| This 158 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 158 ( 1 2  4 5 6 ) > > || |
|Google Getting Harder to SEO For?|
I've been working with some sites and placement on Google for the past 3 years. I've seen it get gradually harder to get placed on Google anymore. Especially if you want the front page. I've done quite a few experiments to get my sites higher. About a year ago all our sites were #1. Now most of them aren't on the first page and they are constantly updated. I've emailed Google constantly about problems with searching and finding irrelavant results. I look for one thing and find junk instead. The problem is, Google leads us to believe that PR is the big issue. Having quality links. Well our sites have quality links and a rating of 4 on each of them. They have all the proper key words and words in the page. I've done all the research to know exactly what needs to be in the page and where to get it high on search engines. Yahoo has most of our sites rated very high, as does alltheweb and msn. Google however does not work the way they tell us. If you search for one of my key words on one of my sites, you will find a site with a PR of 3 over mine with PR 4. Same keyword on both sites, ours has more content though. Every time I wrote Google they told me PR PR PR. Obviously that's not it. Sure it might help but it's done nothing for me on 4 of my sites. Not to mention that our sites have exactly the content you look for with the keywords and more products with those keywords involved but sites that have unrelated products or small amounts of the same products get higher results. Can Google be bought off? Is that how it works?
To totally prove the PR myth here. We have a site rated 4 that is on Google but we have not found it under any search term. I don't understand why they would penalize it if it even is. I think Google has been feeding us lines about how to get good listings because I don't think THEY even know how their spider indexes sites.
The very first result is THE [ some place ] Airport Hotel. I decided I could find something cheaper then I got frustrated. It was the next results that bothered me. It's possible the results have changed slightly but it returned pages that did not give me the information I wanted. I chalked this up to these keywords being popular and heavily optimized. And then I voted with my wallet and chose to not use any of the pages that were optimized instead just booking with the desk in the airport.
If I had more time and I wasn't sick I would have waded through the results choosing one I liked but after looking at many sites and trying some different searches I just gave up in frustration.
I like Google but I can see how excessive optimization can be one of their problems. For my meager site I try to think about SEO a bit but my competition is not so intense.
Next time I need to book a hotel I may not try Google at all. I believe there are some well known travel sites or I could just use a chain and collect points.
I fear I've gotten off topic.
I'm in the camp of optimizing for your user and this will please GoogleBot. My most recent changes and additions to my hobby site were reducing image size, cleaning up some broken links, and adding some fresh content. I think that the basics are still the most important.
PS I didn't want an expensive hotel because I was going to be in my room for very few hours...
[edited by: ciml at 9:38 am (utc) on July 10, 2004]
[edit reason] No specifics please. [/edit]
Maybe the search phrase used is why you didn't find what you were looking for. Maybe you should have searched for "inexpensive [ some place ] airport hotels" instead of "[ some place ] airport hotels".Contrary to popular belief, Google doesn't know what you are looking for unless you tell it.
Also, just out of curiosity, what is a spam site? Is it, as I suspect, any sites positioned above mine?
[edited by: ciml at 9:40 am (utc) on July 10, 2004]
[edit reason] No specifics please. [/edit]
BigDave you are definitely one of my heroes in here.
Harder? Yep. As it should be. G is somewhere betweeen one step ahead and one step behind the spammers, that it'll probably always be that way.
If the entry level students could game G at this point, what a world it would be. No offense to the entry level students. :-)
Like fine wine, the sites with age, clarity, substance, flavour and subtlety seem to do fine. Brett's pyramid thing does not just apply to site sturcture. It's the Web, man...or at least G's view of the Web. ;-)
I tried a lot of phrases not just one or two and like I said I got tired and gave up.
As for a SPAM site I imagine everyone has their own oppinion. My oppinion since I've highjacked this thread is a site that conspires to lead you away from a site which has the information you want to one that does not. And their method of leading you away is in someway dubious.
