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Beware of Blog Carnivals

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5:05 pm
January 20, 2014


michael @ financial ramblings

Member

posts 196

Post edited 5:08 pm – January 20, 2014 by michael @ financial ramblings


Just thought I'd share this link to an article that I wrote for Jim Wang's Microblogger. In it, I chronicle my experience of having my search traffic destroyed by blog carnivals, how I figured out the problem, and how I recovered. Some of you may recall having been contacted by me during the fall about removing links to my work from carnivals you may have hosted.

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4:33 am
January 21, 2014


Matt – Mom and Dad Money

Member

posts 68

I read this and found it really interesting. Thanks for sharing! I'd love to hear other people's opinions. Any hard evidence that either agrees or disagrees with this? I've always assumed it was a good way to get links but this definitely makes me question it.

6:09 am
January 21, 2014


michael @ financial ramblings

Member

posts 196

Be careful what you ask for… Opinions and hard evidence are two very different things. ;-)

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6:25 am
January 21, 2014


Matt – Mom and Dad Money

Member

posts 68

Haha, very good point. In any case, I'd like to hear what others have to say.

6:46 am
January 21, 2014


Eve of Reduction

Buffalo, NY

Member

posts 46

Wow, super interesting! If you check out the article, there are many comments from readers where you can see what others are saying. The article is so clear on the why and how and what to do that it leaves little room for wondering.

 

Thanks for sharing!

Cristin Frank
Founder of Eve of Reduction - Where Reducers are Producers - Reduction Rebels, let's save money by being clever, resourceful and creative. Before we open our wallets, we open our minds.
Author of Living Simple, Free & Happy: How to Simplify, Declutter Your Home, and Reduce Stress, Debt & Waste
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Twitter: @cristinfrank

2:14 pm
January 21, 2014


Lauren@TheWriteBudget

Member

posts 11

I really appreciated this post, Michael.  With a brand new blog like mine, it can be tough to get your material out there, so carnivals seem like a smart option.  Your experience definitely gives me pause, and I think I'll be holding off on submitting to blog carnivals for now.  Thanks again for the insight!

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3:41 pm
January 21, 2014


annielogue

Member

posts 60

Interesting. I might still do it because I need some traffic, but the comments have some good advice – as does your article. Thank you!

 

Annie

Low Finance. High Finance: Spend less than you earn, get a return that beats inflation

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8:58 am
January 22, 2014


Matt – Mom and Dad Money

Member

posts 68

annielogue said:

Interesting. I might still do it because I need some traffic, but the comments have some good advice – as does your article. Thank you!

 

Annie

For what it's worth, I've been submitting to carnivals for a while and I only ever got real traffic from one. And that traffic was very fleeting. So my only reason for continuing to do it was to strengthen my link profile, which this seems to show is a bad idea.

9:44 am
January 22, 2014


MoneyBeagle

Member

posts 1466

My experience is that only 'Editors Picks' seem to gather any noticeable traffic, and more often than not, those picks seem to go more established blogs that probably see lower benefit from that traffic compared to the boost that a newer, low-traffic blog would see.

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4:46 pm
January 22, 2014


Eric – PersonalProfitability.com

Portland, OR

Member

posts 2120

MoneyBeagle said:

My experience is that only 'Editors Picks' seem to gather any noticeable traffic, and more often than not, those picks seem to go more established blogs that probably see lower benefit from that traffic compared to the boost that a newer, low-traffic blog would see.

Those editors picks are great, and are how people like Trent at Simple Dollar found my site and posted my links in their roundups. Those often get 1,000-1,500+ visits for me.

8:53 am
January 23, 2014


Financial Samurai

Admin

posts 1803

Very interesting study! It's good you recovered so quickly.

The topic of blog carnivals is interesting for me b/c when I first started, my very first submission got rejected. After the rejection in 2009, I never bothered again!

So if there is one takeaway from my example is that you can grow without participating in blog carnivals. I don't know how much better FS would have grown if I did participate, but I was bummed by the rejection and decided to focus my energy all on content and outreach instead. 

Regards,

 

Sam

Financial Samurai - Helping you achieve financial freedom sooner, rather than later.

Yakezie Network Founder 

9:53 pm
January 24, 2014


Untemplater

Member

posts 400

There are some well intended carnivals out there that will probably just end up suffering because of big G frowning on the tons of spam driven pure link juice ones, and not knowing how to tell the difference.

 

I've always been too lazy to participate in carnivals, so I guess this is one instance where my laziness ended up being an okay move.

