$100k Case Study Update #4 – We’re Making Money!

It’s that time of the month again.

Time for another case study update!

In the last month, we continued optimizing the site so it can rank for even more keywords, while watching the income steadily increase.

During the first few months of a new site’s life, income  (from organic traffic) is not expected. As time goes on, though, especially after the 6-month and 12-month mark, income generally makes a huge upward spike.

We have been impressed to see that our case study site has already cracked the $100 per month mark and is bringing in between 20-40 visitors a day.

Traffic Numbers:

analytics traffic
traffic acquisition


amazon affiliate earnings

Domain Info & Rankings:

domain rating
organic search
ranking keywords

click to zoom

Over the last few months, though, Google has been rolling out new algorithms that have taken aim at affiliate based websites that are banking off using certain types of content and taking the strategy to the extreme.

We want to help everyone reading this avoid getting caught up in the major algorithm updates, so we’re going to address the latest “Fred” update and show you what you need to do to avoid having your site penalized.

Going forward, we’re going to continue adding new content to the site that’s focused more on driving traffic to it on it’s own, along with bringing in more links.

In other words, we’re going to thin down the amount of money-focused pages on the site in favor of helping our visitors in more ways than simply locating the products that they want to purchase.

If You’re Not Familiar With The “Fred” Update, Here’s A Quick Rundown On How It Works

As with most other updates, Google hasn’t come out and directly commented on the factors that are influencing the latest update, but by analyzing enough tools and having access to enough data, it’s pretty easy to figure out which types of sites were targeted.

  • The update primarily targeted content-based websites that aren’t necessarily experts on their topic, but are instead focused on making money from advertisements and affiliate links.
  • Many sites targeting “best of” and “review” type keywords experienced a 50% to 90% drop in their organic traffic, with the hardest hit sites having the highest percentage of these types of posts.
  • ​Sites that were targeted specifically by the “Fred” algorithm were generally lower quality content, and focused more on revenue generation than helping their visitors.
  • There were other sites that were penalized that didn’t fit these criteria, which leads us to believe they were hit with other algorithms that were updated the same time “Fred” was released. These could be Penguin or Panda refreshes.

Most of the sites that got hit during this algorithm update were blatantly violating Google’s Terms of Service and “should have been hit”, according to Gary Illyes of Google’s Web Spam Team.

While we didn’t notice many drops across the sites we managed, and haven’t heard about any complaints from our clients, we want to make sure that we’re always ahead of the curve and aren’t doing anything that could potentially land us in hot water.

And Here’s How You Avoid Getting Caught Up In It Yourself

Going forward, we are going to work on fleshing out the case study site, along with other sites that we own, and encouraging our readers and clients to do the same thing to their own sites.

Adding more content to your site that’s specifically focused on helping your visitors in ways other than locate products they can purchase (ie: money content & pages).

Doing This Is Going To Have A Bunch Of Positive Effects

First, it’s going to make your sites more helpful to the people that land on your site.

Instead of focusing solely on helping them purchase products, you’re going to give them new insights, answer questions they have, and help them solve other problems associated with your niche.

  • It’s going to make it easier for you to generate new links. Many webmasters refuse to link to websites that are focused solely on making money. Adding social content to your site is a great way to generate new links, and tap into traffic sources other than Google.
  • You’re actually going to drive more traffic to the site. Since you’re relying primarily on Google for your traffic, having more content lets you target more (non-commercial) keywords, which is going to increase your organic traffic on a consistent basis.
  • You will end up making more money. In general, more traffic equals more money. By targeting non-commercial content, your traffic will increase, but you will uncover new, low competition commercial keywords that you can target in the future.
  • You’ll be impervious to Google’s algorithm updates. If there’s one thing they consistently target with their algorithm updates it’s low quality content and sites that are skirting the lines of what is deemed useful to visitors using search engines to find solutions to the problems they’re having.

The end goal, if you’re wanting to build a sustainable business, is to give Google’s visitors exactly what they want, and aim to be the best resource available for the niche you’ve chosen.

As long as you do that, and aren’t building sites that are designed solely to line your own pockets, you will have an easier time and won’t have to worry about every new update that rolls out.