If a site is actually about widgets and you want information about widgets I would not say it is SPAM. SPAM is unwanted information. Sites that are a typo of a popular domain are SPAM though typos of a popular keyword well doesn't Google offer you correct spellings...
>>> PS I didn't want an expensive hotel because I was going to be in my room for very few hours...
Muskie, I'm very surprise that you didn't find what you want for the hotels in [ some place ] with the first 2 keyword samples that you had posted; perhaps you're sick and your mood was bad.
As you search for [ some place ] Airport Hotel, Google is absolutely right...it gives you the #1 result with that hotel which belongs to the big brand name. Interestingly, that particular hotel is situated right opposite the [ some place ] Airport and you just have to walk across the bridge to that hotel without having to take the shuttle bus or taxi out of the airport. Of course, it is expensive...but how can Google know your budget?
Concerning the budget, I will argue further that Google has also given you the right result on its front page around position 7-8. It is an airport hotel that situated around 2-3 km away from airport. The cheapest room it offers you is around US$ 35 per room / night covering free shuttle bus and other special privileges for internet user...etc. (as written on its page).
I think what you want is the price comparison list like the counter desk at the airport and YES, here again GOOGLE also supplies you another right info and serp on #3 just below the 1st one of brand name. There you'll see an affiliate site listing the hotels name with reference price comparison. This affiliate site takes you to the right merchant anyway.
If that's not enough, at #9-10 is a large hotel portal - also give you the list of price comparison of hotel in [ some place ] airport's vicinity.
SO, what else do you want more from Google?
It is Google responsibility to bring up the best serps as it can and as far as I can see with your sample - the result is excellent with variety and spectrum. It is your responsibility to dig and "to search" further by yourself, because you're looking for information through the "search engine".
BTW, I think you had been violating the term of use of this forum by putting those keywords.
[edited by: ciml at 9:41 am (utc) on July 10, 2004]
[edit reason] No specifics please. [/edit]
Google doesn't know what you are looking for unless you tell it. - Very true.
If your looking for cheap hotels in [ some place ], try using that phrase..... If you cant find it then you havent asked correctly in the first place.
[edited by: ciml at 9:44 am (utc) on July 10, 2004]
[edit reason] No specifics please. [/edit]
Welcome to reality,
I keep telling people in my neck of the woods that SEO will become continuosly more complex as time goes on.
Don't expect it to get any easier.
Two simple reasons:
1) Number of sites keep increasing.
Even with no Algo change, the effort required to get to the top of the heap will keep increasing with each passing day.
2) Relevant results.
In order for search engines to know which 10 of the billions of indexed spages to return for a keyword search, they need to contstantly find better ways to determine which pages will provide the best relevance and satisfaction to a user. This obviously calls for increasingly complex algorithms.
IMHO, the more complex an Algo gets, the easier it becomes to reach the top position if.....
and here's the really important part...
A) You are able to accurately analyze and understand how the algorithm works.
B) It is within your power to produce and match all the neccessary factors required by the algorithm.
If you are only doing your analysis manually without the use of automated scripts, then by the time you have your results, chances are they are outdated. If you truly want to stay at the top of the SEO heap, GET AUTOMATED.
Search Engine Algorithms are neither racist nor prejudice, if you match the required criteria, you will reach the top, if you don't you won't.
So if you can match A & B which most people can't, achieving top results is simple. Bear in mind though, that as the (financial) reward for being at the top increases, so will the amount of effort required.
If you spend hundreds of hours trying to figure it out and you still aren't seeing good results, do yourself a BIG favour and seek help from a true expert. I don't know how much your time is worth but it'll probably save you and make you a lot more money.
On the other hand if you're just doing it for fun, keep on doing it.
p.s. "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just stand there!"
|If you spend hundreds of hours trying to figure it out and you still aren't seeing good results, do yourself a BIG favour and seek help from a true expert. I don't know how much your time is worth but it'll probably save you and make you a lot more money. |
Or even better, stop trying to figure it out for a while.
