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Thread: Sites Retool for Google Effect

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    Franc Tireur is offline Senior Net Builder
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    Sites Retool for Google Effect

    Burned by Google Inc.'s recent changes to its search formula, small businesses are experimenting with strategies to recover lost Web traffic while seeking out new ways to generate sales—some even scaling back daily operations.
    Seeing a 40% decline in sales since Google adjusted its algorithm, online ergonomic-products retailer Ergo In Demand Inc. in Central Point, Ore., reduced its 17-person staff to five, moved to a 4,500-square-foot office space from one more than double in size and cut $4,000 in monthly software subscriptions.

    With the savings, owner Peter Scholom hired a search-engine optimization firm to do an audit of the 11-year-old company's website, ergoindemand.com. He hopes to learn how to regain the site's previously high Google rankings for search terms like "keyboard trays" and "TV mounts."
    "We are fishing for any straw," Mr. Scholom says, whose business had $6 million in sales in 2010.

    Many small but growing Web retailers say they have been punished since Google, which handles nearly two-thirds of all Web searches, moved in late February to weed out "content farms," or sites that post information without attention to quality or by copying text from other sources such as government websites.

    But the impact was also felt by large e-commerce sites. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., and eBay Inc. appeared to rise in search results, according to companies that track Google rankings. One shopping site that has benefited, Buy.com, says it was "delighted" by the initial change.
    Google says the modifications to its algorithms impact about 12% of U.S.-based search queries, and further changes rolled out earlier this month affect an additional 2%. It hasn't named sites that would win or lose prominence in its rankings.
    A spokesman for the company acknowledges that legitimate businesses might have inadvertently suffered from the changes. "We tested this update extensively and have found that the algorithm is very accurate at detecting site quality, but no algorithm is perfect," the spokesman says.
    Sites Retool for Google Effect - WSJ.com

    Like the spokesman from Google says "No algorightm is perfect", too bad if you have a little quality site affected...Ahhhh what a selfish reasoning for a leader in search...

    What do you think about the affected sites and what strategies to recover lost Web traffic they should take?
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


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    memenode's Avatar
    memenode is offline Net Builder
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    I don't want to defend Google per say, but how can anyone expect the algorithm to be perfect? It's true that whenever they do an update some site might be inadvertently affected. I think this applies to all search engines regardless of how big or small. The problem here is the incredibly high degree of dependence of these businesses on every little change that Google does. And that leads us back to that old dependence topic which we already went through. It's a nearly "impossible situation", it sucks, but it doesn't really help to be defeatist about it.

    According to what I've read it seems that it does help to focus on improving the quality of your site, at least according to Google's current definition of quality, but I would also personally suggest taking whatever possibility of differentiating from Google dependence that you can possibly think of.

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    Franc Tireur is offline Senior Net Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by memenode View Post
    It's a nearly "impossible situation", it sucks, but it doesn't really help to be defeatist about it.
    I don't think it is a question of defeatism. It looks to me like the begining of the webmasters revolution against a tyrannical monopolist. I bet that now, all the SEO, marketing companies and us will try to expand or use other ways to get visitors or customers to decrease the dependence on Google as much as possible.


    According to what I've read it seems that it does help to focus on improving the quality of your site, at least according to Google's current definition of quality
    There are plenty of examples that companies rankings high do not provide quality, instead they provide duplicated contents on purpose for SEO gains. We can discuss about the percentage of Google algorithm updates efficacity, no needs to go far, let's take the last year for example.

    The author of this great article SARAH E. NEEDLEMAN ping pointed some consequences, nobody were hit the same way.

    My question is why in the hell I am hit each time Google update algorithms? I don't think I provide crap on my site or duplicated contents.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

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    iowadawg's Avatar
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    All this goes back to the first days of the internet.
    When people and companies did one thing (no real search engines back then).
    DRIVE TRAFFIC.

    About time some are learning to quit depending only on google.

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    Franc Tireur is offline Senior Net Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowadawg View Post
    About time some are learning to quit depending only on google.
    You bet, and they are learning very fast. It's like quitting smoking, once you stop to be slave of your dependence, you reconnect with the benefits of the natural life
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

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    memenode's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natural Elements View Post
    I don't think it is a question of defeatism. It looks to me like the begining of the webmasters revolution against a tyrannical monopolist. I bet that now, all the SEO, marketing companies and us will try to expand or use other ways to get visitors or customers to decrease the dependence on Google as much as possible.
    Indeed, that would be great, and would help everyone in the long term.


    I wish I knew an answer to your question, but people who engage in far more SEO research than I do often appear to be at a loss about this. To be honest I'm a bit of a weird case. I never paid too much attention to search engines and just built a few sites dedicated to expressing my beliefs about certain things and building a community around those things. I got most of my traffic from news sites in the niche (the niche is Linux, Free Software, digital freedom etc. and sites are LXer.com, Newsforge.com (now Linux.com), LinuxToday.com, Digg etc.). I got Google traffic as well, but mainly as an effect of being in these news sites fairly regularly, and getting a whole bunch of organic inbound links as a result. Then I started making a little money by selling links to people who apparently had an even harder time getting them than I did. Then I started losing interest in these niches, tried to reorient myself, and in the middle of this process Will hired me to work in his empire.

    I understand though mine is a special niche, but I guess this background is partly what makes me tend to believe in non-Google strategies a little more than most. In a sense, just focusing on honestly making good content that I believe in almost paid off for me. I say almost because I obviously never got rich off of that and the only way I earned money was by selling links, which I never thought of as an ideal way to make money online anyway, and that market only exists because of Google-centric nature of so much internet marketing.

    Quote Originally Posted by iowadawg View Post
    All this goes back to the first days of the internet.
    When people and companies did one thing (no real search engines back then).
    DRIVE TRAFFIC.

    About time some are learning to quit depending only on google.
    Right, but we have to understand that search engines ARE a way to drive traffic, and today it is the most dominant one. For some niches it appears to be the only way, or at least that's what they believe (I can't tell 100% for sure since I'm not in those niches, and I bet even if it is possible it would require a fair bit of ingenuity).

    Overall though, even when a way doesn't exist, it can be created, even if it will take an entire industry of small internet businesses doing some coopetition to make it happen.

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    Franc Tireur is offline Senior Net Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by memenode View Post
    I wish I knew an answer to your question, but people who engage in far more SEO research than I do often appear to be at a loss about this.
    SEO don't make any sense anymore, the results look like the casino slot machines.
    memenode likes this.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

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    Franc Tireur is offline Senior Net Builder
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    Google's Collateral Damage

    Google's Collateral Damage: SEO Cat & Mouse Game

    Spray the word
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


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    memenode's Avatar
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    Very interesting. Doesn't that description below the info graphic kinda read like a subtle call for moving beyond Google?

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    Franc Tireur is offline Senior Net Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by memenode View Post
    Very interesting. Doesn't that description below the info graphic kinda read like a subtle call for moving beyond Google?
    Do you mean this one?
    This image highlights how the search ecosystem has changed since Google has become a serious player, and how Google has used their amazing marketshare to bend the web to their will.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


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