Downhill from here

So I popped onto my blog this morning to find that my Amatomu ranking had plunged from around 20 (it was in the top 10 to 15 before the algorithm was changed) to 80 (it is currently at 81). This is quite a big drop for Wired Gecko which has historically been near the top of the overall rankings. I took a look at Google Analytics and saw this:

Analytics 1

Visitors’ overview:

Analytics 2

What was really interesting is that the sharp drop off was in respect of referring sites. Search engine traffic (if I understand that correctly) remained pretty constant. The drop in traffic from referring sites is pretty dramatic, as you can see from these reports:

Amatomu:

Analytics 3 Amatomu

Technorati:

Analytics 4 Technorati

Afrigator:

Analytics 5 Afrigator

Google.com domains:

Analytics 6 - google

I don’t really know what the cause of the drop off in traffic is but it is pretty disturbing. I have been plagued by these spam blogs that keep leaving trackbacks to their ad infested blogs. Could that be the cause? I am not exactly an SEO pro so as long as I see upward trends in my stats I tend to be happy but when I saw this massive drop off I started to think about making a change (yes, again!!) to the way I blog.

More and more I see the future of social activity on the Web (at least in the next year or 2 and certainly for me) being based on a distributed model rather than concentrated on any one service. At the moment the paradigm is largely based on single services so people who are socially active on the Web will make use of a service like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn as the focal point of their activities on the Web or topic specific activities (business, personal etc). The emergence of Facebook Apps and, more recently and importantly, OpenSocial heralds a shift towards a more decentralised model where people have multiple access points on the Web.

The idea behind this decentralised model is that I have a presence on Facebook, Orkut, Plaxo Pulse, LinkedIn, my own blogs, Twitter, Jaiku and Tumblr (examples of service I am active on) and using tools like those provided by OpenSocial I can be active on all of these services using the same content sources (YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo etc) to support my ongoing record of my activities and my thoughts. Instead of being dependent on a single service to be the repository of my presence on the Web, I can be everywhere and accessible through multiple access points using tools like OpenSocial to keep those access points going almost like thin clients to my central server (aka me).

So here I am thinking that maybe it is time to shift Wired Gecko into a different mode. As I said above, I am really not sure why my ranking is tanking like it is and why I am practically shedding visitors like that. I am accustomed to drop offs when I am less active but this is a bit nuts. My options include closing trackbacks (if those sites are the cause of this), shifting to another platform like Movable Type (although I would need help migrating my substantial number of posts), or relaunching Wired Gecko as a tumblelog instead. It just bothers me me when I see such a drop off because it means that people are losing interest drastically, my blog is being blocked somehow, my blog is really at the bottom end of what algorithms now find appealing or someone (or a number of someones) are stealing traffic away from my blog (in which case something has to change to stop that otherwise I am just wasting my time blogging here).

So that was my day … it looks like it is pretty much downhill from here. What do you think?

Update:
Well, my blog is pretty much in free fall, certainly on Amatomu where it is at 155 or so. I suppose it doesn’t really matter why my blog has plummeted like this. I have been writing for the people who are interested in what I have to say and if 95% of those people have decided that what I write is a load of drivel anyway, then I will just keep writing for the 5 people who still visit this blog somehow.

None of the options I was considering in my lower light moment yesterday are really feasible given that this blog is meant to be a long form blog, I want to retain control over my content and like to have interaction on this blog. If a combination of spamming f%&$#ers and amended search algorithms all around mean that my blog’s ranking drops to the bottom of the barrel then I guess that qualifies as “shit happens”.


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Paul
Enthusiast, marketing strategist, writer, and photographer. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad. Allergic to stupid

  1. Hi Paul – I don’t know if this has anything to do with your readership, but I’ve noticed since subscribing to your feed that more than every second post is either Twitter Updates or del.icio.us links which, to someone who doesn’t use Twitter, is just seeing a lot of noise. I would keep those separate from your blog, and add them as side feeds or individual subscription links in a prominent position on your page if they’re that much worth sharing.

  2. Hi Paul – I don’t know if this has anything to do with your readership, but I’ve noticed since subscribing to your feed that more than every second post is either Twitter Updates or del.icio.us links which, to someone who doesn’t use Twitter, is just seeing a lot of noise. I would keep those separate from your blog, and add them as side feeds or individual subscription links in a prominent position on your page if they’re that much worth sharing.

