Google’s Algorithmic Change and its Effect On My Niche Sites

Google's Algorithmic ChangeOver the past 24 hours I’ve received at least 20 emails from readers about Google’s recent algorithmic changes, asking me how it might affect my backlinking strategy and approach to building niche sites.

In case you’re not up to date, this is what the latest algorithm changes do, according to the Official Google Blog:

This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites-sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites-sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.

This change apparently has an effect on about 12% of search results, so this is really significant and a lot of people are already feeling the effects of it.

*Note: as I write this, the changes only effect rankings in the US. Google is rolling out changes world-wide over the next couple of weeks.

So how does this effect niche sites?

Niche sites have been notoriously on the lower end of the quality scale, primarily because it presents a relatively quick and easy opportunity to earn a dollar online, and as a result thousands of people create sites quickly without regard to the quality of the articles they publish. Sometimes, people even use software that ‘scrapes’ content from other sites (i.e. auto-blogging software), so the content isn’t even original.

As many of you know, I’ve been diving into niche sites lately so this change is definitely a concern for me. However, I was quite surprised when I checked the rankings for the 4 niche sites that I currently own:

  1. Securityguardtraininghq.com – Stayed at #1 in Google for primary keyword.
  2. Niche Site #2 – Stayed at #3 for primary keyword.
  3. Niche Site #3 – Jumped from #5 to #3 for primary keyword.
  4. Niche Site #4 - Jumped from #8 to #4 for primary keyword.

Now, I realize this is a small sample size, but based on what other people have been telling me I should have seen some changes, and I did!

They all either stayed the same or climbed higher.

This is just my educated guess, but it’s probably because I always focus on publishing lots of quality content on my niche sites, and because of this my sites aren’t seen as low-quality spammy sites, but rather sites that do provide unique and helpful information about a particular topic.

I definitely welcome Google’s changes because I think it’s a great reminder that we should never discount the importance of quality content on our sites, even on niche sites. It’s easy to lose focus on this because we always hear about external strategies, like building backlinks, that are sexier than writing quality content, but now you know you can’t do without it.

Google is literally giving us the formula for success here:

  • Create high-quality sites
  • Use original content
  • Write in-depth content
  • Be helpful!

As my good friend Nicole Dean says, “Make money by making the internet a better place.

My niche site strategies will not change, but just remember that my strategy relies heavily on quality internal content too. Keep publishing a lot of excellent content, take advantage of massively long tail keywords, and rise to the top of Google while leaving the spammers and content scrapers behind.

What are your thoughts on the latest Google update? Have you seen any change in your rankings?

Cheers, and have an awesome weekend!

  • http://www.christine.biz Christine McCarthy

    Luckily, this new Google ‘farming’ I heard about taking place doesn’t have much effect on my site since its on the newer side. Then again, I am all about producing quality original content. ;)

    Now, even after 2-3 months…if I could just get my site ranked!

    I think Google’s updated algorithm will help produce a better internet. But they do a pretty good job of it so far.

    • http://www.theresmoneyeverywhere.com Vik Tantry

      This is of a ton of interest to me obviously, both as a niche site marketer and in terms of broader impact on the world of organic traffic.

      Based on a ton of data and talking to a large number of people, I’m finding that sites that rank well for competitive terms are ranking better for long-tail terms, while sites that ONLY go after long-tail terms are getting hit hard. Also, sites that “scrape” content from others, or have shorter articles in terms of word length, are getting smacked.

      A good example is 123people, which has had a dramatic dip in its long-tail traffic – at least at first appearances.

      This is just the beginning…

    • Anya

      Christine, sorry to here you can’t get your sight ranked. Are you using proper on page and off page SEO with not too competitive keyword phrases?

  • http://www.biblemoneymatters.com Pete

    I haven’t seen any appreciable effect yet, but in talking to several personal finance bloggers I know, some are reporting that the recent algorithm change has caused their traffic to drop by 40-60% or more! None of these folks are engaged in any black hat linking schemes or anything like that -and all create tons of original quality content.

    While I’m glad I haven’t seen much of an effect yet, I’m worried that I could see one – especially if some of these bloggers with great sites are seeing such a drop.

    Glad your sites are doing well, but it is worrisome for many of us I think

    • Pat

      Hi Pete – that’s interesting. I wonder if it’s because there is so much of the same content being talked above over and over again in that niche. I know I’ve read at least 3 or 4 posts all about the Roth IRA on different sites, and they all pretty much said the same thing. I don’t know – hopefully they’ll get back to where they were, especially if their content is indeed unique and high-quality info.

      • http://www.biblemoneymatters.com Pete

        It wasn’t limited to the PF niche I should mention. A lot of webmasters are talking today about how their traffic has plummeted, and now scrapers and others who don’t have original content are ranking above them, when they weren’t before. It’s a bit perplexing. Not sure if I can link in comments, but here’s a link to webmasterworld talking about it:

        Algorithm Change Problems

        • Pat

          Thanks for the link Pete, and the “no follow” tag you put on it. Much appreciated.

          Checking it out now. Like Glen said, it’ll probably take a little bit of time for Google to really figure things out. Having scraper sites rank above quality ones just isn’t right.

        • http://www.getmoneyenergy.com MoneyEnergy

          I noticed it affecting my site, too – the drops were indeed about 40-60% of usual traffic, and it lasted for a good 5-6 days. I watched as the googlebots scoured the pages of my site – probably evaluating the content against similar pages elsewhere. It was definitely perplexing and worrisome at the time, but I’m happy to report that all seems to be back to normal now. I’m constantly working on in-depth, original content and analysis and I’d be surprised if my site were negatively affected permanently. I’m quite glad to see the scrapers sink.

    • http://www.theaffiliatejourney.com/ Ian – TheAffiliateJourney

      Pete,

      This is unfortunate, but with any Google change they can’t entirely “FIX” the problem. They introduce filters and attempt to devalue certain types of links based on a list of criteria and very often GOOD sites, such as yours, get’s hit. Some of the crappy stuff remains on the 1st page of the SERPs, but the out cry about spam in the SERPs goes away for a while and the big G can get back to making money.

      I cannot say this with certainty, but how many of the backlinks to your site originate from blog comments? I understand that ideally your comments would be white hat in nature, as you’re commenting on other peoples content and adding value. However as blog commenting is a VERY popular trend in link building right now it may have hurt some blogs assumed authority as blog comments were devalued.

      If you noticed a drop in rank for any particular page (check your GA and GWO accounts) I’d look at doing a link building campaign with articles and syndicating them across multiple directories as well as some worth while guest posts if you can find them. One trend is that sites with a solid link profile (from a variety of sources) which also relied heavily on in content links tended to keep their positions.

      Good Luck Pete!

      Ian

    • Jon Lewis

      Pete, maybe the drop in traffic happened because of a bunch low quality websites were linking back to those bloggers. But after the algorithm changes, perhaps Google dropped the weight it was putting behind those sites, which in turn hurt those bloggers.

  • http://www.aqifazizan.com Aqif Azizan

    Nice one Pat, I’m really proud that you are not even worrying about the changes of Google algorithm. Because I’ve look into your site (Security Guard niche), and I found that your site has given a lot of valuable content.

