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|Google upgrades - Winter or Ice Age?|
Survival in a changing environment
The Google environment changes remind me of the ice age.
Some probably believed that the ice age was the beginning of winter and that things would turn around again in the spring. Some probably realized that something was terribly wrong. Some others found a way to either adapt,remain and survive and others still decided that migration was the best idea and aimed for equatorial regions and,hopefully,warmer weather.
Google has gone through some massive changes lately. For all I know they may still be working on the upgrade. I've read a lot of the comments in the various topics concerning updates,backlinks and PR. The truth is,nobody knows for sure what is going on and what to expect. Google has a HUGE share of the search market. It's not like "Joey's Little Search Engine" had a glitch. If Google hurls it gets on everybody. The effect of their upgrade is having a HUGE effect on ecommerce.
Prepare for an "ice age". If it's just an "early or a long winter" then you'll still be ok for having prepared for the worst. What I'm saying is that,regardless of previous success with Google,a longer-term solution for your site is called for. Find ways to work around the obstacles in your way and attain the positions that you want in the index anyway.
There's still traffic in other search engines. Don't depend on Google for all of your traffic. Link and banner exchanges can also get you more traffic. There are also offline alteratives to driving traffic to your site. Print your url on everything that your business has printed like cards and letterhead. Feature it in your multimedia (print,radio and television) ads as well. Buy ads on the sides of busses and on the roofs of cabs. Billboards may work as well. I've met too many people who flatly REFUSE to do ANY offline promotion. They insist on relying on internet-only promotional techniques. Oops! Their domains expired already.
There are lots of ways to drive traffic to your site. Find them and you'll survive. Sit around waiting for Google to "get fixed" and you may just freeze or starve waiting.
|There's still traffic in other search engines. |
Yep... On one of my sites, I'm getting more traffic from MSN than Google at the moment!
|Sit around waiting for Google to "get fixed" and you may just freeze or starve waiting. |
I know that there are some issues, but we just had a new site spidered and into the serps in under 23 hours. Not too bad if you ask me.
I know of other Search Engines where you have to pay for that kind of service...
> If Google hurls it gets on everybody. The effect of their upgrade is having a HUGE effect on ecommerce.
Wrong. For every site that goes down in the SERPs, one goes up. People will still buy just as much online, so e-commerce as a whole isn't hurt. Which site prosper, and which perish, is the issue.
|I know that there are some issues, but we just had a new site spidered and into the serps in under 23 hours. Not too bad if you ask me. |
I waited almost 3 months for my 3000 new pages to be indexed. The backlinks and PR still have not been fixed.
|For every site that goes down in the SERPs, one goes up. |
Yeah,sure. That assumes that every url listed in Google is an ecommerce site. Sure they are.
>Yeah,sure. That assumes that every url listed in Google is an ecommerce site. Sure they are.
What evidence is there that recent changes have specifically caused info sites to come up higher in the SERPs than before? And, it doesn't make a difference anyway. If someone enters "buy widgets", if the first 8 sites listed are widget info sites, they'll ignore them and go to site #9 which actually sells the things.
|If someone enters "buy widgets", if the first 8 sites listed are widget info sites, they'll ignore them and go to site #9 which actually sells the things. |
Or they'll try another search term. You're still assuming that everyone is using search engines to "buy" something. Sadly,that is not the case.
"Heaven's behind you."
Cocktails are kicking in.
[edited by: martinibuster at 12:33 am (utc) on Sep. 6, 2003]
|What evidence is there that recent changes have specifically caused info sites to come up higher in the SERPs than before? |
I've been reading these forums daily for months. Since Dominic/Esmerelda I have seen very few messages about how much better the posters' sites are doing. PageRank and listings have dropped from page 1 to page 13. Backlinks and directory listings have disappeared. New pages have failed to be crawled or indexed. Yeah,it's doing these folks a LOT of good.
A few of my sites got dogged in Dominick.
I rewrote one entire site in CSS, and, as always just kept adding valuable content to the others.
Now I am dogging my competitors.
