Informational Content Site Case Study Mths 22-23

Informational/Content Site Case Study Mths 22-23

Hey peeps, here is my routine bi-monthly update for the informational site I started as a case study back on the 1st January 2020.

This time we have more to talk about than just “I added X number of posts and earned Y dollars” – but it’s not all good!

The site was negatively affected by the November core update, but more about that below.

Here is an overview of the stats for the last two months:

  • I didn’t log into the site for around 6 weeks and only published 6 new posts!
  • The site made a total of $6,699.45.
  • Pageviews have dropped from ~161k in September to ~122k in November.

On face value, I’ll admit it doesn’t look good – but it’s really not so bad. 🙂

Here is a closer look at how the site is performing and what the future may hold:

Traffic and Earnings Stats for Jan-Nov 2021

Here’s an overview of the site’s traffic and earning stats for this year:

Month# Articles PostedPageviewsMediavine ($)Ezoic & Adsense ($)Amazon ($)Other Affiliate ($)Total ($)
Jan262,9120.001,051.3519.51243.091,313.96
Feb1261,3120.001,302.9728.66207.781,539.41
Mar2787,4581,183.22161.3564.31347.611,756.49
Apr2099,2221,353.780.0065.22315.311,734.31
May39121,2692,178.420.0087.48247.362,513.26
Jun17131,3302,840.340.00146.74216.573,203.65
Jul13163,9573,338.500.0091.21245.203,674.91
Aug18164,3563,384.520.0093.16282.003,759.68
Sep10161,4003,659.070.0093.5178.413,830.99
Oct0150,3533,290.080.0087.3928.763,406.23
Nov6122,0963,040.960.00109.61142.653,293.22
Totals1641,325,66524,268.892,515.67886.802,354.7430,026.10

Traffic Stats for Oct-Nov 2021

Case Study Site Oct and Nov 2021
Eeeep
GSC Case Study Site Oct and Nov 2021

I was expecting traffic to start dropping due to the seasonality of the niche. Last year, traffic dropped around 10% from Sep-Oct, and 13% from Oct-Nov.

It was looking like the traffic was following suit this year – then the November Core update started rolling out.

Comparing some days of the week pre and post update, the site is down as much as 20%.

It’s still early days as the update has only just finished rolling out, so I’m not completely sure of the impact as of now.

How the Site Was Affected by the Nov Core Update

I took a little dig into my Google search console and looked at the SERPs for a bunch of my keywords, and the most obvious thing that has happened is that I’ve lost a lot – if not all – of my snippets.

I checked literally 40 or so KWs that I had snippets for, and my site has dropped to rank #1 (or #2 if you call the snippet #1).

This is a little odd, right?

I’ve started looking at the sites taking the snippets to identify what they are doing right in Google’s eyes that I might not be doing.

I’ve identified a few things that I want to test. I won’t go into detail here, but I shall let you know if anything works!

But honestly, a lot of the snippet data that replaced mine isn’t very accurate or helpful. That’s not me saying I deserve the snippet, it’s just fact.

I’ve heard other people say similar across a bunch of niches, so fingers crossed, Google might be testing something and I’m kinda hoping things change a little more.

I guess a positive way of looking at this is that I’ve not been ‘hit’. It’s more like I’ve lost 1-2 places across hundreds of posts than it is Google pushing me off of keywords.

Earnings for Oct-Nov

I’m going to be a little lazy and skip the screenshots this month, here is what the site earned over the last two months:

MonthMediavine $Amazon $Other Affiliate $Total
Oct3,290.0887.3928.763,406.23
Nov3,040.96109.61142.653,293.22
Totals6,331.04197.00171.416,699.45

It’s hard not to be happy with the site earnings, especially as I’m not putting a lot of time into the site right now.

Re: ad revenue; I didn’t have any crazy Black Friday RPMs like some folks. It peaked at $34, which is still very good, and the average RPM for the month was $28.64.

I had very few sales, but fortunately, I had some huge purchases so the overall affiliate sales are up which was a nice surprise.

What the Future Holds – Selling the Site?

I mentioned before I was thinking of selling the site at the end of the year, and that was part of the reason I have not been working on it much.

With the dip in traffic due to the update, I’m on the fence about selling now. It’s hard to know when the best time to sell is, but it feels like I should recover from this update a little first.

I’m not in a huge hurry to sell, and to be honest, I don’t really ‘want’ to sell the site. I really enjoy the niche and love writing for the site.

It just makes sense financially and I don’t have much time to dedicate to this site with my other sites and projects – some of which are more profitable.

I’ll see how I feel at the end of the year – a lot can happen in a month!

