Many of you are already probably familiar with the story of John Chow but for those who aren’t I’m writing this article. Long story short, he is one of the most successful bloggers out there. John Chow is the owner of the famous site John Chow dot Com with his miscellaneous ramblings of a dot com mogul. He makes money online by telling other people how much money he makes online. Despite his struggle with Google, he’s making tens of thousands dollars each month just with his blog.
Back in December 2006 John Chow started a very aggressive backlink campaign, in which he would give a link back for every review of his blog when the text anchor ‘make money online’ was used. He managed to get 870 links from various sites as a direct result of the campaign. This turned out to be very successful for him as in just two months from the beginning of the campaign his revenue has almost trippled. His blog income has grown very fast from $352.94 in September 2006 to $7,011.05 in February 2007 (increase in revenue is amazing -> $6,658.11).
However the dramatic campaign has come at a high price. Overnight, John Chow’s blog “dissapeared” from Google search results. With further investigation, you’ll find out that his blog is still cached but it seems like it’s been manually punished by Google. He’s 41st search result for the term “John Chow” and 47th for the “make money online” (his primary keyword). Moreover, John got banned at Digg and his blog was attacked by a SEO hacker at the same time.
While John was trying to figure out what happened, others have been fast to profit from him misfortune. Especially the www.johncow.com which has taken the first search result for the “John Chow” and managed to get very popular in a short time period.
One would think that after a serie of such bad events John’s blog should be already dead by now. Wrong!
Surprisingly, despite all the troubles John Chow dot Com has managed to stay popular and is growing each day. Right now John got over 22,000 RSS feed subscribers and his earnings in January 2008 exceeded $30,000. John often states “you should never pull all your eggs in Google’s basket,” which is true. It seems he wasn’t relying only on Google but also on other traffic sources which helped him keep his position.
On the other hand, the truth is that dropping in search results didn’t help him at all because many of his revenue sources are partially dependent on Google traffic. It is a good example of how dangerous it can be to try fooling the giant.