Action Plan (Update #4) for Improving Rankings

This is update #4 in the series of posts that outline the plan to regain high rankings in the search engine results. Update #4 is fairly uneventful and I have a correction to share from last week. I made a little mistake!

The update this week will cover the details of what was accomplished, results, and a few other updates.

If you are just joining the story, be sure to check out the initial post about this action plan. The initial update for the action plan to improve rankings covered the background of the website. There are a few important graphs in that post that you should take a look at if you have not already. That post really lays the framework for all the future action plan updates.

Accomplishments and Results

What was planned…

I was planning on creating a list of products to review, blog commenting, and start on the list of websites for outreach/networking purposes. I adapted the plan though…

Part of it was out of my control – my day job has been very busy. Like most budding internet marketers, I still have a day job. It pays the bills and when they need me at work I have to step up and take care business there. I know a lot of people can relate.

That means that I just didn’t have as much time to work on the money site. Basically, I didn’t get as much done as I thought I would.


Blog Comments: Again, we left about 20 comments on blogs. This is less than planned, of course, that is mainly for the excuse listed above.

Link Viking (affiliate: mention my name): I have a link on the schedule and I hope that it will be processed sometime next week.

the HOTH - One Stop Link Building

This is an affiliate link also.

HOTH Package (affiliate link): The Platinum package finished the initial phase last week. The day after I received the report from the HOTH, the website jumped 2 places for the main search term!

That put the site at #8. Excellent!

However, the rankings settled out and it’s been moving from #9 – 10. The real power from the HOTH come after a few weeks…

We slow-drip each article to our own network of PR sites over a period of 3+ weeks. By slow-dripping these articles, we create a steady link velocity.

They basically add links from their private network to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 websites that they create. I’m very interested to see how this will impact the rankings over the next few weeks.


This week we did see a little bit of improvement in the rankings…from #10 to #9. Check out the graph from serpbooks (affiliate link) below. I am only showing the Google rankings in the first graph so you can actually see the movement.

In this case, moving just one position is not having a noticeable impact on the traffic.

Google Search Rankings Only

Google Search Rankings Only

The Yahoo results are interesting. It appears that the efforts over the last few weeks have been helping.

They have been helping a lot. The site moved from #29 to #3 in the Yahoo search results.

The site moved from #29 to #3 in about 10 days. Google and Yahoo results are shown. Yahoo is in GREEN.

The site moved from #29 to #3 in about 10 days. Google and Yahoo results are shown. Yahoo is in GREEN.

New Links

We see a few new links for this week too. I may stop publishing this graph since it does not seem to have a real impact. With so many links disappearing and so many showing up, the value of seeing this graphic is low.

In the view, I can actually see where the backlinks are coming from…so that is very valuable. However, I can’t publish that information here or it would compromise the moneysite URL.

Traffic (and the Correction!)

Last week, I saw a spike in traffic when I reviewed the Analytics from Google. Well, that was a reporting error.

Every now and then, Google Analytics will report about double the traffic for a day or so. I haven’t seen that kind of behavior before but when I checked around with some peers, it sounds like a common occurrence.

Oops!If I would have checked the Jetpack Dashboard on my WordPress admin panel, then I would have seen that the traffic was steady.Here is the graph for the last 30 days. You can see that the traffic from last week is stable…

A Slight Pivot

Over the past six weeks, the money site published more content and received more backlinks. The impact has been minimal to none.

It’s apparent to me that the issue might be deeper than content freshness and backlinks.

I am not sure what the issue is but on page SEO might be a factor. The pivot is that I will be observing for a little bit before I keep adding more content and links.

The feedback from Google so far is that the additional content and backlinks are not helping. It doesn’t mean that they are not going to help eventually but it might be smart to start looking at other factors.

One other strategy is to try to 301 redirect the money site to a new domain or a subdomain on the same root domain. I heard about this from the ViperChill podcast on the What We Learned from 30 SEO Consultations episode. It’s a great podcast overall so check it out. The 301 redirect part is about 22:15 minutes in but you should listen to the whole episode.

Let me know if you have any experience with using a 301 redirect for SEO Purposes. Do you have any opinions on that move?


As I mentioned, I think I should start thinking about more drastic measures to help repair the rankings on my money website. I will be taking a deep dive to review the on page SEO –  more in depth than my casual analysis that I performed after the rankings drop in February.

I am also looking at the 301 redirect option. That will be a big pivot and the results will be apparent.

I think taking some decisive action will be good. The action may or may not work but the minor tweaks have not provided much of an impact – not positive or negative.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for me?

