2 Months later: Ghacks is still dying, but there is hope

I wanted to give you all an update on my original post about Ghacks is dying from February this year.

I don't want to rehash all the post to put those up to speed who have not read it but summarize what is being said in the post.

I founded Ghacks back in 2005 and quickly realized that I could do this full-time. I quit my day job and started blogging round the clock.

Everything went well for the next couple of years. The site depended (and depends) on search traffic and there especially on Google's and when Google introduced algorithms that would compute a website's quality, traffic began to drop by a lot.

This did not happen over night and I was not the only one affected by the change. Looking around, other tech blogs, with the exception of a few, were affected negatively by this as well.

This led to sites being closed or put on hiatus (Freeware Genius, Raymond CC, others) because the earnings of those sites would not allow their owners to continue writing for them regularly.

The effect of this was that unique sites vanished which left mostly bland corporate sites to dominate search.

While I, and many others, tried to improve the quality of sites affected by this change, by cleaning it up and following suggestions, it appears nearly impossible to get out of this as you don't know why a site is perceived as being low quality.

The main gripe I have with this is that Google does not provide you with a clear definition of what its algorithm perceives as quality.

For me, it is all about serving the best content to visitors. If I have a question and a site answers it in a single sentence, then this is quality. For Google, this seems to be a sign of lack of quality because the article is too short (the general consensus is that too short articles are bad).

Anyway, the situation is bad enough that another drop in traffic or revenue would force me to make life-changing decisions as this site cannot produce a sustainable income anymore.

The site faces two major and several minor challenges right now:

  1. Dependency on Google search traffic
  2. Huge use of ad-blocking scripts.

That's the main reason I decided to try Patreon, a service that allows you to support the site (and me) directly.

This not only takes care of the traffic issues, as one-day I may not rely on it at all anymore thanks to direct support, and also ad-blocking as ad-revenue is also not an issue anymore then.

Where we are now

After I wrote the post I received an immense number of comments and incredible support from many long-time and new readers of the site.

Many whitelisted the site, others became supporters on Patreon or supported the site with a one-time donation instead.

There was unexpected support as well. Kevin offered to write articles for the site which worked out great so far. You can check out his wireless networking articles here.

As it stands right now, there are 110 patrons on Patreon that support Ghacks regularly. That's a fantastic start in my opinion especially since about the same number made a one-time donation instead.

It is clear that self-sufficiency cannot be achieved in a short amount of time and that it is rather a slow but steady walk.

We have almost reached the first milestone goal, server and hosting expenses, on Patreon alone which would ensure when reached that Ghacks remains online no matter what happens.

Since the hosting costs are expensive, I plan to find a cheaper host for the site without sacrificing speed or availability in the process.

The ad-blocking situation has not changed much. About 40% of all visitors use ad-blockers and it is unlikely that his is going to change anytime soon. I believe that this is to get worse even in the coming years.

On the traffic side of things, traffic has remained stable in the last six month period or so which is somewhat of a relief. While that is the case, there is always a chance that it will get worse and by then, I need to have found a way to keep this site up and me running it.

The future

I'm still working on the site. Currently, I'm testing HTTPS and will enable it once every last quirk is gone.

Another change that is coming soon is that I will implement a feature to promote exceptional comments which are highlighted then similar to how it is done on Arstechnica.

Working on adding Bitcoin as an option on the donation page as well which should happen soon. If you have any suggestions for additional options or services, let me know please.

I'm updating a lot of posts, recently for instance the best Chrome and best Firefox extensions and add-ons which still require work as I'm not satisfied with the overall layout of the page.

I plan to publish more of these extensive guides in the future.

Last but not least, there is a secret project that I'm working on with Andrey (Rarst) right now that would complement Ghacks in a great way.

What you can do

There is lots that you can do to help out:

  1. Spread the word about the situation and share articles that you find useful on social media sites and elsewhere.
  2. Whitelist this site in your ad-blocker. Since some of the ads are impression-based, money is earned even if you don't interact with the ad in any way.
  3. Become a patron on Patreon or make a one-time donation.
  4. Help out in other ways: if you find an article with inaccurate or old information, let me know about it so that I can update it. If you have suggestions for topics to write about, or even want to contribute articles on a regular basis, let me know as well.
  5. Leave valuable comments on this site.

Things are looking brighter than they did two months ago thanks to you. It is such a great feeling that something that I have created has such a dedicated and loyal following. Thanks so much!

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Responses to 2 Months later: Ghacks is still dying, but there is hope

  1. Cosmin Tătaru April 18, 2015 at 8:14 am #

    Hello Martin,

    Not sure what you found so far for hosting so I thought I suggest something to reduce the costs and get very good performance, but you will need to manage the server yourself. That said, I can recommend a reasonably priced host which would provide you with 30 GB of guaranteed RAM, 2 TB of disk space and 6 CPU cores, 1 Gbit/s port with unlimited traffic for EUR 25 per month, taxes included. I am personally using a VPS like that and my websites are quite happy on it. Please feel free to email me if interested.

    Thank you,

  2. Zoo April 18, 2015 at 9:05 am #

    Thanks for all the great work. My recommendation is to not display the entire article contents when viewed in a RSS reader. Many sites display just the first few lines of the article followed by a link that says something like "continue reading" and if you click it takes you to the actual website. Don't know how easy it is to implement. I don't remember viewing ads when reading articles with a RSS reader. And if the full article is available without ads, that's an additional loss of revenue.

    • T800 April 18, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

      me too

  3. James M Singleton April 18, 2015 at 9:16 am #

    This is the best article that I read lately. I was just thinking that what if pages were ranked by humans. I gave up trying to break even with my website. It was nice when Google Ads could cover all cost. I quit SEO and SMO techniques and devote my time into improving the quality of my website with hope that Google Search finds a better algorithm.

  4. Steen April 18, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    Thanks for the update, which reminded me to make a donation. It's now done. Keep up the good work!
    By the way, is it just me who has broken images showing on the site at the moment?

    • Dwight Stegall April 18, 2015 at 10:18 am #

      Broken images started happening yesterday when Martin was testing https.

    • Martin Brinkmann April 18, 2015 at 10:52 am #

      Are you accessing the site via http? Can you make a screenshot of the issue? Are broken images pointing to https://cdn... ?

      Can you clear your cache please using Ctrl-F5 and try again?

      • Croatoan April 18, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

        I think it's do to the Firefox Tracking Protection.

      • JASB April 18, 2015 at 9:33 pm #

        Here is a screenshot http://prntscr.com/6vcism Ctrl-F5 didnt work :( (Google Chrome-Windows 8.1)

      • Martin Brinkmann April 18, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

        Disable Ghacks in HTTPS Everywhere and the error goes away.

