The Ups and Downs of a Blog
This posting is going to be a bit different then our usual inspirational posts. Call this what you want, a news post, personal rant or helpful personal story that might allow you to reflect and inspire you to push forward in similar times.
In the beginning
First off, when I started Inspiredology I didn’t know what to expect and where this journey would take me. I wanted to start blogging to share my internet finds and inspirations. So late one night in January 2008, I designed the first version of the blog. The next day I launched the site with two articles; “120 Brilliant Logos” and “Cool Business Cards“, over the next week, I was checking stats, comments, trying to submit the articles to various social media outlets, plugging the website every way I could.
Within a week I started seeing a rise in traffic from 10 to 2000, then 16,000. As you can imagine, I was speechless. I didn’t know where these people came from, but for the majority of them, the feedback of the site and posts was great. So there you go within a week, I had a substantial amount of traffic, and I had to just keep sending out good posts, obviously the spikes went down, came back here and there like any other blog.
The first major road block
Things were going good, started getting advertisers, comments, generous emails for giveaways, reviews and just overall good feedback. Then June came around and the site was labeled by Google “This site may harm your computer”.
What do you I do, I started getting bad reviews, users emailing me saying my site broke their computer, bad Stumbleupon reviews (which Stumbleupon was sending me more then half my traffic). Things just snowballed, my site was gone, inaccessible by most people. The biggest thing, lost the trust of the general internet public. Search engine index’s stopped. I eventually switched hosts and found a friendly face to help me out with the virus/malware problem. Eventually after 2 week’s, the problem was resolved and Google started taking off the hateful label. Traffic started to rise after a week or so.
Skip ahead to Spring/Summer 2009, Inspiredology has a new look, new server (thanks WPWebHost), new writers and a trusty new sidekick (Andrew). Average traffic has doubled to 3000 – 3500 daily visits, and our feed has exploded to 3200 subscribers.
Not this again…another F#!%ing attack
About two weeks ago, I started off like every other morning, get to work make myself some oatmeal with peanut butter and read my emails. As I scan my new emails… Removed from Google’s Index, maybe it’s spam…nope its for real. Google basically saying that they have detected that I was using techniques that are outside the quality guidelines. They were removing my pages from the index for 30 days, and if I resolved the issue I could request a reconsideration complaint. Again, I immediately spoke to my hosting company, and I searched all the pages and files on my server. I found that my index.php page was corrupted with some crazy content and links.
I deleted the files, requested reconsideration from Google, by then the damage was already done, Google had removed Inspiredology from their index for at least 30 days. So, here I am watching my traffic go down the tube once again, Google was responsible for 20% of my traffic. We had some really good search results for a bunch of different keywords, if you search anything like Cool Business Cards – we were within the top 3. Not sure if Google will put us back up there, but if not – it’s a kick in the pants for sure.
As of now, I have tried searching Inspiredology on a few different computers and I am seeing some results, not sure how long it takes them, but I hope its sooner then later.
The past 20 months, have been a roller coaster ride, and I have had some amazing opportunities from Inspiredology. I don’t regret anything I have done, I stay positive in hope that we will bounce back stronger and faster the second time around. How can you help you ask? A quick search for Inspiredology might help Google see that Inspiredology is still a hot ticket item, maybe get them to move their asses.
I hope this post has inspired some of you to stay positive and strive forward if you run into any problems like this, if your blog isn’t as successful as you hoped, just keep working at it. Determination is one of the most underrated skills to have to run a successful blog.