To Blog Or Not To Blog

That’s becoming the question…

This is the first in a series exploring what little I’ve learned about the world wide web and attempts to grow my image on the internet. I’ve devoted a lot of effort exploring how to optimize SEO, making use of social media, employing networking, improving online presence and the real question becomes is there a way to make money?. Along the way I’ve discovered some surprising things and have developed some suspicions about tools and methods employed by the tech companies to keep us from giving up.

Who and Why

This site is my hobby ( I was a photographer, I’m retired, in my seventies and I have long lived to travel. Six continents, over 80 countries and islands and every one of the worlds oceans. I started a free WordPress site over four years ago to let friends and family see where I am and where I’ve been. It had nothing to do with money but as people visited and subscribed it may have become about validation. Fame and money started becoming a possibility but it was still my hobby.

Today I manage two additional free websites, a paid WordPress site (I ran out of room) two online store sites (only marginally successful) and almost a dozen social media sites along with with two Etsy outlets. After all that, I confess that I understand very little about how to succeed on the web.

A Recent Change

I’m going to start at the end and work backward. Just in the past six months my travel site experienced some serious growth. Following is a chart showing results reported by Google data compared with the contributions from other search engines.

Looking at the data it raises some interesting questions:

  1. The Google impressions show major changes in growing, peaking in May and falling off again.
  2. The percentage of clicks per impressions also grow (from about 1% to 1.5%) with a peak in June and falling off again back to 1%.
  3. The percentage of Google clicks to all other search engines starts at about 27%, grows to almost 57% and drops back over 3 months to 27%.

What do I make of this?

First, Google clicks seem to correlate somewhat with reported total impressions but do also grow as a percentage showing a deviation of about a half a percent (same bell shaped curve).

Second, various other search engine contributions as a percentage of total search referrals seem to remain constant with the exception of Googles contribution. Google’s share starts at just under 28% of total search referrals, grows to almost 47% in May and drops gradually back to under 28% (the bell curve again). All other search engines remain pretty constant.

Finally it leaves the impression that there is an operator at work outside of the seasonal flow of internet activity and searches.

Conclusions?: Google results do not seem to be part of a general algorithm pattern but statistically seem to be driven by a specifically targeted process applied to my website. Not just mine, I’m sure every site has similar activity.

Can anyone else offer any ideas? In the next couple of installments the plan is to explore the effectiveness in SEO efforts, techniques and practices that seem to have an impact on search activity and growing evidence that we may be involved in a giant feedback loop engineered by the big tech companies to keep us involved.

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