Well it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride for BlogRush so far, eh? First up everyone, including yours truly, is jumping on board proclaiming it to be The Next Big Thing and before you know it – pow – it stinks more than Jack McStinky on a particularly stinky day.
What went wrong?
Well apart from the system outages, the spammy blogs, the non-English sites, the fact the widget wasn’t customisable and the click through rates sucked, not a lot.
However if you’ve joined the hordes of people who have taken the widget off your site, it might be time to think again because this morning John Reese has put on his shit kicking boots and he’s looking to play hard ball.
John sent out an email to all BlogRush members (which is also available on his blog) setting out the way they’re going to combat the problems they’ve faced with the launch of the service. In summary
- All new sites submitted will be manually reviewed and splogs/MFA sites will be banned. Forever
- All existing sites will be subject to quality control and any which fall into the above category will go the same way
- Non-English sites will get canned
- Cheats who manipulate figures by using automated systems will get canned
- New categories to improve headline relevancy
- Improved dashboard reporting
- Credit bonuses for low traffic blogs
- Improved widget customisation
- Improved keyword filtering
John makes it pretty clear that regardless of what it takes or how much it costs, he will ensure the integrity of BlogRush. I believe him. He’s been in the Internet Marketing business for too long to let his reputation be tarnished by one product. As far as I can see, he’s pulled the plug on a number of his other projects to focus on his Income.com ventures so there’s no way he’s going to sit on his arse and watch BlogRush crash and burn. Here’s what he says to the scammers
Our company is well funded and has plenty of resources. And we WILL use them to punish you to the fullest extent of the law (and civil court process). Oh, you think you can just hide behind some anonymous proxy IPs? Sorry, it’s not that easy. ANY reason you’d have to try and cheat the BlogRush network for traffic and any attempt you make to monetize that traffic will lead directly to your front door — whether it’s AdSense, any affiliate program in the world, any online pharmacy, porn site, casino… ANYTHING. We will follow the trail and it WILL eventually lead to you.
Would he really go down the legal route on this and prosecute? Absolutely. Some of the folks who have been manipulating the system will think it’s a bit of sabre rattling or bravado but they’d better wise up and ship out otherwise they’ll be sitting opposite some well funded lawyers before they know it.
John and his team have received a lot of flak over the launch of BlogRush and, to be fair, most of it has been justified. A lot of folks went into it thinking is was some kind of traffic panacea and that they’d be swamped with hits overnight. Maybe this was partly because of the infomercial feel of the BlogRush video or, maybe more accurately, because a lot of the bloggers promoting the widget were doing so for their own benefit – to get a downline of credits. Whatever the reasons, the backlash was felt around the blogosphere and is still reverberating today.
Will these new changes make any difference?
I believe so. As I’ve said, John has invested too much into BlogRush for it to fall at the first hurdle so whether it be employing people to manually approve all of the blogs on the network or taking legal action against the scammers, I believe he will bankroll whatever action is required to make BlogRush a success.
“Mike“, I hear you cry, “you seem to be a big fan of BlogRush. How much traffic has it sent you?”
Well, rather ironically, the BlogRush dashboard is currently unavailable so I can’t give you definite figures but at last check I’d had a couple of thousand impressions and..wait for it..2 clicks so a CTR of around 0.1%. Pretty crappy, huh?
So why am I still championing BlogRush? Well because I genuinely believe that it will work in the long run. Without wanting to sound like a stuck record, I believe that John Reese will do whatever it takes to make BlogRush a success. Sure, it might not be the golden ticket of blog traffic but it will eventually become a resource which regularly sends visitors to your site. Only time will tell but I’ve got a feeling that BlogRush is going to be around for a long time.