Retro Dodo needs your help!

tl;dr – if you want to help Retro Dodo stay alive, consider joining their Patreon!

Brandon Saltalamacchia, founder of Retro Dodo, published a candid article called Google Is Killing Retro Dodo & Other Independent Sites where he explained that the company was on the brink of collapse due to consistent traffic decreases. The culprit is the ever-changing landscape of Google search results pages (or SERPs), favouring paid ads and Google rich results that often scrape content from sites and display them on the page.

Since September 2023, Google has hidden our site from millions of retro gamers, reducing our organic traffic and revenue by 85% and causing our business to be on the edge of going under.

Brandon on the impact of a Google algorithm update last year

Now, full disclosure: I am a technical SEO and I’ve been working with Google Search for 5 years now. I’m also running this site, on a significantly smaller scale than Retro Dodo so I’m in a unique “quantum superposition” so to speak. I have to help sites navigate these algorithm changes and ensure that clients’ sites are crawlable and indexable by Google and, with crafted strategies and “helpful content”, get them as high on the SERPs as possible. That doesn’t mean I’m on Google’s side though. Sure, there are a lot of sites that publish garbage (human and AI) and, in the gaming industry, a lot that post stuff that’s clearly just for SEO. But there are many that aren’t and if you’re not already a big site with a high authority already, it’s like bringing a teaspoon to a gun fight.

As Brandon discussed in his post, Retro Dodo is fighting an uphill battle not only with competitors, which is standard, but also with more and more ads and Google itself. Distant Arcade started out with a team of a few writers but after an unfortunate hacking incident and a revival, it’s now just me and I pay for web hosting every month out of my pocket. It’s affordable and I’m grateful for that so I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for Brandon and everyone at Retro Dodo. I fully empathise with him and the team and that’s why I’m writing this in support. So, if you want to help too, there’s a Patreon with premium membership that gives you rewards such as a welcome kit, monthly giveaways, a yearly meetup invite, access to their premium Discord channel, and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *