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  1. #1
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    Minor vent about a new website not ranking
    I know everyone is just trying to do their job, but lately I've received emails from Merchants & Affiliate Managers asking "what can we do" to improve sales.. if you can write content for my site, and tell me how to improve google rankings, that would be great..

    For a bit of background - I have a new(ish) site that just can't get any search engine love.. it's nice looking, with shiny SEO plug-ins, social networking, etc. It has a group of merchants I like, in a niche I'm learning more about every day. Content is added daily, the domain name is 3 years old, but this "new" version of the site is 6-8 months old.

    But there can be no sales without traffic, which is frustrating..

    I've done a thorough "under the hood" review, and Google Webmaster Tools says everything is fine, and pages are getting indexed, so I know there is no structural problem. It's currently stuck at 10 visitors a day... and some of those are probably friends & family

    I'm starting to think it might be worthwhile experimenting with a new domain name..

    I've been in AM since 2006.. and have dished out plenty of advice about "being patient".. but how long do you wait before scrapping a project?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone View Post
    I know everyone is just trying to do their job, but lately I've received emails from Merchants & Affiliate Managers asking "what can we do" to improve sales.. if you can write content for my site, and tell me how to improve google rankings, that would be great..
    Sometimes Affiliate Manager's forget what we are up against. After a recent Panda set-back it's all I can do to press the delete key instead of releasing a nasty reply when I get invites from GAN merchants.

    The Panda algorithm update (most recent was Oct 13th) seems to have changed a lot of the rules that we all took for granted for so long. I am surprised that there is not more conversation about it here. The rules have changed. No one seems clear on what the new ones look like. I'd wait to see what the new rules are before scrapping your hard work.
    When the only tool you have is a hammer - everything looks like a nail.

  3. #3
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    Sometimes AM's forget what we are up against.
    The original title of this thread was actually "a vent to merchants/AMs"... I softened it up as I'm more frustrated with myself

    I agree about the shift in search algorithms.. my main site hasn't dropped in ranking this time around, but it has seen its fair share of ups and downs. It appears to have enough content, history and decent readership to survive.. but I can't find a way to get new sites ranked.

    Before someone starts jumping all over the AM concept, I have another site that is NOT an affiliate site, that is experiencing the same problem.

    I'm not knocking search engines, they can be a great source of traffic, but where do we go from here as website owners? Do we just throw darts and see what sticks?

    I suppose I'll keep the site going through the holiday season..

  4. #4
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    Sorry, I edited my reply to read "Affiliate Managers" not AM's.

    I am rethinking how I get my traffic. Maybe apps are the way to go instead of websites? Since my wife got her new iPad she has no use for the web - apps provide all that she needs.

    There is also a lot of chatter on the forums about making you sites attractive to users so they want to keep coming back. I for one could be better at this... We all need to think of that "hook".

    In the short term, I wouldn't do anything too drastic. Someone (must) have benefited from Panda. Maybe next update, it will be you and I?
    When the only tool you have is a hammer - everything looks like a nail.

  5. #5
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Cool
    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianDave View Post
    Someone (must) have benefited from Panda. Maybe next update, it will be you and I?
    I like that thought.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador superCool's Avatar
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    it seems odd that you are adding content daily but not getting search traffic. how broad or focused is the niche? how many pages? how much competition? what kind of sites are above you in search results? does your site rank for very specific long-tail phrases?

    something's going on. have you tried focusing a few posts on the same set of long-tail keywords to see if you can rank under perfect conditions? maybe you have some type of penalty or you've tripped some type of quality switch in the algorithm. over optimized? too many inbound links too quickly? something flagged as keyword stuffing?

    just rambling obviously.... good luck

  7. #7
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    Maybe apps are the way to go instead of websites?
    I've thought about paying to have an app developed... haven't made the decision yet as it would have to be something unique. There are canned "app builders" out there, but you only have one chance to make a good first impression with app users!

    I agree that the 'return visitor' is more important than ever... when I first launched my main site in 2006-2007, I paid thousands in google ads. Fast forward a few years, I no longer advertise, and while overall traffic is lower, it has stabilized and % return vistors have increased.

    It's frustrating as I had assumed I could use the same formula in a different niche.. but you're right, it's a whole new game now... the same rules no longer apply.

  8. #8
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    how broad or focused is the niche? how many pages? how much competition? what kind of sites are above you in search results? does your site rank for very specific long-tail phrases?
    Lots of food for thought! These are things I need to check...

    To be honest, I did find a flaw a few weeks ago... there were "automatic" titles that I forgot to change, which wasn't doing the site any favours. I use a template to create articles in the CMS - nothing complicated, just something a developer pal had built. But I was so focused on the "content", I forgot to change the (auto-generated) datestamp title

    Some of this was my own fault - just not sure how long I have to wait for the clean-up to be noticed.

  9. #9
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    Are you writing content on stuff people are actually searching for? Do you use the Google keyword tool to find ideas?

  10. #10
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    How's the niche? Is it a popular niche? Too much competition?

    Have built many niche websites over the years. Some just worked, other's did not...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the helpful questions/comments.. I think it's "all of the above"..

    Competitive niche, but I definitely need to do more research. Started writing content with a view to fine-tuning articles/posts once I got a handle on things... unfortunately with the various issues, I haven't had enough traffic to fine-tune accordingly. On my main site, I'm able to glean reader/traffic interest and make adjustments.. here, it's still a guessing game.

    Went back to basics last month and did a BIG clean-up.. performed an honest review & assessment of the layout, flow, etc... and also realized the titles didn't make as much sense as I thought.

    So here I am, a few weeks later, looking for results.... and with today's ever-changing & competitive SEO, that might take a few months.
    Some just worked, other's did not...
    You make a good point... I'll give it until after the holiday season, then move on.

  12. #12
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    With a new site I usually spend the first couple months looking at server logs daily - not analysis software - actual logs. They can highlight any number of issues you're likely to miss with analytics, etc.

    If you have access to your server logs, spend some time getting to know them. Follow the bots to see what they're requesting, what the server responds with, etc.

    Another thing to look at is your own comment:

    ...when I first launched my main site in 2006-2007, I paid thousands in google ads. Fast forward a few years, I no longer advertise, and while overall traffic is lower, it has stabilized and % return vistors have increased.
    Those $1000s you spent may have been the due dilligence you needed to make sure your site had staying power. Your main focus should be creating the best site you can, but some paid traffic may help you fine tune what you have and result in better organic results as well. Worth some thought.

    Best of luck!
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

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