Ranked on Page 1 of Google! My Dilemma
Some of you may remember my Niche Site Experiment from last summer where I set a challenge to rank on page 1 of Google for a brand new site.
Well I got incredibly bored after 2 months and decided to sell the site. At the time I was on page 3 for the main keyword and traffic was small (50 visits/day). Well right before the transaction was made, Hummingbird launched and I moved to the middle of page 2 on Google for the main phrase. I contacted the seller, which happens to be a friend of mind who does niche sites, and I told him I wanted to hang on to it.
So I added a few more articles around the end of September. I also posted a couple of comments on relevant blogs. I did no link building unless you count commenting on 5-10 blogs. The site continued to do nothing. In fact, I think it dropped from page 2 back down to page 4 for my main keyword. Traffic still about the same.
Well, life got in the way and I sort of regretted my decision to hang onto it. I didn't touch the site from October through now. Didn't even check traffic stats. But I did keep track of where the main phrase was ranked and it still hovered around pages 3 and 4.
Last week I checked the rank and I was position #11. Yesterday I checked and the site is now ranking on page 1 for my main keyword -- position #7! (I called a friend to check to make sure I wasn't seeing personalized results.) Traffic is now about 300 uniques per day. Screenshot below...
Here's the dilemma...
When I started the experiment I never planned to reveal the site because of copycats and sabotage. I was just going to show the traffic graph and snapshots from Google Webmaster Tools for proof.
But then I got to thinking. The flip side of revealing is that it does build your credibility if you are able to rank a site for a fairly competitive term in 2013 and 2014. Plus, I don't want to come across as a phony by not revealing on my blog.
The other downside to revealing is this is this is the first site I've created post 2012 after all the Pandas and Penguins so it would be good to have a "test site" to play with that I could use for comparing, etc.
Plus, the fact that I was able to get on page 1 with very little work in six months shows you how weak the competition is. I'm not just saying this because I am an affiliate, but I have to credit the research I did with Long Tail Pro.
Today, if you want any Google traffic you have to consider WHO is on the first page. So the software's competitive analysis helped me see exactly how tough/week the competition is by evaluating the number of "juice page links" (how strong the links are, etc.) You guys know, I am not a big keyword research person but wanted to do more for this experiment.
Plus there are not a lot of blogs in this niche and not a lot of fresh content. That would explain how I was still able to move up when I hadn't even updated the site in 3 months. I would not normally recommend this today.
Here are more details and as you can see, the site is not associated with my name or Authorship because I didn't want an unfair advantage...
1) My name is NOT on the site
2) I'm NOT using Google Plus so there's no Authorship on the site at all
3) I hosted it on a new hosting account where no other site is hosted
4) I even used a new Google Analytics account
5) No AdSense ads just a couple of affiliate links
6) I believe the site has 25+ pages
7) The only social media I spent much time on was Pinterest
8) According to Google Webmaster Tools the site has 284 backlinks and they are mostly scraper sites. A couple look to be genuine links earned. (This number is down from 500+ earlier)
9) I have a YouTube channel with 8 videos. Only one has worthwhile traffic (Over 1,000 views)
So I'm on the fence as to how to handle this. Should I reveal it on my blog? What would you do if you were in my shoes?
Of course if I reveal, you know what will happen. And honestly, I don't have the passion to keep updating the site and compete with competition that will come if I reveal it. It would be different if I had big plans for how I am going to grow it. But I honestly just wanted to see how hard it would be to rank today. I'm not as passionate as I thought I was when I started the experiment.
What would you do?
If you don't have passion for the site then I think its time to sell. Follow your initial instinct.
I am curious. Do you sell your websites directly, or, use one of those sites out their that claim to help you sell it?
I would lean away from revealing the niche until you define what do you gain versus what you lose?
I think your credibility level will not change as it is already at a high solid value. Income wise, it would depend upon how much you make from the site or the sale of the site versus the monetary value of added traffic and realized value of exposing it.
I can only guess you made some people drool wondering what their next big thing might be and where they may be able to take it.
The bottom line is that you should do something given you time and investment into the site and I expect making that decision will be strenuous then living with it.
Lisa, If I haven't made this one point by now. I will resay it just to be 100% sure. I take everything you say seriously, I try to imitate what you do, and learn from you. The only reason I have re started this whole hobby was because of how exciting you made everything look. After the first few months of now knowing up from down, i realized It IS exciting.
