Devastating Traffic Loss to 8 Million Views: Tony Hill’s Remarkable Google Update Recovery Story: Summary

Key Takeaways

  • Prioritize updating and improving existing content on your website instead of solely focusing on new content.
  • Use a variety of tactics, including analyzing sentence structure and utilizing Google’s NLP, to recover from a Google update.
  • Take time to celebrate wins and enjoy the highs of success in the constantly evolving world of SEO.

Tony Hill joins the Niche Pursuits podcast to share his journey of recovering a website from the May 2022 Google core update. Prior to the update, his website was receiving over two and a half million page views per month, but the update caused a significant drop in traffic. Tony takes listeners through the 20-30 different tactics he used to update and improve his website, including analyzing sentence structure and utilizing Google’s NLP. As of the time of recording, his site has made a full recovery and is now receiving over 8 million page views per month. Tony emphasizes the importance of prioritizing existing content and celebrating wins in the constantly evolving world of SEO.


Early Years in SEO

  • Tony Hill launched his first niche website in 2005 with a co-worker while working for a web design agency.
  • They aimed to rank the website on Google and make money through ads, using AdSense to earn around $20 a day until their account got banned.
  • Tony turned to to learn everything he could about SEO and fell in love with it.
  • They got into the medical niche and built up a lot of health websites, which were easy to rank back then with just a few keywords and not much content.

Building the Website

  • Tony Hill has been working on his primary website for 18 years.
  • The website was focused heavily on new content and closing the gap with competitors.
  • Tony lost sight of keeping up with existing content, which led to a hit by the May 2022 Google core update.
  • The website was getting over 2.5 million page views a month before the update and dropped significantly after.
  • Tony took a step back, evaluated the website, and focused on updating and improving existing content.
  • He used a list of 20-30 different tactics, including Google’s NLP, sentence structure analysis, and other tools to improve the website.
  • The website made a full recovery, starting in the March 2023 update and the April 2023 review update, and is now getting over 8 million page views per month.

Impact of Google Updates

Shifts in Google’s Update Approach

Google’s update approach has shifted over the years, becoming more nuanced and frequent. In the past, updates were less frequent and more predictable, occurring only a few times a year. However, now Google can release updates within weeks or even two updates at once, making it more difficult to keep up with the constant changes.

Challenges of Keeping Up

With the constant updates, it can be challenging to keep up with the changes. It’s nerve-wracking not knowing what’s going to happen and having to constantly monitor and adjust your website. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated with the process, especially when you’ve put in a lot of effort into your website.

To keep up with the updates, it’s important to have a long-term perspective and not get too caught up in the short-term wins. It’s also essential to be aware of the latest information and be willing to adapt and change your approach as needed.

Some of the challenges of keeping up with Google’s updates include:

  • The need for constant monitoring and adjustment
  • The difficulty of predicting and adapting to changes
  • The risk of losing traffic and revenue
  • The need to stay up-to-date with the latest information and trends

To overcome these challenges, it’s important to stay informed and be willing to experiment with new strategies and tactics. It’s also essential to focus on the long-term success of your website and not get too caught up in the short-term wins.

Recovering from the May 2022 Google Core Update

Initial Assessment

When Tony Hill’s website got hit by the May 2022 Google Core Update, he took a step back and assessed the situation. He realized that he had been too focused on creating new content and had neglected to keep up with the existing content. This caused a drop in traffic and page views.

List of 20-30 Recovery Tactics

Tony Hill took a systematic approach to recovering his website. He created a list of 20-30 recovery tactics that he used to improve his website. Some of these tactics included:

  • Conducting a thorough content audit to identify low-quality content and improve it.
  • Analyzing user behavior on the website to identify areas that needed improvement.
  • Improving website speed and performance by optimizing images, reducing page size, and using caching.
  • Focusing on long-tail keywords and creating more targeted content.
  • Improving internal linking structure to improve user experience and help search engines crawl the website more efficiently.
  • Analyzing competitor websites to identify areas where the website could be improved.

Results of Recovery

Tony Hill’s website started to recover in the March 2023 update and continued to improve in the April 2023 review update. As of the time of recording, the website was getting over 8 million page views per month, up from the 2.5 million before the update.

The recovery tactics that Tony Hill used were not run-of-the-mill. He delved into Google’s NLP and sentence structure analysis to improve his website. The recovery process was not easy, but Tony Hill’s story is an inspiration to anyone who has been hit by a Google update.

By taking a systematic approach, conducting a thorough content audit, analyzing user behavior, improving website speed, focusing on long-tail keywords, and improving internal linking structure, Tony Hill was able to recover his website and achieve even greater success.

Lessons Learned

Balancing New Content and Existing Content

When it comes to creating content for your website, it’s important to strike a balance between new content and existing content. While it’s tempting to focus all your resources on creating new content to attract more traffic, it’s equally important to maintain and update your existing content. Neglecting your existing content can lead to a drop in traffic and rankings, as was the case with my website before the May 2022 Google core update.

To avoid this, make sure to set aside time and resources to update and improve your existing content regularly. This can include updating outdated information, improving formatting and structure, and adding new sections or media. By doing so, you can ensure that your website remains relevant and useful to your audience, while also attracting new visitors with fresh content.

Importance of Long-Term Perspective

One of the most important lessons I learned from recovering my website from the core update was the importance of taking a long-term perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day fluctuations of traffic and rankings, but it’s important to remember that SEO is a long-term game.

This means focusing on sustainable, white-hat SEO strategies that will benefit your website in the long run, rather than quick fixes or black-hat tactics that may provide short-term gains but can ultimately harm your website’s reputation and rankings. It also means being patient and persistent in your efforts, even when results may not be immediate.

Continual Improvement

Finally, one of the key takeaways from my experience recovering my website from the core update was the importance of continual improvement. SEO is a constantly evolving field, and what works today may not work tomorrow.

To stay ahead of the game, it’s important to continually experiment with new strategies, tools, and techniques, and to be open to learning and adapting as needed. This can involve everything from testing different keywords and content formats to exploring new link building strategies and staying up-to-date with the latest algorithm updates and industry trends.

By embracing a mindset of continual improvement, you can ensure that your website remains competitive and relevant in the ever-changing world of SEO.