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Niche Site Case Study: 7 month update


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My niche sites are now 7 months and 6.5 months old. My income is still steadily increasing from Amazon, but I am still yet to see the sharp increase I was hoping for.

From my experience so far, I would say there isn’t a Google sandbox that you just suddenly exit, more like rankings increase over time gradually. This is what I experienced on my travel blog even without putting effort into link building.

This is the eighth update in my case study about building three Amazon affiliate sites. You can also read my last update about how my sites were progressing in January.

PBN and Link Building

I kept my PBN updated and looking genuine. I grew about 4 links in the last month to my main niche site (number 2). I am reluctant to put in any more link building effort for site 1 as I don’t think there is much more earning potential in that site.

Site 1

My rankings over the last month:

  • 1,105 queries with 31,512 impressions (these are just for web searches moved from 949 queries with 22,240 impressions last month)
  • Main keywords average positions are 9.2 and 7.2 (moved from 10 and 7.8 last month)*.
  • Secondary keywords: 1.2 (1.9), 2.0 (1.3), 4.7 (4.8), 9.9 (9.5), 8.0 (10)*

Page Views: 5,815 (up from 4,426)
Earnings: $140.07 (up from $102.03)

I continue to rank well. I just unfortunately picked bad keywords to start with. On the upside, it is earning enough money to cover all my costs for these sites and my PBN. Hopefully, it will keep increasing.

Site 2

I have previously referred to this site as site 3 (as I did have a “site 2” that was de-indexed by Google). 

My rankings over the last month:

  • 2,151 queries with 33,704 impressions on web search (up from 1,800 queries with 26,164 impressions last month) and 618 queries and 14,581 impressions on mobile search (up from 420 queries and 10,355 impressions).
  • Main keyword average position is 22 (up from 20)*.
  • All my main secondary keywords are now ranking between 7.7 – 35 (last month was 13-39)*.
  • Some of the longtail keywords I have targeted in articles are ranking at 3.0 (3.1), 6.0 (4.7), 4.8 (5.7), 3.3 (4.7),  25 (30), 11 (13), 36 (30), 23 and 35* (I am adding new longtail keywords all the time that I want to track).

Page Views: 4,730 (up from 3,407)
Earnings: $199.81 (up from $124.11)

I am happy to see another income increase. However, I am sad to see my main keyword move further down the search pages. Like I said last month, about 50% of my links are to this page and it seems like it was a waste. I wish I had targeted a different keyword as the main one instead.

I have been putting any new links to pages that get a lot of impressions in the search results but are on the second page. I hoped this would move them up and this is working effectively. I am tempted to change some of my links on my PBN which are to the main keyword to something else but worried this might help me get noticed by Google.

Next Steps?

I am adding two articles a month to site 2 and 1 to site 1. I am trying to grow at least two links a month to site 2 as well. Fingers crossed that my income keeps increasing!

Read how my niche sites are going in March.

* = All of the rankings that I list are based on the average search ranking over the last month. They are usually all ranking higher than this right now.

I would love to hear your thoughts and advice…

About the Author

Sharon Gourlay is passionate about working online and helping others to follow in her footsteps. She left Australia with her young family at the end of 2014 determined to grow an online business. She succeeded and now supports her family of 5 to live their dream lifestyle.

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