I’ve had a great ride with MPGomatic over the last five years or so. Every day, I ask myself … how many folks are truly able to follow their vision and live the dream? I know how fortunate I’ve been. This little fuel-efficiency focused website was started on a shoestring budget and it’s ridden the waves up and down. The primary purpose of this site is to reduce our nation’s reliance on imported petroleum (while helping to slash the amount of cash you splash on gasoline each week) – not make the maximum amount of money we could make, at all cost. While we were never able to grow at the rate we needed to grow, we were able to cover expenses for a long time. We never needed or sought outside funding.
That all changed about about a year ago. We lost a substantial amount of traffic when Google’s engineers changed their search algorithm. The number of visitors to our website dropped precipitously. Our revenue stream dropped even further, as a result. ‘
The problem with algorithmic changes is that they leave humans out of the equation. When engineers make a decision with broad consequences, bad things can happen to innocent sites. It appears that there are insufficient checks and balances in the system to prevent relatively small focused sites from losing there lifeblood (traffic). Bad changes to the equations kill kittens.
I still consider it collateral damage … the search engineers have a difficult job keeping scammers out of the search results and just as soon as they whack one barbarian at the gate, another two gophers pop up to take their place.
Many wise folks (and some wise asses, too) will tell you that it’s never wise to build your Internet business based on organic traffic. In hindsight, we all know it’s true, but the flip side is that once you’ve been accustomed to a steady flow of visitors, you rely upon it … who looks a gift horse in the mouth?
I’ve always tried to fly under the radar and never brag about the number of website visitors we have or how many views may have rolled up on a specific video. But a little more than a year ago, two different publishers took a look at what we’ve been able to accomplish. Both of these well-funded sites made innuendos. Then they reverse engineered our success and took a run at our niche. These large sites have staffs dedicated to optimize their rankings. MPGomatic has me, and my primary focus is on providing solid research and truly useful content that you won’t find anywhere else.
Maybe I did it wrong. Maybe I’m not providing what you’re looking for. The tank’s just about empty. I may not be able to continue delivering the same auto reviews to which you’ve become accustomed. But that doesn’t mean the end of the road.
So tell me … if MPGomatic survives, which direction should I take it?
- by Daniel Gray
August 12th, 2012
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- How to Get an MPGomatic Sticker
- Yep. It’s About Gas Mileage …
- MPGomatic’s Gas Mileage Guide
- How to Calculate Gas Mileage
- Gas Mileage Testing Service for Honda Civic Hybrids and Other Vehicles
- The $1300 Civic HX That Got Away