Google is out there giving me the Luigi Death Stare on yet another front.
It is interesting to see how much Google affects traffic at my site, and how much changes they make at their end can cause that traffic to ebb and flow. They change their rankings of results, they decide to cache images for Google image search rather than going to your site, they shut down things like Google Reader, all of that has had a noticeable impact on the number of page views here at The Ancient Gaming Noob.
Currently, the big variable in daily traffic is search engine related. Unless somebody links in me a post on their own blog, the rest of my daily visitors are pretty regular, a lot of them coming from the much coveted (by those of us using WordPress) blogroll side bar widget that Blogger offers.
I love that feature. It works.
While the static blogroll in my own side bar barely generates any traffic for other sites, that Blogger widget that shows you who has a fresh post up, that actually gets clicks.
So I was a little bemused when that wonderful widget stopped working last week.
It didn’t go away or completely break, it just seemed to stop picking up new post for me.
If you went to one of the sites that uses that sidebar widget… Blessing of Kings, Player Versus Developer, Greedy Goblin, Herding Cats… right now, as I am writing this on Saturday, August 2nd, it would tell you that my current post is the one from Wednesday, July 30th.
Basically, nothing new to see at TAGN, don’t bother clicking! And that actually has an impact on page views. The sites I mentioned actually send me some regular daily traffic.
Not that page views are the most important thing in the world. But I like people to know I’m active at least!
Normally I would just blame this sort of thing on WordPress. They like to break things, giving me a supply of site related fodder for my month in review posts. Most people use the default RSS feed that WordPress provides.
Only I was not having a similar problem with Feedly and other, non-Blogger sites, like EVE Bloggers seemed to be having no problem at all picking up my latest posts. And the feed itself looked okay. So it was time to experiment.
I was able to enlist Bhagpuss and the blogroll at Inventory Full for this.
I have two RSS feeds for this site. One is the default WordPress feed and another goes through FeedBurner, yet another Google company. I was wondering if Google might be more inclined to find my updates if they were coming from FeedBurner.
And it looks like they are. Go to Bhagpuss’ site and it shows my current post. Probably this one at the moment. All of which is double strange, since the FeedBurner feed is actually generated from the default WordPress feed. But Google seems to like it when FeedBurner sends them updates.
So here is my plea to my fellow bloggers using that blogroll side bar widget:
Can you swap over and use my FeedBurner feed? It is linked there and at the top of my side bar.
PS Occasionally somebody mentions that something is wrong with my feed, the it suddenly spew out a bunch of recent posts flagged as new again. While WordPress controls that feed (so I cannot do much) you might try the FeedBurner feed as well to see if the problem goes away.
PPS I don’t have to explain the whole syndicating/syndic-hatin’, Rollin’ Dirty, Luigi death stare thing, do I?