Google Smoked Me - So I Am Rebuilding My Affiliate Business

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Hey WA'ers,

Let's get straight to it!

Google smoked my websites!

Like many others here and around the world, recent Google algorithm changes caused two of my three websites to flatline...

I responded to this by turning my laptop off, sulking, boycotting everything Google (which is hard when you have an android phone) and looking for another way to spend my time.

It is now a few months later and I am ready to start again.

I have also decided to turn this into a weekly diary (also videoing it on YouTube) of what I am doing, whether it is working (which will of course take time to see) and what I am seeing around the place.

I see on twitter this morning that Google are issuing new 'warnings' re rankings.. haha.

As a starting point, let's do a quick run through of my sites:

Site 1: Make Money Online

This is my oldest site and the one I use to promote Wealthy Affiliate. It is around 5 years old and has dropped from around 12,000 view per month to just 880 in May 2024. The site contains:

  • Affiliate marketing 'how tos' and lists
  • Software reviews
  • MLM compensation plan outlines
  • Other make money online type posts

It has a YouTube Channel and Facebook page but not a lot of traffic comes from those avenues at this point.

There is very little AI written content on this site.

Why did it tank?

One simple reason - neglect! I actually think that this site would have dived regardless of whatever Google did as, for example, there were posts on there that were reviews of old junk software programs that no longer existed and had not been updated for years.

What will I do?

I have actually started on this one by:

  • Deleting old posts (and redirecting if necessary)
  • "no-indexing' non Affiliate marketing based posts (such as MLM reviews) whilst I narrow the niche.
  • Updating Affiliate marketing based posts.

Site 2: Travel Site

This site is just over 12 months old and even though I have been to most of these places, the site is almost completely AI written. I was carpet bombing up to 60 posts a month with stock photos (even though I have personal photos of those locations) and it grew quite quickly up to around 6000 viewers per month after 3 months to just 380 users in May 2024.

The site contains:

  • Travel lists (such as 10 best beaches in xxx)
  • Buying guides for travel products (amazon sales)
  • Luggage and travel accessory reviews
  • Travel tips

It has Pinterest and Facebook pages that actually bring around 50% of current traffic to the site.

Why did it tank?

To be honest, I am actually surprised that Google didn't re-list it completely. If you look at the EEAT philosophy that it promotes (let's not go down that rabbit hole how), then there is not enough of me in it to show anything.

Additionally, it has the same post content as the other 1000000 travel sites out there as well. There is no point of difference.

What will I do?

My work here will be a little different than my first site due to traffic sources. I am going to start working more heavily on the social media side of things as well as creating new pillar pages for my list articles.

These pages will include:

  • My own wording - i.e. no AI
  • Photos of me at these places
  • Outlines of quirky and real world stuff to look for at each spot

From here, I will refresh the listicle type pages underneath to reflect these.

Site 3: BBQ Site

This site is actually new and only started in March 2024. The site is all me with no stock photos and little AI - I mean, how many different ways can you write a recipe?

It contains:

  • Cooking guides - for dishes I actually cook
  • Product review - for products I actually own
  • Tips and tricks - that I have personally identified

In three months it has gone from 0 to 600 views in May 2024 at a 50-50 split between Google and Social media avenues (FaceBook, Pinterest and YouTube).

Why did it tank?

It hasn't yet - luckily

I am building this one almost word for word in accordance with the Google EEAT philosophy. All me, narrow niche, no AI and building a following on social media (I have used some paid ads in Facebook here too).

So far so good.

What will I do?

In this case, it is more about what I am not doing. I am doing the base SEO requirements for my posts and YouTube videos, however I am doing none of the extra stuff that was always necessary.

I am not posting daily, I am not overly concerned with keywords and I am certainly not chasing backlinks.

I am however watching my competitors - especially those with successful sites - and learning how to do better YouTube videos.

So, What's next?

Now it is time to do all of the above, I will of course update you all weekly and let you know what I find and how it is going!

And more importantly, I will update you on just how long this all takes as well both in amount of work I am doing and from when I start to see results.

Let me know what you think

Paul



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Recent Comments

13

Good morning Paul,

Thank you for your honest blog post, Paul, it's appreciated. I believe I saw your YouTube video somewhere the other day about the same subject!

It's so important to keep on top of things, when it comes to websites, I believe. Time goes by quickly and it's easy to let a site go, if we are not careful or on top of our game, I have been there!

I appreciate that AI can be a helper and an assistant, but for writing content, it's terrible, maybe that will improve. I see loads of Wealthy Affiliate members writing their Wealthy Affiliate review with AI, it's absolute rubbish and it will never rank, they are just wasting their time, unfortunately.

All these Wealthy Affiliate reviews read in the same manner; let's delve into affiliate marketing, Wealthy Affiliate is an ecosystem (really)!! Then, the review goes into talking about the founders of the platform. It's serious garbage and sites like that don't deserve to rank.

Realistically, I think we need to get back to reality and right genuine content rather than being filled with AI rubbish!

I think your barbecue site will be good, Paul, as it's unique, it's genuine and it's just you! To me, this is what blog posts and websites should be about our uniqueness and helping others, etc!

It's great that you're going to post regularly, Paul, that's a great idea.

I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing more in the future.

Roy

Hi Paul,
I've learned the hard way that sometimes in life bad things have to happen in order to push us into the next phase of life or to make us do things differently.
I love the way you laid everything out. It sounds like you've learned a lesson and are applying it. I have no doubt that if you stick with it you will be successful. Continue to believe in yourself! Good luck!

Lots of us in the same boat Paul. I now have 2 travel sites, 1 in English and 1 in Dutch. English one has completely tanked , event though I had a writer for lots of it and my own pictures and videos and stories. No time to update anything , so the moment I remake some money with my mini site, I'll be hiring a social media manager, to try and revive it.
Also because , AI travel is comming to Google, I dont think that niche will ever rank again in google. Sad to say.
My Dutch site however, if I'm quick enough, might make money untill the end of the year, cause we don't compete with Reddit and such and AI overview isnt here yet.
My miniature site is now totally evolving around socials.
I would focus the most on socials and learn on youtube etc..
Good luck
Lizzy

Hi Paul, Google is a pain that we can't do without.
I was hit with the " algo" on my one and only dental site.
Repurposing old content, writing new stuff seems to be working..
The best of luck going forward.
Fintan

Hi Paul

I would say that your best bet is to write on high-DA Web 2.0 sites like Medium dot com with links back to your sites and to continue building your brand.

Those ribs look great! 👍👍😎

Frank 🎸

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