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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Question Is It Time - Advise Needed
    As I mentioned before I got creamed by the SE's and can't figure out why. With Google it's been over a year since anything good was listed. MSN and Yahoo picked up the slack last year. Since December Yahoo and MSN have pretty much dropped most of my pages and sites. For the last 2 months income has been down about 90% I was fortunate enough to be able to put away enough money to hang for a year or so for this exact reason.

    My question is should I overhaul all the sites and see what happens??? Most of the sites are pretty sore on the eye but in the past they worked w/the SE's and also with the visitors. The reason I never made them prettier is because I didn't want to lose any listings. If it ain't broke don't fix it rule. Well now they seem to be broke.

    Normally when a site gets dumped I would wait it out and sooner or later the site would be back. Plus I always had other sites doing ok to make up what was lost. In this case with pretty much everything falling out of the SE's it's obviously different. It doesn't seem to be temporary this time. Is it time for an overhaul? Would trying a different host with a few sites help? Thanks and Any feedback, suggestions or ideas is appreciated

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Packy, I just started a thread just for this purpose. Check it out and see if any of my suggestions help:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=55379

    Don't worry, you'll pull through it! Just use the knowledge you've acquired over the years and make the most of it.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  3. #3
    Full Member tmd5's Avatar
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    Message deleted by tmd5 - changed my mind about posting.
    Eat Less. Move More. :cool:

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    For your particular case I would focus on the site that's got the most remaining traffic. Harvest those remaining visitors and really milk them. By all means improve the site. I think it's good to change things up, and you don't really need to worry about losing your traffic. I've changed sites drastically and had an increase in traffic. Not sure if it was a reward or an after effect for some links I had accumulated a couple months before. It's also a good idea to find some new incoming links. Try to get posted in some forums or blogs. Find some related links from sites you enjoy.

    I'm in the same boat as you and am doing everything I can to make the most of what I have and improve my sites in every way possible. My top priority is my visitors and I'm just going to forget about the search engines for now. As long as they sign up to my newsletters and browse my sites, I'm happy.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Scott, thanks for the advise No doubt one of the things I have learned is navigation is key. I think one of the reasons for past success with a crappy looking site was that the entrance page for the visitor was pretty much geared up for exactly or at least in the same category as the products they were looking for. If not usually not more than a click away. Thanks again for the advise.

    TMD, come back! What, what????

  6. #6
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    Packy,
    I get a site that drops out once in a while as well.
    I usually redo the entire site. My reasoning for this is 'what do I have to lose, the site is dead in the water anyway'.
    It usually works for me. I have a few sites that have died, been re-done and have come back to life, even if only to be booted again.
    Mix it up with your sites. Make the link structure a little different. Put different fields in different places. Change text among them, even if they have the same items on them. Change the headers.
    When making sites, I always try to make each one different in case a SE decides it doesn't like something on one site, hopefully it wont bury them all.


  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Some good advice scohaz. I just want to add that it's good to be careful not to delete URL's that have been indexed in the past. Even if they aren't getting traffic, the search engines still know about them and use them to access your site when and if they send their spiders back. I always maintain every url I ever create even if it's out of date and no longer has any incoming links. Never know who will visit it.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  8. #8
    Internet Cowboy
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    I always maintain every url I ever create even if it's out of date and no longer has any incoming links.
    Snib,
    How do you keep them updated? Are these links to dead ads or product links? I use htaccess to catch missing URLs and send them to the right place, usually the index for that folder.


  9. #9
    Yup, Sure ... now let me check ... Cagles Mill's Avatar
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    Normally when a site gets dumped I would wait it out and sooner or later the site would be back. Plus I always had other sites doing ok to make up what was lost. In this case with pretty much everything falling out of the SE's it's obviously different. It doesn't seem to be temporary this time. Is it time for an overhaul? Would trying a different host with a few sites help?
    A year ago I had a few of my best money earning pages from different sites vanish deep into Google's Serps. They had been in Google's top 10 for their respective keywords. Since the vast majority of my pages on these sites had not been affected, I figured sooner or later the missing ones would come back. Finally, back in November, I moved each of those pages (there were about 10 of them) to a different site and within a month all but one of the pages were back in Google's top 10 and earning money again.

    Why this worked I still have not figured out. It isn't like the pages had been banned by Google and there were no "black hat" methods being used on the pages.
    Rick M.
    I would rather have a bottle in front of me, than have a frontal lobotomy!
    Does your bubblegum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

  10. #10
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    Hey Packy!

    I am reworking one of my sites and narrowing it's focus to a tighter niche.

    I think that "pretty" can help but just as important is good navagation, page titles, meta tags, keywords, etc. You might also want to go through and see if your sales copy needs some work. If you take it section and page at a time, it shouldn't take too long.

