything linked from the homepage. Ok so it still does in a way but I have change it to a silo type structure so everthing is no catergorized. I've 301'd the old links to the new links but Google has yet to index them but I'm sure they will over the next few days.

          I have also started to remove all Adsense ads and will do so by the end of tomorrow. I have replaced a few of them with affiliate links but with a maximum of 2 per page.

          Over the next week I plan to add a forum and blog to the silo structure and add loads of content. I also plan to add more content to the main pages because at the moment most of the consist of different categories of the same products and not much else.

          I'm hoping to soon be able to start generating some more traffic from related forum posts on other sites which I hope will stop the need for Google traffic and generate a few more sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author cooler1
    In your sig you mentioned bounce rate. I thought that bounce rate is only an issue if the visitors come from Google and not other sites or direct visitors typing the url in their address bar.
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    • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
      Originally Posted by cooler1 View Post

      In your sig you mentioned bounce rate. I thought that bounce rate is only an issue if the visitors come from Google and not other sites or direct visitors typing the url in their address bar.
      As far as I'm aware Google records the bounce rate of every source of traffic apart from direct traffic. You can find it in your analytics. I suppose direct traffic is different as the visitor knows about the site and comes direct.
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      • Profile picture of the author justme007
        Originally Posted by darrenlc View Post

        As far as I'm aware Google records the bounce rate of every source of traffic apart from direct traffic. You can find it in your analytics.
        I'm curious how Google will know about your direct traffic if it's not coming from their search engine....unless you're using G's analytics code on your site?

        I used to use G analytics, but changed it to an open-source analytics package that's hosted on my own domain. I think G gets too much of an insight into your business-plan, customer demographics, and traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author freeadstime
    We like what you have put in your signature. Was wondering if you can share your URL or PM it to us. We sure won't bounce.
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    • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
      To be honest there no greatness to be found but here it is;

      http: Best Sim Only Deals - Find The UK's Cheapest Sim Only Contracts

      I can always edit this post after and remove it. By the way Warrior autmatically parses the link to the page title - not me!
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      • Profile picture of the author DNAWRealm
        Banned
        Originally Posted by darrenlc View Post

        To be honest there no greatness to be found but here it is;

        http: Best Sim Only Deals - Find The UK's Cheapest Sim Only Contracts

        I can always edit this post after and remove it. By the way Warrior autmatically parses the link to the page title - not me!
        Right,
        As a user, I look at your site and it seems unprofessional and "scammish". This is not a personal attack, don't take it that way.

        I'm from the UK. When I want a sim-only or mobile phone contract, I look for companies which boast professionalism. Companies likes Phones4u and Carphone Warehouse.

        Making a professional site like there's can go a long way in increasing sales. If I stumbled across your site looking for a sim-only deal, I would close the page and go elsewhere.

        If you redesigned it to look professional, in the same manner as the big corporations, I'm sure you would notice higher conversions.
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        • Profile picture of the author Carl Brown
          I'm from the UK. When I want a sim-only or mobile phone contract, I look for companies which boast professionalism. Companies likes Phones4u and Carphone Warehouse.

          Making a professional site like there's can go a long way in increasing sales. If I stumbled across your site looking for a sim-only deal, I would close the page and go elsewhere.
          I checked out the other two companies you mentioned. I really don't see a difference. His site is a little a "busy" but doesn't come across as spammy to me. I wonder how others see the site.
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        • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
          Right,
          As a user, I look at your site and it seems unprofessional and "scammish". This is not a personal attack, don't take it that way.

          I'm from the UK. When I want a sim-only or mobile phone contract, I look for companies which boast professionalism. Companies likes Phones4u and Carphone Warehouse.

          Making a professional site like there's can go a long way in increasing sales. If I stumbled across your site looking for a sim-only deal, I would close the page and go elsewhere.

          If you redesigned it to look professional, in the same manner as the big corporations, I'm sure you would notice higher conversions.
          First of all no offence taken even with "scammish". As I said my main aim is to improve the quality of the site and this is going to be an on going process and something that certainly isn't going to happen over night. Yes I will try some things and they will make the site look worse but I'll keep going on until I get it right.