    Well, Nicole Dean was right, 2011 is the time for “Make money by making the internet a better place.” :)

  • http://blognegociosdinero.com Cristina

    Quality content is the only SEO technique that never fails.
    Congrats on your rankings!

    • http://www.blogging-the-beginners-complete-guide.com Karo Itoje

      So true Cristina.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul Aguiar

    Pat. great info.

    This new update hit my blog in a negative way. Since my url was indexed without the “www” for main url and with the “www” for post urls. Google looked at this as dupe content and dropped a few of my ranks.. not good.

    Fixed with a better redirect and now waiting a few weeks as Google re-indexes all urls with “www”.

    So great change, but caused me some headaches short term. long term I will be back up.

    • Pat

      Sorry to hear that John – that whole www vs. non-www thing is something that is definitely overlooked when it comes to building new sites. Thanks for the reminder, and I know in time you’ll get back to where you were or even higher. Cheers!

      • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul Aguiar

        Thanks.. wasn’t so much a big issue before, but Googles new policy on dupe content, has made it a big issue haha

        Yea things are slowly coming back :)

        • http://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com Chris Green

          Maybe worth a quick blog post on that Pat?

        • http://www.theaffiliatejourney.com/ Ian – TheAffiliateJourney

          Hey John,

          In your Google Webmaster Tools account you can tell big G which version to index and which to NOT. Also you should add the 301 permanent re-direct to your .htaccess file to ensure the all spiders get the redirect. Here’s a quite tutorial on how to do so at WMW.

          http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum92/6410.htm

    • http://17000-days.com Cara

      I’m kind of a newbie, but I hear that setting a canonical version (with www or without) will take care of that penalty. The All-in-one SEO plugin has a setting for that. Maybe someone with a deeper understanding can chime in here with the full scoop.

      • http://www.peprepme.com Greg

        I’ve setup a Redirect in the .htaccess files. Whenever someone enters “yourdomain.com” not gets redirected to “www.yourdomain.com” now. This trick also works well for affiliate links. You can have a nice clean URL redirect to the long affiliate link.

        • http://www.peprepme.com Greg

          “not” should be “now”…

    • http://www.yesiamcheap.com Sandy @ yesiamcheap

      I didn’t realize that this could be an issue. On my Google Webmaster page I didn’t set a preference, but I realize now that I probably should, right?

  • http://engineerintrainingexam.com Justin Dickmeyer

    Thank you Pat for the write up. I was unaware of the changes, but am happy to see that quality valuable content is still being awarded. That’s what I have built my site around, so I welcome the changes. Who knows, maybe I made a jump in rankings too, will check tonight, thanks again!

    Justin

  • http://www.realestatecareermentor.com Marty Green

    I have been hearing a lot about this too Pat, I’m really pleased at your post and it has only helped you.

    I agree that “content is King” and will strive to make sure of this on my sites.

    Thanks for the great Post.

    best

    Marty

  • http://www.familyfriendlyfrugality.com/ Heather@Family Friendly Frugality

    My site has skyrocketed. It is niche, but not too tiny. I’m loving all the new search engine traffic and the respect. I even have site links when you search for my blog by name now! LOVING the changes!

    • Pat

      That’s awesome Heather! Congrats!

  • http://mikejuly.com Mike July

    Interesting case study Pat. I wonder how this will affect newer sites trying to get ranked. One would think that this new development that focuses on the quality and originality of the content could reduce the importance of other factors in the algorithm, like domain age for example.

    Thanks!!

    Mike July

    • Pat

      True Mike, but at the same time I believe it’ll take longer for new sites to get ranked, simply because it’ll take time for Google to understand that a nice site is one that is producing quality, relevant content. Quality is key, but patience as well. It’ll be hard though, because we all want to see results NOW, hehe. I guess that is what will separate those who win and those who fail in this game. Cheers!

      • http://www.blightytraveller.com Ross Corbett

        Hi Pat,

        Excellent post. I have started a travel website so I am a big fat newbie. I’m really looking forward to getting a page rank and was wondering how long you think it will take to be ranked and also do you go straight to PR 1 or can you sometimes jump straight to 2 or even stay on 0?

    • http://www.viperchill.com Glen Allsopp

      Nice discussion guys. Personally, I don’t think it will change a thing based on new sites ranking, and the time it takes to do so. There may be more possible triggers in place (thousands of pages, overnight or backlinks from a ton of irrelevant domains) but I know Pat and most likely you as well Mike, wouldn’t have to worry about that.

      I’ve been following the SEO industry like a hawk for the last few years, and what is happening now is really interesting. There are a ton of big scandals coming out about Forbes, JC Penney and others. Yet, Google knew about the likes of Forbes gaming the system (and selling links) three years ago. Only because the big tech blogs are writing about it, are Google taking this public action.

      I think they’re worried, and the rankings are going to continually fluctuate a lot while their algorithm is under the public eye.

      • Pat

        Yeah I actually just read about that whole JC Penney fiasco, and it’s interesting how now that other tech blogs are writing about it Google is taking action. I would have thought they would be more proactive than reactive. Oh well…

      • http://internetbusinesselevation.com Kev Kaye

        In reference to the JC Penney situation. The NY Times article covering it seemed to put their tactics in an “illegal” type of light, which we know isn’t the case.

        Regardless of what JC Penney was doing to get the rank, would we consider them to be a quality source for a number of retail items?

        I think its more about Google making an example of a major brand over their concern for delivering a quality result.

        • http://waycoolerlife.com Daniel

          Your Right Kev – I thought the same thing about the JC Penny’s deal. It seemed really reasonable to me that a really legit company would rank for stuff that it sells. I didn’t really get it.

  • http://www.semmyonlinemarketing.com semmy @ Make Money Online

    Hi Pat congratulation for increasing your niche ranking. Thanks for this tips

    Google is literally giving us the formula for success here:

    * Create high-quality sites
    * Use original content
    * Write in-depth content
    * Be helpful!

    I think I’ll create more good content for my niches site.

  • http://www.simple-internet-strategies.com Eunice Coughlin

    Pat,

    Thanks for the detailed results on your sites. I just heard about this algorithm change today and checked my sites. Everything has stayed the same for my sites but I subscribe to the same internet theology that you do…”great content, no spam, get results”.

    However, I do think it’s too early to make any judgments. Check back in a week (maybe 2) and we should have a better idea on how it’s all going to shake out.

    I don’t know, Google might be making this up because they’re jealous of all the attention Facebook is getting! ;-)

    Eunice

    • Pat

      Haha – that’s an interesting theory Eunice!

      Agreed – I’ll definitely check back in 2 weeks or so (well, I check almost every day, it’s a bad habit of mine), and we’ll see where we are at then.

    • http://www.ramblingsofawahm.com/ Allison

      Ha ha! They could be jealous! Did Facebook’s rank go down?

