Google Dinged DomainShane Last Week and I’m Glad to See The Traffic Go

Oct 05 2012

Last week I noticed this site dropped 200-300 visitors a day and obviously I was concerned.  Did Google now hate me?  Did they think I was a spam site?  Nope, it was much simpler than that.  I lost a lot of traffic for keywords that had no relevance to domain investing.

I am was getting 1500-1700 visitors a day before the algorithm change and now I’m down to 1300-1500.  But it’s actually good news.  Good news because after further investigation I realized that the traffic lost were people coming to my site for terms completely unrelated to what I’m writing about.  My biggest term lost was “Mater” “Cars”.  I had taken a picture of a tow truck that looked like Mater from Cars and it ranked first page for the terms.  People would come each day to find something about Cars.  They could give a rats ass about domain investing.   They didn’t want to be here and I didn’t benefit from them coming.   Every term I lost was similar. Nothing domain related.

It has actually improved many of my stats.  I’ve noticed that my average pageviews and time spent on site skyrocketed.  Once the people that spent two seconds and didn’t want to be here were taken away, the real stats were revealed.  Contrary to other blogs who write for Google,  I don’t write headlines based on current events, or popular topics, and then make them domain related by throwing in a url somewhere.  I want to attract people that are interested in domain investing, business, or making money.  I don’t want someone to come here because I put Britney Spears in the title.  Those types of headlines don’t do me or my advertisers any good.

I can now give “real” numbers.  Traffic is not all created equal.  Type in traffic is worth 10 times Google traffic.  Repeat visitors are worth double that.  It is not being honest when you report traffic of 5000 a day when 4500 of them came from Google looking for a photoshopped picture of some celebrity or some other random headline that has nothing to do with domain investing.

One of the thing that I am most proud of is my CPM of my banners.  My affiliate banner CPM went from $30 CPM to $60CPM in the week that my junk traffic was canceled.  I realize it’s only a week and may not continue but that’s damn good.  You see, the amount of traffic doesn’t matter, it’s the quality of traffic.  Your CPM will tell you the quality of traffic.  Of course I don’t have many advertisers so I’m forced to pay the bills by delivering paying customers.  Those Google uniques were doing me no good other than to brag about traffic being up.

It’s taught me a good lesson.  It’s taught me that if I’m going to advertise I want to know more about the traffic.  Not only where is it coming from but what are they coming FOR.  I don’t want to pay for people looking for Google bait.  I want to pay for people looking for items or services similar to mine.  The data is easy to get.  It’s in all analytics and certainly in Google analytics.

So my site may look like it’s in decline on paper, it’s really gotten better.  Better because the non domain related keywords are dropping and the traffic is still where it was before Google started sending traffic for these obscure keywords a few months ago.  Although Google dropped me from some keywords my pagerank was raised to 5 and now I have added a few more visits for domain keywords.  Keywords that don’t send nearly the amount as Mater did but keywords that deliver potential paying customers. Not some 15 year old girl looking for a new ipod screensaver.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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