          As for Phones4U and Carphone Warehouse I'll never be able to compete with that. They are big national company's that employ 1000's of staff. They also have big marketing and SEO budgets whereas I'm a one man show. Technically they are to an extent affiliates promoting other brands though.

          The site has slightly improved over the last few weeks but the job of competing with those company's is way out of reach no matter how hard may try. When you look at other affiliate sites which is really what I should be aiming to compete against then this is do able.

          One difference with a brand and an affiliate site is with a brands budget they can rank with not much more than their deals on the page whereas I have to think about writing above the fold crap so that it has some content for the search engine to index. Brands don't need to worry about this as they have the resouces to work round it.

          I wish I could be good at everything from web design, database creation, SEO, marketing, logo and image design etc but I know the basics and work on that. I hope I don't cause any offence in return but you are proming 'Fiver Gigs' where's the quality in that?
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          • Profile picture of the author DNAWRealm
            Banned
            Originally Posted by darrenlc View Post

            First of all no offence taken even with "scammish". As I said my main aim is to improve the quality of the site and this is going to be an on going process and something that certainly isn't going to happen over night. Yes I will try some things and they will make the site look worse but I'll keep going on until I get it right.

            As for Phones4U and Carphone Warehouse I'll never be able to compete with that. They are big national company's that employ 1000's of staff. They also have big marketing and SEO budgets whereas I'm a one man show. Technically they are to an extent affiliates promoting other brands though.

            The site has slightly improved over the last few weeks but the job of competing with those company's is way out of reach no matter how hard may try. When you look at other affiliate sites which is really what I should be aiming to compete against then this is do able.

            One difference with a brand and an affiliate site is with a brands budget they can rank with not much more than their deals on the page whereas I have to think about writing above the fold crap so that it has some content for the search engine to index. Brands don't need to worry about this as they have the resouces to work round it.

            I wish I could be good at everything from web design, database creation, SEO, marketing, logo and image design etc but I know the basics and work on that. I hope I don't cause any offence in return but you are proming 'Fiver Gigs' where's the quality in that?
            No offence taken. I'm actually a freelance writer and outsource a lot of my work to other teams - so a lot of it is self-profit through outsourcing. 100% feedback on Fiverr speaks for itself though, the quality is there and all my clients are happy.

            I was giving you my honest advice. Yeah, the problem is big organisations have maintained a reputable branding. Perhaps creating your OWN brand and marketing that might be beneficial? Picking a name like "Zimbid" or something and marketing the products around that brand?

            Creating a UK brand is actually really easy. Facebook page & Twitter. Run a competition every month. People will soon start to recognise your brand as a leading competitor in mobile phone sim card comparisons.
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            • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
              Originally Posted by DNAWRealm View Post

              No offence taken. I'm actually a freelance writer and outsource a lot of my work to other teams - so a lot of it is self-profit through outsourcing. 100% feedback on Fiverr speaks for itself though, the quality is there and all my clients are happy.

              I was giving you my honest advice. Yeah, the problem is big organisations have maintained a reputable branding. Perhaps creating your OWN brand and marketing that might be beneficial? Picking a name like "Zimbid" or something and marketing the products around that brand?

              Creating a UK brand is actually really easy. Facebook page & Twitter. Run a competition every month. People will soon start to recognise your brand as a leading competitor in mobile phone sim card comparisons.
              Who am I to judge if your making a profit off fiver? Anyway you may be right about the brand. I do have a domain that has been sitting quiet for a few years and may use that instead. It's not really relevant to the site but the name is short and maybe a bit catchy. If you think my sim site is bad you should see this one. I created years ago when I was at college learning web design (low 2 go . co .uk) Now you can really have a laugh
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              • Profile picture of the author DNAWRealm
                Banned
                Originally Posted by darrenlc View Post

                Who am I to judge if your making a profit off fiver? Anyway you may be right about the brand. I do have a domain that has been sitting quiet for a few years and may use that instead. It's not really relevant to the site but the name is short and maybe a bit catchy. If you think my sim site is bad you should see this one. I created years ago when I was at college learning web design (low 2 go . co .uk) Now you can really have a laugh
                Personally, I'd trust your site ALOT more if it was branded. EMD domains just look like there's a webmaster behind it looking to make quick cash. Brandable businesses seem more professional, and as if they care about their client base.

