The May 2022 Algorithm Aftermath
- Date Range: May 2022
Google rolled out a Broad Core Update on May 26th, 2022. Some sites reported drops of 20, 30, 50, even 90! Like many Core Updates, this one seemed to focus on affiliate sites, thin content, and link-building schemes.
I’m happy to report I was not seriously affected by the update. Most of my sites are still so small I’d barely notice a 10-20% increase or decrease.
I did have one site with a -20% traffic hit, but another site with +25% traffic. What’s ironic is the content on the -20% site is definitely better than the +25% site! Both sites have continued to grow in organic rankings since the dip, though, so I’m not too worried. It looks more like a reshuffling than a penalty.
I should probably do a page study of the Top 10 pages per site … but I haven’t done that yet. I suspect I dropped a few keywords, lost a few snippets, that sort of thing. But besides the slight dip May 26th – June 1st, all my sites are back to growing as normal.
YOU NEW TO THESE PARTS, STRANGER?
New to My Income Reports?
If this is your first time visiting one of my Income Reports, welcome! (Here’s a strong, firm handshake). Let me explain how they work.
I report how much income I made or lost every month. These reports help me analyze and track my progress, and they (hopefully) help you benchmark your own performance. I don’t have to worry about boasting about my income because as of now, my income is non-boastable!
I don’t disclose actual URLs. Like a good journalist, I keep my sources safe.
New to FLUB?
If you’re visiting FLUB for the first time, sit down and stay a while! This is my blog about blogging, or more specifically, about my journey to create a six-figure income stream through info blogging. I’ve been doing this since April 2021, so I’m still a greenhorn!
With the exception of FLUB, none of my websites are in the how-to-make-money-online niche. I’m reporting straight from the front lines.
Income Report Table for May 2022
|Niche||Size (Posts)||Type||Ads||Affiliate||Digital Products||Physical Products|
|Website 1||Transportation||100-200 posts||Info blog||$638||$240||–||N/A|
|Website 2||Transportation||200-300 posts||Info blog||$177||$87||$45||N/A|
|Website 3||Travel||30-100 posts||Info blog||$1||–||–||N/A|
|Website 4||Outdoor Recreation||30-100||Info blog/online magazine||–||–||–||–|
|FLUB||Online Business||0-30 posts||Info blog||–||–||–||N/A|
|Hosting||Content||Labor (Other)||Software Subscriptions||Advertising||Other|
- N/A = Non-Applicable, Not Offering
- ( – ) = Not Monetized (Yet)
- $0 = Attempted Monetized, Haven’t Make a Dime
REFLECTIONS ON THIS MONTH
Where I Came From
April was a good month. I broke $1,000 for the first time! Revenue didn’t drastically bounce over the month of May. What I lost in X I made up in Y.
One of my sites has a $35 EPMV just from ads alone … and another has an EPMV of only $18. I’ve been scratching my head over that one! They occupy the same basic niche, you see. Is it because one has my name all over it, and one is more anonymous? Is it because the latter is more how-to, and the former more why/what? I’m not sure …
Digital products are like Chinese water torture. You gotta drip, drip, drip downloads. I’m impressed, though. I’ve made $370 this year from just three printables, and the sales keep trickling in.
Oh, I subscribed to Jasper AI! Went through the 7-day trial and paid $59 for a one-month subscription. I’m still working on my review, so I’ll tell you what I think soon.
Where I’m Going
You probably noticed my content expenses went from $102 to $728 from April to May. I hired a fresh batch of writers at Upwork to really start growing Website #3. My goal is to grow it to 100 posts as soon as possible, posting 3-4 articles a week. But I have to be picky … I only have writers write based on their experiences.
I always hire more than I need. Hire three so you can lose one and still have a team. I hired one content writer who claimed he had climbed Mt. Everest and hiked the Amazon rainforest. After receiving his first article – which sounded suspiciously like it was written by an AI – I quizzed him on his experiences, and he eventually admitted he’d never done any of it!\
I re-organized my affiliate links on Site #1. I put them in the sidebar, added pictures, and wrote a brief CTA. And so far … it’s done absolutely nothing. Nothing!
I think what’s missing is personality, not presentation (not that my presentation couldn’t be improved, too). People are trained to skip over anything that looks like an ad these days. I need to write more content around these affiliate offers, not merely pin them to a sidebar like fridge magnets.
How I Make Money Online
My Content Strategy
- I specialize in info blogging. I build authority niche websites with a focus on evergreen content written by people with hands-on experience.
- At present, I don’t drive traffic to my websites other than organic SEO and a very limited presence on social media platforms, namely Pinterest. I’ve done virtually no active backlink building or guest posting. Therefore, I don’t expect significant traffic to a website for 6-18 months after launch.
- I’m working on too many websites. I drip content (1x post per week) onto every website, but I’ll publish at least 2 posts per week on sites I’m actively growing.
- I founded most of these websites, but I did purchase and overhaul one of them.
My Monetization Strategy
I earn a few hundred dollars a month from Amazon (which I have a love-hate relationship with), and spare change here and there from other affiliate partners. But I feel like I’ve barely tapped the potential of affiliate marketing. .
I use Ezoic for all my sites monetized with Ads. I’m a Premium Publisher. Currently, advertising makes up the lion’s share of my income. Because my content is usually long-form response posts to search queries, there’s ample inventory, and Readers are open to buying products or services to fix their headaches. I love that advertising is so easy, but I dislike that it’s purely a scale-numbers game.
I’ve just dipped my toe into this field. I sell a few digital downloads via Etsy, and while each one may only make $10-$30 a month, if I can build up a portfolio of at least 50 digital products, that’s not a bad income! And it’s wholly passive.
Strategies I Haven’t Used (Yet)
- Email marketing. I have a confession to make. While I’ve been passively growing my email list through newsletter subscribers … I don’t even have a newsletter :/ I just stockpile email addresses in subscriber lists.
- Social media marketing. I’m not on Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, Whushmygush, or whatever other social media platform is currently blowing up.
- Pay-per-click. I’m a firm believer that paid traffic should never be sent to your general site or blog post, but to a targeted landing page with a high-value call-to-action. I don’t have a high-value CTA right now, so no need for paid traffic.