Project Cloudburst Case Study: Update #3 (Year 1 Update) | Skipblast

Project Cloudburst Case Study: Update #3 (Year 1 Update)

It’s been around nine months since my last update to this case study on here.

And we’ve just recently cross the one year mark of this one.

If you’re wondering why so much time has gone by since my last update, that’s because not much has happened.

Ready to see how things have been going?

If you missed how this one started, here’s the first post about this case study.

**And as always, I’m an affiliate marketer and this post likely contains affiliate links, meaning I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

What’s Happened Since The Last Update

So, at the time of my last update on this case study, this is where things were at:

  • I’d decided that the original aged domain from Niche Website Builders was basically dead
  • I’d bought a fresh domain (never registered by anyone in the past) and copied all the content over to it.
  • The content on the fresh domain had more rankings than the aged domain

That was where things were at in March.


On May 25th, Adam from NWB contacted me to let me know that they wanted to move everything to a new aged domain for me, if I was interested.

Of course I said yes!

And by the first of June, the content had been moved to the new aged domain and the NWB team redirected everything from the original aged domain to the new one.

A few quick notes here –

  • I don’t know if NWB does this sort of thing for all clients, or if I got this because of this case study
  • I have not paid for the new aged domain
  • I have not taken ownership of the new aged domain
  • While the NWB team did recreate the best pages (those with the best links) for the original domain, I don’t think they did that for the new aged domain.
  • The new aged domain wasn’t as good for branding
  • I left the content live on the fresh domain as well (no, duplicate content doesn’t hurt you)

I was anxious (and hopeful) to see what happened with this new aged domain.

The indexing of the content was pretty much immediate, which was awesome.

And on June 3rd, some rankings started appearing…though they were not as good as the initial rankings I saw from the first aged domain.

Again, the good news was short lived as suddenly nothing was ranking at all on this new aged domain.

What the hell, aye?

And how fucking weird that two aged domains managed to have a similar trajectory six months apart?


This made me think something was wrong with the content since it was all the two domains had in common.

Unless it was just some Google fuckery in action.

Fast forward to July 9th and a few keywords popped on the bottom of page one.

Then disappeared on August 13th.

Then re-appeared on August 23rd.

Then disappeared again on August 25th.

Then re-appeared again on August 27th.

Then disappeared again on September 2nd…and I have seen them since….

Until today.

I notice that SerpRobot is showing the ranking re-appearing on Dec. 12th and it’s still here today (Dec 14th).


This has got to be the just announced link spam update, though it clearly started two days ago.

It will be interesting to see if this update leaves this current aged domain ranking.

In regards to the freshly registered domain, until two days ago it was ranking better than the current aged domain.

That means if the new rankings for the aged domain hold, then I’ll have to either trash the freshly registered domain or put completely different content on it.

I do like it better for branding, but honestly, I just want one of these damn domains to start ranking and making money so that I can start recouping some investment here.

Also note, that I have added zero content or links to the site since taking ownership of it.

Current Thoughts & Looking Forward

For now, I think the best plan of action is to see how the aged domain does as the rest of this Google update rolls out.

If the content actually starts ranking and stays ranking on the aged domain, then here’s what I need to do –

  • figure out if I need to pay NWB for this aged domain
  • do thorough audit of the content on the site (I will do this regardless, and yes, I should have already done it!)
  • create more content for the site
  • start link building for the site to help strengthen the domain
  • decide what I wanna do with the freshly registered domain that has the cloned content
  • work on a Facebook strategy for the site (this is where the audience is)
  • work on a YouTube strategy for the site

And if the content does not stay ranking, then here are my thoughts –

  • no need to pay for the second aged domain since I already have one that is a dud
  • content audit (see above) and maybe create all new content
  • focus on the freshly registered domain
  • re-test the original aged domain with a super low competition keyword article to determine if it is garbage or can be 301’d to fresh domain

I really do want a site ranking and earning in this niche, so I have got to make something work here.

I mean, for fuck’s sake, I’ve lost an entire year of earning in this niche already!

Anyways, if you wanna see the video I uploaded about this case study before the new rankings on Dec. 12th, it’s below.

Project Cloudburst 1-Year Update (Aged Domain + DFY Site case study)

2 thoughts on “Project Cloudburst Case Study: Update #3 (Year 1 Update)”

  1. Hi Shawna, I’m starting to build niche sites this year and your case studies have been very motivational for me. Also, I am just realizing how difficult it is to find a good niche. Most of the niches that I could come up with are saturated but I remember reading somewhere on your blog that niche sites are a numbers game. So is it possible to beat other websites by writing more articles than your competitors? Let’s take beekeeping as an example. And let’s say most websites ranking on page 1 have 300 average posts and 1-3 years old domains. Is it a good idea to tackle this type of niche?

    • Hi Lisbeth,
      It’s a bit more nuanced than that. If all of the beekeeping sites have mega authority (DR60+ or DA60+), then you’ll need to score some good backlinks to compete — unless you want to find another way in by identifying underserved topics in beekeeping that big sites aren’t covering (this is how you can win with massive amounts of content).
      I’ve never worked in the beekeeping niche, so I’m not sure how the competition is for it.


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