Since July I have been dropping way way less Entrecards. I made it a point to only drop on sites I was visiting for some other reason, (like I was really interested in the post) which meant I stuck around long enough to not be counted as a bouncer. What did it do? Well admittedly, my visitors dropped off somewhat. But that kind of drop and run traffic I don’t need. I predict that Google will start penalizing sites with a high bounce rate even more than they already do, if, in fact, they do at all. After all, a bunch of mutual drop and runs is no different than a stumble club other than the fact that it’s implicit and it’s open ended. The focus becomes mutual back scratching, rather than rewarding quality, and if Google hopes that good sites bubble to the top, they better start doing something about “I’ll bounce off you if you’ll bounce off me” nonsense. The effect is the same: questionable quality sites who engage in this practice get a lot of this circle-jerk kind of traffic while the ones with ethics who refuse to do it get less.
I was never a power dropper; I find power dropping offensive, and I wish Entrecard would throttle it. But some days I used to drop on up to 100 blogs, usually when I was seriously depressed, It took a long time — time I really don’t have. I won’t say I never dropped and ran myself. Some blogs are just vapid, stupid, or not anything I am interested in, and I tried to remember not to visit them any more but I didn’t have it all in a spreadsheet, so some times I would forget. Well now my curiosity is slaked. Chain dropping is just not a good use of my time. Too low a signal to noise ratio.
Anyway, the net result is that my average advertising price has only dropped a little, my bounce rate has dropped 20 percentage points, and I still get about half the drops I used to, which I presume is people who actually read the blog. I have more time for stuff I enjoy, and that, my friends, is priceless.