SEO Case Study: Month 9 Results

March 26, 2011 Posted by Tyler Cruz
Paid Advertisement

It’s time again for everybody’s favourite case study! I’m 6 days late in posting this SEO case study update, but here’s an update on my SEO rankings for the 9th month.

I started these SEO case study reports back in mid-November of 2010, and now provide monthly updates on how my various SEO campaigns are faring.

If you haven’t seen them already, you can view the previous months here: Month 5 Results, Month 6 Results, Month 7 Results, and Month 8 Results.

If you want to skip all the details and get straight to the results, scroll down to the last image, as it gives a fantastic overall summary of last month’s results.

SEO Firm Keywords Plummeted

In my last update, this section was titled “SEO Firm Keywords are Taking Off”. Now it’s titled “SEO Firm Keywords Plummeted”.

Ironically, the same day I posted how the RankPay keywords were doing awesome, they dropped out of the top 1,000 and haven’t resurfaced since for one of the keywords. The other keyword popped back up at around #280 during the past week, but dropped out of the top 1,000 again today.

Again, these 2 keywords are very competitive, and it’s only been 4 months so far, so it’s still too early to tell if RankPay is a good service. It will be interesting to see how next month fares.

The Farmer/Panda Update

Have you heard of Google’s Farmer/Panda update?

If you haven’t, basically what happened is that on February 24th, 2011 Google implemented a major change to its search engine, affecting roughly 12% of search results and halving many low quality website’s traffic numbers.

Google “google’s panda farmer update” to read a ton of different articles on it. It has caused quite the stir in the SEO world.

In a nutshell, websites which backlinks are comprised up mostly of article directory and very low-quality websites saw huge decreases in rank. Naturally, websites with more higher-authority and natural-looking backlinks increased a little bit due to the drop in the penalized websites.

It appears that my affiliate site was affected by this update. Check out the screenshot below:

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The threshold for the above difference comparison was set for the last 30 days, around the time when Panda was introduced.

As you can see, my rankings increased in Bing/Yahoo, but dropped significantly in Google.  For one of the keywords, it dropped out of the top 1,000!

In contrast, my movie site, which is a very high quality and established website, actually saw a good increase in the past month. More on that later (or skip to the last image in this post to see the results).

Even though the backlink source for both sites were the same, my movie site didn’t see a drop, but rather an increase. I believe this is because the update had a greater effect on lowering the value of low-quality article-type sites and thus plowing a bunch of sites out of my way, than the value I was getting out of those backlinks. That’s my theory anyway.

Even though this update hurt my affiliate site (supposedly), I’m still happy with it. It encourages and promotes quality websites with quality backlinks, which is better for the Internet.

Finally Fired my SEO Guy

I had been tiptoeing around it for months now, but I finally “fired” my SEO freelancer a couple of days ago. I just wasn’t seeing good results from him, despite hiring him for 8 months.

It wasn’t a complete waste though. I did see results and improvement, just not to my satisfaction.

Also, since the majority of the backlinks from him were the exact type of sites that Google’s Panda update (see above) were targeting, it made sense to stop.

To replace him, I am hiring a new SEO freelancer. I have put a much stricter limit on the new guy, only giving him 1-2 months before I decide whether or not the results are worth it. The new guy will not be giving me the same type of backlinks as the old guy… at least not article-based backlinks. We’ll see how this goes.

Month 9 Update

Here then, is an update on how the last month has fared for me in terms of paid SEO.

Just a reminder that I am currently tracking 13 keywords across 2 search engines, so I won’t be able to focus on every single keyword, and will therefore focus only on the ones that show the most change (good or bad).

While I saw some improvement on my 2 movie keywords, the biggest news were the drops on my affiliate keywords due (most likely) to the Panda update:

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It’s kind of interesting. You see a drop around 2-3 weeks after the update, which is somewhat odd in and of itself. And then you see a slow, gradual incline…

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This appears to be consistent with all my hit keywords. Interesting.

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SEO Income

In month 6, my affiliate site brought in 5 leads from SEO efforts, each worth approximately $60, making a total of roughly $300. In month 7, it brought in only 1 lead. In month 8, it brought in only 2.

Since I was almost a week late in writing this post, my numbers are a bit skewed. Since my last post, my affiliate site brought in 6 leads, bringing in around $350. However, that in the past 30 days, it brought in 5, the same as month 6, so around $300.

This means that I actually made a TINY profit again from SEO last month. I do not count the movie site portion of the SEO costs in this calculation because I cannot directly correlate its results to income.

Again, you can see why I haven’t given up with outsourcing SEO yet. I am not ranked very high for my keywords, yet I am still breaking even.

Overview Chart

Here is a very nice overview comparison chart of both my sites from both 1 month ago and 6 months ago, as compared with today.

Previously, I compared with 3 months but replaced that with 6 months now that I have been using RankTracker (still absolutely love it and recommend it) for that long.

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Stay tuned for my next SEO Case Study update post to see how my rankings improve (hopefully)!