Adapt or perish.
I was too busy doing the daily stuff to my site and rebuilding one in CSS to bother about posting in the "sky is falling" threads.
The "Ice Age" is coming... time to make lemonade.
couldn't agree more - the new site that just got in was full CSS valid xhtml Strict - we write all of our clients sites with valid code both structurally and we make an effort sematically (for example we use Hx tags because you are supposed to). They all rank #1 (in Google) for their main keyword phrases and words.
Arnett wrote: "I've been reading these forums daily for months. Since Dominic/Esmerelda I have seen very few messages about how much better the posters' sites are doing."
Ah ha! i think those whose sites are doing well just shut up. After all its far less newsworthy and interesting....
Seriously though, the iceman hath been cometh for several years. Google 2003 will be the last in a short era where commercial sites could get reliable free listings in search engines cost effectively.
Yahoo/Ink - MSN - Google 2004 - welcome to the new mature web marketing environment where, as in all other media, you pay for reliable exposure and can budget/work out ROI sensibly via PPC, PFI, and im sure many other ways...
|Yahoo/Ink - MSN - Google 2004 - welcome to the new mature web marketing environment where, as in all other media, you pay for reliable exposure and can budget/work out ROI sensibly via PPC, PFI, and im sure many other ways... |
I can't see Google compromising their Integrity statement... PFI and PPC just limit the number of new submissions and impose bias on an objective system. Google is growing at an impressive rate and still hasn't indexed every page in the web. I believe that is their ulitmate goal.
Google's complex, automated methods make human tampering with our results extremely difficult. And though we do run relevant ads above and next to our results, Google does not sell placement within the results themselves (i.e., no one can buy a higher PageRank). A Google search is an easy, honest and objective way to find high-quality websites with information relevant to your search.
|...Google 2004 - welcome to the new mature web marketing environment |
Isn't that what Froogle is supposed to be for?
Those that are doing well, tend to get tired of the ****fests. They post once or twice, get tired of the whiners, and leave the threads.
There are certain WW nicks that I never see complaining about their positions or traffic dropping more than a few percent. These are the people that all seem to advocate producing robust sites. If more than a couple of those people start complaining, then I will start considering that there might be some serious problems. Till then, they are the same complaints as they were a year ago.
Well said BigDave. When people are complaining I always take not of who is complaining as well.
MSN is currently refering more to me than google, yet with very little code changes, 6 months ago google was way ahead ( like 15:1 ) of MSN in my logs.
Interesting. I personally think Google is in the best shape it has EVER been. My rankings are excellent, the toolbar PR thing actually seems to work properly now, and a lot of my sites are getting crawled (and updated on the index) DAILY!
Visitors are up almost double from Google over the last three months.
My secret? Well, I have a few, and none are sneaky or malicious (but hey, they're trade secrets!).. but I'll give one away.. 'XHTML and content restructuring'. If you're at Pubcon, I may say more! :-)
Arnett, thanks for the reasoned reply. Google need not lose its integrity by their PPC ala Adwords, because its in a distinctly separated "commercial" database. PFI for the Free index (or even pay for customer support for the free index) - yes that will compromise the integrity of the free index. I dont see them doing this at all. However as far as Google is concerned, i am sure that they will evolve to the stage where the natural and best ROI location for commercial sites will be perceived by advertisers as being in Adwords. This will be acheived by various methods including rotating top results in the free index, making them less reliable for advertisers, but maybe even more interesting for browsers... and maybe even downgrading sites that say for example - have a lot of affiliate links as a proportion, etc etc.
All theory, no evidence ;)
My top search engine after Google frozen
- Other search engines
Google on 2nd position....