I would personally be honored to see what site is gaining you traffic, I enjoy online experiments. It a science. And It's one you hold a great authority in.
Please, share with me what the site is I just want to know. Also congratulation on your success!
SuperTekBoy, I wouldn't sell it now. I would just monetize it. Since this is not a very competitive niche, it may not take many content updates for it to keep some traffic. I may not be able to stay on page 1 but I am ranking for some good long tail keywords. No point in selling now. If I can just update it with a couple of articles per month I could maintain that. But if I reveal it, that will create instant competition and that would be it.
To answer your question, I don't typically sell websites. I monetize them and keep them.
Here's what's even stranger and I wonder if there is some kind of fluke. Just noticed this. The PageRank is a 4. How in the world did that happen????????????? The site is only 6 months old. This is very weird. So that may explain the rank. Now the question is, how? I am truly stumped.
As you guys know, I DON'T do link building. I hate it.
Bill you are right. I need to evaluate what it's worth before making any decisions. I haven't even started monetizing much yet. I'm just so tired of copycats (sigh).
The PR 4 really stumps me though. Something's fishy here unless I got a really strong natural backlink from somewhere. Call me a skeptic but I wonder how long this will last. Google did just make an update on Jan 8/9 so I wonder if this has something to do with it. I won't celebrate yet.
Ah ok. What about getting guest bloggers, or one really good guest blogger that has passion to write in that field. Perhaps giving them a portion of the revenue? You can just act in an editorial and webmaster role.
I think you are going to be miserable writing those posts after a while. I remember in one of your videos you mentioned that writing shouldn't be a chore, well at least not all the time. But I am thinking this will end up being a chore for you.
Do what you love. Cut the rest.
Well, honestly if the passion isn't there I don't know if I would keep it.
I am curious though, what was the AVG KC like in LTP with your keywords for this niche? 20-30? 10-20?
Right you are Tekboy and that's something else to consider. But I could muster one article per month if that is all it's going to take. Again, profit is what will matter here. I never expected to rank this fast with such little content so that changes things. One key point: I have not touched this site in 3 months. It's not like I've been spending hours per month on this.
Ahhh, decision, decisions.
Remember Jay I don't have the premium version like you so I just looked at the Competitive Analysis. That's the only report I really use on LTP. What's weird is the average Domain Authority was in the 60's when I started. Now it's significantly lower... like 50ish. The "Juice Page Links" for the sites in the top 10 are much lower now than they were when I started. The highest number is 89 for the #1 site. Every other site is lower.
Google has definitely lightened up some things.... for now. Like I said, I'm not sure how long this is going to hold. I'm still stumped at the PR4. Makes no sense. I would love to chat with a real SEO expert to get an analysis on this. I wonder if I could call Spencer. LOL
I wouldn't reveal. I have taken the firm stance that I'd never reveal my sites. However, it would be nice to know the main keyword/niche (insurance, plastic surgery, etc.) of the site. That's helpful enough to me.
Yes you should reveal your website.
Well everybody want's you to reveal the url. But if I were you I wouldn't reveal the website at this point of time , for the reasons you specified above.
May you can reveal your website once you have a ton of content of your website, but definitely not now.
Where are you ranking now for your keywords??
Keep us updated.
I might be changing my position. Lisa, it would be neat to explore a project you've done, but I understand if you are concerned about copyright infringement. So no worries if you decide not to show it off... I guess that's pretty much all I have to say,
It's in the health niche. Instead of tackling the "how to" niche I went for the symptom. That's the main phrase I was going for. The goal was to focus on that keyword but hopefully rank for other long-tail related phrases related to that niche. And that's what is happening. Right now I'm in position 7 for the phrase I was targeting but I'm getting more traffic from the long tail as suspected. And like always, they are usually keywords I wasn't targeting.
Originally Posted by nnewbie
Thanks for the 39 page pdf. I have already read it. Once started I had to continue because of the wealth of information within.
I would not reveal the site, at least not yet, If I were you. With you articles for the site, did you use LTP also for keyword research?
Last edited by andrewmoss; 01-20-2014 at 02:37 PM.
Glad you liked the ebook!
Originally Posted by andrewmoss
For a few pages but not very often. I don't rely on the tools as much once I begin writing pages.