All hail Lord Google! For the Almighty Lord Google of the web has cited inbound links will be changed. No more are the days of links to your website. Now you must be disavow all inbound links, or face the wrath of the almighty Google.
Most people are scrambling to no end to deal with Google's new insane policy. I'm not worried though because Along for the Ride! will not be affected. How so, you ask?
In 2008, when I started designing the system, I spent considerable time thinking about the link a structure and where it needed to be for future reference. In my design process, I had already anticipated that Google will try to downplay all free traffic sources and would try to move towards a "pay to play" model.
I believe this move, by Google, is designed to do only one thing - push people to pay Google for traffic. In essence Google is engaging in legalized extortion. Anybody that wants traffic to their website must pay Google for it and all free sources of traffic will be penalized. Furthermore, if you use any free sources of traffic, you will also be penalized. In my opinion, this is nothing more then Google's misogynistic insidious greed at work.
While I am NOT a fan of Microsoft but I have to agree with them on this one point, Google seems hell bent to scroogle everyone, or at least anyone who did not anticipate Google's insipidous greed.
Now for the actual details of why Along for the Ride! is immune from this latest change. Its very simple, the Along for the Ride! link structure uses nofollow for its web directory listings only and dofollow for its members with emphasis of relevancy on membership.
But the heart of Along for the Ride! has always been Its traffic sharing system, which revolves around the widget. The widget is pure java script and is immune to Google and their insane policies. The web directory was actually an afterthought to help me keep track of all of my members that ran the widget.
That's right, the web directory was an afterthought. Nonetheless, when I designed the web directory, I wanted something humans could enjoy. Even though my entire system revolved around my traffic sharing concept, I wanted something that looked nice and felt welcoming. Unlike Google, where page after page is nothing but a boring and monolithic white, with the Along for the Ride! web directory, the pages are randomly different pastel colors that are easy on the eyes and help to distinguish separate pages. I even spend time making sure the pastel colors are very mild and soothing.
The widget though is where I really spent time thinking about design, color, and layout. While Google is so obsessed with everything above the fold, I am not. My logs and my records show clicks from the widget illustrate clearly that it performs well anywhere on the web page. As long as the widget is visible, location does not matter. Whether at the top or the bottom of the page, its performance is equally well.
I think the reason the widget performs so well because I spent so much time making its design look so appealing and different from anything else on the Internet. I believe its uniqueness is why it does so well. Again, I wanted to focus on the human readers, not web spiders.
While Google and its insane policies are irrelevant to me, I do care about the members of my traffic sharing system and web directory. While I am appreciative to those that do run the widget, its does not bother me that most people listed in the web directory will not run the widget, because the blogs listed are there for the uniqueness of their content. Furthermore, I am not bothered by the many people who decide not to run sponsored links. I'm simply appreciative that they're running the widget at all.
Google maybe out to take over the world but I am not. My goal has always been and will continue to be, to provide a free and nice traffic sharing system and web directory.
Join me and come Along for the Ride!