    Good Luck!!
    Ebudae


  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    I vote for the next dime: move on and make new sites. When bored with making new sites, redo an old one (I just gave an old ugly site a face lift the last two days as an escape from other coding on new sites I should be doing).

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Scohas,

    I did make a few minor updates on a few sites. Just minor ones and I am trying as you suggest. A little different here and there. Probably not enough time to tell yet if it made any difference. Also probably not big enough changes between the sites as I should of. When or if I do the major overhauls I'll probably try 4 -5 completely different approches to see if I can get one to click. Thanks

    Cagle Mill,

    When you moved the links to a different site was it to a completely different host or server? Just curious, Thanks

    Ebudae,
    I think that "pretty" can help but just as important is good navagation, page titles, meta tags, keywords, etc. You might also want to go through and see if your sales copy needs some work. If you take it section and page at a time, it shouldn't take too long.

    Good Luck!!
    Thank Ebudae All good points! Hopefully too long isn't more than a year Thanks All!

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webmarm
    I vote for the next dime: move on and make new sites. When bored with making new sites, redo an old one (I just gave an old ugly site a face lift the last two days as an escape from other coding on new sites I should be doing).
    Unfortunately I'm trying to do both all at the same time. A couple of just started sites, playing with a few old sites that still get a little traffic and a content site which I enjoy but have to spend too much time on. Typical DaPackster style. Either trying to do too much at once or even worse I procrastinate pretty good too. Thanks

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
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    Have you gotten any new links in lately?

  15. #15
    Yup, Sure ... now let me check ... Cagles Mill's Avatar
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    Cagle Mill,

    When you moved the links to a different site was it to a completely different host or server? Just curious, Thanks
    Yeah, it's a totally different host. My internet provider, which is the local phone company, gives some free web space to all users (and without any advertisements or pop-ups attached.) so I figured I should make use of the space. I have even considered that maybe the fact the page is hosted by an internet provider somehow gives the pages a better position in the serps, but I doubt it.
    Rick M.
    I would rather have a bottle in front of me, than have a frontal lobotomy!
    Does your bubblegum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Cagles,

    Thats pretty interesting. The reason I asked was because the site that has lasted the longest in the SE's has been my first site I ever built which is also hosted with my internet service provider. That might be the first place for me to start making some changes. Thanks for the info

    Trust,

    Links as in links pointing to my sites. If so I have been one who has always help off on that. Other than a few coming in from other sites, most are recips from my own sites. That has been in the works though for the last week or so. The only thing I see about that is it always seems that who ever has the link to my site comes out on top of me when searching for my site

    One question I have always had about link exchanging. The few that I do exchange with I always put the links right on the front page. What do most do? Just add a page to the site with just links to other sites?

  17. #17
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Packy--I'm glad you had the sense to save up $$$, and a lot of it. I read about far too many who are sucked into the evil maw of empl*yment only a month or two after the rankings change...

    My question is should I overhaul all the sites and see what happens???
    I'd go ahead and overhaul some of the sites and see the results. I say "some," because you don't know how well the SEs will like the overhaul. So I'd make sure they were going to like it before spreading the change to all the sites. It may take a few attempts before you hit gold (although hopefully you'll hit it right off).

    But overall, if there's any lemonade to be had, it's the opportunity to mess with sites that you would have been afraid to mess with if there was a chance of losing rank.

    Personally, I'm using this time to do some things that've needed doing but I didn't before, because I was afraid of accidentally de-optimizing things. For instance, I've just gotten my first "test" PHP site working (yes, finally I have a dynamic site!!!) and will be spending tonight totally overhauling my biggest site by turning it dynamic. I'll probably dynamicize a few sites and then see what comes of it. Although the ranks would have to suck even worse for me not to hit them all, because dynamic also means LESS WORK which is always good. I won't do 'em all at once, though, so the SEs have a chance to catch up on the changes.

    Right now the site doesn't do anything "special" (it still looks just like my old one) but for now, I'm glad to have PHP working! Additional changes can come as I figure them out.

    But if Google, Yahoo, or even MSN decides they like it at any point, I'll be glad to leave it at whatever stage works

    The few that I do exchange with I always put the links right on the front page. What do most do? Just add a page to the site with just links to other sites?
    Most sites I see that are serious about wanting links have a links page. The links pages pretty much are just links (with a layout to match the rest of the person's site), but sometimes there's other info like an email address or form to use if you want to request an exchange. I've done it both ways, myself. The thing is, a links page with a means of contact has a chance of generating requests--and every request that comes in (that goes to a site that you'd be willing to link to) is a link that you didn't have to go hunting for.