15 comments… add one
  • John

    Hi Doug,
    a detailed check up on the on-page seo for you homepage might be needed.
    1. fewer outgoing links (maybe ?)
    2. more words for your keyword than the other keyword (more electric than shaver), let say you are targeting best electric shaver, so more electric words on homepage ..

    how about off-page seo
    1. Did you use commenluv a lot ? are these nofollow links?
    2. Do you have more nofollow than dofollow
    3. Which country you have the most back links from ?

    • Hi John – thanks for the comment.

      On Page:
      1. I don’t think the number of outbound links is an issue. In the near past, I have added even more authoritative outbound links that are non-affiliate links.
      2. This doesn’t really apply for my homepage. However, I did see that I did use a 1-word keyword very often. I am not targeting just one word but it was out of the range of other highly ranked niche sites.

      Off Page:
      1. Many backlinks do come from Commentluv. Most of them are nofollow links.
      2. Yes
      3. Most links come from the US.

  • Ben

    Hey Doug,

    I would strongly suggest to stop messing around with more blog comments and other links, if your site fell it’s very likely that it triggered an algorithmic penalty and no amount of links alone will bring it back.

    The most likely penalty being over-optimization, less really is more right now with on-page SEO and I speak from experience here.

    Do the following and I’m very confident your site will shoot back up:

    1. Deoptimize every page on your site, don’t have any 2+ length keywords with density over 1%. If they are already that low then go lower!
    2. In order to get your site back and earning money as quickly as possible 301 redirect it to a new domain and it will be back and ranking again within a few days.

    This worked wonders for my Amazon site which is also a big earner (~$6k per month). I was scratching my head for months, trying many different things like you before taking this action.

    • John

      Hi Ben,
      Nice to know you were able to figure it out and successfully rank your site again to number 1…. and wow $6,000 per month is a lot of money for 1 site.. Congrats and hope Doug will be able to pull them same strategy that you did…. Wish you the best Doug…

      • Ben

        Thanks and I really hope it works for Doug too…as long as he isn’t in the same niche as me hehe 😉

        • John

          yeah Doug should make it, and it benefits the rest since we all will learn how he did it.

    • Hey Ben – Great comment!

      I think you are right about the 1st point. I see that the new back links don’t seem to be helping out so much.

      I’ve started working on the onpage and really reducing the amount of targeted keywords.

      Thanks for the advice and I think I’ll have a new post about that soon.

      How long did it take for your new domain to show up in the SERPs?


      • Ben

        Yep that’s a good start I think Doug.

        Literally once 301 redirected and then submitted a change of address in WMT it takes just 3-4 days to fully regain rankings.

        Pretty amazing really, I’ve done it a few times and it always works 🙂

    • Hey Ben,

      Wow, a $6k money site is huge! Would you perhaps be willing to share how much monthly traffic on average your site gets and what the average product price is that you promote from Amazon to get this type of earnings?

      • Ben

        I have a pretty immense PBN in my arsenal 😉

        Believe it or not but average traffic is only around 300 unique visitors per day. Of course some of the products on my site cost $1,000+ but some are only a couple of hundred.

  • Would you consider using Spencer’s RankHero PBN links? Given you made pretty good income over Nov/Dec. I think the investment is worthy, but the outcome is unknown?

    Also I’d suggest you create a new site in the same niche in April. You could outsource the frontpage and have 10 nice posts to start with. If it’s indexed properly, you could do 301 redirect to the new one.

    For my $ site, I plan to create a new one in the niche. In case it’s penalized, I have another “aged” one to work on for upcoming Christmas Season.

    My 2 cents,

    Kent @ IMT

  • M Scott

    I’ve been considering looking a bit into on page optimization by analyzing LSI. I’m going to be launching a new small (~5 page) niche site, and I’m going to analyze the existing top 10 results for common phrases that I may have overlooked. I did this for an existing site I launched about 3 weeks ago and it took my site from the sandbox to ~170 for a medium competition keyword with no backlinks.

    I can document my analysis (I’m an engineer by day – I feel you on the day job front!) if you’re interested in seeing what I’m doing and how it’s going. It may make for interesting blog material too – if it actually helps!

    • Hey – I’m definitely interested in hearing about your analysis.

      I actually have a site ranking #1 for a search term that never even appears on the page.

      Not even once. So, like Ben said, less is more with on page optimization.

  • Wow, the 301-redirect strategy is something completely new to me, in terms of regaining rankings that is. I think I must go listen to Glen’s podcast asap. I’m just about ready to go for that Platinum HOTH package myself but as I’ve mentioned to you, I’m seeing slight drops in my rankings as well and this has me wondering if my site has triggered a penalty of some sort as well and if I wouldn’t be wasting my money…

    You pointed out to me that the overall page keyword density on some articles may be too high, despite my content that are on average at around 0.5% as per my SEO plugin. I really am starting to wonder if this is not the issue…

    Good luck, Doug. Man I hope you get your rankings back.

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