July 15, 2016

Loosing Authority

Looks like my optimism in my last post was extremely premature. On Tuesday my stats plummeted. Between now and then I’ve had under 190 users a day, and earned just 30 cents a day. On a weekday! I would have considered those stats bad last year. This year? They’re abysmal.

Near as I can tell the best explanation for the nose dive is the loss of domain authority. I had previously read that by setting up 301 redirects that I would retain 90-99% of the ranking power. This may have been true if I redirected my entire site from SarahKTyler.com to Datayze.com, but I didn’t. I wanted to keep the splash page of SarahKTyler.com, which is serving as my online resume. I may have kept the ranking power of the individual pages that are redirecting, but that doesn’t seem to be helping much. It does not appear that I’ve kept much, if any, of my domain authority I’ve managed to build up over the years.

I’m starting off at a significantly bigger disadvantage than I thought I would. My new domain name is just 11 days old. I set up the redirect just six days ago, which means it probably wasn’t discovered by Google or Bing until six days ago. For all intents and purposes, my domain age is practically zero. In his video Matt Cutts says not to worry too much about domain age since it’s less of a factor at two or three months and it typically takes a few months to go from spalsh page to full website anyway. That’s still 53 days away. Seventy percent of my traffic is (or was) from the search engine. I’m worried if I lose those eyeballs it’ll take a very long time before they start to find me again.

I figured since my old name was in the top 2,000,000 sites per Alexa, both search engine giants would pick up on the change quickly. Neither did. I submitted a site map hoping it would help them get around to indexing my new site faster. Neither has.

I knew I would make missteps when starting my own company, but this one feels like the biggest so far. I should have held off on the launch until the new domain had a chance to be crawled.

At this point I think the best thing to do is keep moving forward. What’s done is done. Before now I’ve always been rather indifferent to search engine optimization. I’ve always held the belief that good content matters more than anything else. Now I’ve been reading about breadcrumbs, structured data, and sitemaps. Hopefully I can bootstrap this process and start getting my numbers back up.

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