7 Days To Die | Horrors Of Higashi
Why I Switch Back To Using Engrave’s Dblog And A Few Things About It
Back a couple of weeks ago I started talking about how I was giving Engrave’s Dblog another try. Many not knowing what it is start asking a lot of questions. While my experiment with Dblog will be going for about the next year or longer if things work out for me. I thought I might as well share a little bit right now. Along with perhaps some infrequent updates from time to time.
Table Of Contents
- Using Engrave In The Past
- Long-Term Goal
- Failing To Get My Content Indexed Where I Want
- Setting Up A Engrave Dblog-- Enjargames.com
- Benefits of Engrave’s Dblog
- Earning From My Content Long Term
Using Engrave In The Past
Back in 2019 after many months of using Engrave, I called it quits using the Dapp. Yes before Hive times. I was looking for a more powerful frontend to better understand how my content was performing, getting discovered, and having a lot of SEO tools.
I ended up discovering some crazy things from my time using that. Everything from people finding my content from searching about dinosaur eggs to people sharing my content on Facebook, Reddit, and many other sites. Places I did not share those posts myself.
While at the time back then there were a couple of frontends. The main competition to get content ranked in Google search for example was between Steemit (S) and Steempeak (S****.) My Engrave website after many months lost a huge chunk of content being indexed because it was found to be duplicate content with other S frontends showing the same content. Many search engines like Google liked the other frontends URLS for that content instead. I had lost the SEO war against other frontends.
Because I at least gave Engrave Dblog a try I was deemed an early adapter and my original .dblog stayed up and for free. Where I would for the next many years get tagged in many angry comments about my featured Dblog being outdated or broken since I stopped using it. I had no idea I just needed to press a single button and POOF it would all be updated and fixed.
For years I stuck with what is now known as PeakD. While it lacked the powerful SEO tools I wanted. It was quite a powerful domain and I was able to do a lot of other SEO-related things. I also got to understand some things about my content such as views.
You see I have a lot of content that should in theory be bringing in views every month and yes years after I’ve created it. For many years those pieces of content did. Oddly enough my most popularly viewed content tended to not get much of any interest or votes from the community.
In the long run one day I want to break 100k views in a single month. While it’s not something I expect to sustain it be nice to have just a single month be crazy. While that might sound crazy I just need 100 posts that each bring in 1k views in a single month. I was hoping by the end of this year to be bringing up to 10k views in a single month.
I however can’t do this all on my own with the tools I have access to on normal Hive frontends. I’ve been struggling with a lot of things not going my way regarding my content for over a year. So I appear to be in the short term moving further away from that goal and then getting closer to it.
Failing To Get My content Indexed Where I Want
On Hive, however, there are not just a few frontends but a lot of them. Many of them have also improved their SEO (I can only assume) and many of them have become quite popular as well. As a result over time, my content would lose indexing on my PeakD blog in favor of other frontends.
Many other frontends that have my content are not that big in spilling the beans on the kinds of views my content is getting. That makes it hard for me to fully understand trends, what games I should create further content on, and at what stage am I in reaching my goals including the one stated above.
Hive’s ecosystem created quite fragmented search results for my content. There are also other frontends I have never heard of that seem to be getting a lot of my content indexed in search results. As if they are doing SEO things that I cannot on a normal Hive frontend. Some of these sites' names seem to imply they are selling products and they are using my content to drive viewers to their sales.
Those strange sites such as the one in the screenshot above. That I’m not clicking on the URL to see what they are about as they look quite suspect. Appear to be at least pulling Hive blockchain data from my content. I’m not happy about that but that is how Hive is.
That is hardly the worst of it. Because I put a lot of effort into SEO research and many other things regarding my content. People have found my content outranking Reddit over the years. Exactly what I want to be doing as I hate Reddit and their whole “front page of the internet” nonsense. If my content can be doing that I must be doing something right.
That does not go unnoticed and sadly people steal my content, upscale a couple of words and post that content on centralized blogging or personal websites. They will also toss in a couple of extra annoying SEO things and over time they outrank me in results and have even gotten my content that is the original de-ranked.
There are also a lot of people who just steal my screenshots and seem to content spin my content or a few other blogs. This also sucks because I put a lot of time into getting screenshots that I took for my content.
Many of those content thieves for instance are so dang lazy they don’t even replace my links or remove screenshots that have my character’s name clear as day in them. So if I had a way to see what was linking back to a site I own well I could find those posts easier and try to do something about it.
However with how complex the Hive ecosystem is and with so many posts, it can take me quite some time to discover my content is no longer performing how I would like it, what frontend if any now has it indexed and high ranking. Along with the ability to deal with people ripping me off.