  • http://internetbusinesselevation.com Kev Kaye

    I saw a few changes in my ranks. One of my newer affiliate sites actually got a pretty big boost. It went from #34 to #4 overnight. The change should warn those who aren’t already doing it, quality is the future. Google is hard at work to continuously improve the quality of their results. We can’t hate on that. We have to embrace it and take action accordingly.

    -Kev

  • http://www.viperchill.com Glen Allsopp

    Pat you may want to mention that this is US only. No changes have been rolled out outside of the States. I can just imagine all of your readers in other countries commenting saying ‘No change’ and in two weeks coming back to this article once it has rolled out ;)

    • Pat

      Wow – good point Glen. I didn’t even think of that.

      Update already posted mid-article. Cheers bro.

  • rusty

    Hi Pat,

    I have been checking your site a few times this morning hoping you would have a write up. From my understanding you are still suggesting a couple of things:
    1. Anchor layer with web 2.0(squiddo, hubpages, etc.), blog blueprint, new blogs and articles(ezinearticles, go articles, etc…)
    2. indirect layer with social bookmarketing and mass article submission

    My concern is I’ve seen squiddo, hubpages, ezineartiles, goarticles, etc… named as content farms. What do you think? Do you think these sites are going to get lose all value in google’s eyes? Thanks!

  • http://healthhomehappy.com Cara

    I noticed that I’m getting a lot of hits today for things that are relevant to my content- before most of my hits were from the oldest posts, not necessarily my best posts. I’m happy about the change!

  • http://rianjayadi.wordpress.comm, Rian

    Good to hear pat, I know even google change their algorithm, your site will never get effect from it because you always give your visitor good and unique content.

    even my english is so poor but I want to say thank you to make smart passive income blog, I was looking for great resource to make profitable website but I didn’t find the good guru, then I found your blog and it’s AWESOME. I learn every inch of your strategy to make successful website from nicheduel, it’s like an internet marketing bible for me. how does my website live without smartpassiveincome blog :)

    I hope I can be as success as you in the future.

    once again thank you.

    Rian – SPI fans from Indonesia

    • Pat

      Terima kasih, Rian! I really appreciate your kind words :)

  • http://www.morethanyourjob.com Stefano

    Thanks Pat.
    I welcome these google changes: my concern in approaching niche site was the competition from low quality automated content based sites: now my wish to approach it with quality content as an additional good reason.

  • Ron

    Hey Pat, it’s weird. I was wondering what happened. Apparently a nice site I’ve been working on for several months now saw a significant jump in traffic in the last 24 hours. A record high for this site in fact. And although I was already on the first page of Google (being moved around between 5-8) it was still a significant boost.

    I decided to go with the high-quality niche site route as well especially after hearing your interview with Nicole. I wanted to build a long-term asset. It does takes much longer to gain momentum, but at about 50+ pages of original content, I’m hoping it all pays off in the end.

    Oh, and my mom thinks I’m somewhat famous since my comment was mentioned in your “Is Giving Away Free Information Bad” podcast! lol! Awesome!!

    Cheers,

    • http://chrisalta.com Chris Alta

      haha this is soo sick

      my mom thinks i’m getting semi-famous too not because I was mentioned on a podcast but because I did an interview with Life Coach Kute (koot) Blackson. he’s like a Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Les Brown all mixed into a young guy. Super awesome guy had a blast interviewing him!

      As far as the new Google Algorithm goes, from what I’m reading on all the comments anyways, it looks like it’s having some positive and negative effects. Negative effects for people who are just putting out crap and positive effects for people who really spent time and put unique quality content up. So if I were you I wouldn’t worry too much. Add some more content here and there to make it more relevant and up to date, build some more back links on relevant sites and make sure to anchor txt your links back to your site. You should be okay, just gotta be patience and let Google do the “dance!” lol

      cheers!

      -Chris Alta

      oh if you wanted to check out that interview the link is http://chrisalta.com/kute-blackson-interview

      there’s some links to his own blog and his video’s too..we can all use a little motivation and inspiration! cheers again!

  • http://www.ramblingsofawahm.com/ Allison

    This is great news! I am all for quality work on any site.

    When I started to research the whole SEO ranking technique I was worried that so many placed all their eggs in one basket, Google. But you have to, they rule in search engine market. I know that great content is key but I still worry about the next time Google changes their policies. What then? I hope the powers at Google know great content when they see it and keep it. I hope Google always strives to make their searches and the Internet as a whole better quality.

  • http://www.youngprepro.com Onibalusi Bamidele

    This is awesome, Pat, and the great boost in your ranking speaks loudly that you write quality content that Google really loves.

    Immediately after reading your post I went to check my Google rankings but it seems I’m not affected:) – I’ll be waiting a few more days to see how everything goes.

    Thanks so much for the awesome post and have a great day!

    • Pat

      Hey Oni, I know you probably didn’t see Glen’s comment above, but he reminded me that the changes are only in the US right now, and Google is rolling out changes world-wide over the next couple of weeks.

  • http://www.kinworm.com Marie Williams

    I think, apart from publishing quality content, what this highlights is that it really is no good to ever rely on Google or any other search engine for your traffic. Which is just as well for me because I barely get any traffic from Google – most of mine comes from the forums I visit and comment in.

    I know I probably should spend more time on optimising post titles and putting in Keywords etc for the search engines but this really seems so sterile to me. I just prefer to concentrate on writing the best content I can and hopefully people like it and share it!

    When I think of how I found Pat’s site – it wasn’t via a search engine. It was actually from reading an article on Problogger where Pat was listed as someone to watch. All of the Internet Marketing websites I read have come from recommendations on other sites – whether that is an article or someone mentioning a name in the comments section of a blog post.

    • http://chrisalta.com Chris Alta

      Marie!

      I’m no expert, none of us are, but I do have an open mind. If I were you I’d test out both “worlds.” You can even make it a case study on your blog to kind of, well not really prove, but just to test out the pro’s and con’s. Do it for one month where for one month you say go ahead and write for a web 2.0 site like infobarel.com, hubpages.com, squidoo.com, etc..

      For your first article you can use absolutely no tools except the Google keyword tool. Pick an interesting topic, so that the title in itself is SEO friendly, but after that you can’t write your keyword over and over again to get ranked. Basically you just write for people as if you were talking to someone. because as we all know when you have to write for search engines sometimes it doesn’t make any grammatical sense at all lol

      For your 2nd article of the day write an all out SEO article. I mean your title just crushes it, you use tons of your keyword in the first 60 characters, you build 15+ back links to your article using relevant anchor txt keywords you’re trying to target.

      Then at the end of a month see what got you more traffic. People to people word of mouth or SEO searches from Google and maybe other search engines. I think it’d be an interesting case study, I’d definitely head over to your website and read it.

      You’ll never know unless someone else does it or unless you do it for yourself!

      It looks like you like writing for people but hey doesn’t hurt to try both worlds and see what’s really working the best?

      Hope this helped, cheers!

      -Chris Alta

  • Jared Dees

    Your particular niche sites don’t have much to worry about, of course. You create great content that hardly make the “content farms,” which Google is worried about.

    However, I have heard a lot of talk in the SEO community with complaints about “domainers.” I wonder how long it will take Google to come up with an algorithmic change to dethrone keyword-focused niche sites. It would be a shame in your case, where the content actually warrants the high ranking.