  3. Hi Paul – I don’t know if this has anything to do with your readership, but I’ve noticed since subscribing to your feed that more than every second post is either Twitter Updates or del.icio.us links which, to someone who doesn’t use Twitter, is just seeing a lot of noise. I would keep those separate from your blog, and add them as side feeds or individual subscription links in a prominent position on your page if they’re that much worth sharing.

  4. Hi Paul – I don't know if this has anything to do with your readership, but I've noticed since subscribing to your feed that more than every second post is either Twitter Updates or del.icio.us links which, to someone who doesn't use Twitter, is just seeing a lot of noise. I would keep those separate from your blog, and add them as side feeds or individual subscription links in a prominent position on your page if they're that much worth sharing.

  5. Shouldn’t be any reason your site should link back to spam sites, it’s just not on, maybe that’s what google is thinking.

    Use akismet to filter for spam, and then just moderate all the comments manually from humans.

    Good luck!

    D

  6. Shouldn’t be any reason your site should link back to spam sites, it’s just not on, maybe that’s what google is thinking.

    Use akismet to filter for spam, and then just moderate all the comments manually from humans.

    Good luck!

    D

  7. Shouldn’t be any reason your site should link back to spam sites, it’s just not on, maybe that’s what google is thinking.

    Use akismet to filter for spam, and then just moderate all the comments manually from humans.

    Good luck!

    D

  8. Shouldn't be any reason your site should link back to spam sites, it's just not on, maybe that's what google is thinking.

    Use akismet to filter for spam, and then just moderate all the comments manually from humans.

    Good luck!

    D

  9. Hi coda

    Thanks for your feedback. I have removed the del.icio.us blog postings an Twitter postings. I have Twitter and del.icio.us feeding into my Jaiku stream which people can access through the Jaiku widget in the sidebar or at pauljacobson.jaiku.com.

    Hi David

    That spam site thing was all I could really think of to explain the drop off. I use Spam Karma which I have found to be pretty darn effective in killing spam.

  10. Hi coda

    Thanks for your feedback. I have removed the del.icio.us blog postings an Twitter postings. I have Twitter and del.icio.us feeding into my Jaiku stream which people can access through the Jaiku widget in the sidebar or at pauljacobson.jaiku.com.

    Hi David

    That spam site thing was all I could really think of to explain the drop off. I use Spam Karma which I have found to be pretty darn effective in killing spam.

  11. Hi coda

    Thanks for your feedback. I have removed the del.icio.us blog postings an Twitter postings. I have Twitter and del.icio.us feeding into my Jaiku stream which people can access through the Jaiku widget in the sidebar or at pauljacobson.jaiku.com.

    Hi David

    That spam site thing was all I could really think of to explain the drop off. I use Spam Karma which I have found to be pretty darn effective in killing spam.

  12. Hi coda

    Thanks for your feedback. I have removed the del.icio.us blog postings an Twitter postings. I have Twitter and del.icio.us feeding into my Jaiku stream which people can access through the Jaiku widget in the sidebar or at pauljacobson.jaiku.com.

    Hi David

    That spam site thing was all I could really think of to explain the drop off. I use Spam Karma which I have found to be pretty darn effective in killing spam.

  13. Paul,

    I agree with the above comments, but I must say, have you looked at your google pagerank?

    There is alot of pagerank docking going on and maybe you have been a recipient of some google tactics. Maybe look in to it?

  14. Paul,

    I agree with the above comments, but I must say, have you looked at your google pagerank?

    There is alot of pagerank docking going on and maybe you have been a recipient of some google tactics. Maybe look in to it?

  15. Paul,

    I agree with the above comments, but I must say, have you looked at your google pagerank?

    There is alot of pagerank docking going on and maybe you have been a recipient of some google tactics. Maybe look in to it?

  16. Paul,

    I agree with the above comments, but I must say, have you looked at your google pagerank?

    There is alot of pagerank docking going on and maybe you have been a recipient of some google tactics. Maybe look in to it?

  17. Hi Nic

    That eventually occurred to me last night. It was just odd because the drop off wasn't just on Google. It was on other services too (unless they are all affected by Google's page ranking?).

  18. Hi Nic

    That eventually occurred to me last night. It was just odd because the drop off wasn’t just on Google. It was on other services too (unless they are all affected by Google’s page ranking?).

