In this battle of wits, did the search engine finally win? Did Goliath beat David? It’s true, The Search Engine is the one who pays me the humble yet growing profits I earn from blogging. And to suppose that my goal is to beat the search engine — talk about biting the hand the feeds you!
The story begins when I learned that, although vague and unconfirmed, I cannot post screenshots of my earnings, or more specifically, some say, the Page CTR, CPC, and Page RPM. It is very unclear because they’re so vague and honestly even unmentioned in those specific words in the Google AdSense Terms and Conditions. Although unclear, there are so many AdSense users who are now banned from the service specifically because of this issue. And what’s clear is that once you get banned, it’s really quite hard to reapply or appeal your case to Google AdSense. And I’ve been mentioning countless times that they’ve been so strict with applications. One thing I don’t want to happen is to be banned. I have somewhat dedicated my life to this.
And so after learning about that vague and unconfirmed prohibition, I took almost all screenshots of my earnings, specifically the ones that show the Page CTR, CPC, and Page RPM. Beyond that though, I cannot risk being banned simply for Beating the Search Engine, one of my babies, that is not even the top generators of revenue as compared to my other blogs.
And of course, with my random brain, although BTSE was intended to focus simply on SEO, it eventually evolved to tackle social media and technology as well, and not to mention the absolutely unrelated random things that I talk about in that blog. And I feel that many of them are either brilliant or, in a way, very close to my heart. I just cannot let go. Many times, BTSE had also been my personal blog, full of my quirks and reflections — an outlet of sorts. Of course, I just can’t delete this blog completely, although most likely, I will be abandoning this blog and will be transferring to something new, something much more advanced and hopefully even more brilliant.
The plan is that I delete all content that may directly be in conflict with the vague and unconfirmed prohibitions. For some of the content that are somewhat overlapping with the vision and goals of my other blogs, I can transfer them. My article on Why the Internet is Slow in the Philippines, for example, can easily be related to HarryLeaks because of its libertarian tone on economic freedom and competition.
I don’t even mind losing the backlinks or many of the content I have (of course I won’t completely delete them, I can always have a copy offline or transfer in a blog with no AdSense) because I know I can easily build that up again. Not to mention that I have several blogs, including this one, that are great sources of backlinks. The risk of being banned is just so much greater than clinging to just this one lightbulb.
I am actually already planning a new blog. I’m thinking something that focuses on being critical of Google AdSense policies. It is sort of like looking for their restrictions that are merely hurting the smalltime bloggers, hindering innovation, and at times censors creativity completely. This will ideally be allowed because I will no longer be talking about my own personal earnings or that whole “Page CTR, CPC, and Page RPM” issue.
I will be analyzing cases of those who have been banned or are having problems with AdSense and give my own personal take on the issue. I could be helping people with the application process. It could even be a community for those who are banned where people can discuss different issues and possible solutions, also maybe help them find ways to communicate and discuss with the Google AdSense team (I can add a forum, maybe). Think of it as some sort of paralegal blog that seeks to help those who are being trampled by the Search Engine. I feel that this is more proactive than trying to beat the search engine. Instead, I will be helping those that the search engine is beating.
I could even keep the blog BTSE and just put this new concept into it. Like a complete overhaul or redesign of sorts. I really don’t know yet. I really have to reflect on it some more. One thing is for sure, gone are the blackhat SEO days (I will be deleting/editing most of my spam-ish posts, again, to avoid getting banned), I’m leaving the dark side. But this does not mean that I’ll be joining the whitehat types. For now, I stay in the gray, independent, chaotic neutral.