May 2022 Niche Site Summary
What. A. Month.
The only appropriate place to start here is at the end…
May 2022 Google Core Update
Unless you live under a rock (or are normal, and aren’t addicted to SEO twitter), you heard about the core update Google released on May 25th, 2022.
Google says the update will take 1-2 weeks to fully roll out, so it could still be in progress as late as Jun 8th, 2022.
But from the looks of it so far, this update was a doozy.
A TON of folks lost Featured Snippets across their entire site, saw their keywords drop out of the rankings, and in some cases, saw their traffic cut in half (or worse).
Traffic cut in half! Just like that.
I’m not going to opine on what I think the update was about (although it appears to be focused on content quality & E-A-T).
I’ll simply say, this is the risk we “organic traffic chasers” take.
When you depend on an algorithm that you don’t control for the majority of your traffic, your future is largely out of your hands.
This isn’t my opinion. This is a fact.
You can do everything “right”, and still get hit.
I tweeted this a little over a month before the May core update…
I’m already hearing from several DR 50 and 60+ site owners that are amongst the folks getting hit the hardest right now.
I say all of this simply as a reminder – organic traffic is “borrowed”. It’s temporary.
Rankings can last a month, a quarter, or even multiple years, but they are all on borrowed time.
We’ve addressed the elephant in the room. Let’s move on.
May 2022 In Review
May was another huge month for my blog.
It saw record traffic and earnings, yet again – which I continue to be extremely grateful for, especially given the recent core update.
(My traffic appears, for the moment, to be unaffected by the the recent updates, and might even be getting a small boost)
But traffic and earnings only tell part of the story…
I published a total of 10 posts in the month of May.
That makes May one of my worst publishing months in over a YEAR.
I knew this was coming.
I’ve been starting to feel a bit burnt out writing about the same topics every day (I personally write about 90+% of the content on my site).
Add-in my new affection for Twitter, and tweeting 3-6 times a day, it’s no surprise really that my content publishing took a hit this month.
But don’t worry. I have a plan.
In a few days i’ll be handing over the keys to my blog to a “site operator”.
I’ll still own 100% of the site, I just won’t be working on it.
At least that’s the plan.
This is a huge change for me and admittedly, I’m nervous.
But if I can spend less than $2,000 dollars a month for 20,000 quality words, and not have to login to my site at all, that’s a huge win for me.
It frees up my time and energy to focus on other things.
Perhaps a new niche site? More time pushing Declan on the swing? Both?
Anyways, I’ll keep you posted on the journey – good, bad and ugly. But I’m excited. And nervous.
I mentioned nervous already, didn’t I…
(PS: I did a few more podcasts this month)
(PPS: I have another big announcement for my blog starting next month. Stay tuned. More exciting changes coming…)
From April (536,618) to May (580,232) the site had a 8.13% increase in pageviews.
Google Analytics – May 2022
- Users: 445,930
- Sessions: 521,685
- Avg. Session Duration: 00:49
- Pageviews: 580,232
- Avg. Time on Page: 07:15
Google Search Console – May 2022
- Total Clicks: 433,000
- Total Impressions: 9.12MM
- Avg. CTR: 4.7%
- Average Position: 13.4
From April ($20,102) to May ($21,716) the site had a 8.03% increase in earnings.
AdThrive Display Ad Earnings – May 2022
- Total Ad Earnings: $21,334
- RPS: $40.89 (previous $40.53)
- RPM: $36.77 (previous $36.58)
Amazon Associate Affiliate Earnings – May 2022
- Total Affiliate Earnings: $381.78 (previous $471.15)
- Clicks: 3,806 (previous 3,814)
- Conversion: 9.41% (previous 11.01%)
Go get after it this month, and
Always Be Publishing #ABP!
24 thoughts on “Niche Site Project #1 (Month 29 Update)”
Kudos Mike… Just a quick question… will you be the one handling the keyword research aspect or all of the work is given to the site operator?
I’ll like to know…
Thanks Michael. I’ll still be doing some KW research but not all.
What’s a site operator? VA + writer? How did you find one? Is it safe? Btw love your Twitter.
Thanks Aisha…a site operator takes over the day-to-day operations for your website. You can google around for them but I’d go on the recommendation of someone who has had success (a lot of garbage operators out there)
Any recommendations about the “site operators”? Would love to hear from you in the next month about the new experience 🙂
Hey Rajesh, more to come…
Hey Mike, When you say a “site operator” do you just mean someone that will login to your site that will write 20K words worth of articles a month that will also SEO optimize and add images for you too?
Both…and KW research, interlinking, etc.
Curious what’s the total cost of the project so far?
I bet it’s nerve-wracking handing over the reins after doing everything yourself for so long, but you had to at some point. Btw, I defo see a new niche site project loading.
Congrats on your success.
Thanks Patrick…it is/was but I need my time back…
Your story is very encouraging! Quick question, do you use AMP on your site and would you recommend using it? Thanks.
Thanks James! I don’t and wouldn’t
Mike, interested to know how you managed to generate this much traffic with just 259 posts. I’ve always averaged just 300 pageviews per post or less when subbing out content to writers. I do this at scale with hundreds of thousands of dollars but your strategy of quality appeals to me. Your numbers FAR exceeded that. Are you targeting ONLY super high volume keywords? Are you paying attention to keyword difficulties or just writing what you want to cover?
Hey Issac, I spend probably 3-5x more time on keyword research than most folks. I am looking for kws that show 1k vol and that I have a real chance to rank for. I ignore keyword difficulty scores, they are useless. Instead I actually search the kw and inspect page 1 closely.
259 articles from around 600k traffic are massive in 2 years!!!
How about article length??
Im doing site operator job and I just come from your twitter, its good.
Thanks Mehedi. Articles are typically 1400-1500 words long.
Impressive to say the least!
I got nailed hard on the May update. I’m still trying to figure out the best course of action to bounce back. I focused way too hard on commercial content, which seems to be a huge factor.
Have you heard of any tips for bouncing back outside of link building?
Thanks Jon and sorry to hear that. We put a lot of work into our sites, has to be mentally difficult dealing with that.
I suggest following @patientpublish (my brother) on twitter. His latest tweets cover changes hes made (he was hit by the update too)
Mike, are you currently still posting articles daily for the site?
Do you also use backlinks? What do you think about backlinks?
Thanks! I publish about 15 posts a month, give or take. I write a few myself, but most are now outsourced.
As for links, I never “built” or “bought” any links for the first 2.5 years. Recently I did hire an agency to build 9 links for the site.
Thanks for your blog, nice to read. Do not stop.