I’ve got to admit that I’m slightly frustrated. Ever since the Google penalty was removed from my niche website, I was happy to see it go from as low as Number 40 and stabilized between No. 16 and 20. But then over April it hasn’t really moved too much beyond that …
Obviously the goal with building these money earning sites is to make some money! With Google Adsense as my major monetization stream for this site (for now), I’m not going to receive nearly as much action on the bottom of SERP 2 as I would if I were at the No. 1 spot. That’s why cracking the Top 10 spots by getting to the first page of Google and eventually the number 1 spot is absolutely imperative if I want to see any amount of significant income.
And so that leads me back to the question of “what to do”. While that may seem pretty straight-forward, I’ve had some experiences that have left me a little puzzled. Here’s what’s been happening:
What Is Wrong With My Niche Website?
When things aren’t going the way you want to, you need to figure out what’s going wrong and then modify the plan.
Here’s what I know that I’ve been doing right:
- I’ve been slowly building a variety of dofollow and nofollow links
- Adding keyword sensitive / value added content
- Not trying to abuse any practices that Google would deem unacceptable.
Seems like I should be a shoe-in for the Google Top 10 for sure, right?
But I’m not. My niche site seems to be just outside the door of a very exclusive club. I’m banging on that door, but Google isn’t letting me in. So what is it that I’m doing wrong?
I was beginning to have doubts about my SEO abilities. Like I said in one of my previous posts: Maybe I’m not quite the SEO Casanova I thought I was becoming …
Or am I? Let’s pull it together and put things in perspective: Following along with Spencer’s Niche Site Project, I’ve done basically everything that he has done (or told us that he’s done). In fact, when I use Open Site Explorer to compare my niche site against his, mine actually has some of the stronger metrics. So this leads me to two conclusions:
1) My keyword sucks. It’s too competitive and I should go after something with lower competition.
2) My SEO strategy is ineffective.
I certainly didn’t want to scrap the young site after all this work, so let’s put No. 1 aside for a minute and focus on No. 2.
An Experiment in SEO:
Before I declare my SEO methods ineffective, let’s do one simple test. Suppose I was able to take a post from My Money Design of similar keyword competitiveness and search volume and use my bag of tricks to get it to rank better … How close to Number 1 do you think I’d be able to take it?
And so that’s exactly what I did. Here is what happened:
- The post I choose (I won’t reveal it because I don’t want to jade the experiment) was initially ranking at +500 in Google. That pretty much means that it doesn’t exist as far as the World is concerned.
- After some re-work and editing of the contents, number of links, etc, the post then dropped down to spot No. 39 in Google.
- After making a concentrated effort with link building, it now ranks No. 1 in Google! Outstanding!
SEO Casanova indeed! Perhaps my skills aren’t so bad after all?
If so, then what am I still missing? What is so different about the two sites to yield two different results?
And then it hit me….
The Importance of Page Authority:
My Money Design has been around for almost 2 years. It has a Domain Authority of 47. My niche site is still a relatively young site and only has a Domain Authority of 31.
While that is all fine and good, I have to remember that the competition I’m going up against for my main keyword is pretty fierce and they have much higher Domain as well as Page Authority than I have. For example, check out the results for my keyword in Long Tail Pro. Look at the Number 2 site. It has a Domain Authority of 95, but no PageRank, MozRank, Page Authority, or even links. Yet it is still enjoying the Number 2 spot. That should tell you something ….
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While this is not the only factor in determining Google SERP rank, it is certainly an important one that could make or break where I stand.
So what can I do about it? The only thing I can do: Naturally build up my Domain and Page Authority. Part of this will of course come from building good links. But more so it will happen as I continue to have great keyword rich content get indexed by Google. Right now the niche site has one whale post and 16 smaller posts. If I want to keep pushing towards niche site success, I need to keep on adding some strong content.
More Money Earning Sites?
So while over the next month or two I’ll continue to add new content, I do feel like at some point I’ll need to draw a line in the sand and move on to another project. I’ve learned a ton about SEO from this whole process, and I’ve got several ideas for just how I could apply those skills in other ways.
As I already mentioned above, the major flaw with my site could be that I’ve simply chosen too competitive of a keyword. With a little effort, I’m sure I could find a different keyword that has good search volume, low competition, and great advertiser payout. Then, like Niche Pursuits, I wouldn’t have to work as hard to get my site to rank.
The other idea was to start a completely new site altogether. Not necessarily a new version of “My Money Design”, but something more entry level for the novice investor. The name of the game this time would be to outsource everything as much as possible. That would make the project and site as completely passive as possible, and would possibly accelerate the success. Even though it would cost a little money upfront, I’m curious what the outcome would be…
Readers – What do you think of my niche website progress so far? Any suggestions? Since I put it on the table, what do you think the next of my money earning sites should be about?
Previous Niche Website Chapters:
- Starting the Next of My Extra Income Ideas – Building a Niche Website
- Niche Website Project Part 2 – The Unveiling
- Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 3
- Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 4
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