I’m Not Ignoring You–Is it WP or the 1200 lb Gorilla?

I'm Not Ignoring You

Spoiler Alert: Anyone else experiencing these issues?

Many of you know that my blog stats suddenly dropped 107 followers the end of March. I’m not ignoring you–honest! I wrote the Happiness Engineers at WordPress regarding the drop as well as the increase in “followers” from Outlook email accounts. Eventually, I got a canned response that didn’t address the issues (either one, but directed me to check my listed follower status).

I wrote again, unhappy with the result of my inquiry, and finally got a response from Damianne who wrote, “Your followers are from social media as well as WordPress. We can’t manage followers from social media, so we don’t have any information about those changes.” That’s true, as my followers are made up of more than 750 social followers, 250+ WP followers, with the balance made up of email followers (no Outlook followers).

She went on to note that “Followers from outlook.com may be spammers and we are looking into the issue generally, and have already implemented some fixes. The follows in themselves are not an actual threat…so really all they’re achieving is to annoy people. We’re working on our end to get these follows blocked, and we’re also removing fake follows as we detect them. On your end, just ignore them for now.”

Wait, What? “Fake follows.” Are you considered a fake follow? Did you get unfollowed?

It wasn’t until later that I realized I was no longer getting notifications from my most active blogging buddies. That’s you! So I apologize–it wasn’t me–it was…WordPress?

I know you are not fake follows, so what happened? Damianne suggested my notifications may be going to my spam folder as a result of my email provider. They are not.

Dot Com vs Dot Org

As a dot com (not a dot org), I do not have the ability to download and use all those wonderful plug-ins that would give me some additional insight into the dynamics of my website. So frustrating! But trying to research what may be happening, I see one overwhelming theme–speed–and mobile technology. 

WordPress-Plugins vs Widgets from My Theme Shop

We know WordPress changed their algorithms this year, but I didn’t realize it would affect my little contribution to the blogosphere. Why? Because nothing stays the same–remember that old adage? People change. Technology advances to keep up with wants and needs. At the forefront of change is Google who has issued five (yes, FIVE, and they all have names) major algorithm updates recently, forcing search engines to change.

I’ve written before about some techniques to avoid being blacklisted such as keyword stuffing (I wouldn’t know how) or avoiding black-hat SEO techniques. Web gurus talk about the need to blog at least once a week (yes, okay) resulting in a “freshen” score, with posts of 2,000 words (fail). Then what?

Mobile First

Apparently, there is a shift for Google to “move their entire search index to mobile-first.” It’s called the Progressive Web App (PWA). Currently, there are two search indexes, mobile and desktop. BUT, these are going to be combined. And then they will crawl the mobile version first–that means “the mobile version of your site will be the one crawled, not desktop.”

It’s all about page speed then? Has my site been penalized because it’s slow? I don’t know–I can’t use a plug-in to check that and I can’t add any “code markups” to speed it up.

The 1200 lb Gorilla

Google has been rewarding publishers that have objectively delivered better mobile experiences to visitors for a while. It should come as no surprise that Google is talking even more about page speed. They are actually going to include it as a mobile ranking signal this year.

Angry woman shooting computer

One of the patterns I routinely follow before scheduling a book review or post is to check to see what it is supposed to look like on a tablet or a mobile device and correct accordingly. Maybe it’s not working.

I will try to “catch up” with some of your posts in the coming week, hopefully to re-establish the connection. In the meantime, I’m always grateful for the likes and comments, especially from Nina at Cozy Pages, Nicole at thebookwormdrinketh, FictionFan, Lynne at Fictionophile, and Cathy at Between the Lines. I’ll be looking to see what you’ve posted recently. I’ve really missed seeing the new posts from all my blogging buddies!

In the meantime, please let me know if you are experiencing somewhat the same with your stats too. Or perhaps you have a suggestion for me? I’d love to hear it! ©2018 V Williams V Williams

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Author: Rosepoint Publishing

I am the granddaughter of Patrick John "Stanley McShane" Rose whose books including "Cocos Island Treasure" I've recently self-published. He wrote many manuscripts, short stories, and poems. Some of the latter were included in the anthology, "Sole Survivor." My time is now spent in reading and reviews, promotion and marketing. Reviews are as important to me as you! I'm looking forward to sharing this social media odyssey with you!

14 thoughts on “I’m Not Ignoring You–Is it WP or the 1200 lb Gorilla?”

  1. Yes, agree, overall it is a very good platform and I still have a lot to learn. I do appreciate that you let me know the site pulls in quickly. I’ve wondered. And regarding the 2,000 words–that seems a bit excessive to me as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t had the same issues as you, though I did lose a few followers a couple of weeks ago – though I haven’t noticed any of my regulars going AWOL. Mind you, I’d only notice that after several weeks, because people take blog breaks, so I’ve learned not to start worrying for a while at least. No suggestions, I’m afraid, but your page doesn’t seem slow to me – it loads as fast as all the others I follow and faster than some. It is annoying when WP are so bad at resolving issues – it’s a great platform till things go wrong. Glad you’re back, anyway, and I hope things sort themselves out soon! 😀

    Oh, and a PS! I never post 2000 words and seem to get on just fine with search engines, so I think that one must be a myth…

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  3. yes, thank you! forgot to check my spam and used to do it regularly. just seems a number of issues lately and their new system of handling inquiries/complaints smacks. their algorithm is failing, as well as their catching “fake” follows. today had 63 new follows. nope–i know that is NOT right.

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  4. Yes, there is so much to it–I never dreamed what I’d get into. My theme is also supposed to be mobile friendly, but now I’m wondering about the speed. When I ck to see what the post will look like on a mobile, that’s not what I see on mine, so think they need to reconfigure those parameters. The spam folder contains spam, but some are not. I’ll have to go back and check on that, as well as the individual blogs I miss receiving. Thanks for your comment!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The image you included accurately sums up how I feel about trying to keep up with these changes. I just started another blog for work and I feel double the frustration!!!!!! Ugh!!!

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  6. Oh goodness, my head is spinning! There’s so much to take into consideration, isn’t there? I’d no idea when I began blogging. My theme is supposed to be mobile friendly, so that’s something. I do miss some notifications though. I’ll have to check on that. I do think it’s worth having the Akismet widget, that blocks a lot of spam.

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  7. Wow, sorry you’re having issues! WP can be a pain sometimes. I recently had over 38 spam and many weren’t spam. A lot were regular people who follow and comment. Not sure what the algorithm is there. 💜

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  8. I don”t think I am experiencing issues. It is frustrating when you ask a question and they reply but don’t answer the question. I hope it gets sorted out.

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