      • JASB April 18, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

        Yup. That fixed it

  5. Dwight Stegall April 18, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I wish I could help but my income is very low.

    • Martin Brinkmann April 18, 2015 at 10:53 am #

      Commenting or sharing are valuable as well.

    • fokka April 19, 2015 at 11:22 pm #

      i'm in the same boat, that's why i whitelisted ghacks in ublock and click on an ad every now and then. if i had more money i would donate a couple bucks via patreon, but for now ads will have to do.

  6. Sören Hentzschel April 18, 2015 at 11:36 am #

    "I'm still working on the site"

    And please do something regarding the caching behaviour. ;) I have to manually reload ghacks.net to see new articles or new comments in the articles, it's not enough to type ghacks.net in the url bar and press enter. And Firefox don't detect that I already have ghacks added as search engine and shows the green [+] icon in the search field.

    • rsn April 18, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

      I used to have that problem and deleting cookies fixed it.

    • Ken Saunders April 18, 2015 at 11:05 pm #

      I've used Update Scanner (Firefox add-on) for several years.
      I have it set to check Ghacks daily for new articles and you can use it to scan for changes to webpages like new comments, etc, for sites that don't offer email notifications.
      The scanning frequency options are great as you can set Update Scanner to check for changes using minutes, hours, or days.

      https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/update-scanner

  7. Ray April 18, 2015 at 11:48 am #

    Glad to hear the situation is getting better and looking forward to the new articles. Ghacks is whitelisted on my adblock. How about some themed articles similar to the Wifi series? Examples could be the top productivity/ Firefox extensions/entertainment/streaming/media player articles. I am not sure how this can help in terms of content with respect to Google's algorigthms.

    Keep it up :)

  8. theMike April 18, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    It also doesn't help you any that, out of desperation sites like howtogeek, are allowing posts like this:

    https://discuss.howtogeek.com/t/g-hacks-not-recommended-site/27527

  9. Richard Sullivan April 18, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    Hi Martin,

    I do 90% of my blog reading via an online RSS reader (feedly.com) only occasionally jumping into the actual blog for the most interesting articles (mostly in order to get to the comments). I don't use an ad blocker (except for a Flash blocker). I guess my behaviour might be typical of readers of technical blogs.

    The point of this is that you don't show ads in your RSS feed so are losing income. I guess the quickest way to regain some lost income would be to somehow get some ads in the RSS feed. The other alternative of just offering teaser text in the RSS feed would probably make you lose a lot of casual readers.

    If you do manage to get ads in the RSS feed then I don't think you should make any effort to make it ad-free for paid users (those who pay understand that you need an income from diverse sources).

    Good luck,
    Richard

    • Antonio April 19, 2015 at 9:40 am #

      I quote Richard 100%. I am a Ghacks reader through Feedly, too.
      By the way, I think that this world is crazy. I do not envy you and other people having to chase misterious and nonsense rules to not loose traffic. For example, when I open a Ghacks page from Feedly it's for reading comments. If Google penalises pages with a lot a comments (if it is true, I hardly believe it's due to longer loading time) it's a stupid thing. And I hate thirdy part platforms as Disqus.
      Lastly: have you tried to find a direct sponsor? Someone interested in inserting some banner in your feed?

      • Martin Brinkmann April 19, 2015 at 10:02 am #

        Antonio, I'd love a direct sponsor either for the full site or the feed but it is more than difficult to find one.

        It would resolve all issues that I'm facing currently. If anyone has suggestions, let me know.

  10. Womble April 18, 2015 at 12:45 pm #

    I'm surprised the ad blocking situation hasn't changed much. C'mon people even if you're skint like me you can still help by white-listing Ghacks.

    On a side note it amusing how unsophisticated tracking for advertising is; all the ads I can see on Ghacks now I either already subscribe to(My ISP) or have already purchased recently and have no need to replace or replenish.

  11. kalmly April 18, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

    Very disturbing that Google - ONE effing business - has such power over the internet. Seriously. Disturbing. So many sites that I used to visit regularly are gone. I try to avoid anything Google as much as is humanly possible. Trust me, it isn't easy.

  12. Mark April 18, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

    White-listed in both Disconnect and uBlockOrigin - removed my old hosts filed too that was probably blocking your ads. I really want Ghacks to stay around.

    How does everyone view the EU anti-trust case against Google in light of this article?

  13. Keith April 18, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

    Ghacks has been of such great help to me over the years. You've consistently provided quality content that's both interesting and valuable to me. I wish you the best, and am whitelisting Ghacks. Thank you!

  14. subrata April 18, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    I have Sent you an Email ,Please Check must.thank you.

    • Martin Brinkmann April 18, 2015 at 4:18 pm #

      Thanks got it.

      • Ken Saunders April 18, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

        I sent one also,
        on March 10th!
        Get it together man!
        (jk)
        I've resent it. :)

  15. Swamy April 18, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    Maybe you should use an anti-adblocker https://wordpress.org/plugins/no-adblock/ or something like that.

  16. Penn April 18, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    I have Ghacks whitelisted on my ad-blocker but my question is can NoScript affect ad revenue as well? The domain for Ghacks is whitelisted on NoScript but I have other domains that are blocked that have me wondering. These other domains that are blocked in NoScript are the following:

    criteo.com
    googlesyndication.com
    googleadservices.com
    googletagservices.com

    Anyone have an answer for this?

    • Anonymous April 18, 2015 at 11:24 pm #

      googleadservices.com is for ads

    • Uhtred April 19, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

      Same here, ABP whitelisted, No Script allowed ghacks.net but blocking criteo and the googles...

      I think a lot of sites might reduce concern by having a list of addresses of sites legitamately used in scripts (and the reason why used) written somewhere on the site so that people can check... perhaps in their about/credits pages

    • Thrawn April 21, 2015 at 2:00 am #

      The site does need those scripts in order to serve its ads, but you can restrict them to only run on GHacks by adding the following ABE rule (Options-Advanced-ABE, in the USER ruleset):

      Site .doubleclick.net .googleadservices.com .googlesyndication.com .googletagservices.com
      Accept from .doubleclick.net .googleadservices.com .googlesyndication.com .googletagservices.com http://www.ghacks.net
      Deny

      Then whitelist doubleclick.net, googleadservices.com, googlesyndication.com, and googletagservices.com

  17. Shea April 18, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    The secret project with Rarst sounds promising...

    • gt April 18, 2015 at 11:23 pm #

      tip: In case you -n- Rarst are planning to share/syndicate content, know that I'm not the least bit interested in reading drivel about the latest, greatest, euro300 backpack he recently bought.

  18. Shea April 18, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

    Perhaps moving to a low-cost but reliable VPS would be a good idea for Ghacks, not only save funds on running the site, but I think that it would provide a valuable experience which you could use as a source for future articles. Digital Ocean is a personal favourite of mine who also provide a number of helpful guides to setting up different software on the VPS. You can get some free credit to test things out by using.

