My Trip Out

Gay married man coming out story

Google Dilemma

When I started my journey, I immediately went looking on the Internet for other gay married men in my own situation.  The ‘looking’ mainly consisted of me doing various Google searches. It was a slow and tedious process. A handful of nutjob religious groups and some dated news articles, none of it immediately helpful. Over time, me, like you, found a series of bloggers on this topic hidden amongst the weeds that we regularly read.

As I’ve written before, I’m most keen to help the newbie. They come to this blog from all over the world and spend upwards of 5 hours reading virtually everything. They leave, often without a word, but I feel and hope in some way that they’ve been helped on their own journey.

The problem is finding this blog via what’s called ‘natural search’. To find me you might search for say “gay married man coming out”, sounds logical, the only problem you won’t find this blog anywhere near the top of Google’s search results. It’s not their fault. Google’s engine places more value on the ‘home’ page of a website and since this page changes each day and the topics vary, it’s tough for www.myjourneyout.com to rank very high in ‘natural search’.

So I decided to fix that. I advertise this blog on Google.

Not hard and since I already know what I’m doing, I fired up a new Google Adwords account, set all the parameters, put in my credit card, created my ad, selected my search terms and hit submit (here’s the page a newcomer would get landing page). Google has about 20,000 employees, what most people don’t know is that about 19,000 have the single job of reviewing each ad that you see. That’s right, Google manually checks each ad and associated website that you get routed to. It’s a good practice, Google has a list of 59 things they don’t allow you to advertise about, all prudent stuff, porn, scams, illegal stuff, things that make sense. They also have a strict policy on how your website behaves (no illegal software, no doing weird html tricks). Most importantly your ad must be relevant to your content (you can’t advertise you’re selling blenders and instead sell shotguns).

So I posted my ad and agreed to pay them. Simple enough. Well this has gotten Google all excited. I’m not selling anything, I’m not a scam, I don’t ask for your credit card, I’m not a nut job (ok that’s debatable) and there’s no porn on this website. I am simply someone whose contribution to society is to try and make my story easier to find for those who are in similar circumstances. My ad status is simply “under review” .

Well deep in the bowels of Google, some attorney is now looking at my ad and website. Not easy, I don’t violate any of the terms of their extensive policy guide. I set up my ad for worldwide viewing and this of course might conflict with the laws of some Arab country. I’m not Arab however  I’m pretty sure there’s a few gay married men in those countries as well.

Google has the right to reject any ad for any reason (it’s there in the fine print at the very end), sort of a catch all for anything they don’t like but missed in their extensive write-up.  The Google attorney, no doubt, is trying to figure out how many people visit this website and gauging how much of a PR disaster this might  become (imagine a bunch of homos with signs in front of their building, with light finger food served afterwards) and more importantly the legal consequences of violating potential human rights. As well, I live in Washington, DC and all kinds of human rights group within 2 metro stops who have nothing better to do than get all excited about stuff like this.

BTW – I didn’t start this up to create a fuss. I simply wanted to make my blog easier to find. Please take a moment to comment!

7 Comments

  1. Hi Chris,

    Thanks and I appreciate all the inspiration and motivation I have been getting reading through your blogs. I work on computers, so I could put my own crawler and ended up hitting your webpage. Otherwise, it was not that easy to find it earlier. If you are tracking, I visit your blog atleast twice a day. I wish you good luck with TC and I am sure TC will be back with you. I envy you both 🙂

    Cheers,
    S

  2. So now you’re paying to gain attention. There’s probably a few phrases for that…

  3. Paying it forward indeed!! I remember all the emotions I felt reading your blog just before the Holidays. Knowing that there were men who have walked the path (and survived) gave me comfort. I have been able to make choices in my journey based on your experiences and those of other bloggers. I am more of a “take the bull by the horns” decision maker; don’t tend to spin my wheels, but seeing that there is life on the otherside helps to pave the way and know that it will all be good in the end. Even though we may never meet, I consider you a friend who has helped me through a difficult time. Thank you for sharing your story; your blog is great and as always, I wish the best for you.

  4. I don’t remember how I found your blog but I am glad I did. I am one of those who downloaded the long version and spent a few days reading it. Still married and have not yet come out, but have not acted on it except for research. Not sure if I will be accepted by the new lifestyle as I have spent the previous 36 years being straight. It’s comforting to know that you are doing fine so I will continue to follow your journey. I also read through the other blogs as well, each with their own issues and triumphs. Thanks!

  5. I love the image of a google lawyer spending time on your site to measure its worth!
    The truth is your journey and harangues were very motivational for me to get off the fence and separate from my wife. Not decisive – I think the BF was that – but definitely inspirational.
    And I keep coming back since you don’t seem too enamored with the “scene”. Neither the BF nor I are out or feel particularly “gay” – we are just 2 guys in love with each other.
    So keep up the good work and good luck with TC.

  6. This blog site has helped me in ways that NO therapist or psychobabbler could ever come close! So I do see this as a way for you to pay it forward…..but I also think you relish in the assumed extra attention that would come of the advert! And there isnt a damn thing wrong with that.
    I am a 42yo married guy with kids in DC metro area who is still hiding behind the closet door. Met a guy, fell in love and the whole damn game changed dramatically. The LOVE part wasnt supposed to happen……damn it! So here I now sit a top of that fence wondering what in the f%#k to do now!!
    So keep writing as it is immensely comforting for me to know there are others who have grabbed their balls and made the plunge and are better persons because of it! The lies, deceit and depression at times is killing me a slow death!

  7. It helps me. And I read it every day. I think that a lot of us who write start doing it for ourselves, but sometimes we find that there are people who read what we write and feel a little less alone. I know I did.

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