Not too long ago I created what can be considered a “cornerstone piece of content.” I don’t make them often because they are quite insane to make. I have a few of them on my blog and they tend to bring in the most views and have the highest chances of being highly ranked in search results.
That piece of content alone took me over a month of logging in daily to a game to create. This ended up being in the neighborhood of 100 hours of my time after SEO research, promoting, and a few other things are included beyond just game time and writing the post. I also was down about $200 spent in the game in question to make that content.
All I wanted it to do was be indexed first by the frontend I use daily. Where over the long run I can understand what kinds of views it has and have some idea of the total traffic the game could be brought to my content.
I even asked in Discord if the frontend that I wanted to have my content indexed could submit my content to be crawled by Google. It was not my first time asking for one of my insane posts to get indexed but it will be the last time as that is not something they do. Thankfully now I can do that myself as long as the content is on my own site.
I even went and bugged a couple of team members of other Hive frontends. I wanted some insight into how my content was performing over there. One of them in part doesn’t rewrite/redisplay URLs to their domain so I was going to target those high-ranking posts they had indexed of mine and try and force getting my content ranked on the front end I wanted for the post in question.
Naturally, I did not get the information I wanted. It’s always along the long “views are easy to manipulate.” Maybe that is their kind way of saying I suck and to go pound sand. Either way, at least I got a reply back. For that thank you.
After almost a week I finally noticed my big piece of content got indexed BY THE WRONG FRONTEND. It also at the time did not get indexed days later in search results for the frontend I wanted it.
By the way, I have internal linking working for my content. Along with many frontends displaying my URLs for their domain. Once a search crawler hits that content on one front end it could find 3, 5, 200 URLs to that content on that site depending on how far and how well I have those links set up. Creates a wildfire of an issue for search engines once they find one of my pieces of content they can find a bunch more on a single domain.
Setting Up A Engrave Dblog-- Enjargames.com
I decided FUCK IT I’m going the nuclear option. I will get that content indexed high in search results on a frontend I FUCKING WANT it to be. I went to check in on if Engrave was still a thing. sure enough not only was my dblog still up it managed to get back and hold ranking on quite a few of my older pieces of content. HOLY SMOKES.
It has since lost some indexing for that content since I’ve told Google I’ve moved domains since I can prove to them I own those pages on my old Dblog site.
This time around I decided if I’m going to do things I’m getting my domain and a dot com at that. Thankfully Engrave allows you to buy a domain and mine only ended up costing 12 HBD. Buying from them also meant setting the first steps of everything up was easy.
It’s always great when I can buy something with crypto. As I’m rather broke IRL that was going to be the only way I was going to get my domain. Not to mention I was not having to pay a bunch of extra stuff you usually need to if you are the one buying a domain as a non-company.
I then went in on my Dblog dashboard panel into blog settings. Under custom domain, I put in the one I bought and I ticked redirect Dblog subdomain. I would later look up how to tell Google my pages moved and get that side of things rolling as well.
I’ve known there was some way to import all your content into your Dblog. However, for whatever reason, the last couple of times checked not something I noticed how to do. So I would put off going this route for a lot longer than I should have.
Thankfully this time around while hunting around I found under blog settings at the bottom a button to press to import my Hive account. I did have to import it all and under a single category which is how dblog allows you to group content.
I then waited a while since I have a lot of content. I came back maybe an hour later and behold Enjargames.com was now populated with content in a theme.
For those who keep asking how hard this process is there it was. I logged in, I selected what domain I wanted, I sent the money, and I clicked on import for old posts. I now have my custom domain with all the content I want and people can log in and leave a comment or vote on that content.
The cool thing is if I recall once you are logged into one Dblog website if you go to another you should be still logged in over there. I don’t quite recall if that works for personal domains but that is neat regardless.
The other thing you then need to do if you want to see how pages are performing is setting up Google Search Console among any other things you want. Under blog settings in your dblog panel, you have a “STATISTICS AND ANALYTICS” for inputting UA and Webmaster verification codes to put in.
For those that need a little direction on how to generate those codes here is a helpful Google document that goes over the steps to get a UA code since they are migrating to a different way of doing things and it can be hard to work out how to do so.
As far as Google Search Console once you are logged into a Google account you can go to Search Console.
In the drop down menu on the upper left side you click on add new Property
Enter your Dblog URL into the URL prefix and click continue
You are going to be asked as a way to verify ownership. This is done though an HTML tag. You need the code at the end of the URL that is given. I’ve highlighted the code section in red it is after content=“.
