Trying To Escape An SEO Black Hole
This post is the first of a series documenting my attempts to retrieve one of my money sites from the depths of ranking despair.
How I Got There……
The site is an exact match domain of the form “NicheCity.net”. The niche is real estate and the site monetisation method is lead generation.
Up until late in 2011 the site appeared in the “7-pack” local listings, even though the site didn’t represent a bricks and mortar store. (How that happened is another story for another day.)
When Google started to merge local and organic listings, my site got booted out of the 7-pack but then was still the first organic listing below it. Then in early 2012 the (first) disaster struck.
One of the Google updates (I’ve lost track of which one) sent my site to the bottom half of page 2 – position 17 exactly. The leads (and money) began to dry up.
That meant I had to start an Adwords account to keep the leads flowing. That hurt, because now I was paying $1.00-1.50 per click, rather than getting all the leads for free as I was when my site was on page 1.
Here is where I made a big mistake, although I wasn’t to know. I purchased a Warrior Special Offer (WSO) for $199 offering a guaranteed page one ranking for a single keyword and URL (see my review).
The link building service would continue for as long as it took to achieve the page one ranking. There were plenty of glowing testimonials, so I thought $199 to push it to page one was a bargain – how wrong I was!
The following picture shows what happened:
The starting rank in late May was 17, the highest rank achieved a few days later was 13. The flatline represents rankings greater than 100. The last time I checked the actual ranking in late August it was 159.
Instead of a page 1 ranking my site was consigned to the ranking black hole on page 15, apparently never to be seen again. My only salvation was that I continued with the Adwords campaign, so I was still making money, but no where near what I was when I had that precious page one ranking.
Links to the other posts in this case study series:
- Trying To Escape An SEO Black Hole Part 2
- Trying To Escape An SEO Black Hole Part 3 - Things Are Getting Worse Rather Than Better