Project Urchin

Case-studies and journals
User avatar
Daniel
Site Admin
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:10 pm
Has thanked: 34 times
Been thanked: 25 times
Contact:

Project Urchin

Post by Daniel »

For those who don't know, I have an active case-study called Project Urchin that I update monthly.

This thread is so I can post updates & answer any questions relating to the project.

---

A little about the project:

Project Urchin is in the medical nutrition space. One particular condition that affects people, primarily those from low-income households, has little free information online. You can maybe find 5% of what you are after if you are lucky.

The other 95% of the information sits behind paywalls owned by a few companies that have decided that the web should not contain equal rights access to information.

Once I learned about this I decided to start a site where I would make the information available to all who need it. I believe the site can pay for itself with advertising revenue.

The goal is to reach 200,000 UVs a month. This goal has no timeline - I will continue until I manage to do what I set out to do which is make this information available to all who need it. So 200,000/mo is a lowball estimate.

---

Previous entries:

Project Urchin
Project Urchin - Update #1
Project Urchin - Update #2
Project Urchin - Update #3

---

Questions?

Feel free to ask in this thread.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard P. Feynman
User avatar
Daniel
Site Admin
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:10 pm
Has thanked: 34 times
Been thanked: 25 times
Contact:

Re: Project Urchin

Post by Daniel »

The second update is out as of today. It has been a good month considering I didn't do a lot because of the Christmas/New Years break.

- https://danielcuttridge.com/project-urchin-2/

Once the site starts picking up natural links, and I think it will, it should absolutely fly. 90% of pages rank in the top 30 for the target keywords as of right now. Quite a few page 1 rankings. Building links now, forcing it, that would be impatient. A site doing this well at such an early stage, you can afford to wait :ugeek:
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard P. Feynman
User avatar
Daniel
Site Admin
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:10 pm
Has thanked: 34 times
Been thanked: 25 times
Contact:

Re: Project Urchin

Post by Daniel »

I've been running quite a few tests this month to help identify the best template approach still... I should have all the data back by Feb 14th. I need to drop all these tests onto SEOTesting.com asap because I've got way too many running to track manually on this site now.

The latest round of tests I am doing are staggered:

30 posts total.

Week 1:
Test 1 = 10 posts
Control = 20 posts

Week 2:
Test 1 = 10 posts
Test 2 = 5 posts
Control = 15 posts

Week 3:
Test 1 = 10 posts
Test 2 = 5 posts
Test 3 = 5 posts
Control = 10 posts

Each test offers up a different variation to the post template, which I can do because I know all of the parts of the existing template. Unlike a traditional SEO test where you're looking to identify the importance/existence of ranking factors, this is site-specific where you're trying to identify the best implementation to your template. Long-term this kind of testing compounds results and is what I refer to as progressive optimization.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard P. Feynman
User avatar
Daniel
Site Admin
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:10 pm
Has thanked: 34 times
Been thanked: 25 times
Contact:

Re: Project Urchin

Post by Daniel »

Still going slow and steady without links.

Image

Keywords in top 50: 129
Keywords in top 20: 51
Keywords in top 10: 27
Keywords in top 4: 14
Keywords in position 1: 0

It should only take a couple of links and this thing is really going to pop.

I don't anticipate building any links this month, but hopefully, come March the site will be in a place where I can start some outreach and some social posting.

The main project update on my blog is coming in the next few days too.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard P. Feynman
User avatar
Daniel
Site Admin
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:10 pm
Has thanked: 34 times
Been thanked: 25 times
Contact:

Re: Project Urchin

Post by Daniel »

Update #3 is now live.

https://danielcuttridge.com/project-urchin-3/

Some additional stuff in there about the tests I've been running & why I'm still not link building to the site :)
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard P. Feynman
britt
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:18 am

Re: Project Urchin

Post by britt »

Hi Daniel,

Can you give an example of your a title you would use, in regards to use to your test results?

Old: EXACT - Sitename

New: BROAD | EXACT - Sitename
User avatar
Daniel
Site Admin
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:10 pm
Has thanked: 34 times
Been thanked: 25 times
Contact:

Re: Project Urchin

Post by Daniel »

britt wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:03 pm Hi Daniel,

Can you give an example of your a title you would use, in regards to use to your test results?

Old: EXACT - Sitename

New: BROAD | EXACT - Sitename
Best Snow Shoes For Men - Sitename
vs
Snow Shoes | Best Snow Shoes For Men - Sitename

The crucial thing here is context. I'm not saying this is better, in fact, I test out dozens of title tag templates on every project and have done for several years.

I suspect this template works best on this site as it aligns with the approach I am taking on this site, which is what I outlined in the very first update.

Things not strings.

The keyword 'best snow shoes for men' is what people refer to when they say strings.

Things on the other hand are objects such as 'snow shoes'.

Most people in the Facebook communities are struggling to understand this approach because they can't operate with a contextual/relative understanding of subjects and topics. If a topic has topics then it is also a subject.

This then results in the string becoming a topic of the topic/subject. So you don't want to target it as the head term.

My focus might still be to rank the 'string keyword' (the exact match in the title template) - the testing just shows that sticking to the broad subject (the thing) is the better idea.

I think this is what the FB communities struggle with because maybe they can't conceive of a page ranking where you don't target the exact keyword over and above the object itself. That just tells me that they don't do a lot of testing.

So yeah, definitely test it... But I wouldn't obsess over my results, because they may not be repeatable for others based on several different factors. There is more than one way to skin a cat as they say!
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard P. Feynman
Post Reply