    A larger problem right now, as I see it, is the hit Amazon is taking to their Amazon Associates program. I would be nervous if I had niche sites that are heavily monetized with Amazon links

    By the way, I have seen a drop in some of my sites for certain keywords but I am going to wait a few days before drawing any conclusions.

  • http://rahulbuzz.wordpress.com Rahul

    websites which has tons of related posts or similar post will be affected. Niche site don’t have such problem. And your security gurad site is not content farm. This algorithm change will only affect content farms means 100k or more pages on some websites. In my view niche sites will get more space when these content farms like ehow, wikihow, hubs, xomba,ezine, infobarrels, squidoo etc will get some penalty.
    I think we internet marketer take this as opportunity to increase our income.

    • rusty

      Hey Rahul,

      This is a good point. If you look at my comment earlier in the thread, I’m concerned about HOW we get ranked. Following Pat’s strategy, it seems that anchor layer could take a hit.

      What do you think?

      • http://rahulbuzz.wordpress.com Rahul

        I don’t think, link building method from web2.0 have some penalty. I don’t think link building method is going to change in future. If Google do so, anyone can knock out any website just adding artificial links or link bombing.

  • http://www.eightdeuce.com Randy Johnson

    Hey Pat, I totally agree with quality content. And it’s great to see you being rewarded for it. It really helps to see your results and that they improved! Keep writing epic shiz and success is sure to follow! Later man.

  • http://www.internetincomerant.com Tim@Internet Income Rant

    I beg to divert a little. Sincerely Pat, I appreciate your manliness but providing top quality content which readers can connect with. It’s awesome knowing that I’ll read high quality content here and good thing is, YOU REPLY YOUR COMMENTS which makes me rank you highly than most of the known so called “gurus” who don’t even bother to reply comment because they’ve ‘made it’. But that’s not my issue. I can and will talk about that shortly on my blog….soonest.

    This is where I want to come in. As a marketer, I think it’s insane for me to depend on just one traffic source. You see, I hate and cringe when people shout google this, google that, google here, google there. Have they forgotten that google is also a business? For God’s sake I’m also in business so why should google “as a business” changes affect me? Why? It’s a good Old adage that says ‘never put all your egg in one basket’ if you do that, you’re crazy!

    For me, google is a tool and nothing more. I get more traffic to my site through referrals and forums and the likes because I believe in diversification of resources. People should stop depending absolutely on google for their survivor. Get a business sense. Run your business. Dictate the tides and flow and finally become Independent!

    Pat, I hope I’ve not broken the rules here by Ranting on your blog! Enjoy your day friend! I’ll hit you up soon enough.

    Tim
    Internet Income Rant Signing off…

  • Michele

    This is fantastic. I checked my sites for the keywords I was trying to rank for and now I’m number one on page one for several of my sites. And for others I am 3, 4 or 5 on page one. All that research and writing and trying to think from the customers point of view is finally paying off. This new change is fantastic! I was beginning to think I was doing everything wrong but now I know I’ve done the right thing and that gives me inspiration to keep working at this.

  • Leslie

    “Google’s Algorithmic Change and it’s Effect On My Niche Sites,” Its. Change it quickly, it’s the cheesiest grammar error going (and in your header!)

    • Pat

      It had already been changed 20 minutes ago :P

      I’m usually very good with that one, but apparently not today, hehe. What usually gets me is “would of” vs. “would have”.

      • Leslie

        LOL, mistakes are inclined to attach themselves to headlines — it’s a little-known law of nature.

  • http://pennyonthefloor.com mike

    so when did this change take place? i havent really noticed a change, but i also havent been paying super close attention.

    on a side note, how do you keep track of the rank for your various sites? do you just search google periodically for certain keywords and see where you rank? do you use google analytics? or some other method?

    • http://www.biblemoneymatters.com Pete

      I use a firefox plugin called Rank Checker that allows you to put in your domain, and a list of keywords, and it will tell you where you rank on the 3 major search engines. There are other paid tools that will allow you to do it too.

    • Pat
    • http://pennyonthefloor.com mike

      cool. thanks for the fast reply guys.

    • http://www.imamoneygrubber.com Paul

      A google search works, but google tracks your search history and this can skew results. You can do a search using http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/scraper.htm

      It performs a google search without cookies and search logs. The rank checker plugin is also pretty good, but I’ve noticed that I get different results with each. Personally, I feel that the scroogle results are more accurate.

  • http://www.howtoflirtwithagirlnow.net Robert

    Awesome post. Just goes to show that the more value you give, the more you will be rewarded. You’re the best Pat!

  • http://clickbankproductreviewblog.com Joshua Houghton

    Hey Pat,

    In your post you mentioned you put a lot of quality post into your niche sites. I know you built your security guard site and showed us how, but are you ever going to show us how you do your click bank product niche sites? Obviously you don’t want to reveal your niches, but are you planning to do a series of post or webinar on how you build one of them in comparison to how you did your security guard site. I only ask because I love the idea of niche sites and clickbank products and would love to see how you do yours.

    Keep up the great work!
    Josh

    • http://pennyonthefloor.com mike

      i would assume the same basic principles apply – but just modify the look of your site and the content to be more geared toward the niche that the clickbank product is targeted toward.

      though I personally have had a hell of a time selling clickbank products in the past. i’ve done much better with ebay partner network and adsense… so maybe there is a trick to clickbank that I’m just not getting :)

      • http://clickbankproductreviewblog.com Josh

        Hi Mike,

        Thanks for the advise!

  • http://clickbankproductreviewblog.com Joshua Houghton

    Hi John,

    You mentioned the whole www url thing. I’m curious if my main domain doesn’t use the www and if my post don’t use the www will that cause me problems with the new change? I’m using wordpress MU and in the setup I had to get rid of the www for some reason or another. Thanks

    Btw, I’ve noticed my site has dropped for some of the keywords I was ranking for :(

    Josh

  • http://puertovallartavideo.com Dave Brookhouser

    I have a niche site in the “Puerto Vallarta” market. Previous to this morning a “Puerto Vallarta” search returned nothing of any value (pretty much for 100′s of pages were nothing but TimeShare hawkers). This morning you actually get the local English newspaper and a whole bunch of other quality sites on the front page! Kudos to Google!

  • Jason

    Hey Pat,

    Thanks for the insight. On a somewhat similar topic, what are your thoughts on the issues MS has had over the past few weeks? I have a feeling most of us SEO guys are going to feel some real pain when Yahoo Site Explorer goes away.

    Jason

  • http://marketingwithrick.com Rick Byrd

    Hey Pat:

    I am just getting started building my first niche site so Google’s latest change has not affected me. I am working on build the site with quality content. It sounds like this is definitely the best way to build a niche site. I would imagine the sites that were originally ranking above your sites did not have the quality of content that you sites have.

    Google’s definitely changing for the better in my opinion.

    Take care!

    - Rick

  • http://increasingworkplaceproductivity.net Bojan

    My blog also came up a little bit… I am kinda thankful for this algorythmic change, because it’s going to benefit the bloggers and power of the crowds rather than SEO system gamers.

