Tag Archives: devotionals

Google search doesn’t seem to like Google Sites

This is so weird…

For years I’ve written a daily devotional, working my way through the Bible.  I’ve actually completed the O.T. and have now gone back to the beginning, editing and updating and adding devotionals.

Anyway, for a long time I had a “regular” website on a server.  I post the individual devotionals to my http://nazareneblogs.org/pastorscott/ account, but as I complete devotionals on books of the Bible I publish them as a whole to my website.  I track traffic to both “versions” of the devotionals and the nazareneblogs one get’s more hits than do the “book version” one at www.pastorscott.com.

A few months ago I decided to just move my personal site (including the devotionals) to Google Sites.  The site is easy to set up and maintain and it looks good.

However, my traffic from Google searches dropped to almost zero!  At first I thought it had to do with DNS, etc. so I waited a few weeks to see if traffic would come back up.  It never did.

Finally, I went back to a regular website.  It took about 3 days for me to start seeing traffic again, but after less than a month I was again getting hits to the site like I did before.

It seems strange that Google takes web sites it is hosting less seriously than those it doesn’t host, but that seems to be the case.

Tip on writing daily devotionals

Since I publish a daily devotional my pages show up in searches people do who are looking for information on how to write a daily devotional.  In that case, they aren’t looking for a devotional to read.  Instead, they’re looking for help on writing their own devotionals.

So, here’s a tip: for me, a devotional has four parts.

1. The setup.  In it I tell a short version of the story that inspires the devotional.  This is often the larger portion of the article.  Here I give the background, leading up to the inspirational thought.

2. The crossover.  This is the most important line in the devotional.  At this point I’ve told the story, and I’m ready to apply it.  Usually, this is one sentence, but it’s what ties the first part to the third part.

3. The application.  Now I’m ready to describe how this passage applies to my life.  This is shorter than “the setup” and longer than “the crossover.”

4. The stinger.  This is a short, one liner that gives the reader something to think about.  It can be as simple as “how about you?”  However, it probably needs to be a bit more original than that.

That’s the basic outline for all my devotional writing.