Is it Possible to Prevent Problems with Google?

This is Part I of the post I did yesterday – Your Sites Might Be in Danger…Mine Are.

As discussed yesterday, I believe that there has been an update to the Google alogorithmn and/or my sites have been reviewed.  Either way, some of my sites have taken a serious hit, and it has left me wondering how I can prevent these problems in the future.  In particular, my niche challenge site: is no longer in the Google index; so what do I do?

As far as my niche site goes, I am going to be starting from scratch.  It will be much easier to start a new website (since it was only a month old anyway).  In order to start from scratch, here is what I will do:

  • Buy a new domain
  • Get a separate hosting account from all my old websites
  • Will not submit to Google analytics or webmaster tools
  • If I do use adsense, I will use a separate account from my old websites

In fact, what I am doing for my one niche challenge site is actually what I will be doing to avoid problems with Google (if possible) in the future.

First of all, I plan on stepping it up with the big boys and getting a more robust hosting account.  Either a VPS hosting or other SEO type hosting that allows me to use multiple IP addresses for my websites.  This way only a couple of my sites will share the same IP address in the future.  That way if for some reason one of them gets banned, not ALL of my sites will be effected.

Secondly, I will no longer be using any Google tracking tools.  I plan on finding some free alternative to Google Analytics, and it appears there are lots available: (here’s a list of 25 Free Website Analytics options).  I will also no longer be using Google Webmaster tools.  Finally, I will be avoiding using Adsense if possible.  I will be testing other alternatives such as affiliate products, CPA offers, or other advertising networks.

There are just so many niches that Adsense works best on, so I doubt that I will be abandoning it completely.  However, if I do use it, I will be opening up a separate Google Adsense account that is not tied to my old websites in any way.  To do this, I will have to set up a separate business entity with a unique Tax ID.  I figure its probably worth it.

So, is it possible to avoid all problems with Google in the future?  Probably not.  However, this will hopefully prevent any one site affecting the outcome of other websites that I own.  Overall, the key is to follow Google’s quality and other guidelines set forth in their Google Webmaster Guidelines.  Which I will most certainly try to do.

So, what are my niche website plans for the future?  Well, as I discussed yesterday, I changed my strategy to focus on bigger niche websites over six months ago.  I will continue to do this; however, my new sites will get a fresh start and will no way be connected to my sites of the past.

In addition, I will continue to build smaller niche sites as well simply because they are in many cases so effective, and quite honestly is where I have had the most success.  It also gives the ability to “test out” tons of different markets and then to focus on those sites which show early results.  Starting small and then growing the sites gives me the ability to know what to expect before I invest huge amounts of time and money to one site.  (Plus even the small niche sites that never grow to the “authority” stage still tend to do well for me).

So, what do you think of my plans?  I would be interested to hear your thoughts.  In addition, I hope this post has made you think about how to keep your own website real estate secure.

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39 Responses to “Is it Possible to Prevent Problems with Google?”

  1. It sounds like you have a good plan on your hands. :)

    I should note that since the beginning of this year, I’ve been using Piwik analytics to track my stats. I run it on my own hosting account (usually on the same domain I’m tracking) and it has served me well.

    I only use Google Analytics for tracking HubPages since I can’t put my own script onto individual pages. Otherwise, GA is a no go for me.

    You can read more about my experience with it vs. Google Analytics on my blog.

  2. Spencer: Love the site and the knowledge you share man. I have been at IM/SEO for about a year so I am by no means and expert. But I think your choice to not use Google Analytics and Webmaster tools will really make no change. Google will find your site one way or the other in my opinion.

    It seems like the mere thought of creating tens or hundreds of websites that are packed with Adsense in a very short period of time is what set off a red flag to Google.

    Anyways, I wish you the best of luck and keep the information flowing.


  3. I do think your idea of having more than one source of income for your sites is a good idea. I’m not really sure if the Google Analytics thing will make a difference or not, but I’m going to watch this blog and see what happens.

  4. I think building a new website on new hosting acct a good idea. But it does seem strange some sites and not others. Google is a weird creature indeed.

  5. I use statcounter, pretty good, I can see all trafic in the main screen for all sites. I use a private plugin to input the tracking code, just send me an email, I’ll send you the plugin.

    For the company, do plan to use a registered agent as well? I am in the process of doing the same steps…

    A client got hit as well, funny tough, not all rankings were lost, just some of them, he sill rank well for his main old ranked keywords.

    Thanks for the inspiring site! we are many in the same boat!

    • I will have to check out statcounter; i’ll email about the plugin.
      For the company, I don’t use a separate registered agent; since I’m just a single member llc (although I suppose I could). I just haven’t taken it that far at this point.

  6. Hey Spencer,

    My main problem with not using Google Analytics in the future is the fact that what if you want to flip some of these sites on Flippa down the road? As you probably know, Flippa allows you to send them your GA attachment and they will “verify” it and post it on your listing for everyone to see.

    By having a “verified Google Analytics” attachment on your listing, buyers will trust you way more since the shots can’t be faked.

