When I made the decision to monetize John Chow dot Com nine months ago, I know that I would use the blog to push the limits of what was possible. The blog was to be used as a case study so others can learn from its success and failures.
Pushing the limits of blog monetization almost means pushing Google to the edge. There are many who will say that playing with Google is like playing with fire – sooner or later, you’re going to get burn. It seems that once again, I am in a Google penalty box. Not only am I no longer on page one for the search term, make money online, but I am no longer page one for my own name.
The number one theory for the penalty is I overdid the linkback promotion. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t really matter. The make money online search term was sending me about 150 visitors per day. As for the John Chow search term, the first ten pages of results all link to JohnChow.com, so the searcher will find me indirectly. That actually benefits bloggers who did a review of my blog.
Live By The Google, Die By The Google
This a good time to remind everyone that if you live by the Google, you’ll die by the Google. I do not depend on Google for my traffic and neither should you. Thousands of people have this blog bookmarked and nearly 6,000 read it by RSS. Way too many webmaster put too much time and effort into Google to try and gain a number one ranking. Google doesn’t stand still (they can’t afford to). They are always tweaking their search system so the chance of holding a number one spot forever is next to zero.
You should work on getting Google traffic for your blog, but you shouldn’t do it the exclusion of everything else. If all your traffic is coming from Google, then you need to work on getting other traffic sources. You are in a very scary situation. It’s like having all your blog income generated by AdSense. If that’s all I did, this blog would make only $1,000 a month instead of $10,000. Don’t put all your traffic eggs in one basket.
I am 100% positive that Google will eventually restore my number one ranking for my name. Right now, they look pretty stupid. Do a search for John Chow and you’ll get page after page of sites talking about JohnChow.com, but JohnChow.com isn’t the number one result.
Let’s see, I’ve been banned from Digg, banned from Technorati and now bitch slapped by Google. I’m doing pretty good!