Oh dear, oh dear me… there’s trouble at the Old Mill and the boys are gunnin’ fer whippin’ up some strife! Blogger, the free blogging platform that has been used and abused by honest bloggers and spammers alike for the past few years has suddenly send a loud and clear message out to the entire Make Money Online community that they are losing patience with that niche and the people that make too much money from it using their free blogs.
Alan Liew’s blog, moneymakerinfo.blogspot.com was deleted by the Google-owned blogging platform a few days ago… And yes, I am a few days late in reporting something that everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock or playing golf in Florida for the past week (cheap shot, sorry Griz LOL) already knows all about. I’m not writing this as a news event, however, but as my own personal thoughts on the matter and to give me an excuse for writing something in this honest old blog of mine.
The initial reaction was that of shock and then as it sunk in, of despair that the guy worked diligently on that blog for four years, posting almost every day and has now absolutely nothing left of it. All that content, which I believe was all (or at least almost all) original, gone, unless he had the foresight to back it all up which I hope he did. If a blog with so much original, relevant content can be dismissed at a whim for whatever lame excuse or reason can be invented, then what happened to the “Content is King” mantra that Google has us all reciting?
Isn’t that what is wanted any more?
If not, then it means there is a shift in the definition of relevance and it is one that all people who currently make their living online need to think long and hard about. It has already been mentioned by plenty of those in the know that the “Authority Site” is the way to go if you want to get to the top and stay there. Of course, you still need links like they’re going out of fashion to get ahead of the competition, but even the characteristics of those links will need to change to comply with the shift in the way the SERPs are defined.
What is also obvious to anyone who cares to read between the lines is that bloggers who have been using their MMO blogs for revealing how they do the things they do to make money with said blogs/websites are going to have to curtail their enthusiasm to reveal all. This, as current evidence seems to bear out, has probably been viewed with a baleful eye by the Google inspectorate for long enough, but now they seem to be taking more action by making examples of some of the bigger earners, especially those using Adsense to monetize.
So the general consensus is to re-visit your blogs and websites if they are using Adsense and clean them up if they are not up to scratch, by which I mean if they are lacking in decent content and are real in terms of they provide a service other than just to direct visitors to your ads. In other words, your money sites should do more than just sit there with the sole purpose to make money!
I know that sounds a little odd, but the days of throwing up thin sites targeting certain keywords with ads just to make money seem to have come to an end. Even big sites, as Alan’s certainly was, are not immune to the Big Stick if someone with the authority to wield it thinks a site is not providing anything useful other than to make money from Adsense.
One other thing that still leaves a nagging doubt at the back of my mind about this particular case of “blogicide” is the reasons for the deletion by Blogger. The general belief is that it was deleted because it was viewed as “spam”.
Well, correct me if I’m right but spammy sites generally have little useful content, or are full of PLR or other duplicate content with the visual emphasis on the ads, then they are promoted by bombarding the site with inbound links from dubious sources in order to get them to rank high in the SERPs for short term gain before they get slapped down for their obvious illegitimacy. While Alan’s site certainly existed to make money, it didn’t follow any of the other criteria for illegitimacy. If anything, it was the model authority type site with tons of original, on topic content.
What, then is nagging at the back of my mind? Elementary, my dear Watson.
The site sat on top of one of the most competitive niches there are online and clearly made a very nice wedge of loot for its owner. The people with sites sitting below his are not all honest, decent folk like me and you. Plenty of them will have been eying his top spot with a fair dose of envy. Envy is a destructive emotion that causes people to do bad things. It would not surprise me in the least to learn that a fair number of envious blog and website owners may have taken steps to cause trouble for that top site. Enough, perhaps to cause the Blogger employee responsible for the deletion to act?
I think its quite a logical assumption to make. After all, Google probably didn’t have anything to do with the deletion. It was Blogger and the blog was a free hosted blog on their system which they can do what they want with. And if they get enough reports of spam from other blogger members, it can be enough reason to delete a blog. You can appeal but you may not be successful. Its the luck of the draw, and if your draw is in the MMO niche, you might not be so lucky!
Which goes back to one of the fundamental things I wrote about when this blog was young and in the building stage itself there years ago. That is if you want a website or blog that you intend to keep, that you have full control over, then you better get some professional hosting, buy a domain and put your site on there. That way, you control the site and only you can delete it. Your host can ban you if you are hosting a really bad site that goes against the common rules of decency, but you still keep the domain and its content – no one can take that away from you. Google can de-index your site if it breaks their TOS, but they can’t take it away from you.
Just remember that when you are creating free blogs. They may be here one day, but no matter how hard you work on them and how big and legitimate and useful you make them, they are only one “delete” button away from being history.