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This 42 message thread spans 2 pages: 42 ( [1] 2 > >     
Site nuked - I'm done
thank you google

 11:06 pm on Jun 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well thats it, with the Google fiasco my sites traffic has been reduced by around 50% - 75%. We werent making a fortune anyway and now its even less of one, so I think its time to call it a day.

Im not sure how many other hobby/minor interest sites are doing the same.

Has there ever been a straight answer as to what the problem was/is?



 11:09 pm on Jun 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Your gonna throw in the towel because of one update / backdate?

Hey, I know it sucks but you need thicker skin than that.


 11:14 pm on Jun 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Its so disheartening to spend all that time and effort and then have it dropped, I wouldnt mind if we were told that ALL the sites would be reappearing....

Maybe Im just moaning but this does appear to be the final straw.


 11:38 pm on Jun 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I feel like throwing in the towel every update. It is a ritual for me. But things work out. I had one site that was strangely banned from Google for a year (it now appears eventhough nothing has changed); however, during that year I found places to get links and real ways to generate traffic to the site. Despite not being on Google it still made money. The main thing is not to reliant on Google. It may be the biggest potential source of traffic, but it is not the only way to get visitors.
Good luck! Get another towel. :)


 11:53 pm on Jun 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just be glad you weren't around for Black Monday a few years ago.

SEO practioner

 12:21 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dr. Cool,,,,, errr... "black monday"? What are you referring too? Am I missing something here?



 12:22 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Black Monday = The Demise Of Altavista, then the #1 engine on the web.


 12:29 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Monday, October 25, 1999

AltaVista introduced a whole range of new spam filters - totally obliterating many spammy sites - and reeking a huge amount of collateral damage - banning many clean sites from their index. Stopped paying referal fees to webmasters around the same time?. They were number #1 - and wanted it understood that they were in total control.

For those who don't study & learn from mistakes of the past - History is doomed to repeat


[edited by: Chris_D at 12:41 am (utc) on June 7, 2003]


 12:37 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Essex, dig in and build traffic with the other engines and mind your non-search engine options. Diversify.

Google isn't going to stay broke forever, either.

SEO practioner

 12:42 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok thanks guys... for a minute there I still had visions in my head of Oct. 19, 1987... THAT one too was called 'Black Monday'


 12:48 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Traffic fluctuations; algo changes; PPC guideline changes; being dropped for 'no reason' ... most of these things will affect most search engine professionals at some point or another.

But you know - any business is going to face ups and downs, regardless of whether they're Internet-based or not.

Maybe you need to ask yourself - do I have the entrepreneurial spirit that will sustain me through the downtimes? Because - Google or not - there will be downtimes as a business owner.

Personally - I don't have the entrepreneurial spirit. I'd much rather let someone else carry the stresses of running a business. Let me do my job, let me contribute, let me do what I can, and let someone else worry about the rest. ;)

Throwing in the towel may be the right decision for some people. I know my sanity would be long gone if I were trying to do it by myself. My strengths are not as an entrepreneur. My strengths are as both a manager and an individual contributor to the business.

As for the rest of you brave souls as you break out the antacids and pour that ninth cup of coffee I salute you!


 1:01 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

<-- Has plenty of entreprenurial spirit. Is going into towel sales. :-)


 1:05 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Essex_boy, I'm not going to be gentle, though my intentions are kindly...

Stop whining and PAY ATTENTION to all the great SEO advice offered here at Webmaster World. If... the site you are referring to, is the same as your profile suggests, then I can see why you have problems.

As the lyrics state: "You have to be cruel to be kind."

  • Throw out your coding (unless you want to offer tutorials on 'What NOT to do!')
  • Study GOOD DOCUMENT structure
  • Implement GOOD DOCUMENT structure
  • Learn CSS and use it!
  • Validate your NEW page code
  • Think like a BUYER
  • Think like a BUYER Searching
  • Think like a BUYER viewing your site
  • Think like a SALESMAN
  • Think like a STRONG CLOSER
  • Quit BLAMING Google
  • Be PRO-ACTIVE first
  • Be RE-ACTIVE second
  • Live long and prosper (just threw that one in there, but do it, okay?)

