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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bl4ck D4ys Ind33d...

This website started as 'The Daily Twitch', on September 11, 2009.  My first post was about the Star Spangled Banner.  I've improved greatly as a writer since then.  Some of the early articles were downright cringe worthy.

In July/August of 2011, I decided to purchase my own custom domain name.  The Daily Twitch was already taken.  So, after a couple of days debating various names, The Twitch Online was born.

As the following months eventually became years, "Twitch" was no longer an appropriate identifier for the website.  This blog started as a way to document my recent Tourette's diagnosis.  Since then, the focus of the blog has changed, as has my life.  My Tourette's Syndrome is the LEAST of my concerns. 

It's a daily struggle (with myself, mind you) to be a good father and husband.  Since starting this site, and in addition to the Tourette's and PTSD, I have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, a Chiari Malformation, a massive, inoperable but benign cyst in my brain, Fibromyalgia, and Sjogren's Syndrome.  The day after tomorrow, I find out if I have Multiple Sclerosis or not.  And, that's in addition to three spinal surgeries that I had in 2011.  I'm as much "Twitch" anymore as I am the Sultan of Burnei.

Change is inevitable. 

A few weeks back, I started taking steps to change the site name to "Fell On Black Days".  The first changes came to the Facebook page and some of the cosmetics on the site.  Point of advice: your research before you follow through on any plans you have. 

I changed the page name in a number of different areas...without checking first if it was available.  "Fell On Black Days" is the title of a popular song by Soundgarden.  That being said, it was not available in any form or variation...anywhere.  I didn't choose the name based upon the song title.  I thought it was a fun play on words.  "Black Days"...Nicholai Black.  You know?  It also described how I "fell into" this current mess of medical issues.  I thought it would make a nice name for an autobiographical blog.

Eventually, I figured out that I had to pull a license plate trick on the page's name.  Substitute the A's for 4's.  Bl4ck D4ys was born.

Another item I should have researched was how Google would react to the name change.  After the fact, I found out that, when going from a "" address to a custom URL, Google will automatically redirect any search results that point to your site.  However, when you go from a custom domain to a "" address, or from "" to "", Google actually prevents any redirect from happening.  This is a security measure that is in place, to prevent spam websites from bouncing around from URL to URL.

Up until a couple of days ago, there were a number of search terms that Google had my page listed as their top result.  Most of them were in regards to stories I had written about Jehovah's Witnesses.  If you searched "Jay Z Jehovah's Witness", "Jehovah's Witnesses Bisexual", or even "Tattoo Guy Lady Gaga", The Twitch Online would come up first.   Google brought me a lot of traffic.  I had no idea how much until this week.

See if you can guess when I changed my page name..

Usually, I could count on 20-30 pageviews per hour, or 250+ per day.  95% or more came from Google searches.  There hasn't been a single view on the page for three days.  That hasn't happened since the week the blog was started four years ago.  Four years of building search algorithms...down the drain.

I'm starting over.  I have no choice.  Yes, it's heartbreaking and extremely depressing.  I've cried a number of times this week.  But, what else can I do?  I've worked to hard on this to give up.  I can't walk away from 1200 posts.  What would you do?

For those of you that have been with me since the beginning, thank you.  There are a number of you that I have come to know quite well over the years.  I appreciate your support.

Buckle up.  Please keep all hands and feet in the car at all times.  Enjoy the ride.....