  19. Hi Nic

    That eventually occurred to me last night. It was just odd because the drop off wasn’t just on Google. It was on other services too (unless they are all affected by Google’s page ranking?).

  20. Hi Nic

    That eventually occurred to me last night. It was just odd because the drop off wasn’t just on Google. It was on other services too (unless they are all affected by Google’s page ranking?).

  21. Have you looked at your feed readership? I don't believe Google Analytics can track RSS feed readership as the Google Analytics tracking is enabled through JavaScript on the page itself. The same goes for Amatomu.

    I personally prefer to use both Google Analytics, Amatomu and FeedBurner in conjunction. And yeah, I agree with all, the Twitter updates must go, del.icio.us isn't that bad.

  22. Have you looked at your feed readership? I don’t believe Google Analytics can track RSS feed readership as the Google Analytics tracking is enabled through JavaScript on the page itself. The same goes for Amatomu.

    I personally prefer to use both Google Analytics, Amatomu and FeedBurner in conjunction. And yeah, I agree with all, the Twitter updates must go, del.icio.us isn’t that bad.

  23. Have you looked at your feed readership? I don’t believe Google Analytics can track RSS feed readership as the Google Analytics tracking is enabled through JavaScript on the page itself. The same goes for Amatomu.

    I personally prefer to use both Google Analytics, Amatomu and FeedBurner in conjunction. And yeah, I agree with all, the Twitter updates must go, del.icio.us isn’t that bad.

  24. Have you looked at your feed readership? I don’t believe Google Analytics can track RSS feed readership as the Google Analytics tracking is enabled through JavaScript on the page itself. The same goes for Amatomu.

    I personally prefer to use both Google Analytics, Amatomu and FeedBurner in conjunction. And yeah, I agree with all, the Twitter updates must go, del.icio.us isn’t that bad.

  25. The people have spoken. Twitter updates and del.icio.us posts have been banished! That stuff all feeds into my Jaiku stream anyway. πŸ˜‰

    I also noticed that my Amatomu tracking code on the blog is different to the code suggested on Amatomu. I corrected that and will see how this changes my ranking.

  26. The people have spoken. Twitter updates and del.icio.us posts have been banished! That stuff all feeds into my Jaiku stream anyway. πŸ˜‰

    I also noticed that my Amatomu tracking code on the blog is different to the code suggested on Amatomu. I corrected that and will see how this changes my ranking.

  27. The people have spoken. Twitter updates and del.icio.us posts have been banished! That stuff all feeds into my Jaiku stream anyway. πŸ˜‰

    I also noticed that my Amatomu tracking code on the blog is different to the code suggested on Amatomu. I corrected that and will see how this changes my ranking.

  28. The people have spoken. Twitter updates and del.icio.us posts have been banished! That stuff all feeds into my Jaiku stream anyway. πŸ˜‰

    I also noticed that my Amatomu tracking code on the blog is different to the code suggested on Amatomu. I corrected that and will see how this changes my ranking.

  29. Hi Paul,

    I certainly cannot explain why your site has fallen in the rankings, but I am surprised because your blog is one I continue to enjoy.

    But here is a question I have been meaning to ask for a while: You are one of the most connected people I know, with a strong, clearly defined online presence through the various channels. My question is, (seriously, no tongue in cheek) Why? Is it to cement your identity as a new media lawyer, is it for pure passion for the medium or are you seeing some other benefits?

    Just curious. And awed πŸ˜‰

  30. Hi Paul,

    I certainly cannot explain why your site has fallen in the rankings, but I am surprised because your blog is one I continue to enjoy.

    But here is a question I have been meaning to ask for a while: You are one of the most connected people I know, with a strong, clearly defined online presence through the various channels. My question is, (seriously, no tongue in cheek) Why? Is it to cement your identity as a new media lawyer, is it for pure passion for the medium or are you seeing some other benefits?

    Just curious. And awed πŸ˜‰

  31. Hi Paul,

    I certainly cannot explain why your site has fallen in the rankings, but I am surprised because your blog is one I continue to enjoy.

    But here is a question I have been meaning to ask for a while: You are one of the most connected people I know, with a strong, clearly defined online presence through the various channels. My question is, (seriously, no tongue in cheek) Why? Is it to cement your identity as a new media lawyer, is it for pure passion for the medium or are you seeing some other benefits?

    Just curious. And awed πŸ˜‰

  32. Hi Paul,

    I certainly cannot explain why your site has fallen in the rankings, but I am surprised because your blog is one I continue to enjoy.

