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Latest Google guidelines to survival?
Top ranked sites are now #150... how to survive?
silverbytes




msg:187494
 7:37 pm on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've noticed the super thread about last Google major update. And also noticed some of my good ranked sites moved down deep.
So I guess something has changed in Google's appreciations...

What are the guidelines for a Google friendly site those days?

 

c1bernaught




msg:187554
 12:16 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sorry Macro... but I believe Google does have some responsibility for those people who's business they effect when they change the serps....

Google now holds power over tens of thousands of small buinesses. The economic impact to these businesses is very real and Google is responsible.

If I build a thing, that I say is free,and invite others to use it, and they do and become dependant upon the thing I have built, then I change the thing in a way that profits me, at the detriment of those who it was free for and who have become reliant upon it, am I responible?

Looking at it this way... it seems as if a massive bait and switch has occurred... I believe there are other less legitimate businesses that rely upon this very methodology....

isitreal




msg:187555
 12:43 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

steveb said:
It's not a coincidence that people coming up with outlandish and illogical conspiracy theories and excuses are ignoring Google Guy's direct statements when he makes them. What do you want, him to repeat stuff 1000 times because some folks intend to complain a 1000 times?

Where would one of those direct statements you're referring to be? That would be re the Austin update that is, which is what people are wondering about here. I couldn't find one so if you can point me to it I'd appreciate it, thanks. I looked through the google news category a bit to see if I could find one, but didn't have any luck.

valeyard




msg:187556
 12:44 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

If the Google SERPS are really that bad - and Google's going down the pan - then the logical thing to do is to hasten the demise of Google. Take c1bernaught's suggestion and ban the googlebot. To those not happy with Google - stand by your principles. Don't just recommend a different search engine - ban this one from trawling your site! Or perhaps it's a case of "I still want your free traffic, but I'll take my search business elsewhere"?

I find this logic very hard to understand. The relationship between a search engine and content providers is - should be - a symbiotic one.

Google has embraced us all then randomly shafted some partners for no apparent reason. They refuse even to discuss the fact that there might be a problem in our relationship. Yet you suggest that those who feel their trust has been abused by Google's behaviour should respond with actions that will hurt themselves even more.

It really is beginning to sound like the worst sort of codependency.

c1bernaught




msg:187557
 12:57 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Valeyard...

It should be a codependancy, in it's positive aspect... a symbiotic relationship.

At one point I believe it was, for without sites Google was an empty directory and without the invention of Paige Rank our sites were at the mercy of the then "Google" Alta Vista. Remember?

At some point the money got in the way. Not just from Googles side but our side as well.

Google tried hard to keep the ranking relevant while we tried hard to get to the first page. WE caused the situation we face today, Google and Webmasters alike.

There is no honor left. We all want all the cash we can get and don't care what we have to do to get it.

Both sides are willing to destroy the very thing that we need.....

Kirby




msg:187558
 1:15 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Google now holds power over tens of thousands of small buinesses. The economic impact to these businesses is very real and Google is responsible.

Then sue. Don't forget to add Yahoo and AOL as co-conspirators for using Google results when they know they are sub-par.

Let's say Google serps get better. Can we hold anyone reponsible for our loss of business that results from the drop in traffic that we could experience when Y! switches to INK because so many Y! users dont give a rat's @ss about who supplies the results when they search?

C'mon. I've read your posts and you are to smart for comments like these.

Google doesnt hold power over small businesses. Many small businesses are simply over-dependent on one segment of a business plan.

1milehgh80210




msg:187559
 1:21 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

On top of relevance Google gave the little guy a chance to compete with the big boys<
Its just a taste of whats to come..
In the real world the only way to compete is to differentiate yourself from the competition. In the long run e-commerce site owners who push affiliate links and adsense must do that with lots of quality content. E-commerce sites with little or no content have to do it with a more unique product or service or better price.
In the long run SEO may go the way of the buggy whip (unneeded by most people)
TRUE information sites owners dont have to worry, since they derive no income from their site )

Josecito




msg:187560
 2:00 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

well a lot of guys are saying that adwords is the way to stay #1, but im not from USA and im from argentina and my credit card is declined in adwords.... i dont know why adwords dont let me use these services, i cant be competitive in this world.... hope google back my pages in nice position soon because is the only way to receive traffic. :)

i tryed using epassporte and declined my credit card too. i cant find any way to use adwords, btw im using findwhat, mamma, overture...

sorry for my english

c1bernaught




msg:187561
 2:30 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Kirby,

At some point companies like Google WILL be held responsible. They have have too much control over a media that too many people depend upon. They control a media that is worth billions of dollars and the power they hold only grows over time as the dollars themselves grow.