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Posted: March 26th, 2011 under SEO  

34 Responses to “SEO Case Study: Month 9 Results”

  1. Your stats seem to be deteriorating..I hope you get them back to good.

  2. Fazal Mayar says:

    Yep your stats seem to be getting worse but they will be back up if you work on the seo.

  3. Tyrone Gibzon says:

    seo is kind of like fishing

    right now you have two guys with rods waiting for fish. Add 8 more guys to catch as well

    get it?

  4. Bradley says:

    Ya those stats don’t look pretty.You for sure need to get back on track if you want to make that $MONEY$!

  5. Good you fired that guy. 8 months is way too long indeed! Hope you get better results now!

  6. Sunfrog says:

    Why are you trying to rank for the word “Panda?” Is it because Kung Fu Panda 2 is coming out soon?

  7. geobak says:

    Tyler link building is only 50% of SEO

    The other 50% is On-Site SEO and you can’t have the results you want of your On-Site SEO sucks

    You need links and a good on site SEO strategy in order to achieve high rankings

    That’s my 2 cents

  8. Michael says:

    How much was the monthly fee for the seo guy you fired?

  9. Sunfrog says:

    Rank #1 for the term Humanure. Then make and sell some and work from home.

  10. Tyler any SEo services fades away after some time since they keep on doing the same thing with same network of sites they are familiar with. I think you could have discussed with your SEO guy, rather firing him.

  11. Paul B says:

    Google punishes shit. That’s all I have to say.

  12. Typhoon says:

    Tyler, I think you really have been wasting time on that seo guy from last 8 months. From where did you came to know about that boy? I feel I would have done even better job than him ;D

    I think you should really get some .edu backlinks (not blog spamming) because I recently built two backlinks on a .edu domain on my own, got it forcefully indexed in Google and surprisingly (drum roll) my ranking moved from bottom of 3rd page to first page of Google in just 2 days (It’s somewhere between #8-#12 most of the time and for most of the Google’s domain).

    And the keyword is very competitive. The keyword is the review of the site which is powering your site :D (I hope you can guess that)..

  13. Kate Kutny says:

    What I would do is find a few really good highly searched keywords you want to rank for. Then write articles with those keywords in the title and also in the second paragraph of your article for your website here. Also make sure you are deep linking through out all your articles on your site.

    And create more back links by leaving comments on high pr blogs and also create Ezine Articles and in the bio box add your “keyword” to your website link which is TylerCruz.com. Do this over and over and I’m sure you will rank higher in Google and make even more money! And also make sure all the images on your site have a keyword near the .jpg, .gif or .png file. This will also help you make more sales. Because many times people search for images and they could find you from doing this.

    I hope this helps you or someone out :)

    Kate

  14. By far the best seo case study series. Thanks for sharing Tyler. Keep up the great work :)

  15. Soj says:

    Hey Tyler,

    Wondering if you could show some traffic stats in line with your keyword rankings for the affiliate site, would be good to see the correlation between traffic and ranking based on those few keywords.

  16. Solid results Tyler, good job.

  17. Thats really interesting to see how it all was affected. Way to go on the boost on your movie sites. That is really good.

  18. Great case study Tyler, but interesting in terms of the decline, hope it picks up!

  19. The Google update affected many websites, but I doubt they affected mine, even though I do see some affect in my stats.

    Hope everything goes well with your campaign with RankPay.

  20. Becky says:

    Hi! I haven’t talked to you in months. : ( Anywho, I gotta guy for you! That is if your still “into” the entire SEO thing. I am a firm believer in SEO, but it’s not for everyone. Any who, IM or email me.

    Becky : )

  21. exsuit says:

    Tyler, did you buy the pro or the enterprise edition of RankTracker? Did you find any discount coupons before you bought???

    cheers,

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I bought the pro version. I didn’t look for any coupons when I bought it.

      • exsuit says:

        Thanks for the reply. Did you try any other products on the market? (I am currently looking for a tracking solution, but want to get others opinions before making the purchase). Looks to me like you are 100% satisfied with this purchase!

        • Tyler Cruz says:

          I tired a number of free products before using RankTracker, but none came CLOSE to what RankTracker does. Absolutely love it and can’t recommend it high enough.

          I’m probably going to buy the Spyglass software that the same company makes since I’m so happy with RT.

  22. Neil says:

    Tyler,

    The boys are RankPay mentioned you are in the midst of testing/reviewing their “pay for performance” seo offering. Trying to find where on this fine site you have the 411 on this, from your perspective, but either I’m having a brain fart or the ink’s not dry yet and you’re still working on it? If there is such a piece, a pointer would be appreciated. – Neil

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Neil,

      I briefly mention how my keywords are performing with them in my SEO Case Study posts (as well as my most recent blog post). You can find an archive of them here: http://www.tylercruz.com/category/seo-2/.

      My keywords with RankPay have just recently skyrocketed though, which I haven’t posted about in detail yet, so keep that in mind.

      If you decide to sign up with them, use the promo code TYLERCRUZ to receive a special $50 instant bonus credit applied to your account :-)

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