On the 30th of October 2013 Google offered me a custom URL for my Google+ account. Being one of only a few Eric Rial’s out there I figured I better jump on it to avoid missing out on the coveted google.com/+EricRial URL! Well at least it is coveted by me and some guy in Argentina. At the time I accepted this great offer, I wondered what it would mess up. I figured it was Google after all, so they probably had this all figured out.
As I sat around waiting for the soreness to pass from my first marathon I was also noticing my blog statistics were going down. This happens all the time as what I’ve posted in the past becomes less relevant and drops in search results. Over 80% of the traffic to my blog comes from search engines, so I’m used to the ups and downs. However, this drop seemed different. It wasn’t so much up and down, as down and down! A drop of over 70% over the past 3 weeks in average daily post views! So I decided to check around. It didn’t take long to see the problem. I tried out some common search terms that bring people to my blog, and didn’t immediately see my posts in the results. I looked closer, and they were there, but my Google authorship picture (from Google+) was missing! Even I had difficulty distinguishing my post from the rest of the results. Unless you are in the top couple results you are less likely to “get the click” without something to draw the person’s eye to your post. I knew that when I first set this up last year, but after this skid in post views I’m was true believer!
It only took a few minutes to search (authorship photo in Google results) for the instructions to set it up again. I couldn’t even find the link I had put in – possibly removed as a dead link? Then I watched for the photo to show back up. It took a while for it to come back for all of my common search results. It also took from November 2013 until March 2014 for my post view statistics to recover. I have other theories on way my stats went down… the top of the list is that my Mom quit viewing 30 posts a day. That’s not likely, she’s my biggest fan! Anyway, the stats came back, but then I noticed again in my search results no longer had my picture again in early July 2014. I was concerned. I found out that Google had decided to stop putting photos in the search results. This concerned me and I assumed my statistics would tank again. However, July was my best month so far and August is looking even better so far. Google claims removing the photos won’t affect traffic, and I guess maybe their right. Maybe it doesn’t matter… maybe there is some other reason my stats tanked last October.
I guess I’ll never know.
[Note: Please don’t like this post if all you want is for me to “check out” your posts on increasing traffic. I’m not obsessed with traffic, never plan to earn a dime from this blog, and think all such schemes are scams! I blog because I enjoy blogging and to celebrate living a full life. If all you do this for is because you think you’ll get rich convincing people to click to and buy a system to “make money online”, then good luck to you! I won’t be joining your “movement”! I’ll just keep plugging away writing what I enjoy writing about. If someone enjoys reading it so much the better.]