More Heads Roll As The Long Winter Continues To Bite
So Google are really shaking up the SEO landscape…described as the Long Winter by Ed Dale. One of the more high profile casualties was Build My Rank and since then quite a few other blog networks have been de-indexed. Whilst the blog networks were the direct targets for Google it’s clear that the secondary targets are the sites that use these networks. And whilst it would be too simple to generalize about what these type of sites are, it’s safe to say that many are what you might describe as niche or micro niche websites.
These are small sites – 5 to 10 pages maybe – on a small, tightly focused niche. The domain name is probably an exact match domain and each page is tightly focused around a single keyword. The sites are designed to rank well in the search engines and are quickly monetized. The monetization method is usually Google Adsense as this is easy to implement. In short, the sites are designed to make the owners money with little consideration of the visitor experience. Something that Google is cracking down on.
So the news that Spencer Haws has had his Adsense account banned is not a complete surprise but it’s still a rather disturbing turn of events. Spencer was one of the poster boys for niche sites monetized with Adsense. He had developed a course, a membership site and even a keyword research tool based on how he created small niche sites.
He made lots of money according to his income reports…10 grand a month…from Adsense. And as of yesterday, when he looks at his Adsense account, it says zero. Or to be more precise, he probably can’t even log into the account because it has been banned.
I had a similar experience a few years ago. One morning I tried to log into Adsense account to see the daily numbers and the screen said name not recognized or something like that. I double checked the password as you do….was cap locks on…was the user name right. Nothing.
Then I checked my email to discover the dreaded email. I had been banned. There was some explanation but nothing that made much sense to me and certainly nothing that I could actually do to rectify the situation.
From that day I started to concentrate on Amazon sites and physical products (well actually I think I tried Adbrite for a while but that totally sucked). My reasoning was that it was crazy to rely on Google for traffic as well as revenue. You were too exposed to the whims of Google. And while I still rely on Google for traffic, I don’t use any of their monetization methods now.
I also noticed that my sites that had Adsense were getting de-indexed whilst the Adsense free sites were not.
It’s a terrible feeling when this happens and I really feel for Spencer. I think it’s even worse for him as he has developed software and courses on his method that presumably are now irrelevant. Well maybe the keyword tool might still be okay.
You pretty much question why you are doing something so fickle. You think about the years of struggle that are seemingly down the drain. But after a few days of reflection, you start to realize that there are other options and others ways to succeed online. I think the important thing is not to give up. Certainly Spencer seems to have no intentions to give up according to his post.
He is thinking about other monetization methods…which is the option I took. Others in the same sort of business are talking about building authority sites. This theme of building one or two high quality sites that provide real value to real visitors seems to be gathering speed.
Who would have thought it…build a site that is genuinely useful to real people..genius! It’s going to be an interesting year…make sure you’ve got your long johns on, it could be a cold one.