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2007 Was A Bad Year!
2007 was a bad year - I had the joy of the birth of my second son in 2006 and the future looked rosey for STAMP DEMON. Then came the fall, all but one of the search engines abandoned us and the future looked grim.
If you aren't aware, STAMP DEMON is a website which receives traffic from around the globe. That is because we have orginal content and information, as well as affiliate links. What are affiliate links - they are the revenue the site obtains in order to cover our costs. (Visit our Affiliate Marketing page to find out more.)
We are therefore at the mercy of the search engines, as we don't pay for advertising online and need our pages to appear in searches, in order to obtain visitors and hopefully generate some revenue. Prior to 2007, we were appearing on what are largely regarded as the three main search engines, these being Yahoo!, msn and Google. This was all to change in 2007, as through no fault of our own - we still do the same things now as we have always done - we were suddenly dropped by two of the search engines.
Let us explain in more detail. Early in 2007 pages began to disappear on Google and finally we disappeared completely. No explanation was given - "Google are god and you must bow down to us in order to receive our favour" - We weren't prepared to suck up to Google and certainly have no intention of paying them any money - EVER!
In November we lost all pages on msn other than our front page. All original content was lost, as well as our product pages. Therefore, we went into Christmas of 2007, only appearing fairly on Yahoo!
If we had relied on the website as our sole income, we would have been homeless. As it is, we have lost thousands of pounds due to search engine prejudice. Fortunately, my wife has a part time job and I work full time for Zyra. Therefore, we were able to carry on as we were, with only a marginal income from the website.
At this point it is only fair to say a big thank you to Yahoo! As they are the only REAL search engine who have stuck by STAMP DEMON from the outset. Pages do move up and down on their searches, but they seldom disappear completely. Without Yahoo!we might have given up with this site, but they have played a major role in its continuance.
So why did we decide to write this page? Simple. We hope it will serve as a lesson to any other webmasters who might be reading this page, you can't take anything for granted where search engines are concerned. Don't sit back and leave your site untouched, that is suicidal. It's a constantly changing picture and if you don't make adjustments you won't stay in focus.
In 2008 our Insurance and Finance pages dropped lower down the searches on Yahoo! But atleast the pages were still there. They wouldn't have been if we had given up and that is also key to internet success. You have to take the knocks and come back fighting - Don't give up!. A good friend of ours used to run a site called Antzweb, but sadly he became another victim of the search engines - namely Google. There is no longer an Antzweb.
Should any of the above happen to you, there is a way you can still get traffic to your website. Key to this, is establishing a good network of links. We link to sites that we like, sites that are relevant and sites that we think our visitors will enjoy. We don't three-way link or link to link farms and most importantly we do not give a flying fridge about your Google Page Rank. Therefore, if you want us to link to you, the process is simple. Send us an email with your URL, we'll take a look and if all is well we'll set up an exchange.
It's not all doom and gloom, as we explained earlier, things change all of the time online. We are starting to appear again on msn for both content and affiiate pages. We still do well on Yahoo! but some search engines will never learn - you know who we're talking about!