Perhaps it will be a lawsuit that brings them around. A few thousand angry webmasters could launch quite a fiery class action suit. Even if the suit has little merit it will still require vast sums of money and time to defend.... I am not advocating this... I'm saying that it is a possibility...

Google, as they monetize, grow more careless with the very resource they depend upon, namely the very websites we collectively create. Without content... profitable content... there are very few advertising dollars.

Now, I'm not saying that Google is going away. I'm not saying that Google is evil. I'm simply saying that Google is risking the alienation of a community who stood by them and made them who they are.

Please don't patronize me.

c1bernaught




msg:187562
 2:46 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

1milehgh80210,

Information only sites will not gain Google the profit they desire. In fact only profitable companies, companies that can advertise, are needed. The information only sites in the directory are simply necessary filler.

europeforvisitors




msg:187563
 2:56 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

An FYI to the "Let's sue Google!" crowd:

Google was sued in 2003 by a company that lost PageRank and listings in the Google Index. A federal court dismissed the suit on the grounds that Google's PageRank algorithm is an "opinion" and is therefore protectd by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Fact is, Google didn't enter into a contract with any of us. Google didn't even charge us to be crawled and included in its index, as some search engines do. So where does anybody get the idea that we have a "right" to be included in the Google index, let alone ranked high enough to profit from our Google listings?

Josecito




msg:187564
 3:01 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

if i buy an dedicated server can i host all my domains and friend domains in one server, will this affect my SERP in google?

c1bernaught




msg:187565
 4:27 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Europeforvisitors:

I don't think that anyone WOULD or even SHOULD sue Google.

However, I think your logic is flawed....

A single legal loss, by a single company, does not grant immunity from lawsuits.

europeforvisitors




msg:187566
 4:32 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

No, but it sets a legal precedent.

Chico_Loco




msg:187567
 4:42 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Fact is, Google didn't enter into a contract with any of us. Google didn't even charge us to be crawled and included in its index, as some search engines do. So where does anybody get the idea that we have a "right" to be included in the Google index, let alone ranked high enough to profit from our Google listings?

Can't argue with the facts! Anyone who wants to sue Google (or any other SE) just because their rankings are low (or even if they were kicked) probably shouldn't be in business anyway!

Kirby




msg:187568
 5:48 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

>I'm simply saying that Google is risking the alienation of a community who stood by them and made them who they are.

This I agree with 100%, and I don't think its limited to just a community. Today the mother of my daughter's friend was telling me that she (an accountant) was using DogPile and AV now to find real estate info.

Also my apologies - wasn't trying to patronize.

Net_Wizard




msg:187569
 6:10 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

C1bernaught have a point too, that is if you care to listen.

Of course, most of you guys are quite right too that Google didn't enter into a contract with any of us therefore G can do whatever it pleases. For the sake of the internet, I hope not.

Before anybody say that this is just another conspiracy theory or that 'we' disgruntled webmaster think that Google is evil then on the same token can you really say Google is honest and fair?

I can't answer that question but neither can you. Businesses as it 'rapidly' grow would require an appropriate inflow of cash and by itself is a form of pressure.

Google can't just continue to expand without spending money whether it's coming from investors or from revenues.

If it's from investors then at some point of time they would require a return of their investment, they can't just give G money forever...pressure.

If it's from revenues then there would be a continous demand to increase income, otherwise expansion would stop, R&D would become stagnant...pressure.

Either way, the way I look at it...is that Google is in a lot of pressure to produce income to catch-up with its rapid growth and to pay back some investment/investors.