    But here is a question I have been meaning to ask for a while: You are one of the most connected people I know, with a strong, clearly defined online presence through the various channels. My question is, (seriously, no tongue in cheek) Why? Is it to cement your identity as a new media lawyer, is it for pure passion for the medium or are you seeing some other benefits?

    Just curious. And awed πŸ˜‰

  33. Hi Eve

    That is a good question. Part of what I do is to promote myself as a new media lawyer (my blog at jacobson.co.za is a good example of that) and part of what I have done has been to promote other work and projects.

    What I have found, though, is that I just enjoy doing this. I enjoy blogging (mostly!), connecting to people and connecting people to each other.

    It is very much a work in progress.

  34. Hi Eve

    That is a good question. Part of what I do is to promote myself as a new media lawyer (my blog at jacobson.co.za is a good example of that) and part of what I have done has been to promote other work and projects.

    What I have found, though, is that I just enjoy doing this. I enjoy blogging (mostly!), connecting to people and connecting people to each other.

    It is very much a work in progress.

  35. Hi Eve

    That is a good question. Part of what I do is to promote myself as a new media lawyer (my blog at jacobson.co.za is a good example of that) and part of what I have done has been to promote other work and projects.

    What I have found, though, is that I just enjoy doing this. I enjoy blogging (mostly!), connecting to people and connecting people to each other.

    It is very much a work in progress.

  36. Hi Eve

    That is a good question. Part of what I do is to promote myself as a new media lawyer (my blog at jacobson.co.za is a good example of that) and part of what I have done has been to promote other work and projects.

    What I have found, though, is that I just enjoy doing this. I enjoy blogging (mostly!), connecting to people and connecting people to each other.

    It is very much a work in progress.

  37. Me too dude, me too. I used to be #2 on Amatomu. Now I am #6. But I am not bothered. Rankings are all relative anyway. xx

  38. Me too dude, me too. I used to be #2 on Amatomu. Now I am #6. But I am not bothered. Rankings are all relative anyway. xx

  39. Me too dude, me too. I used to be #2 on Amatomu. Now I am #6. But I am not bothered. Rankings are all relative anyway. xx

  40. Me too dude, me too. I used to be #2 on Amatomu. Now I am #6. But I am not bothered. Rankings are all relative anyway. xx

  41. Paul, looking at your supplied Google analytics, it seems that Google has dropped you.

    They may have removed you from their index.

    I suggest, if you have not done so already, that you use Google's webmaster tools. Add your site. Ask Matt Cutts for his assistance (on his blog).

    It could be that Google's algorithm has decided that your site is bad and just dropped you.

    Another way for you to get traffic is to start using your stumbleupon account. SU gives me MORE traffic now than Google. Bonus is that I get local traffic from it, whereas Google sends more internationals than locals.

  42. Paul, looking at your supplied Google analytics, it seems that Google has dropped you.

    They may have removed you from their index.

    I suggest, if you have not done so already, that you use Google’s webmaster tools. Add your site. Ask Matt Cutts for his assistance (on his blog).

    It could be that Google’s algorithm has decided that your site is bad and just dropped you.

    Another way for you to get traffic is to start using your stumbleupon account. SU gives me MORE traffic now than Google. Bonus is that I get local traffic from it, whereas Google sends more internationals than locals.

  43. Paul, looking at your supplied Google analytics, it seems that Google has dropped you.

    They may have removed you from their index.

    I suggest, if you have not done so already, that you use Google’s webmaster tools. Add your site. Ask Matt Cutts for his assistance (on his blog).

    It could be that Google’s algorithm has decided that your site is bad and just dropped you.

    Another way for you to get traffic is to start using your stumbleupon account. SU gives me MORE traffic now than Google. Bonus is that I get local traffic from it, whereas Google sends more internationals than locals.

  44. Paul, looking at your supplied Google analytics, it seems that Google has dropped you.

    They may have removed you from their index.

    I suggest, if you have not done so already, that you use Google’s webmaster tools. Add your site. Ask Matt Cutts for his assistance (on his blog).

    It could be that Google’s algorithm has decided that your site is bad and just dropped you.

    Another way for you to get traffic is to start using your stumbleupon account. SU gives me MORE traffic now than Google. Bonus is that I get local traffic from it, whereas Google sends more internationals than locals.

What do you think?

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