So really, this is YOUR dog site. MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG is for you. And while you in particular haven't been looking for help today, experience shows that sooner or later you do. And again. And when the dog is sick, anyway.
Now you can help, yourself really. Here's the problem. "Today, Google PageRank and others rely on performance metrics such as page load times and visitor engagements to rank articles." True. The time when it was about quality content alone is OVER.
Visitor engagements have always been disastrous on MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG. Even ordinary forum posts of a Poodle's "miserable coat change" receive dozens of replies from fellow dog owners. While here, even posts that explicitely ask for replies from fellow dog owners like Mark's here (or mine here) receive only a couple or none.
Over the past years this has worsened further: 99% of those who subscribed since 2015 have never shown any visitor engagement at all.
And that although your site here even offers the convenience of comments by email! Indeed. Click to see how.
Page load times wasn't critical when MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG launched and when I started to publish its content. But now that mobile web access rules the world, layout and presentation and content on this site slow down page load times. The slower pages load, the more visitors abandon them on their mobile, and so Google & Co no longer rank such pages well or at all. Regardless how well they originally ranked based on the quality of content.
Only just now I understand that this is why so many sites over the past years have turned to spreading even short articles over multiple pages. Which for the human reader of course is extremely annoying: you read one paragraph, you have to click "Next Page", you read one paragraph, you have to click "Next Page", and on and on! I always found that evil.
So with both being BIG ISSUES here, no wonder that the search traffic that Google & Co initially awarded authority sites like ours based on content quality has DROPPED.
This may have been further exacerbated by my wrong decision in 2015 to suspend the sharely widget that required that in order to see the full Periodical you share with your circle what we share with you, that's the principle to "pay it forward". Although some subscribers again complained... Google & Co counted that as visitor engagements. Now we don't even have that engagement anymore.
Today, who's for and who's against the sharely widget?
We've always been democratic here and continue that to the end.
So what I am saying is, if we all continue down this passive way just one more month then your site's recent hibernation is its death. As explained above I personally have no need for this web presence of MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG, this is YOUR dog site and so I feel I must clearly spell that out in time, so that no one can claim "Oh! I didn't know. You should have said!"
Now, before I get those rude emails again: I too have my own issues in life. Surprise!??
And yet, despite sleepless nights I've been trying hard to grab every straw that I can see to move your site forward, not backward. The most comprehensive example I guess is the description of site improvements, soon two years ago - which is very much worth reading still today, but only 18 dog owners seem to have read it over the past two years.
Unfortunately, things that seem to be so easy to achieve for other sites are so difficult to achieve for MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG.
We need your ideas why we primarily attract the sleepy dog owners, not the excited and celebrating-life ones that frequent the Poodle forum?
And now with Krystal being overwhelmed by family problems and a new job and what the heck else (and promptly facebook died AGAIN, and for the third time already!) my spare time slots that I'd love to dedicate to create more helpful content are filled with technical and marketing details that aren't my thing. System admin, marketing, PR, programming, sales, design, photography, video-editing, SEO, social media, youtube, twitter, facebook, instagram, ... - all requiring attention.
Can you help? Your ideas most welcome here. Open discussion at the end.
I have no idea how other sites of this size can employ staff to attend to each critical area, while at MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG I cannot even employ myself so embarassing small even the combined income from my books, ads, and click commission is. Go click the link, that's for those who send those crazy not-from-this-world remarks aka "You only want to sell". LOL.
So for the past years while trying to believe those who always claim that "things will turn out well at some point"... magically every point has become worse. For now the final straw was that with the dominance of mobile web access page load times and visitor engagements means everything to Google, and so they no longer send the volumes of traffic that they used to send our way, and that your site absolutely needs to survive!
Another reason for the traffic drop and its resulting many problems is: When Amazon Kindle was still fairly new and everyone wildly downloaded free Kindle books, each of my frequent free book offers drew thousands of new readers, some of whom later then purchased a different book or whatever that brought the site a small commission. And small adds up. Big we don't have here anyway.
But for the last two years the free book offers met a saturated "free book!" market. This is further worsened by the fact that FEW happy readers take a moment to post a book review which is SO HELPFUL, while a disgruntled reader almost always turns to Amazon reviews to intentionally harm me as the author. Some of those even have the audacity to boast with that in an email to me.
Here's some further background for discussion (LOL discussion, here, we'll see). This is what would have been my goals for MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG for the near future:
- Having the time to finish my free Dog Health Manual. This time I write ALL myself, and I noticed already this is going to be the most advanced health information you will ever obtain! And yet I am eager to give this to you for free. For when your dog (or indeed you or a family member!) is sick. Better even, for you to prevent sickness. Two thirds I have managed to compile (at times where others sit in front of the telly with a beer), 10 or 12 chapters are outstanding. Initially this new Health Manual was meant to be a Christmas present for everyone last year, but with all the problems I have now it becomes impossible to make it this year.
- Then making the site full multimedia, with 60sec short helpful videos and audios right on the front page, all served fast by Amazon S3 with Cloudfront. Because ... you are mobile, I got it.
- Revamping all Periodicals (and maybe selected blog articles too) that I find subpar now that my health improved so much that I can write and see clearly.
- Revamping all emails that go out on schedule. Same reason, seeing things clearer now.
- Changing the order of email sends (notifying of a new Periodical), and maybe even getting rid of the schedule altogether? Eg the system would consider a comment as signal of continued interest, and only then send out the next. While at the moment the email schedule is dumb like a doormat: it continues to send out emails to subscribers who have shown zero interest in the past (no opens, no clicks, no comments, no nothing). I have no idea why they subscribe at all(??) but they clog up the server that I personally pay for and so they drag down page load times (see 1 above) and lack the visitor engagements (see 2 above) that Google & Co use for page rank!
- Emailing and tweeting daily current affairs updates (life with a dog!) and weekly or monthly musings to the "social media" sites that everyone seems to be raving about these days (twitter, fakebook, instagram? or whatever you use or recommend).
4, 5, and 6 because over the past years I've added a lot of content to the site that few if any of you have seen: There is no simple way to add the new content to the existing scheduled email workflow, because everyone has signed up at a different time. Getting rid of that altogether and instead adopting weekly ad-hoc emails(??) would allow to send you to the new content as well.
The drawback is: The subscribers who actually have read every scheduled Periodical (very few have) would receive a lot of repetition amongst the new content.
What do you prefer?
Further background information: No, we don't have the thousands of SPAM subscribers that the Poodle forum and other places have. In fact, none of your fellow subscribers is a spammer. And as you see in all comment sections, there is ZERO SPAM on your site here. Thanks to my thorough anti-spam measures it just doesn't get posted, so as not to annoy you with Viagra-tablets, Nike-shoes, FX-trading, and what the heck!
BUT: It is frustrating to have to bin SPAM comments EVERY DAY while not seeing a SINGLE genuine comment from a subscriber.
Or feel this: For our topic here, Relationship Building with our dog, the most important and most intriguing news you can ever get in my opinion is The Number 1 Secret about Dogs, or call it The Prime Secret about Dogs. Unique, as is so much on MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG, this information is nowhere else! But then seeing a mere 43 site comments in 5 years, that is ...
humiliating? I guess, yeah. Or how would you feel?
I only know how Google feels about it: "43 visitor engagements?? In 5 YEARS????? - Can't be what people are looking for, we not gonna rank it anymore in the search results."
Again, your help most welcome.
Can you give back a bit today?