Alexa Slap: Do Unto Others…..

alexa rank, blog comment experiment, blog burnoutEver feel the Alexa Slap across your face? Never heard of it? That’s because I just made it up. Although I made it up, it exists people. At least in my world.

I am sure you want to know what I am talking about. So here goes….about two weeks ago, I decided to do a little test. Nothing like testing molecular components or anything, just a little testy test.

Some Background

A while back I conducted a blog commenting experiment with Ana Hoffman over at Traffic Generation Cafe. The link above will give you the inside scoop, but the basic premise was to determine the ROI on blog commenting. Would it drive traffic and would that traffic convert to loyalty?

It does. Truly. So, I decided 2 weeks ago to try the other side of the coin.  And oh wow, the horror.

The Blog Comment Experiment #2

Stop commenting for two weeks. Stop Twittering for two weeks. Stop Facebooking. Stop visiting. Just write.

Now, what a disaster that produced. I took the selfish instead of selfless route and my stats showed it. Especially Alexa, hence the Alexa slap.

When I started the experiment, my Alexa rank was just about to hit 71,000. Very happy about that. :) See, the dance I’m doing?!

Now, 2 weeks later, my Alexa rank is nearing 75,000. OUCH. In just two weeks time I fell almost 4,000 points.

Most of us assume the Alexa toolbar jumps in our favor when other toolbar users visit our sites. I believe that to be true for the part, but I think at some point there are definitive formulas used to compute rank.

After Effects

Not only did this travesty occur, my comments dropped by 60%! That is HUGE. I don’t like that on single bit and I am throwing a temper tantrum right now.

What happened on a positive note was that I kept writing my posts, optimizing them and my search engine visits increased by about 3% in that two week period. Good to know.

While I want more search engine exposure, I am an attention hog…I need people. Real live human beings to engage with. Sure, I like the searchers too, but I missed out on two weeks of building relationships.

What I can tell you is the impact began within the first 4 days. Twitter especially played a part. I removed myself from Twitter to determine the impact… my RT’s, mentions and hey how are ya’s vanished.

We are only as prominent as our last tweet, comment, like, etc. If we vanish, people forget. Not out of dislike, but many of us have 100′s of places we visit. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.

Renewed Hope

I feel strongly enough that I can build new relationships that I am not overly concerned about the drops. I know how to engage the community and find a happy medium.

My advice however is this: don’t take too long of a break when you get blog burnout. If you can’t write or comment, utilize another medium to stay in touch. Hop on Twitter and RT some links for people. Facebook it up. Just don’t try this experiment at home!! :)

If I were to keep up this way of doing things, I am 100% certain The Friendly Blogger would go under. It would fall into the abyss never to climb out again. Sure I could totally pump up the search engine visitors, but then I am just like a Walmart or something.

The Bottom Line

Find your balance. While conducting trail and error, DO NOT remove social interaction from your game plan. Unless of course you are trying to fail.

Balancing writing, social media, engagement, monetization, etc takes work. Be sure you can dedicate the appropriate amount of time to each….and if you can’t, outsource some pieces of the pie.

In closing, if you felt abandoned by me and missed me horribly :) I am back on the scene again. It was a hard experiment to conduct, but it needed to be done.

I know that you wait daily to hear from me and read my comments on your posts, so you can relax now. :))))

Let me have it! What do you think causes blogs to be forgotten?

 

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43 Responses to “Alexa Slap: Do Unto Others…..”

  1. April 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    Quite an experiment Lisa! I’m all about experimenting and seeing where changes like these leads, so I get your desire to test it out.

    OK, so it’s official – social networking and blog commenting are a vital and necessary element to blogging success. Point taken. ;-)

    Well good to know you are back, alive and kicking as ever and much continued success with your blog!

    Thanks for sharing this with us. :-)

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 25, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by Michele! I am glad I tried the test, but not glad ya know?! Glad it s over!! :)

  2. April 14, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    Wow, Lisa, that must have been hard! And lonely! But thanks for giving us your results. Hmmm… now I’m feeling bad about being gone for most of next week. I guess I’ll have to sneak computer time under the cover of darkness and try to get in some blog commenting and RTing.

    So, did you get a lot done with all that extra time on your hands?

    Peggy

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 15, 2011 at 9:31 am #

      Go into the bathroom and close the door! Tweet and comment and repeat!! :)

      I actually didnt get much done. :( I was too worried about what was happening with my lil ole blog!!! No more experiments for awhile, I need to recover!

  3. April 13, 2011 at 1:43 am #

    Hi Lisa,

    Love your experiements, so I know what others feels too LOL..

    My experiements are quite different..I have stopped for social thing and only wrote articles every day in my blog, my alexa ranks increase a bit..