Picking a site at random, although its results are typical. These are the percentages of all SE referrals to one of my sites:
42% - Google.com
20.2% - Google.co.uk
14.4% - Yahoo
10.1% - 'Other' Googles (.de, .nl, .au, .nz)
5.8% - MSN
7.5% - Other Search Engines
This still puts Google at an overall 72.3% of my referrals, and my positions for this site have improved considerably in the last three months, with only modest SEO.
|... However as far as Google is concerned, i am sure that they will evolve to the stage where the natural and best ROI location for commercial sites will be perceived by advertisers as being in Adwords. This will be acheived by various methods including rotating top results in the free index, making them less reliable for advertisers, but maybe even more interesting for browsers... and maybe even downgrading sites that say for example - have a lot of affiliate links as a proportion, etc etc. |
Adwords will probably be the last resort for the companies who can't optimized. Top of page listings drove me away from Yahoo and MSN. Overture has been getting more and more greedy over the past year or two. Looksmart can't survive without clients. Losing MSN will probably kill them. I believe that the top of page listings will drive search traffic away from Yahoo over time.
The search engine "customer" wants to "find" what they're looking for. Buying top of page doesn't guarantee that the lister has what you want to buy. It only verifies that their site is in that business. People tend to avoid top of page results. The only winner is the seller of the results. There are always new suckers ready to plunk down money for top listing. You never see them around after the 15th. Top of page is cheapest toward the end of the month. Buyers of top position have either exhausted their budget by the 15th or have spent their Overture mandated minimum[/] by then. There are those who contest that PFI and PPC must be "budgeted in". Thats BS if you can't even break even on what you've budgeted for paid placement. Over time marketers will "wise up".
Everyone seems to be against affiliate marketing. Affilate networks,dealers and franchisees [b]built the economy that we enjoy today. Auto manufacturers are located in Detroit. If you want to buy one of their cars you need to buy it from a member of their dealer network. There's a huge retail chain based in Chicago that depends on a network of retail franchisees to get you your Cr*ftsman tools and other good. The Clown-burger chain depends on a network of franchisees to serve up your burger and fries. You wouldn't even have free television because the New York based network depends on a network of local affiliates to bring you the same rehased cop dramas and situation comedies every season.
I,for one,am TIRED of all the b*tching and moaning about affiliate network marketers. We are constantly being criticized for doing exactly what we're supposed to do. That is to deliver product and services to people who want it. We sell for the companies who provide these products and services but can't set up in every location that has demand. That's where affiliates,dealers and franchisees come in. In EVERY business there is these networks distribute product and supply services to those who want them. I don't hear tool manufacturers,clothing manufacturers,food distributor or anyone else complaining. They'll take all the distributors they can get. If you want to sell more via search engines then set up an affiliate program. Quit complaining..
This is the last of my rant,I promise. Quit complaining about SPAM. You label accepted marketing techniques as SPAM. They're readily accepted in EVERY OTHER FORM OF PROMOTION. Do you call the TV networks because you see the SAME AD 10 times in an hour? Do you complain to the radio station because they play the same commercial 8 times in an hour or,God forbid,TWICE IN A ROW? Do you cancel your newspaper or magazine subscription because an advertiser runs more than one ad per issue? Of course not. I'll tell you why. Without advertisers most newspapers,magazines,radio stations and television stations would CLOSE. They're all advertiser supported and I'll tell you why. If they depended on reader,listener or viewer support for operating costs,expenses and profit YOU WOULDN'T SEND THEM A DIME. Advertisers pay the bills for this entire economy and you complain because they make a profit.
If any of you are actually foolish enough to believe that the internet is a NEW ECONOMY then I pity you. If the true costs of running any other normal business ever come online most of you will fold within a year. Count your blessings that federal,state and local taxes & fees aren't being added to YOUR cost of doing business. Big Business and the Governments (Federal,State,County & City) LET you survive. Corporations are still busy learning the nuts and bolts of ecommerce and staking out the largest share of the web that they can claim. Eventually they'll want MORE. Governments are busy studying ways to properly TAX ecommerce. Simply searching whois listings will eventually give them all of the tax and fee targets they want. The rising cost of doing business will drive the small operator OFF THE WEB just like food conglomerates killed the small farmer,chain restaraunts killed the family diner & the malls killed the small retailer,roadside locations,strip malls and plazas. Mall space isn't cheap and they don't want small operators who will smudge the mall's image. They want high paying franchisees,dealers and affiliates. GROW UP ALREADY.
