Thursday, April 3, 2014

Getting Past the Frustration of "What's The Point?"

Getting Past the Frustration of "What's The Point?"
Have you ever worked really hard, put in incredibly long hours, only to find that the work you've done had to be scrapped? That you had to pretty much start all over again?

Welcome to Google's updates on their algorithm. Yes, this has something to do with healing the body mind and spirit. On a couple of levels.

First, my website got hit very hard with Google some time ago. I was ranked fairly highly for search terms like "child abuse stories" and "child abuse effects". But no more.

That means that people looking for information on child abuse or ways to heal from child abuse can't find me on Google's search engine.

When Google, in their wisdom, changed their algorithm (the programming they use to find stuff on the Internet so that when you search for something you have a better chance at finding it) they effectively put my site in cyberspace oblivion. This has meant countless hours of work fixing all the issues.

Which brings me to the second aspect of how this relates to healing: dealing with issues of frustration and unfairness.

For the past 3, almost 4 weeks, I've been plugging along, updating each one of my hundreds of tier-2 and tier-3 pages to accommodate the new optimization rules Google has set in place. And when I say plugging along, I should really be saying pokey-ing along.

I've managed to update and consolidate some 50 of 340 odd pages. So I still have a long ways to go to complete this task.

And as I've moved forward, day after day, one time-consuming updated page at a time, frustration finally reared it's ugliness yesterday afternoon.

I've been putting off two pages in particular. Two pages that I needed to consolidate into one. Again.

I say again, because when I first put the site up almost 10 years ago, in order to pass Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with Google, splitting them up was required. I won't bore you with a bunch of unimportant details.

But what I didn't expect was the frustration to get to me when it did. After all, I've been consolidating many of my pages throughout this entire process.

Why suddenly did I get so ticked off? What was it about those two particular pages?

If I've learned nothing else walking my own personal healing path it's that whatever I think is bothering me isn't. It's never about the thing that sent me off the deep end. It always goes much deeper than that.

So this was my process...

Google has changed the rules of the game so much that consolidation has again become necessary. Those dirty rotters! I worked hard putting this site together all those years ago. And I continue to work hard at maintaining it.

But because I want to rank with Google's search engine, I have to play their rigged game. I have to chase SEO, which was something I never wanted to to. I thought that fresh appropriate content won out every time.

It doesn't.

I worked so damned hard to learn html code. All on my own. No one was there to hold my hand and teach me how. I had to learn by doing.

I worked damned hard to built pages that were not just loaded with relevant information, but were interesting visually: colour, tables, layout.

I thought that if I followed the rules, I would be rewarded with traffic. But, oh no. Not with the powers that be within Google.

My website traffic went down by more than 50%. 50%, dammit! That means many who could be helped with their child abuse issues will not be able to find me through the largest search engine out there. How dare they change their rules!

How dare they set me up for one set of rules, only to change them mid-stream. How dare they make me responsible for other sites linking to mine when I never asked for those links in the first place.

How dare they insist that I have x-number of keywords within the body of my page on one day, then drastically reduce it the next. Forcing me to do another re-write.

How dare they insist on one day that content be at least 150 words on a page, then raise it to 400 the next.

How dare they now insist that page titles be no more than 3 words, when their position on "long tail" titles use to be "go for it". Forcing me to shut down certain pages and redirect them to a brand new, 3-word titled one instead.

But all this still didn't get me to why these two particular pages.

Until I realized that the energy behind the content of these two pages has always given me grief. And not just as pages on my website.

The two pages I can credit with this most recent personal opportunity for deeper healing are intervention and prevention.

You see, I've always had this niggling that I wasn't doing enough in that department. Especially with prevention.

Yes, I provide a safe haven for people to disclose what they have often times been either too scared or too ashamed to disclose. Yes, I provide a wealth of child abuse related information. And yes, I provide encouraging and supportive comments to those visitors who contribute.

But what I don't do is prevention. Not in any significant or readily identifiable way.

And there we have it...

No matter how many stories I post on my site. No matter how many encouraging comments I offer. No matter how many people I help through my site. I cannot do a damn thing to prevent, or rather, eliminate child abuse.

I do what I can. And what I do I does make a difference. I know this with every fabric of my being.

But sometimes it feels as though I'm swimming upstream, drowning in a river of muck and filth. No matter how many pages I create. Or how many stories I post. Or how many comments I offer. There will always always be more.

So what's the point?

The point is to do the best I can with what I have. And when I get passed the frustration at not being able to do more, I know that what I do is enough. I know that I am enough.

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