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Follow my journey: Saving my parents' website/income

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by aus10, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. aus10

    aus10 Junior Member

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    Hey all,

    I learned SEO when my dad went and bought an e-commerce store and quit his job.

    He had no idea what he was doing. I had no idea what I was doing. So I just figured it out as we went along.

    For the past 6 or 7 years the e-commerce website has provided my parents' entire income. They have a few employees who help manage things and ship orders. They only had a couple hundred links, but the keywords weren't very competitive and actually had some pretty good traffic. The product is really hard to find and create, so they did OK.

    Then Penguin 2 happened. They dropped from #1 to #3, and their sales dropped a bunch. They got a link warning from Google, and my parents started stressing.

    My dad watched way too many Matt Cutts videos, and decided he needed to disavow some links. Not knowing what he was doing, he disavowed about half of the links the site had. The site dropped to #13.

    I haven't done much with SEO (I've been into spamming social networks and craigslist), but I need to figure it out in time to save my parents' livelihood. It all has to be very safe and white-hat, but I'm going to see what I can do with no cash out of pocket and in my spare time to help them out and save their company.

    Let me know if you have any tips or advice other than what I'm reading on this forum (I've done soooo much lurking). Here goes nothing.
     
  2. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Maybe in the meantime you suggest they hire a professional to help them?

    If this is their entire source of income then they (including you) need to take it seriously.

    Half arsed attempts will only cause them more problems.

    Good Luck
     
  3. aus10

    aus10 Junior Member

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    They hired "professionals" in the past. The professionals built crappy links.
     
  4. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Then they didn't actually hire professionals they probably went with the clown with the cheapest service.

    I am not trying to discourage you but if this their livelihood then you don't want to screw it up.

    You need to sit down with them and talk it through because it sounds like they need help and maybe you don't have the experience to do it.

    I am not intending to offend you but you had 7 years to do SEO but didn't.
     
  5. tompots

    tompots Elite Member Premium Member

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    I agree with W130SN, if this is the real deal and your family's income depends on it, and you don't really know what you are doing, then it's time to bring in the big guns before the site is gone into oblivion, and your family goes broke, and your forced to start over. This would not be the time to try to be the savoir yourself if you only know a little SEO, and even then if livelihoods are at stake your going to need more than just one person working on the ranks to save it.

    P.S. Stop Watching Matt Cutts Videos, Most of it is Pure Propaganda...
     
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    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  6. ipodtouchhackerisher

    ipodtouchhackerisher Senior Member

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    This has good chance of being a great journey thread, I wish you and your family luck.
     
  7. aus10

    aus10 Junior Member

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    They hired the biggest SEO company in town. That SEO company basically plugged stuff into linkvana and BMR.

    I'm not an idiot when it comes to SEO, but I'm not as advanced as most people here. They really don't have any Tier 1 links, so I'm trying to figure that out; they have a full-time writer who should be good for some guest posts, and that would help them a bunch.

    PM me if you want to look at the site/link profile and make recommendations; I'd be super grateful.
     
  8. seocrab

    seocrab Senior Member

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    Firstly, credit to OP for a noble journey goal. I think I understand where you're coming from, having helped out family members with their sites myself.

    The sudden post-penguin drop happened to a lot of people. Before you try to repair the site's rankings, you must put a Plan B and Plan C into place. If you need site visitors for immediate income, Plan B should be a PPC campaign - pick the keywords that you used to rank for. Yes, it will cost, but it's low-risk, which is what you need at the moment.

    Plan C should, in my opinion, be another website, either a fresh or an aged domain, that you can rank for the same keywords. You don't need an e-commerce site, just something informative and niche-relevant. This plan is to ensure that if your other site drops off completely, you still have a keyword presence.

    Now, it's damage control. You say your rank has slipped, but how's your traffic? Sales? Sometimes rank drops are so scary we forget to evaluate the affect they have on actual business figures. Once you know the damage, look at other search engines, work out where you stand on Yahoo, Bing and Ask. The situation might not be as bad as it first seemed.

    The business might be small, but it has a staff. Work on training everybody (your parents included) to build link-building into their daily routines. Blogging, videos, articles, social media etc, all the usual white-hat, informative stuff.

    One final tip, if you haven't done so already, try associating a Google Plus account with your e-commerce site to get Google authorship (https://plus.google.com/authorship); if you're keen on ranking highly on Google, implement their services as much as possible. Embedding YouTube videos on relevant site pages is also an excellent idea.

    If all this sounds like too much to deal with, a professional agency may be a good idea. And since you've found this forum already, you'll know that the service providers on here don't get away with any of the bells and whistles crap that some agencies provide. Plus, a lot of the marketplace services and incredibly cheap compared to agency rates.

    If you have time and a little cash, you can turn the business around. You did it once, and you can do it again. I wish you good luck and will be following this journey. :)
     
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  9. aus10

    aus10 Junior Member

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    Their traffic slipped. It didn't die off, but it's probably 60-70% of what it was; they slipped in every keyword from #1-3 to somewhere in the middle of page 2. Unfortunately that kind of a ranking slip made the revenue slip pretty substantially. From organic traffic they have about 25% of the sales they used to.

    So I got all their product on Amazon, and that's enough to keep them afloat, but obviously not ideal (they take a huge cut), and set up a little PPC campaign, that makes some money (again, keeping them afloat), but the real bread and butter was the rankings.

    They've been able to blog, do videos, social media, etc. but they were ranked #1 so they didn't care. I got them a social media presense, they now have a blog, I'm bringing in some pinterest traffic (doesn't convert too well, but you know).

    Now it's pretty much linkbuilding. it looks like the only referring URL for most of the category pages is the homepage, so we'll get some of that, and their anchor text diversity really sucks (thanks but no thanks crappy SEO companies). So we'll be working on it.

    And that's great advice. I'll PM specific info for anyone who wants to take a look at it and recommend anything more specific, but I can't thank you guys enough!