    • Martin Brinkmann April 18, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

      Thanks. I had to remove the link for now but will take a look at it once I get to evaluating services. I'm not 100% certain a VPS will do though. I know for a fact that regular hosting accounts are out of the question.

  19. Sudip April 18, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

    It's just awesome. Ghacks cannot die.

  20. Lindsay April 18, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

    Out of interest, do you expect adding a bitcoin option to help significantly?

    I note that Firefox (among others) noticed a *decrease* in donations when the option was available.

    Bitcoin seems to be for hoarding or buying drugs these days, which unfortunately I don't think is going to help you out.

  21. john April 18, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

    Why should a person support your living so that you have a income. I see this more and more , where people are asking for donations. If I gave to every site and corrupt poltician then I would be broke

    • Martin Brinkmann April 18, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

      Good question. Maybe because that person is creating something of value to you that you don't want to lose? I hope you are not comparing me or my site to corrupt politicians..

      • john April 18, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

        Nope I am just saying that it seems like everyone is trying to making a living off the internet by way of donations. I can't support a person ability to run a site and also pay my own bills. When you have many websites asking for donations and then the politicians bombard your email account with requests, you start to get cynical about who you are giving money to and what it's being used for.

        I understand the cost of hosting fee's and keeping a website such as yours online. Should I be supplementing your income also? In this bad economy ( the government is not telling you and me the whole truth) people just don't have the income they once had.

        I use ad blocker because the advertisements online have become progressively worse and more aggressive. It's my computer and I should have the right to block whatever I want in my browser. Also, page advertisements are a gateway into infecting your computer through rouge means. Again everyone is trying to make money on the internet and the revenue continues to decrease each and every year because companies like Google and Youtube have become excessively greedy. They should be paying you the correct revenue instead of you resorting to advertisements and donations

      • Martin Brinkmann April 18, 2015 at 7:00 pm #

        John, you may want to think about it in a different way. If you buy a computer magazine, you buy it because you want to read it and like what it has to offer. Indirectly, you are also supporting the company behind it and thus also the writers, editors and other employees. But, you have probably never thought about supplementing the income of those employees when buying the magazine.

        So, instead of focusing on you supplementing my income or anyone else' on the Internet, you should see it more as keeping the content up and coming.

        Accessing a site without having to pay for it and without seeing any ads is obviously great, but it is not sustainable at all.

        Again, I'm not enforcing anything. I'm just pointing out that if things don't change, sites like mine will be a thing of the past.

    • dwarf_t0ssr April 18, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

      As one who is *very* cynical of Internet donations and everybody and their grandmother wanting money for silly crap like Steam skins (seriously, there is a guy who wants patreon monthly money for a steam skin...), I see where you are coming from. Heck, I even groan thinking about how people like Markiplier make bank by being obnoxious, and other degenerates who got lucky despite little in the way of quality content or talent. It really seems like every slacker in the world is trying to rake in ad revenue and live off of Internet money, and this insipid army of gimmicky posers are all about passing the tip hat around.

      I don't even care much for crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, though I do see that the (very) few legit projects likely wouldn't have happened otherwise. I'm sort of a hard-liner, I promise heh. And I absolutely despise the obnoxious phrase "take my money!!11!". Writing blank checks like that is no way to keep them hoes down, to coin a phrase.

      But you are wrong about this site, and well, in the real world sites like this cost money to operate. If you enjoy the site often, it wouldn't break the bank to skip a cheeseburger and send the man a fiver. Ghacks being a (mostly) one man show, and being a quality site with useful and compelling content, I see no problem with him not only being able to further operations here, but *gasp*....making a few bucks for his trouble. He does this full-time, and is frankly a damn machine. If the site ever got the recognition it deserved and he made bank, I'd applaud it and know that sometimes someone worthy makes it on The Internet. Dude works his ass off; just sign up for the RSS feed and watch how many substantive articles he cranks out on even slow days!

      And I honestly don't believe that Martin would have asked for help if there were any possible way to make this site live otherwise. It had to be hard for a guy like him to ask at all. So I'd urge you to at least whitelist the site in adblock, if you use it, and maybe click an ad or two, or leave a constructive comment. Because good sites and people who don't rely on corporate sponsorship need support, even if you can't afford to help them with money.

      Hope I didn't come off like a kissass, I just think the site is great and hope things work out for it in the future.

      • tuna April 18, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

        Ditto.
        Donation sent.

      • Antonio April 19, 2015 at 9:55 am #

        Your reflection inspired me an observation.

        A *paradox*.

        Whitelisting Ghacks (for Google advertising) means rewarding who is killing Ghacks.
        A win-win alternative for Google.
        A less sure one for Ghacks.
        Sad but true.

    • JohnMWhite April 18, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

      Sigh. There's always one.

    • DonGateley April 18, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

      @John: simply because we won't have it without it providing Martin an income to provide it. What's so difficult about that logic? Why do you you see that as poor ethics? In what way are you entitled to Martin's work?

      Does your logic extend to stealing the intellectual property known as entertainment?

      Martin, have you considered YouTube as an adjunct? Their new pay-for policy might be the ticket. I love Marques Brownlee and he seems to be earning a great deal. Your info is far more useful than his.

      • Martin Brinkmann April 18, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

        YouTube or videos in general require lots of time which I don't have. Plus, you probably would not want to listen to my German accent as well as it is terrible ;)

  22. Straspey April 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    Hi Martin -

    I saw your post over at How To Geek and have posted a link over there to this article - just one of many links to your articles I have posted in those discussion forums.

    Most of the HTG community knows what a great site you have - and how hard you work to maintain it. Hopefully this will encourage more people to visit and participate at Ghacks.

    • Martin Brinkmann April 18, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

      Thanks. I keep an eye on the thread there but have the nagging feeling that the original author won't reply anymore. Still don't know if this is just someone who is pissed and wants to hurt the reputation of this site or someone who experienced the issue described.

  23. Straspey April 18, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    Martin -

    My impression is that when you actually became involved in the thread - along with one of the HTG Mods - it may have been too much for him to handle - and perhaps he realized he was sounding the alarm before having made any attempts to dig deeper and investigate the issue on his own.

    And you know that Lowell and the Mods - as well as the community in general over there - are very quick to put a stop to trolling and will put a stop to that sort of behavior pretty quickly.

    • theMike April 18, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

      Looks like the one they're accusing of trolling is the one standing up for GHacks

      • Straspey April 18, 2015 at 7:43 pm #

        Actually Mike - Martin was able to download the program and replicate the problem of the OP of that thread - which he posted about five minutes ago.