                I'd check expired domains and see if you can pick up a domain like "zimbid.com". Something simple, with no meaning that's brandable and memorable.
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                • Profile picture of the author justme007
                  Originally Posted by DNAWRealm View Post

                  I'd check expired domains and see if you can pick up a domain like "zimbid.com". Something simple, with no meaning that's brandable and memorable.
                  Couldn't agree with you more. That's what I've done with several of my sites, creating unique names that when searched for ...only result in properties or references to the particular domain....Branding.
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                  • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
                    Originally Posted by justme007 View Post

                    I'm curious how Google will know about your direct traffic if it's not coming from their search engine....unless you're using G's analytics code on your site?

                    I used to use G analytics, but changed it to an open-source analytics package that's hosted on my own domain. I think G gets too much of an insight into your business-plan, customer demographics, and traffic.
                    I'm afraid I'm guilty of using G analytics.

                    Originally Posted by justme007 View Post

                    Couldn't agree with you more. That's what I've done with several of my sites, creating unique names that when searched for ...only result in properties or references to the particular domain....Branding.
                    I think I'm gonna go down that path. Had a look at it before but never got anywhere with it though.
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        • Profile picture of the author LogoDesignExpert
          Originally Posted by DNAWRealm View Post

          Right,
          As a user, I look at your site and it seems unprofessional and "scammish". This is not a personal attack, don't take it that way.

          I'm from the UK. When I want a sim-only or mobile phone contract, I look for companies which boast professionalism. Companies likes Phones4u and Carphone Warehouse.

          Making a professional site like there's can go a long way in increasing sales. If I stumbled across your site looking for a sim-only deal, I would close the page and go elsewhere.

          If you redesigned it to look professional, in the same manner as the big corporations, I'm sure you would notice higher conversions.
          I agree with your statement.

          @darrenlc - the sites of your competitors are pretty web 2.0 in look and feel ( design wise) where as your site looks outdated - no offence please (take this as a advice from a professional designer).

          I would suggest -

          Change the banner area and the logo -

          Change the entire color scheme of the site to more web 2.0 colors

          some color suggestions - dark red - gradients - dark blue ( navy blue gradients) - light blue (azure blue gradients) and Lime Green - set any of these colors as your sites new color scheme - remember the colors should have a soft and glossy feel.

          use boxes with rounded corners - square rectangle text boxes are outdated in design industry where the web is fast moving to web 3.0.


          PS - my site ranking too dipped from page 2 to page 20 on jan 17.

          Thanks
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          • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
            Originally Posted by LogoDesignExpert View Post

            I agree with your statement.

            @darrenlc - the sites of your competitors are pretty web 2.0 in look and feel ( design wise) where as your site looks outdated - no offence please (take this as a advice from a professional designer).

            I would suggest -

            Change the banner area and the logo -

            Change the entire color scheme of the site to more web 2.0 colors

            some color suggestions - dark red - gradients - dark blue ( navy blue gradients) - light blue (azure blue gradients) and Lime Green - set any of these colors as your sites new color scheme - remember the colors should have a soft and glossy feel.

            use boxes with rounded corners - square rectangle text boxes are outdated in design industry where the web is fast moving to web 3.0.


            PS - my site ranking too dipped from page 2 to page 20 on jan 17.

            Thanks
            Thanks for the advice and I will take it in. Unfortunately unlike you I am not a professional web designer and have to make do with the limited skills I have.

            As for the top banner I think the logo is probably the best I have been able to come up with so far and will stay till I come up with something a bit better. I think the top links bring something different to the site. They are niche related and fun. Maybe I don't want to follow the crowd and be the same as everyone else?

