For those who are not aware, last week Google made a change to their algorithm that had a huge impact on more than just this weight loss blog. Long story short, in a period of 72 hours, Ask The Weight Loss Maven plummeted from almost 3000 hits per day to a whopping 500 plus as of yesterday. So what did Google do?
According to many of the articles and forums we have been exploring, regarding this algorithm change, it appears that the layout of your blog and/or website and the placement of the ads on that blog/website is now key to how it ranks. The chief complaint from readers was that it was becoming increasingly difficult to reach the content they were searching for, weight loss or otherwise, because of the excessive advertising.
It just so happens that, early last week, I incorporated an ad revenue system into Ask The Weight Loss Maven called Infolinks. It seemed like a good idea at the time but we are quite certain, as this happened on other weight loss blogs in our network as well, that the excessive ads created by Infolinks played a big role in this. Infolinks has been removed and will no longer be used throughout our network. While we don’t believe this was the only factor, we are convinced it was the most significant. If hindsight were 20/20, you know?
Whether you are blogging about weight loss, mobile phone applications, spirituality or any other topic, if you the amount of ads on your site are distracting people and/or keeping them for getting easy access to the content they are searching for then there’s a good chance you could be effected by this change as well.
Here are some basic tips to keep in mind when creating your weight loss blog:
1.) Content Is King: The reason people are coming to your weight loss blog, or any other blog, is because they are searching for answers to questions and solutions to problems. The easier and less distracting you make it on your readers the better your blog will rank. Keep your content free from the clutter of ads. Use a limited amount of ads in your sidebars or below that actual post itself.
2.) Site Load Time: If your site loads slow this can also have an impact on how it will rank with Google. Keep your images a reasonable size. Use .gif images whenever possible as they load faster than .jpg. You don’t need a huge picture or image to make an impact on your weight loss blog, or any other blog.
3.) Header Images: It also appears that big, bulky headers are going to have in impact on how you rank in the search engines as well. Many of the custom WordPress themes have featured image slide shows or larger than life header images. Now may be a good time to rethink the header image or turn off the slide show on your blog as Google has even more algorithm changes planned in the future.
In closing, keep it simple and don’t get greedy with ads. People click Google AdSense so you don’t need excessive amounts of advertising to generate revenue. You may consider simply using Google AdSense on a niche blog and then find one corporate client to make up the rest of the revenue versus numerous ads or advertisers.
Make it easier on those who are looking to your weight loss blog for their answers. It’s a lesson learned and we are working on making the necessary changes to climb the ranks back into Google’s good graces!
Have a blessed day!
Rex – The Weight Loss Maven