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We’re now one month away from the one-year mark for the No Stone Unturned case study site, and thanks to the Helpful Content Update, we’re nowhere near where we were hoping to be.

Before we jump in, if you’re unfamiliar with this case study, be sure to check out the full playlist over on YouTube or the previous posts over on the blog.

For this update, I’m going to skip some of the usual numbers and focus on the impact of the Google updates. In short, we added another 30 or so posts to the site, which is our current plan going forward.

Algorithm Updates

As most of you know, Google released the Helpful Content Update in late August, which ended up dropping the traffic on this case study site by about 50%. The impact didn’t start until about a week into the update, but once it dropped, it was very noticeable.

If that wasn’t enough, Google decided to launch the September Core Update three days after officially ending the Helpful Content Update. Luckily, this update didn’t have any impact on this case study site (although we did actually see a large boost on three of our other sites).

For those of you with product-based posts, you also had to deal with the Product Reviews Update before the core update was done rolling out. 

Let’s hope with these back-to-back-to-back updates behind us, Google will give us a break through the rest of the year.

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Traffic

Below, you can see the extent of the damage done by the Helpful Content Update. This first screenshot is a lifetime view from Search Console.

Site # 6 Search Console

The next screenshot is a lifetime view from Analytics, showing pageviews by month. We were right around 20,000 pageviews in August and dropped down to roughly 12,500 pageviews in September.

Site # 6 Analytics

Moving Forward

With such a drastic drop in traffic, many people would either give up or make significant changes to their site. In our case, we’re going to stay the course.

We believe the site is solid and that the hit was mostly due to a lack of authority. We’ve published a lot of content relatively quickly, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to think Google might not trust the site quite yet.

As far as the basic approach and the content for the site, we’re not changing anything at this point. Google says they want sites built for visitors, and that was literally the framework of this case study site.

We’ll give it some time and reassess, but something tells me that this site will bounce back with a future update. In the meantime, we’ve basically lost about three months of progress, so we’ll have to wait and see how quickly we can get back to where we were and beyond.

Final Thoughts

Losing 50% of your traffic is never fun, but that doesn’t mean we should lose all hope. Sites often bounce back from updates like these without any changes, and that’s what I anticipate will happen in this case.

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Even if we were to make changes to the site and saw a bounce back with the next big update, we wouldn’t know if our changes had anything to do with it.

If we legitimately thought we were doing something wrong with this site, we would make changes. Instead, this site is inline with the basic approach of our other sites that were not hit by the update, and in many ways, this site provides a better visitor experience.

Like I said, we’ll stay the course and reassess down the road. With any luck, we’ll see a bounce back with a future update.

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    After spending several years struggling to find a reliable way to make money online, I finally developed a simple system that produces large and consistent results. My small team and I are now generating life-changing income for all of us by building simple niche websites using the basic steps covered on Passive Income Unlocked.

    2 Comments

    1. Hi Jeff,

      I’m a former Income School student. Loved it but my focus shifted to bigger things they weren’t covering. I’m not knocking their program, as I learned so much!!! I still watch Ricky’s Tuesday videos without fail.

      Fast forward to today and I’m curious about something you said in a recent video about Content Pit. You dropped their name, so I looked them up. Although they did a wonderful job on my sample article (that I received just today), their website brags about affiliate-type articles with no mention of informational.

      I realize you do not work with or for Content Pit, yet you indicated you order from them. Is it too personal to ask if it’s just informational content you are requesting of them? I ask, as it’s all I’m interested in at the time. Sure, they did a splendid job on my test post about mold. Personally, I was surprised how well my article was written. Who wants to sit and research a mold topic and write about it? And out of the country to boot?

      If you tell me that they also write information posts in bulk yet they just don’t advertise as such, then I’ll jump in with both feet. =)

      By the way, I sincerely enjoy your videos. I was hooked back when you were making the videos about keyword research and said you didn’t want to rely on the People Also Ask questions alone, as “one person could have been search for that keyword phrase”. True!

      Enough babbling. I hope you have an enjoyable and productive week, Jeff.

      Thank you for your time,

      Trina Greenfield

      • Hi Trina,

        I took Project 24 when they first released it as well. It’s actually the only course I’ve ever taken. I think I mostly had it figured out at the time, but it definitely helped to solidify some things for me, so it was well worth the cost. I still try to catch most of Ricky’s videos as well.

        As far as Content Pit, they do indeed produce informational content in bulk. In fact, that’s literally all we’ve ever ordered from them, and we’re currently ordering 150,000 words worth of it each month. When we place an order, we just put “Informational” in the column about the type of article. We also add a note telling them to not link to any products.

        If your articles don’t come back the way you expect them to, just email their support. We’ve done that a few times (always for minor things), and they’ve been extremely accommodating and responsive. They seem to be good about making notes on our account for future orders as well, as anything we point out once, doesn’t seem to resurface down the road.

        I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to check it out, but I recently wrote a pretty lengthy article covering the writing services that we use, with pros and cons, etc., with Content Pit being our go-to choice. You probably got most of what you needed to find out from your sample article, but if you’re looking for some additional info, you can check that out here: https://passiveincomeunlocked.com/best-content-writing-services/

        Really glad to hear you enjoy the videos, by the way. It’s always good to get some feedback hearing that the videos are helping others.

        Best of luck with Content Pit. I think you’ll be really happy with their informational content.

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