        Stop by HTG more often - we miss you there ;)

    • Martin Brinkmann April 18, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

      Could be. It is quite a problem though now as I cannot possibly investigate the issue based on what he revealed in the thread. I did contact Dr. Web though.

    • theMike April 19, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

      Straspey, after this despicable act by howtogeek's forums I've taken them out of my bookmarks.

      • Straspey April 22, 2015 at 6:03 am #

        Mike -

        I'm sorry you feel that way - but you have no business accusing anyone over at HTG for "despicable acts" regarding that thread.

        The OP asked a perfectly valid question when he discovered that his Dr. Web security had red-flagged ghacks prevented the OP from accessing the site.

        It was quickly proven - and admitted by the Mods at Dr. Web - that the red flag was an error on their part and it was the equivalent of a "false positive".

        People started making all sorts of accusations and taking sides without having taken the time or made the effort to learn all the facts. This was a very simple and valid question by the OP regarding an issue which people have every day -- just ask Nir Sofer over at Nirsoft about all the "False Positives" his wonderful little utilities get from security software.

        If you have a resentment or issue with the owners and mods at HTG then you should try to resolve it with them directly - rather than trolling about them here -- on a site which the owner runs by himself and does not have the time to revue every post.

        I think Martin should be aware that while he was concerned about how the reputation of ghacks was being seen over on HTG - the mods over there are none too happy about the accusations that he's allowing to be posted here about HTG.

  24. XenoSilvano April 18, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    I have been tracking ghacks funding progress on Patreon on a regular basis, and with dread, it is quite obvious that it is shy of meeting it's minimum monthly quota.

    I have wanted to chip-in but the private bank that I am with are very stringent when it comes to making online payments, THEY DON'T LET ME DO IT! I have tried it before but every single one of my requests where rejected.

    I am a little bit strapped for now, until I can find another way to do this.

    One of the reasons why I like to come to ghack often is because the topics taken-up in the articles that are posted here have an eerie habit of coinciding with issues that I am facing at that moment in time, there are solutions to issues that I have been searching for months and years that I have essentially given-up on for that moment in time, that have been unexpectedly covered on this site, and I am like "how does he know(?)".

    Even when I am searching for solutions on search engines, they will occasionally display search results of articles from ghacks regarding the topic that I am looking for, where as on other sites they talk about things that I am not exactly looking for, which is one aspect that I dislike about the internet, it would be nice f there was a separate internet you could go to where you could just get the facts, the internet is a complete jungle with the way it is right now.

  25. anonymous April 18, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

    Martin, you may be interested in using "Let's Encrypt" to encrypt your site which is offered by EFF and will be launching soon this year. Check it out: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/11/certificate-authority-encrypt-entire-web

  26. Karl April 18, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

    Wow, that hosting really seems high! I use Site5 and I love the non-interrupted, speedy service I get. They have a European virtual server for $71.50 a month : http://www.site5.com/in.php?id=201141&p=p%2Feuropean-web-hosting%2F (yes, this is an affiliate link).

    • Martin Brinkmann April 18, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

      Thanks Karl. I don#t think they smaller packages are sufficient though, especially RAM wise as Ghacks is a massive site.

  27. JonnyRedHed April 18, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

    I have white listed this site (Adgaurd and disconnect), even though I am not happy at seeing Asian babe dating adverts. But as you made a good case for allowing ad's, it's worth it.

    And have managed to add one friend to the regular visitor here, and have requested allowing ads.

    Maybe you could start a youtube channel doing some reviews and tech blog. Run ad's there also.

    As for https, I'm using the partial https everywhere rule.

    Keep up the good work Martin.

    -Jonny (1600 FF tabs guy)

  28. David April 18, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

    There was a time when ghacks articles simply didn't display if you were using an ad-blocker. You ought to do that again - host the text content on a blacklisted domain.

    You'd be a real asset to a PC magazine, like PCPro or Computer Shopper.

    • Antonio April 19, 2015 at 10:03 am #

      Please, no! It's a hateful solution (and probably a death-wish one). At most, display an advice for users using ad blocks.

  29. Pradeep April 18, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    Don't bite the hand that feed's. if your site is dependent on ad revenue then promoting ad-blocking software is just asking for trouble. Martin this is a wake up call. we don't live in a egalitarian Utopian world where hard work is rewarded, we live in a world where if some one tries to sell you software people pirate it. if it's ad-support we (especial you) call it ad-ware, if you create a donation-ware people don't donate. Honest ask yourself how many people have donated to open source software or there Firefox extension. the number will be very small. People are dicks and you are part of it. you promoted ad-block on your site for so long and you are surprised the people are using ad-blocking software. Ad-blocking is just leeching. people can justify it all they want but the truth is if you don't like ad's don't visit the sites. Running a website requires time and money and they should be compensated for there work. People who use ad-block still consume the information and the bandwidth but give nothing in return a.k.a leeching. And the only people who white list your site are long term members who are ad-blind anyway and don't click on any ad's. And Martin Google doesn't care about quality Google cares about popularity thats why sites like buzzfed 9gag and other content farm make millions. Google at the end of the day is a business.

    • Blue April 18, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

      +1 well said, "Google doesn't care about quality Google cares about popularity that's why sites like buzzfed 9gag and other content farm make millions. Google at the end of the day is a business." All this Google bashing is annoying. It's not like they are aiming to take over the world as perceived by so many they are a business who only cares about popularity and not quality.

      I for one have come across many links which show up on the top of the page but have little if anything at all with the actual subject I am searching for. Google is trying to weed out the bad results but it is based on user input. If you don't actually send in a report, then they won't actually know you're throwing your hands up in the air with a look of shock or disappointment.

      As with the Geek site... often I find the moderators are only there to monitor their rules like racism, defamation etc... but just about allow the posting of anything even if it makes no sense and often loops back on itself with the reply of other forum members.

      As for donating. I believe I was the first to openly inquire about it because my bank is as picky just as #XenoSilvano is. Where they do allow online banking but they want to be paid as well so every online transaction I do a fee is applied. If I donate two dollar to Martin via Patreon I'm actually being charged two dollars the second Patreon takes that two dollar out of my account.

      At the end of the month the amount of transactions get taxed so yet another fee. So after a break down, even though I am signed on with Patreon to send Martin a monthly donation, I'm actually loosing out on $6/m ($2 Patreon donation + $2 fee + $2 transaction fee). Which is why I asked for a one time donation link instead but my bank decided... a Donation eh.. that'll be a $20 service fee plus a transaction fee, and because the service fee qualities as a transaction and a withdrawal, I'll be charged those fees as well.... WTHF!!!

      So in the end it was cheaper to go with the monthly option than a one time donation because like those of you who think Google are screwing you, my bank actually is screwing me**.

      **I knew this bank was screwing me so I left and opened an account with a new bank... many years went by then the old bank that screwed me, bought out my new bank so now I am screwed again...

