So you can read my books

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Don't Panic --

I'll get to some concrete ways you can stop the loss of visitors but first here are some Google Reasons for it --

Three reasons why a ranking drop might occur:

(1) Manual Actions
(2) Crawling Errors or Issues
(3) Algorithmic Penalty

(1) Manual actions show a notification in Google Webmaster Tools, so it is clear cut.

(2) Crawl errors also are likely to show in Google Webmaster Tools, often clear cut also.

(3) Algorithmic penalties are not thought of as a penalty, they are algorithms for ranking. 

General quality and algorithms will determine rankings. So it is hard to tell if an algorithm is hurting you.

 But Google will communicate large scale algorithm changes, such as Panda or Penguin. They will tell you on what date they run, this way you can check the date and see if that algorithm had an impact on your site.

Here is a video concerning a business site that is relevant to our author sites as well:

No problem ... here are some content-oriented solutions to take:
Find a gap in the blogging area of your choice -
Google “top Gregorian Chant blogs” or “top fitness blogs” – whatever your niche is),
and analyze the type of content they put out.
Ask questions, lot of questions:
  • How many words are in the posts?
  • Are they well structured or a wall of text?
  • How much data, research and examples are used (vs personal opinions)?
  • How many images are used? Are they any good (or is it silly clip art and stupid stock photos)?
  • How many external resources are used, linked to?
  • Is it useful? Does it contain action-items?
  • Is it well-written, interesting to read?
  • Legibility: what’s the font size and color (is it easy to read)? Nice typography?
Write posts that would intrigue and amuse those kind of readers in ways that are shaped by the answers to the above questions.
The secret of success is
doing something
that others are not willing to do.
 In a study by Google in August of 2012, researchers found

that not only will users judge websites as beautiful or not within 1/50th – 1/20th of a second,
but also that “visually complex” websites are consistently rated as less beautiful than their simpler counterparts.
The most popular posts are:
1.) SHORT -- 750 to 1500 words (Sweet Spot being approximately 1000 words.)

2.) VISUAL -- Posts with videos, images, and lists will attract almost 6 times more links than a plain text post.

  1. What are other blogs in your area of interest /niche doing well?
  2. What is not being done?
  3. How can your content be noticeably better and/or different?
You need to find a gap, an opportunity, in order to stand out from the noise.

I hope this helps stem hemorrhage of visitors to your blog in some small way.

WidgetBox is closing the 28th -- This is your last chance to play with Maukie.  Give him a Good-Bye pet and listen to him purr.


  1. I really liked this post today -- I want to remember "The secret of success is doing something that others are not willing to do." So true.

  2. We can analyze so much that the magic disappears. I prefer to concentrate on the writing, rather than the background analytics. Yes, we need to be aware of them, but too many fixate.

    Perhaps that's why so many writers suffer depression. Watching numbers is like watching water drip, but we all do it.

  3. Helena:
    Thanks. I try to give some insight and help to my fellow strugglers. :-)

    It is much like analyzing humor -- it filets the laughter out of the joke! I try not to fixate, knowing that the lightning will strike when it will -- but it doesn't hurt to hold up a lightning rod! :-)

  4. I've been thinking about, and praying for, you, Roland. Sorry it took a while to get back here.

    I don't even know what an algorithim is and wish I had a few of your brain cells. I rarely check my stats on site meter, but I don't think that's what you're referring to. I just keep attempting to entertain.

    Those mathematician/scientific types don't consider the biggest piece of blogging: social interaction. I've seen many poorly written blogs with tons of followers and readers on a regular basis. When we like the blogger, we visit the blog. No complicated formula for that one.

    Sorry for going off like that. I know you know all this.

    Be well and good to yourself.


  5. Oops. Think I'm in trouble, Roland. Unless I'm discussing something with major gravitas, I try to keep my posts at around 300 words. Not always easy to do, but I know readers' time is short.

    I have come to hate algorithms. More and more of our behavior is dictated by this algorithm or that. It's ironic that writers constantly bemoan the rules, complaining how they curtail creativity, destroy artistic expression, reduce work to formula. Yet these same writers kowtow to the almighty algorithm. Algorithms are no more than a set of rules set down to arrive at a defined output.

    Blogging is one tiny element in a tangled campaign to get one's name and titles in front of readers. The important thing to remember about blogging has nothing to do with algorithms, it's the fact that blogging doesn't sell books. Nathan Bransford may have 103k followers, but he also still has his day job.

    VR Barkowski

  6. Robyn:
    Being entertaining and being liked is the biggest hurdle: you're right. Sometimes though those Panda algorithms from Google can skuddle us being discovered by new blog seekers -- and people are leaving the blogverse every day so we have to keep our blogs fresh and visible.

    I'm touched that you care about my on-going health struggle -- it is mostly over. But keep your fingers crossed! :-)

    I've been studying the psychology of the new casinos and their Visitor Cards they issue you for prizes based upon points gotten for each visit.

    It is the same psychology behind the Grocery Store Bonus Cards:

    Both industries are studying the transactions of their customers. After months of study, both industries are able to predict the behavior of the majority of their clientel to an eerie degree of accuracy.

    If evaluation shows that the majority of casino customers are low income -- low income citizens are targeted, no matter how little they can afford to gamble. The moral aspect of the equation is removed.

    Nathan got his followers due to his being an agent and those following wanted to curry his favor. Now, that he does not, he has already reached a certain momentum of follower attraction.

    His day job, both as an agent and now as media expert, keeps him in touch with the people that will publish his books.

    You're right: it's not about his followers.

    For us though, the more visible we are in our blogs, the more likely we will make that contact that will propel our writing career forward.

    As always, a fascinating comment from you. I am bushed, facing a solo weekend as a blood courier -- saving the world one ill patient at a time as Sandra jokes with me. :-)