    - papabaer

    Google ain't so bad as long as ya know how to talk to 'im....

  • percentages

     3:12 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    When you've been thrown out of an airlock (Google's Index) into the cold vacuum of space (not in SERPs), forced to comprehend the vastness of the universe in the Total Perspective Vortex, eaten by the Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts of Traal (Spammers), stuck on prehistoric Earth for ten years (last known deep crawl), stopped in for the end of the universe and breakfast at Milliways (WebmasterWorld), been attacked by a fleet of Frogstar fighters (Premium Sponsors), sampled the delights of a Pan-Galactic Gargle-Blaster (Having High PR), had your planet blown up to make way for a hyperspace bypass (Google Ban) or, in general, you've lost your towel,


     3:22 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Let us hope that Google didn't decide to ship off all the telephone sanitizers...



     3:38 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    I got PR0 for one month, and completely dropped from the index. To date, that month gave me the most traffic. If you stop relying on Google and get serious about other means of traffic generation, I think you'll do fine.


     8:21 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Google isn't going to stay broke forever, either.

    Hell no, they deserve to make $750,000,000 as much as the next guy.;)

    There seems to be a lot of confusion about how to (or whether to) optomize sites currently. I know I am confused and a little scared. I have clients that are doing much worse for their money keywords and I'm not quite sure what to do. I was scared to go get links because that would appear to be a sign of someone optomizing a site. I was scared to optomize because, well, that too would appear to be a sign of someone optomizing a site. All my new pages are now called either welcome or home. Okay, so I'm kidding. There is one thing that will hold steady, whatever happens with G. If you make your sites well for the user, whatever happens with the SE's will be temporary. While things may be cloudy now, all the basics still apply. Make your site's content interesting and unique. Base your inbound links on traffic (I consider added value to SE traffic here) and your outbound links on your visitor. Make your navigation spider friendly as well as user friendly. Now you do everything you can to get traffic, keep traffic, sell, whatever, without damaging the strong base you've created for search engines. It has become very cloudy as to how we should optomize for Google. "Which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it! 'n I don't like it any more than you men."

    I should add that the quote referenced above is from Guns n Roses' Civil War. I found the exact phrasing by searching on Google.

    After 220,000 miles my Subaru is definitely broke(n). The stereo still works and it still gets us there so noone really notices. It doesn't mean I wouldn't drive something else if it became available though.


     10:01 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Ok Ok I WONT give up, musthave felt a touch depressed when I wrote the first post.

    Thank you all.


     10:33 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Good lad. Go on my son.

    It's not really a question of towels, though every hitch hiker knows you should never be without a towel.

    It's a question of baskets.

    If you want to put all your eggs in one basket, be sure to hard boil them first.

    There have been many posts about not relying on Google, and making sure to have other ways for people to reach you site such as other SE's (see below) or good links, directories and niche sites. If you can really spread your site around you may still get half decent traffic.

    Also, if your site is like mine, and Google has somehow not found the index page, be sure that you have lots of other good pages that are found and come up in all kinds of different searches.

    I agree with all these posts and guess what, our site is well ranked on other SE's such as MSN, Alltheweb, Ask, Altavista, and the missing index page has not had such a disastrous impact since some people are still finding our site via Google.

    We also started AdWords as soon as we saw the missing index page, so our site still appears for the big KW's, though I honestly think appearing top of the AdWords pile gives you maybe 10% of the traffic compared to top of the real results, and that is probably optimistic.

    The problem with all this eggs in different baskets advice is that even if we do all this, you cannot deny that Google is the No.1 search engine, and losing half your traffic from Google is BAD. And having eggs in different baskets is no good if nobody is looking in those other baskets. Our SE traffic, even now with a missing index page, is something like : Google 60%, Yahoo 20%, MSN 6%, all the rest: almost nothing put together. Having a really good ranking on AlltheWeb is very nice, but nobody uses it YET.