    • Nebulus April 19, 2015 at 12:41 am #

      I'm sorry Pradeep, but you are wrong about ad-blocking. Blocking ads is also a security measure - I suggest to read up on "malvertising".

  30. jasray April 18, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

    Martin, Martin . . . do what you love, and the money-means will come.

    If Sam at FreewareGenius stopped blogging and Raymond.cc stopped, then whatever model they were using to transform information into money, didn't work. It was interesting to see the some 600+ "no, Martin, don't stop writing Ghacks," when the problem was first mentioned. Such enthusiasm. Now I rarely see one or two comments per story.

    On a casual day I may visit 10 different tech sites, and, maybe this is rude, but no other site has requested money from readers. MakeUseOf is a relatively decent site.

    It is sad . . . sort of, I guess, but maybe there's a better way to do the same thing? We are having problems at a help site at this point, a site that's been in existence since 1991. To close the site, board the windows, and move on is the main option on the table. Yep!

    We find it difficult to "accept" dissolution only because we've put so much intellectual and emotional energy into the site, but that's the "reality." To not accept the reality is more of a monolithic failure than feebly dragging on toward some mirage of a resurrection. Ideas die; people die; places die; everything dies--great book by Lawrence Block.

    May as well take a read somewhere on a ledge.

  31. beachbouy April 18, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

    I don't use an adblocker program. But, I do use HOSTS file blocking. If you let me know where Ghack's ads are served from (server name), I will whitelist the server to allow ads from that server. It's not the ads that bother me so much as it is the tracking. I don't like having strangers looking over my shoulder everywhere I go on the Web.

    I will also add that if you could manage a way to host ads yourself instead of third-party servers, you might have better luck, and more control.

  32. Raelynn April 18, 2015 at 11:32 pm #

    Hi, I just found your site today. Hope things start going better for you. I detest windows 8. I wish I had a windows 7 full retail professional so that I could just keep my windows going even if my computer dies. :/

  33. Mike Harris April 18, 2015 at 11:51 pm #

    I whitelisted your site.

    One suggestion free of charge -- the site's aesthetics are very old. A visual overhaul might help.

  34. gt April 19, 2015 at 12:01 am #

    Once you're done paying everyone else each month, there's nothing left for you, eh? You "professional bloggers"... I think you've collectively taken the bait, thereby selling yourselves short. Who convinced you that a successful site needs google (organic search)? Why the hell did everyone forsake good ol' webrings? Why are you (throughout, I'm referring to the collective you -- content publishers) not utilizing openX self-hosted adserving software instead of relying on nose-up-my-ass googleANALytics? Who convinced you that I'll "click away and never return" if you host your sites images on imgur ($25/yr) instead of leasing a $$$/mo millisecond-delivery, geo-distributed, CDN server?

    If your site(s) displayed self-hosted banner ads, they would not be so aggressively blocked. If "blogrolls" would be replaced with relevant "other blogs/sites we recommend FOR THIS TOPIC"... then I might (pretty disillusioned at this point) stop ignoring those links.

    Newegg and/or amazon are selling something to me (and everyone else) every week. Both of 'em offer affiliate programs (yeah, I've seen your "We Use" page) and, if you picked a hot product I'm likely to buy and featured and ad for it to run a week (a month)... I recently (followed the herd and) bought a Samsung EVO 850 SSD & when I did, I intentionally "clicked through" from one of the benchmarks blog/forum sites so that they'd earn a commission. I would certainly be willing to do the same for ghacks (but I don't care what kind of mouse you use/recommend, UNLESS it's a hot new product that I'll be stoked to discover. Even so, waste of keystrokes -- mouse is a comparatively low-ticket product.).

    • Antonio April 19, 2015 at 10:08 am #

      good idea

    • gt April 21, 2015 at 2:03 am #

      Earlier comment wound up sounding more negative than helpful. thessdreview dot com is the site that asked (and received) my amazon clickthu ~~ the site didn't link directly to a product, just a (cookie-setting, I guess) link labeled something like "click here to support us when shopping Amazon". AFAIK, this affiliation has ZERO cost to the site.

      I've skimmed all 96 comments here today. I'm wondering (and cannot find any "advertising rates" page indicating) whether you're willing / able to directly deal with individual prospective sponsors (month-long banner ad campaign, or CPM campaigns, without involving a 3rd party ad network).

      Your writing style is extremely clear, but your topic coverage seems a bit... too random? You've done a great job of providing ongoing coverage of browser addons / extensions. Everything else here is a reach, a stretch. Okay, Martin is sharing whatever he happened to discover/explore today (each day), fair enough, but even when you "peg" these random-ish daily adventures into chockablock "topics" (aka categories ~~ "Apple... Tutorials") I often skip reading the full article. Do you know the "techsupportalert" (aka "Gizmo's freeware reviews") site? Yeah, categories... but that site instills a clear sense of expertise, and each of the "shootout" articles/matrices gets periodically updated (as new products emerge, as commenters suggest/request reviews of not-yet-covered products). This recipe helps to make/keep it a go-to site.

      • Martin Brinkmann April 21, 2015 at 6:16 am #

        I'm quite surprised that you use Tech Support Alert as an example as articles on the site are all across the board as well. Just check the front page: http://www.techsupportalert.com/

        It is an excellent site, but the topics covered on it are even more diverse than they are on mine.

        I cover mostly things that I'm interested in which is browsers, software, Windows, Android, development and gaming (the latter two only rarely).

  35. Mountainking April 19, 2015 at 7:15 am #

    Whitelisted .....Will look at other options later. Good luck dude.

  36. Robert April 19, 2015 at 7:26 am #

    I don't think Ghacks is just "one more Tech site" as it has better news than any other site, some of them very unique. It's very well done, the news are interesting and useful even when I search for old ones, they usually have updates. So I learn lots of things here and also from the comments. And that's why the first thing I do every day is reading Ghacks news and we should help Martin with the site as much as we can because he works a lot and he deserves it.
    By the way, if someone is afraid of unblocking ads can run the browser in a sandbox so it'll be totally safe.

  37. AJ North April 19, 2015 at 7:39 am #

    Hello Martin,

    Just read through the thread in which Ghacks was accused of being unsafe (perhaps even malicious!) at HTG; an expression from this side of the Pond that describes this lunacy reasonably well is FUBAR (you may be familiar with it...).

    In any case, I have just made another deposit to the kitty. Personally, I'm not terribly enamored of ad clutter (which is NOT meant to be any sort of criticism) -- but your site is simply too valuable not to remain viable. 'Nuff said.