With that code you are going to enter it into your blog settings on your dblog dashboard. For “Webmaster Tools verification code.” It then will populate that code in the HTML tag on your website for you. Give it a couple of minutes to update on your site.
Then you want to head back to Google Search Console and click verify. Hopefully it tall works out and you are verified.
That is however not the end of where the massive amount of work would begin for me at least.
You see Dblog only pulls blockchain Hive blockchain data regarding your posts. It then displays that blockchain data is as is for the most part.
Just about every single frontend within the Hive ecosystem is not doing that. They are doing things like displaying URLs if they are Hive or the former place we all left into their domain URLs. For the everyday user that is a great feature.
For someone trying to build up SEO on a single domain for my content. Not displaying the thousand or so internal URLs I have to the frontend URLs I want it to go to-- SUCKS. It also creates a lot of confusion for search results trying to rank my content.
That is not the only thing most frontends are doing on Hive. For any old content, you have your old images not being hosted by Hive image hosting. They display images from Hive image hosting instead of the place we left. That is a great feature that saves everyone a lot of time in case those old images ever get removed from the place we left.
As a result, I went through as I understand to be over 500 blog posts. I do think that number is a little high as it might be including a bunch of content that is not displayed on my site. What did I do? I manually edited all the links in my gaming content to point at my new website. I also made some SEO and other changes.
On top of that, I set up each post of my into better categories. As everything was just listed under “gaming” in the menu.
You don’t want to know the insanity of having to manually edit that many posts within a couple of days. Thankfully I was hyped up in a fit of anger for not getting the piece of content I wanted to be indexed on the front end I wanted. It’s my fault for not finding a way to get what I wanted for that piece of content.
So I got the task done at least for the URLs. Since search results love to see old posts are being “maintained” by you making updates over time. I saved some SEO work and other things to work on or fix for later. The main thing was to get all the URLs changed fast.
I also had the task of updating manually a lot of external links I have pointed to my content as funnels to bring traffic to me. They all needed to be changed for the new URLs. Such as the links to my gaming reviews on my Steam Curator page among many other places.
Benefits of Engrave’s Dblog
There are also some cool things Dblog allows you to do. Both from just using their dashboard to taking things even further with a Google Search Console among other things since you can prove you own the site.
You can choose to not have a post shown on your site. Since this site was just for my gaming content I went through and pressed the button to hide content I found that I did not want on my site.
This means all non-released gaming content is no longer “hurting” my SEO and rankings in search results. It’s also making search engines somewhat understand a little better what my website is all about. Granted there is a wide range of gaming content.
If I wanted to go even more insane than I am. I could take things to the next level and set up a few different domains. Then Separate all my biggest content into their domains. At least that is what I think the button I have highlighted in red is for.
The issue with that is I tend to go heavy into certain types of games or a game for a few months. Then months or a year later I’m into other things. Doing it that way would end up costing me a lot of extra money for more domains and those domains would end up not getting new content sometimes for months or years. Which search engines would consider them to be a dead site and start de-ranking that content for more updated sites and web pages.
Like a lot of things, I’m going to have to wait weeks and more than likely months for search engines like Google to find a lot of these new URLs and have a better understanding of things. As we can see in my Google Search Console it is only aware of 27 external links across 3 different domains and 260 internal links. That is not even a fraction of things.
Being able to understand what content I’m linking the post to and which ones I might want to bump up instead is quite powerful information. Some of the content I consider has a higher value than other content. Some content I might be fine with only a couple of internal links to them. While others I want a lot of roads leading into the main big post.
This is not the only benefit of having a domain that I now have access to the Google Search Console. Believe it or not when you publish content it can take a while for search engines to even find it. Let alone if you have a duplicate of content such as we do on Hive. Where search engines need to work out which URL from what website it even wants to rank that content.
My Dblog website has an important thing called a site map. It auto-updates to reflect when I add content to my site making it easier for search engines to discover my content.
That sitemap I then submitted to Google. So far it appears it checks that site map every 2 to 3 days for any changes made.
That is not the only thing I can do. Since I have proven that I own the site via ID and codes. I can directly request for my content to be crawled and hopefully indexed by Google. There is a limit of I think 12 URLs I can submit per day and I have been maxing it out daily. So that means it will take a lot of time to get a large amount of content I have at least crawled.
That is not the only method to do so. I can also request validation for my pages. This however seems to be quite an abrasive attempt to get my content crawled and indexed. My first attempt failed. If this next round that takes a few days fails I’ll bring it up in the Engrave Discord to see if anything can be done to resolve whatever the issue is.