It’s also a good time to remind ourselves that we have a lot to be grateful for.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m hungry to grow this site if I keep working on it – but meditating on a regular basis and practicing gratefulness is what got me to this point in the first place.

Anywho, I look forward to hearing how you guys and gals have been getting on. It’s been almost 2 years now I’ve been running this case study, and it’s been awesome to see some of you building out your own profitable sites.


Image credits – Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

15 thoughts on “Informational/Content Site Case Study Mths 22-23”

  1. My and a friend’s site also got hit. Although I didn’t have featured snippets in the first place, so I didn’t lose much traffic 😅

    But my friend has lost about the same percentage of traffic as you.

    Thanks, Phil, for keeping us up to date.

    1. Good to see you , Umar.

      Sucks to hear that for you, too. It’s all part of the journey and learning process, we’ll bounce back better!

  2. Hi Phil,
    Another decent update. It is good to be here again. There is no need to rush in selling the website since you enjoy writing the contents on it.

    To be honest, six published contents for the past 2 months is way too small for this website. I think lack of regular published contents also take a little bit toll on the website together with the November core update.

    However, the earnings do not suffer due to the authority of the website and increase in RPM.

    Well I would like to tell you about my own websites too. At present, I have 242 published contents on the website.

    About 90% of my contents are indexed on Google search engine. The site is about 5 months old now, it’s also in outdoor niche and it is growing in terms of traffic gradually as well.

    The website received 1089 Pageviews last month. I have about 40 keywords on top 10 of Google search engine.

    I hope the traffic will explode by the time it clocks 6 months old and out of sand box.

    I am planning to look for more “underserved keywords” because they seems to index and rank fast on my website.

    I will not let the lack decent traffic to prevent me from publishing on the site regularly.

    Once again thanks for making this case study public, it gives people like me motivation and direction on the path to build successful niche websites.

    1. Hi Aliu

      Sounds like things are going well for your site, it’s still very young. Good job on 242 posts, that’s incredible and will pay off once you build up authority and everything ranks a bit better.

  3. I read your previous comment where you said you’re using wpx for your hosting plan. I’m using wpx as well, and right now I want to join ezoic but I’m kinda confused about changing the wpx namesavers on my domain registra.

    Please how did you go about it integrating ezoic with your website hosted on wpx.

    1. Hi Lucas

      All you have to do is change your name servers over – I asked WPX to do it for me, and they always did, just to make sure I didn’t mess it up.

      So, just contact their chat and I’m sure they’ll do it all for you.

  4. JOSEPH MUREITHI KIBOI

    Hi Phil,

    I love reading about niche sites. I wanted to know how you do your keyword research. I have started a website and currently have 100 articles on it.
    Would appreciate your feedback.

  5. Hey Phil,
    Thanks for the latest update. Just curious about the drop in traffic. Have you noticed any of your posts/pages deindexed by google recently?

    I am working on a content ad site project similar to your project and just noticed many of my posts have been deindexed or at least i can’t find them using the site: operator.

    Have you experienced something similar?

    Thanks

    1. Hi IamB

      I’ve had a lot of indexing issues for a while now, like most people. I don’t think posts are dropping out, but I know some never get indexed, and some take a long time.

      I just looked in Search Console and it says there are no coverage issues, it’s just a really weird situation. I also can’t find some posts using site:operator, I’m just ignoring the issue to be honest.

  6. Hi Phil,
    I recently found your site through a long tail Google search 🙂
    Really appreciate everything you’re sharing. Your effort and results are inspiring.
    A couple of questions:
    1. Where do you get images for your site(s). It seems with this many posts you would need a lot of images, and that could get pricey.
    2. Understandable if you don’t want to share your niche, but could you give a little direction on what route to take with niche selection?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Matt
      Thanks for dropping by.
      1. I get almost all of my images from Unsplash.com, I think I picked up a few from Pixabay.com. These sites provide 100% free to use images. I’ve also taken a load of images myself, I think unique images have a tiny SEO benefit, so I really need to do it more.
      2. Broadly speaking this niche is an outdoors hobby. That’s why there is a correlation between weather improving and organic traffic.

  7. Hi Phil, good to see your site still going strong inspite of Google core updates..

    I think your lost snippet rankings may come back in near future if the current sites don’t have good enough content…

    I am also here to provide an update about my last year site..

    Its 2 years old now and has around 120 articles..
    I published around 45 articles in last 3 months..

    Last December month traffic was around 25K and the total revenue was around $750..

    So its current EPMV is now around $25 which I think is the decent one.

    Recently this site has crossed its 1k visitors a day and now growing slowly in terms of traffic and revenue..

    Lets see how much it will grow when I publish 200 articles on this site in total..

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