Going forward, we’re going to continue adding content to the site, and working on a new silo to tap into another area of the market we’re targeting.

Stay tuned for updates and, if you haven’t already, make sure to enter your email below to receive the updates as soon as they’re released, and get entered for your chance to win one of our premium packages if we fail to hit the $100,000 goal we’ve set for ourselves!

18 thoughts on “$100k Case Study Update #4 – We’re Making Money!”

  1. So , for the DFY sites that you roll out every 40 days or so, will this be included in the training for new buyers?

  2. Thank for the update. Pretty impressive results.
    What type of informational content are you planning to add to your site? What will be the percentage of informational content?
    Will you build it into your silos?

  3. Thank you, Eugene.

    The informational content will mostly look like “XX reasons why you should do X”, “X tips to help you do X”, etc. We’re aiming to have 60-70% informational content. That should leave us enough wiggle room to properly optimize the important stuff.

    This specific content will have its own category and we won’t link to it from the other silos. We’ll use this content to link out to the other articles and spread the juice we’ll accumulate by building links (most of the articles will be your typical link/click bait, which should generate a ton of natural links through social media).

  4. Fred gets all the press, but curious what are your thoughts about the Nov-Dec update that decimated some affiliate sites?

  5. Andrew, nice to see an income update. I have couple of questions.
    1) Your homepage static or dynamic?
    2) How many post you created?
    3) How many backlinks you created for your homepage and how many backlinks for your single pages?
    4) How many web 2.0 your created and how many post you published per web 2.0.
    5) You are getting very how quality backlinks and how can we get those kind links?
    6) You target 100 MSV or less or high MSV?
    7) How many affiliate links you use per posts(Let say 2000 word article with 5 product review)?
    8) You use affiliate link within 100 words or later?
    9) How you use amazon product image? Using API?
    10) When you will revel this case study site?

    Thanks in Advance 🙂

  6. Hi Mehed,

    thanks for stopping by.

    1) Static, but new reviews/buying guides are automatically added once we hit the publish button
    2) Currently, we’re at 50ish posts (and growing)
    3) Social profiles and Web 2.0s point to the homepage, and guest posts/PBNs go to the inner pages
    4) 10 Web 2.0s with T1 and T2. Each property has 1 article, but we’ll be looking to add more.
    5) Outreach!
    6) Depends on the content. Can be more or less.
    7) In that case, we’d put up 10-15 affiliate links
    8) Nop. Don’t want to risk that think content penalty
    9) We don’t, but we’ll probably start doing that soon. Or we’ll start grabbing pics that aren’t on Amazon.
    10) It’s revealed! If you signed up for our case study, you received the URL in our intro email.

    Hope that helps 😉

  7. Yeah, I agree that Fred is getting a lot of traction nowadays.

    We didn’t experience any turbulence with both our and our clients’ sites, so I really can’t comment. But a couple of close friends have been properly slapped and are still trying to recover.

  8. I have yet to see anyone recover from that update 🙁 Nobody seems to know what causes it (or isn’t saying if they do).

  9. I haven’t seen the new site you’re building out, but what is your opinion on targeting keywords on the homepage? Yay or nay? Stick to using the homepage as a hub and focus on ranking money posts?

  10. Hi Andrew,

    Where do you get images for the main page and reviews? They don’t look like stock images.

  11. This is the first explanation of Fred that I’ve come across. Thanks for being our eyes and ears as far as these changes go.
    And yet again it points to the importance of using quality done-for-you services, not cheap n cheerful done–for-you ‘services’.

  12. Hi Andrew! Congratulations on the 1st sales! Wondering if you hired a special writer for this website or you use services like TextBroker or similar to write the reviews and buying guides?

  13. Thanks, Anton.

    I hired and trained 2 writers from UpWork (with experience in our niche). Our SOPs are pretty detailed, so they didn’t have a tough job delivering what we asked for.

  14. Awesome Andrew, thanks!
    What’s the average price per word that you pay to these writers? I’m now looking to hire writers as well and the prices are so different just like the quality of content.

Leave a Comment