I wanted to wait a little while longer to make this follow up post about my progress with the Google filter my affiliate site has been suffering from. I’d have liked to gather a lot more data before declaring the process I’ve been through a success. However, I’m moving house on Friday and going home to the UK the following Tuesday, so if I don’t make this post now it might never happen!!
To Cut A Long Story Short – It’s Working!
I’ve just spent the most boring 4 weeks of my life visiting each and every page of my site and reducing the mentions of product brand names and other key search terms. I was starting to think it was all for nothing as there wasn’t a lot of improvement. Paranoia and stress are the companions of the Google filtered affiliate! This week, I have really started to see the benefit of those changes. In my previous post I was starting to see a few pages popping back into the index. This few pages have turned into several, and this increases every day. Basically I’m now seeing a lot of the pages I altered right at the start of this process returning to the index.
What Have I Learned
- Unlike the duplicate content filter, the over optimisation filter takes a few weeks to be lifted. Whether this is because of any time penalty Google applies to your site (which Matt Cutts has more or less said can apply in certain scenarios) or is simply reflective of the time it takes Google to spider and re-evaluate your site content – I don’t know. I read somewhere that when there has been a filter such as this applied to your site, it will be re-calculated the next time Google decides how much optimisation is too much. If you have a filter like this on your site, I would say allow 6 to 8 weeks for your changes to be taken into account.
- This is an algorithmic filter, not a manual penalty.
- This filter was in relation to on page factors rather than off page factors such as link building.
My site has now already returned to getting roughly 30% of its traffic from organic sources. This was the proportion I was getting before the initial problems manifested late in May. This is terribly exciting because the majority of the affected pages have not yet returned. Hopefully what this means is that my site will be better and stronger than ever because of the revisions I have made.
A Side Effect of This Process Was..
That I realised the cross linkage between a lot of the pages on my site was really poor. I had written over 200 product based articles to compliment the main sections of the site. For the last 3 months not one of them has been generating traffic. I realised this wasn’t big bad Google, but the fact that the previous / next links within the article categories hadn’t been working for a while. This means a lot of them have been de-indexed and those that remain are linked to from perhaps only one page on the site. I implemented improved cross linkage and a sitemap on the blog, so I hope that means further growth is still to come when Google re-includes them.
The whole point of this post was – those changes I’ve described in all my posts did the trick. I’ve gotten out of Google jail and am back on the SEO highway.
This has been a very positive learning process for me. It is very important to me that I get a significant proportion of my traffic from organic sources to protect my income from the ever increasing competitiveness in the PPC arena and all those other margin squeezing factors affecting the industry today.
Thanks to everyone who has commented or sent me a message, they all really helped me focus on what the issue was.
Woo hoo!!!!! Getting married, moving house, and escaping from a Google Filter in the same month? What a charmed life I lead 😉