[Journey] Building a Large Authority Site by 2024

Very great journey. I just started my own blog too, did some KW research and will be writing the articles myself using chatgpt. Hope things go well. Fingers crossed
 
Month 9 Update

So, if you've followed the journey the past couple of weeks you've probably read that I suffered some loss in traffic. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out the exact cause and it's not easy. From what I can see, it seems that two things happened at once:
  • A surge of searches in my niche during one week, between the 10th and 16th of July. The growth during this week does not follow my previous growth, and since it's in the home and garden niche it could well be that a lot of people were home during this summer week.
  • Two or three pages that used to bring in a lot of traffic have dropped in rankings. This could have a severe impact on the overall traffic, and I have to get a more even spread between the articles.
I am 100% certain that the site has not been hit by some Google update, as my overall rankings stay the same. It's just a couple of articles that have dropped from #1 to #3-5, they will probably bounce back eventually.

After my problems with Ezoic I changed back to AdSense but man that place sucks. I'm now determined to fix the origin errors and speed up my site a bit more. So I've applied a fix I found online, reconnected my site to Ezoic and hopefully it will work. I just can't stand losing so much revenue, it's gonna take some time to reach 50k monthly traffic to get on MediaVine, don't wanna earn pennies during that period.

What I've Done in July

Well, everything I mentioned above took up most of my free time. It's also been a lot at work and I'm so looking forward to going on vacation next week.

I have still not found a good writer, these guys are hard to find. So I've been writing some articles myself, not nearly enough though. Started the month with 238 articles, and I've written 28 articles. These are a mix of short, easy-to-rank 0 volume keywords (not expecting much from these but most of them rank #1 now), and some medium-ticket affiliate posts.

Let's get to the stats.

Traffic

Google Search Console Nov 2022 - Today


12-month-gsc.jpg

Google Analytics July

analytics-july.jpg

SERPRobot Rankings Compared to 30 days ago


serprobot-july.jpg

As you can see I've dropped in the Top 3, which is the main cause for the drop in traffic. Looking at the Google Search Console it seems that my impressions and clicks are the same as they were the first week in June, so it's not a huge loss.

Earnings

I'm not at all disappointed with the earnings for the month, it's still not where I would like it to be but we're getting there.

Here are the earnings from Ezoic for the month

ezoic-july.jpg

And here's my Amazon Associates earnings

amz-july.jpg

The total earnings for July were $122.13. That's not too bad for a site that is 9 months old and just started with monetization 3 months ago. In July we had an average EPMV of $10.01 which is better than before but still not great.

I also want to touch on the Ezoic Premium earnings. The few days I was on the premium I earned $0.40-0.48, which is not at all worth it for me since it would cost $18/month just to be on their premium plan. I'm sure the premium earnings would increase over time as well, but it feels like a gamble.

I also suspect that the origin errors started as soon as I got on Ezoic Premium, don't think I had that problem before. So for the time being, I'm gonna stay away from that altogether.


What's next?

Going forward, I've realized that the only thing that can help me grow is more content. I could probably buy a couple of backlinks but I'm on the fence for now. I want to diversify my earnings a bit, my articles are still 90% informational, and I should focus on getting 40-50 affiliate posts in the next couple of months.

I have found a competitor that reviews a specific appliance, they have low authority but earn $300-400/month from Amazon. Will try to outrank them first, I think they have about 20-25 good affiliate keywords that I can target. That will be my focus this week.

Next week I go on vacation, so won't be able to work much on the sites for about 12 days.

Stats

Articles: 266 (+28)
Visitors in July: 9.8k

Current investments

Hosting: $250
Content: $4520
Misc: $100
Total: $4870 (No money spent in July)

Earnings

Ezoic: $100.56
Amazon: $21.57
Total earnings in July: $122.13

Total earnings to date: $278.52
 
After my problems with Ezoic I changed back to AdSense but man that place sucks. I'm now determined to fix the origin errors and speed up my site a bit more. So I've applied a fix I found online, reconnected my site to Ezoic and hopefully it will work. I just can't stand losing so much revenue, it's gonna take some time to reach 50k monthly traffic to get on MediaVine, don't wanna earn pennies during that period.
By how much % is your income higher with Ezoic compared to AdSense? I am a bit disappointed with the Ezoic income. I earn about 55% more with Ezoic than with AdSense. However, with AdSense I set a low ad density and Ezoic stuffs the whole page with ads. With Google I had max. 8 ads per page, with Ezoic now often twice as many. For this I find 55% more revenue then rather weak. I am therefore considering whether I try AdSense again with max. 12 ads per page. Maybe the revenues are then only slightly lower, but the page is faster and still some ads less than with Ezoic (so better UX).
 
