First of all, apologize for not updating this case study for so long. To be honest, I got distracted with a bit of everything happening in my life. Apart from the latest rainstorm in the century that hit my city, the lamest excuse I should say is ” I’M LAZY !” Seriously though, where I am living now, Christchurch, floods pretty bad.
Things are settling down now, weather clears sunshine’s out. Without rambling further, I would like to give you guys an update of my niche site study one sites. These sites were created back in Oct 2013. As you can see from my update 1, the sites turned out pretty well in Jan 2014. The 25 sites make me just a little over $500 in January. So whats the current situation with this sites now? Do Private blog network really work for building tons of micro niche sites each month? Well, I have a good news and a bad news. Let start with the bad news first:
The Bad News
Google Penalty of Niche sites.
If you are building tons of micro niche sites like me monthly, you will notice a trend in Google. Yes, by using a Private blog Network, you can almost make money instantly by throwing links at your niche sites when they are ranking. In my Jan 2014 update the sites started generating money. What Google did is, they further evaluate your niche sites. Checking with your sites truly deserves in the top spot. As you may recall, my case study top earning sites are coyotehunting.org and goldenpoodlepuppieshq.com (you can check the earning here.) Needless to say, my goldenpoodlepuppieshq.com did not pass the evaluation and got hit. It is now sitting at position . 34. Coyotehunting.org is still sitting at no.1 as it passes the evaluation review. Many of the niche sites has some kind of a Google penalty, lets look the numbers.
Goldenpoodlepuppieshq.com started to see a decrease of traffic on the 5th Jan after a google penalty. This site failed the Google evaluation due to many reasons. One of the reasons I can think of is the Over optimization Penalty (OOP). This is where I link build my anchor text with exact match too high. For the current situation in Google, I recommend NO MORE exact match link anchors. Try spread your anchor exact match % into partial match or related keywords match.
Many of the micro niche sites are like this veterinaryassistants
Google penalty will hit if you do not upkeep your sites!
Don’t be discourage if your sites got hit and noticing this trend if you building from a private blog network. Private blog network are still very effective in providing link boost. You just need a different strategy now for your further link building. If you do it right you still can see some lights for some of these sites. Look at my typesofsharkhq.com below, it is a perfect example of this google penalty recovery.
Link Velocity Speed
When I started link building on this case study example, I point 20 links to them using by expired domains at a rate 4 links per day. This Link velocity speed is way too fast. You don’t just fire 4 links per day and stop at day 5 because all the 20 links has finished building. Obviously Google looks at various signals of your sites to determine wheather or not you truly deserve the top spot. When you sees a penalty hits on your sites, continuing on with your link building, don’t just stop suddenly. This is very bad as Google knows you are just building a link campaign, and are very unnatural. In saying that, you need further link build your sites, but this time build links SLOWLY. Build 2 links PER WEEK for each niche sites. This makes your sites more natural in terms of gaining links from different networks. Downside of this is you need to be patient and wait a few months to see the results, plus you need a very BIG inventory of expired domains in your blog network.
Over optimization Penalty (OOP)
This is where your anchor text, exact match anchor are build too high. In 2013, I recommend around 10% exact match. Now in Jan 2014, I change to 0% exact match. Just STOP building exact match anchors entirely, rely on partial match or related match anchors. Go to your keyword planner, and find those long tail keywords. Find the keywords are closely correlated to your main keyword.
Poor Content on niche sites
These days, having a 400 – 500 words text content just does not cut it anymore in Google eyes. Passable articles from iwriter, hirewriter, fiverr are just not good enough. Even though they are not spun, and original. They just don’t offer any value in informative depth. You need to have a writer that is very knowledgeable in the topic plus various form of rich content like images, youtube videos, outbound links to high authority sites, graphs, tables, facebook likes, pinterest, social media links to go with your articles. I have my VA writing these articles injecting as much rich content as possible. If the site is doing relatively well, I will hire someone with the expertise in the niche from Elance or Textbroker to write that in-depth article.
Various Signals determine by Google
Not only does Google look for a rich content and high authorative links. Google also looks how a user behaves in your site. These signals may determine your ranking simultaneously.
Is your bounce rate high? How long is your user spending time on your page? This is correlated to poor/rich content above. If you have a poor layout website with poor content, your user will leave your site in just 30 secs. Fill your post with rich content, have them read a table/graph, watch youtube videos, jump to other related topics by using related articles plugin, try to make your user stick around longer as much as possible.
Create that facebook social plugin, once you get that traffic coming in you will get the likes slowly. These are natural likes, not the gig that you purchased from fiver. Zombie likes will get you no where. Create a facebook page, post your latest article link to facebook, get as much user interaction as possible. Pin your images from pinterest, tweet it and try to get it shared.
Here is another analytic screenshot of the site: financialanalystsalaryinfo.com from my case study one that slowly regain its traffic.
The Good News
Selling of Good sites to Empire Flippers.
I have sold 5 sites of my total 25 niche sites via Empire Flippers. There are some benefits selling your niche sites thru Empire Flippers. For example, you get 20x multiple times of your average monthly earning, their customer services is excellent and will guide you thru every step of site migration if you are confused about domain transfer . However it does has it downside too. One is their evaluation of sites take too long. On Jan 17th I submitted to them, my sites are basically on the top spot of Google and earning relatively well. (I won’t sell the sites if they have a Google Penalty hit). It was my first time selling sites thru them, the vetting process took far too long in my expectation. It took 1 month for the sites to be evaluated. As the time goes by, you guess it, some of the legitimate sites got hit and they are unsellable. On Feb 18th only 5 of my sites are approved. I can understand Empire Flippers point of view, as they need to protect their buyers by listing good sites which I totally agree.
In this situation, you might want to consider listing your sites via Flippa. Although you can’t get verified traffic or verified adsense report in Flippa, you can still attach screenshots. That is if you don’t have 3 months of data. But the downside is you don’t get that 20x extra for your sites, realistically you will get about 8x to 10x the monthly earnings via Flippa auctions.
How much did I really make from selling 5 of my sites?
Lets see, to sell your sites for the first time with EF, you pay $297. The Success Fee is 15% of your net sale, very much the same of Flippa. The total price I get for selling my 5 sites is $2665.80 minus the 15% fee. Net profit= $2665.80 – $399.87 – $297 = $1968.93Bare in mind $297 is only for the first time listing fee. Your next time listing with EF will only be $100. I would HIGHLY recommend selling your sites via Empire Flippers if you have 3 month worth of solid traffic data. If you don’t have the data, it is best to list via Flippa instead.
If you are building niche sites, chances are you are going to experience the trend of Google tanking your sites if you failed their evaluations. Many months ago, particularly on 4th OCT 2013, Google release its Penguin 2.1 update. As i stated from this post, this pretty much crushed 90 % of my niche sites portfolio. 90% of my sites pretty much tanked, as a results of these has an impact of my adsense earnings. This Google penalty trend is ON GOING, just like the one on 5th JAN, they will constant push out new Algorithm. If you are lucky, your sites will stay on top spot just by throwing a few links from your PBN. If not, don’t be discouraged, follow my guide above in terms of recovering the tanked sites.