Just a quick note for some of the long-time readers:
Google stopped loving this site a few years ago. The reasons are complicated, but the net result is that they send us a quarter of the traffic that used to come here. In turn, that means that my income has plunged also and now barely covers hosting costs, never mind the value of my time.
I think I understand why this has happened. Part of it is that this site was famed for its wealth of SCO Unix related content and of course that content is of interest to a dwindling number of users. While quite a bit of what is here is also applicable to Linux, there are plenty of excellent Linux sites, so (except for a few specific pages), we tend not to do well for Linux related searches.
Linking is yet another issue. When Google changed its algorithms (the so-called "Panda" update), many webmasters reacted by removing their oldest links. Many, many thousands of external links pointing to pages here disappeared almost overnight, causing Google (and Bing, of course) to see us as even less valuable.
Finally, at least as I understand it, Google wants longer and more "authoritative" articles. We have some of those here and those articles still do get love and kisses from Google search, but we also have thousands upon thousands of short little posts that are about something very specific. Apparently that type of web page is not liked by Google any longer and more importantly, just having those pages can diminish the value of other pages. Apparently even linking to those pages can cause Google to wrinkle its nose!
At one point I was ready to give up. I'm nearing retirement and, while the extra income this site used to produce was nice, at its current state I'd be better off bagging groceries than spending time on this. I pretty much stopped posting anything new here for quite some time.
As some have noticed, I have started back up again. While some of what I'm posting is brand new, quite a bit of it comes from rewriting, fleshing out and combining those older "junk" posts into something I hope Google will see as having more value. The way that happens to a page is if actual *people* plus-one it or share it or link to it, but just getting rid of the old stuff may be helping also.
I've also simply pruned thousands of pages (with thousands more to go) without rewriting or combining with anything else. This was and will be pages I think are pointless and unsalvageable. Unfortunately, some of those pages may contain just the exact thing someone needed to solve some problem, which is why I would have liked to just leave them there forever, but that's foolish: they have to go.
So, that's what I'm up to. If you get that Deja-vu feeing when you are reading something, my reshuffling may be why.
When it has seemed prudent to do so - that is, when a goodly number of external sites still have links to a page I need to delete or replace - I have put in redirects to magically send such requests to what I hope will still provide the same information. I'd love to be able to do that for every page I destroy, but there are performance considerations - Google now also insists upon pages being fast, fast, fast and having too many redirects can drag down performance. I therefore redirect only the most important stuff and sadly let the rest fall into oblivion.
I am hopeful that we can recover some glory here. I enjoy helping people and I like doing this. It has to pay something better than minimum wage, though!
I expect that the bulk of the rewriting/pruning etc. will take a year or two and I don't expect to see much reaction from Google until it is at least mostly done, so I'm "working blind" here for quite while.
Please, if you see something you like, Plus it, share it on G+, Facebook, Twitter, your blog, whatever. Do NOT do that to be "helpful", though: do it only if you really think the page would be valuable to other people. Indiscriminate "help" can actually have the opposite effect, so please be discriminating!
Because of the volume of work to be done, I'll be here at least a few more years. After that.. who knows?
Got something to add? Send me email.
More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2013-08-13 Anthony Lawrence