    Hard work is going to pay off and writing is going to be more in demand…

  • http://chrisalta.com Chris Alta

    Pat!

    Thanks for the update yo. By the looks of your niche sites the new change has been a good thing! Kicks all of the garbage out and keeps the quality in. Those steps sound super simple but yet it seems like soo many people have trouble with niche sites. Do you think it’s better to stick to your guns at what you’re good at and outsource to someone else to build backlinks for you?

    I know you like following (obviously) your back linking strategy that works, but was there ever a time that you would recommend outsourcing instead? After all time does become money once you reach a certain level of success. Like anyone else in the world if you want something done right you do it yourself, but if you want something done fast you outsource haha

    I remember I built about 50 quality back links for a quitting pot niche. You guys can steal it if you want lol

    any who when I back linked to the 50 sites I think I made the mistake of backlinking multiple keywords to one website like this

    (think of all of these highlighted as one long anchor text) quitting pot, stop smoking weed, stop smoking, quit cannabis, quit pot..my question was does this hurt your SEO potential to rank higher? Because I used the online utility tool and checked my competitors back links and literally went and built back links to all of there sites they were on and I still had no success.

    Bummed me out but it was a definitely a learning experience. What do you think about having all of those anchor texts highlighted?

    cheers!

    -Chris Alta

  • http://myincomelab.blogspot.com Lonnie – My Income Lab

    I wonder how this will affect product review sites. For those sites, your content is basically a rehash of product content into mixed with (what should be) your own analysis on that information. The content then is a combination of unique insight, plus repurposed information. The content on my review site is built this way but I cannot even find myself in google yet (site has been live since January so I do not think it is because of this recent change) so I cannot report back. Anyone else with a product review site see their rankings change?

    • http://chrisalta.com Chris Alta

      Lonnie,

      Just kind of filling in for Pat since he’s a pretty busy guy and I have tons of time on my hands lol

      As far as any niche goes and whatever you’re reviewing you’ve got to be unique in how you present it. Not sure what kind of products you’re reviewing..maybe some amazon products so you can throw your affiliate links in there I’m guessing?

      Whatever niche you get into, or product you’re reviewing you have to remember that EVERY ONE ELSE IS DOING IT. Any when I mean everyone else I mean 500 people or 50,000 people across the net. You’re most likely going to have the same type of repetitive content everyone else has.

      So the question you have to ask yourself is what separates you from the rest of the buffalo herd?

      For example take Perez Hilton (and I hate using this example but it’s relevant lol)

      When Perez saw all of these other magazines and tv talk shows talking about celebrity gossip the only people that really talked about the celebrity’s were TMZ.com, which later got their own tv show. So Perez figured “hey I can do that”

      Except he brought his own personality to it. He used his own lingo and slang, doodled on celebrity’s faces, made up his own gossip and then spread it across the web and built up a following big enough to earn him popularity, endorsements, and a lifestyle he could only dream of.

      So the way you two connect is that you’re both reviewing something. Perez reviews celebrity’s and you review (whatever products you review). The only difference is the way you bring it.

      The best way to do this is to be honest. Sure you want to make a sale but if you’ve never used the product, touched it, felt it, seen it in person (if it’s a physical product) then why would you review it? To make a sale? You wouldn’t go to a movie if a friend told you a movie was good, but said they never saw it? lol that just doesn’t make sense.

      So bring your own unique twist to it..like that blender guy who just blends stuff until it disintegrates haha..it’s all a twist

      I’m starting to ramble so I’ll leave you with this. Be creative, unique, funny, dumb, silly, and anything else you can think of. Wear a wig, mustache, be the “alcoholic who reviews digital cameras” haha I don’t know..use your imagination! You’ll be okay! Don’t worry soo much about SEO. Because reaching people through emotion is something SEO can NEVER DO!

      hope this helped! :)

      cheers!

      -Chris Alta

  • Chris

    Pat,

    Let say somebody takes original content off your site and put it onto theirs. How will the search engines know who had the content originally ?

  • http://www.embark-lovethelifeyoulive.com/ Kala/Embark-LovetheLIfeYouLive

    Pat, can I jsut say thanks, and I need your help! REading your writings about niche sites I did research and chose a niche- BECAUSE I LOVE IT, so I knew it would keep my interest. With this Google change I think I”m higher! I’m on pg.2 and only started Jan 26th. I think it’s really important that folks realize put helpful content, otherwise if net gets flooded with garbage folks will switch to new search engines that work to give them info they really can use! BUT THIS is my goofy ?, my site is http://mindfulnessmeditations.net/, but I realize like how can I monetize it better? I feel like ok I”m getting up there but what products would people need who meditate it’s like perhaps I chose my niche incorrectly, even though it’s soemthing I like?
    So a tip that may be obvious before choosing a niche include in the research what products can you sell.

  • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

    I certainly hope it does weed out those sites that use the auto post plugin. Glad you’re sites didn’t get affected.

  • http://www.bloggigaccess.com Felix Albutra

    Hi Pat,

    This is what I am thinking for awhile since then. I noticed when I am building my niche websites and build backlinks for it, I figured out that I only missed the precious spot of google rankings because everytime I build it, my rankings will go down.

    Therefore I conclude that CONTENT IS THE REAL KING on the internet since people are using the internet for information.

    I also want to remind other Niche Marketers and Webmasters that Google is not a ROBOT or a mere software for searching relevant information that users are searching but is the tool to gather quality information for us users.

    Thanks for explaining those information above and also for sharing the update of your niche website.

    Anyway, would you mind to share to us your Niche websites?

    Cheers!
    - Felix Albutra
    http://www.bloggingaccess.com

  • http://blog.daveworks.net Dave Naves

    making a living as a web developer for almost 20 years now, i normally lift an eyebrow to *certain* techniques used to put google to work like a rented donkey. but i really respect the message you deliver in your posts, pushing them publish “quality” content… the essence of relevant google results (something i constantly teach my clients) so being *smartly* transparent about how you spin your quality content, you get this snobby web dev’s thumbs up. =) #sharethelove!

    nicely done, pat!

    cheers,
    //dave

  • http://mkakan.com Mk Akan

    I am not in the US so my ranking will obviously not be affected by the changes but its good to know that blogs and sites that post quality content are rewarded accordingly (i hope that this is the case and remains that way).
    When this roll out is eventually extended outside the US i will see what changes it makes to my ranking.
    Hoping for the best though.

  • http://chuckbrown.com Chuck Brown

    Inspired by your post, Pat…I checked out and presented the impact of the new algo on 5 of my sites: http://braindump.chuckbrown.com/putting-food-on-the-table/5-sites-1-week-googles-latest-algorithm-tweak/

  • Brian Lima

    Man this post was insightful & cued up an old video that reminded me of this video. Replace Safety with the world Google in the lyrics. I’m a newbie in this Google Dance world but know now my content has to be quality, I also need to diversify and created other avenues of passive income besides just being Google rank dependent. Enjoy the video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7movKfyTBII

  • http://www.intherabbithole.com Aaron F

    I have seen my site start getting traffic and ranking, in the last two weeks, for a lot more keywords and phrases. That, coupled with the release of our podcast, has been a nice bust in traffic. Sadly, I have not seen Google picking up very many back links. Even though I have had three articles on Ezine all posted within days of each other, I only have one that shows up in the back links. So far the new Algorithm seems to have been a boon.

