It's time for another weekly Internet Business Fortune Cookie. Last night I had General Tso's chicken. It's funny, because a Chinese guy at a restaurant told me once all about General Zuo Zongtang, who was a Qing dynasty General. He explained how the dish was prepared for the General by his wife and served for him and his staff. Sources I can find on the internet suggest that the dish was actually invented in New York City in the 1970s. Go figure. I like the Qing dynasty version of the story, but I am thinking the NYC version is probably right.
The Cookie Speaks The Truth
As you know, everything you need to know about running an internet business can be learned from fortune cookies. This week's cookie actually hits right at the heart of Google rankings — “The thing that you lost will be found this month.”
Of course, that fortune cookie is obviously referring to the fact that one of my newer eBay sites using phpbay was “sand boxed” this month. I was ranking on the first page for my terms and making some nice sales. Suddenly, the site is nowhere to be found.
So, I am adding the site into Firepow to see if I can add some content and back links to it to get it back in play. Firepow has a new very cool “blog import” feature that I am testing. There are still some bugs, but it is working well for a couple of my niche blogs. I plan to use the Firepow “BNet” to get some back links and some of the other Firepow promotional tools. It will be interesting to see if that helps the site or makes things worse. It's really hard to tell, because you never know what Google is doing in the first place.
Stay The Course
I've had this Google Dance happen before. The sites impacted by a sudden loss in ranking usually come back stronger than when they left — which is what the fortune cookie is trying to tell me.
This is another really good reason to have 60 sites making $100/month and not 3 sites making $2000/month. If you are at the mercy of Google for your traffic, you are hosed if they slap your site or otherwise impact your rankings.
So, the message for you today is, don't freak out if your site moves in the rankings (especially if it is still indexed). Generally speaking, it will come back. Keep working on the site while it is in the sandbox and watch it come back even stronger in many cases. Use good fundamentals (keyword targeting, on page SEO, white hat linking techniques, etc) and you should be fine.
Have a great day.