Monday, September 12, 2011

Sick and Tired

I'm pretty much at the end of my tether. Maybe it's because I went back to work today after three weeks off, but I really don't feel that I can deal with this shit from Google regarding traffic any more. I know that it's early days with the revamped version of The Sleaze, but we have to face facts here, despite an initial boost in traffic after the relaunch, things have declined again. Indeed, Friday saw disastrously low traffic, lower than anything seen pre-revamp. Despite picking up over the weekend, things have crashed again today. The final straw, for me, is the fact that the story I posted yesterday - Spy News - has been completely ignored. It really is frustrating to see this happen to what you know to be a good story, based on an original idea and addressing topical issues. Of course, it doesn't help that Google News seems to have stopped indexing any of our stories. Why, I don't know. The Great God Google doesn't see fit to condescend to tell mere mortals why it is fucking up their endeavours.

I really don't know where to go from here. If Google (which is the only game in town as far as search is concerned), isn't going to treat sites fairly any more and base its search results on relevance, then I just don't see the point in continuing to write and publish original material. In the past, when you lost traffic as a result of an algo change at Google, it was possible to take remedial action - improving your tags, keywords. descriptions and other on page factors - but now, once you've been demoted, there's no coming back, it seems. I'm running out of alternative sources of traffic - social media just don't deliver consistently, other search engines just don't have the market share to deliver significant traffic and link exchanges and the like just don't seem to work any more. So, losing access to Google News could be the death knell for The Sleaze. It really is a bitter blow after putting so much effort into the revamp, but the reality is that, whilst I know there's an audience for it out there, as long as Google in its present incarnation dominates web search, they're unlikely to find The Sleaze. And I just don't have the energy any longer to keep rebuilding the site's traffic, particularly as I know that, as soon as it starts growing again, Google will simply stamp all over my page rankings to push it back down again. I'm afraid that until national governments and regulatory authorities find the balls to take on Google over its search monopoly, then we're going to see more and more small webmasters trying to publish original material on non-commercial sites just give up, leaving the web a far duller place.

So, where now for The Sleaze? For the first time in more than ten years, I really don't know. Right now, after seeing the way Spy News has been treated, I certainly don't feel like wasting my time writing anything else.

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