SEO Nightmares Go Back To The Basics

Google omni man vs invincible niche sites

Everyone who has an affiliate niche site will tell you right now that Google is messed up. Big Time. This has to be the most insane period between a perfectly functioning Google algorithm and pure chaos. Spam runs riot in search results, Reddit and big publishes are commanding every search term they wish to and all the small independent niche sites even those going over and above the normal to provide helpful content are getting pummelled into a bloody mess in the corner.

Google omni man vs invincible niche sites

Image: Omniman fights his son Invincible before flying off into space. It’s similar to Google vs the affiliate site owners

My fave bug in the system is written by big media. The Verge has blatantly written a nonsense piss-take article on printer reviews but is still the best result even though they call Google out as not being able to read the article

If you’re facing similar challenges, here’s what can help:


Usually the issue is content-based, We play chess with Google and competitors all day every day and the loop of it is as we make better content, the competitor will update their content and then we out do them and so on. The goal posts keep moving so our content almost becomes liquid in format and ever-evolving. We need to be smarter about how we create and format our content.

  • Review and rewrite intro and outro paragraphs. Make them as simple and welcoming as possible.
  • Make sure all existing content is optimized to target the correct keywords. You can check the intent of your target keyword by analyzing the top ranking competing pages that are similar to yours and bridging any content gaps between them. 
  • Produce advanced guides to help rank for informational search queries which capture users at the bottom of the search funnel.
  • If you’re in a strict niche, perform deep keyword research to help guide your content plan and understand exactly what your target audience’s pain points are.


Take a look at your backlink profile, and that of your competitors to see what has changed, what’s not working for you and where there are clear gaps. I suggest also looking at what new platforms are available to supplement any brand-building and Web 2.0 platforms you may have.

  • Reverse-engineer the backlink profiles of important competitors by identifying relevant sites that are linking to their sites but not to yours.
  • Perform manual outreach to bridge any existing backlink gaps. You can use tools like to grab their email addresses. When outreaching, make sure to explain who you are, why you’re reaching out to them, and importantly, what you have to offer for their audience.
  • Build high-authority backlinks on relevant websites, keeping topical authority and relevance in mind.
  • Build some simple Web 2.0 links and fill these profiles out as you would any direct linking directory site profile. This won’t move the needle but it will help build trust and affirm that you have a brand online. This is one of the 1% items you need to do every so often.
technical seo audit

Technical SEO

When performance heads south I always dig into the details. My first port of call is always Screaming Frog. I’ll complete an in-depth audit and fix anything that’s in need of some TLC. Then I focus on GSC and looking at what Google tells me is an issue. Once that’s done I look at the website usability and load times. There are a lot of places to look when performance is down but always use a technical lens first to pick up what you can’t see on the front end.

  • While fixing core web vitals is important (in this case, installing a caching plugin like WPRocket moved the needle), don’t overlook the value of making manual tweaks like:
    • Changing and testing the functionality to consolidate CSS files.
    • Excluding images above the fold on key pages to improve loading speed.
    • Creating a script to preload above-the-fold images on key pages.
  • Increase the site’s usefulness by adding interactive tools. This not only showcases your authority within your industry, it also creates a linkable asset that users can share, generating organic backlinks.
  • Optimize your site’s design, especially the presentation of tables and charts, to make it easier for readers to digest information.

If you go back to the SEO basics when ever you hit a wall its always going to give you some uplift. The organic traffic platforms are a real mess right now but there’s a way forward.