SEO Update, 2020-10-09

It’s been a while since I really looked at the SEO for this site. It never really did well, except for the legacy content. Here’s the performance for the past year and a half.

Late 2019 through early 2020 were the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Traffic collapsed. It’s since rebounded. Somewhere in there, I change the site’s theme to Arimo, which is a nice looking, but somewhat old theme. I think it was being used from March 2020 to October 2020.

Back in August 2019, when I last reported, the site’s focus was changed from the “ebay” stuff more toward “getting rid of stuff online”. This content didn’t really rank. I thought I’d ride the decluttering wave, but it didn’t really gel for me. If anything, I didn’t have good strategy, because I didn’t seek out guest blogging opportunities.

As part of this change, I started to delete articles. If they weren’t already popular and generating traffic, I deleted it. I don’t recall if I requested removal from the Google Search Console, but I probably didn’t bother. You can just wait for the page to be crawled, and then dropped.

In July, search traffic increased. I’m not sure if this was due to the theme change. If it was, then, good for Arimo. However, Arimo wasn’t going to help with moving traffic from evergreen content to blog content, because the “page” layout doesn’t include a way to add widgets to show off current content, so I installed TwentySixteen, and switched to that (on October 9, 2020).

Content Quality

Starting around 2018, I started to really ditch the idea of casting a wide net of content, to see what sticks. This strategy seems to harm Google ranking, and it also ended up with a lot of crap content. So, I did some consolidation, and tried to make articles longer. Mostly, though, I just deleted pages.

Here’s an example: Giving Away Food on Facebook Marketplace, and Other Adventures in Curb Alerts

I don’t know if that page got better SEO, or if someone just passed the URL around, or if the hit counter is broken.

Over on other sites, I really clamped down on content. Dozens of pages were deleted from the sister site For Sale. My tech blog technote.fyi is still being purged and consolidated. This is hard and painful, but it seems to be working. I also got a new theme for technote that’s super plain, and seems to help with SEO. It really helps to search through old articles.

I also started two related sites. One is product8reviews, where I’m copying Amazon reviews, and zombiesoftheinformationsociety, which is supposed to be my online store, but it’s not really working right now.

All of this is just to highlight how I’m changing strategy the past couple years.

Did it work?

I don’t think this content category is that popular.

Google Ads says there’s 10k-100k searches per month for “declutter”, and most combinations are 100-1k. That’s not too bad. Search results for “declutter” 39 million pages. Top results are about cleaning up. I’m just not ranking for this topic.