Okay. I NEED HELP

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#1
Hey guys ,

It breaks my heart to post this screenshot you're about to see. But i DESPERATELY NEED HELP.

I've tried my best. Done everything i can to turn the fortunes of this site but this is beyond me.



I have a site that has been on a slow , PAINFUL decline since July 2017. This was my biggest earner for 2years before the decline started mid last year. At its peak , this site averaged 20k sessions per day. Right now , it is struggling to stay on 3k daily sessions , with traffic slowly declining week over week for the past 1 year.

At first , i though it was just new competitors taking over , but looking at the backlink profile of my competitors , they got nothing on me. There's something wrong somewhere , and i can't place my hands on it.

Old contents (Published before July 2017) are ranking fine (Mostly in 5) , but new articles are struggling to stay on page 2. And due to the nature of this niche (Phones & gadgets) , new articles need to bring in traffic to maintain current level.

So i'm calling on everyone to HELP ME. I'm willing to give it one last push before thinking of finally letting go.

I honestly don't have money to pay for your services , but it will mean a lot to me if you can help me from your heart.

Please let me know if you're willing to help. I will show you the site via PM.
 
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#2
I have a site that has been getting smashed like that since the middle of last year. Mind you I am only down about 60%... not your levels. How aggressive is your advertising?
 
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#3
Mind you I am only down about 60%... not your levels.
You call 60% only? Wow!.

My ads are not aggressive. Its nothing compared to the ads on my competitor's website. I also have better User experience.

I just don't get it!
 

mj22

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#7
Pm me the URL/site and I'll take a look at it over the next cpl days. I will reply via pm with anything I find that stands out to me.
 

Ryuzaki

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#8
The first thing I'd check, besides obvious issues like your indexation getting bloated, your site being hacked and you haven't noticed (like stuff that only appears if your user agent is googlebot, you can check the google cache to see what they saw)...

Is this simply a case of your rankings eroding where you once held top 3's and are now low top 10's? Or top 10's where you're now on 2nd page?

If that seems to be the case, the problem might not be related to any technical SEO issues or on-page or anything of that nature. I'd check the domain-wide stats of the sites that are now ranking above you and compare them to yourself:
  • Site Age
  • # of Referring Domains
  • Social Media Engagement Metrics
  • # of Indexed Pages
  • General Content Quality
Before assuming there's a catastrophic issue, it could be that the competition stepped up their game, and/or Google decided that they had more authority in general than your site did. You can get a good idea of that by the domain-wide metrics above.

If you pass that, I'd start wondering if you aren't hacked and don't realize it or you have some other weird technical SEO issues going on.
 

mj22

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#9
I recommended him hit you up RY, im taking a look at some of the internal pages. The GA stats reminded me of a site that i had ranking that i just let go and negative link velocity slowly did its thing.
 
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#10
Hey @Ryuzaki ,

Thanks so much for your input. Indexation is clean and i don't think the site is hacked. I have security measures in place to ensure safety of this site which includes automatically blocking anyone who tries a non-existingusername or password.

For most part of its life (before the drop), this site ranked #1 for 90% of its keywords. Not just top 3, POSITION #1. So this is a case of old articles slipping from a position of strength to weakness and new articles are finding it difficult to rank on page 1.

Site Age : 2yrs , 8months (Started december 2015)
Referring domains : 320+ (Last time i checked Ahrefs , last week)
332 Indexed pages
Content and UI is alot better than sites currently ranking.

Social media engagement was pretty solid back then. I turned to Facebook Ads when the drop started but it became clear it wasn't sustainable....and my ROI wasn't solid. So i stopped.

I also have an email list of 10k subscribers which i engaged alot before i stopped working on the site.

I fought hard between July - December 2017. I tried to build a brand, but the profit was discouraging for the amount of energy and $$$ i was re-investing....I relied on google too much and i didn't start this branding thing when all was good , so it was difficult to sustain when the morale was lost.

I've spent this year working on 2 niche sites (One of which has just got out of sandbox and made first $). But i'ld be happy to have this site back if i can.

@Ryuzaki , can i PM you the site , if you don't mind?
 
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Ryuzaki

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#11
Sure, feel free. I'll take a look when I can.

I'd also compare the publish dates on your articles to those that are taking your place. If they're all newer, and extremely new (past 6 months) then it might be that Google decided your niche needs freshness. Reviews, news, rumors, etc.
 

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#12
I haven't had the time to really dissect this yet but after spending about 15 minutes I can tell you guys that there are some big technical seo problems that I believe need to be corrected.

His target audience is Nigeria so I assume most of the traffic is using google.com.ng. It used to be that people in countries like Nigeria could get away with on page errors that people in google.com could not but it looks like that gap may be closing. His competition is still extremely weak however so I think this site can get back a large chunk of lost traffic.

It's going to take a good amount of effort and patience, however.
 
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#13
@Calamari It’s very true that here in Nigeria , we get away with a lot of things (SEO wise) that will easily smoke any site ranking on google.com

At some point , I thought the Nigerian serps was immune to G updates.

