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The July and August 2012 Crash of Elsmar

The internet is changing much faster than I am.
One of my college professors drove home what may seem to be a trite saying that is actually very profound.

"In times of chaos lie the greatest opportunity for both success and failure."

You might be having quite a ride, but the bronc hasn't thrown you yet so it is very likely that you will be able to ride it out.

From still a different source, a short poem that you may enjoy. The author is anonymous.

"There is no chance, no fate, no destiny,

that can hinder or control,

the firm resolve of a determined soul."

Obviously you are determined and you will make it through.

And again, I thank you for providing this forum. I learn things hear almost daily.


Captain Nice
Staff member
I have put in authorship tags and a few other things, and I do have a Google+ page. I do have some more to do with Google+. As to links to Google+, I do have a link in the top of the sidebar and at the bottom of each page there is a Google+ "Recommend" button", as well as a LinkedIn "InShare" button. I hope people use them.

Key is that Elsmar is not going to be another LinkedIn (for example). Google announced about a year or so ago that it was changing its search algorithm from being a "search" engine to being a "knowledge" engine. Elsmar's peak was in 2011 after which it entered a slow decline up to the "crash" at the end of July 2012. Elsmar has recovered somewhat and appears to have stabilized fairly well.

We have a number of factors involved, one of which I call the "Walmartization" of the internet. I don't read the webmaster forums as often as I was for a while in large part because I'm seeing the "little guys" crash and burn with regularity, and there's not a thing they can do about it as large, well funded companies take over their niches.

There are also other factors, one of which is Elsmar is a "niche" forum for technical specialists. For better or worse, it has also changed its focus on some standards and widened to include things it was never focused upon before such as aerospace and especially medical devices. Elsmar once had good ISO 9001 readership and "authority". It is now diluted. That's not to mention increasing competition which I think I discussed earlier.

Being a niche forum (and remember - It is a forum which are notorious for low readership) it limits who is going to find it. In addition Elsmar usually comes up on "long tail" searches which is its bread and butter, so to speak.

Let me do this - A quick "status" report of sorts.

Elsmar is off about 40% from it's 2011 peak. That's still not too bad. I started this thread in somewhat of a panic because the 2012 "crash" put me in the position I was in in 2003. It was costing me to keep it online. Had we not had a reasonable recovery it wouldn't be online today. Luckily AdSense is keeping Elsmar afloat. I haven't billed any advertisers since Sept-Oct 2012 because I did not think I could morally do so. I am in the process of contacting advertisers and a couple have cancelled. I do 3 month ad runs and so I started with January advertisers. I am getting ready to contact February advertisers and in March will contact those advertisers. But for now adsense is doing OK which is why I'm investing what will end up being around US$4K to migrate to a new server (the DEC 2012 migration really screwed things up - Long story).

At this point in time Elsmar is financially safe. It will, of course, be better if all the advertisers do not cancel. Time will tell on that one. On the other hand, there is a point at which, my being in my 60's, that the profit may not be enough to keep me interested enough to spend the time I do keeping things in order and the site online. I could retire and end being somewhat chained to this desk for many hours a day.

The internet has significantly evolved. I am trying to evolve with it. But since this is not a "big money" operation, there is a limit on my keeping up, especially with the big money sites.

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
My thought was - should those of us (myself included) who do a fair amount of posting here link things to a Google Authors page. This is the first I had heard of that.

Thanks for taking a look at it.
My thought was - should those of us (myself included) who do a fair amount of posting here link things to a Google Authors page. This is the first I had heard of that.

Thanks for taking a look at it.
If so, would it make sense to go back to legacy posts (8 - 10 years) and link authors? Is there a way to "automagically" do that, especially for some of us who have thousands of posts?


Captain Nice
Staff member
I'll have to look into that aspect of Google+, Steve. That is the first I had heard of it, too. The key really is whether things are linked back to here as I do with the Elsmar LinkedIn group, Facebook and my Google+ page.

After this sever change is completed I'll look into it further.
hope this is relevant reference.... to the discussion topic..." Google?s Search Quality Rating Guidelines"
just in case....
How Search works...

Google Publishes Its Search Quality Rating Guidelines For First Time

An Interview With A Google Search Quality Rater

Google Gutted Its Search Quality Rating Guidelines For Public Release
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