WTF Google OR Why I Don’t Call Myself an Expert

Lemme start with the latter. I don’t call myself an “expert” for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that I’m sick of the bull$#!t out there on the internet that says, “You must become an expert in your field and then people buy from you.” The whole point of it is, of course, to profit…

So everyone’s a #@#%$!! prophet or expert in their field. The IM and SEO niches are notorious landfills full of “experts.” How do you become one? Simple. You tell everyone you ARE one.

Come up with a faux case study and enough people may just believe your jive turkey and clicky click ka-ching, you’re in like Flynn, whoever the hell he was.

“Lookee! JamestheJust is a freaking expert!” Uh – stop the presses.

I Am Not An Expert and Google Proves It

Say what? Well – if you read my friend Carrie’s blog, when she feels like posting – this conversation sorta started there. I’m not the BS artist I’m supposed to be (I am in sales, after all – what am I thinking?!).

Google proves over and over that SEO is a level playing field, and I have no freaking idea what the Sam freaking hell is going on but really…it’s screwy.

Sorry about the lingo, you might understand in a minute. I might also just lose all IM sales period: that’s OK. I’d rather have the reputation for being that crazy stupid honest non-guru guy who tells it like it is than some schmarmy schumck-truck pitching his wares to anyone who’d listen.

Here’s the deal: I make a living – a healthy, fun living – on a website that used to have over 30 #1 rankings for my main longtail keywords. These keywords are product-based keywords.

They are 3-5 words long, and it was easy enough to get rankings. You find a product and link it. Spin and submit articles. The stupid thing is that everyone in IM knows what I know:

There are precious few “secrets” you don’t already know by now.

The trouble is that everyone knows by now. I guess that’s the trouble, I dunno – but here’s the deal: I only built links using, well…

everything.

I have link diversity. I have anchor text diversity. I have domain age of 2 years and going or just about that now. I have high and low PR links. I have plenty of natch links, manual links, non-automated and automated links.

Whoops. Yeah, like that’s a surprise…

The TWO things I did on vacation:

Ran SENukeX with the first module, simply creating accounts to use on various social sites and article directories…

I used PaidBackLinks.com…

And I’m not sure if one or both of these things killed my site…

Whoops! I let the cat out of the bag. Anyway, the rankings were all 1-10 (yeah, I had some on the second, third and fourth pages of Google, too)…these are the rankings I’ve held for a while. My recent linking “dripped” out except the SENukeX profile creation (which didn’t even have articles sent through them yet for this site) – but this sort of thing doesn’t usually happen.

Analytics Shows a Drastic Drop in Traffic

No surprise, really. I lost great rankings, with that went the traffic.

I’m not sure what the issue is, but I’ll tell you what I’m doing about it, and I’ll tell you more about results later.

In the meantime – here’s the plan:

1) Put AdSense back up – the site started off as an AdSense site and this is a theory of mine anyway. I think AdSense DOES impact ranking – like it helps you get your sites indexed. At this point I have nothing to lose anyway.

The ads were up on supporting pages, I’ll do it again.

2) Take off all analytics programs that have ties to Google. This is silly that I haven’t yet, but again: this is another theory and a lot of IMers go with StatCounter or GetClicky or whatever.

3) Using more social signals, and NO text links. What I mean is PaidBackLinks.com specifically, since it’s the only thing I’ve done drastically different.

Look – I’m not sure why this is happening but I do know that this is the only “new” thing I’ve done for links in a while: and NONE of my other sites (of course) have been affected by any weird rankings shift BUT this one site I’ve sent the PaidBackLinks links to…

So it’s my number one theory at the moment.

I’m not interested in isolating the one thing or one cause of this issue: I’m interested in getting my living back, because this one just hit me in the wallet like a mallet to the face.

4) Building plenty of other sites besides this one. OK, not “plenty” but I have three in particular that are going to be a lot more year-round vs. this one that’s in a “cold weather” type of niche (sorta).

Diversify my income so that I’m not depending on this one market or site anymore (which I’ve complained about for a while but sat on my tail about).

5) Using BuildMyRank as soon as I’m done with the SENukeX bonuses. I’m trying two other backlinking methods, too…

6) SocialAdr is a social bookmarking site where other members share your stuff on their accounts – I think it would have a better chance of getting accepted bookmarks versus an automated tool like Bookmarking Demon, and frankly I have crappy internet where I live (a lot of downtime with my ISP)…

So if I can use a service like this one but have a pretty automated way of getting links that look a lot more natch, then I’m game. I’ll tell you how it goes…

7) Kristi Hines wrote an ebook called the Ultimate Blog Promotion Guide, and frankly it’s so whitehat you’d have to question my loyalties…It’s not a secret that I use tools like Article Marketing Robot (and I plan on another few blasts with that as well), I use The Best Spinner

Kristi’s book is written from the perspective of a blogger who knew how to leverage social media without being software dependent. She’s not a link builder like I am: she’s written a pretty in-depth book that covers 100% whitehat methods to get your blog post (or in my case, my reviews to products) shared in the social sphere naturally.

