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The Google Penguin ate up my Page views
Google page rank
After a few months of hard work my blog was finally starting to pay off a little bit through page views. A couple of my blogs were on the front page of Google searches so I was getting a nice trickle of web traffic. My page views finally reached the level required for me to make my first Hubpages pay out. If I could keep this web traffic up, I thought that blogging might just become a nice source of supplemental income for me. I didn't have the web traffic that I needed to quit my day job, but blogging on the side was becoming very appealing. Any income that I made through blogging was going to be my rainy day or emergency fund. I wasn’t planning on making a living from blogging, but I thought that a few dollars here and there would accumulate into a nice chunk of change over time.
Web traffic continued to roll in resulting in those much needed page views. Things were going along pretty well in my little blogging world. The new ad program was working better than ever, and my web traffic was translating into money. Then out of nowhere, the Google Penguin swam through and swallowed up all of my page views like they were little fish. My old blog posts that were getting 5-10 page views a day flat lined with absolutely zero web traffic. My posts that were getting 20-30 page views a day turned into less than 5 views a day. But the posts that Google Penguin swallowed the most were my couple of posts that were getting 100 plus page views a day. I was lucky to get 10 page views a day from anything that I posted. Google cut off my flow of web traffic and I was left with a ghost town for a blog.
What happened to my web traffic? Why wasn't I getting any page views? How come I wasn't ranking on Google anymore? I don’t really know. I didn’t think that I excessively spammed my blog anywhere online. Yes, some of my stories are hyperlinked to other stories, but I don’t have any sneaky links in my pages. I have done some shameless promotion in the past, but that was years ago. I have since found out that posting links in comments do not really result in any serious web traffic. I’ve answered a few questions on yahoo answers with a link to a story that I wrote. But, how can Google attack me for that? I’ve answered questions with other web pages too, so did those pages get penalized by Google too? It isn't easy to get page views through shameless promotion anyway. The amount of effort that it takes does not make the 20 or 30 page views worth all of the work involved to post the link. Was Google going to penalize people for links that were posted over a year ago? I didn't think so, but I was while I stared at my non existent web traffic, I was beginning to wonder what I did to upset Google.
What is spamming?
Most of my promotion comes from my own accounts on various websites. I don’t spam, but I do post my stories to sites like Digg and Stumble Upon. Sometimes I will write a similar story on my other blog and cross link the two, like this. I bet that the New York Times isn’t penalized by Google for having posts linked on Digg and StumbleUpon, so why would my little blog lose page views for the same promotion? I realize that I am not the New York Times, but I am not asking for one hundred thousand page views a day either. I just want a fair shake. I want my small trickle of web traffic that will allow me to have a chance to get linked if someone likes what I wrote. I want to have the opportunity to be seen in the Google page rankings when my posts touch on a particular topic of interest.
Professional bloggers vs. Amateur bloggers?
Are we reaching the era of preferred bloggers like Arianna Huffington that get exposure over the rest of us amateur bloggers? The Huffington Post started out as a blog, but now that AOL owns it I guess that it is a member of the main stream media bloggers. Are we going to be at a point where if you have your own website, or you are a personality that gets on TV your blog counts, but no one else does? I hope that the web never ends up like that, but I think that it might happen eventually. The big boys buy out the little guys before they can threaten their monopolies. Google and Facebook dominate the web, and it is becoming harder and harder for other competitors to carve into their market share. Now new algorithms by Google can destroy someone’s hard work overnight and dry up a site’s web traffic instantly. That is what happened to me earlier this month, but the Google king makers have smiled upon me and allowed my pages to rank once again. Here is what I did that may or may not have restored my rankings, page views, and web traffic.
four steps that helped to restore my page views
1. I removed advertising from my blog. This did not help at all. I thought that maybe I had too many ads so I shut them down for a day. I did not experience any uptick in page views so I restored my ads.
2. I added a summary to all of my posts. I didn’t know that I was missing so many summaries, but I was. It is a very important step for page rank, so make sure that you have them on your posts or your web traffic will suffer.
3. I appealed to Google. I think that this is what restored my web traffic. After about a week my page views are back to what it used to be. My blog may be getting more web traffic than ever, so things are looking up for me. Here is a link to the Google Penguin appeal form.
4. I checked all of my links to make sure that none of them were broken. I also made sure that I was not linking to the same page more than once on any hubs. Pointing to the same page more than once can put your blog into the spammy category. If that happens, then you can kiss you Google web traffic good bye.
Google Guidelines for webpages
In addition to the things that I tried above, I also looked over the google guidelines to make sure that my entries were in compliance with the new Google Penguin updates. Here are Google’s recommendations.
1. Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
2. Don’t use cloaking or sneaky redirects.
3. Don’t send automated queries to Google.
4. Don’t load pages with irrelevant keywords.
5. Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
6. Don’t create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware.
7. Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines, or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.
8. If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.
Good luck with your blogging in the future and try to keep Google, the king of the internet, happy. They will return the favor with web traffic to your blog if you do.