Click-Through Rate (CTR) vs Page Views per Visit – The first is high on Google’s priority list, the second apparently not so much, leading to Google ignoring 94 percent of the traffic to dads&things, or does it? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Google Search Console (GSC) help with sorting some of that out.
Click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement. It is commonly used to measure the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website as well as the effectiveness of email campaigns.
The Wikipedia article discusses the CTR in the context of advertising. An individual click-through is when someone clicks on the anchor text of a link at an originating location of a link to the target location, visits the web page that the link leads to, and then clicks on another link at the target page. Obviously, some (perhaps many) visitors to a given page will leave the page again without doing, or without going to, anything else that the target page leads to. If the page does not interest the visitor, he will not do what he should and leave the web page (thereby leave the web site, and that is not a click-through).
What does the CTR measure?
The CTR can pertain to a specific advertising campaign, or a key word or phrase, in relation to a target page, a sub domain on a website, or all web pages at a given website. Arguably, the number of pages viewed per visit on a website divided by the number of visits to the website for a given interval of time should essentially be the same as the CTR for the website for the selected interval. If it is not, it could be possible that what CTR measures is incorrect or at best incomplete.
CTRs are expressed in percent. The number of pages viewed per visit are expressed in terms of numbers, including decimal fractions.
CTRs differ much from the number of page views per visit
Curiously, CTRs for websites differ enormously from the number of pages viewed per visit on websites. They are related and should have at least some correlation but do not. That is apparently because the number of page views indicated by analytical tools, such as Google Analytics or blog software, take into account only traffic directed by search engines that had visitors whom clicked on a given page. On the other hand, the volume of all traffic to a website is substantially larger than just the portion that comprises search-engine-directed traffic. Look, for instance, at the differences over time for dads&things, between total monthly page views and page views counted by analytical tools:
Monthly Page Views – Search-engine directed traffic vs all traffic
Focusing on daily page views
This is what happened during the last two months of that interval:
All of the trend lines for page views in that graph show values for the very same stream of traffic to dads&things. Of the analytical tools indicated, only GSC (Google Search Console – I activated that on 2019 04 05) provides information on CTRs. GSC shows a CTR of 2.3% for the interval, versus the total number of visits to the site having a CTR of 64.9%.
Click-through rate, 2019-04-06-to-04-15
There is little doubt that the visitors who came to dads&things through direct links, through any means other than being directed through search engines, were far more interested in the information at the blog than those who came by means of search engines. Is Google’s analysis of traffic that goes to a website objective? How can it be? In the case of dads&things, it ignores 94 percent or more of the traffic that goes to the website. That leaves the issue of web rank.
Is web rank a good measure of web site popularity?
The preceding graph shows a trend line for web rank (data produced by Alexa.com). Those figures relate to the whole domain of Fathers for Life, of which dads&things is a subdomain. Therefore, that trend line is not quite accurate (no need to go into the details for that, here). Still, it is more accurate than the page ranks or web rank assigned by Google to dads&things. Earlier this year, Google down-ranked the web rank for dads&things from about 4 down to 0 (zero), over night, in spite of dads&things having experienced a 93% annual rate of growth in volume of traffic during the last two years.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a very complex issue. It grew into a multi-billion dollar industry during the past decade or so. I will not attempt to become an expert at SEO and am happy with what little I know and do about it.
Others are far better at it than I could hope to become during the few years that may remain of my life. You may wish to learn about the pros and cons of the latest Google search-and-ranking algorithms. Their exact impacts on the rank of anyone’s website are important and noticeable. Have a look at what an SEO expert, one of the best, wrote about that, but it is long:
There is no doubt in my mind that neither the Google web rank nor the Alexa.com web rank bear much relationship to either reach or popularity of dads&things. Nevertheless, after being systematically and intensively involved with SEO for dads&things for almost two years, I am absolutely certain that SEO is a good thing. It has done a lot to vastly improve the quality and attractiveness of the blog.
Are CTRs important when ad-revenues are not?
Why should I care about how important the results are that I experienced on account of doing a lot of hard, time-consuming work in relation to ad-revenues? I have no financial interests relating to that. Much information is not, hardly or even only shoddily covered by the main-stream media and social researchers. Many people like to learn more than what the MSM permits them to see, to learn about the objective truth. No one can be free of bias. Is my bias or that of any other conservative writer worse or greater than that of the media? The readers of what I write about will gain at worst an alternative view point. In matters of life and death, it is always worthwhile to get a second opinion. That is my motivation for doing SEO.
If I spend time to offer my opinions to someone, I may as well make sure that I make good use of the time and effort doing it. SEO makes it possible to reach more people, four times as many people than I managed to reach two years ago.
Google Search Console makes SEO more constructive and effective
There is one more thing about SEO and using the tools available that help making a good job of it. I wish I had paid more attention to making use of Google Search Console. I am using it now, found a few problems that I had not known about and fixed them. More need to be fixed. Some will take a bit of time, but the fixing is largely for the good, not just for Google and any other search engine provider, but for improving the quality and attractiveness of dads&things.
The conclusion that Marcus Tandler presents in his article is correct:
“Most importantly, don’t worry about visibility. The more efficient your site is, the better.”
That means that web rank is somewhat overrated. Still, I am not at all convinced that the high CTR on non-search-engine-directed traffic should be ignored. Google Search Console results and the results by many other analysis tools ignore it. I had a suspicion that there had to be a good reason for the traffic to dads&things having increased so enormously, especially during the past year. GSC results do not state anything about that. The odds are 64.9 against 2.3 in favour of GSC being incorrect with ignoring 94 percent of the traffic going to dads&things.
The next installment for this article series will be made about two months from now. I will then recount the impressions I gained after having used GSC for a while.
Adele Horin is a feminist who writes about female innocence. The Australian Advocate should not be so hard on Adele Horin. The editors of the Sydney Morning Herald she writes for obviously feel that she is doing a good job, or else she could not have been a media award winner. Adele Horin is just trying to make a living and delivers in her articles nothing more than what her editors expect of her.
“Adele Horin, writer for the Sydney Morning Herald, is no stranger to the trappings of wish-fulfilment journalism. For many journalists, you see what you need to see, and in the case of Adele Horin, men are inherently evil, as one can see from the litany of her work.
Her recent article, “Revenge and Despair place Children at Risk“, is another piece of fanciful writing from a Horin, who can always be relied upon to creatively re-interpret the facts to absolve females of the same crimes that men are vilified for….« More
Truth in reporting, in the media and in the courts
Credible and trustworthy social researchers will not base their research on court files, selected ones, to boot. They will use randomly selected data from the general population to draw their conclusions. That is, because court decisions reflect the sum of the bias inherent in society, the media and jurisprudence. They often reflect at least a somewhat rose-tinted view of reality as we wish it to be.
Neither in the media nor in the courts is one likely to see the truth, all of the truth and nothing but the truth. They can and will do what they do, because there are no consequences if they err or deliberately distort. It is extremely rare and virtually never happens that anyone will hold them accountable. For them, there is no such thing as “bad news.”
When it bleeds, it leads, and “bad news” become much juicier when they pertain to crimes that involve villains, all the more so when a woman doing a crime can be shown to be innocent, because a man, the Devil or – if all else fails – her inner demons made her do what she did.
Fake news are easy to come by, even from ‘reputable’ news agencies, but give a little. Predictions are hard, especially about the future.
If you have not done any worrying, today, you may wish to read the AP article identified by the following link and be off to a good start. Thirty years went by since the publishing of the article, June 29, 1989. If you never yet worried much about anything mentioned in the article, isn’t it high time that you begin to worry?
By PETER JAMES SPIELMANN, June 29, 1989
UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000…. (Full Article)
“[E]ntire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels…” It is odd, that a UN official would say that. New countries come into existence all the time. No one knows that better than the officials at the UN.
The ocean blue submerged how many nations?
There were 46 nations on Earth at the onset of the first world war. Today, the CIA World Factbook identifies 228 nations and territories. The CIA’s list ranks them by their GDP per capita figures (in terms of GDP purchasing power parity). From that list, it becomes immediately apparent that poverty is real, and that it is a real world problem that is a far greater threat than the largely imaginary hobgoblin of rising sea levels or climate change.
Of those 228 nations and territories, 193 are UN member nations, according to the UN. The following graph shows how the number of UN member-nations grew over time.
No Shortage of Nations Contrary to popular fears, by the year 2000, rising sea levels had not wiped a single nation off the face of the Earth. Nor did that fate befall any nations in the years since.