    Though not sure if I also social, then probably it increases more..

    But I guess Alexa ranks depend on the traffic we receive, more traffic = better ranks.

    Thanks.

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

      Exactly Kimi! glad you enjoy the tests I do around here!! :)

  4. April 12, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    I took a couple days off from commenting and my traffic slowed down as a result.

    You have to stay active in order to keep traffic coming.

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 14, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

      You are correct Justin! Thanks for visiting my blog! :)

  5. April 12, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your experiment with us Lisa. I don’t believe I’m brave enough to try that. I’m so convinced that networking online is just an extension of networking in person, I can’t shake my believe that not commenting and tweeting would hurt my traffic. So, I’m glad to see not only that you tried it but that the results are pretty much what I would have expected.

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

      I am happy to have done the experiment to spare others Sherryl!!! :) Dont do it!!! Run!

  6. April 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    I would assume that unless you are the “king of blogging” and have a huge following that you might continue to have visitors to your blog and leave comments even if you disappear for a short time. But for those of us still trying to make our way up the ladder, this just goes to show what can happen should we disappear for a short while.

    I appreciate you testing this theory for us Lisa. Just glad that you have gotten back into the swing of things now.

    If we want to have success, I think all of these measures need to be incorporated but I will admit, I just enjoy visiting other blogs and commenting. So sharing their posts with others is a pleasure…

    Have a great day and week my friend.

    Adrienne

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

      I love having you visit Adrienne!! :) And I did miss sharing and commenting and just getting out there. I think I became momentarily nuts for trying this one!!

  7. April 12, 2011 at 2:16 am #

    If you are interesting to get different type of knowledge then keep in touche with your passion and don’t make much difference between you and your passion on any how.

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback Sam!

  8. April 11, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    Balancing seems a good solution but I find it hard to balance the entire blogging aspect.

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 11, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

      Dana:

      I agree whole heartedly. It’s a tough road sometimes!

  9. April 11, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    Balance; I’m trying to find how to do it w/ even my limited involvement. I know there are tools to automate pieces of this but I’m still the rotary phone dial guy; everything I currently do is manual. My high tech is finally figuring out how to do lists on my twitter page………..sad, huh?

    In my defense, I came in the back door and starting engaging before I figured out the tech side. Now I spend all my time catching up on engaging and have no time for the tech side.

    Good thing I’m not monetizing or I would be dead in the water.

    My fear is you can put all this time and effort in and ‘poof’, just like that you are gone.

    Glad to see you are back and a survivor.

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

      Hi Bill:

      I think you probably have an edge here. Since you have been engaging, there are tons of people who are willing to help you with the techie stuff!! So, maybe you are doing it the right way!

  10. April 11, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    I coulda warned ya!

    Blog commenting has been my #1 traffic generator for years now. every once in a while I absolutely had to get something done without distraction. I went so far as to briefly unsubscribe from all blogs…..oh yes, low and behold everything dropped miserably for the time being.

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 11, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

      I shoulda come to you first Dennis!!! :)

  11. Simon
    April 11, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    I don’t understand why you even track Alexa (or anyone else for that matter). Its just a random sampling. It’s not statistically significant, nor is it very algorithmically complex. In fact, it’s pretty easy to fake if you really wanted to. Additionally, it usually skews towards the older, geeky males…. so its pretty biased as well.

    The more important metric that you should focus on is that 3% increase in search engine visits. In my opinion, that vastly outweighs the drop in Alexa score.

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 11, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

      I agree….I think when monetizing for advertising purposes, some buyers still look at Alexa rank.

  12. April 11, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    Lesson learned: blogging and hermitting don’t go hand in hand. :)

    The same thing actually happened to me since I stopped posting every day. 3-4 times per week meant a drop in Alexa, but I don’t care. As long as I am not killing myself, I’ll live without additional traffic. :)

    Good to have you back, darling!

    Ana

  13. April 11, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    Interesting experiment. Until this year, I only posted, at most, three times per week, and was never really heavy into social networking. I don’t think, however, I have ever gone two weeks without some kind of interaction online for my blog.

    When I didn’t post for a week, my traffic never changed, mainly because my blog’s traffic mainly comes from search engines. I don’t think that I can go two weeks without some kind of interaction, as I would probably develop the shakes and begin sweating a lot.

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 11, 2011 at 10:54 am #

      Paul:

      I had night terrors and figured 2 weeks was long enough!!!

