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Google Pandarised Me

By now everyone knows that Google Panda was released over the last couple of days. Some websites went up, some went down, and most pretty much stayed the same.

With my own sites, all of them went up, but one. My most recent Niche site (Niche Site 7) got poleaxed. Now I realise that I have been really slack in updating this site – which doesn’t really matter because no one reads it apart from me, but niche site 7 managed to get to number 1 in Google for my main keyword, then continued to rank for some serious long tails.

Long story short, over the last 2 months it has made over $800 a month each month (and May is still going).

 

Google Panda 4 Penalty

Considering how well that website was going, I was pretty miffed that it got hit. Something interesting has occurred though, something that I am pretty sure hasn’t happened with other iterations of Panda – my home page continued to rank for it’s main keyword at number 1.

Many of you will be thinking I  don’t know what a Panda penalty looks like, because we all know Panda impacts the entire site, not just individual pages. However, I think Panda 4 is different.

I’ll let the following charts below tell the story.

NS7 - Main Keyword

The home page (above) kept it’s rank for it’s primary keyword, but lost rank for all other keywords except the brand name.

 

NS7 - Secondary Keyword

This was the second biggest page on the site, and was actually my biggest money earner.

 

NS7 - Third Keyword

3rd biggest page.

NS7 - Multiple Keywords

A few different keywords. The Blue, Pink and Green are all keywords ranking on the home page. The other colors are sub pages.

 

Deciphering the Code

So what does all this mean?

Fucked if I know. That’s why I am documenting it so I can try to recover and see what worked and what didn’t. Let’s face it, i’m not about to throw away $1,000 a month in revenue just because of some stupid Google penalty. I’m already thinking that if I can’t get this site to come back substantially within 6 weeks then I will start a new site that targets the exact same keywords.

 

What Have I done?

So far I have heard a lot of people talking about duplicate content being an issue. Many people say that WordPress tags can cause an issue and at the moment I am inclined to agree. The reason for this is that all those sub pages that tanked are now not ranking the primary page, but the tag for that page. Seems like a pretty strong indicator to me. So I removed all the tags last night and will see what that does over the next week or so.

I really want to see what Google does. Will it:

  1. Drop all my tab pages that now point to a 404 error page?
  2. Relist the pages it was listing before?
  3. Drop me for those keyword entirely?

 

What am I planning on doing?

For the next week I am doing nothing but waiting to see how Google reacts to my change. If nothing happens then I want to focus on 1 or 2 of my main money pages and really boost the amount of content on the pages. Like seriously make those pages freaking awesome.

Then I will wait for another 2 weeks.

If no change, then I will remove all affiliate links from my pages.

If nothing changes after that I will move to plan B – make a few new site targeting this niche. I know this keyword is easy to rank for, and that no one else is targeting it right now, so I will simply setup a rotation of sites (using lots of different ranking methods) to ensure that I am always in position 1, and pretty much just take a fat crusty dump on Google and spam the shit out of it.

Let’s see what happens – let the games begin.

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Comments

  1. Oh no. I hope you manage to put it back up soon.
    David Ryan recently posted…The CalculatrMy Profile

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