What this got to do with the current state of Google Search Engine?

Might not be apparent to some, but it's starting to effect it's 'supposedly' free search engine. The very first time they come online, there's not even an advert on it then...

the next level, advertising on the right side, true algorithmic result are still displayed as the top 10 then...

the next level, one ad above the free listing and more advertising on the right side. Basically, page1 have now 11 listing with the #1 spot devoted to advertisers then...

the next level, 3 ads above the free listing and more advertising on the right side. Basically, page1 have now 13 listing with the first 3 spots devoted to advertisers. Compare this level to the first level...

big difference in clickthrough if you happened to be #1 before. Though the free listing still start at #1, reality is your clickthrough equivalent is now at #4 (remember the 3 ads above you?).

This is exactly what we hated other search engines (adverts crowding the listing) before Google showed-up and that's the reason we have supported Google because it was a pure search engine then or did we forget that.

This might not be obvious to some, apparently still blindly in love with Google (if you can only give Google the license to kill), but the free listing are getting crowded with advertisers...prime spots are no longer free.

Google is skating thin ice here, true algorithmic results(free listings) are in danger of being delegated as just a 'filler' to its adverting listings. Perhaps to Google, algorithmic results are no longer a priority but a necessary evil in doing business to hold on to their users.

Can you imagine Google without the free listing? It's hard to imagine the future of a pure PPC Google. So, they are stuck with the free listing and at the same time they are hard pressed to produce the income. They have to do something creative. Would it be okay to have the page1 devoted to advertisers this time and the free listing starting at page2?

What this got to do with the quality of the free listing? Who really cares? Google PR says they do but really. As long as there is an advertiser or advertisers covering the search query who cares if the free listing sucks. In fact, moneywise, it would be better for Google to have a poor quality of free listing results this would just make the ads more seemingly important.

Let's get over it...quality is no longer what Google aspire...it's time to make some mon-neey and just hope that the rest of the world have their blinders on.

Who knows what's going on behind closed door. You can have your faith, just pray that it's not going to be tested soon.

Cheers :)

wifi on the fly




msg:187570
 6:13 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree that Google did embrace everyone and then in a a way turn their backs on them. We run a few hundred sites and all but 4 got nuked from the front pages of Google. The really funny thing is that since the updates we are still on average for sales on a daily basis and in fact we actually had a pretty good January all things considering.

One thing I do watch is a live monitoring of the people that come and go for our sites. Googles traffic is mostly gone for the majority of our sites. We do get some Google traffic, but anymore it isn't as dominate as it once was. The key is that we survived the demise of "free traffic" from Google. If we only had 1 or 2 business, I am confident we would have been cooked.

The only thing that the sites that stayed on top had is big time senority (at least in my class) and right around 500 incoming links. This is all my opinion, but it seems about right based on the laws of link counting. If you want to play in Googles new game you have to get some hardcore links. We haven't themed, we haven't stuck within the linking guidelines. A long time ago I sat back and wondered if someone from one site that has nothing to do with mine would buy something. The answer based on years of retail is yes. We have made sales coming from sites that are totally unrelated. Those are also the links that count on the 4 main sites that we have sitting on top. Links, Links, and Links. Since Googles changes we have stopped worrying about Googles SERP's and have focused on the traffic that we can get when all of the Search Engines pull us out. Our backup and how to survive in Google is not to depend on Google or any other SE. Yes the free traffic is awesome and sales go through the roof when you get some SE love, but it also will tear you up when Google decides to change their ways. And after many days of Google and actually switching to MSN and others for my main searches, I really don't blame Google at all. Yes their results absolutally suck, but if they don't change things, then another search engine is going to come along and apply their current algo along with some nifty features and wipe them out. Within the last month we have started link campaigns for virtually 100's of well qualified links. Will this work for Google? It is anyone's guess. My guess is yes, because we do have 4 sites left and that is the only real difference between my 30 incoming linked sites and my 500 incoming linked sites.

<Edited> - My spelling is terrible

sasha




msg:187571
 6:24 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

<One thing I do watch is a live monitoring of the people that come and go for our sites.>

Wifi, How do you do that?