By how much % is your income higher with Ezoic compared to AdSense? I am a bit disappointed with the Ezoic income. I earn about 55% more with Ezoic than with AdSense. However, with AdSense I set a low ad density and Ezoic stuffs the whole page with ads. With Google I had max. 8 ads per page, with Ezoic now often twice as many. For this I find 55% more revenue then rather weak. I am therefore considering whether I try AdSense again with max. 12 ads per page. Maybe the revenues are then only slightly lower, but the page is faster and still some ads less than with Ezoic (so better UX).
I get about 50% less revenue as well with Adsense compared to Ezoic. I just can't justify getting $50 compared to $100 per month because I need as high average monthly income as possible to get a good multiplier when selling. It's true that Ezoic stuffs your pages with ads and it look terrible, but most people are unfortunately used to that. Google anything and you will see most sites are actually monetized with Ezoic and have tons of ads.

As long as it doesn't slow the site down or you get other problems I think it's worth it.
 
What just happened? All my sites lost 50% of their top 100 rankings over night. This site is now down to 100 daily visitors yesterday, we'll see what happens the coming days but it does not look good.

Trying to find info about a new Google core update or something but Google doesn't update the SERPs that often so we probably won't know for a couple of days or a week if more people were hit. I'm about to give up this organic traffic strategy at this point.
 
What just happened? All my sites lost 50% of their top 100 rankings over night. This site is now down to 100 daily visitors yesterday, we'll see what happens the coming days but it does not look good.

Trying to find info about a new Google core update or something but Google doesn't update the SERPs that often so we probably won't know for a couple of days or a week if more people were hit. I'm about to give up this organic traffic strategy at this point.

Did you end up doing some backlinking?
I know you said you weren't but I recall a post that you were going to try a few but can't remember which journey it was.

As long as you weren't doing anything against Google, I wouldn't worry too much about a drop in rankings at this stage. They could just be doing a bit of a dance looking at where to place your site still since it is an older site and has suddenly started gaining more content.
I've seen plenty of sites take a hit and then bounce back within a few weeks by doing nothing. And if you have been building dodgy backlinks maybe see if you can remove them or just disavow them?

I wouldn't wipe the slate clean with this site, at worst take a wee break, let it sit for a few weeks and see where it is after that.
 
What just happened? All my sites lost 50% of their top 100 rankings over night. This site is now down to 100 daily visitors yesterday, we'll see what happens the coming days but it does not look good.

Trying to find info about a new Google core update or something but Google doesn't update the SERPs that often so we probably won't know for a couple of days or a week if more people were hit. I'm about to give up this organic traffic strategy at this point.
Yes, I saw it too for the first time this year. 20% down compared to previous week.
 
What just happened? All my sites lost 50% of their top 100 rankings over night. This site is now down to 100 daily visitors yesterday, we'll see what happens the coming days but it does not look good.

Trying to find info about a new Google core update or something but Google doesn't update the SERPs that often so we probably won't know for a couple of days or a week if more people were hit. I'm about to give up this organic traffic strategy at this point.
Me too. Traffic went down like crazy.

I don't know what's going on.
 
What just happened? All my sites lost 50% of their top 100 rankings over night. This site is now down to 100 daily visitors yesterday, we'll see what happens the coming days but it does not look good.

Trying to find info about a new Google core update or something but Google doesn't update the SERPs that often so we probably won't know for a couple of days or a week if more people were hit. I'm about to give up this organic traffic strategy at this point.
Were you using any AI content?

Some articles on one of my main sited, that I used AI to create, went to 0 impressions and clicks as well
 
I didn't use AI to create content, but indeed, it was used to polish the language, however none of the info, data, outline or anything was created by AI.
 
Do you think Google can detect articles written with AI and rank them lower? In terms of style, length, quality, etc.
If a simple tool such as Originality can do that, why can't Google?

Regarding the ranking I can't say for sure because I have many competitors ranking just with AI content. However, they all have strong authority websites.....
 
What just happened? All my sites lost 50% of their top 100 rankings over night. This site is now down to 100 daily visitors yesterday, we'll see what happens the coming days but it does not look good.

Trying to find info about a new Google core update or something but Google doesn't update the SERPs that often so we probably won't know for a couple of days or a week if more people were hit. I'm about to give up this organic traffic strategy at this point.
Did you have FAQs on all your articles?

I am seeing folks on FB getting hit with all their articles having FAQs
 
There is nothing bad about having FAQ on the post when it is supported by Google and schema markup
True but if your traffic was because of FAQs, that may be the case, google recently removed FAQs and snippets recently for many quires.
 
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