By King Douche | March 18, 2012
So, last quarter, I wrote about how I declared Google the winner of the “you better go white hat or else” stalemate. I did paid links, paid reviews, and never, ever did any shit like “cloaking”, “spam”, or “stuffing.” Hence, the “grey” hat campaign type. I had awesome content. I had a crawlable site. It was perfect in every way. I used paid links and reviews to scream at GoogleBot, “Hey, notice me! I’m right here! I have killer content and reputable sites link to it.” The results were great. The money. Terrific. I left the competition scratching their heads since my site was HTTPS, it was hard to reverse engineer as most link-finding tools couldn’t really find my backlinks.
However, the stress of running a grey-hat campaign eventually wears on you and you long for the peace of a white hat campaign. So, I hatched a plan to wean my site from grey and pray that the results weren’t too bad. I expected a 15-25% drop in SERPS and traffic which I could then recover by getting a big relevant, content piece linked up to the pages where I removed the TLA’s.
Fucking failure. Total and monstrous failure.
Because I didn’t have the BALLS to gut out the imaginary stress of my campaign, I think I have nearly ruined it all. My total traffic drop? -72.5%. About 10 days after the first phase of removing TLA’s, I saw the first hit to my SERPS. It was bad. Way worse than I had imagined. Then when phase II came around 30 days later, it was nothing less than a total disaster.
It’s hard for me to write right now. Because writing this means that the realization is true.
SAME PAGES, SAME CONTENT, DIFFERENT SUBDOMAIN
The way that my money site is setup is “mysite.corporate.com” and other competitors in my space have “theirsite.corporate.com” and “grandma.corporate.com”. It’s a sub-domain structure. So, what’s happened now is that mysite.x.x has been replaced, with a roaming/constantly-changing yoursite.x.x, someothersite.x.x. Google is so confused now that it doesn’t know what competitor site to rank where my SERP was. I’ll tell you one thing, it ain’t my site anymore. Did an experiment where I tried to get one of them back and I can’t even get the page to index. I am seeing the total number of indexed pages drop EACH day from 530 -> 460 -> 420 -> 411…pages just keep dropping out of the index. Organic SERP traffic DOWN from 290 keywords a day to a paltry 60.
THE SWEET TLA CAMPAIGN FLIES UNDER THE RADAR
I was piping in sweet link juice from about 4 PR6 sites and a couple of PR7 sites (all with less than 20 outbound links per site so that juice was sweet.) My TLA bill was $380 per month which I didn’t give a fuck about because I was making $11-$27K per month NET NET revenue. Who fucking cares about $380? My new numbers are more like $7 – $10K now. Yeah, yeah I can hear all you haters out there, “You should be happy with that!” My answer is a whole-hearted FUCK YOU. No douchebag entrepreneur settles for a 50% loss on their revenue and takes it in the ass and says “THANKS!”
Fuck that. This loss is the SAME EXACT thing (analogously) as getting robbed at gun-point and having to give up my wallet and jewelry. Then punching me in the face as they leave.
CONTENT STRATEGY IN EFFECT
So, my only strategy here is to work the problem. I’ve dumped almost $3800 in content these weeks…big, nice pieces, beautifully interlinked with the rest of the site however the traffic upswing is slower than expected. Plus, certain SERPS that I was certain I could pounce with some nice content aren’t going anywhere and some grandma seems to be out-SERPING me with NO TEXT and some fucked up “BUY NOW” button that has been upscaled from 75X75 pixels to a 20/200 vision 250 X 35 pixels and looks like it was done by a 7 year old. Yes, Google, that outranks my shit. So much for user experience.
I could write for days on this and correct the fucked-up sentences in this post that don’t make much sense or are awkwardly worded. However, I’m just going to hit Publish before I change my mind on posting this. Cheers.
Sidenote: Please, colleagues. This is really rough on me. Go easy on the flaming. This one’s hard. (That’s what she said.) I write these pieces so you all can learn from other’s mis-steps and hopefully prevent disaster on your end.
UPDATE: SEE WHAT HAPPENED! http://seobullshit.com/google-presents-titanic-coming-serps/