   Sydney at Untemplater

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7:27 am
January 25, 2014


colormefrugal

Member

posts 99

Thank you so much for posting this.  I just started my blog three months ago and I have been working hard on getting as many links as possible so I've been submitting to carnivals, commenting all over the place, etc.  As a result, my Alexa rank has dropped pretty quickly, but I have been scratching my head the whole time about why, despite my best efforts to read up on SEO and do it as well as possible, I have stayed at pitiful search engine traffic levels.  Seriously pitiful.  Now, it could be that I am just not very good at SEO.  It could totally be that.  But I think I am going to do a little experiment and stop submitting to carnivals and try to remove those links to see if that has an impact. 

7:19 am
January 26, 2014


debtroundup

Raleigh

Member

posts 190

colormefrugal said:

Thank you so much for posting this.  I just started my blog three months ago and I have been working hard on getting as many links as possible so I've been submitting to carnivals, commenting all over the place, etc.  As a result, my Alexa rank has dropped pretty quickly, but I have been scratching my head the whole time about why, despite my best efforts to read up on SEO and do it as well as possible, I have stayed at pitiful search engine traffic levels.  Seriously pitiful.  Now, it could be that I am just not very good at SEO.  It could totally be that.  But I think I am going to do a little experiment and stop submitting to carnivals and try to remove those links to see if that has an impact. 

Hey Dee,

 

You don't need to remove the links.  I am sure you probably aren't penalized.  Three months is not much time to see a true impact.  There are very few bloggers that hit the ground running, so patience is key.  Removing the links will just take time and energy that you can focus on other things.  It takes Google time to warm up to new sites.  There are so many popping up every day, but only stay around for a little while that Google tends to be patient.

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8:03 am
January 26, 2014


Kay @ Green Money Stream

Member

posts 15

Very interesting article, thank you for sharing. I used to submit to carnivals, though I never did it to a large extent. I've seen very little traffic from the carnivals themselves and my sense was that since they were basically just a (very) long list of links that they would at least be discounted by Google anyway. Similar to the way that blogrolls tend to be discounted based on my understanding. I have been focusing efforts elsewhere since I don't see much value in the carnivals anyway.

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9:42 am
January 26, 2014


michael @ financial ramblings

Member

posts 196

debtroundup said:

You don't need to remove the links.  I am sure you probably aren't penalized.  Three months is not much time to see a true impact.  There are very few bloggers that hit the ground running, so patience is key.  Removing the links will just take time and energy that you can focus on other things.  It takes Google time to warm up to new sites.  There are so many popping up every day, but only stay around for a little while that Google tends to be patient.

Honestly, you can't really know if she need to remove them or not. I would further argue that three months of carnival submissions isn't very much so it would be very easy to clean up those links. We're talking a couple of hours at the very most. Once this is done, you can be 100% confident that they're not hurting you — and who knows? You may see a boost in search traffic.

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2:58 pm
January 26, 2014


Cubicle Sherpa

Member

posts 26

Food for thought – Thanks for the share!

7:09 pm
January 26, 2014


debtroundup

Raleigh

Member

posts 190

Post edited 7:37 pm – January 26, 2014 by debtroundup


michael @ financial ramblings said:

Honestly, you can't really know if she need to remove them or not. I would further argue that three months of carnival submissions isn't very much so it would be very easy to clean up those links. We're talking a couple of hours at the very most. Once this is done, you can be 100% confident that they're not hurting you — and who knows? You may see a boost in search traffic.

While I don't know if she needs to remove them, I don't think we should be telling everyone to remove them.  There are way too many variables to be considered before we blanket advice.

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10:08 pm
January 26, 2014


maria@moneyprinciple

Manchester, UK

Member

posts 679

Agree with Grayson. People try to play too many games and most of the time we don't really know the rules. No wonder many bloggers end playing the wrong game.

 

I've already received couple of requests to remove links; guess what? I did – and the only outcome, I suspect, is that this sites lost a link to a PR4 site. Because apart from a 'thank you' for including me in the Carnival they hosted – as a service to the community – there is no other reason for me to link to them.

 

I will check all very old links though – some blogs have died and others have removed the carnivals so it's a broken link anyway.

 

Maria

7:42 am
January 27, 2014


PK @ DQYDJ

The Intersection of Politics, Economics and Personal Finance.

Moderator

posts 361

Also note that carnivals have changed a ton over he last 4-5 years (I'm not quite at the half-decade mark yet).  It used to be hosts would read each piece and put a personalized note, while eliminating spam and sponsored posts.

Nowadays?  Find me a carnival that doesn't take the already formatted description and link from the submission form for everything other than Editor Picks.

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