Blogging Changes

Derek had some time off over Christmas and New Year's, so the past couple weeks I basically just had a bunch of posts scheduled - so this is the first real post I'm writing for the New Year!  Unfortunately it has to be something boring like blog business, but oh well.

I wanted to take some time to explain some changes around here for 2014.  I've been struggling with the subject of this post for a while, and I think I've finally come to a solution.

After Wyatt was born, I became concerned with protecting the pictures of my kids that I post on this blog.  I had never really thought about it much before, but when you have this new, innocent little life placed in your hands, you want to protect it.  When it came to blogging, that translated into me wanting to make sure to protect the pictures of my kids that I posted online, so I started watermarking.  

One thing that bothered me from the start though, was having pictures of my kids showing up in random Google searches.  Though the searches that brought people here were never inappropriate at all, it just weirded me out a little that people found my blog through pictures of my kid from a search, and that countless others could view pictures of my kids in search engines.

For a while I blocked my blog from search engines altogether to try to prevent this, but after a while I felt like the Lord was telling me He wanted me to make my blog public to search engines again.  So I did, but I still didn't like it.

Finally, I figured out a way to tell search engines not to index my images, and I was so happy - I had found a way around the system! My blog would still show up in search results, but my pictures wouldn't.  It worked beautifully.

But then a few weeks ago Google updated it's algorithm (which is a formula for how they decide which websites to index), and all of a sudden my little trick wasn't working anymore - all my images started showing up in Google again.  It bothered me.  I finally figured out another way to tell search engines not to index my images, and it seems to be working (I'll post on that soon).  

But I learned something after that little change - you just can't trust Google.

Search engines are constantly growing and changing - they have to to bring you quality websites when you are searching for something.  But there's also nothing stopping them at any point in time from changing, from working around or just ignoring any methods I use to block my images.

I knew at some point I was going to have to address this and come up with an alternative when it comes to posting pictures of my kids.  I have just been putting it off.  The whole algorithm update forced me to stop and think about it, and I realized that I needed to think about my kids ten years down the road.

When Wyatt is a teenager, will he really want any random person to possibly be viewing pictures of him when he was one?  Will Gwen (or me, for that matter) really want pictures of her forever showing up in Google searches?  I think I have a responsibility to protect the kids' privacy, and I've decided that means their privacy in the future as well.  

It's not a big deal right now, because they are still babies.  They might not even care once they become teenagers and can decide for themselves on these things.  But then again, it might bother them.  I don't feel like I should ignore that possibility now just because it's inconvenient for me and the blog.

So the bottom line is that I have created a private photo blog where I'll be sharing pictures of the kids from now on.  This seemed to be the best solution to me, because this way I can still blog about the kids and share pictures of them, but I'll be able to control who sees it.

I did not come to this conclusion lightly - actually it was a big struggle.  But after praying about it and going over all the different possibilities, I feel like this is the right thing to do.

Please believe me when I say that I am not trying to hide pictures from you, my regular readers!  I'm trying to hide them from Google.  I still want to share pictures of my cute kiddos with those of you who care, because that is part of what makes blogging fun for me - sharing bits of my life with this great blogging community we have.  It's the reason I've struggled with this so much. So if you have been reading for a while and are still interested in seeing pictures of my kiddos every now and then, you can request to follow my private blog here!

What does this mean for this blog?  First, just let me say, I am not going to stop blogging here!  I think I can still come up with plenty of interesting content, even with taking the pictures out of it.  This doesn't mean that I'll never post pictures of the kids on here - it just means I'm going to be more picky about it, and the bulk of the pictures will be on the other blog.

Over the next couple months I'll be in the process of moving old posts over to my private blog and updating certain posts on here, so if old posts (as in posts that are a couple years old) start showing up in your readers, I apologize and just ignore them!

I'm going to try hard to make sure less pictures on here does not mean less of a personal touch on this blog - because I don't know about you, but I mostly read blogs because I like getting to know the blog author.  So if that is you as well, please know that I'm still going to be real and open on here as much as I already am - just without so many pictures.

And if you enjoy reading the posts with pictures, please just follow my other blog!  I'll be including links on here to picture posts, so you'll still be able to click through and see them easily.

So to start with - first request to follow here or fill out the form below.

Then if you want to see pictures of our Christmas and Gwendolyn and Derek's birthday, head on over to my photo blog!

Photoblog

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Anonymous said...

I have so struggled with this same thing! I recently realized that almost all of my pictures on Instagram are of my girl. I originally started that account for my family and friends, but then I made it my blogging and business account too. Still not sure what to do about that! Does the "private" blog basically keep it from search engines?

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