    Cheers,

    AJN

  38. Paul(us) April 19, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    Dear Martin, I have to wright that because I have fallen ill (and still being ill) and also lost main job and thereby now being depended of just enough government (dole/charity) payment to barely staying alive, I am afraid that cant support you right now. Because of main age I am quit sure that even when I am getting better I not getting a payed job anymore and I have (even now when I am sick I have to work otherwise I not getting dole, to pay main doctors - , food - and housing bill, because of a government order) to stay working for main government (dole) payment.
    A great fan of your blog!

    • Martin Brinkmann April 19, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

      Hope you feel better soon Paulus. Take good care of yourself and thanks for the praise.

      • Paul(us) April 19, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

        Thanks Martin, For your kind words!
        Hopefully I (and many more) can keep on reading your excellent examined - and well written articles and inspiring comments, until the end of (our) times, far away in the future.

  39. CHEF-KOCH April 19, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

    Well, https isn't enouth you need to ensure the whole content is encrypted, if not some Firefox/Chrome/Internet explorer users with extensions (to force https) may get the "Mixed Content" warning instead with a big banner that the site is insecure.

    And another thing should be speed, on the main page I would only place the important stuff like an overview and a description to improve the rank on search engines.

  40. Antonio April 19, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

    Martin, is your theme responsive?

  41. Bullet April 19, 2015 at 10:16 pm #

    Martin,
    I'got the same problem as Penn (April 18, 2015 at 3:10 pm) with noscript.
    Is there any solution to permanently whitelist
    criteo.com
    googlesyndication.com
    googleadservices.com
    googletagservices.com
    for Ghacks only, but not for other sites ?

    • Martin Brinkmann April 20, 2015 at 6:26 am #

      I don't think this can be done with NoScript.

      • Thrawn April 21, 2015 at 2:05 am #

        Indeed it can, with the ABE module (Options-Advanced-ABE, in the USER ruleset):

        Site .doubleclick.net .googleadservices.com .googlesyndication.com .googletagservices.com
        Accept from .doubleclick.net .googleadservices.com .googlesyndication.com .googletagservices.com .ghacks.net
        Deny

        Then whitelist the sites as usual.

      • Martin Brinkmann April 21, 2015 at 5:57 am #

        Thanks, this might make a good article!

  42. Venkat April 19, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

    RIP

    • Nebulus April 19, 2015 at 11:27 pm #

      Who died? :)

    • XenoSilvano April 21, 2015 at 5:45 am #

      Ohhh, Venkat! *Xeno Claps* Another tech blog author, it is a shame what happened to your site, your site and Martin's were 3 of the only tech sites that I would visit on a daily basis.

      It is a shame that you could not continue working on your site as regularly as you used to, in spite of that, I hope that things are going well for you.

      Salutations to you. ( ^_^)/

  43. Dan April 20, 2015 at 5:55 am #

    Maybe the current ad-supported blogging model is not working any more. Pro-bloggers need to find other means of revenue. Evolve or die.

    • Martin Brinkmann April 20, 2015 at 6:28 am #

      That's what I'm trying to do with Patreon as it works independent of ads and traffic.

  44. chappieray April 20, 2015 at 7:33 am #

    Herr Brinkmann,

    I've been reading Ghacks for over a year now. Excellent work on your part! Your knowledge is wisely imparted to all who will take time to read it. I'm a 'senior citizen' and we didn't have computers when I was a child. I do not understand everything in regard to pc(s) but I have learned much thanks to you and several other sites I read. It is my earnest desire that Ghacks will be available for years to come. In contrast to all the "information" on the Internet Highway, Ghacks (you) offer knowledge and understanding. There is a great divide between the two!

    Just an idea and you probably have pondered it already. I subscribe to 'Windows Secrets' which I'm sure you are familiar with. At first they offered a free subscription to everyone. Then they changed. The free subscription is still available, but they now offer a paid subscription--filled with insightful articles! AND the paid subscription is any amount you want to give. I assume it is working for them. Of course, you will always have the free loaders who will subscribe to the paid version for a meager amount. Those who really appreciate the hard work and insightful understanding contributors like you impart will count it a joy to have some part in supporting your work. I hope to make a contribution in a few days.

    Thanks for your work and sharing it.

  45. Winsight April 20, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    Well how much revenue approximately do you earn *each month* that you have to take a life changing decision!? $3000? $4000? You could email me the answer if you don't want to make it public. I am looking forward to starting a blog related to cooking myself as a part time hobby. I don't expect to make as much as technology focused blog but I was always curious how much you made.

    I know never ask a man his salary yada yada but I never thought a person could survive on ad revenue alone. My friend has a blog about mobile apps and he makes only $450 per month.

  46. loki April 20, 2015 at 10:03 pm #

    I think Ghacks community qualifies nicely for a try of the Maelstrom technology.
    http://project-maelstrom.bittorrent.com/
    If you and the other permanent readers are curious, maybe it worth a try. What do you think about a test with one or two articles?

    • Martin Brinkmann April 20, 2015 at 10:13 pm #

      I read that the implementation is quite complicated at the moment.

  47. Steve April 21, 2015 at 12:14 am #

    the articles are very good. maybe a catchier, more modern and appealing layout would help to get more views. a theme that looks good on desktop and also mobile.

  48. sunnytimes April 21, 2015 at 12:28 am #

    shut my adblock off on ghacks .. thanks for this site!

  49. kiko April 21, 2015 at 1:45 am #

    Pradeep is 200% right martin, you have been writing about adblocks here, don't act all surprised now that people are using it on your site.

    The only surprising thing is that you talk about needing a high end server while saying that there are not enough visitors, it seems it should be the opposite, low traffic needs a low end server.

    • Martin Brinkmann April 21, 2015 at 6:10 am #

      It is not all about traffic. Ghacks is a massive site with nearly 16k articles and more than 160k comments. There is search for instance, which requires a decent server as well.

  50. paulmichael1084 April 21, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    ARTICLE LENGTH
    The articles on Ghacks are the perfect length! They get the point across, without waffling and filling out the page, which is a symptom of many other sites on which I try to read posts and run out of time before I get to the end.
    Keep this Martin, I like Ghacks very much!
    Cheers

  51. suresh April 21, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

    Kindly let me know how I can send my small contribution . I there any payment mode suresh

  52. Anthony April 21, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    Not sure, however, could this be the news you were waiting for?

    Google favoring sites with mobile ..

    http://www.geekwire.com/2015/businesses-at-risk-of-slipping-in-google-results-after-algorithm-tweaks-go-into-effect-tomorrow/

    • Martin Brinkmann April 21, 2015 at 7:16 pm #

      Well Ghacks is mobile ready according to Google's test tool. Don't know if it will make a difference though.