You have probably missed out on the basics, and need to go revisit those.
There is a member on this site that serves up information in the very competitive travel field. His site provides very useful, unique information. From what I have seen, he doesn't worry about the "tricks", he sticks with the basics.
He may not rank well for every hyper-competitive term that he would like to, but he does rank well for an awful lot of them. I'm surprised how often I spot one of his pages in my results when I'm looking up areas where family and friends live.
He knows what the tricks are, but he values his site too much to play those games.
The thing about analysing the algo in any particular month and figuring out the "tricks", is that the tricks just emulate and accentuate one area of the "basics" that you should have been working on all along. But by concentrating on them, you aren't working on *everything that you should be* to make it next month when the algo changes.
The reason to analyse the algo and your ranking is so you can decide if there are any areas where your basic structure might be deficient.
And it is great to tell people to hire an expert, but you don't make any suggestions on how to find that expert. In the field of SEO, there are some true experts, but just like the financial planning field, you mostly get a bunch of parrots that repeat the latest "wisdom".
Regarding looking on a SE for a good price on a hotel, when you are already there, need it NOW, and are sick.... well, that is not exactly a good time for doing research, right? The whole travel market is designed around convenience for a cost... I know the Internet is revolutionary, but if it worked that well we'd really see upheaval.
I was on [another city] and all of the hotel-owned Internet terminals proxied their results... you couldn't look for other hotels from computers inside the hotel - they were blocked. Smart move if you ask me...
My rule is use the phone once I hit the road, for all important stuff. Burned too many times, and the empathy from a real person is often calming/healing.
As always some very valid points.
>>The thing about analysing the algo in any particular month and figuring out the "tricks".
I don't beleive I mentioned the word "tricks" in my post, nor was I referring to any "tricks".
People are overly confident. Just because they know a few "tricks of the trade" doesn't mean they "know the trade".
>>And it is great to tell people to hire an expert, but you don't make any suggestions on how to find that expert.
That's absolutely correct. I didn't tell them anything about the algorithm either. I simple stated my opinion, as is, in the hope it helps even just one www reader.
Sorry if I violated the guidelines. I hadn't posted in a while. I thought it might be alright because it has nothing to with my website and it was a huge travel destination.
I think the latter fact played a part. There were just too many hotels, too many to compare them easily and quickly. I kept modifying my search but it seemed to me the same few sites were always coming up. The sites seemed similar and offered lists of hotels including hotels not where I wanted to go at all and I got frustrated. As I mentioned I was sick and decided I would just fly there and find a hotel when I got there.
I was in an internet cafe in the capitol city of Cambodia not in a hotel...
Automated SEO is something I've never tried mainly because all I am Webmaster for is my own personal site and sites related to my hobbies.
Cheers and sorry,
The people who keep telling others that it is their fault they don't place high in Google are either disingenuous, uneducated or smug. Smug because they have accidentally gotten high rankings without having a clue how they did it. With so many rules, Google can not be SEO'ed unless it is done by Google insiders IMO. With Google using so many rules at this time (Hilltop stacked on other rules, etc), you can not reverse engineer Google algo now, no matter what Google cheerleaders on this board say. You may be able to SEO Yahoo, MSN or some other small search engines that actually do what search engines are supposed to do, but Google is a waste of time IMO because Google is NOT a search engine any more, it is a filtering engine.
|Automated SEO is something I've never tried |
Not to worry, it doesn't work with Google. It sure sounds good when someone doesn't know what else to tell you though.
I did not say "Automated SEO". I did say that if you are doing your analysis manually, it won't be anywhere near as effective as automated analysis.
Just as it wouldn't be effective for Google to have its staff manually calculate a rank for each page in its index.
This is simply because you can not expect an accurate picture if you only analyze a few factors for a few pages, and their respective relationships.
