A lot of people hate the idea of making changes to their website that will affect their search engine rankings. Even something as simple as changing the permalink structure seems to scare people.
I love it though. I have many mini sites that I use purely for SEO tests – but there’s nothing more fun than taking an established website and making huge changes, and sitting back and watching how the search engines react. I did this earlier in the year with Casino Answers when I changed the whole permalink structure of the website, for all 700 articles on the website.
Of course the changes I’ve made with Affiliate Bible have been a hell of a lot crazier. I took two websites in PokerAffiliateBible.com and CasinoAffiliateBible.com and merged them into AffiliateBible.com.
To say this is risky would be an understatement. PokerAffiliateBible.com was an authority website ranking #1-#2 on google for terms like “Poker Affiliate” and other related Poker Affiliate terms. It was also one of those websites where I could submit an article, and it would be INSTANTLY indexed and ranking in Google.
So I thought I should do an update week by week, as we see what happens with the search engines and how they react to all the changes related to Affiliate Bible.
Before AffiliateBible.com was launched….
Poker Affiliate Bible(PAB): A PR3 or PR4 website(can’t remember which one) which ranked highly for a large variety of poker affiliate terms. The most popular phrases were: poker affiliates, poker affiliate, poker afilliates(yes, with the typo), poker affiliate programs and affiliate poker. This was in all search engines.
Casino Affiliate Bible(CAB): I never put the effort into CAB that I really should have, and after about 3 months I stopped updating it and just moved everything to PAB so it’s probably not even worth monitoring how it did. I’d probably get 1-2 hits a MONTH from the term “casino affiliate”.
AffiliateBible.com(AB): Before the official launch, I had a small 5-page mini-site which I launched on this domain on October 16th, 2010. I managed to get links at Yahoo Directory and BOTW.
What I Changed…
Along with new articles, I moved every article I could from PAB & CAB to AB. I 301’d every article, and any that didn’t make the cut I just 301’d to the homepage. I also went into Google Webmaster Tools and notified them of the site change.
I submitted the sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools for Affiliate Bible, but I didn’t do that at Yahoo or Bing.
Week 1 Results:
(Using a unique IP that has never used any of these search engines before so I don’t get personalized results)
- Searching for “Poker Affiliate” and AffiliateBible.com is #14 in the results. There’s also my Cardspike article at #64, although that is pointing to the PAB link.
- Searching “Poker Affiliate Guide” and AffiliateBible.com is #1.
- AB is #1 for “Poker Affiliate Bible” and AB.com/poker is #2 for the same phrase. I love it when you get it right Google. There’s also a few random PAB links in the top 10 as well as CAB.
- Searching “Affiliate Bible” and Affiliate Bible is #1 through #4. Bizarrely, #6 through #9 are all CAB links.
- Searching “Casino Affiliate” and CAB is #33. Once Google sorts that redirection out, it’ll be interesting to see if AB ends up being higher.
- Searching “Affiliate Guide” and CAB is #39. AB nowhere to be found.
- Every page from AB is indexed. All PAB articles are indexed except the homepage. AB articles outrank PAB articles for most phrases. All CAB articles are indexed including the homepage.
I must admit I’m rather impressed with Google as it has the PAB->AB switchover almost done. I’d actually checked it on the weekend and PAB was still outranking AB for a lot of key terms. Good to see Google is on top of things and sorting it all out, even though I haven’t posted anything new since the launch.
- Not on page 1 for “poker affiliate”. Random affiliate program reviews are on page 1 for the phrase “poker affiliate guide”. Not on page 1 for “Poker Affiliates” or “Poker Affiliate Programs”.
- A search for “poker affiliate bible” has AB at #1, a couple of random PAB articles, and then CAB.
- Search for “casino affiliate bible” has CAB at #1, AB at #2, then random internal pages from AB, PAB AND CAB!
- Search for “Affiliate Bible” has AB.com as #1, CAB at #2, then random internal articles from PAB in the rest of the results. It also has the Step by Step Guide at #7 which is nice as I hope to really push that in the future.
So not too bad – honestly I never really optimize for Bing or Yahoo so anything there is a bonus.
I’ll be submitting the new sitemap to both MS & Yahoo to at least help them out with indexing the website.
I’ll also be contacting everyone who has a link to PAB or CAB and asking them to update it to AB.
Other than that I’ll just be writing content, keeping things fresh, and giving the robots a reason to come back!