    Google for "[desired category] link exchange" and you should be able to pull up lots of sites that already have some kind of exchange setup in place...and maybe a few good leads, too, depending on the category.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scohaz
    Snib,
    How do you keep them updated? Are these links to dead ads or product links? I use htaccess to catch missing URLs and send them to the right place, usually the index for that folder.
    If it's a merchant that I still sell for, I keep the crontab running to update the products, but if it's a merchant I'm dropping I just stop updating the prices, but I make sure all the internal links on that page link to a page that is active. My header is fully dynamic so even if the product on that particular page is dead, the navigation is fully up to date.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Smile
    Quote Originally Posted by webmarm
    I vote for the next dime: move on and make new sites. When bored with making new sites, redo an old one (I just gave an old ugly site a face lift the last two days as an escape from other coding on new sites I should be doing).
    I disagree with this because Google wants us to focus on the sites we already have. This is clear to me because Google sends traffic to older sites that are better established. It's getting more and more difficult to generate traffic for new websites, so I've stopped creating new sites. My focus is entirely on my existing sites because that's what Google wants. I'm seeing much higher rewards for working with what you have already.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  20. #20
    Sgt. Joe Friday frank3iii's Avatar
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    Hang in there Packy.

    Google bot just gobbled up over 400 pages of a site that is over six months old late last night. All it had ever done before was look at the index page.

    We may be seeing an update. Fingers crossed.

  21. #21
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    I disagree with this because Google wants us to focus on the sites we already have. This is clear to me because Google sends traffic to older sites that are better established. It's getting more and more difficult to generate traffic for new websites, so I've stopped creating new sites. My focus is entirely on my existing sites because that's what Google wants. I'm seeing much higher rewards for working with what you have already.

    - Scott

    I put out a new site about six weeks ago and it is coming up on Google (Garble) and MSN on the first page of search results for quite a few of my pages and they both are still indexing the site.

    Yahoo also started indexing the new site on March 1.

    Yahoo never indexed my old sites.

    My old sites are still doing nothing.

    Putting out a new site worked for me.


  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank3iii
    Hang in there Packy.

    Google bot just gobbled up over 400 pages of a site that is over six months old late last night. All it had ever done before was look at the index page.

    We may be seeing an update. Fingers crossed.
    Ahhh wouldn't it be nice to be back in Google after more than a year out. Good Luck to ya Frank and Thanks

    Leader,

    As always thanks for the advice. I don't know why but for some reason I have always been afraid to do the link exchange. I think it might come down to when I first started I fell for the linkfarm trap like most probably did. Submitted to a zillion sites with one click of a button only to find my site coming up when search for by domain name listed below the zillion sites that linked to me for about 10 minutes I guess it's time now to give it a shot again and see hoe it goes. I won't be wearing my farmer jeans this time round though.

    I'm hoping to learn a lot more, ok at least a little more as far as comes to making the sites a little more auto piloted this year also. I might have to take a few classes to learn it but I know it will be worth it. I'm like you, I hate seeing when someone posts about having to go back to work or seeing a big drop in their affiliate income right after buying a house or something. Thats one of the reasons my goal this year is to head in a different direction or at least get one sticky site up and running.

    I have a cousin who a few years back sold one of his sites for several million dollars to one of the bigger companies online. He and two other guys built the site around drawing repeat visitors, stickiness, stuck with it and it paid off for them. They started another site about 2 - 3 years ago with the same idea. I went there yesterday and it shows how many people are at the site. Over 3000 people at the site at the same time. Give me 100 people at one of my sites at the same time and I'll be happy Anyways, seeing that kind of got me more pumped up about building something sticky. Hopefully if I take my time with the nutv site it might have a shot. Anyways Thanks again Leader

    BurgerBoy and Snib,

    I still have several good domain names left to get something on so I'll still be doing both new and old. I think I'm going to put most of my time for now on updating the older sites though and squeezing in what I can on the new ones and then just follow what ever the SE's seem to be paying attention to. Thanks again all for the great feedback and better yet the support. It's always appreciated

  23. #23
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    Search engines can be tricky, but recently MSN has put their Beta live and that may have hurt your rankings. With Google is it all about PR, plus reciprocal links to quality sites. Purchasing links is going to get even harder, so forging mutual partnerships may be a better way to approach link share.

    As you redesign you might also want to look at what you are naming your pages and see if that helps. Best of luck!

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    It was definately the Beta that hurt me when it went live affpronet. Most of my domain names are keyword picked and as you suggested I normally do the same with naming the pages. Thanks

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBoy
    I put out a new site about six weeks ago and it is coming up on Google (Garble) and MSN on the first page of search results for quite a few of my pages and they both are still indexing the site.

    Yahoo also started indexing the new site on March 1.

    Yahoo never indexed my old sites.

    My old sites are still doing nothing.

    Putting out a new site worked for me.

    Great to hear! Maybe creating a new site is a good temporary solution, but I'm not sure if it'll hold up for the long run. I'm happy working on my old sites because they're better situated to hold up for the long haul.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

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