Always Expect The SEO Bubble To Burst
This is a follow on to the post – How I started in SEO go and read that post 1st if you haven’t already.
Sim64.co.uk – The Exocet Missile
So here I was, still working full time in the construction industry but with a wheelchair ramp site that was earning me a couple of hundred pounds a week and an affiliate site which was earning me in excess of £1000 a week, having to make a decision about giving up a job I had worked at for 20+ years.
Having experienced the Florida Update 1st hand and knowing that I was pushing the Google guidelines to the limits with sim64.co.uk I knew it was a case of when would sim64 get hit by Google rather than if sim64 gets hit by Google.
Not only was I relying to much on sim64.co.uk I had also cut right back on my affiliate work and was concentrating far too much on Google AdSense.
The stories you read about Google cancelling accounts and not paying out was always on my mind especially when I was getting to the stage that they were owing me £20K a month so I thought now is the time to diversify.
UK Small Business Directory
It was about this time that I happened to stumble across a website which had a message on it saying “This Website is For Sale” – The website was https://www.uksmallbusinessdirectory.co.uk
The site itself wasn’t very good but what I noticed was it ranked high for lots of business related phrases and my initial thought was that it would be a great site for adding affiliate pages to and run behind the scenes.
I put in an offer for the site which was accepted and bought it the following week.
My intention was not to touch the business directory side of it but to just leave that ticking over whilst I build affiliate and AdSense pages in the background.
Basically using the directory part to make it look like an established site whilst in effect hiding what I was actually doing behind it.
Genius or Luck ?
You have to remember I was effectively just a builder with a little bit of HTML knowledge, no coding knowledge no design flair but quite a bit of SEO knowledge.
Everything I was doing was pre WordPress and were just static, hand built, HTML pages.
The Directory was a steep learning curve as it was database driven and built in classic .asp
Although there were something like 17,000 businesses listed in it the whole site was running of an access database, which once the traffic started growing would regularly crash.
I started learning the basics of .asp and databases so rather than just using it for affiliate work started playing withb the system too.
Although it had 17,000 business listed in it When I bought it they didn’t have their own individual pages, all it really had was a latest listing page that listed the latest 20 listing, category pages which listed the business in the category and a few other pages.
Whilst experimenting with it I found a way of creating a listing for each business in the database, found out how to pull certain sections and created a template to display it.
Brilliant, I thought, I could use the database to create a page, view the source, save it as a .html page and then upload it by FTP (I really was that naïve).
In effect this is what I was doing
My database had fields like;
I created an .asp file called company.asp and it was set with a query string which was the business name; for example /company.asp?strBusinessName=Sim64
What this file did was pull the business Sim64 from the database and display the results like so;
The description the person had added
SEO in Warwickshire
I created a template for the layout and included a stylesheet.
Brilliant I thought, this is a great way of creating lots of pages as I basically used the database to create the page and then manually saved the page as HTML and uploaded it.
The problem of course was that I had to manually add the business name after the /company.asp?strBusinessName= to create the page.
TJ You are a Genius
I was busy doing this for a few days and creating lots of static HTML pages when I came up with what I considered a genius idea, most would have considered the obvious thing to to,
The story continues here – TJ You are a Genius