I mentioned it once or twice, but the difference is that I’ve actually READ the thing and I was exhausted after reading it.

In fact, my first impression after reading it was that it is essentially a book about building a network of social types to help you in key promotions…So you can’t deploy the methods every single time you post. I also thought that this would take work…

But so does link-building. The book covers more than that, it’s specific about a lot of free ways (some paid) to promote a post, and yeah you can use it in affiliate situations, too.

Anyhow, if you like to actually network, the book’s for you – or if you, like me, have a sudden concern that Google’s just got their knickers in a knot over your lovely rankings…

Well – then it’s something to consider. It’s $37 and in my case, I needed a primer to get my head around specific ways to go about promoting a blog or website without fear of repercussion.

BTW, it is listed last here not because it’s the last thing you should do: but it’s something I will put into action AFTER I do all the above. In my case, I’m still going to build links the easy way first…

But for anyone wondering about my sudden rankings loss (around May 10th), you might seriously want to give your business model a re-think and investigate safer modes of ranking and promoting. If you have a network of actual people that have your back in promoting your posts, then don’t worry – this book won’t help you (much).

I found value in the fact the ebook essentially gave me a new perspective on internet marketing practices, a peek into something that is brand-new to me because I’m used to building a myriad mix of links with tools and ranking that way.

With rankings shifts this drastic, I’m more than willing to listen to alternatives like Kristi’s blog post promotion book.

I’m being dead honest here: this has shaken me up because my biggest fear is losing all I’ve built up and then having to slug it out as a freelancer again…I know what that’s meant in the past. It’s not the life for me, at least not how it was in 2010.

So here I am and truthfully, I have to say:

WTF Google?!

The last TWO times this site’s had rankings shifts like this, the rankings came back within 48 hours, maybe 72 at most.

I might post that this is all a fluke (in fact I’m actually praying to eat crow pie and say, “Wow that sucked for a week but now it’s all back right-side up”)…but I dunno.

It’s been 5 days this time, and I’m not sure there’s going to be a reprieve. As far as I can tell, there’s no “official” penalty that Google’s admitting to, and honestly other than building links before building another site, I’m not sure I can rescue it.

Is one site worth it? Well – it made me over $5k on its own in one month not that long ago.

I’d say that’s worth it.

To say I’m panicked is dead on – I am. So here’s two things I know for sure:

1) Kristi’s book will give me referral traffic if I implement it - so will guest posting which is also on my agenda **adding that in**…being dependent on ONE traffic source (SEO and ranking in Google) IS STUPID.

So although I’m focusing on SEO, I’m going to be working a lot harder on guest posts for this and all sites (can anyone say, “Amazonian Profit Plan told you so?”). I’m also looking into Dave and Lando’s idea of “Niche Domination” by purchasing expired domains with high-ranking PageRank for links…

I’m game for change, I just need to know what’s going to pay off in rankings, traffic and sales. BTW, If you’re wondering where to guest post, try the CommentLuv Network blog to start with – they take just about any niche as I understand…

2) I’m not an expert. Don’t take my word for it – or anyone’s – because Google will do what Google wants to do at any given moment, without explanation.

If you JUST listen to ME, you’re not an expert, either. Seriously, check out my blogroll. Nobody has SEO in Google “licked” and that’s final – there are NO guarantees.

That’s awful-sounding but it’s reality. The only guarantee is that at some point, Google feels nauseated with your top rankings and pukes you out.

At

any

time.

Expect it and you’ll do fine.

Solution? Experiment yourself. Diversify. Test stuff out. Read a lot of people, not just me – I’m really NOT an expert and I’m sick to my stomach that anyone would follow my advice and get the same sorry short end of the stick of Google’s ugly stick.

Don’t think anything I write is set in stone, it’s NOT.

I build links and rank sites the way it’s worked for me, and there is NO real reason that right now I should have had a penalty: there are pages that have not had ANY action from ANY backlink service that are now “indexed” but no longer in the top 200…

So there’s no rhyme or reason. My overall network is otherwise unaffected. There’s no pattern. No “notice” or email, no warning…nothing.

I have no real earthly idea WTF is going on, and that’s that. What I think is that PaidBackLinks may be a culprit – or for all I know, my rankings will come back right when I publish this. I hope that happens, actually…I don’t mind looking stupid, I just want my rankings back.

If not, I’m jacked.

The other thing that’s changed is my IP address since the change to HostGator…from a shared hosting at some lame host or other to a reseller account at HostGator…but no other site in my network has shown any signs of rankings shift.

So like I said: I’m not an expert. When I know something changes, I’ll tell you – right now I’m working to rectify something that may be too far gone for salvage, who knows?

Nothing new really. It’s a Google thing. They like you, you rank well…then one day they eat a burrito, they get gas: you lose because the algorithm has indigestion and you’re the irritant.

You’re expelled like so much flatulence and all you know is that it smells like Google’s colon cleanse.

Listen to me or don’t – I hope to have some sort of case study out of this fiasco. Better yet, my living back…

Thanks for readin’. BTW, this means I really am taking some time off to get this situated. Time to work 72 hour weeks for myself until this thing improves.

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