            The side links definately do need improving though! I would get rid of them totally and create a php search option if I could! But they do have their benefits because I can add content to the pages to target other keyword phrases. For example the last 21,000 organic visitors came from over 5000 different keyword phrases.

            The look of the site is an ongoing thing and to be honest if you think it looks bad now then you should have seen it a few months ago. I will continually try to improve the site but whilst doing that it takes time away from adding content.

            You are right about the design looking a bit outdated. To be honest I think if I was to just remove the border around the main content that itself would take away a bit of the old look that it has.

            Over the last few days I have changes the deal information (not the top ones but the bottom ones which I feel have improved the look too. Although there may be too much colour going on it helps the identify and seperate the different networks.

            As for the homepage itself the bounce rate has improved drastically it's just when traffic lands on some of the inner pages the bounce rate suffers a bit more.

            Anyway thanks again for the advise. As I say it's an ongoing thing and am making improvements (or not) as I go.
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            • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
              I for got to mention that I would like to remove the text at the top of the page and bring the deals up a bit closer to the top. The only thing is I worry about having a bit of keyword friendly text 'above the fold' so to speak. I would probalby get rid of those horrible quick deals that I have then.
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            • Profile picture of the author LogoDesignExpert
              Originally Posted by darrenlc View Post

              Thanks for the advice and I will take it in. Unfortunately unlike you I am not a professional web designer and have to make do with the limited skills I have.

              As for the top banner I think the logo is probably the best I have been able to come up with so far and will stay till I come up with something a bit better. I think the top links bring something different to the site. They are niche related and fun. Maybe I don't want to follow the crowd and be the same as everyone else?

              The side links definately do need improving though! I would get rid of them totally and create a php search option if I could! But they do have their benefits because I can add content to the pages to target other keyword phrases. For example the last 21,000 organic visitors came from over 5000 different keyword phrases.

              The look of the site is an ongoing thing and to be honest if you think it looks bad now then you should have seen it a few months ago. I will continually try to improve the site but whilst doing that it takes time away from adding content.

              You are right about the design looking a bit outdated. To be honest I think if I was to just remove the border around the main content that itself would take away a bit of the old look that it has.

              Over the last few days I have changes the deal information (not the top ones but the bottom ones which I feel have improved the look too. Although there may be too much colour going on it helps the identify and seperate the different networks.

              As for the homepage itself the bounce rate has improved drastically it's just when traffic lands on some of the inner pages the bounce rate suffers a bit more.

              Anyway thanks again for the advise. As I say it's an ongoing thing and am making improvements (or not) as I go.
              You are welcome Bro ! one last advice whenever you apply drop-shadow effect please decrease the opacity of the shadow keep it light and grayish as much as you can that effect will look nice than drop shadow effect with a dark opacity say -75% or 100%. Best of Luck.
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              • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
                Originally Posted by LogoDesignExpert View Post

                You are welcome Bro ! one last advice whenever you apply drop-shadow effect please decrease the opacity of the shadow keep it light and grayish as much as you can that effect will look nice than drop shadow effect with a dark opacity say -75% or 100%. Best of Luck.
                Thanks again. I've also just had a look at some of the competitor sites and I see what you mean about the curves. They look really good. I think I know what I'm gonna be doing this week.
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          • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
            Originally Posted by LogoDesignExpert View Post

            I agree with your statement.

            @darrenlc - the sites of your competitors are pretty web 2.0 in look and feel ( design wise) where as your site looks outdated - no offence please (take this as a advice from a professional designer).

            I would suggest -

            Change the banner area and the logo -

            Change the entire color scheme of the site to more web 2.0 colors

            some color suggestions - dark red - gradients - dark blue ( navy blue gradients) - light blue (azure blue gradients) and Lime Green - set any of these colors as your sites new color scheme - remember the colors should have a soft and glossy feel.

            use boxes with rounded corners - square rectangle text boxes are outdated in design industry where the web is fast moving to web 3.0.


            PS - my site ranking too dipped from page 2 to page 20 on jan 17.