Kirby




msg:187572
 6:25 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

>can you really say Google is honest and fair?

Of course not! The google guidelines have little bearing on anything. They are now relegated to boyscouts who follow the honor system. To think otherwise is akin to believing in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

djgreg




msg:187573
 9:14 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Very different opinions here and very thoroughgoing opinions, too.
If you think about Google and the principle which is implied in it you should agree that Google owes us SEOs nothing. You say that Google spiders the web for free and their profit only is based on the spidering. If you don't want Google to spider your website you can easily avoid it! But in fact you all want Google to spider your website due to the chance of being listed on the first page. It's all about greed and money! I believe if you would still be listed on the first page, you wouln't post in this thread, would you?
The first page of the Google results contains 10 websites. Now count how many competitors you have and you know how many webmasters complaining about the Google results. And of course asking the webmasters everybody's site should be on top of the SERPS because it is the best one in the sector.
I always was amazed about Googleguy giving advice to webmasters who complain in such a unfair, constricted point of view.

To those maintaining 100s of URLs: Maybe you have just put a little link on the top of all your URLs linking to the ones having the highest profit?

greg

centrifugal




msg:187574
 10:33 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Everyone here seems to have an intelligent opinion. My simple way of looking at it is this. G owes us nothing.
But if G wants to maintain a reputation of providing quality results, they need to work hard to get back on the right track.
This means not filtering out innocent sites, first and foremost.

Macro




msg:187575
 10:33 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's all about greed and money!

Yes, but it seems it's only OK for us webmasters to have that. The slightest hint/conspiracy theory that Google is trying to make money and all those same webmasters get very upset.

I can't believe there's a discussion about whether Google is fair. Of course they are not! They don't have my pages as #1 in SERPS. That can't be fair. Maybe I should throw my toys outta the pram now.

djgreg




msg:187576
 12:31 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Macro totally agree!

Chelsea




msg:187577
 12:41 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

The internet is not wheat thins.

An astonishing insight. Thanks ;)

BTW, responding to an earlier post: Greed and money aren't the same thing. Money provides stability, and if you have a family the pursuit of money to provide that stability is a worthy thing - it has nothing to do with greed. Thought I'd better clear that up!

p.s. Google makes net profits before flotation of somewhere between 150 and 200 million dollars apparently. I still can't understand why us webmasters are so quick to go into auto-flaggelation mode. Don't mistake greed with making an honest living :)

djgreg




msg:187578
 1:19 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Chelsea:
IMHO you miss the point.
It seems that you have a lack of business economics or marketing. How can you rely on a search engine earning your money? Rankings could be different the other day( as happend now). They can change their algo whenever they want and they can revert it back whenever they wnat. When searching on Google.com you see results that google thinks are relevant. It's an opinion. You can't rely on being listed on a top serch engine result page for life! You can possibly rely on being listed until the next update. And then there are 5 competitors which all made better SEO as you did and your site is away. That's life.
Don't rely on any search engine when making business plans!
See a top listing as a gift but never calculate with it. Your company has to survive without a listing, if not it is a very risky enterprise!

Chelsea




msg:187579
 1:25 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

How can you rely on a search engine earning your money? Rankings could be different the other day( as happend now).

Nyet. Read the earlier post. We advertise substantially in print. What Florida/Austin has done has been a landmark event. It is perfectly reasonable for any company to predict sales turnover in any area of marketing as long as a margin of uncertainty is included. It is standard accounting practice. But no online business could have predicted the massive changes in the SERPs, and hence revenue, brought about by Florida /Austin.

To suggest otherwise is mistaken, and I think a little uncharitable ;)

As Valeyard stated earlier:

A bit of "reshuffling" in SERPS is expected and acceptable. To go from page one to nowhere is not.

And don't ever assume anyone is looking for sympathy, I'm just stating facts.

:)

p.s. and perhaps enough of the 'business advice' - members aren't in a position to judge. Heck, I could represent Am*zon / EB*y for all you know ;)

europeforvisitors




msg:187580
 1:38 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Everyone here seems to have an intelligent opinion. My simple way of looking at it is this. G owes us nothing.