  14. April 11, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    Lisa, this is interesting. All I can think about is “how am I going on vacation this summer?!?!?!?” I’m not even tracking through Alexa – maybe I will now ;-)

    I love the commenting and interacting – it’s FUN, but I know you need (I need) to take a break sometime. In the summer, if I can get away for two weeks, I’m good for the next 50 weeks! Any ideas now to keep the momentum going while taking a break?
    Lori

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 11, 2011 at 10:58 am #

      Lori:

      The best thing I have seen from some bloggers is that they have posts all fired up and ready for release while on vacation. Then before they go, they right a “notice” post. LOL. This lets everyone know why your MIA.
      Another guy I follow has his brother replying to comments for him :)

      I would also try to automate some tweets through timely.com and twitterfeed. I mainly use twitterfeed to tweet out people I follow and really like. This way, whenever they post, my feed will automatically tweet it out. This helps me to free up some time. Of course, then I go back when I have time and read the post and comment! :)

      Hope this helps….I really think writing up a vacation post will do the trick for you!

      • April 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

        Thanks Lisa,
        That kind of recommends Triberr, doesn’t it. It would take care of the Tweeting part. Still thinking about that!
        I write my posts ahead of time anyway and do have an informal “team” who always get in the conversation, so maybe I won’t be missed :o
        LOL
        Lori

  15. April 11, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    Hi Lisa,

    Glad you are back in the saddle again. I have to admit that I hardly noticed since I was in a similar boat…but in a different way. Right in the middle of setting up a site for a new service we started to get clients. So my attention is there. It has taken its toll since my attention was off the usual comments and Twitter.

    I did not see a change in Alexa. I will be monitoring it to see what happens. I appreciate your testing.

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 11, 2011 at 9:28 am #

      Hi Sheila:

      Well you had a GREAT reason to be focused elsewhere!!! :) Kudos. That Twitter can kill ya!! :)

  16. April 11, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    By the way – I forgot to ask…where you having any kind of withdrawal symptoms during those 2 weeks? hehe

    Did you just sit and watch Tweets and tape your hands behind your back as you twitched? ;)

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 11, 2011 at 9:29 am #

      Wooty! Yes, I was beginning to feel head and neck twitches! It was sort of like watching a tennis match!

  17. April 11, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    Hey Wooty Woot,

    I was wondering where you were! We kinda missed you pretty much everywhere but nope – not a chance of me forgetting you my dear ;). You’re stuck with me.

    I would say your experiment was on the selfless side since you probably knew somewhere that you’d be taking a small hit when it came to either rankings or what not.

    But you’re right – commenting, engaging, tweeting and all that other fun stuff makes a heck of a difference. I’ve watched my Alexa go up and down everyday – it’s pretty annoying actually – for the last month or so. I get all excited to see it at 71 and the next day it’s back up to 72 or so. Oddly enough – it’s different on my Chrome and Firefox. It varies by a couple thousand. Hmmm…no clue as to why though. Not sure if you have that same problem as well.

    As for removing social interaction from my plan – NO WAY! Besides the perks and benefits that my blog sees from it – I enjoy it way too much :).

    Good of you try this experiment and share the results with us. Now, come back and play with us will ya?!!!! lol

    Have a great week ahead.
    Cheers

  18. April 11, 2011 at 6:04 am #

    I stopped commenting and my alexa rank has gone from 87,000 all the way up to 104,000 – not a happy sight to see :/

    I’m not worried though, because I’m working on other unconventional techniques to bring in the traffic; hopefully i won’t see it drop too much :)

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 11, 2011 at 9:12 am #

      Peter:

      I know the feeling!!! That’s awesome you’re working on out of the box stuff!!! I hope it brings you hoards of traffic!!!!

  19. April 11, 2011 at 4:52 am #

    Hey Lisa! This is interesting. Two weeks can make a huge difference in Alexa rank. It happened to me in a different way – I installed Thesis and the Thesis Awesome blog skin and just that fast, my Alexa rank finally broke 50,000 and it’s getting close to 40,000. But I didn’t change anything else ~ that was a nice bonus :)
    I have to ask you a question – during those two weeks of no commenting – how did you “feel”? That had to be weird, right?

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 11, 2011 at 9:14 am #

      Hi Ileane:

      CONGRATS on breaking 50,000. You are a super star and deserve the rewards. As for how I felt, it sucked. I felt like a weenie just caring about my own crap. And not addressing my tweets made me feel like a spammer!!!! LOL

      Hopefully, I will never take on that experiment again!

  20. April 11, 2011 at 12:43 am #

    I stopped blogging for two months recently. I lost no followers, and had people writing and asking where I’ve been. I guess it all depends on your circumstances.

    • Lisa Drubec
      April 11, 2011 at 9:16 am #

      Hi Matty:

      Thats awesome. :) I continued to write so my readers were still getting posts, but as for everything else…it was at a standstill. I was really only engaging “my” loyal readers and not building new readership. :(

      Thanks for your feedback

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