In ten years ecommerce will be fully merged into the private sector. Large companies with hundreds and thousands of affiliates will remain while the independent web site ower will be on the skids. The affiliate,franchise,dealer network model will survive if the Fortune 500 has to buy controlling interest in Google to make it happen. There will be TWO kinds of companies: Those who use large affiliate networks and those who fight against it. The independent web site owner is going to be crushed in between. WalMart,Best Buy,Staples,Office Max and others already have affiliate programs in place. They'll lobby and fight to protect them. Large companies will all have SEO teams to drive out the smaller competitors and claim more market share and drive negative news about their companies (which hurts stock prices) out of the SERPS. If PPC does survive,the bids will be out of reach of the small operator.
I rue the day that Google DOES IPO. There are BILLIONS of investor dollars waiting at the gate for it to happen. They mean to take over the web. With their resources that's exactly what's going to happen. I'm not here to threaten or fight with you. I am an affiliate marketer. I have BILLIONS of corporate dollars backing my play. I have strategic affiliate relationships on four continents. I'm not here to defend affiliates who use unethical marketing techniques. Report them. Believe me,the merchants hate them more than you do because they damage their good names.
I repeat. There's an ice-age coming. Make more lemonade.
I couldn't help but chuckle because, if things continue as they are, you couldn't be more right in all you predicted. Makes our present-day struggling look a little silly, doesn't it?
But that's not to say that what you wrote is GOOD. What it summed up to was: sooner or later you're going to get steamrolled by the big greed machine, so why even bother struggling? With all due respect, that attitude (or call for the absence of) is why the machine is not only here, but why the machine is so BIG today.
The net is still an open field where all can say or sell anything they like, and of course because it is still open we get lots of crap - but we are also free to block it or ban it or call it spam if it is bothersome. Happily for now that kind of behaviour is condemned to the 'evil outskirts' of the web, but if (when) what you predict comes true we won't be able to avoid it.
The same ad ten times in an hour IS spam and an attempt at programmation. Even the thought of programmation - or brainwashing, or 'product awareness' (chuckle) as some would call it - is evil because it desregards at the same time the quality of the product sold and the integrity of the person buying it. Most of the big boys' ad campaigns can be compared to those of the travelling medicine-man of lore, the sellers of products such as "Dr. Roger's Famous Rejuvinating Elixir", campaigns created to prey on the ignorant dreams of 'commoners' - but the thing is, today's medicine man not only wants to sell to those dreams, he wants to stamp the dreams into the 'common mind' through programmation - spam. They will be everywhere, you say, and will do anything to get their message to you. Every mail you open, every page you look at, even every Google search you do, like television, the same ads, the same ads, the same ads trying to make us WANT to buy what they sell and giving us no other choice of products because they are so overwhelming that everywhere we go we will never see anything but the same few products. Thus, like the rest of the world, you say that the web will be transformed into a new product-selling 'message-machine', and, if the big boys get their way, absent of any diversified or original content.
And you don't want us to whine about it?
Do you call the TV networks because you see the SAME AD 10 times in an hour? Do you complain to the radio station because they play the same commercial 8 times in an hour or,God forbid,TWICE IN A ROW?
No. I tune to another station. A similar thing happens with overly-stuffed web pages.
I've nothing against affiliate programmes, I do them myself. However there's a matter of blance. Lots of sites get on my nerves as a user so I wouldn't build anything like that as a webmaster.
Advertisers pay the bills for this entire economy and you complain because they make a profit.
That's one model. There are others.
Take a look at the BBC News website. One of the best websites in the world IMO and not a single advert. Supported by taxes that I'm happy to pay.
