the IT city, the I.T. Baby


What’s driving daily blogs to suck

Your Blog Sucks

As you may have realized by now, theITbaby is not only about my daughter, IT, infants, and techno toddlers, it’s also whatever takes my interest. In today’s case of what’s interesting Paul, I wondered why so many baby blogs, and daily blogs in general, are so abysmally terrible between a couple of good items. Why do these sites churn out one good item and then sandwich it with 27 articles responding to vapid BS?

You would think that rather than write something daily that’s useless, perhaps save some of that effort and develop extensive deep and meaningful content, cover a topic well, provide unique insight on something, or at least keep complaining about the same thing.

That would be the good model in my head, but it’s not the one that gets search engine traffic.

I’ve been working on SEO for another blogging gig of mine for the past year, and one of the tools we use to determine how well we’re doing is is Google Webmaster Tools, specifically the labs/authorship section. I’ll be pointing this out with graphs and Polaroids in a minute.

With a site like theITbaby, we’ve got a core audience (which still shocks me,) that come back a few times a week, but most of our traffic is derived from people looking up baby straight jackets, baby burritos, Britax B-Agile Stroller reviews, cats from hell, optimizing bitnami, or other keywords you might find in one of the couple of hundred or so articles we’ve got up.

So, most of my traffic is from Google. This means most of my chance at advertising and product link conversions (I get some percentage of whatever you buy on Amazon if you click my link,) therefor it’s in my interest to make Google recognize me.

As a daily writer for another blog, I hadn’t ever seen what happens in authorship when you stop for a minute to breathe. In my case, I stopped writing for about two weeks because I couldn’t breathe and was down with the sickness. I got to watch what happens when you don’t have a new post every day, and that’s this:

Google Webmaster penalty

In the image above, the top large blue lines indicate when I was blogging. The breaks are when I was too sick to write. For not writing about four days I lost half of my search engine traffic and had a 30% drop in traffic.

Similarly when I was in Las Vegas for the International Consumer Electronics Showcase earlier this year and was not blogging for three days, I got the google slap for not having put out something during the week days.

My traffic popped back to the same rates it was previously in both instances the day after I started writing again.

What I’ve since learned running theITbaby is that it doesn’t seem to matter what I post, old pieces are hit more when new pieces are posted. Be these updates on Maggie, or product reviews, it doesn’t seem to matter for the traffic going to the older material.

And I think that’s what’s driving daily blogs to suck. They realize if they don’t post something, suddenly they’re not as relevant to Google. Since Google drives most of the search engine traffic, you have to write to get the Goog’s attention.

Then again, the babyscape and blogs I’ve been looking at could just be vapid pits of occasionally useful information sandwiched by blog entries on how to properly slice a carrot or 27 ways to shake up a bottle of formula.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.