    • http://www.hendrikdimter.com Hendrik

      You might just have to give it some time, Google is extremely slow at showing back links, while Yahoo and co. will acknowledge them almost instantly.

  • http://www.themusictips.com Kuba Wolanin

    Hey Pat, thank you for posting. What you said about writing quality content is absolutely true, even if there are “blackhat” methods to fill the web with trashy content. It’s definitely not cool to see your articles on someone’s site. That’s why I’d like to ask you – what’s your method to avoid stealing your articles?
    I heard about auto-blogging software stealing articles from RSS feed, that’s why sometimes it’s dangerous to post the whole content into the feed.

    Thanks again and good luck!
    Kuba

  • http://genxfinance.net Jeremy

    It’s amazing how some sites in my niche have been hit hard by this while others haven’t seen any change or even an improvement. Sites covering the same subject matter, receiving about the same amount of traffic, have been around for about the same amount of time, and engage in the same linking practices, and one loses 50% of their traffic overnight and the other doesn’t skip a beat. You’d think there would be some kind of silver bullet that could clearly identify what a site did wrong. Instead, it seems like it’s anyone’s guess at the moment.

    Personally, I haven’t seen the drastic changes on my sites. In fact, search traffic is up as a whole. And when checking the keywords I monitor in Market Samurai, it’s interesting. About a third of my keywords rank the same. About a third have gone up, and a third have gone down. I can’t explain it.

    • http://www.hendrikdimter.com Hendrik

      About 90 percent of my keywords dropped by 500 positions and more. I guess I can count myself among the people who got hit hard, though, I had seen the same drop around February 7 when Google was already test-tweaking.

      A big chunk of my links are coming from article directories, a practice that had been praised here and on countless other blogs as THE way to build solid links. Well, I guess I’ll have to wait and see for now.

  • http://www.invalidmemory.com Neil Edwards

    Interesting to see ezinearticles seems to have taken quite a beating after this change. Might be worth keeping an eye out for other reports like http://www.quora.com/Which-websites-dropped-the-most-in-the-latest-Google-algorithm-change to see if it’s still worse trying to create backlinks on them…

  • http://incomeintel.com Craig Arthur

    Wonderful post Pat! I’m glad you made it in simple terms for people like me. None of my current websites moved that much. My main website is still #2 because the #1 website is a forum! Darn!

  • http://www.shakfromthegroundup.com Shak

    Hey Pat. Been using the backlinking strategy. I’ve been hovering around the 8-9th position, and my trusty market samurai software told me I ranked 5th! Of course being that MS uses US rankings which is why im seeing different results with other methods. Tootally glad im using quality content over scraping for sure!!

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  • http://www.peoplebehindwebsites.com Ayden

    Unfortunately I’ve seen a big change with some of my sites in a negative way.

    Now I’m sure that these new changes Google has brought in will be improved over time, as they learn from the affects of these changes. Hopefully that will mean I can get back up to my old rankings and above!

  • http://unlockthedoor.net Stuart

    It pretty much goes without saying that writing quality content is the way forward. If I had to choose between poor content and lots of traffic, and quality content and minimal traffic, I’d choose the former every time.

    When I first started blogging I was more focused on getting traffic over to my site, for everyone to love me, but of course I was thinking about myself first and everyone else later. The reverse needs to happen to gain the rewards.

  • http://portallanguageservices.com Christopher

    I’m curious how links from these sites (ezines, hubpages, squidoo,etc.) will change in value. Is it still worth it to get backlinks from these sites by making pages and submitting articles?

    • Pat

      I think so, Christopher. I mean, that was the main portion of my strategy and all of my sites went up. It’ll probably be worth a little less, but at least it’s worth less across the entire board so it kinda evens out between all competition.

  • http://www.passionatefather.com Brad

    Hey Pat – I’d be interested to know if your eHow earnings take a hit because of this. Will you report back to us on that? I’m also interested in anyone has any experience with how this has affected InfoBarrel.

    • Pat

      I’m watching closely, Brad. I will report on it sometime once I get enough data. I do know, however, that both eHow and InfoBarrel seemed to make out a lot better than the other sites listed here.

  • http://ihid.us?i=a5yn William Earl Amis, Jr. III

    Once again your videos are amazing and so detailed. They are well put together and have easy access. One is able to utilize all the procedures and techniques you have blessed us with in your presentations. Thanks for keep it real and simple for duplication.

    Just wondering if you could drop me the information on that black board tool you utilize during a majority of your presentations. After watching your series, I feel the need to take a look at it. I do teach a large number of people and may get into the video teaching. Never in your field, that is not ethical. I have my own products that I”m blessed to have developed and marketed. I just love that little black board tool. Thanks in advance for really helping people reach success!

    • Pat

      Thanks William – I had already responded to your email asking the same question. Did you not get it? Cheers!

  • http://bluerize.com Nathan Hangen – Digital Emperor

    My take away is this – don’t build something just because it can make you money, especially if you don’t know what you are talking about.

    I’d really like to see content farms and niche sites disappear so that Google can return to greatness and I can actually find what I want in the search results!

  • http://www.cashcampfire.com Christina Crowe

    Hey Pat,

    Interesting! This is the first time I’ve heard of this, so thanks for bringing it to my attention! I just updated my ranking data on Market Samurai and, as it turns out, many of my sites have actually increased in rankings! This is awesome news, and I have a feeling I’m going to like this new algorithm when creating future sites. :)

    Christina

  • http://www.blogging-the-beginners-complete-guide.com Karo Itoje

    Hello Pat,

    If it actually works out like that, I mean “reduce rankings for low-quality sites and better rankings for high quality sites” that would be great! Then some of us are in business for real! I have always said that eventually Google will out-smart SEOers, the much tweaking, thousands of links and all that. So I am in full support of it.

    However I have read some mixed feelings about the change. Some claiming to have good content but getting reduced ranking. If that stays so, it wouldn’t be fair at all. Anyway, we’ll see how things go.

    As for me, my home page was already on page 2-3 for the keyword “Blogging for beginners” with and without the quotes. But now I can’t find my site on top 10 for the keyword!

    I wouldn’t say this is because of the change, for two reasons.

    First, according to Google it’s been effected for now on Us only. Second is that I have been re-working my pages for over a month now, targeting keywords properly, updating content and links. So I kind of expected that, though I am yet to re-work my home page so I wonder why my home page should drop for that keyword.

    My traffic is fluctuating, which happens everyday anyway. Google is still my top referrer and guess who is my third? SPI!

    I’ll just keep my fingers crossed and see what happens. But just like a child that does well in an exam doesn’t shiver on the day to collect report cards, I am not at all worried by the Google change because I believe I have done well.