    So we don't give up. We still have some traffic and try all the time to get some links that may provide the odd visitor from time to time. But all the advice to quit moaning about lost business and try to get traffic from other places, and it IS good advice, actually ignores the fact that Google dominates the web, and if they lose your site, you WILL lose business.

    Nevertheless, like Essex_boy, we must keep our heads up and fight the good fight. Keep looking for new sources of traffic so that NEXT time we are more ready and don't need to moan so much. Accept the fact that you can't change the SERP's. Instead try to realise the truth. There are no SERP's

    I have wittered long enough and probably make no sense. As a disclaimer, I am a rank amateur and know little other than what I have picked up from WebMaster World, so if I said something well out of order, don't blame me I'm just the piano player.

    [edited by: Monkscuba at 12:04 pm (utc) on June 7, 2003]


     10:34 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    If you aren't giving up, then plan on having to pay for Adwords. Lots of hits from Google is easy if you have the money.


     10:34 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    The quote used in civil war is from the film cool hand luke - its a great songthough.


     11:16 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    hey essexboy! you are playing into Google's hands. That's what they WANT you to do!


     11:20 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Thank God I was fairly well diversified before this fiasco. By the end of the summer, I will be more diversified. And there are always ways to diversify in a non spam way and ways to diversify by flying in under the radar.

    Our business autoresponder emails now contain a tagline link to ATW. I did it just on general principle.

    Whatever improvement Google thinks they may have gained with searchers they lost with webmasters. This is a Martha Stewart PR FUBAR.

    Whether this is the death of Google I don't care. I am surviving without them and I will continue to grow without them. They lost all my respect.


     11:37 am on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)


    This has been a wake up call for us and consequently we have explored a whole new world of traffic outside of google.... and its good, steady and better conversion. Google searchers in our sector are 'information seekers' and not 'buyers', we never really appreciated that.

    We are now hoping we still get google traffic, but the wake up call has made our sites far more efficient and user friendly, with a much more secure clientele. In other words, a shift from just attracting bucket loads of visitors to making sure our visitors return and buy.

    The big players of the future will learn from this update and adapt, the trick is to learn. I know 70%+ traffic is google etc. but that leaves 30% of a very big pie out there. This 30% is a very different kind of visitor and potentially far more valuable.

    Anybody who got stung in the last few weeks will need to make their site more efficient at converting sales due to the recent drop in traffic..... but the really exciting bit is that google will notice this improvement in the quality of your site and long term you may end up with a better site being rewarded with higher rankings... after all, that is what google wants us to do.

    I think the best optimisation is to increase the 'quality' of your site for the user, this is what the new algo's are trying to detect, so just focus on that and let google worry about how to detect you.... they will! If you take control and make the best site on the net, they will have to adapt in order to find you... now there's a refreshing thought!

    IMHO Forget all the old rules (h1 etc.) .... (except, of course. for letting the spider in). Just make a damn good site and look at the bigger picture, longterm this will pay dividends.


     12:32 pm on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    I have felt exactly like Essex boy for the past few weeks but I have kept afloat. My Google based enquiries went from ten a day to four a week. Luckily, being in the top five for in previous months allowed my business to generate enough leads to keep us going during this dry spell. However, if something doesn't change in the next two or three weeks, we are b*ggered so something better start happening.


     12:38 pm on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    If you have a commercial site, why not use Google Adwords? You can monitor the ROI fairly easily.


     12:57 pm on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    As Zapatista mentioned --- the key here is to diversify. If you sell widgets, sell other things besides widgets. Or make a new widgets site that is completely different from your other one and brand it seperately, and optimize it in a completely different way.

    I was putting a lot of work to change my main site's domain, overall look, funcitonality, etc. when I realized I should just leave both running. I've since also started selling a variety of other stuff and once I have 7-10 unique/stable sites I will finally be able to breath easier :)


     1:13 pm on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Hey Essex_boy you are not alone. I remember getting a similar wake up call from Google some time back when most of my sites were enjoying great rankings on G. That time we were doing absoultely great in terms of traffic and sales. Then all of a sudden something happened after an update. PR of 3 of my sites was slashed dramatically for reasons still unknown to me (my guess is that sites were interlinked and somehow one or more of the sites became part of a bad neighborhood).

