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So a little late but here we are now, as you may remember from last month, our traffic took a bit of a hit from Google because of their latest update. So what happened in June then ? Unfortunately the traffic was still down from Google for most of the month but right at the end its gone back up again to previous levels (maybe slightly below but I put that down to summer traffic being slightly lower anyway). So here are the stats, Ill discuss what I did in the conclusion.

You can view past stats reports here.

Traffic and other Metrics

Overall traffic for June :

This chart shows the search traffic, you can see at the end of the month where it increased :

  • Posts: 26
  • Site Visitors: 84,829  (-11,065)
  • Page Views: 149,971  (-16,722)
  • Search Engine Visits: 47,186 (-16,489)
  • Alexa Rank: 10,046 (+750)
  • RSS Subscribers: 2114 (+125)
  • Twitter Followers: 3550 (+416)
  • Facebook Fans: 2049 (+55)
  • Reader Comments: 255 (-101)

Income

In this section, all display advertising at the moment is handled through BuySellAds. For the affiliate income, there were 24 different sources linked through various posts. If you want to know more about how I monetize the site & which plugins I use, see the article I wrote about affiliate links.

  • Display Advertising: $517.5
  • Affiliate Income: $2024.43
  • Total Income: $2541.93 (+70.61)

Conclusion

So how did I recover from the Penguin update? The first thing I did was filed a reinclusion request with Google via their Webmaster tools section to see if I was under a manual penalty, that came back as negative so I knew the problem was to do with their automatic ranking algorithm. After reading this post on SEOMoz, I saw that removing poor quality links helped WPMU recover so I set about emailing some of the larger sites that used my free Busby theme that had a lot of pages indexed. A couple did remove my link which resulted in about 100,000 pages less in the search results which were linking to WPLift with a footer link. I then edited the Busby theme and removed the sitewide footer link to WPLift – now only the homepage will link back to me.

I then did a couple of on-site tweaks to the site, I switched over to Yoast’s SEO plugin, where previously I was using the All in One SEO plugin – Im not sure if this had an effect but Ive been meaning to make this switch for a while now anyway. I also installed a minifying plugin to speed the site up a bit and I carried out some server tweaks to speed things up, again I dont know if these helped but they certainly dont harm.

Another change that was made, was I switched over to the new disqus system which Im loving so far – it no longer links people’s name to their websites so Im getting far less spam comments – as you can see reflected in the numbers above, were about 100 less than usual for the month.

Overall Im really pleased to be getting back the majority of Google traffic we lost, hopefully this will hold stable from now on – I have a big redesign planned and Im also releasing another free theme this month so Im sure that will help boost our traffic again so things to look forward to!

How did your sites do last month ? Let me know in the comments …


Author:

Oliver Dale is the founder of Kooc Media, a small internet company based in the UK. Kooc Media runs several high-profile websites including WPLift, ThemeFurnace and DesignersTalk.

Leave Yours +

13 Comments

  1. NoumaanYaqoob

    Glad to read about your penguin recovery. I think sidewide links of free theme sound like the most possible cause.

  2. Really interesting Oliver !

  3. Ahmad Awais

    Glad to hear about the recovery !
    Links from your theme is a really hurting cause.

  4. Lost all my traffic to penguin. Not recovered yet

  5. Good read, Oli!

    I wouldn’t count on recent jump so fast..because still traffic is hardly predictable.. But hm, maybe you can change those Google results quicker because your site receives relatively small traffic. (1WD has 1.3 million monthly from google) had 1.7..

    Interesting share from SEOMOZ wpmu article, will investigate that one! I think Yoast is happy as hell because of this penguin changes, because it seems it is better solution than All in One, I also did switch.

    Spam comments is big problem, I don’t want to use 3rd parties for comments so I am checking all comments manually ( such pain in ass).

    Curious to see that you have such big affiliate income, after this post heading to your affiliate article checking maybe you have discover some more good affiliate deals :)

  6. Luis

    Need to check if I need to update to Yoast. Still not convinced but need to test that.
    Nice work on trying to recover.

  7. Really great improvement.

  8. Its glad to see that your alexa rank is increased after this post is published.

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