Project Pyxis: Month 33 – July 2019

After another 3 month break, here’s the next Project Pyxis update!

Let’s get the fun stuff out of the way first, after April’s awesome rev increase, May and June didn’t really add anything… but then July came, and absolutely knocked it out of the park with $9k+ in earnings!

#cmon10kmonths

What I did

Honestly not that much, I added about 3k+ words to 6 money pages (3k words per money page that is, so a substantial increase), added some EAT signals with author profiles linking to the about page, and filled out said page a bit more. I also ordered about 19 guest posts, 15 of them were ordered this month.

What I’m doing next

I’ve got a VA writing 21 review pages with 2k+ words per review, going to interlink them like there’s no tomorrow, then build moar links to those reviews, and then sit back and watch the $$$ soar…

But nothing is that easy, unfortunately. First, I have to fix the weirdest algorithmic penalty I have ever encountered.

The penalty

In the last Pyxis update, I briefly mentioned that an algo update at the end of Feb tanked rankings in most countries except my primary one. I used the word “tanked”, and I meant it, just check the screenshot below (Avg position in SerpRobot).

I had kws going from page 1 to page 8 or so, and this for multiple countries… ouch! Fast forward to about a week ago, I decided to manually check on rankings in a different country using my VPN. For the purpose of this example, let’s say I’m going for the keyword “Best Shoes Canada”, this keyword was on the first page, and now it’s on page 5.

So I set my VPN to a location in Canada, search for “Best Shoes Canada”, and see my site on the first page… I’m confused but hopeful, so I immediately force refresh all my keyword ranks in SerpRobot and Accuranker (Yes I use both, with the same keywords, I’m a nerd…. and Accuranker integrates with reportz.io… which I love).

Anyway, I check the updated ranks… nothing changed, I’m still down, even for the keyword I’m actually staring at… turns out my VPN had logged me into a northern US location, just over the border of Canada. So I’m ranking first page for “Best Shoes Canada” when searching from a US location, but I’m page 5 the moment you cross the border into Canada…

I start doing the same for all the other countries that tanked… it’s the same everywhere… Pyxis is ranking really well for all its search terms all over the world… except when searched from within the countries that the keywords are targeting.

So yeeeeaaaahhhh, this is an interesting one. I’ve tried a bunch of stuff, including hreflang, which did exactly as advertised, but is useless for this site… because when people search “Best Shoes Japan” from a UK location, I do not want G to serve up the “Best Shoes UK” page (unless I misunderstood hreflang).

I did see something very interesting in my tests though, but I screwed myself and reversed the results. So I’m using GSCs geo-targeting settings to target the specific countries, I thought “what if it was a bug?”, so for one country I turned off geo-targeting and let it sit. Then about a week later when I noticed nothing changed, I turned it back on… which I shouldn’t have because check what happened before I turned it back on (I only found this afterward).

That’s a temporary jump from page 6 to #6 on the first page… and the drop after is the day after I turned geo-targeting back on. So about 4 days ago, I picked my biggest country after my primary one, and turned geo-targeting off… fingers crossed.

If I get this thing fixed, the increase in monthly rev would be quite substantial!

The snippet turbulence

On Friday, August 2nd, G pushed an update that affected how they pull featured snippets. The shakeup is pretty noticeable, and while I grabbed some insane new snippets with other projects (like wtf-why-would-they-feature-snippets-for-this-ridiculous-keyword insanity), this project lost a lot of snippets… which I’ll get back, but it’ll probably affect $$$ for this month coming.

 

On-Page SEO done:

  • Content: Added around 18k words in total… mostly updating existing money pages.

Off-Page SEO done:

  • 19 GP since the last post in April, 15 of them ordered this month.

 

Expenses for this month

$4072

Project Total Expenses = $30777

Earnings for this month

$9150

Project Total Earnings = $42770

 

Current Rankings

Tracking 93 keywords. Not much has changed, but that will (hopefully) change :).