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A lot of little things happened in November.
In last month’s update, I mentioned that it appeared I’d been hit with the Google Spam update. I had recently published 19 articles on my site that were all super similar, so I figured that might be the problem.
Google wants to rank helpful content, and while each article was helpful, admittedly a single article with all the information from those 19 would no doubt be even more helpful.
Plus, 19 articles that are basically the same (with just a few minor differences) probably looked to Google like they were “written for search engines” and not users, which Google frowns upon.
I was initially planning to ignore all this and just focus on publishing content.
But then I realized I’d lost all my rankings.
And most of my articles showed up as “Crawled – currently not indexed” in Google Search Console.
This means Google knows about the content, but chose not to index it. Usually that means there’s a problem with content quality. It can also mean other things, like having a bunch of “near-duplicate” content. Here’s a good overview.
I know the content is high quality. So the only thing that makes sense is that those articles were considered “near-duplicate” content, which I’d objectively agree with.
So I decided to just delete those articles. Don’t want anything to hold back my site.
A couple weeks after deleting those articles, I noticed my rankings slowly coming back. Here’s what my rank tracker looks like as of the time of publishing this update:
Additionally, I noticed that new content is now getting indexed. I’m seeing fewer “Crawled – currently not indexed” messages in GSC.
I’m not 100% sure if that’s related to deleting those articles, but I think there’s a good chance it is since that was the only change I made.
Tested a couple more content agencies
Since my previous update where all my content was from Hands Off Publishing and Passion Posts, I’ve tested two more agencies: TextHopper and Click Vision.
I won’t go into a ton of detail on them, since I’ve already tweeted about my experience with each one:
People are checking their outsourced articles with AI detectors like Originality.ai and are finding many articles written by AI.
I decided to buy 2000 credits on Originality.ai to check some of the articles I’ve outsourced for this site.
Some of the articles I’ve outsourced with Hands Off Publishing scored about 50% AI. I checked my articles from TextHopper and Click Vision, which scored 84% and 98% human-written respectively.
Both of those are great scores.
I plugged my October case study update into Originality and it scored 97% human-written. I also checked an article I wrote myself way back in 2017 for one of my sites, and it scored 71% human-written.
So for me, as long as an article scores as mostly human-written, I’m okay with that.
From here on out, I plan to order exclusively from Click Vision since they are at least as good as Hands Off Publishing, provide more personalization (see my Twitter thread above), AND provide articles that are definitely human-written.
With some articles from Hands Off Publishing scoring ~50% AI-written, I don’t plan to order any more from them – which is a shame, cause otherwise their articles seemed great and were super cheap for the quality. Wonder why? 🤔 Lol.
And now, moving on to the part that really matters.
Niche site progress in November
Here’s where things stand:
My goal was to publish 30 articles in November. Unfortunately, I only published 17. Some required a lot more editing than I had anticipated which took up lots of time.
December’s goal is the same:
- Publish at least 30 articles
I still have more than 20 articles in draft mode, so those should be quick as long as they don’t require a ton of editing (I don’t think they will based on my brief scan through).
The lack of progress on my site is a bit disheartening, but I’m not really worried.
If you look at the progress graph for any site, you’ll see almost nothing for awhile and then a gradual increase many months in.
Oftentimes it’s multiple years before a site takes off, but I don’t have much wiggle room with this site since I’m trying to hit a $100,000 valuation in one year.
Hopefully my progress looks something like this:
My site is still in the early stages, so I can’t expect to see any exciting progress yet.
Just gotta keep publishing high quality content and trust that serious traffic will come eventually.
And that’s it for this month’s update. Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any thoughts or questions.
Last thing: if you want to get these reports as soon as I publish them, subscribe to my email list!
P.S. I built a simple spreadsheet tool to help you figure out what niche to pursue. You can check it out here (it’s “pay what you want”).