This Is What You Signed Up For (Algorithm Updates/MUST READ FOR BEGINNERS)
I'm not going to lie; I was pissed off to learn about the new Google update and subsequent loss of traffic to my blog.
Royally pissed off. I had ducked and dodged 5 years of updates until this one. I was rolling like you wouldn't believe.
In fact, as I was watching Jay's recovery class, blood boiling, I began banging away mercilessly on my keyboard; about to post the rant of a lifetime.
Until I didn't.
Sometimes the act of just typing it out can be incredibly liberating and therapeutic, but rarely do I post things like that without at least thinking it over first LOL.
Such was the case. I let it simmer and then eventually deleted it.
Because if there's one thing you HAVE to understand about the business, it's this:
You're not guaranteed a damn thing. Ever. You can do everything right and still get slapped. It's just the nature of the beast.
So if you're reading this and are new, 1) You're in the right place. WA is a Godsend and will teach you how to create content the right way. 2) Get ready for the ride of a lifetime. Be prepared to fight, as I have fought for the last 5 years since my site got hit with the 9/2018 Stay In Your Lane Update.
That's one I'll never forget simply because it almost broke me and my site. Forever. It left me basically crippled and near penniless, but here's the kicker; I deserved it.
There were so many issues with my blog that, looking back, it's hard to even fathom.
I'm not going to get into that much here (you can read my other blogs) but long story short, I spent the last 5 years fixing it. Fixing everything. I basically rewrote/republished hundreds of articles, consolidated, 401 redirects, no-indexing worthless posts, you name it, I did it.
And I was rewarded, 5 years later. Well, the traffic started increasing around this time last year, but all the legwork had already been put in.
Last month (9/2023) on the anniversary of that near-fatal catastrophe in 2018, my site shattered a record for monthly visits, daily visits, income through Mediavine, etc. I was thinking about the real possibility of a $10K month (all income from marketing combined), and then?
"Oh nooooo, another arbitrary Google update!"
"I KNOWWWWW" (Family Guy Lol)
This time around, the blow was somewhat softened because of all the new content I was pumping out daily over the last few months - plus whatever I had fixed - so thank God for that.
That said, in one fell swoop I lost roughly $1,300 in Mediavine income in a single month from one update. One.
It sucks. Let's just call a spade a spade. Why does it especially suck? Well, because my biggest growth happened right around the perfect time for a traffic explosion heading into Q4.
But, here's the kicker, again: I deserved it. Whatever rankings I lost, I lost them for a reason. As mad as I was, I don't think Google's updates are arbitrary.
They can absolutely feel that way, but in looking at just a few lost rankings so far in my site-wide assessment, and then reading the posts with a critical eye, I can understand why.
I sometimes have this tendency to ramble about sort of semi-unrelated things (but still kind of related) in my posts, and it's something that I've, on some level, always battled.
So again, no one cares, just review the product, cut out the BS, keep it movin' (that's what I tell myself xD)
The scariest part of all of this is that I actually do not have any Search Console data for the last YEAR.
This is because, for whatever reason, my site was not verified even though it had already been verified since 2014. I'm not even going to attempt to try and figure that one out.
So I'm missing a huge chunk of data; data that would have helped me in fixing the current issues.
Given this, I was about to go into a deep depression; the likes of which I'd probably never recover from - until I realized I have every single article on my site mapped out in Google Sheets. Rankings, revision dates, the whole nine yards.
Hooray! A reason for living!
This was done a couple of years ago kind of as a fail-safe, but more simply as a way for me to track rankings the way I want - I'm kind of OCD about organizing things LOL.
In any event, now begins the recovery. The good news is that I'm not completely decimated like I was in 2018.
All of the things I've learned, my mistakes, triumphs, and the effort I've put into making my site the best it can possibly be, have been rewarded and will continue to be as I further my growth and development as a person, writer, and artist.
To close out, I'll just say that as human beings, it's a natural inclination to want to look for a scapegoat for life's problems and play the victim card; at least initially when everything feels like complete and utter chaos.
We're all still flawed at the end of the day. But we're also better than that.
The key is shifting your perspective and reframing it by, instead of blaming someone else, looking inward.
Is it easy? Heck no. A small part of me still wants to be bitter about it. But I refuse to.
Instead, for me, it's back to the drawing board.
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