    The same can’t be said for other tracking programs out there though. They might work just as well as GA does, but since Flippa doesn’t support them and verify them, how is any potential buyer going to know the screenshot isn’t fake? I think this might result in you getting less money for your site.

    Most of what I have been doing recently is buying/fixing up/flipping sites or building new sites from scratch with plans to flip them in a few months, and I know when I’m the buyer, I always make sure the person I’m buying the site from has GA on their site and let’s me see it before I make an offer. I know a lot of others feel the same way too.

    So what’s your thoughts on this? It would obviously be nice if Flippa supported other tracking programs and verified them for you, but until that happens, I feel I have to use GA if I want to get the most money for my sites.

    • I don’t plan on flipping my sites, so I’m not personally worried about that. However, if I were in your shoes, I would probably continue to use GA, since this appears to be the standard for Flippa.

  7. I couldn’t agree more with what you have said in the last two posts, I recently have even gone so far as to cancel my ad words account, for more reasons to lengthy to write her.
    Due to what you have written, I also deleted all profiles from webmaster and analytic and will also say that piwik is nice and have been using it for some time now..
    I hope to see bing/yahoo begin to take more of the search market

  8. 1st I would like to say a big thanks to your post over at the Warrior forum that led me to your blog and thanks for all the good info here too!

    I have a few sites as well and I use the stat press and wuzzup plugins together on the same blog and I find it gives me all the info I need.

    As far as your plans.
    Yes good way to go.

  9. Hi Spencer! I just found this site a couple of days ago and have read through the entire thing. I have found it extremely informative and inspiring! Thank you so much for all of your work! I have one quick question for you about domain names. I have found a couple that look promising but am not sure which ones to purchase. If .com, .net and .org are all available, do you purchase all 3 or just the .com?

    I look forward to hearing how things continue to progress for you!

    • My first choice is always the .com; my second choice is the .org (it just seems to perform better for me); but .net is still great if you can get it.

      I only register one of the 3 typically. Although I do have a couple of sites that do really well, so I went ahead and registered the .net versions just to keep.

  10. This has definitely been interesting. I haven’t seen major movement in most of my sites or blogs, but this update has been a little more concerning just because of the reports I’m hearing of authoritative white hat sites getting de-indexed. Hopefully some pattern will show up in the near future to let us actually glean some knowledge off of this.

  11. I have been with stat counter for about 6 months and i have no problem with it. As far as what has happen to your site i think its about your increase in income. i strongly believe that it is in google best interest to look at sites and accounts once they reach certain level. They can not look at every startup up site but when you past a certain level of income you get assign to a human. DONT LET THIS STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING!

    Remember, 3 post back you were talking about quitting your job and going full time. STAY FOCUS and push more.

    Good Luck and keep posting!


    • Alex, thanks for the vote of confidence! I most certainly will NOT let this stop me! In fact, it has caused me to reflect on my business, and realize what I could be doing better. In fact, I have been researching lots of keywords over the past few days, and I’m ready to start building some more sites. I think this year will be better than the last! I still plan on quitting the job soon…

  12. Hi Spencer,

    First time visitor to your site and read all of your niche duel post! I think I may have a great news for you, your site is alive and well, I was able to find it! I hope your work is not gone to waste!

    • Sorry to burst your bubble, but Yes the site is still up and running fine…I know that. However, the problem is that it cannot be found in Google. And no its not a waste, because it is actually ranking in both Yahoo and Bing.

  13. Hi Spencer am really sorry about your plight and I do feel ur pain I was looking forward to seeing your site make huge profits down the line but what can we do right? I like ur new plan and i think you should go for it. Just a bump on the way to internet success yeah!

    I had read Joel Peterson talk about this stuff a few months ago, He talked about never using google analytics ever i tot what? but now I have proof why. Thanks for sharing this with us alto it came at a high price.

    all the best and pls don’t give up on ur goal of leaving ur fay job this year.

  14. hi Spencer
    interesting reading and learning about your google delisting problems I was especially interested to learn that you really belive that the info complied by google tracking actually made google want to delist
    I would have throught that its in googles own interest to have as many clients as possible after all we all spend money on google one way or another
    any way keep up tyhe good work
    have agreat weekend regards
    peter mcgrath

  15. Have you thought about solving the problem another way…as in, if your sites are being banned or penalized, then what is it that you are doing wrong which causes this to happen? Obviously Google actively wants you to make money with AdSense, so what would cause them to penalize either one or all of your sites?


  16. Spencer

    Be VERY careful about openly admitting that you’re going to use multiple AdSense accounts – even with seperate legal/business entities. Google do NOT like this. Keep this stuff very quiet for your own good.

    In my last comment:

    …I spoke about Google and delisting and using other sources than AdSense. I’ve always used full SEO hosting as well. (I run around 150 Class C IP’s across many different class A servers.) You need to make sure that any Multi Class C host you use also uses seperate private nameservers – otherwise, if different Class C’s are all being addressed from the same nameserver, it’s self-defeating.