    If really Google wants “research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis” and they know how to effectively find such sites, then my site shouldn’t have any problem. I have always love giving details. So my articles are always researched, in-depth and I think thoughtful.

    My backlinks? Mostly from guest posting, article marketing and blog commenting.

    So we’ll just have to wait and see how things turn out. Google better make things right as they promised for the good guys else we’ll get mad at Google and stop feeding them content! Who says we can’t do that huh? They aren’t got business without us :*)

  • http://www.forexbees.com Raj

    I think I have a positive effect of this change on my blog. Normally I have less number of adsense impressions on the weekend than the weekdays for my blog. But these two days (weekend) I saw the same number of impressions as the weekdays. So I think next week on the weekdays my impressions will increase. I was wondering why I got more impressions these weekend days than the other weekends and this article explains me that.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.skinbeautyhq.com Zoe

    I’m actually pretty excited about this! About time that quality content is rated higher than spammy websites. Hopefully my website will climb higher :)

    Glad to see your niche sites have climbed up Pat!

  • http://www.howtoflirtwithagirlnow.net Robert

    Pat, maybe you’ve already answered this, but how will this affect your Backlinking strategy (using UAW, Blog Blueprint, etc.)?? Thanks!

  • http://incomeintel.com Craig Arthur

    Anyone,

    I haven’t found much information on this but…

    Will this affect the rankings for youtube videos? I really hope it does because there are many youtube videos out there that have high ranks only because they have many views even though they are outdated or irrelevant.

  • http://www.mypatraining.com Paul

    Hey, Pat, do you have any thoughts on how this might affect article directories, article marketing, and “spinning?” I’ve been hearing that google’s new method may pay less attention to the directories, and I’m trying to decide how much effort to continue putting into this area of my niche. Keep up the great work…

  • Ron

    Pat, or anyone who might know…

    REALLY important question I have:

    Been working hard on trying to establish a new, high quality PLR site. I would write and sell PLR in one broad niche. How do you think these latest changes will affect sellers of PLR and buyers who want PLR content for their sites? Will buyers be less apt to buy PLR, thinking that they have to write all original content? Will PLR content be viable, as long as there is “significant change” in the content? Thoughts, please! Thanks…

  • http://www.haveablast.co.nz Ben

    Hey,
    I have a website for my Business hiring bouncy castles and marquees in Nelson & Auckland NZ. The change helped me, previously if I searched for my keywords I was always beaten by Yellow pages and other directory’s..

    Thanks, Ben

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  • http://www.adambeckett.com Adam

    Pat, if the rankings are based on quality it’s good news for me since I rank third on the first page of Google.
    Curiously another niche site is ranked fourth, even though there is less content, however the quality of content is the same.

    Great news for all readers then :)

    Originality of ideas and well delivered content really do rule now…

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  • http://www.napincome.com Joshu (NapIncome)

    Hey Pat,

    Glad that you have jumped up the lader when it comes to ranking. This is certainly one great step that google has taken. I am personally so very irritated when 1000s of autoblogs use the content you have written over sleepless nights. I storngly support the initiative of cleaning the internet and improving the quality of websites!

    cheers
    Josh

  • http://www.gvo-webcast.com Sean Breslin

    Your advice is on the Money Pat! My shared server hosting Blog prospered after the changes… Original content is a major key ingredient!

  • Rod

    The change sent my major earning site into the sandbox. It had ALL original content which (IMHO) was valuable. The downside is I promoted it heavily in Spring/Summer 2010 using Ezine, Hubpages et al.

    My plan B site (promoted via various directories excluding ezine, hubpages) has managed to survive & fluorish.

    Having original content is always valid – but if you promoted your site via the article directories struck by the change then you’ll be losing SERPS (or in the sandbox with me).

    This makes using various promo strategies on multiple sites all the more important.

  • http://www.theaffiliatejourney.com/ Ian – TheAffiliateJourney

    Good Post Pat. I replied to a couple of other comments in the thread of them on the way down. Something I just wanted to point out is that when ever Google makes a change like this it’s not an exact formula.

    It is very possible for good quality, white hat sites with 100% original content to get de-valued.

    There’s a variety of reasons, but primarily it’s because Google is trying to clean things up from the out-cry that’s been occurring from users, SEOS and bloggers for the past quarter.

    This is a “fix” so they can get back to their priority of making money (Which the SERPs) don’t really do any more directly, of course indirectly they support ad revenue.

    To sites that have been hit and they’re left scratching their head I would suggest they

    a.) Keep pushing with link building that uses primarily in-content links
    b.) create a 2nd and even 3rd site in their primary industry.

    I’ve always practiced multiple sites in one vertical to ensure protection from smacks Google may send out and also to capture more then 1 position in the top 3-5 spots.

    Cheers,

    Ian

  • http://www.mindmarketing.net Mind Marketing

    I have a niche site I neglected for months jump almost 20 pages for multiple terms. One of them even has me on page one!

    It’s crazy because I’d given up on this site because I thought it was going to be too competitive to rank. Needless to say i’ll be focusing on this site a little more now.

    Thank You Google!

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  • http://albastru.eu Albastru

    Hi. Do you still recommend using sites like ezinearticles and hubpages to get backlinks?
    => http://searchengineland.com/who-lost-in-googles-farmer-algorithm-change-66173

  • http://www.BudgetWeddingsNYC.com CharLena

    Hey y’all,

    Good afternoon. I think this is incredibly wonderful. It splits off the chaff from the wheat and we are all better able to succeed. Thanks for the heads up, Pat. Congratulations on your various niche(s) jump up.

    Thankfully because I love to write and tend to write a lot of information, my new niche website is starting to take shape, along with some of my articles from eZineArticles.com, which on occasion I add to my websites and they insist on high quality content/articles.

    I checked my websites and I am still on the first page, thankfully.

  • Dan Reed @ internet marketing secrets

    Hi Pete, saw you at Sheila Atwood’s blog “Newbie Lifeline”.
    Actually I am so new in blogging, I don’t even have a Google Page Rank, I do have around 8 links to them, around 300 to Yahoo, none in Bling. I do write some original content,(Reviews, my thoughts) but have also utilized a small amount of auto-content through Pre-Sell.com. Most of the stuff is in Internet Marketing, affiliate and traffic niches. (I guess I’m not so original..lol!) It looks like I may just fall by the wayside!
    Thanks for the sharing the article and feel free to stop by to link..take care!

  • http://unwireme.com Rich Polanco

    Like you Pat, my rankings actually improved.

    Content was, is, and will always be King. You can fool Goog some of the time, but you can’t fool it all of the time. :)

  • http://www.coveringtherent.com Ryan @ coveringtherent

    Hi Pat,

    Great post and congraulations on the ranking uplifts. It makes sense though really doesn’t it? Your Security guard niche site is rammed with good, original quality content. Granted your linking strategy involved the majority of article sites hit by this change but still its an uncompetitive niche and Google will still value your content highly. Maybe areas where your linking strategy may have suffered you have been rewarded with the good quality content, clean url structures & optimised pages you have throughout your niche site.