Although the fears of rising sea levels were fed throughout all of the time since 1989 and before, sea level rise wiped not a single nation or country off the face of the Earth, not even close to it. Clearly, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Still, the fear of climate change and rising sea levels serves as an attention-getter, a red herring. The fear of climate change serves as a tool to draw attention away from what really matters: Poverty. The people know that.
The people know better
The UN very own survey, My World, which canvassed close to ten-million people throughout the world, indicates that fears of climate change, rank dead-last (by a substantial margin) on the list of people’s concerns.
UN poll, My World (2015) — Concerns over climate change dead-last on the list of things that concern the World’s people
Google Timelapse is a reasonably good tool by which to observe whether any nation on Earth became inundated, as predicted, by the ocean blue. You should take a look. Perhaps you can find the smoking gun. Go to Google Timelapse and enter the name of the poster child of sinking nations, Maldives, into the location field in the upper-left corner of the tool. Hit <Enter>, and Google Timelapse will take you there.
There’s no evidence of a sinking nation in that corner of the world, not even if you expand the time interval past the ominous year 2000. No! None of islands in the Maldives are sinking or being submerged by rising ocean levels. They all stubbornly refuse to become submerged.
Sea level rise happens at the rate of less than 2 mm a year. Obviously, some of the doomsayers appear to feel, that is too fast for anyone to outrun. Nevertheless, the resolution of Google Timelapse is perhaps not good enough to observe the rate at which islands doomed to sink becoming submerged beneath the rising sea.
Rising sea levels sink no nations
Reputable authorities and reputable individuals working for and even independently studied the issues with far greater attention to detail than Google Timelapse can. They found no sinking islands anywhere in the Pacific Ocean or anywhere in the world, let alone any nations that were wiped off the face of the Earth. To the contrary, collectively, the many islands surveyed with great precision grew in area during the interval examined, not all but vastly most of them. Take a look:
Still, the alarmist hysteria over rising sea levels persists. We all must atone, and all of us normal mortals must comply by buying indulgences in the form of carbon taxes. Whether any souls were ever saved through indulgences is a matter not yet resolved, although highly unlikely, but that issue went into the dustbin of history — so will the indulgences in the form of carbon taxes, surely. The question is only whether that will happen because we ran out of money, out of the willingness to be successfully conned, or perhaps both.
After all, the UN survey of what concerns people most indicated that people not only deem climate change least worthy of concern, but that they value a good education far above everything else. Educated people cannot so easily be conned into confusing the importance of mitigating climate change with the importance of almost everything else.
Let’s educate people, to enable them to solve all the problems that need to be solved. It is nonsense to force people into squandering their abilities and resources on anything that does not require fixing, but forcing them to do that is a form of totalitarianism.
Commenting at the related Facebook discussion thread:Follow this link and leave a comment.
No one should be eager to participate in the campaign of outrage, disdain, scorn and outright deprecation against touching by Sen. Joe Biden. The largely hysterical reactions against him in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement address nothing criminal, as far as anyone has determined, so far. It does not seem likely that anything worse than that will surface.
The curious aspect of the media’s overreaction is that, if Sen. Joe Biden did anything that warrants the media feeding frenzy now, what is it that triggered it? Is there anything at all in what accusers object to now any different or worse than what Sen. Joe Biden did in the past? It is not as if his unusual behavior with women and young girls was discovered just recently. There is nothing new about it. It took place in full public view, for years, on literally countless occasions, got noticed all along and is on record. Many people expressed their objections throughout all of those years it was happening.
Sen. Biden explains his need for touching the females of the species
The question is, what warrants a sudden hysterical overreaction in the form of a media feeding frenzy? Sen. Joe Biden apologized for it, or, rather, he explained it. He loves to come close to women and young girls because he has an abundance of and a never-ending love for them. What could possibly be wrong with that?
Too close for comfort — Sen, Biden explains
Is it not time to let it go, to forgive and forget?
A far more important issue is what Sen. Joe Biden did for his country or, more to the point, for the women of his country. That must be kept in view.
Sen. Joe Biden deserves credit for the things he achieved. Much of his career was dedicated to catering to the feminist agenda for the planned destruction of the family. We must not lose sight of the fact that American women have a grave duty to be grateful to him for that.
Sen. Joe Biden was instrumental in fashioning the American social and legal context of domestic relations according to the feminist scheme for liberating women from oppression and suffering. His hard work saved millions of women from the ravages of toxic masculinity. In doing so, he put millions of men into their place, preferably outside of the families that the feminists kept insisting all along were nothing but men’s instruments for oppressing women.
Earlier, Sen. Joe Biden designed and pushed through the blessing of the Violence against Women Act (VAWA), even made it possible not to let it die but to intensify its benefits to women. How can the largely feminist-dominated media be so ungrateful? How can they possibly forget how much VAWA contributed to the quality of everyone’s standard of living by properly identifying and punishing severely all men who relished the suffering women experienced from the pain of massive, widespread brutality that men and their toxic masculinity heaped upon literally hundreds of millions of American women over time?
Do the media not have any compassion for the man who arguably did more than anyone in American history to liberate American women from their oppression, by making the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 reality?
It is truly absurd to forget all of the good things Sen. Biden did for women during a political career dedicated to serving women and thereby gathering their votes for his party. It is outright ungrateful to complain now about and heap scorn upon Sen. Biden for deriving little pleasures from being in close touch with women and young girls whom he all along so exceedingly adored.
Are there no bounds for the hatred that feminists have for men who love women? Will love itself be outlawed next?
Update 2019 04 09
Objections to Sen. Biden’s disturbing behaviour divert attention from the great harm he caused to social fabric of his country
There is arguably no other US politician who caused greater harm to his country’s families, the institution of the family and the social fabric of his country than did Sen. Biden, through the unwavering support he gave to the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), from its initial design and introduction, to its original approval in 1994 and all of its subsequent re-authorizations.
VAWA was reauthorized by bipartisan majorities in Congress in 2000 and again in December 2005. The Act’s 2012 renewal was opposed by conservative Republicans, who objected to extending the Act’s protections to same-sex couples and to provisions allowing battered undocumented immigrants to claim temporary visas, but it was reauthorized in 2013, after a long legislative battle. As a result of the United States federal government shutdown of 2018–2019, the Violence Against Women Act expired on December 21, 2018. It was temporarily reinstated via a short-term spending bill on January 25, 2019, but expired again on February 15, 2019. (Wikipedia; Preamble, 3rd par.)
In an April 5, 2019 Facebook discussion thread, I asked why no one seems to pay very much attention to what Sen. Biden had done in connection with VAWA.
‘Touchy’ behaviour diverts attention
ERoss ER identified a crucial factor that was an important influence in Sen. Biden’s unwavering support for VAWA:
By Eric Ross, Ph.D. March 02, 2012
How did VAWA, the most unconstitutional, sexist legislation, became adopted and why? – In the January 24, 2000 issue of the U. S. News, on p. 12, a syndicated columnist John Leo wrote:
“The Violence Against Women Act slipped into law in 1994 without most members of Congress quite knowing what they were passing. We have Andrea Dworkin’s word on this. Dworkin is surely a contender for the North American title of most overwrought, man-hating feminist. She told the New Republic at the time that the only possible explanation for the bill’s popularity in the Senate was the ‘senators don’t understand the meaning of the legislation that they pass.’”
From that, one gains the impression that Andrea Dworkin and collaborators considered Sen. Biden and the U.S. politicians who helped him to get VAWA approved to be nothing more than proverbial ‘useful idiots’ supporting the cause of radical feminism (which happens to be the implementation of the agenda for the planned destruction of the institution of the family). The quote is from an article ERoss ER identified in one of his comments at the FB discussion thread:
VAWA is the Fraud of the Millennia
E Ross augmented that link with this one:
The fraud of VAWA
Peter van de Voorde contributed a comment, with a link to his exhaustive analysis of VAWA and similar, family-hostile legislation designed to help deconstruct the cultural traditions of the developed nations. I asked that he supply an introduction:
Western civilization is in the grip of a societal cancer that continues to remove millions of children from the protection of their families each year, for the benefit of those profiting from widespread community ignorance.
Knowledge is the enemy of ignorance. For concerned citizens willing, able and interested in breaking the curse society has inflicted upon itself, this book finally provides the big picture information absolutely necessary, if one is to even think of mounting a challenge to those peddling the mountain of misinformation artfully underpinning the current narrative.
Packed with devastating statistics and analyses, Children of the State, initiates the foundation for change and aids the formulation of new narratives. Sound knowledge of the big picture is essential for those calling for a halt to the dreadful government supported use of societies’ children, as an economic commodity.
Web pages, page rank, page reach, web rank, canonical tags, organic search returns and more strange expressions are becoming ever more important in the billion-dollar SEO industry, and an industry the SEO business grew into. Web page popularity, more commonly called page reach, is deemed of lesser importance and not stressed that much. For example,
What Is a Canonical Tag and How Can It Help Your SEO?
Do you know why your website ranks where it does on a search engine results page? Would you like to improve your site’s ranking?
It would be nice if Google provided a full report as to why a website ranks where it does. Unfortunately, even the most experienced SEO professionals don’t have the full answer sheet. Over time, however, Google and the other search engines provide the public with information on how they can improve their search ranking by implementing technical changes to their website. One of the biggest evolutions to come out of these releases, and still one of the most misunderstood, is the development of the canonical tag….
That article contains a concise summary of what canonical tags are and how good judgment in using them impacts web rank of web pages and websites. No doubt, canonical tags are important for achieving high web ranks. The received wisdom is that, therefore, web rank is important for the popularity of a website. That is not quite true, better, it is neither all of the truth nor the main reason why web pages and their websites become popular.
The essential web rank
Web rank is important for the ranking of web pages on SERP (Search Engine Results Pages). The SERP for a single search may comprise many pages that contain a list of many hundreds of links and their descriptions that a given search found. Web rank determines whether a web page containing the given search term will be found and where is will be placed on that list (at the top of the first page, farther down, towards the end of the pages or on none of them). That is all that web rank or page rank is being used for. It does not determine whether a web page and its related website will be popular.
Page rank and page reach serve different masters
Far too many writers who address SEO (Search Engine Optimization) obsess about doing SEO to achieve a high page rank (PR). That is, they mention all sort of tips and offer advice on how to make a web page obtain a high page rank but tell very little or often nothing on what makes a web page popular. Page rank and page popularity are not synonymous. Page rank is no the primary factor that determines how popular a web page gets to be. The popularity of a web page decides how much traffic a web page with good information will enjoy.
Page rank is arguably a function of page popularity, but popularity is only one of the factors that determine page rank. Popularity is a consequence of the appeal a web page and its contents have with people, while page rank serves primarily the interest of search engine providers who make their living from web pages that were made to carry advertisements.
After all, how would any web page ever acquire great popularity or even go viral, if popularity were not the determining factor in a web page becoming popular? Few examples other than web pages prove the truth of the maxim “nothing succeeds like success” as well as the popularity of web pages does. Furthermore, as explained in Part 2 of this article series, what is one to think of the fact that doing hard work to achieve the best-possible SEO can cause web rank to decline steadily, even precipitously, while it also causes web traffic to increase enormously?
Why does SEO lead to increased traffic and falling page ranks?
That dilemma is described in more depth in the third part (appropriately called “Conundrum : SEO rising Traffic falling Web Rank“) of this article series. The following graph illustrates the conundrum. It shows the portion of traffic received by dads&things that is used by Google to determine web rank and the much larger portion of the traffic that plays a small role in that and is not even brought to the attention of the webmaster for dads&things. Host servers track all and not just a minuscule portion of such data and do so for very good reasons, with the tracking in this case also being done with the use of Google Analytics.
Page Rank vs Page popularity – Which is more important?
(The legend entry for the gray trend line is missing from the graph. The gray trend line shows rising daily numbers of page views over time and is based on traffic data provided by the host server for dads&things.)
What is GADWP?
It stands for:
Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress Use the latest Google Analytics tracking to get in-depth website stats right inside your WordPress Dashboard.
Yes it does that, and it can be downloaded for free. The statement from the promotion is true, but notice what you get. Look at the difference in accuracy and precision, by comparing what I got to reality, as I did in the preceding graph.
The statement in the promotion is not false advertising. It is misleading, without a doubt, but accuracy and precision are not mentioned anywhere in the promotion for the plug-in. Omitting that more than 90 percent of a website’s traffic is not shown in the clever reports that the user gets to see is not a lie, right?
No doubt, Google rose to prominence. It controls web ranks. Web ranks are important for generating advertising revenues. The latter enable Google to make a lucrative living and may even motivate Google to engage in what it tries to discourage all others from doing: rank sculpting. That is, the playing of games with SEO to drive more traffic to a given web page. While Google loves making money from advertising displayed on web pages, a portion of the ad-revenue generated from each click on an ad gets allotted the owner of a web page on which ads are being displayed.
That does not always work as intended. Many games are being played with displaying ads. For instance, web page owners may find that they are tricked into displaying ads for which they get no revenues. Some large software companies engage in those games, and Google is one of the largest. That does not mean that Google plays those games. Why then is Google so concerned about having webmasters do things in a prim and proper manner, while undoubtedly there is the “Conundrum : SEO rising Traffic falling Web Rank“?
What happens when a website owner has no interest in any of those games? Good or bad, those games don’t matter when a website owner has no interest in ad-revenues. They don’t matter when a website owner only wishes to bring information that he deems interesting and important to the attention of anyone who looks for such information, when neither a website owner nor his prospective clients having the slightest interest in the corporate welfare of Google.
That, without hard and cold evidence to the contrary, is only a hypothesis. The hypothesis leads to speculation. Still, although fathersforlife.org and its blog are only two of many millions, of more than a billion Websites in the world, and while the domain fathersforlife.org has a low web rank, and its blog no rank at all (it recently acquired the dubious distinction of containing a thousand web pages with a page rank of 0 (zero), their traffic is growing at substantial rates. It stands to reason that a fraction of the more than a billion websites in the world (only 200 million of them are active) experiences down-ranking. Some of those websites experience as well rising volumes of traffic accessing them, in spite of them having low page ranks.
Whatever the reasons may be that motivate Google to down-rank websites, even if Google justifies doing so by rationalizing that it will serve the proper aims it is after, Google achieves that less and less traffic is “directed through search engines” to down-ranked websites. Still, for at least some of those down-ranked websites, something is at work that causes them to experience growing traffic volumes. What is that?
The role of backlinks
In the case of fathersforlife.org and its blog, a large volume of traffic is received through direct links (a.k.a. backlinks, “About 110,000 results” on a search for links linking-in to dads&things and “About 41,200 results” for the website – those results vary daily). A minuscule fraction of traffic is “directed through search engines” (about 2% of all traffic) to both websites. Backlinks are links contained in the text of web pages, in shared links, in web directories, in bookmarks, e-mails, etc.. In short, the links are being made known through word-of-mouth advertising. Anyone finding them of value is inclined to bookmark them and to contribute to the good work of making them ever more popular through discussing the information the web pages contain that they lead to. That has an inescapable consequence.
Popularity vs rank penalties
Interesting web pages will be discussed. The more interesting they are, the more they will be discussed. The more they are being discussed, the more often they will be visited. That takes place without any help by search engines, regardless of whether interesting web pages have high, low or no page rank at all. Speaking of no page rank at all,
Dads&Things: Page Rank 0 (that is, zero!)
“Dads&Things: Page Rank 0 (that is, zero!)” How does it matter? Let’s see:
A page rank of zero causes a very low volume of traffic to be directed to dads&things. That drives down the page rank (mind you, it already did that, it can’t go lower than zero). That drives down the traffic, which drives down the page rank, ad infinitum.
Still, even Google states that there are “About 110,000 results” on a search for links linking-in to dads&things and “About 41,200 results” for the website (those results vary daily). Some may figure that the numbers are too high, and results vary with the tool one uses, but consider the next point.
Dads&things has now close to 120,000 page views a month, with the volume of traffic growing at 93% per year. It is not due to a page rank of zero, because that brings only about 2% of daily traffic to the blog. It sure as heck makes a mockery of the concept of web rank, as far as the popularity of a website goes.
The snippet from easycounter.com states: “Blog.fathersforlife.org is not yet effective in its SEO tactics: it has Google PR 0. It may also be penalized or lacking valuable inbound links.” Yoast SEO results for dads&things disagree with the first part of that, and so do I, for the reasons discussed in this installment of the article series. The second part is true. A Google PR of 0 is a penalty! A blog that is not even open for commenting and has a page rank of zero is perhaps not affected at all by that penalty, when it has 120,000 page views a month. It is most certainly very popular, in spite of Google’s page rank assigning a penalty of ZERO.
SEO for dads&things is good! So states a well-informed source: Yoast SEO.
Still, is it necessary to cater to the needs and wants of search engine providers and have many people become interested in the content of a web page? Certainly it is.
How to make web traffic grow without advertising
That is how traffic to websites that have extremely low web ranks can nevertheless grow at very substantial rates. No matter whether that may or may not fit Google’s intentions and purposes, such web traffic growth fits in very well with the original intent of the World Wide Web (WWW). That was to aid the free spread of information, at no charge.
The WWW got launched in 1991. Google got launched years later, in 1998, when Google had the bright idea that the spread of advertising should aid and control the spread of information. The idea was that information was without a doubt often interesting, but what made it truly valuable to those inclined to cash in on the thought was to stick advertising to treasured information.
In other words, advertising gets attached to and hitches a free ride on free information, for which the advertising earns revenues. The owners of the web pages carrying the information that has ads attached may get some of that revenue, and Google most certainly gets revenues from all such advertising, and Google becomes unimaginably rich and powerful.
Advertising now is an influential factor that determines whether and what sort of information is conducive to promoting advertising and therefore worthy of being spread. That is quite the departure from the good intentions that resulted in the launching of the World Wide Web in 1991.
The good thing about that is, the spirit that drove the launching of the WWW is still very alive. So is a far more powerful driver for the spread of information than advertising is. It serves as a plausible explanation why Google would not be interested in promoting the knowledge of the important role of backlinks, let alone analyze backlink traffic and to report it accurately to everyone concerned.
Share, bookmark, use links often
Yes, there is life without page ranks, a lot of it. Nurture it, make it grow and do well. Share links, bookmark them, and use and share links often.
The conundrum of SEO, increasing traffic and declining web rank caused me to send out a help request (SEO: search engine optimization). That opened a Pandora’s box. With that help request, I posted a graph that illustrates the nature of the problem. The following is a more recent version of that graph.
Comparing daily page view data for dads&things, per data provided by Google Analytics for the host server, for WordPress and for GADWP (Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress) vs daily Alexa web ranks (The gap in the tracking data by GADWP is due to me having to disable GADWP for a while, to enable trouble shooting relating to a problem I had with WordPress.)
That Google Analytics for WordPress had all along shown only a tiny fraction, only about 2%, of the actual daily page views that the host server indicated per its version of Google Analytics data did not bother me so much.
Nor did it bother me all that much that the tiny fractions of the actual daily page views that Google Analytics data showed per WordPress and per GADWP differed so greatly from each other. They both indicated a common trend, even though they did not represent reality, not by a long shot. Even though it is unfathomable why Google Analytics data for WordPress and for GADWP differ so much from the more accurate version of reality employed by the host server, I knew what the respective data sets represent.
Not even the fact that the daily web rank values produced by alexa.com for dads&things did not faithfully track daily page view trends bothered me all that much. There was at least a hint that all data series related to the same website and the traffic it receives.
It rattled me that, on 2019 02 11, in spite of an enormously increased volume of traffic to the blog, there began a sudden, steep, downward departure of website rank that shows, as of now, no sign of letting up.
Obviously, thousands of hours of hard work to achieve good SEO, using the best tool I had been able to find for doing it with, Yoast SEO Premium, had been to no avail. Not only was the enormous rate of growth in daily page views not reflected in traffic data produced by Google Analytics for WordPress and for GADWP. If anything, the Google Analytics data showed ever more decline in traffic, the more the traffic increased. At least there is method in that madness.
There was no method I could discern in the madness and absolute irrationality of the sudden departure from a web ranking trend that had corresponded at least somewhat with the extent of SEO I had been doing and the annual doubling of traffic it had achieved or at least substantially contributed to.
I searched for information that would explain the puzzle and, after a few days, found nothing. As a last resort, I posted my help request, to Facebook:
March 15, 2019
Can you help with giving some advice? For anyone who has some experience with running a website or blog, that may be easy, especially for someone who knows something about SEO.
Please, have a look at the appended graph. It displays an obvious problem for which there may be an obvious solution. I have some ideas on what may be causing the problem. It seems unlikely that the problem is caused by faulty SEO. The latter is up-to-par for the blog.
What is the first thought that comes to your mind, when you look at the sudden downturn in ranking, while the daily number of page views keeps slowly going up?
Note: The large disparity between the number of daily page views per Google Analytics and as per 1&1.com (the web-host provider) is due to Google Analytics apparently analyzing only visits directed through search engines. Search engine traffic to the blog is very low (presently about 1.7% of traffic). That is off-set by a very large portion (close to 80%) of traffic coming to the blog direct.
The ensuing discussion
Sure enough, I soon had a response (only one, in total, and that shows how much things changed since the advent of the social media, as in the days of e-mail discussion forums there would have been many more people willing to offer tips and advice):
March 18, 2019: Tommy Wennerstierna: seo-hacker.com
The January release of Google Algorithms most likely did have an influence by causing the sharp down-turn in web rank for dads&things, while the March release should not have had an impact beginning February 11, 2019, when the down-turn of the web rank had its start. I had a quick look at the two articles, and discussed my impressions with Tommy.
Walter H. Schneider:Tommy Wennerstierna, Thanks for that. I will investigate that a little more closely, especially this part: “Updating older content is also effective, as they would be able to recapture traffic, and become an evergreen source of content that users would come back to.” That is exactly what I have been doing for the past year, as part of my effort to spruce up search engine optimization (SEO), upgrading older content. That involved fixing a lot of broken links, such as finding new locations or making an effort to locate copies of articles I had linked to, copies on the Internet Archive.
I can safely say that I edited all of the articles on my blog (except for 17 that I still have to do), close to about 980 articles.
What I don’t understand, though, is that I slowed down with doing that, lately. If Google penalized me with their January Algorithm update, why did I not see a more marked change in page ranking before the [11th] of February this year? That is when the downturn in ranking began in earnest, contrary to a steadily growing number of visitors and page views. Don’t answer that. It is just a rhetorical question.
Here is something else that may or should interest you. I am using Yoast SEO. I like it, because it permits me to format new and old article a bit better. It bother me more than a little that Yoast SEO caters to Google’s standards. Particularly[, in relation to] composition of writing, e.g.:
Not enough passive voice is bad,
Too much passive voice is bad,
The best ranking is for the correct percentage of sentences that use passive voice.
There are similar constraints for sentence length, reading difficulty, paragraph length, frequency of identifying headings, use of images, although I am not aware of a recommended constraint. There’s a large body of reading required to get the hang of all of that. There is even a specification for the minimum length of the text of an article (about 250 to 300 words).
That bothers me very much. Why the Hell does Google reward articles whose intellectual content has been dumbed-down with a high page rank and punishes articles that have a high level of intellectual content? What happened to the free market system in relation to such things, to having supply and demand determine what sort of things people prefer? Google has no business controlling such things and steering them into a direction that is to their liking. That is a form of brainwashing.
If someone wishes to appeal to intellectuals, his articles [receive] a lower ranking than articles that are appeal to morons. Stupidity is rewarded and excellence punished. That is very seriously wrong and worrying, especially given the fact that I have not read anything by anyone that comes close to criticizing Google’s role in dumbing-down intellectual discourse.
Google has, of course, reasons for doing that. They do not publish their algorithms, but a large number of Google’s employees is hard at work constructing algorithms that will enable their machines to comprehend text. Complicated sentences are not conducive to achieving that. Complicated sentences are, among other things, ways to work around censorship algorithms and can, for instance with Facebook, be used to work around some algorithms that[, otherwise,] land people in FB jail.
[The good side of censorship]
Tommy Wennerstierna: Intellect is an odd asset nowadays
Tommy Wennerstierna: And censorship is a real thing
Tommy Wennerstierna: Google have destroyed access to Breitbart deliberately in order to defund them and make their content inaccessible. There is no threshold barring them from adding political bias into their algos.
Walter H. Schneider: Tommy Wennerstierna, re: “Intellect is an odd asset nowadays”
Not so much odd as it is being *deprecated* by Google, Facebook, and anyone else collaborating with intensifying the Tsunami of censorship that has been launched and is coming our way. There is a good side to it all.
Even though a very, very low percentage of the traffic to my blog is being directed by search engines (1.7%), the total traffic volume is nevertheless increasing. Close to 80 percent of traffic comes through direct links, and more than a 1000 websites have links to my blog. There are close to 50,000 links to my blog [and website].
The large volume of traffic they bring is of a very high quality. The average session lasts for close to one hour and involves an average of 20 page views and has a very low bounce rate.
Bounce Rate: 13.1%
Daily Pageviews per Visitor: 20
Daily Time on Site: 49′:39”
In comparison, a “normal” blog receives about two-thirds of its traffic through search engines.
Bounce Rate: 86.4%
Daily Pageviews per Visitor: 1.1
Daily Time on Site: 1′:48”
I have to start tracking those statistics to better understand them, and to see whether the number of links coming in is increasing over time.
Tentatively, I am inclined to guess that I am witnessing a new form of samizdat. It is very time-consuming to track that, for which reason I do not wish to keep track of a running comparison between my blog and blogs that are not being punished. For now, I will track only stats for my blog.
As of now, I have not been able to get an impression of how the March release of Google Algorithms may have affected the rank of dads&things, but I had a quick look at the article. We discussed my first impressions.
Walter H. Schneider: Tommy Wennerstierna, I will look at that more closely and assess what Google is after.
Here is something of interest: “The latest edition of the Quality Raters Guidelines has been updated with many references to “E-A-T,” which stands for “expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.” In many places in the document, the phrase “high-quality” has been replaced with “high E-A-T.”
It will probably take a few hours of reading and trying to comprehend that. Nevertheless, I seem to be on the right track with what I stated in my comment relating to the first of the last two links you had sent, e g.:
“That bothers me very much. Why the Hell does Google reward articles whose intellectual content has been dumbed-down with a high page rank and punishes articles that have a high level of intellectual content? What happened to the free market system in relation to such things, to having supply and demand determine what sort of things people prefer? Google has no business controlling such things and steering them into a direction that is to their liking. That is a form of brainwashing.”
Walter H. Schneider: I’ve got to go back to bed and get some more sleep, again, thanks for those links.
Walter H. Schneider: Just one last thing (I can’t resist drawing your attention to it):
“It’s also important to note that E-A-T applies to all websites and topics, not only those that deal with serious or life-altering issues. Due to their solid industry reputation, even gossipmongers such as TMZ and Perez Hilton can be considered “experts” in celebrity news. Fields such as fashion and humor also have experts whose content should be prioritized according to the E-A-T standards.”
Tommy Wennerstierna: btw. Bing have 30% of the global searches thru agreements with Yahoo and others
Walter H. Schneider: Tommy Wennerstierna, I don’t quite see how “Yahoo and others” can determine what portion of global searches go to Bing. The choice of a specific search engine is about the only thing in the scope of a search that an Internet user has any influence over, given that he has no control over whether something he is looking for will be at the top of or lower down on a search return list. Mind you, the smart Internet user has an extensive and detailed index of bookmarks and avoids the use of search engines as much as possible.
[Comparing search engines]
My blog has an independent, site-specific search engine, FreeFind. As far as I can tell, it has no pronounced search-engine bias. It indexes and searches all of my blog and website. It also can search all of the web. https://search.freefind.com/
Some time ago I made a comparison of the quality of some popular search engines. I should redo that comparison, but have a look at what I determined:
So, how well do those search engines identified above perform with the ranking of web pages at Fathers for Life when doing a general search of the Web for the term fatherlessness? Websites that mention the search term often and on many web pages should obviously rank high on a given search-return list. With respect to the term fatherlessness, the website of Fathers for Life should always be listed as one of the first few entries on such a list. If there are many websites that use the term fatherlessness, then the list of entries on the search return list should be long.
FreeFind: #2 of 690 entries on the list of results. More…
Duck Duck Go: #2 of 178 entries on the list of results. More…
Bing: #3 of 813 entries on the list of results. More…
Ask: #111 of 129 entries on the list of results; More…
Google: #202 out of 297 entries on the list of results. More…
Note: The first try of that search, using Google, provided 491 results but no hits for Fathers for Life. The second try, a few hours later, produced the result indicated, #202 on a list of 297 entries. The third try, about four hours later, produced no hits for Fathers for Life on a list of 295 entries on the search return list. What good is a search engine that does not produce consistent results?
Source: “Search-engine censorship, socialism, ant hills, and female supremacism”
Posted on August 12, 2008
Last Update: May 9, 2018 https://blog.fathersforlife.org/…/search-engine…/
Walter H. Schneider: My concern, wrt your original statement, is that I don’t think that the respective market shares that search engines have cannot be determined through an agreement between search-engine providers. They are determined by consumer choice and marketing strategies.
The remarkable aspect of Google’s first rank is that it reached and retains first place, in spite of its constantly declining product quality and value. That shows the power of advertising and the extent of the gullibility of the majority of the consumers.
I use anything but Google for searching. Google Search is simply and plainly *far* too unreliable to be worth using for searches.
Aside from that, I will set out to repeat and update my comparison of search engine performance. I’ll let you know about the results, later today.
Walter H. Schneider: Tommy Wennerstierna, here is the promised change to the search engine comparison:
Updated 2019 03 18: Added links to related articles and revised search engine comparison tables to include 2019 03 18 search results. The information may help you to decide why you should prefer some search engines over others. This link will take you right to the key change: https://blog.fathersforlife.org/…/search-engine…/…
On 2019 03 27 I experienced that Facebook prevents comment posting. It does not appear due to ill will. Some would consider it a glitch, even though the problems began in the morning and still existed at night.
One was the inability to view comments that were posted (at least the originators, someone else and I, thought so), and the other was, perhaps, but not obviously, the inability to posts comments.
I will just publish some examples here and keep doing so, until the problems get resolved. It would be a shame, having tried to put a comment together, to find that it cannot be passed on to others. So, here I go:
2019 03 27 6:35 pm: Using an anti-Eurocentric and pro-socialist bias to debunk perceptions founded on personal bias +outdated facts +media bias, so as to beat the score that chimps achieve in picking the right answer from various sets of multiple choice questions. Take the Gapminder Ignorance Project:
Gapminder Ignorance Project
It seems that the debunking and the curing of ignorance, in this case, not only leaves confirmation bias untouched, but it bestows it on some who may have remained objective, so far.
The moral: Do not expect objectivity from socialist activists.
P.S. 2019 03 28: The inability to post comments to Facebook got resolved early this morning. The problem apparently was just another glitch. The comment about the ten most-populous cities got lost. The comment about Gapminder could not be deleted. Every time I wanted to leave the page, I got reminded that the comment was unfinished. I finally left the page. Since then I have been able to post new notifications again.
“Welcome to the new Orwellian world where censorship is free speech and we respect the past by attempting to elide it.”
The introductory quote, Censorship is free speech, is from the article indicated here:
Shall We Defend Our Common History?
Editor and Publisher, The New Criterion
At Imprimis, the free monthly speech digest of Hillsdale College.
The article relates to the oppression of free speech at universities. It speaks for itself, rather well. Here is the opening:
The recent news that the University of Notre Dame, responding to complaints by some students, would “shroud” its twelve 134-year-old murals depicting Christopher Columbus was disappointing. It was not surprising, however, to anyone who has been paying attention to the widespread attack on America’s past wherever social justice warriors congregate.
Notre Dame, a Congregation of Holy Cross institution, may not be particularly friendly to its Catholic heritage. But its president, the Rev. John Jenkins, demonstrated how jesuitical (if not, quite, Jesuit) he could be. Queried about the censorship, he said, apparently without irony, that his decision to cover the murals was not intended to conceal anything, but rather to tell “the full story” of Columbus’s activities.
Welcome to the new Orwellian world where censorship is free speech and we respect the past by attempting to elide it.
I had not ever encountered the term elide and looked it up in Webster’s:
elide : definition, as per Webster’s
Curiously, I often elided something, especially when I wanted to make it obvious that I had done so (such as in a revision in a blog posting, when I had wanted to make it clear that I had done so, as in striking out a word or a few, to show that something was changed, what it was and what it was changed to), but I had not known that there was such a nice expression for doing that.
Nevertheless, when something was elided, it may or may not be so obvious that censorship was employed. That brings me to the point of this blog posting.
Marcus Clintonius brought the article to everyone’s attention, and I am grateful that he did. The article is critical of censorship, but Marcus had employed Facebook to point out a very incisive commentary that is very critical of censorship and calls for it to stop. Facebook is notorious for its censorship, especially for censoring almost everything that is not politically correct.
Facebook does not call it censorship. It mostly censors without saying that it does or did so, although sometimes Facebook will state that something was deleted because it violated community standards (whatever those may be or signify). Sometimes the offender gets banned from Facebook, apparently in the hope that it will teach him a lesson. How come Facebook lets Marcus Clintonius bring Roger Kimball’s commentary to anyone’s attention? Here is the thing.
I had not known what the article was all about. I had only seen Marcus Clintonius’ posting on Facebook, essentially an image. The image was linked.* I wanted to find out what it was all about and clicked on it. I could be wrong, but that helped me to gain an impression of how Facebook deals with criticism of censorship, in spite of permitting access to the source of it. (* Sorry to say that the link will not work from this page. If you use copy-and-paste commands and use it in the location field of a new browser window, it will work as intended.)
Image shown in the FB posting by Marcus Clintonius
Clicking on the image would normally take you to Marcus Clintonius’ FB posting. Sorry to say that the link will not work from this page. If you use copy-and-paste commands and use it in the location field of a new browser window, it will work as intended. It will then work as intended. Once there, clicking on the “i” (in the circle) will provide information about the link and Imprimis.
It seemed to take forever to get a response to my click. It took so long that I clicked again, which took longer, but I waited, and eventually my browser displayed the article. It made me curious what had taken so long.
The link to the article, https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/shall-defend-common-history/, is very simple. If I click on it or enter it into the location field of a browser and hit <Enter>, it requires no more than a second to display the article, and, perhaps, there is the rub. If you try this at home and clicked on the preceding link already, make sure to clear your browser cache first, before you try Facebook’s URL for the article. That will give you the full impact of the long delay, between clicking on the link and having the results displayed Here it the link:
Facebook stretched a link that is only 59 characters long to the ludicrous length of 894 characters.
Even though it takes not as long now for me to access the article at the end of that tapeworm of a link as it did the first time, it still took about 14 seconds the last time I did.
How many algorithms does that link represent? What are they all for? Whatever that link is for, with respect to what Facebook is after, think of the work it took to construct those algorithms, to tie them all together, to tailor them just to the URL for a single article, and what amount of processing time it takes when all such links are being accessed.
Not all of Facebook’s links are that long, but Facebook permits no one to publish links in their original, pristine state, that is, just the straight URL for the article it points to. They all have something attached, to stretch them out, designed to make them do far more than simply access information at the other end of any given link.
What does Facebook do with such links? What is the purpose of entangling links in so many algorithms? Is it for nefarious or entirely benign or perhaps even beneficial reasons that Facebook strains the Internet? I suspect that it is not or not only for the greater good. Without a doubt, Facebook is hogging Internet resources. It is not telling, and what it tells cannot be determined by anyone individual. Let’s hope that Facebook is not nurturing a malignant cancer.
In July 2017 I decided that I had to put my nose to the grindstone and work on search engine optimization ( SEO ) for my blog Dads&Things. I knew that would be a large amount of work. I also knew that it could not be put off any longer. As it happens quite often in life, I under-estimated how much work it would be. I had estimated that it would take me about a year. So far, it took already much of almost two years, as I had to do other things, too. Still, it took a major portion of my waking hours since I began SEO in earnest. The results look good. Unfortunately, in the greater scheme of things, SEO is a hairy ball of wax. It is laborious and tedious to come to the end of the thread.
At the time, I explained what I was about to do, and that I would report on the progress of the effort. Dads&Things contained about 980 articles or blog postings when I set out to subject it to my SEO efforts. I added a fair number of articles since then. I also deleted about the same number. Those were the ones that were no longer relevant or whose sources could no longer be found. The grand-total of articles, some short and some longer ones, still hovers around 980.
This report will be one of the longer articles. That is mainly because systematic SEO work was a journey of discovery for me. I discovered much but not enough and will attempt to report on my impressions of what I found. I will try to tie together what I had already reported on. Therefore, it will help to give this some structure.
SEO interests many people. It should interest far more, but few will want to read all of what this essay states about it. The following index will help anyone who reads this to decide what, if any of it, he may wish to read.
The story told here is complex. The indicated links point to more details in each case. I will frequently come back to this write-up, to look for information, to refine and to add to it.
The Internet changed our lives. That was largely for the better, first for a few people, eventually for virtually everyone. That is, at the very least the Internet was a boon for a very large portion of humanity everywhere. Not many people can remember what life without the Internet was like. Far more people never knew life without the Internet. That is increasingly true even for people in developing and underdeveloped nations.
Virtually everyone uses the Internet today. I became interested through the work I did for my employer, in the 1980s, shortly after the break-up of my family and the subsequent divorce. My work involved network planning for a telecommunications provider, largely in work systems analisys and design. A background in telecommunication installation, maintenance and then planning was a great asset for that.
I was never a PC technician or Internet technologist but was for a while, many years ago, the designated PC administrator for my department and did a fair amount of work as a representative for the Network Extension Engineering Section and the Network Planning Department of which it was part. That work involved largely the data modeling for the development of a number of data processing systems for circuit groups, network facilities, project management, and construction-program budgeting, tracking and management.
PCs are great. The Internet is greater.
Most of my spare time involved the running of a small sheep farm, which I operated full time after I retired from my regular job. That intensified my interest in what could be done with a PC for some of the things I did at home: constructing a breeding record system and relational data base for keeping breeding records; doing farm accounting; searching for information on history in general and specifically on marriage and divorce, and for getting to know in fairly good detail what was going on in the world.
It was not possible for me to spend much time away from the farm, but, once I could afford to acquire a modem, I was set to become a fathers rights activist. A whole new world opened up. It was possible to get in touch with many people, and to start cooperating with them, who had a great interest in the need for families and fathers.
I tried to find the nearest fathers rights organization, spent a lot of time searching and asked many questions about it. After six months of that, a fathers rights activist in the U.S.A. pointed me to one that existed and had regular meetings right in the City of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, at an address that required under an hour of driving to reach.
“How can that be?” I thought, and “There are listings in the phone book for all sort of organizations for women, if I just let my fingers do the walking, and I must spend six months of asking around the whole world to finally be directed to someone willing to help men in Edmonton. That is totally wrong! No one shall have that problem again.”
My first website. It’s still around and doing ever better.
I set up my first website, Fathers for Life. I figured that the information I collected and the knowledge I gained had to be made available to anyone who needed or was otherwise interested in it. First I used an MS Word add-on, available for free (Internet Assistant), and free web space. Soon I found, that was not the way to go. I rented web space through commercial web hosting services and bought a copy of Netscape. From that I went on to MS FrontPage, then to MS Expression Web. I hope to find a web editor to replace MS Expression Web (no longer supported) that will permit me to do upgrades for SEO needed by FathersforLife, but I am not looking very hard; first things first.
It became necessary to start a blog, Dads&Things (in 2007). That brought a new set of experiences. It was a bit easier to get information out, but the volume of information on the website and blog became ever larger. Some of the things that web editors allowed me to do with relative ease for my website could no longer be done with WordPress for my blog.
A lot more maintenance had to be done to guard against viruses, intrusions by hackers and spammers, and to address the deterioration of links on the Internet. The high rate of link deterioration became a massive problem. The average lifespan of a link to information on the Internet is about five years. Until very recently, I did not have a software tool for detecting broken links. I have one now and fixed all broken links at the blog (at least, that is what I think).
When I had started Fathers for Life, I expected that I would be doing good if the website would receive 30,000 visits a year. It was a great surprise to see the website become far more popular than I had anticipated. By 2007, its web rank reached and at times exceeded that of NOW.org. Then I saw its rank declining. In spite of that, the number of visits, especially the number of page views, kept increasing. There is a reason for that, direct traffic. That is, traffic that comes to Fathers for Life and Dads&Things through links from other websites and through bookmarks that people make of individual articles.
Trouble with Google
Because the website and blog had become so popular, a lot of websites and articles began to link to it. Many surfers bookmarked articles. There are now close to 50,000 direct links to Fathers for Life and Dads&Things. They bring a lot of traffic, close to 80 percent of the traffic. The volume of that traffic is still increasing, by word of mouth or keyboard-to-keyboard advertising, one could say. Still, the ranking of the website was in decline, in fits and starts, not due to anything that could be ascribed to trends in what interests people. Such trends would be more gradual.
Eventually I contacted Google, to find out why that was happening, I learned that SEO had become far more important than I had thought possible. I learned that it no longer mattered as much to keep a website functioning well than it did that Google was forcing people into optimizing their websites so as to tailor them to what Google dictated the format and even the nature of the information on a website had to be to please Google.
Google would penalize a web page and its website that did not measure up to what Google deemed good for Google. An offending web page would receive a low rank. Therefore, a popular but suddenly deemed offensive web page that had routinely ranked at the top of the first page of search-return results would now find itself much farther down on the list or perhaps not be listed at all.
The need for SEO
Life is what happens when you had other plans. It was obvious that Fathers for Life and Dads&Things required far more than merely casual search engine optimization (SEO). They needed far more than merely fixing, replacing or removing dead links and making pages findable through search engines. They needed a rigorous, thorough housecleaning and making them compliant with search engine standards. That became obvious but was not the cause of the serious heart attack I then had.
The heart attack and some other things that I had to focus on set me back. I could not keep up with the efforts of thousands of people working for search engine providers who kept producing algorithms that constantly required web designers to devote ever more effort to keep up with what search engine providers dictated.
Over the years, search engines had grown. They grew, from being invented to be tools with which to find information that was accessible through the Internet to dominate and control what and whether information on the Internet can be found through searches. Not only that, interested parties and search-engine providers decided early on that a profit can be made through the finding of information (information that others worked hard to develop, compile, format, store and make available), through deriving advertising revenue, by using the information produced, presented and even owned by others.
Do my web pages receive ever lower ranks because they carry no advertising? How would anyone know? Google does not publish its algorithms.
Google began to dominate among search engines.
Among search-engine providers on the Internet, Google had become the largest shark to feed on the harvest of revenues that could be derived from the accelerating spread of the body of information on the Net, but that was not all, and history repeats itself.
The evolution from being hunter-gatherers of food to becoming farmers and producers of food had benefited humans enormously. Trades emerged. Manufacturing and trading became important aspects of human existence in the context of an ever faster developing civilization.
Something comparable happened also with the emergence of the Internet. That produced – in addition to many, very constructive things and opportunities – the possibility of making a living from information that can be found and made accessible. A good living can be made from the finding of information and pointing out to others where it is. That is what search engines do. A far better living can be made doing so. That is when specific, likable information can be cultured by those who make a living from the finding of information for others.
That would still give all producers of information a chance to make a profit. Nevertheless, a corporation that can force them to use the equivalent of genetically modified seeds that will produce the crop of information on which a profit on advertising revenues can be made stands to gain enormously. That is all the more so when a corporation making that sort of living establishes a dominating, controlling monopoly, even if only a virtual one.
Farming of information and securing a controlling monopoly
No one but an insider in the board rooms of Google knows how Google came to use that principle for the farming of information and securing a controlling monopoly on the nature of information to be findable on the Net. Nevertheless, there is now no doubt that Google has a good and strengthening grip on not only all information that can be found through search engines.
Google, while it handles more than 90 percent of all search traffic, has the capability to determine what the nature and quality of the information is that can be found. Google exercises that power ever more. I will come to that later, in more detail, but one thing is certain. Google and social media corporations control the production, spread and accessibility of information throughout the world, That is similar to Monsanto controlling the production of and accessibility to food.
Now to my observations on some of the things I became aware of since I began my SEO project in July of 2017. Context is always important.
History in the making : The emergence of the Internet
ARPANET (1970) was a digital packet switching network developed by the U.S. military. That was the birth of the Internet, of the baby that grew into the Internet we now use. It became a giant that, some say, grew into our master. At least it made many people, hundreds of millions of them, not only dependent but addicted to it, by exercising their thumbs.
The U.S. military later permitted a few scientists and technology-oriented people in the developed nations access to ARPANET. They wished that they could exchange data with some of their colleagues and friends in other institutions and soon did (1981), some using acoustically coupled modems for the conversion of digital signals into analog signals that could be transmitted over analog transmission lines.
Personal computers came on the market (“the world’s first personal computer” in 1983), became ubiquitous, ever more powerful, ever smaller and cheaper. Modems became small enough that it was possible to build them into personal (or desktop) computers. Miniaturization progressed. Cellphones came out, the first one (a.k.a. mobile phone or simply mobile) was the size of a brick and weighed 2 kg (1973). They evolved and developed into smartphones (March 1996 to 2002).
All of those portable devices required something else that would enable their users to make easy use of the Internet, for displaying information through an interactive, graphical interface, a web browser (Mosaic, 1993, and Netscape Navigator, 1994).
Let’s not forget the computer mouse, to point to and click on what a user wants to interact with or access, of what is displayed on a screen. The history of the computer mouse goes back to 1946 and reached an important landmark with “the Xerox 8010” which then “was probably the best-known computer with a mouse” (1982). Touchscreens came later, fingers or thumbs being far more practical for interacting with the screen of a smartphone (1994).
Search engines and how they fit in
How and why do search engines fit into the history of the evolution of the Internet? Access to all of the information accessible in the world will not do anyone much good. It must be possible to find specific, desired information.
Anyone who ever used the index of a library knows that no library would be much good without its index. Search engines index information accessible through the Internet. A search request will have the search engine check its index. Then it displays information from the index on the screen of the user who made the request. The information for each entry on a search-return list contains a link. The user can than click on that and have the information at the end of the link displayed on the user’s screen.
The first truly useful search engines came into existence, beginning in about 1993. According to the Wikipedia article containing information on the history of search engines, AltaVista came into existence in 1995. I mention it here because I remember it being my favorite and that I used it a lot. I ran across a history of the rise and fall of AltaVista. It is a sad story, and important lessons can be learned from it.
Altavista was essentially the first practical Internet search engine (before Google got launched). AlaVista was originally used as a demonstration of the skills and capabilities of the Digital Equipment Corporation or DEC (also known by its trademark, Digital). DEC had designed, constructed and operated it.
It seems odd that the Wikipedia article mentions virtually nothing of that story. The article mentions AltaVista only four times, and DEC not at all.
SEO is important for page ranking
SEO is important for anyone who runs a website or a blog. Blogs are websites, too. Read this commentary, and decide if you should worry about SEO.
Believe it or not, I set out to make this a short article, but that was difficult. It relates to a complex issue: How to influence people, many people, through using the Internet. It also relates to some things that make it difficult to achieve that. I dropped the fleeting thought of keeping it short. By the way, SEO is a misnomer. It is not the optimizing of search engines. It involves the optimizing of web pages, so that search engines get to like them. Search engines then give the web pages a higher rank on account of it. That is mostly what this blog post is all about. Read on and all about how I, an amateur, fought my way through SEO….(more, 2,200 words)
It would have been nice to have had Yoast SEO Premium much sooner, but, although I’m am now essentially finished with a good run of two years of hard work of using it, was it all worth doing? Yes, it was!
I found a large number of pages with problems, many different problems. I fixed them. More and more pages had their SEO scores upgraded from OK to Good. Now only 16 remain with a rank of OK vs 979 with an SEO score of Good. Yet, the page ranks kept falling and keep falling.
It seems that not even Yoast SEO can keep up its efforts. It appears that those are being out-paced by the rate at which Google produces and installs its algorithms. I know that Yoast SEO offers no suggestions on what to do to fix a couple of major, general problems I need to address. I have had those problems since I started Dads&Things. They do not cause the continual downward trend of the page ranking. Before I get to that, I will show what happened to the WordPress site stats since before I began this SEO effort. Keep in mind that I began this SEO project in July 2017. (This is becoming too long for one blog posting, therefore, follow the subsequent link.)
Google Analytics web stats may be fraudulent, or they could be just seriously wrong by accident. I will explain in this what I mean by that, based on some impressions I gained during close to two years of search engine optimization that is coming to the close.
No outsider can figure out why or how Google does things to come up with web- or site-stats that are as terribly wrong as those illustrated in the graphs shown next, a little farther down. Keep in mind that, as I explained in the first part of this write-up, in July 2017 I began a thorough, systematic effort to do search engine optimization (SEO) at Dads&Things. I used Yoast SEO Premium for that. That is, as far as I can tell, the best and most popular software tool on the market for that (the best I ever had a chance to use). It is tailored to fit Google’s requirements for SEO.
The data reflected in the subsequent graphs were collected by Google Analytics. One application of that is installed at WordPress, the software that runs Dads&Things, the other at the host-service provider who hosts Dads&Things. There is a third application of Google Analytics that tracks the traffic statistics for Dads&Things. That is the one I recently installed to monitor and observe traffic statistics for Dads&Things from my end. I activated that on February 28, 2019. Therefore, I don’t have enough data from that worth comparing to the data produced by the other two applications of Google Analytics that both produce such data, from all the way back in June 2017 until now. The data from that third application of Google Analytics, for the same traffic to the same blog but from March 1st, 2019 and later, will be illustrated in a subsequent part of this write-up, when I get to that.
The following graphs pertain to the history of traffic statistics relating to one time interval, one blog, and one single stream of traffic that is look at from the perspectives of the host-service provider and the perspective of WordPress, the software application that runs the blog. It stands to reason that two sets of data representing measurements of a single set of circumstances should be precisely identical. They are not! They are not even similar. Here are the data:
How can things go so wrong? Visitors to Dads&Things, June 2017 – February 2019, as measured by Google Analytics, used by WordPress and by the host-service provider
How can things go so wrong? Page Views at Dads&Things, June 2017 – February 2019, as measured by Google Analytics, used by WordPress and by the host-service provider
How can things go so wrong? Page Views per Visit at Dads&Things, June 2017 – February 2019, as measured by Google Analytics, used by WordPress and by the host-service provider
When I set out to work on my SEO effort, I knew that I would do a few or a lot of things wrong. I had a lot to learn. Yoast SEO was new for me. The potential for making errors was great. I hoped that I would make all of my errors right at the start. That way I would not make them over and over, with every additional blog posting I tried to get up to the recommended standards demanded but not so well specified by Google.
SEO produced unexpected, grossly counterproductive outcomes
That was not what I had hoped for. I had done a lot of work. It was good work. Some iterations happened, and some of those involved more than just a few pages. I knew that I would learn by trial and error and that I would get better at it. For that reason, I did not expect that all of the changes I made would immediately result in better page ranks, at least not at first. That is what happened, but it was much worse than I had expected. That was not because of the work I caused myself on account of the errors I made. There were not that many of those.
The better I got at using Yoast SEO, the worse the new traffic statistics for the blog turned out to be. Some people, I am sure, would have given up at that point, but I knew that there were many instances of problems on many of the 980 blog postings that needed fixing. I had become comfortable with Yoast SEO and carried on, revised blog posting after blog posting.
I thought that at least I had a way to find and eradicate those errors, and that I had to get all of the postings to conform to a common standard. Once done with that, I could then far more easily try something else to make the blog rank a bit better. Chances were that, by first using Yoast SEO for standardizing all blog postings, I would reach the point of being able to make bulk changes requiring far less time. I liked how nice everything worked and looked, and I most definitely liked working with Yoast SEO. Doing it without Yoast SEO, I could not have done even close to as nice a job of SEO as I did. I carried on, but I became more and more puzzled.
Alexa.com does web ranking. I could see no rhyme or reason why the ranking trend for Dads&Things had absolutely no correlation to what I was doing. It had no correlation to what Google Analytics for WordPress told me the traffic to the blog was doing. Neither did it have any correlation to what Google Analytics, as used by the host-service provider, told me the traffic to the blog was doing.
At first I thought that my SEO helped the web rank for the blog. When I put new life into it, in May 2017, it had a web rank of 1.7 millionth, relative to other websites in the World. As soon as I began posting to it again, the rank rose. It kept rising, as I began to do SEO. Then it fell again. It did that a few times, eventually rose to about 450,000th place. That impressed me. The SEO I was doing had an enormous impact, but that was apparently just wishful thinking. The rank fell again and continued its roller coaster ride.
The most curious thing was that the two different applications of Google Analytics produced so widely differing results, while they both measured the same set of traffic data for one blog. The two sets of data they produced differed by a factor of around a hundred. Not only do the two sets of data differ greatly but they differ ever greatly more as time goes on.
The gap between the two data sets kept widening even when I was not doing SEO for extended intervals. While the traffic to Dads&Things is steadily increasing over time, Google Analytics tells me, through the version of the data destined for me to see, that the traffic to Dads&Things is steadily declining at a very substantial rate. What is causing that? My concern about what caused the rank fluctuations grew. Still, the traffic volume kept increasing, at times at a substantial rate of growth. That made up for it. Obviously, a lot of people find Dads&Things without the help of Google. Then something really weird and inexplicable happened.
Web rank history for fathersforlife.org (Dads&Things is a subdomain of fathersforlife.org)
Monthly Page Views at Dad&Things
Per Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress Note: Page views range from 613 to 4,824 per month (value of for Feb 2019 is an artifact of troubleshooting, during which I had to disable Google Analytics tracking) Note also that actual monthly page views as per the host server range from 21,595 to 114.170
Although the web rank for fathersforlife.org had remained relatively steady in the range from 500,000th to 550,000th place, from about September 2018 to February 2019, on February 11, 2019 it began a precipitous decline for absolutely no apparent reason. I had done nothing that could have caused that to happen. That does not worry me too much. The blog has more than a million page views a year, in spite of Google down-ranking the domain. Search engines direct an abysmally low volume of search traffic to the blog (presently in the range from 1.7% to 2% of all traffic to the site).
Overall traffic volumes are high and growing, but I now I had become intensely curious about who was moving the goal posts, what they where, to what they were being changed, and to where they were being moved. I posted a request for advice on what was going on. Tommy Wennerstierna, in Sweden, responded and pointed out something of great importance. I have to look at that in depth, before I can report on it, which I will do in another part of this write-up (to be posted a few days from now.)
Are absurd consequences of SEO an artifact of revenue-splitting procedures?
A re-cap of the behavior of the traffic trends of concern.
Dads&Things, net-changes after two years of doing SEO
Anyone who relies on ad-revenue derived from his website or blog and thinks that he can use Google Analytics as an audit tool should be concerned that there is more than one set of books that relate to the aspects of the Internet traffic to his domain.
One instance of discovering two sets of books is not acceptable evidence of general practice, but if there is one instance, there are likely many more.
In my case, the two sets of books, relating to aspect of Internet traffic to a single, common blog each, contain data that vastly differ from that in the other book
One set of books indicates a struggling blog, with a low and declining web rank and minimal, declining and vanishing traffic volumes. That set of books is intended for public consumption, for establishing and tracking of web rank. It prompts some web rating services to declare that the website and blog are not doing well, that they are in fact being penalized by Google. Yet, page rank for the blog declined from 5 (on a scale from 0 to 10) to a page rank of 0, within just a few days. It wasn’t my fault. Nothing I lately did could have caused that. The information provided by Tommy Wennerstierna explains it. The release of another collection of Draconian algorithms by Google is the cause of it.
The other set of books, maintained for the host-service provider, indicates a blog of considerable vitality, with a substantial volume of traffic that is growing at a substantial rate. That set of books is not used for web ranking. It is inaccessible to the public and accessible only to the host-service provider and his client.
The first set of books indicates that the Internet traffic to the blog is declining at the rate of about 45% per year for the monthly page views and for the number of visits.
The second set of book indicates that the Internet traffic to the blog is growing at the rate of 94% per year for the monthly page views and at the rate of 53% per year for the number of visits. The difference between the two growth rates shows that the visitors have an interest in the number of pages they view per visit that grows at the rate of 25% per year.
It is obvious that, for any party who derives revenues from the Internet traffic to a blog, the second set of books is unquestionably the one they will choose to go by.
Search engine optimization (SEO) had no perceptible effect on boosting the web rank for Dads&Things, but it appears that, with the help of Yoast SEO, I greatly improved the quality and structure of Dads&Things, even though my SEO project was just the first go-around, and many more refinements shall be made. During a 21-month interval the monthly numbers of page views rose from 32,643 to 92,493, visits rose from 9,436 to 19,202, and page views per visit increased from 3.5 to 5.1. Those results far exceed the expectations I had when I set out to do SEO for Dads&Things. More will be done, and I am looking forward to seeing the results of that.
In the first part of this write-up I declared that SEO is a misnomer, that it is intended not to optimize search engines but to tailor websites and blogs to cater to what Google’s requirements are. There is no doubt in my mind that SEO is of far greater importance for websites and blogs, collectively, than it is for Google.
Contrary to those who make a living from advertising on web pages, by attaching advertising to the fruits of the labour by many others, the website of FathersforLife, and especially its blog, Dads&Things, are very much alive, receive a lot and ever more visits, and increasing numbers of people read the articles they present (close to 2 million page views a year),
That is primarily due to everyone, not so much and increasingly less so because of Google. It is due to word-of-mouth advertising (call it keyboard-to-keyboard advertising, if you wish, it’s part of what samizdat evolved into).
So, bookmark Dads&Things and help with getting the word around.
P.S. I don’t make any money on this, never asked for any, receive no funding from anyone and am not affiliated with any organization, government or otherwise. I am a pensioner, 82-years old, going on 83.
Yes, the website for Fathers for Life and its affiliated blogs are being slandered and censored.
Whether you are a fathers-rights activist, a pro-family activist or a skeptic of environmental alarmism, it is quite likely that your website or blog is being slandered and censored, too. It is being done on the sly. No one will tell you about it. If it happened, you will have been found guilty and were sentenced in the Star-Chamber court of a multinational corporation (by an obscure clerk, in an obscure office), and it is not likely that you will be able to appeal.
Check the rating of your website or blog.
I had asked O2 to review and explain their website rating policy in regard to Fathers for Life. They did not respond.