            Thanks
            Hey LogoDesignExpert. I'm about half way through the re-design on the site. Any thoughts on how it looks would be greatfully recieved.
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            • Profile picture of the author gmac222
              Hi Darren

              Thanks for posting this, your story is remarkably similar to my own except I've never pushed my IM far enough to give up work yet but I'm working on it

              In fact like yourself I've now decided to stick to completely Google friendly site building. I had 25 sites at one point, all crap, all banned/slapped and I've had enough and they had to go. I'm now focusing upon just 1 site and so far so good.

              I've done IM for about 4 years now and I've got a mate who is now doing it full time, no blagging - he's not rich but he's making £3000 a month and he's doing it full time. The thing is he did it with 1 site, about Liverpool FC because this is his passion. I'm not into my footy but I've been inspired so to do something based around my own passion rather than just create thin affiliate bridging sites.

              How are you getting on with your own ventures now? Has your site recovered etc?
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              Liverpool based SEO provider since 2010
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  • Profile picture of the author galmiar
    Wow really interesting post, thank you so much for sharing your experience!

    I'm pretty much in the same boat. All my income was slashed after the penguin update and so i turned my attention to some other emds sites i had sitting around. It was starting to look positive until Google did the emd update. ALL my sites were left whipped out

    I'm currently thinking on a way to salvage and start again. I was origianlly thinking of transferring all my content from my emds sites (which are in the same niche) and make one new big 'Brand' site.

    I was toying with the idea of doing individual page 301 redirects and hope that some of the authrority and the backlinks the old sites had would help the new one on its way. However i am very concerned that any penalties would pass through - Do you think this will happen?

    So now i'm still thinking of combining the sites and transferring the content after th old sites are de-indexd, bassically cutting my losses from the previous domaims link juice but at the same time salvaging the content. - what do you think about this idea?

    kind regards
    Sophie
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    • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
      Thanks Sophie I'm really glad you enjoyed the thread even though it does not offer any real anwsers to so many peoples problems at the moment. I myself have tried the 301 path on a new domain and it does seem to work for a very short period in time but the penalties seem to get passed on eventually. I have noticed a few posts that state if the site has been de-indexed then you stand a much better chance but that is other peoples words not mine.

      I'm now toying with the idea again for a brand domain but my problem is this - What will happen in the next update and who will be targeted then? It seems to me that these penalties keep following the same type of sites around so I'm not sure if that would be the answer.

      Google seems to help you make you money then take it away. I think from now on I'm gonna think about ways to make money without Google. If Google helps me then great but I keep relying on them. They keep getting my hopes up and then letting me down. I'm tired of chasing them only to find out that once you think you there again it's all gone overnight.

      Think about the time you spend trying to please them and how you could use this time in other ways to generate traffic. If you look at this thread for example over 400 people have read it so far. That could be 400 potential visitors to my site but in all honesty I wouldn't want that because it's not targetted trafic and I wouldn't benefit from it.

      Just imagine if you found the right forums where people are asking questions about your niche. Now you would have at least a little knowledge about it otherwise you wouldn't be promoting it. I would say use your knowledge and give them a reason to go accross and have a look at your site. Just imagine the traffic you could get from creating a few threads a day or commenting on other peoples threads.

      I say all this but in truth I have still to find the time to do it myself. If I hadn't spent so much time chasing Google then who knows? I you want my advise I would say become an expert in your field and let the world know that you are. that's what I plan to do once I get the time to do so.
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
        Banned
        Originally Posted by darrenlc View Post

        Think about the time you spend trying to please them and how you could use this time in other ways to generate traffic. If you look at this thread for example over 400 people have read it so far. That could be 400 potential visitors to my site but in all honesty I wouldn't want that because it's not targetted trafic and I wouldn't benefit from it.

        Just imagine if you found the right forums where people are asking questions about your niche. Now you would have at least a little knowledge about it otherwise you wouldn't be promoting it. I would say use your knowledge and give them a reason to go accross and have a look at your site. Just imagine the traffic you could get from creating a few threads a day or commenting on other peoples threads.

        This thread might help with monetizing niche forum traffic.