The reason all of this is important is I’m no longer having to wait for 3 to 7 days if not months for a single piece of content I just published to be in search results. Many times content I’ve now published is in search results in 12 to 24 hours.
As long as I’m showing that content on my site. A post like this that is not gaming related won’t be going up there. As such who knows how long it will take to make it into search results?
This becomes quite critical when you want to write content about current events happening in a game or other time-sensitive things. You might notice I for instance stopped doing my yearly list of “top games” I have reviews on for Steam sales. One of those reasons was because by the time my content was in search results the sale was almost done. Yep, that sucked as I was not competing with a lot of news sites regarding the sale as I had in the past bringing in views.
Earning From My Content Long Term
While earning post rewards just by posting on Hive is an amazing first step for many including myself. It does not take a lot for people to pick up pitchforks and burn your house down to the ground. One day you are earning something and the next you are blamed for not doing enough and getting flagged into the ground.
One day author rewards will be next to nothing as inflation reaches zero or when the whales pull the plug on author rewards by voting us out of the reward pool. There is also the thing of content not earning beyond the 7-day window. I feel past the 7 day window it is your job as a content creator to find a way if you want to earn post that point. Hive should be a stepping stone.
When I say earn beyond the 7-day cycle people always want to say “Google Ads.” Wrong, unless you are getting an insane amount of views a month so you can earn like $5 on written content and then only in the months leading up to Christmas. You would be better off going to the local shopping center and picking change off the ground than expected to make anything off Google Ads. Let alone nowadays a living.
Don’t believe me? Go turn off ad-block and go onto a major news site or blog. Once your computer catches fire from trying to load up 500 banners and sidebar ads. You might wonder why they need so many ads with the kind of traffic they get? Exactly because it pays next to nothing.
While in the past people have asked if Dblog supports the ability to run ads on it. I don’t know for sure but I don’t think that is still an existing feature. If I recall it was something that was asked about years ago. They are looking to make a lot of updates in the future who knows what kind of things they will end up doing?
Instead, for a while now my content has earned a little from referrals. Not an amazing about but out of all the things I’ve tried it has outperformed a lot of other things.
You also notice when I do such things I’m quite open about it. It is also only on some content. Usually on content that has been closed for quite some time. The only people who tend to find it I’ve driven to it by them finding that content in search results or me sharing older content on Twitter.
Perhaps one day I’ll get into other avenues if I get enough traffic to my content. While some try and sell T-shirts, mugs, and other things. For a small content creator the quality you can get without having to put up much is not that great.
Some will point out that referrals can have some kind of “negative” effect on SEO. Frankly, I’d take someone putting a related referral link in a game review they wrote over an insane amount of ads loading up on the screen so they can earn 1/1000th of a cent from ads.
While I can’t talk about in great detail the program I got accepted into without having to put disclosure and label this piece of content a certain way. If you scroll through my content you will notice about half of my gaming reviews say “sponsored” and have a referral link to buy that game at the bottom of those posts.
While referral links for me are not quite as great as earning from whatever my Hive posts payout is. At least for now. I’ve had weeks in the past where they earned me more than my content did. It is also something you might notice for game reviews that I’ll be including if it is a referral for the game itself.
For that to work, however, I need my content seen in search results. I need to better understand which of my content is bringing in traffic so I can better invest my time and resources. I need a lot of things to improve and I’ve been hungry for some deeper data for some time.
Ultimately, using Engrave’s Dblog allows me to have an outward-facing domain that is still within the Hive ecosystem. I’m not going to stop using PeakD as I love the interface and doing final edits of content on it. Dblog for me means I can create a lot of content and not hold myself back if it’s not gaming relating as it would cause me issues for not being related to gaming in search results.
I hope in the long run Dblog helps me reach the next level in my content-creating journey. I’m still out of pocket most of the time for content I end up making in a year and the resources it ties up. It would be nice to start paying myself, bills, and do a lot of other cool things that I just don’t earn enough and can’t afford to do otherwise.
Only time will tell if this ends up working. I’ll be giving this a try for about a year if I can. If it ends up not working out then at least I tried to find another way to do what I wanted. As I often do I overdo things both in time and at the cost of my sanity to the breaking point.
- Update 2021 | Reaching Outside Of The Hive Bubble
- Breaking Out Of The Bubble In 2019
- Epic Games | Support A Creator Program 2019 | Sponsored
Screenshots were taken and content was written by @Enjar about using @Engrave Dblog for my custom domain powered by the Hive blockchain. Cover image is from my webiste.
References And Helpful Links
- Engrave Dblog
- Engrave Dashboard
- Google Search Console
- My Engrave Dblog Wesite Enjargames
- My Steam Curator Page