    Google isin’t going to drop a site just for the sake of it. If you produce the content and have something of value over the competitors in your niche (which you should if you choose the right niche) then theres no reason why you’d be dropped in my opinion.

    Great work again Pat.

    Thanks

    Ryan

  • http://www.thebizroad.com Adam Grant

    This is great news for high quality content on the internet. Im sure google will get it right over time there may be some short term losses but this will be followed by long term gains if you produce high quality stuff.

    Looks like Google are bringing their informal moto “Don’t be evil” in to the world of blogging and about time too. Pat I have learned a lot from this website, there is a vast amount of high quality information and resources here so I would assume this change would only be good for you and your businesses.

  • Patricio

    Hi Pat,
    Your post reflect that if you do things with integrity, you have nothing to fear. Google algorithm updates are just put in place to help their customers, i.e., all of us that use Google to find information relevant to us. So in strict sense, what Google is doing is helping us to laser focus on our target market, and that our prospective customers can find us.

    Sonia Simone, from copyblogger.net, wrote an article that shares your point of view, called “Demystifying SEO” (http://www.copyblogger.com/smart-people-seo/), where she stresses the need to consider that SEO must be, above all things, about people. It’s correct, SEO is about search engines, but in the end what those search engines are trying to do is serve people.

  • http://profitduck.com Simon Duck

    Very true. I try my hardest to write niche sites which actually help the people who will visit them, that’s why I always search for niches that I am somewhat interested in. I do find it difficult on many occasions though, if you haven’t done a degree in the field then you are bound to have to look around places to find content, which in turn could lead to copied information or a modified text which isn’t the same standard.

    As Patricio says, SEO should be about the people, that why before all else I make sure the content I readable, then you can think about other aspects, there is no point in rubbish.

  • http://www.whatsonmybrain.com Josh

    I have dropped a couple of spots in almost every keyword I was ranking for which is odd because my site is considered an authority hub and is pure content, all orinigal. I was number 1 for many keywords and now other blogs are outranking me that don’t even nearly have the amount of content or backlinks I have..>Very odd…losing ,money from this too now

    Sad right now ;(

    Josh

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  • http://packagingcentral.co.uk Steven

    I have actually seen an improvement in a few of my sites, mainly due to some ezinearticles and hubpages dropping off the first page.

  • http://www.designyourjob.com Kirk

    My Niche sites went up, my blog (self generated content) went down. After reading these comments though I might have the www problem on the blog. I have learned a lot since I set that up.

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  • http://passiveincomeseo.com Alex

    I saw only beneficial changes for my niche websites as well. I think this google update only hurt those with “general” sites like article directories that target many many keywords in various niches.

    As much as I want to believe google got better at detecting quality I do not think this update helped in that. My website have unique quality content that I try hard to make sure they are of value to my visitors but I saw many other websites focused on a niche with what I deem to be bad content to still be ranking as well…

  • JP

    Hello.

    I thought about you because I’ve read your backlinking strategy. I remember you recommending article spinning for content submissions to Ezine and other article directories. Since weeding out spun content seems part of the algo change intentions, do you still recommend those same sites and spinning content? I’ve read the directories, esp Ezine was hit hard.

    I ask because I’ve never used directories or spun content. It takes longer (WAY longer), but I write each article. I have related articles that complement and support each other in text, interlinking and backlinking, but they’re not “re-writes.” Some people seem concerned about using the directories anymore as a strategy. Is ezine still the #1 go to directory for you? The others I’ve seen recommended were hit, too.

    2. Are rev share sites a “bad” place to focus online writing efforts? It seems eHow rose in the SERPs although people complained about them as the #1 “farmer,” but other rev share sites like Hubpages were smashed. I’ve been writing for InfoBarrel since they were fairly new and because I stuck w/them instead of bailing when I didn’t earn on five articles, I’ve grown, learned a ton, and earn consistently. They focus on quality and are very transparent.

    Does Google penalize a site overall (like rev share), so all those writing there feel the impact or can they filter quality individual pieces of content? I know that’s probably one of the million dollar questions, but it’s worth asking. I think the answer is very pertinent when it comes to laying out a plan for consistent, long term income online and where to focus energy.

    I suppose at least one or two niche sites in the mix is the best long term plan.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.todayhaspower.com Rob

    @ChrisAlta,
    Keep posting comments! Good insight.
    For me, 3 sites up and 2 down.
    Trying to figure out the 2 a little better.

  • http://wellnessinthenow.com Mitch Straus

    Pat,

    After having seen what sites are getting hit the hardest (ezinearticles, buzzle, etc…) I can’t help but think that a LOT of your backlinking strategy revolves around a number of the sites that got hit hard. The way in which you were spinning articles and “populating” the farm sites to build backlinks and thereby your rank in Google should change based on this, should it not?

    You always come strong with content for your MAIN/NICHE sites, but will this not affect your backlinking strategy?

    • Pat

      All of my sites, using the strategy I’ve outlined, have either stayed the same or have gone up. I think that shows exactly how good this backlinking strategy is, even after this change. Sure, some of the sites I submitted to got hit pretty hard and maybe some of the articles aren’t as strong as they were before, but that’s why I’m hitting 20 different article sites, not just 1. That’s why I work on putting content on web 2.0 sites and other blogging platforms. Diversification.

      Joseph Archibald, who came up with this strategy, is not changing his approach either.
      :) Cheers!

  • http://financiallyeliteblog.com Dwight Anthony

    Thanks for the heads up Pat, which if people used their common sense, they would know that Google wants the best experience for those using their search engines. They are so many adsense, scraper, black hat and the rest of low quality sites that Google had to take a stand against it.

    Dwight
    FinanciallyEliteBlog.com

  • http://www.besttennisracketshq.com Austin

    Hey Pat,

    A few of my other niche sites (4-5 years old) have been unaffected by the new changes. My most recent niche site (my first in years), which was spawned from your 100 word call to action post, is starting to climb the ranks at Google faster then I expected. I’m hoping that the unique and useful content will be loved by the algorithm and I’ll end up in the top 3 spots over the next few months.

    Thanks for the update, a clear and concise post explaining the changes.

    Thanks for all your hard work Pat!

    Austin

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  • http://theinternetmarketingexposed.com Jhon

    Thanks for your nice post. I enjoyed a lot.

  • http://www.exoticphilippines.info/ Gay

    Hi Pat,

    I’ve been checking your blog every now and then here but this is my first time to comment. :)

    I would just like to ask, if you’ve got hit by the Google Panda what you should do? Could you get back there and get back your rank?

    Thanks!

  • http://buyfbinvites.com/ Deny Saputra

    Hi, so afar there’s no significant changing. But still ready for any changing.
    Thanks again Pat! I would like to try “your” backlinking strategy

  • http://financiallyeliteblog.com Dwight Anthony

    Based on the quality of your security site Pat, i don’t believe you have anything to worry about on the google updates if all your sites are the same quality content.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog

  • http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/services/lawyer-seo-marketing/ Molly

    Nice post! I’ve learned through my own SEO trial and error, that the best way to be unaffected by Google and their algorithms is to just be honest and practice white hat techniques that you know are no where close to spam. Thanks for sharing :D