Can't argue with that.

But if G wants to maintain a reputation of providing quality results, they need to work hard to get back on the right track.

Well, I don't think those Ph.D.'s are all sitting around drinking Mai-Tais. Give 'em time--Rome wasn't built in a day.

This means not filtering out innocent sites, first and foremost.

I think it's highly unlikely that Google has set a corporate goal of filtering out innocent sites first and foremost. :-)

In any case, Google isn't a court of law, and its job isn't to separate the guilty from the innocent: Its job is to deliver what it considers to be the most relevant search results according to its stated corporate mission and the needs of its target audience.

Example: You could have a perfectly innocent affiliate site serving up boilerplate pages supplied by a vendor, but if Google decides that "duplicate clutter" makes its results less satisfying to users, the innocent site's vendor-supplied pages may be removed or lowered in the search rankings by a "duplicate or near-duplicate content" filter. Innocence or guilt won't have anything to do with it; the overriding factor will be Google's desire to provide a better search experience to the end user.

Macro




msg:187581
 1:39 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

It is perfectly reasonable for any company to predict sales turnover in any area of marketing as long as a margin of uncertainty is included

You obviously mis-calculated the margin of uncertainty, and assumed some certainty with SERPS. With respect, that's where your mistake was. I'm sorry, it doesn't matter if you do spend money on Adwords. You're building a tower block on sifting sands - that does not strike me as something a well run business would do.

Predicting sales volumes is where the entire business process starts. A prediction is made that for a given level of marketing funds a certain volume of sales can be expected. Companies then work backward, make logistical plans for stock, hire extra premises, make staffing arrangements etc appropriate to that expected level of sales. I'd devote some better staff to this prediction process of yours.

Innocence or guilt won't have anything to do with it

Exactly! It's a matter of what Google's opinion is - and nothing to do with any legislation by the UK/USA/UN. Perhaps some webmasters would like to see some laws governing Google but they'd have to make a case that current anti-competition laws are not working.

In the process of improving their algos Google may at times serve experimental results for weeks/months on end to track how it's panning out - they do know what links people are clicking on. In that process some sites will overtake some other sites and even if your site is the best site for a keyword (and you're not the only one who holds that opinion) Google may show your site on page 200 to see how other sites fare in the SERPS.

Chelsea




msg:187582
 1:50 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

it doesn't matter if you do spend money on Adwords.

Please read my post - we advertise in print, where did I mention Adwords?

Read the TOS, you are not exactly in breach of them, but you are straying into a position where you feel you can confidently advise on the business plans of fellow members, when you don't even know what their business is :)

I asked you to read the earlier post in the second post, and now you haven't read the second post either :)

Macro




msg:187583
 2:31 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Please read my post - we advertise in print, where did I ...

I think we are splitting hairs ;-)
Adwords, or print ads, the point was about advertising in general. Perhaps "Adwords" adds an element of confusion as it's a Google product so my apologies for the inadvertent confusion. It's about marketing spend, whereever that spend is done.

a position where you feel you can confidently advise on the business plans of fellow members - when you don't even know what their business is

It doesn't matter what your business is. The logic of not relying on SERPS to provide a large enough chunk of your sales - to the extent that your business is threatened if those SERPS change - is irrefutable. It's common sense more than business advice.

The thread is about how to achieve good Google rankings post Austin. It has strayed a bit into questioning and defending Google's right to serve whatever SERPS they want. My opinion is that the old ground rules are largely unchanged, rules that worked before are still the rules that are *most likely* to work now. And that it's safe to assume that the only thing that's guaranteed with SERPS is that nothing is guaranteed.

Chelsea




msg:187584
 2:34 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Macro

The logic of not relying on SERPS to provide a large enough chunk of your sales - to the extent that your business is threatened if those SERPS change - is irrefutable.

I repeat, why and how do you assume that my business relies on Google SERPs? We're doing great thank you, now please put a sock in it :)

The irony is, I'll probably be the one booted off now for exceeding the TOS!

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