#95 | What to do when Google pulls your pants down

A couple of weeks ago, I finally had my offer accepted on the dream home.

The next day, my husband quit his well-paid job to come join my company.

The day after that, Google started its attempt to wipe out my business.

It deindexed most of my sites and took away most of the traffic to the rest.

I’m one of the lucky ones, though.

Even with zero traffic from Google search, I still have a profitable business.

I’m very aware that’s not the case for everyone.

One of my smaller sites, in its best month, made $12,000.

This month, it’ll make $500.

If I’d relied on that $10k+/month income to take out a mortgage and a car payment, I’d be screwed.

Luckily for me, all I did was squirrel away the cash from it every month and continue to live like I’m broke, in a house with 40-year-old patterned carpets, a sofa I got from a charity shop and a shit car outside.

I’m very aware that’s not the case for everyone.

Like many of us, I’d tried to ‘diversify’ by building more sites.

As we’ve seen, that means fuck all if they all follow the same business model.

Or, in my case, in the same GSC as a site I used to test AI writers on 60 articles.

The saving grace for me is that I started diversifying into other traffic sources a while ago.

I grew an email list, I built a Facebook following, I started a YouTube channel.

I also worked on building industry relationships, so that large travel companies are ready to hand me money, rather than relying solely on display ads.

Because who’s to say that ad RPMs won’t drop off a cliff overnight in a year or two as well?

I feel there are a lot of heads being buried in sand when it comes to that issue. (Mine included)

What if you haven’t started making money from other traffic sources?

What should you do if the niche website you’ve built around SEO has gone to shit?

If you’ve spent months and years, getting up early, going to bed late and turning down invitations? Working your ass off on something that’s now worth fuck all?

Well (answering like the old-time SEO that I am), that depends.

Here are the two paths I’d consider…

  1. If you built your site to make money –

Did you pick your niche based on ROI and you’re not really a fan of it?

That’s okay. I’ve done that before too.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Maybe you were vegan for a while, saw an opportunity, bought or built a site, but you’ve since decided you can’t live without steak.

Did you try to crank out as much high-search, low-competiton keyword content as possible, without putting your passion into it?

Did you focus more on SEO-tricks than actually helping people?

In this situation, I’d probably give up on the project.

I’m not saying you should, but I probably would start something new.

  1. If you built your site out of love –

Did you pick your niche because you love the topic and it gives you joy?

Do you spend your spare time doing the thing, or watching others doing it, because it’s so fascinating to you?

Does your social media consumption consist mostly of the niche? Do you learn about the latest news and trends while you’re on the toilet?

In this situation, you’re on to a winner.

You can pivot to other traffic sources.

This whole update thing might even be a blessing in disguise.

(I believe it is)

Here’s the thing…

There are SO many ways you can get eyeballs on your content outside of Google.

If you have a website, consider social media, email marketing, content syndication on sites like Medium or LinkedIn, paid ads and participating (not spamming) in forums and real-life networking.

The great thing is, you don’t even need a website at all!

(I could easily run my NSL brand without a website, for example)

If you start a podcast, a YouTube channel, a private community, an email newsletter, a TikTok account, a Facebook group, an online workshop… a website is completely optional.

What’s your real passion in life?

Where do like-minded people hang out?

Go there, and help them.

For my travel brand, my ideal audience is older British women who like to travel and save money.

(Umm, yes, that’s also me).

That demographic loves Facebook, so I’m all in on Facebook.

Maybe your audience spends their time on LinkedIn? Or Twitter? Or TikTok?

You definitely don’t need to be everywhere – that’s a recipe for burnout if ever there was one.

You just need to be in the right place for your people, offering them value every day.

The value might be education, it might be entertainment, but for maximum results, it will be both.

So, what now?

Well first, I suggest that if you haven’t already, you go and watch this video by my favourite motivational non-guru, Miles.

Actually don’t watch it.

Go for a walk for 24 minutes and listen to it.

You’ll come back with a clearer head, I promise.

Then, if you decide that running an online business isn’t for you, feel free to unsubscribe from this email.

I don’t mind, honestly.

Or if you decide that it is, then stay tuned because next week I’ll be sharing some practical tips about the type of content that’s working for me right now, without Google.

Then the week after that I’ll be sharing my income report for March.

If you’ve been here for a while you’ll know I share the downs as well as the ups.

Whatever you decide, you got this.


P.S. If you’re interested in how I’m driving 200k visits per month to my site from Facebook, this course covers 99% of it and explains it all better than I could. It’s in video format with real examples.

P.P.S. If you want to feature your business in this newsletter, I have spots available and I’ve dropped the price temporarily until they’re filled. Info here.