Results from a tiny SEO experiment

Candy Japan subscribers receive a twice-monthly newsletter that describes the contents of each candy box. Up to about a year ago, this content was never available anywhere except by email, and only to paying subscribers.


Putting it online would mean I could link to it from social media, it could get indexed, and possibly bring some search traffic. While the content was never written for searches in mind and does not answer any particular questions users might enter in Google, there is a lot of information in the newsletters about specific candies that may not exist anywhere else in English, so the chance was non-zero that some people might be searching for them.

It was some effort to reformat them from Mailchimp to be suitable for the web, but they have now been available here since the end of 2017.

candy japan newsletter example


Now with 2018 gone, there is one full year of data. So what happened? Lots of search traffic? Not really.

newsletter search traffic

That's right, 240 total clicks during one year from adding 102 pages of original content and photos. Google did actually index all of them, as all have some impressions appear in Google search console, although only half appear in site: search.


It wasn't useful to put the effort into trying to get this kind of newsletter content indexed.

Granted there was zero link building, apart from links to each from Facebook and Twitter every time a new one was published. Rearranging the content to answer specific questions would likely improve results. That way instead of a hundred posts about random arrangements of candy, they could be presented as 20 posts listing the best Japanese chocolates or other types of candy for example.

Despite being useless from a SEO point of view, for purposes of linking from social media and being able to show potential customers what to expect, continuing to put the newsletter online still seems like the right choice given it isn't that much effort to do.

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