    I avoid giving any info AT ALL to Google. No analytics, no webmaster accounts etc. Nothing. Why advertise?

    When you investigate AdSense alternatives, you’ll find it’s quite a jungle out there. This is a useful starting list to inspire investigation:

    Also, there’s some good SEO/multi-class explanation on this link-network’s site, as they use multiple networks targeting different search-engines (seperating Google, Bing/Yahoo etc.) There’s a lot of info there across the few tabs, but it may be worth a read if readers are still learning about this stuff.

    Good luck!


  17. Spencer,

    I had about 130 MFA sites was reaching $30 a month. But since end of last month, many of my rankings are gone. Now I hardly make $5 a day.

    I am thinking of creating authority site too and would like to know if there was any rule with the domain age for applying for Adsense Account. I am creating a new LLC and will be applying for Adsense under that LLC but am concerned that if I use a new domain I won’t be approved for Adsense.

    Any thoughts?

    • Gary:
      Sorry to hear about your sites. I don’t think the age of the domain matters when applying to adsense. I applied with a newer domain, and was approved just fine. As long as the site it up with some good content, you should have no trouble getting approved.

  18. I just had another brainstorm. Instead of focusing so much on Google for traffic, have you considered alternate traffic sources? That might be more beneficial than building a whole different site.

    • Well, I do receive a good chunk of traffic from Yahoo and Bing; however, its all search engine traffic. I guess it would be important to consider alternatives to search engine traffic all together. However, I haven’t found a free source of traffic that is “hands free” as the search engines at this point.

  19. Hi Spencer,

    I’m a first time visitor here from your warriorforum thread. I was about to buy your ebook but thought I’d take a look at your blog.

    I visited your site and would like to offer some insight about what might be the problem areas as Google might see. Please accept this as purely business and not personal as from what I’ve read about you briefl constructive critique. k?

    First of all, all of your post and categories seemed extremely keyword stuffed. No variation appears throughout either as they all contain the word ‘coupon’ which seems a bit forced and unnatural.

    To have a site entirely focused on oil change coupons in an of itself is not wrong, it’s just that this site doesn’t offer any tips, q and a, or any kind of lively interactivity such as a ‘how to’ video which goes a long way is adding value to site visitors.

    Easing up on the adsense in at least one area would minimize the made for adsense overtone of this particular site.

    Just my .02

    • I appreciate the comment! Life’s too short to take anything personal!

      I agree the keywords/categories could be varied a bit on the site. It could also have less adsense on the homepage for example.

      I also agree that more tips/other useful content would be good; however, you have to remember the site was only about 3 weeks old when it was given the kiss of death. For such a new site I actually had a decent amount of content! I don’t plan on building it up anymore at this point.

      Overall, I think your advice is valid. I think anyone would find it valuable. I still stand by my original post as to exactly why I got deindexed as the reason, but your suggestions are certainly warranted as well.

      • When you put website online, did you post content on a schedule basis or posted everything at once or posted many posts per day?

        • I typically add a few articles to get the site going, but then will add additional content either scheduled or just at different intervals.

  20. Hi Spencer,
    I was browsing your site and reading thru it earlier today (I purchased your Longtail Handbook earlier also) and I wanted to add some quick comments on your post here:

    I’ve had the same thing happen to me on several sites over the last year myself. My sites were not small niche sites but I did see how an ever changing algorithm could have singled out my sites because of the lack of actual human investigation into the site itself. I made a few small changes a couple of times (it has happened more than once, and like clockwork at times), but for the most part it just took me submitting a “request for reconsideration” via my Google webmaster tools account. By submitting the request, an actual person or persons, will take a look to see if there has been a mistake.

    I wouldn’t suggest everyone do this as many people know their site may very well have been “caught” with things wrong, but if you have specific sites that you feel do not violate any TOS or requirements, then I would suggest to submit a request for reconsideration for those sites. Especially for your Oil Change Coupon site which was only a few weeks old. That’s not to say a site that’s a couple of weeks old doesn’t deserve to be dropped, but if you feel otherwise, maybe you should look into this more.

    Good luck with everything.

    • Hey Larry, thanks for the great comments. I actually have submitted the oil change website for reconsideration, but have not heard anything back at this point. Overall, Google is certainly always changing, so we have to as well.

      Let me know what you think of the book, and if you have any questions, let me know!

      • I will follow up and let you know about the Ebook when I’m finished with it. So far, it’s great!

        As far as not hearing anything back from Google yet, don’t hold your breadth. They don’t follow up to let you know whether it has been accepted or not, only that they have finished their review. On one or two occasions, I didn’t even receive any reply saying anything, yet my site appeared back in the search results. Each time I have had to do this, it has taken about a week, two weeks at the most.

  21. Did you get back in the index?

    • Christopher – no I never got back in the index and doubt I ever will. However, I have learned some HUGE lessons and have applied this to my sites that I built after this occurrence. My newer sites are all alive and well in the index and are doing very well. Live and learn I guess.


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