My latest tweet: @ how did u know I was in town?

September 8th, 2011RandomAdem 4 Comments

My AdSense earnings for the beginning of the month were great, for the first few days they were amazing, but then something happened and they dropped down to only a couple of quid a day. What happened? The answer is that niche site P which had been ranking at #1 in Google for my main keyword had dropped down the search rankings in amazing fashion and was now languishing around the 7th page on Google which as you know is nowhere. To say I was disappointed is understating it as I?ve been happy to have been able to increase my earnings month on month but what started out as a month with great potential is now one where I will take a big drop in my passive earnings.

In my previous Income Report I wrote

The way I look at it is that I’ve earned over £1000 from my sites in less than 4 months and if I didn?t earn anymore then it was great fun whilst it lasted.

and it looks like that?s what going to happen for the moment. I?m still earning a little but nothing like before.

Why have I dropped in the Google rankings?

I?m only 4 months into my passive income journey and it?s all a learning curve but I believe I have been penalised due to my backlinking strategy which mostly revolved around using comments on blogs to get a variety of links back to the site. Some people won?t agree with this and will say it?s a bit shady but I will placate them slightly by saying that it wasn?t automated and involved me reading the blogs and leaving unique and relevant comments with my name linking to my niche site. I?ve now learnt that this is not the best way to go about things, but as I said I?m learning and am happy I?ve made these mistakes whilst my sites are still young.

I also focused primarily on one set of keywords and yet again this was a mistake. The Google algorithm is an intelligent thing and things like this stick out like a sore thumb and there is nothing ?organic? about it. It looks like you?re trying to cheat the system and I guess that?s what I was trying to do. All the SEO I?m learning is from what I see others doing and so I?m just as guilty and will now review my backlink strategy to something a little more honest.

SEOSEO myths exposed and honest SEO

I came across an article today from Robert Dempsey called In Defense Of Search Engine Optimization which contained quite a lot of relevant information regarding the situation I find myself in. I?ve followed quite a few of the ?SEO myths? he mentioned and if you?re involved in SEO, especially if it?s your business, then it?s worth a read. Basically he has dismissed the ways I?ve gone about promoting my niche sites and proposes what actually works in SEO.

How SEO should work in theory and how it actually works

If a site is useful then it should naturally attract visitors and all the links will be organic with very little effort needed from the publisher apart from making sure the article is well written and original. I found Robert?s article useful and I?ve linked to it which is the way it should work on the internet but we all know that isn?t the case and there will always be competition to rank high on Google whilst there is money at stake. I am primarily making my niche sites to make money so I want to rank high on Google but I am now reviewing my strategy and will try and be a bit more ethical in my linkbuilding and how I attract traffic to the site. I could just follow the rat race, and do as others are doing, but Google are getting wise to this, and so I?m going to start being more responsible as I want my sites to be ranking for the long haul and not just a flash in the pan waiting to be punished by Google who provide most of my web traffic.

Link-worthy and Share-worthy content

Right from the beginning we?ve been told that ?content is king? and somewhere along the way that switched to ?AdSense is king? so the focus for me is ensuring that the people who are reading my websites and articles want to share them and that my sites have the option to to that simply. At the moment they don?t have a ?share this? button or anything along the lines so that?s the way to go which should hopefully improve my backlinks and spread the word to get more visitors. I?ll also be going through all my content and ensuring it is well written, unique, and that people actually would want to read them rather than them just being filler content for a site to solely provide me with income.

'4 Responses to ?What I?ve learned after getting punished by Google?'
  1. Hi Adem. First off congrats on making some passive income. You?re ahead of the curve there, which means you?ve been working. Great to see. Now let me clear up what I wrote as I hope you didn?t take it the wrong way.

    I?m not calling commenting on blogs *the way you are doing it* shady. If you were using one of these automatic comment submission spinner waste of freaking money things that would be another story. However I and many others have used commenting as a strategy before (for a long time too) and found it of little SEO value. Networking value tons, but not much on the SEO front.

    You may want to consider building a link wheel or two for your site. I?ve had great success with those. To keep the rankings going though you?ll want to be sure to publish content on a continuous basis. I had one of my sites drop from the front page within two weeks of content no longer being published.

    Keep at it and make that money!
    Robert Dempsey´s last [type] ..In Defense Of Search Engine Optimization

  2. Adem says:

    Thanks for the feedback Robert. Because my site was very niche there weren?t many places for networking or even blogs with amazingly relevant content so I guess I was commenting a lot of the time for comments sake.

    I have been looking into linkwheels and will get started on that once I have a little more time but I appreciate your comment on publishing content on a continual basis. I have mostly maxed out the content I can produce for this topic so stopped a few weeks back and perhaps that has affected my rank too. I?m going to see if I can not only produce some new content but also spice up the content I already have published.

    Thanks for the tips and I?ll try and do you proud ;)
    Adem´s last [type] ..August 2011 Income Report

  3. mike says:

    I agree with Robert. If you are leaving relevant, useful comments that are on topic, then I don?t see anything shady about it. The blogging gods put the website field there for a reason, so if you are leaving a legit comment, you might as well put in a website? sure it helps if the website is relevant to the topic or if it is a personal website ? but sprinkling some niche sites here and there never hurts.

    It?s a tough call.. If you make a really really good site, with great content then you might attract some natural backlinks.. But that takes a lot of time and effort.

    I?ve spent hours and hours making some really nice looking niche sites with great content, yet they attract very few visitors and no natural backlinks.. At some point you have to make your efforts worth your while and work on a backlink campaign involving social bookmarking, article marketing, link wheels, etc. It seems like there is so much competition out there, that you almost have to do it all to survive.

  4. MK says:

    Found your site from blog commenting and perhaps others will too so I think that approach may not be in vain after all.

    I have some sites that use adsense but Im seriously thinking affiliate related action is the path to real money not a few $s from google that are totally dependent on keyword rankings.

    MK´s last [type] ..Ode to Napoleon Hill