  53. Sheshan April 22, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    I came to know about AdBlock after reading about it and other similar adblocking articles on this site. After that I started using it. Sorry if it hurt you, but now I have got used to it. Maybe you should delete all your Adblock articles so that your new users at least wont hurt you. :P

  54. All Things Firefox April 22, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

    You're thinking of enabling HTTPS? Yes!!
    Hope the situation improves so that you can keep your great job and so that this great site can keep going.

  55. coakl April 22, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

    Google and the search engine optimizers are still locked in their eternal war. Ghacks and other quality sites are further and further down the results list.
    As a countermeasure, I set my Google searches to return 30 results per page, instead of the default 10.
    That worked for a while. But its gotten worse. Enough that I have to scroll through 2 or 3 pages of 30-results each, before the good stuff shows up for simple questions like, "blogspot blogs load slowly on firefox"

  56. Doc April 24, 2015 at 12:15 am #

    Interesting article, and sad but true. I have a very good idea how google defines a site as "Quality" , but if I said it I would surely get charged with libel ;-( "Do no Evil" Yeah, right..

  57. Doc April 24, 2015 at 1:12 am #

    You know, just delete that last comment. It serves no constructive purpose, except to vent my frustration with a corporation that constantly fixes things that aren't, in fact, broken.. ;-(

    • Trebuchette May 6, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

      No don't: Google SUCKS and should have been broken up into baby googles long before now, but the DOJ is ignorant.

      I'd love to whitelist ghacks (and just did some more checking to make sure it's as whitelisted as possible), but I don't even let google fonts through. I guess I could visit ghacks on my mobile, but I think I put adsense in that hosts file, too, lol. Sorry. Afaic, if google suggests a site, the site is shit.

      People need to band together and have "Google-proofed" banners in their cover art; at least whitelisting such sites would MEAN something then (because for most of us, whitelisting gHacks still won't tell Google much.

  58. Dave (3) April 27, 2015 at 12:32 am #

    Is Patreon going to charge me in dollars, because that would be a bit silly? Their site is very minimalist, which is the exact opposite of what I want from a company dealing with automatic payments. In fact, there is no information about making payments on their site AT ALL.

  59. adb3829 April 27, 2015 at 4:36 am #

    People use ad-blockers for the following reasons:

    1. Some web sites have become greedy; they bog down their pages with far more ads than they need to cover their costs.

    2. Advertising agencies do not always make their own ads, they sometimes accept ads from third parties. This has allowed infections by malicious ads that exploit a security hole, particularly in Flash.

    3. People hate pop-ups (or ads with a soundtrack that plays automatically.) Now you said you would never do that* -- but you are missing the point: people wont turn off their ad blocker just because you are one of the good guys.

    * http://www.ghacks.net/2015/02/27/ghacks-is-dying-and-needs-your-help/

    4. Some web sites have more than 50 off-site scripts for advertising & tracking. People dont want to be forced to buy a new computer or pay for a faster internet link just because greedy web sites eat all of your memory and CPU resources like Pac-Man. So they use products like NoScript... but they were not explicitly trying to avoid advertisements, they only wanted to speed up the web.
    ___________
    Ad blockers generally try to block ads from off-site sources (not ads which are hosted on your own server). Why wont people pay for that kind of advertising? Because they cant track the number of page views? But wait--this revenue model has sustained the print media for 500 years, and that kind of publishing is far more expensive! So 42% of online ads are now blocked, and the number is rising. As an advertiser, you have to make a decision: do you want to verify the number of impressions, or do you want to double the size of your audience?

    Most advertisers are making the less-profitable choice because they have become psychologically addicted to tracking and statistics. For example, major food store chains will surreptitiously track the movement of customers through their stores. Then they rearrange the products to make you wander around the store, in order to increase the chance that you will buy things which you did not want. This is an expression of insane greed.

    When vendors abuse their technology, the advantages begin to evaporate: people start using ad blockers, or they start shopping elsewhere to save time, or they visit the store less often because shopping has become an unpleasant ordeal. It's the same situation with Google: sure they have tremendous power, and they often wield it in a ham-fisted way. But that is beginning to backfire. People are switching to other services like DuckDuckGo, which has a non-tracking policy. Google has been fined or sued by various governments for monopolistic trade practices, illegal spying, and lack of unambiguous disclosure with regard to their policies and their terms of service. People are using ad blockers because they dont like ad servers tracking nearly every web site they visit. Or maybe they just dont want to see ads which are based on their web search terms repeating over and over everywhere they go. The solution lies in advertising without excessive dependence on tracking and off-site scripts. If you cannot fix this, you should at least change that horrible thin grey font which is almost impossible to read. ;-)

  60. pauloo May 2, 2015 at 12:57 am #

    Martin, just came across this post. I was unaware that Ghacks suffered an impact in traffic.

    I'm a long time reader of the blog - almost from the begining. Currently I'm accessing it less more, due to huge volume of work (website optimization related) and not able to visit so often.

    There are a couple of blogs that I will read for years and years, and your work is one of them.

    Ghacks has been (it is still!!!) very useful and informative. I'm sure that if you continue the situation will improve. It is impossible to rate Ghacs as low quality... or in that case, NYTimes, Wash. Post, BBC or The Guardian are low quality

  61. TSJNachos117 May 6, 2015 at 2:03 am #

    I have only discovered this site recently, but have already whitelisted it with my adblocker. However, because I'm paranoid about privacy, I'm concerned about being tracked by the advertisers. It's too bad they don't seem the least concerned about my Do Not Track header, as that's my #1 reason for having an adblocker in the first place (annoying ads are only #2).

    • DonGateley May 6, 2015 at 7:50 am #

      @TSJ... Look into Privacy Badger for blocking trackers. You can also white list with it and it undoubtedly speeds things up.

  62. Luis Anton Imperial May 6, 2015 at 7:14 am #

    Martin, maybe you should use an anti-adblocker script! Also, as other people said, you should put ads on RSS readers.
    If I have enough money, I will patron you.

  63. Zeitdieb May 6, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

    Hallo Martin,

    ich kenne diese Seite nicht. Hierher gekommen bin ich durch Zufall, weil ich von der App "NoSuchApp" las und das in der Suchmaschine mit dem G eingegeben habe. Leider ist hier zumindest auf den 1. Blick alles auf englisch. Natürlich verstehe ich das in einer globalen Welt. Dennoch wäre es schön, Manches auch auf deutsch lesen zu können.

    Des Weiteren ist es bedauerlich zu lesen, dass es finanzielle Probleme gibt. Ich habe noch nicht vollständig meinen PC eingerichtet und somit auch noch nicht den "Ad-Blocker" installiert, habe jedoch Disconnect testweise als Erweiterung des Firefox. Dieser zeigt mir keine (0) Weiterleitungen an diverse Sites, was wohl auch die App "NoSuchApp" machen soll. Schade dass diese App wohl die Verbindungen nicht kappen kann.

