When Google Doesn’t Like You Anymore

Google Headquarters SignI have spent the last three years working on a project that began as Narrow Bridge Adventures. That project, now known as Narrow Bridge Finance, has become a big part of my life.

It has been amazing

Through Narrow Bridge I have built a small business that supplements my income.

Through Narrow Bridge I have made dozens of great friends. Some of these relationships have moved from the internet to the “real world.”

I recently spent a weekend in Chicago because of Narrow Bridge.

I have poured out my heart and soul to my readers.

I have given advice to people who needed it.

From my blogging, I have learned to help other friends start blogs and websites (what they did with it from there was out of my control).

Blogging at Narrow Bridge has been a life changing experience and I am thrilled to have written my 600th post this week.

It all came crashing to a halt

But on Friday, October 14th, 2011, it all changed. Google ran a massive update codenamed Panda and my traffic came crashing to a halt. About 60% of my daily traffic is gone.

Traffic is everything on the web. While it has recovered a bit in the last week, it is still far below where I was a week ago today. When your traffic goes away, so does income. So does a feeling of success. So does some of your inspiration to keep going.

What Next?

I have a few options for what to do next, and I hope you all share your thoughts in the comments for this post. At the end of the day, I was blogging because I love the topic and the readers and the community (and the money and the delusional celebrity status).

  • Keep on trucking. Just keep writing and hope my traffic comes back and keeps growing over time.
  • Start a new site. I bought a new finance related domain that is ripe for content.
  • Give it up. I am not really going to do this. No way.
  • Other ideas?

Right now, I am thinking about a combination of keeping Narrow Bridge alive but posting less often while starting a new site that gets the bulk of my attention and affection. I just don’t know.

What I do know is that my favorite company in the world, Google, a company that I have cheered for, beta tested for, visited, received a free laptop from, used for income, suggested to friends, bought a phone from, got a web browser from, and use to keep track of my life, has turned its back on me.

Yes, it was not like I was singled out of the crowd. Thousands of sites were hit just like mine. But I am angry and upset and a little depressed when I visit my blog. It is like the balloon of inspiration was deflated.

I could use your thoughts and words of encouragement. Proceed to comments.

(PS – My five year old Israel blog did not have the same traffic loss from Panda as Narrow Bridge. It also makes about $10 per month compared to hundreds at Narrow Bridge.)

Image by Håkan Dahlström.