How To Make Your Niche Website Penguin Proof

For starters… let me begin with saying that I got hit by Penguin 2.1.

Penguin 2.1 Example

OUCH!!! Bad Penguin!

The above image is an example of Penguin 2.1 affecting one of my niche websites.  I was recently able to get to #1 for 3 target (related) keywords… but now I am out of the top 100 for one of them, and was out of the top 100 for the others during the past few days.  I am currently sitting in the range of #30-35 for all of them.

The site was bringing me in about $40-$50 per day when it was #1, which was pretty good.  Now, after P 2.1 which rolled out Friday, I am making just a few bucks per day.  Now, I’m not going to pretend that I am not extremely upset… but I will just have to be patient to see where this ends up.

What is Penguin 2.1, and what is it doing to niche sites.

P 2.1 is affecting primarily niche websites, and micro niche sites.  Sites affected most have some of the following qualities:

  • Links from poor or low quality sites
  • Irrelevant site links
  • Paid links
  • Links from a site that has a high % of disavowed links.
  • Keyword rich links
  • Over optimized Anchor Text links pointing to them

Now that we know what it is, lets briefly discuss who it is hitting

  • Links from poor or low quality sites – (SEO’s and Niche Sites)
  • Irrelevant site links – (SEO’s and Niche Sites)
  • Paid links – (SEO’s and Niche Sites)
  • Links from a site that has a high % of disavowed links – (SEO’s and Niche Sites)
  • Keyword rich links – (SEO’s and Niche Sites)
  • Over optimized Anchor Text links pointing to them – (SEO’s and Niche Sites)

You see a theme starting here??? Yeah, me too.  Google’s recent Hummingbird algorithm and P 2.1 updates serve 1 purpose… Big G’s!!  One can certainly argue that cleaning up search results from crappy niche sites is a positive, and I will agree.  The problem is, now that many of these niche websites have been bounced back in the rankings, “other niche sites” are now being placed in the top positions.  SO, what is the point?

Well, lets recall that Google makes 98%+ of their revenues from paid search, also known as Pay Per Click.  Google wants businesses to have to pay to have a top position, not get there for free.  If you look at recent search results, you will see how much they are focused on paid links!!


paid search example

Paid Outnumbers Organic 11-3!!

So what is your point??

My point is simple.  Google has changed the way they do business… and it is only a matter of time before consumers stop going to google to be slammed with ads.  Eventually, people are going to want to have less skewed results.  That, or the world is full of sheep (most likely).

Here is the secret that most of you won’t read because this post is too long (which it isn’t) and even less of you will take action on, but just in case.

Use pictures.  Not just a few pictures, but as many pictures as you can.  If you look at some of the heavy hitter blogs, not only is there alot of content, but there are tons of pictures.  Do you know why?  Pictures aren’t affected by any of these algorithmic updates!!  The site that I mentioned above (which Im keeping private because I don’t want anymore competition than I have already) got slammed by P 2.1, but it still has the #1 spot for pictures.  If any of you have seen the change in search results, you will notice that many of them still show pictures like this:

Pictures in Search

No, this is not my niche site


The Truth

The truth is you won’t ever be hit with this if you build a deep authority site, but that isn’t why you are visiting this site.  You are here because you are looking for passive income that can be replicated pretty easily… niche websites.  So try using the Picture method and see how your sites indexing changes.  For the record, I have a number of “content” sites that get tons of traffic from pictures that you typically wouldn’t think would get any traffic.

Good luck and hopefully you won’t get hit by future algorithm updates.

RANT!!! Why Niche Website Marketing Gets A Bad Name

I usually don’t like to rant like this… but while doing research for a future post for this site, I was looking through Flippa at “Adsense monetized” sites, which are traditionally niche websites, and I stumbled across this site. Before I go to deep, you should know that this site was sold at auction for over $350… which isn’t too bad.  Especially when you consider that it was likely just whipped together. Here is a picture and link to the actual auction, but please come back… don’t get lost on Flippa!

Flippa Auction

Link To Flippa Auction

Thanks for coming back.  Here is why I am ranting.  If you look at this website, it is literally one of the worst sites I have ever seen!!  Somehow, according to the auction listing… this is a PR2 site, and actually gets google organic traffic!!

Meanwhile, I struggle to get ANY organic traffic at all from google for this site (thats another post for the near future) while trying to provide the best content I can.  What is big G thinking?  So lets just look at a few of the issues with this website.

