This article covers month #3 of the SEO case study using an expired domain.
In month #1 we added around 270 articles, in month #2 about 140, and last month about 90 to bring the site’s total to around 500.
December 2022 Stats
The site generated 31,777 page views and 28,552 sessions, which was about 70% month-over-month growth.
Bing Only, Google Still AWOL
Like last month Google still isn’t delivering traffic to the site, so virtually all of it is from Bing and Bing-related search engines like Yahoo and DuckDuckGo.
Bing is mostly desktop traffic, so still around 69% desktop traffic.
Given that SEO normally takes 6-7 months to kick in and we’re only at the 3-month mark, we still have to be patient.
January 2023 Plan
The goal is to keep producing content, though my output isn’t likely to pick up until February due to a trip in the second half of this month, plus time on other projects.
But, in general, the formula is pretty basic:
- keyword/topic research
- publish content
Those are the big two things that move the needle.
Very little link building is done.
This may be something extra that’s needed to improve the E-E-A-T signals of the site.
But we’re waiting another 3-4 months to see how Google treats the site to better understand how much off-page work needs to be done.
Dip in Daily Traffic
Traffic was climbing until recently when it took a little bit of a dip.
Traffic went from around 1,200 sessions per day down to around 800, as seen below. In fact, it ended the year on a low.
But these dips were on December 24 and December 31, which were on the eve of big holidays.
We’ll see if they begin trending back up. Usually people spend less time online around major holidays with travel, family, etc.
The goal is to get to 50,000 sessions to get on Mediavine, which means your average daily mark needs to sit at around 1,700.
So we’re currently running at only around half that total.
More Content Needed
So, just more content is needed. And hopefully Google will kick in eventually.
Even if the site gets only 200 page views per month per article, at 500 articles (its current total), that should eventually get it up to 100,000 views per month.
If it can get 300 views per month per post, that’s 150,000. Getting above that would be great, but it’s also important to be realistic, especially now with AI bloating the web.
Within a few months, the goal is to get the site up to 1,000 articles.
Even if Google is still ignoring the site, those 1,000 articles should be enough for 50,000 sessions and Mediavine consideration.
Many articles aren’t being indexed on Google, taking a month or more. This is something we realized last month.
So what we’ve done is try to manually index articles through Google Search Console.
You’re only allowed to index a certain number of articles per day (around 10-15), so this goes slowly.
Internal linking can also help with indexing.
The site also has a site map, but Google isn’t indexing the articles quickly despite having one.
Google Takes Time
Google getting the data it needs to recognize a site’s place on the web takes time.
As long as the content thoroughly covers each individual topic and covers the overall niche well, we have confidence that Google will eventually come through in some form.
Is an Expired Domain Worth It?
It helps a lot when the topics the old version of the site covered are the same as those the new version has.
In this case, that’s not the case, so there may be some resetting of the links.
Still, it’s helpful to have the high DR (Ahrefs metric) for other purposes, such as brands and agencies reaching out for sponsorship offers since that’s one of the things they look at.
We haven’t had anyone reach out about sponsorships yet, but as the site gains more traction these offers should pick up.