You are entitled to believe that Google is not a search engine, as you are entitled to believe that Google can not be SEO'd.
IMHO, I think you may like to consider...
It's only your belief based on your own experience that positively affecting a rank in Google is not possible (without luck).
This does not mean that it is not possible.
Of course it's possible. The fact the certain pages are ranked higher than others is proof in itself that effecting rank is indeed possible. The challenge is in finding out the exact criteria required. Agreed that is not an easy challenge yet nonetheless possible.
There are problems in the universe far more complex than the Google algorithm that have been solved.
No offense intended here to anyone. It is a matter of ROI (Return On Investment). Would you agree that with an unlimited budget, it's very probable that finding the exact criteria is a strong possibility?
Then my next question is, how much is a #1 ranking worth to you or your clients?
Best of luck to you.
p.s. There used to be a time when flying to the moon was considered "impossible" and that's been done.
Hi Guys, I will post on topic later but I just thought I ought to introduce myself first.
I'm in the UK, I'm 41 and after owning and running a variety of offline businesses for over 20 years I purchased my first PC in May 2001. I started experimenting with websites almost immediately. It's been a very interesting ride and fortunately I was making good money only months after and still am.
Being a complete technophobe I realise I got into the internet world very late. One very glaringly obvious thing I have noticed tho is that their are alot of younger people in this business that have fallen into a quick income and believe they know it all and are cosequently indistructable, only to find their shortlived empire falling away to nothing just as quickly.
With that in mind no-one here seems to have noticed that Google is not the "all powerfull" SE it once used to be.
There is a much better split now and I for one am very glad about that. IMHO Google doesn't work very well any more, I only use it now purely for research for my own SEO techniques and page positions, I also think the post Florida google algo is disfunctional. Don't get me wrong I have great listing in all the three engines I just mentioned, i'ts just I don't like to use google any more for personal searches, I just don't seem to be able to get good enogh results at the moment.
For me the main contender Yahoo, works far better, the searches are more relevent and alot less spammy. Yahoo MSN and all the little boys are taking a far bigger piece of the acction, and thank goodness.
So is google getting harder to SEO for? Others have said in this post and I agree wholeheartedly, "don't waste too much time trying", the best SEO'd websites are the ones with the best information. I Just build them following the simple rules, it works for me and should for you.
Great forum everyone, have a great day.
|Of course it's possible. The fact the certain pages are ranked higher than others is proof in itself that effecting rank is indeed possible. The challenge is in finding out the exact criteria required. Agreed that is not an easy challenge yet nonetheless possible. |
So if I dump a pile of playing cards randomly on a desk and the 2 of spades happens to land on top, you are saying that proves that the 2 of spades somehow ranks higher than the other cards below it and therefore you can calculate why the 2 of spades landed on top?
Let's assume for the sake of argument that Google has 100 rules which they have been manually tweaking over a 6 month period. Are you saying that you can decode 100 moving targets?
I am willing to guess that you could not decode a 6 character password which you know the rules for (has to be a character on my keyboard). So I am fairly certain you could not decode Google's garbage-out algo which is not bound by any specific rules. But feel free to try.
|I am willing to guess that you could not decode a 6 character password which you know the rules for (has to be a character on my keyboard). |
Nine year old script kiddies can do that.
No wonder you are having trouble with Google.
|Nine year old script kiddies can do that. No wonder you are having trouble with Google. |
Yes I am an idiot and you are #1 on all your search terms on Google (yea right, in your dreams) beause you are smarter than me and everyone else, I have heard the story over and over. Anything new to add? You decode the stock market too? Own an island in the Bahamas?
>>Let's assume for the sake of argument that Google has 100 rules which they have been manually tweaking over a 6 month period. Are you saying that you can decode 100 moving targets?
100 rules, perhaps. Equal priority no. In my book if you follow the 2 main rules you can achieve top 10 easily so long as you do it with enough zest.
Getting the number 1 spot.... well then understanding the other 98 factors might help, but I call that the law of diminishing returns.
|Own an island in the Bahamas? |
Don't you mean:
Own an island in the <unspecified island location>? or should that be
Own an island in the Widgets?
There is actually something important about me and islands which you probably don't know but many here do because they know how to use Google.
|Yes I am an idiot and you are #1 on all your search terms on Google ... Anything new to add? |
You might not actually be an idiot but perhaps you haven't been listening?
There is no need to be #1 on all your search terms on Google. It is about highly targeted traffic and conversions.
|Are you saying that you can decode 100 moving targets? |
No need to decode them all.
There is a concept called the Pareto Principle which you should either review or read about and there is a statistical process called "Design of Experiments" which you should learn about and apply if you want to get a better understanding of what is going on.
ILuvSrchEngines, if you think Google is impossible to optimize for, then speak for yourself and yourself alone. YOU find Google impossible to optimize for. Don't presume to know what others know or don't know; using your own level of capability as a benchmark certainly isn't a valid measure.
>>I have heard the story over and over. Anything new to add?
With all due respect, when was the last time you had anything new to add? We've been hearing your story over and over for months; we could copy and paste posts done months ago right into this discussion and never know the difference. Sorry to be so upfront, but it needs to finally be said. All it is is repetitive whining and does nothing more than irritate other members, create unnecessary friction, and disrupt discussions for everyone, taking them off topic by calling undue attention onto yourself. That wastes our time, which for most of us is at a premium.
If anyone finds Google *impossible* to figure out, there are many, many papers that give at least partial clues and answers. There is nothing new under the sun; the answers are out there. It's a choice of allocating time to either whine and complain, living in the problem, or taking a proactive approach and trying to find the solutions.
>ILuvSrchEngines, if you think Google is impossible to optimize for, then speak for yourself and yourself alone. YOU find Google impossible to optimize for. Don't presume to know what others know or don't know; using your own level of capability as a benchmark certainly isn't a valid measure.
Yep. Google is just a bunch of computers with an algo. Of COURSE it can be optimized for. If I can't optimize a site for Google, all that means is that I am inadequate for the task. A SE algo is created by humans. As such, if I can't beat it all that proves is I lack the ability.
>>I have heard the story over and over. Anything new to add?
>If anyone finds Google *impossible* to figure out, there are many, many papers that give at least partial clues and answers. There is nothing new under the sun; the answers are out there. It's a choice of allocating time to either whine and complain, living in the problem, or taking a proactive approach and trying to find the solutions.
Who needs papers? Just look at the evidence, and reverse engineer the algo. It CAN be done.
I love the "I am number X on page Y ain't that great" or "what's wrong I did everything right" posts ... again ... and again ... and again ...
Google News is the forum for stock watchers: oh it's up, oh it's down. Are you a daytrader or a business person? If dropping ten positions makes you go bust you need a new business model. But then you probably do not have a business plan do you? Amateur hour. If your SEO contract specifies daily position you are ... foolish. What bothers me the most is the inability, by so many, to learn ... and the knowledge here is deep and wide. Amateur hour.
Analogy time: any SE is simply ranking your store window. If you are the only widget store, no problem. If there are lots of widget stores but you have the best window display you rank high. If you do not change your window display eventually your rank slips. If you make "unattractive" changes you may lose position to competitors who stay the same. If you make changes compared to your competitors that are less attractive they may move up and you may fall.
So why complain about a window display ranking system which ranks everyone to the same standard. It does not matter what the standard is as long as it applies equally to everyone. I have heard many complaints about SEs but not one claiming discrimination between widget suppliers.
So you research what the SEs say they are looking for and implement it. Big Deal! So did everyone else and their grandmother. Maybe everyone else did a better job this time. Try again.