    As a result down went the traffic and with it the revenues. My livelihood and that of my few employees was on the line. We were barely breathing from traffic from other sources. That's when I realized that I had relied too heavily on traffic from Google and that I should have diversified my sources of traffic even while enjoying good traffic from google. As a netpreneur I realized that no fundamentally sound web business model should rely too heavily on just one (or two) source(s) of traffic for their revenues. And, as an engineer who had always chosen to be self employed and never worked for a company ever, there was no going back. I HAD to make it work. I knew I wasn't giving up.

    That's when I went back to the drawing board to devise a strategy for survival (without Google) while at the same time trying to regain my lost positions in G. I have to admit that was the time of most learning for me, spending 14 to 16 hours each day in front of my computer trying to work it all out. It seemed as if a well-established netpreneur (from a few weeks back) had to learn it all over again.

    Finally I was able to devise a strategy and guess who was the savior again? you guessed right; the big G. I sharpened my skills on Excel and immersed myself in a sea of keywords, developing individual (innovative) adwords campaigns for all the sites that had fallen; with my biggest campaign containing close to 10,000 keywords. Even adwords I realized then is a science in itself, and if approached properly could be (surprisingly) profitable, though nothing is as profitable as the free clicks.

    Careful study of my campaigns and my ROI gave me a pretty good idea of how much profit I was making and the amount of time I was buying to bounce back. It also gave the workers confidence that the company they were working for was still in business. Adwords campaign coupled with an Overture campaign helped keep my business afloat until slowly but surely things started to take a turn. After making adjustments over a couple of updates and implementing wiser linking strategies, I found my sites creeping up in search results and regaining some of their lost PR.

    Now when the dust has settled, not only are my sources of traffic diversified, but I feel as if I have gained so much more. In this (web) medium of fluctuating fortunes, I feel a tad bit safer. Btw, revenues are up and profits are back, and this time I feel and believe it is for real :)

    Glad you've decided not to throw in the towel, as "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger".

    With good advice in this forum combined with some faith and confidence in your ability, you can pretty much accomplish anything on the web.

    Good Luck.



     2:06 pm on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    > Traffic fluctuations; algo changes; PPC guideline changes; being dropped for 'no reason' ... most of these things will affect most search engine professionals at some point or another.
    > But you know - any business is going to face ups and downs

    Certainly. There are some very successful people in these forums who've suffered massive penalties or bans across their sites, or their clients' sites. They're the ones who learn and grow stronger.

    Essex_boy, this won't come as any comfort now but think back to when your site was rising in the SERPS - someone else was falling.

    > Throwing in the towel may be the right decision for some people.

    I'd probably get in trouble if I agreed with that, so I'll just agree with Kareem. You can pretty much accomplish anything on the Web, but you need to be willing to invest and not get caught up in an obsession with a site or a small bunch of search phrases.


     3:54 pm on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    You say it's a hobby? If it is, don't rely to much on the outcome, just practice and it'll work out. I have been working on my site for 2 years. I am a craftsman, not making much but it's my hobby. My site still hasn't made me a single penny, euro, doller...etc, but it's my hobby too, and becoming one of the most interactive on the web. As its my hobby that's where I find my motivation. I realise I, compared to alot of webmasters, am still in the early learning process, and getting through a ban is one of those things that happens to make you make your site work better, and get ranked fairly.

    Once you've worked through a ban, you have just gained another level in your programming skills.

    A tip is to make it work with js off, and everything visible, no spam. Then get it validated.

    Just keep working at it, as it is a hobby.
    And remember how much it would cost to get someone else to program it, and update it week by week. Think of where you will be in 2 years time....

    Now if you earn more than a programmer, I suggest you hire help.......

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