        BTW, that 400 thread views is targeted traffic, your just not selling your recovery plan. People are clicking your forum thread title because their interested in what your recovery plan is. If you carry the same concept over to any niche forum, you'll get the views, you just have to match a solution/product to other peoples problems/needs.
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        • Profile picture of the author Carl Brown
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          This thread might help with monetizing niche forum traffic.

          BTW, that 400 thread views is targeted traffic, your just not selling your recovery plan. People are clicking your forum thread title because their interested in what your recovery plan is. If you carry the same concept over to any niche forum, you'll get the views, you just have to match a solution/product to other peoples problems/needs.
          Good stuff. So many wasted opportunities we let slip buy. No wonder my moneymaking efforts are so hit or miss (mostly miss )
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  • Profile picture of the author galmiar
    Super great advice! You are so right. I think i will stick to what i know a little so i'm not totally out of my comfort zone but i will deff think of other ways to get traffic like you suggest. We give Google too much power trying to please them, when in all honesty it is the little people that make them so big as we generate all the helpful content. Its such a slap in the face when they hit our best efforts. I understand why they are so harsh but it seems they are constantly moving the goal posts. They used to love emds, now they hate them. Owell.

    Good luck with your sites!
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    • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      This thread might help with monetizing niche forum traffic.

      BTW, that 400 thread views is targeted traffic, your just not selling your recovery plan. People are clicking your forum thread title because their interested in what your recovery plan is. If you carry the same concept over to any niche forum, you'll get the views, you just have to match a solution/product to other peoples problems/needs.
      I came across this thread a few days ago and yes it gave me quite a lot to think about. My problem would be what exactly could I offer that the suppliers don't? That's something I'll have to think hard about because it's a sim card I'm trying to promote. Like you said about the iPhone you could offer wallpaper and similar things but with a sim card the only thing I could think of at the moment is more info that perhaps would be hard to find on the suppliers pages. That may be a bit boring! I'll have to think about that one.

      Thinking about what you just said you may be right. You never know I may make a sale from one of the members here. Providing an answer to a question on a forum sound like a much better way to go than to just come out and say "hey here's my site come and get a deal!" so to speak.

      Originally Posted by galmiar View Post

      Super great advice! You are so right. I think i will stick to what i know a little so i'm not totally out of my comfort zone but i will deff think of other ways to get traffic like you suggest. We give Google too much power trying to please them, when in all honesty it is the little people that make them so big as we generate all the helpful content. Its such a slap in the face when they hit our best efforts. I understand why they are so harsh but it seems they are constantly moving the goal posts. They used to love emds, now they hate them. Owell.

      Good luck with your sites!
      It is the little people that provide Google with the info that people want to read. I don't think they will ever change until it starts to hit them in the pocket. Good luck with your site too.
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  • Profile picture of the author fmac
    Makes good sense for sure. I like the idea
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  • Profile picture of the author awj888
    your sites might benefit from ppv traffic, you can set up some landing pages which will trigger on various phone sites, and sim card sites - to snag a bit of traffic - i agree with those who say making a brand is benefitial!
    It would allow you to develop a brand under the image of a proper company, and steer away from being an individual - nothing is stopping you from competing on an SEO level with big companies - before building my own team I was outranking multi-million companies on competetive SEO terms, with very little budget , so its possible- you just need a great strategy -

    looking at your sim site, i think you have the right structure, though the quality of the graphics and user interface seems a bit too home-made - if you were able to get something going a bit more pixel perfect then smooth edges will prove for smooth sailing with traffic.

    theres is nothing wrong with using google analytics - its got great features,, and so long as you are not trying to make blackhat you will be fine. - they way your site works seems great, and you would be fine in terms of a review

    just a thought - its a bit gloomy, too many dark colours - you might get a totally different conversion rate if you brighten it up - change the black border for a while one


    if you want to discuss some SEO options feel free to PM, or contact on the signiture site

    Cheers!

    UK business!! woop
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    :: AWJ of Thinking Creativity :: My wifey is a photographer, check out her work @ OLEXIE ::

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    • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
      Originally Posted by awj888 View Post

      i agree with those who say making a brand is benefitial!
      It would allow you to develop a brand under the image of a proper company, and steer away from being an individual - nothing is stopping you from competing on an SEO level with big companies - before building my own team I was outranking multi-million companies on competetive SEO terms, with very little budget , so its possible- you just need a great strategy -

      looking at your sim site, i think you have the right structure, though the quality of the graphics and user interface seems a bit too home-made - if you were able to get something going a bit more pixel perfect then smooth edges will prove for smooth sailing with traffic.

      theres is nothing wrong with using google analytics - its got great features,, and so long as you are not trying to make blackhat you will be fine. - they way your site works seems great, and you would be fine in terms of a review

      just a thought - its a bit gloomy, too many dark colours - you might get a totally different conversion rate if you brighten it up - change the black border for a while one


      if you want to discuss some SEO options feel free to PM, or contact on the signiture site

      Cheers!

      UK business!! woop
      Thanks for the advice. I've been looking today at trying to find an aged domain that I could perhaps use as a brand but to be honest I'm completely lost and very nearly just bought a new domain name.

      I know what you mean about the images. I have replaced a few over the last week like the sim card images. The problem I had was, although the imaged were not great, I compressed them to help speed up load times on the site. I've give up that idea for now because it makes bad images even worse.

      As for the user interface you are right and it was homemade so to speak. I know there are lots of free scripts that I could use to improve the look of this and will go into that over the next few days. As for the black border that's gone. It was only up for a day anyway whilst I was testing colour different colours.

      Anyway again thanks for the advice and I will be putting it to some good use.
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  • Profile picture of the author JeremiahSay
    Great post, you surely deserve a "wf-thank" for that. Thanks for sharing with us your experience.. one thing I really gained a lot from this thread is that I shouldn't worry about SEO and focus more on user experience. I'm really grateful that you took so much time and effort to write this thread, I was just about to start a website solely for SEO purpose.

    And I think you got that wrong: It's not a long and boring post; it's a long and educating post.

    Cheers,
    Jeremiah

    P.S. You have a damn honest and reliable SEO guy
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    • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
      It's been a while since I posted an update so I thought it would be a good time. The website recovered about a month ago. I took a few peoples advice and changed from an EMD to a brand name. I'm not really that good at finding old aged old domains so I just registered a brand new one.

      I am in constant fear that the domain is getting the 'new domain benefit' and will disapear at any time soon. I was lucky that I changed over the domain before the latest page rank update and was lucky enough to get a PR4.

      In the last week I have added a forum to it but it's early days and will be spending the next few weeks playing about with it and adding loads of threads to it. Your all quite welcome to add a few links in the forum (within reason) to help me get it going. I bought a nice template for the forum and have had to change the style of the website to blend in with it.

      I have also added a blog but the template for that is horrible and will need to look at it again. What I plan to do for the next few weeks is to add more content to the blog and forum.

      As for SEO I have stayed pretty clear of link building for now. I do have an SEO guy that does some stuff for me but I told him about the domain change a bit too late. What happened was he built links with keywords to my old domain and the new domain got domain name only links. I'm quite happy about that to be honest cause I'm really scared to put keyword rich links to the domain at the moment.

      My main plan was to start getting traffic from other sources so I don't need to rely on the big G but so far have not got that far yet. Although this is my plan I'm a bit scared that this will lead me to building too many links too soon and may raise a flag. Sort of damned if I do damned if I don't.

      I've also added one of those little photo's to via my Google plus acount. Trouble is it's a really bad photo and looks a bit silly. Anyway now I've posted this I will probably disapear within 24 hours cause that usually seems to happen. Anyway there's my update and I hope it helps anyone in the same position.
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      • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
        My SEO guy has just read the last post and got in touch with me. He's refunded me for last months package as he feels that it may of been his fault. I think maybe it was mine for giving him my notice of change a bit late. Anyway I thought it only fair to drop a link to his page here on the forum.

