John Chow – Google penalty, yet still earns 12k for June

John Chow has a Google Penalty 

John Chow published his earning stats recently for his blog

June is the start of summer. Advertising revenue generally slow down during this time. Add in the fact that Google put me in their dog house half way though the month (June 16 to be exact) and you would expect income to go down again. However, I’m happy to report that summer and Google hasn’t done much to stop my rise.

Total Blog Income For June 2007: $12,569.61

It’s interesting to read that Mr Chow’s recent Google penalty hasn’t appeared to have affected his blog earnings. In fact he claims that they are up on previous months. One can only wonder how well he’d have done otherwise, John hasn’t yet published any figures on how much traffic he got from Google.

I’m sure John could monetise further by maybe allowing access to his server logs or publishing his stats somewhere. That would make for very interesting reading indeed.

I remember 1st encoutering John Chow’s blog from a link on Jim kukrals blog. I naturally went over and gave John my 2c’s worth and intially found myself thinking hmmn this guy is heading for a huge google kick in the nuts. Sure enough it happened too and as of today a search for John Chow doesn’t show John Chows blog. Even if you broaden the search term out a little and type John Chows blog you still don’t get to see his site.

Spotting a Google penalty from 6 squillion paces

 Look a little further at by doing a search at Google and you’ll see that he has in excess of 2800 results.

Do a search for a unique title tag from his site, say “ Launched | John Chow dot Com” which theoretically should be the most relevant for that query and you’ll see that amongst the 8 results returned, the page is the last.

Seems like its hardlines for Mr Chow, or maybe not (going on his blog earning stats)

It is noteworthy to say that if you type you do get to see his blog and at number one position, ableit with no snippet and zero cache.

John tells us that his site dropped out on June 16th, it’ll be interesting to see how long John’s site stays in search engine purgatory. I don’t know if he has submitted a re-inclusion request or even began to clear up some of the high profile Google no no’s he was engaging in.

The important lesson here for anyone who runs a blog or a service that relies on Google or any search engine traffic for that matter is this. If you are doing anything remotedley iffy then do not brag about it and expect to remain unscathed. They will and do make examples of people who do this stuff, and it can cost you a lot of money and kill off revenue streams.

John Chow ( if you take what he says at face value)  it seems, is relatively unscathed by all of this, yet one has to wonder.

Rob Watts
Kickstart your business today - Get an SEO Consultation or just talk to Rob about your online aspirations. With over 20 years experience in building traffic he's pretty much encountered most markets and scenarios
Posted on: 4th July 2007, by : Rob Watts

15 thoughts on “John Chow – Google penalty, yet still earns 12k for June

  1. According to what he says, the main source of traffic was not from Google natural search. But somehow I suspect he may feel the difference a month from now.

  2. He said he only receives 150 referrals a day through Google, although that seems low. Even still, nearly every listing for his name is a link to his site, so in the end he is still gaining most of the end users. People that are searching for his name obviously would like to visit his site and even if they dont find it on Google, they will still find a way to visit. I doubt he is feeling too much hurt from the Google Sandbox

  3. Hi Brian, thanks for stopping by

    150 google referals seems very low for a blog that has gained such traction and link authority. Unless that is, Google applied some other filter on him sometime back for some other transgression he hadn’t noticed…

    In terms of the John Chow search query – Maybe i wasn’t too clear, apologies in advance for that, but the point about not being found for his name is simply demonstrative of the penalty. Who if anyone wouldn’t be the most relevant for that term if it isn’t John Chow? He has the full string John Chow in the url. The most anchor text for the string ‘John Chow’ and probably the most site wide kw density in both content titles, headings, anchors etc. For practically every metric used to determine relevance for the ‘John Chow’ kw term, should win out. The fact it doesn’t simply clarifies the penalty.

    You are totally on the money with your point about people searching for his name though, as yes most would find him via the sites returned in the results. It really isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things.

    However, not being returned for things that match your title tags or are very relevant to your pages and content is a whole nother ball game, and in my experience can ‘hurt’ very much indeed!

  4. It is clear that he has been penalized … the 150 referrals/day were for “john Chow” searches, sorry I didn’t make that clear. He has developed such a large readership that I can understand how being penalized by Google hasn’t really affected his site.

  5. Just goes to show that it’s good to make sure that you don’t depend on Google for your traffic–make sure that if your Google rankings went away you’d still have traffic from other sources such as type-ins, other blogs, and other search engines.

  6. Hi Bill, thanks for stopping by

    Agree totally. Make a kick arse resource that people will use and flock back to. Hats off to Mr Chow in that regard, he;s certainly created a certain someting and a following too. Quite an interesting case study – maybe it’s that little evil icon he uses with gusto 😀

  7. Being penalized definitely sucks, it’s happened to me once. I don’t think it’ll affect him much though. How many people wouldn’t just try to enter “” after they can’t find anything in google anyway? I think most would. Plus, he has tons of subscribers, links from other sites, and he’s made a name for himself. Either way, the searcher will click on one of the results and it’ll probably contain a link to Chow’s site regardless.

  8. >What were the no-no’s that got him booted??


    Probably his campaign that asked people to link back to him with the words make money online, along with his selling of non nofollowed text links in his sidebar, or perhaps it was his pay $10 to have nofollow removed off your comment links and then bragging about how it would help your google rankings.

    IOW he said lots of self promotional stuff which sought to game google by leveraging things such as pagerank.

    Whilst lots of people may well do all of the above already, they dont shout from the rooftops, “Hey, look what I can do, aren’t I smart”

  9. I didn’t know he makes 10k plus a month from his advertising, but it will surely decline (perhaps close to 0) if the other search engines (who do send him traffic) remove him or simply put him backwards. But what exactly did he do to be penalized? Because the logic would say he did something serious if Google bothered to get him penalized, right?

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