Google has been changing their algorithm since the dawn of time so this shouldn’t have come as a surprise, however, it definitely came as a surprise.
Here is the traffic for Thrive/Strive since the beginning and up until the Google hammer dropped.
Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. There was a day where we got 46,029 pageviews in 2017. I didn’t mention it because well, some days magic just happens and you don’t have an answer for it.
You can see starting in 2018 traffic started to rise. This is when the site started to do well in Google.
While this was cool, something even more amazing was happening with our Keto site. Unfortunately, I no longer have the analytics because I deleted them in anger (you’ll see why in a minute).
But let me show you revenue numbers.
Those are some drastic numbers right?
So what happened?
Well, back in the day if you did well on Pinterest then Google would take notice and figure that your site should be ranking.
Our Keto site was climbing the rankings for the big Keto keywords such as “Keto diet” and “Keto”. It was amazing.
Big traffic from Pinterest and big traffic from Google. When you’re getting all of that traffic you’re going to make money just by having an appealing offer.
We didn’t do anything beyond that.
In July, the site had over 3 MILLION pageviews and you can see that was the best month with $44,427.
But two things happened in back-to-back months.
In July, Google changed their algorithm as I previously mentioned. That is why you see such a huge drop in revenue from July to August.
Then in August, Pinterest banned the site because someone kept reporting it as spam.
And that was it.
I scrambled and tried my best to fix things by buying a new domain and moving the site to Keto Bootstrap, but the damage was done.
I had no energy to create or improve the Keto content and fight with the big dogs for Google glory. And that’s why I deleted the analytics account for the original site which was called Keto Dash.
I didn’t want a reminder every time I logged into Google Analytics.
Now back to Thrive/Strive.
Google’s algorithm change (the Medic Update) mainly affected sites that talked about health which of course were my big sites.
In July, our original, Thrive/Strive got 839,260 pageviews (remember those crazy days of getting just 7?!). In August, that number dropped to 498,944 and it hasn’t come close to that number since.
You see, SEO isn’t an easy game and I didn’t want to compete with the big dogs for the top spot. I was making enough money with everything else that I was okay with losing that income.
Pinterest was still treating me well so I was fine with those sites making ad money from that.
But if I’m being honest we stopped doing anything on Pinterest as well because it always felt like busy work.
We actually stopped working on the sites altogether because we wanted to do more fun things. I know from the outside this can seem crazy since you have these assets making money, but remember, this is about freedom and staring at these sites and keeping them propped up with content that we didn’t like writing and staring at numbers we didn’t care for wasn’t freedom.
A year later, July 2019, the site did 178,541 pageviews. Still enough to bring in over $2,000 in ad revenue.
But something changed again (I’m not sure what’s the deal with July) and this time it had to do with Pinterest.
Pinterest did a massive algorithm change that affected every single blogger on the platform.
So while I was used to pain for my own blogs, now the people I was helping were suffering.
This was a nightmare.