        Professional Monthly SEO service for only $99,- with FREE $369,- costing PRweb Press Release

        Thanks Nico
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        • Profile picture of the author DeadPixel
          sounds like you were hit by Panda and recovered by fixing your content issues. I'm surprised you were not hit by Penguin too as a result of the black hat link building. I had a look at yib yab links and it seems that you have some other SIM site that 301 redirects to it. This site backlinks are all comment spam. did this site get penalized by penguin? How come the penguin penalty did not transfer to Yib yab? I have read that, as you mentioned, 301 redirects work temporarily but ultimately they transfer damaging both old and new domains. what is your experience with regard to this?
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          • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
            Originally Posted by DeadPixel View Post

            sounds like you were hit by Panda and recovered by fixing your content issues. I'm surprised you were not hit by Penguin too as a result of the black hat link building. I had a look at yib yab links and it seems that you have some other SIM site that 301 redirects to it. This site backlinks are all comment spam. did this site get penalized by penguin? How come the penguin penalty did not transfer to Yib yab? I have read that, as you mentioned, 301 redirects work temporarily but ultimately they transfer damaging both old and new domains. what is your experience with regard to this?
            You are right. It was on another domain before it got hit with the September update. The old domain did have a lot of crappy backlinks on it and I did 301 it. As for the past 3 months the site has been ranking pretty well but with the update a few days ago I don't think it looks good.

            As for SEO I have been leaving it to someone else as I would probably do more harm than good. The new links I get aren't the usual spun and spammy links that I would have done in the past.

            I've noticed the site has sunk a few positions a day over the past 3 days so I think it's going to be gone very soon again past experience is to go by. Shame really because I've been working to try and make it look a bit better and am just in the middle of an update.

            I have done a few changes to the site such as added a blog, forum, silo structure etc but to be honest it still needs lots of work especially adding more content. Trouble is theres always the problem of over on page optimisation so you just never know what to do these days.

            I think if it does go I'm just going to give up and have to look for a job instead. It's been getting harder for me to make money online with the updates and the networks cutting commisions all the time.
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            • Profile picture of the author DeadPixel
              Originally Posted by darrenlc View Post

              You are right. It was on another domain before it got hit with the September update. The old domain did have a lot of crappy backlinks on it and I did 301 it. As for the past 3 months the site has been ranking pretty well but with the update a few days ago I don't think it looks good.

              As for SEO I have been leaving it to someone else as I would probably do more harm than good. The new links I get aren't the usual spun and spammy links that I would have done in the past.

              I've noticed the site has sunk a few positions a day over the past 3 days so I think it's going to be gone very soon again past experience is to go by. Shame really because I've been working to try and make it look a bit better and am just in the middle of an update.

              I have done a few changes to the site such as added a blog, forum, silo structure etc but to be honest it still needs lots of work especially adding more content. Trouble is theres always the problem of over on page optimisation so you just never know what to do these days.

              I think if it does go I'm just going to give up and have to look for a job instead. It's been getting harder for me to make money online with the updates and the networks cutting commisions all the time.
              I'm dealing with similar SEO troubles and have been studing these algo updates very hard. I am pretty confident that I know what has happened in your case. Your actually very lucky because your site is not over optimised, nor has it been penalised by big G for either Panda or Penguin.
              You lost rankings because some of your inbound links come from web pages that got penalised. When Panda penalises web-pages that link to your site, they stop passing link juice. Panda hit again on 22nd of Jan. it devalued more of your links, hence the drop in your rankings. You just need more links! But don't we all!
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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    Wonderful thread! When you product valuable content consistently, your success is virtually guaranteed. When? How Much? I can't answer that, but when you try to do link and social building and think that will make you successful quickly, you are gambling in a place where the house wins 99.9% of the time.
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    It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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  • Good info thanks man
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  • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
    I'll be perfectly honest but I got offered a job about six months ago and the site has suffered a bit in the meantime. I was competing with some very big brands and with Google updates decided it was better to try something else.

    It has opened my eyes though because the company I'm building sites for and SEOing work in an industry where some jobs that come in can be as big as £1,000,000 and with 28% commission they are making a killing. Hopefully I'll get back on track with my own stuff soon as I hate using my skills to make other people money.
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