    Ich denke, dass viele heutzutage eher nur "Schauen" wollen statt zu lesen. Darum wäre es u.U. möglich, Videos auf Plattformen wie Youtube hochzuladen. Die wollen attraktiver werden und mehr zahlen, wie ich gelesen habe. Dies könnte eine Einnahmequelle werden, die zwar werbefinanziert ist aber die ghacks-Seite nicht "vollmüllt".

    Ich hoffe ein deutscher Kommentar ist in Ordnung. Ich drücke die Daumen, dass es weitergeht. Diese Seite ist sicherlich kein Zeitdieb ;)

    • Martin Brinkmann May 6, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

      Hi, ja Deutsch ist fein. Ghacks ist halt eine rein englische Seite und daran wird sich auch in Zukunft nichts ändern da ich einfach keine Zeit habe eine deutsche Seite daneben zu betreiben da ich (fast) alles alleine mache.

      YouTube Videos wären in der Tat eine Idee, allerdings graut es mir davor mich darin in irgendeiner Form zu zeigen ;)

      Und, es ist natürlich auch eine Zeitfrage. Danke fürs Daumendrücken ;)

    • Trebuchette May 6, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

      Not YouTube! **VIMEO!** That's where classy videos go, anyway :)

      • Zeitdieb May 6, 2015 at 11:23 pm #

        YT is just an example for such video platforms as people today prefer to watch than to read (imo).

        @Martin
        The news could be read by a volunteer or supporter if you don´t want to see your face in a cam ;)

  64. Trebuchette May 6, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

    Don't you dare shut down. I've whitelisted, but between my hosts file and other safeguards, it won't do a thing to help Google note you're getting my visits. I subscribe to sites though, and since you're the only tech site I visit regularly for the important stuff (no clickbait here!), I'd be happy to subscribe. I'll also look at that Patreon thing.

    Have you considered adding some scripts or macros (even ...wallpapers, whatever) to attract some subscribers? I subscribed to a site like that years ago (they moved on though); I've always thought it was pretty neat to simply add a little extra for subscribers, like ready-made macros for Excel. (People try to charge TONS for dinky VBA addons that, imo, would be okay if they weren't half the cost of the Office program. I just saw one on Sourceforge that compares 2 Excel worksheets and reports the differences — simple macro, really, bulked up into an add-on — for $35. Smdh.)

    Don't go overboard whatever you do, though: gHacks is great as is!

    edit: damn you're hot! Stick that picture up to screw google and get the females rolling in!

    • Martin Brinkmann May 6, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

      I try my best to keep this site up and running. I have received so much support in the past couple of months, that is great and really helpful.

  65. Ashraf July 12, 2015 at 8:52 am #

    Martin,

    I've emailed you a few times on a way to help decrease ad blocking. I haven't heard back, so just posting here in case my emails went to spam. Let me know if you are interested.

    Thanks.

    Take care,
    Ashraf

  66. abood July 16, 2015 at 11:34 am #

    Please be glad to know that I'm yet another person who white-listed your
    site in Adblock Plus. For the record, I've never thought I'd white-list a site
    before, but your site has original content and valuable information that is
    benefiting me greatly, so you've won me over as a new reader and follower.
    I can't say the same about many other sites.

    As for Patreon; I'm a fresh graduate. As soon as I find a job and have a
    salary, I'll donate to you gladly.

    Keep up the great work und vielen dank!

  67. Beatitude Sputnik July 22, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    Hey Martin, sorry to hear about this situation.

    I have a couple suggestions. For me, it's all about the sidebar.

    A) As it stands now you could free up a tad of what is in my opinion extremely valuable real estate by changing the topic list in your sidebar from having each topic on a separate line, 2/3rds of it now is just white-space and that leads me to

    B) Easily 90% of the articles I read actoss the board are related links from sidebars. Right now you have in your sidebar a grand total of three visible, and presumably a few more are available by clicking a tab to see the latest links. 2 clicks to get to content? Ain't nobody got time for that! Seriously, If it's more than one click away, it doesn't exist. Lose the tab, and do like 5 recent and 15 related articles. If you are only showing 3 related links, you got around a 50/50 chance at best that I'm sticking around for more than one article. boom, you just quadrupled your visitor retention. you're welcome.

    ok, drilling a little deeper now. please don't take offense at any of this, i'm just giving you my subjective impression. out of all of the sites I visit on a regular basis, the theme you are using makes yours feel the oldest. for some person walking in off the street, so to speak, this is almost inevitably going to cause at least a little bit of subliminal cognitive dissonance when they are looking for timely info. I'm not saying you should tart your site up like a hussy. i'm just saying maybe put aside a couple hours a week to take a look around at other websites, purely from an aesthetic perspective, and tweak a thing or two now and then. on a tangent, transparency is crucial. literally transparency. on your favicon, I mean.

    now as for content, just based on the related links I've seen today, I think what may be affecting your google rankings is your signal to noise ratio. you are writing about some software programs that would be useful to maybe 3 people on the planet, and one of those people is the guy that wrote the program. I mean, look at this, http://www.ghacks.net/2010/10/06/desktop-tray-launcher-open-desktop-shortcuts-from-the-windows-system-tray/

    opening desktop shortcuts from the notification area? seriously, what kind of fucking maniac would even want to do that? yes. it is a link from 2010, but that's also part of the problem. why are you suggesting links from 2010? that's literally a million years ago, in internet years. and also, taskbar, right click, toolbars, desktop. hey look now literally no-one has a reason to use it, ever. ok I got a little snarky there but I'm just trying to drive home my point. literally 5000 people have ever downloaded that program. covering utilities that niche may be comprehensive, but it comes at the cost of significantly interfering with and distracting from your coverage of programs that might conceivably be useful to a significant number of people. the point is, is this your hobby or is this your livelihood? because that's the choice you really have to make when considering this last part. trying to point people towards a utility for every conceivable situation is a laudable goal, but there is already someone that does that, and they are called Google. you can not in any sense compete with them in this regard.

    ok. last thing, what's your advertising situation like? are you using google adwords?

  68. schine September 14, 2016 at 3:20 am #

    Love your Site

    I have subscribed to the newsletter read it every day

    What you are doing is amazing and cant thank you enough

    I just now noticed we can add comments did not see that before lol

    You have and still are making a BIG difference to all

    many thanks

  69. Joe October 30, 2016 at 5:58 am #

    I rarely fail to see Ghacks on most technical term searches. I never use Google. Some engines I use scrape Google, but some don't.

    Your problem w/ Google search can't just be about short articles. And their definition of "quality" is screwed, because I see a lot of Dummies.com and Ehow.com hits in searches - far from "quality." Those are some of the worst I've ever read.

    Of course, if it's Google or an engine that scrapes Google, then Google is going to push youtube a good bit.

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