  1. is apparently “targeted to solving many major problems that women face in their lives”.  Yet, their main headline on the site is some jibberish about “Tips for Purchasing the Operating Footwears For Women”.   But what does the domain name hae to do with any of the this??  Now that is Quality Contents!! 😉
  2. There is a ridiculous amount of misspellings and hideous english.  One of my favorites is in their something about us section on the homepage that says, “To know more information take a look of site :)”  What the heck does that mean???  Perhaps I should call the phone number right underneath it?
  3. If you are daring enough to scroll down, you will see a “Subscribe Us” button!!  yeah, im sure that won’t be spamming the hell out of anyone dumb enough to do it.
  4. In fairness, I will admit I did read through the masturbation techniques for women post and literally laughed out loud at the names of the techniques.
  5. Once I was done laughing at the above post… I figured it was time to get serious, so I went to the money link.  Boy, was I pleased with the results.  I saw the wonderfully worded “small buisness for simple woman” post.  Yep, it does take a simple woman to digest all the content on that page (1 paragraph that kind of fades away into nothing).


Here is my point…

YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE TO SIT BACK AND WATCH ANYMORE!!   If this person can slap together this awful piece of junk and actually sell it for over $350 on flippa, what the heck is keeping you from building your own niche site?  Most people are worried about not being creative enough, clever enough, daring enough, fill in your excuse here enough to start… and then they get frustrated when they see someone less talented having success.  Well, here is a perfect example of someone having success with zero talent, content, command of the english language, good judgement, etc.  So GET STARTED NOW!!!  But please, do a better job than this clown so I don’t have to write a rant about your niche website 🙂

Genesis Framework Test & Review

Hi all,

As you can probably tell, I have a new theme up… I am testing out the Genesis Framework.  Currently working with the Copyblogger theme… which is a free theme.  Im going to give it some time to work with, and then I will provide a full review.  I am also testing on a few of my niche sites.

Stay Tuned.

My Niche Site Case Study – Update

You may or may not know that I recently launched a new niche site case study project about model trains.  I just wanted to give a quick update on the progress it has seen.  I launched the site back on May 24th of this year, and it is part of a Google+ Niche Site Community that I am part of.  You can join that community here.

Anyway, the idea of the project is to share the process of building a niche site.  It all starts with things like keyword research, choosing a domain name, choosing a hosting platform, and setting up the site and choosing a wordpress theme.  I also created a brief video about how I do keyword research and the tools I use.  You can watch that video here:

I am doing all the reviews myself, and the concept is just to add a little bit of personalized content before the details that I am pulling directly from Amazon.  My goal from the beginning was not to set this site up necessarily the way it should be or could be (I actually am the founder of an Automotive SEO Company that is in the middle of a redesign, I am the sales guy, not the technical talent) but how the typical niche site builder would be able to do it.  I am not using any of the outsourced labor that I have on staff either.  This is just my own work.

Cool Backpacks Niche Site

Now that the site is up and running, I wanted to share some details and statistics.

Site Stats:

  • Launched 5/24/13
  • 6 posts so far – As you may know, I feel the sweet spot needs to be 15 posts to measure ROI
  • 122 Visits – This is weak, must be the copywriter’s fault!
  • Pages Per Visit – 1.45 (site needs more pages)
  • Average Time On Site – 1 min 6 seconds
  • Bounce Rate – 77% (this needs to be way lower, but I just don’t have enough content)
  • 8 Total Traffic Sources – Only 19 visits from Google Organic (#3 referral source so far)
  • 7 Keywords – Target keyword is “Cool Backpacks” and is #2 keyword.  “Not Provided” is #1
  • Majority of traffic is english speaking, with 70% being US based.  This is good.
  • Amazon Product Clicks – 33 Clicks – No Sales,  thus no ROI

These are good and bad numbers.  Im not surprised to not be making any money yet, as I really don’t have enough content to generate enough visitors.  At the end of the day, what I need is more visitors.  The good news is, about 25% of the visitors are visiting Amazon (33 clicks from 122 visits).  What it will likely need is about 3 thousand visits a month at that pace, to get me about 15 sales.  15 sales of about a $25-$30 backpack will get me about $25 per month, assuming I make 6% commission on that.  If I am making that, then I will “occasionally” add more content, but will likely have to have someone else generate it to make the ROI work for me.

At this point, this site is still a baby in my eyes, so it isn’t feeding itself let alone running on its own.  I always have the option of switching this to an adsense site too… as I would have already been making money if it was.  But I wanted to use Amazon for this one, as I think just about anyone can make money with adsense and I wanted to demonstrate how to make money using Amazon.  Once this thing reaches 15 articles, I will evaluate whether to put it on auto-pilot or develop it into an authority site.  Until then, I still have a ton of work left.

How do you think it looks so far?  What suggestions do you have for the site to make it better for viewers?