For instance, I have a competitor who ranks for everything under the sun (naijaandroidarena.com) using SPAMMY links for over a year now. With all the algo changes from July 2017 - Now , one will expect the guy to get slapped but nah , he still ranks for every damn thing!!

And how on earth are sites like naijaknowhow.com.ng still ranking with such TERRIBLE UI?
 
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#14
I haven't had the time to really dissect this yet but after spending about 15 minutes I can tell you guys that there are some big technical seo problems that I believe need to be corrected.
Yeah as an outsider looking in, when I see a long term downwards trend, it doesn't say "Google hates you" it says, "you're slowly becoming less competitive".

Mobile friendly-ness
HTTPS (without mixed content)
Site Speed
Correct heading hierarchy
Quality backlinks
etc, etc

May be needed to sort it out. But of course, @Calamari has seen it first hand so you probably already know what is required.
 

Calamari

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#15
@Calamari It’s very true that here in Nigeria , we get away with a lot of things (SEO wise) that will easily smoke any site ranking on google.com

At some point , I thought the Nigerian serps was immune to G updates.

For instance, I have a competitor who ranks for everything under the sun (naijaandroidarena.com) using SPAMMY links for over a year now. With all the algo changes from July 2017 - Now , one will expect the guy to get slapped but nah , he still ranks for every damn thing!!

And how on earth are sites like naijaknowhow.com.ng still ranking with such TERRIBLE UI?
You're right. The competition does get away with some crazy stuff. In the end I'm not going to recommend going full google US with your site but I will recommend being better than the competition from a UX, content, and backlinks standpoint.
 
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#16
Calling on all SEOs to help. At least take a look at the site , maybe you'll find something i'm not seeing.

Traffic dropped further last week. Its hard to believe this same site averaged 19k sessions/day just over a year ago.......Very painful :(

 
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#17
Calling on all SEOs to help. At least take a look at the site , maybe you'll find something i'm not seeing.

Traffic dropped further last week. Its hard to believe this same site averaged 19k sessions/day just over a year ago.......Very painful :(

I'll take a look, send me the link.
 

CCarter

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#18
This is going to sound generic but if your content is about "Phones and Gadgets" - and it's old content, why would you expect that it keeps ranking or getting traffic as days, weeks, months, and years go by?

Unless it's an evergreen article, based on the niche I doubt it, content that is aged and less relevant is going to slowly die. It's about the topic. Example the specs of an iPhone 6S is useless in the time of the iPhone X (10). So naturally overtime that page will get less and less traffic. As well your content will get less and less backlinks if it's old cause webmasters and people in general rather link to up-to date content.

Is your content setup to be evergreen? If not, are you updating your content with the latest specs?

In an industry that has new content news, you backlink profile has to be build around freshness - not age. So those old backlinks that helped your old articles rank are not going to necessarily help your new content rank cause of the topic.

Send me a DM with the link I'll also take a look at your site.
 
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#19
Hey @CCarter

The site is focused on Phones and Gadgets in a specific region where small phone brands are dominating.

Phone specs are not really ever green but in this region , phones like iPhone 6 can still get you a couple hundred views per month.. People still buy them here.

Now this site had 4 evergreen informational articles that were responsible for about 50% of the site's traffic , while the phone specs were responsible for the remaining 50%.. So even if the phones get less interest over time , traffic should not drop below certain a certain level because of the evergreen info content.

Also , it is possible to maintain and increase traffic if you keep publishing and ranking for new phones as they get released.

Now i think the issue with this site is :

- The evergreen info articles dropped from position #1 to bottom page 1 / top page 2 for reasons i'm yet to understand. Those pages have good On-page and some pretty good contextual links.

- For some reasons i can't fathom , new content / phones are struggling to rank on page 1. There seem to be a filter holding them back , and Its been going on since July 2017.

Before then , new articles rank #1 within a week of publishing.
 

Calamari

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#20
Late last night I sent @Encrypted a detailed reply to his request by PM. I did say I would share my findings here as long as he didn't object so here we go. I think you'll all be disappointed to learn that there's nothing earth shattering going on here.

I can't copy and paste what I wrote to him as there's just too much sensitive info that I dont want to have to redact so I'm going to simply boil my recommendations down to their essence.

1) reduce ads especially above the fold

2) move site to a server as close as possible to Nigeria

3) remove dates from slugs

4) dilute over optimized pages

5) add a new piece of content every day for 90 days

I dont recommend doing any link building until these changes are made and until we see how that combined with 90 days of content effects the site. I'm very optimistic that making these changes will orient his compass back in the proper direction. It's not going to be an overnight fix but but in 90 we should have enough feedback to know we are doing the right thing.

One thing I did forget to recommend to him was to make a substantial content update to the pages that lost the most traffic by using data from search console and then adding a new last modified date to the articles.
 
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#21
Update :

I've gotten solid feedback from @Calamari and @ryandiscord and i am developing an action plan which i will start executing this weekend.

I'm just waiting for feedback from the other guys i messaged to see if there's anything more i can add.

This should be an interesting case study :smile: