Broken Link Checker – Gone!

Yeah, I hear you, two complaint posts in a row. Well, the first one I felt was appropriate in warning you against a company that’s so deficient that you’d be throwing your money away. This one is to help you protect your blog; rather, to access your blog.

Highway Insomnia
Creative Commons License Brett Weinstein
via Compfight

As you know, I mentioned back in December how my traffic seemed to be going down, along with my Alexa rank, but that always happened in December. Since the new year began, my traffic has been going up but my Alexa ranking continues going down. I’m not going to argue the merits of Alexa here; just going on with the post.

Anyway, I decided to check with Google Analytics to see what could possibly be going down. Indeed, not only has my traffic been going up, but it’s already higher than it was in either November or December. As a matter of fact, it’s ended on par with last August; that’s an upswing in traffic. But there were some interesting numbers, which I want to share:

October to November traffic from Google – 40%
October to November traffic from direct source – 37%

November to December traffic from Google – 37%
November to December traffic from direct source – 45%

December to January traffic from Google – 34%
December to January traffic from direct source – 43%

You notice that I’m actually driving more traffic in some fashion to this blog that Google’s doing; no idea how I’m doing it unless it’s through commenting on other blogs, since all other sources are listed as well. You’ll also notice that the gap hags been growing; Google doesn’t like me anymore. lol

Google did have another one of their famous updates, and I started to wonder if it might be related to bad links. I kind of addressed it in the past when I was talking about broken links, and last week when I talked about editing comments. When I talked about it in the past, I mentioned a plugin I used called Broken Link Checker. I’d also written about previous problems I had with the plugin, but that was awhile ago.

The fact is that when the thing works, it works great. However, when it doesn’t… man, it’s the worst in the world. This is what I went through a few nights ago when I decided to check my links to see if I was having problems with any of them from other people. After all, when I last ran the thing in May it found 750 bad links; ouch! Well, I do get my share of comments, and the blog has been around a long time, so that’s to be expected.

When I went to check on it some time later, it showed that I had close to 400 bad links. I then started the process of trying to do maintenance, and the blog shut down. I mean, it just wouldn’t do anything. I closed it by going to another page, then tried to come back to it; now I was locked out. I thought that was strange so I opened a different browser. I was able to pull up the blog, sign in, but as soon as it was in admin it locked up again.

I tried one more browser and got the same problem, so me being me I decided to try it on the laptop. Same issue; signed in and blog froze. I then went into Firefox’s private browsing mode, unsure what to expect, got into the admin panel and once again into Broken Link Checker. However, as soon as I started trying to to maintenance, the blog locked up on me, and I couldn’t even view the home page again.

Frankly, that kind of behavior is unacceptable at this juncture, and I feel like I knew better, but with all the updates they’ve made that it would work better. I have this same problem on 4 of my blogs; the only one that doesn’t shut down is my local blog, probably because I have few links and fewer articles on it than all the others.

What to do? First, the next morning I was able to log into the blog and this time I went to the plugin page and deleted the plugin. I don’t even want to be tempted to use it again. But I needed something to help me get rid of some bad links. I decided to use a plugin called Automatic Link Checker, which goes through your blog and checks links against Google to see if they exist or not, or if they’ll come up. I changed the settings to say if a link hasn’t been live in 30 days to remove it from the blog; the default is 60 days but I’m not feeling that generous these days. I’ve been periodically checking it and it seems to be working great, without any input from me. And, because I set it at 30 days, if someone’s having a temporary server issue it won’t automatically delete your links; I think that’s pretty cool.

Broken links can mess up your ranking and visibility on Google; can’t have that type of thing going on, and it’s something we can actually do something about. If you’re having trouble with the other plugin or haven’t loaded anything to help you check for broken links, try this new one. Thus far, no complaints. And if traffic goes up even more, or Google referrals start increasing again, I’ll let you know.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Mitch Mitchell

What’s Your Traffic Looking Like Lately?

Most of us track our traffic in one way or another. I’m not necessarily always checking mine, but I have a plugin on Firefox that tells me the Alexa rank for every website I visit, including my own.

sydney road sundays
Jes via Compfight

Lately I’m not happy with what I’m seeing. Except for one of my sites, my traffic is dropping across the board. And I don’t mean by a little bit either. In just a few weeks traffic has nosedived, and I’m at kind of a loss to explain it. All my blogs and websites are showing decreases. The one site that’s not showing a decrease is one where I’ve added new content when it hadn’t had anything new in almost 9 months, so it’s being paid attention to again.

The only connection I have to lower traffic, and it makes no sense, is the addition of CommentLuv Premium to the site. I decided to finally go ahead and bite the bullet because in the back of my mind I see the day when the free one won’t be supported anymore, along with the Growmap Antispybot plugin and some others, and as the reduced rate it seemed like the smart way to go.

CommentLuv usually helps promote traffic, especially if you have the dofollow attribute set, but for whatever reason my traffic has dropped on all my blogs, and it coincided with my adding it. Maybe my settings aren’t correct; maybe I’m blocking something that shouldn’t be blocked; I’m not sure.

On the flip side, comments have remained steady. If those had dropped as well I’d be worrying more than I am. And my Feedburner subscriptions haven’t fallen, so that’s a good deal as well.

I will continue monitoring traffic to see if it starts to improve any, but it’s possible that it’s the season that’s making it fall some. As it gets close to this particular holiday season, traffic often drops. When I looked at last year I saw that traffic dropped almost 20% in December when compared to November, and in 2010 it dropped 25% in the same time period.

So maybe the coincidence with CommentLuv is just that. Maybe it’s just historical precedence taking over. The same thing happens with people being admitted to the hospital by the way; more people get admitted during winter than they do in the summer. Just a little bit of trivia to make your day go well. 🙂
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Traffic’s Not Down, So Why Is My Alexa Rank Down?

I’m probably one of the few people that still touts Alexa as a valid informational tool in making at least a cursory determination on how well one’s website is doing online. Even if it’s not precise, as many lament, it’s a good indicator as to whether you’re traffic is doing pretty well when compared to everyone else.


by Chris Brown

So it’s with dismay that I look at my Alexa rank today and see it hovering around 114,000. Yeah, that’s not bad, but just four months ago it was around 75,000. I look at the numbers and for some reason see myself as a failure. And yet, I know I’m not a failure. After some research I’ve figured out what the deal was, and why it might take me a long time to get something like that back.

Some of you might remember that back in November I decided it was time to do a little bit of publicity as it pertains to products I’ve created, as well as talking about myself a little bit. I started on this blog, then did something similar on my business blog. However, instead of replacing the normal posts, I decided to write a second post for each blog to show up in the evenings. In other words, I was writing at least two posts a day for upwards of a week or more on both blogs.

What that resulted in was my normal traffic for the day posts, then some booster traffic on my evening posts. Those weren’t as well read as the other posts, since they were obviously of a sales nature. Yet, they still generated traffic, and that helped my Alexa status jump nicely for awhile. I went back to look at Analytics and around the same time this blog jumped, my business blog jumped as well, and at one point that site’s Alexa rank was under 200,000. Alas, it’s now around 329,000, and I hope it’s stabilized to some degree, but probably not.

What this proves is that even if traffic isn’t great, writing more posts a day can actually help your traffic grow. This isn’t really news, though, since many bloggers, especially group sites, end up with multiple posts a day, and that would explain how they rank so highly.

Of course the question is can most of us keep up with that kind of schedule and is there a downfall to it. On the first I’d probably say no. On the second, I’d want to say possibly; yeah, that’s definitive, isn’t it? lol Here’s my thinking. Over the past week, as my posts have been slightly erratic for me, some of the posts have gotten a lot more comments, even if it’s taken a couple of days for them to be found. Writing daily helps traffic stay up, but not writing as often helped comments grow. Writing two posts a day on a consistent basis, with no other reason than to drive traffic, just might be overwhelming for readers and people who might want to comment here and there.

It’s something to consider, I suppose. I’ve definitely considered it, and the way my thoughts are at the present time is that I only want to have multiple posts a day if I have something to say that I feel is significant. If it’s going to be a regular post, I’d rather space them out so that I can try to have continuous content instead.

Of course, this is just my thinking; what’s your take on it all?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Blogging Step Six – How To Start Getting Visitors

Recently I was asked by a friend of mine to talk to someone who’s just started a new blog and hopes to help it spread. I wrote 5 things that I believe are the way to go when you’re just starting out to get visitors to come to your blog. Actually, I believe all of these are good even with existing blogs if you’re not doing them, so I’ve decided to post what I wrote here, with a few modifications of course, and it will be added to my Blogging Tips at the top.



I Want To Explore Time

1. Post each blog article to Twitter. Of course this means you have to join Twitter and have followers who will see those posts, and some will retweet them, which gives them the opportunity to be viewed by a much larger audience. Blogging packages like WordPress has many plugins that can help you automate the process; I don’t know if Blogger allows blogs to do it, in which case you’ll have to copy and paste your link every time, something I don’t have to do. As a sidebar, I hate Blogger! lol

2. Set up both Facebook and LinkedIn to grab each blog post. On FB there are multiple apps that will do it. On LinkedIn, you can set it up within your profile.

3. Comment on like-minded blogs. This one is the most time consuming, but the truth is that, unless you’re already famous, the best way to get visitors is by commenting on other blogs, mainly blogs that are similar in content in some fashion to what you’re writing about. People get used to seeing your name and will follow you back to your blog to check you out. Of course, commenting on other blogs works pretty well also, especially if it’s something else you’re interested in.

4. Add the link to your blog in every correspondence you send out, and of course to your website if you have one. In email, if you send email to someone who opens their mail online, it helps provide a link that, if they click on it, helps build up web prominence a little bit. Of course, being on Blogger, it won’t help as much. However, just to say this, by being on Blogger you’re going to get some random traffic because of that link thing at the top where it says “next blog”, but it’s not targeted traffic so you might not get many comments, or people who will stay long enough to read what you’ve written.

5. Send out one big email to all your friends and business associates, if you’re comfortable with that. Those are pretty much considered “friendlies”, and they’ll visit at least once, and some of them will subscribe and tell others. It’s a great place to start.

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Alvin Phang Talks Driving Blog Traffic

Alvin Phang writes a blog he calls Gather Success, and he’s another successful blogger who makes great profits from it, and some of his other online endeavors, including what’s probably his best known product, Atomic Blogging.

His latest post is something that I, and many other people, need to always read and be reminded of, called 14 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Blog. He gives great points, some I’ve seen before, some I haven’t, but all are very good.

One I really like is #2, where he says “Your writing style must have a dash of humor, wit, sarcasm and spoof-ery to it. I don’t think I do this often enough, even if my friends say I do. On my other blog, since its focus is more business related, I know I don’t have enough humor, but on this one, I believe I’m at least somewhat engaging, and sarcastic at times, but it’s hard to say. But I like it, and I need to keep trying to do it more.

Number seven is also one I’ve done, though not all that much lately, that being “Post pictures and videos (if applicable) on your blog. What’s funny is that Alvin doesn’t post almost any pictures, and his videos thus far have been of him, which is probably more what he means, as opposed to my posting things like this (Yoda is the man!):


Finally, #11 is something else I haven’t done at all, but probably could have something that does it for me: Ask your visitors to tag your blog/post if they like what they see. Use del.icio.us, digg, furl, technorati and reddit. On his site, after each post, he has a box asking people to sign up for his blog feed or email updates, but he really doesn’t do what he’s advocating other people do, but then he really doesn’t have do. However, he has made it easy for people to tag him, which I’ve done by adding the possible tags for my blog.

Anyway, please go read the rest of the post; I think it’s pretty illuminating. Yoda likes it also. 🙂

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