Comparison of differing socio-economic models and political philosophies is fascinating but possibly a little off-topic for this board. :-)
|Comparison of differing socio-economic models and political philosophies is fascinating but possibly a little off-topic for this board. :-) |
I DID get a little carried away, didn't I? : )
|Take a look at the BBC News website. One of the best websites in the world IMO and not a single advert. Supported by taxes that I'm happy to pay. |
Yes, but British taxpayers pay for this. Why should the World get it for free as we are being taxed for the privilege? They SHOULD put adverts on there for people outside the UK. It's like me getting HBO for free, just because I live outside the USA. Would the paying HBO subscribers in America be happy about that?
nandb writes >> Yes, but British taxpayers pay for this<<
One of the reasons the BBC has such a positive brand internationally is because it is seen as a "gift" to the world. It also lets them spread their left/liberal agenda. ;) The Australian Broadcasting Commission is also almost 100% public funded, and i am sure that are other examples too. But I havent heard Aussies talking about this too.
As far as the Englshman's profile in the world, Im pretty sure their taxes may be well recompensed in the end...
[edited by: chiyo at 8:50 am (utc) on Sep. 6, 2003]
I'm happy to pay the BBC licence fee too! More than anything else because it means I can listen to quality music on Radio 1 and political coverage on Radio 4 without having my listening experience interrupted by audiospam.
As for: "The independent web site owner is going to be crushed..."
I suspect this is being too pessimistic. Independent websites and independent web initiatives have been powerful enough to change the way people buy books, book flights and rile the entire offline music publishing industry. Now P2P filesharing is beginning to affect Hollywood.
How much more vulnerable are large online companies from the one independent web site owner who comes along every so often with an idea that shows people a different way to do things.
Even companies with big advertising budgets cannot ultimately compete with the viral spread of novel ideas.
|But that's not to say that what you wrote is GOOD. What it summed up to was: sooner or later you're going to get steamrolled by the big greed machine, so why even bother struggling? With all due respect, that attitude (or call for the absence of) is why the machine is not only here, but why the machine is so BIG today. |
I did mean to stomp on some of the pedantic comments that I see in these forums and try and present a "bigger picture".
I didn't mean to say that everyone will be steamrolled by the big greed machine. Everyone who tries to fight the machine will get steamrolled. I'm getting on the steam roller thank you. Fighting the business community and all the governments would be like jumping in the ring with Mike Tyson,Roy Jones and 3 or 4 dozen heavyweights.
If you can't beat 'em,join 'em.
I'm not THAT cynical. I think that the more times a person's brain is exposed to something undesirable the less it gets tuned into. Think about it. Watch TV for two hours and try to remember every commercial you saw. I remember the DirecTV commercial with the fantasy football playing girl and Marshall Faulk but I like fantasy football,girls and Marshall Faulk!
Let's see....I'm sure that there were other commercials....I just can't remember....4 fingers or 5?...No? 4?....Yes,but for the wrong reasons? 5?.....Yes? 4....Yeah, 4..... No?...
It literally numbs the mind....
For all of you who don't understand,RUN..Don't Walk to your local video store and get a copy of 1984 starring John Hurt and Richard Burton. You should have paid attention when they tried to make you read it in school but you were too busy with the chaos of puberty. Besides that,it was Richard Burton's final film. :-(.
|Even companies with big advertising budgets cannot ultimately compete with the viral spread of novel ideas. |
...now that's a virus I like : )
Points were made in 'change the channel' and 'widespreadiness' (chuckle) of the net (anyone can publish a page, not so for a TV ad or show) - but do you think that the big boy's won't do their all to get top spots in the SERP's and best ad places in the most popular pages? It all comes down to bidding and if it does a searcher will have to go to page three to find anything 'individual'.
Sure, many want to get on the steamroller with the 'winning majority', but I'd love to ignore it if I could. I'd at least like to have the choice.
Sorry for the above rant but sometimes I feel that the goal of most ads is not to cater to our desire to buy but more to conning us into thinking we want to buy - the spam repetition is an attempt at brainwashing and nothing else. Ever find yourself singing a jingle in the shower that you hate but can't get out of your head? Get to the short-term memory so that when you go to the store you see that which you saw on...There I go again...
[edited by: Josefu at 9:24 am (utc) on Sep. 6, 2003]
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