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Website attracting no traffic after 3 months (Sandbox?)

     
9:27 am on Dec 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I had a tutorial/report that I was offering for sale on my main website. It wasn't selling so I decided to try offering it for free through a small website (about 40 pages) with Adsense on there. This was launched on September 19 this year and almost three months later it is still not attracting any traffic. On some days I only get one or two visitors.

There is a lot of text content on there and I feel it should be attracting much more traffic. I was not expecting it to make much money but I figured that with Adsense on there I should at least get some return from the tutorial.

I thought the sandbox was no more but to all intents and purposes it looks like this is the problem. Can anyone suggest why it is attracting no traffic or anything I can check to help find the problem?
1:34 pm on Dec 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Backlinks?
2:22 pm on Dec 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have a few backlinks to it but nothing that I would have thought was suspicious in anyway.
3:44 pm on Dec 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I ment not enough quality links, not too many bad ones...
4:16 pm on Dec 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have treated this the same as I would any other site I launch Dave but it is not a case of it not performing well. It is not performing at all. In my experience after three months it should be getting much more traffic than it is getting (from long tail searches is nothing else).

Last seven days visitor numbers 1,0,1,0,1,2,0.
4:31 pm on Dec 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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So you are indexed, right?
4:41 pm on Dec 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yes, the site has been indexed for a few weeks and Webmaster tools shows no problems.
4:50 pm on Dec 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Right, so it's indexed, and we'll assume the site's positioning is good. Have you done some research to find out how many people are actually searching for that term? What i'm trying to establish is if the search term is too long tail.
5:08 pm on Dec 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I was not really concentrating on any specific search term but there are more than thirty pages on the website each of them optimised for different (but related) content.
5:09 pm on Dec 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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So, is the long tail too long?
4:45 pm on Dec 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I don't think so. In my experience any similar site I have launched (with a lot of useful text content on it) has always attracted a few visitors whether or not it was for properly targeted searches. This time the traffic is negligible even after three months.
6:32 pm on Dec 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The small trickle of traffic you are seeing - does it come from Google Search?
9:01 pm on Dec 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@ beedeeddoubleu:

Did this site ever get the "google honeymoon" where a new website is sent some traffic from google to gauge user response?

And to everyone else; does the google "sandbox" still exist?
9:54 pm on Dec 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This time the traffic is negligible even after three months.

I'm curious about where the "negligible" traffic is coming from.

Is any of the traffic coming from the inbound links you have to the new site?

Or is all or some of the traffic coming from the search engines?
10:37 pm on Dec 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Is the content still available on the original site and might be pulling traffic away from the new one?

As stated the content did not do well on the first site, it might just be content that has no readership, free or not. This does occasionally happen. :)
11:13 pm on Dec 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@BeeDeeDubbleU

What about the domain, was it parked before that?
I am having similar issue, and I thing it's because the domain was parked for few months.
8:31 am on Dec 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the replies guys.

The small trickle of traffic you are seeing - does it come from Google Search?

About 30% of it comes from Google search with the rest coming from direct referrals.

Did this site ever get the "google honeymoon"

No.

I'm curious about where the "negligible" traffic is coming from.

See above.

Is the content still available on the original site and might be pulling traffic away from the new one?

The content was never available on the original site. It was being sold as a downloadable PDF.

What about the domain, was it parked before that?

The domain was new.
8:47 am on Dec 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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BDW, you've left us with little to work with. Site is indexed. No obvious errors in delivery. No possible duplicate content. BTW, a downloadable PDF, unless walled off, can be indexed by the major SEs and thus "known".

I repeat: Could it quite possibly be there is no interest in the content?

Believe me, I've been there, done that!
9:05 am on Dec 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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BDW, you've left us with little to work with. Site is indexed. No obvious errors in delivery. No possible duplicate content. BTW, a downloadable PDF, unless walled off, can be indexed by the major SEs and thus "known".

I am not hiding anything and I am telling you all I can but I appreciate that this is an odd one. That is why I am asking the question in here. :) I have a reasonable grasp of basic onsite SEO and most sites I build start getting some traffic fairly quickly. Something is stopping this one.

I repeat: Could it quite possibly be there is no interest in the content?

I can assure you that the content is of widespread interest to many people.

The only thing that I can think of as being a problem is that I am fairly active in another forum and I have linked to the new website in my forum signature. The site quickly gained a lot of links from this source.
9:55 am on Dec 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hercule Poirot is exercising his little grey cells... This other site, where links have accumulated, this is a site that is clean? I mean, does THAT site have some ugly in the backround?
10:15 am on Dec 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The other forum is the the UK Business Forum, which is perfectly legit.

.
10:35 am on Dec 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Okay. Plan B... you have nothing to lose. Change URI (redirect that filename old to new, get new indexed), change "title" in head, and any H1 as well. Jazz those signals up, be a tad outrageous, leaving the rest of the content alone. Check back three months from now and let us know how that worked.

Serious suggestion. Sometimes the URI, "title" and H1 is the strongest signal. This method worked 4 out of 6 problematic pages for me.
12:31 pm on Dec 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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[Hand raises.] This happened to me recently with a new blog I put up in August. Yes, it's a Blogger blog. But it's not my first, and something's different. There was no Google honeymoon - that's one weirdness. And the pages are indexed. The topic IS one people are searching for. I checked the settings to make sure I wasn't hiding it from the search engines - and it does get a tiny trickle of search engine traffic. Minuscule. Same for Yahoo and Bing as Google, actually.

As for reader interest...the blog is one of a very few that tackle a fairly pressing, overly-spammed topic with personal experience. It's pretty thorough and people seem to like it - it has a bounce rate of under 30% with over 4 pages per visit - better stats than any of my other websites. It gets most of its traffic from return visitors and the one referral link that I put up (on a topically related page I operate - I didn't hide the fact that it's my own blog.) My own visits are not factored into these stats.

All in all, it has better user metrics than my other older, less substantial blogs that have been attracting modest but steady search engine traffic for a few years.

Why no Google honeymoon? Why just a trickle of Google traffic? I keep waiting for the boycott to be over.
12:55 pm on Dec 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Sounds pretty much like the same problem.
2:01 pm on Dec 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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well, some one else must be ranking for those terms,

whats the competion like?
2:24 pm on Dec 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Are you sure the PDF didn't get republished on the web by somebody who purchased it, even if it was taken down later?
2:36 pm on Dec 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Almost certain. I have been searching for some of the terms on the website since it was launched and nothing ever came up.
9:37 am on Mar 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Actually I have been too busy on other things to think much about this website in the last couple of months. Just to update you, I did nothing to it other than remove the forum signature I mentioned above. This had no effect.

I checked it today and I notice that it now has PR4 on the homepage (don't know since when) and that during the last seven days the traffic has started to increase very, very slightly. Its hardly noticeable but it has increased from about two or three a day to seven or eight. I guess you could say that it has trebled!

It may be that things are starting to happen.
3:43 pm on Mar 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Do you have any social buttons (Facebook Like button, for example) on the site? Do you have a facebook fan page? Twitter feed?
4:14 pm on Mar 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Your site is now 5/6 months old , it has TBPR 4, in your experience would you be expecting substatively more traffic for this particular site by now ?
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