I love the thought that SEO is some magic potion. Balls. Most "rank position" is common sense plus content plus links plus content plus usability plus content ad infinitum. If a million people come to your site and you show up on page 50 you may need SEO. If you have ten people come to your site in the same period you need a lot more than SEO!
Yes, there are a lot of "directory" sites and similar objects of derision that are making some people (hi guys) lots of money. If you want short term gain join them. Hope you make your bundle and can retire while the going is good.
If you are actually "in business" for yourself or for clients you need a long term approach. You need to be able to learn, you need to be able to analyse, you need to be able to plan and implement a constantly changing strategy that presents, in a good light, who you or the client are.
Oh, and visitors have to actually want whatever it is you have to offer. That last is something no SE #1 ranking can provide.
Oh right: the topic: I still do pretty much what what I have always done with the addition of a bit of this and that courtesy of the helpful folks at WebmasterWorld. My clients continue to be happy with their sites performance. I find Google (and the other SEs) pretty much consistant year in and year out. But then I don't sweat the daily drama. And I make my SEO targets and collect my bonuses too, thank you very much.
I have had my weekly fix of "Giggles with Google" and added my 2-cents worth and will now get back to work.
|100 rules, perhaps. Equal priority no. In my book if you follow the 2 main rules you can achieve top 10 easily so long as you do it with enough zest. |
Spot on. I would eve go so far as to say one factor will generally get you there. IMO, folks tend to make things more complicated than they really are.
BTW, ilovesearchengines, knowing what one needs to rank high on Google is the easy part. Theharder part is actually getting there.
For arguments sake let's say that there is only one factor and that is link popularity. No themes, anchor text, PR or anything, just raw number of links. Even if you knewthis was the case, it would still be hard to rank higher than, say Google with their millions of links, no?
Most people here have a very good idea of what it takes to score well in google but that does not mean they have the resources to do so for every term.
WWW is really a great source of information for SEO, the Pareto Principle however can be applied equally to SEO as it can to the information here on WWW. It's certainly my forum of choice!
Q: Google Getting Harder to SEO For?
Q: Will this continue?
A: (IMHO) Yes
Just as water always seeks its own level, Markets always seek equilibrium.
As the time and effort required to achieve good SEO results rise, so will the cost.
Just as PPC costs rise, eventually the CPC reaches a point where other forms of marketing and customer aquisition become more cost effective than PPC and these price points vary from industry to industry and company to company.
SEO is just one apect of the Online Marketing Mix.
Online Marketing is just one aspect of the Total Marketing Mix.
Best of luck to all!
p.s. "Don't focus on the moon, or you will miss the heavenly glory."
Using and contributing to this board every day are tributes to the effectiveness of shared-knowledge (which can really cut down on funds needed to achieve an end), trial and error, and the fact that the G Algo can be understood and optimized for (or is all this discussion a waste of time :-) ).
Perhaps there is no one person outside of google that could accurately pinpoint all factors to within 5%. If so, what does that say? It says that you have just as much chance to rank high so long as you dedicate the necessary resources (brainpower, and open-mindedness(iluvsear...) being very high on that list)to the task as other people sharing your skillset.
Since joining this board 2 years ago I have seen vast improvements in my strategies' effectiveness. Sitting #1-4 on some competitive 10,000,000 result terms is not an accident and was not achieved through luck of the draw. I learned things. I implemented them. It worked. Or to make that more concise, I SEO'd.
To get back on topic: Yes it is becoming more difficult to SEO google. It's basically built in to their business model that it will continue to get more difficult in order to further the use of paid features such as adsense, etc.
If google can make it difficult enough to SEO terms then they cut many businesses out of the organic search seo market. Difficult SEO won't be cheap (isn't).
Yeah? Sounds like Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross. One of the great things about the Internet and Google (and WW) is that it's just as open to amateur shop windows as it is for professional shop windows.
I love how the moderators like to inject personal attacks where there were none. Keep the love notes coming mods...hugs and kisses!
I guess there has been a little progress on the forum with OPEN posting on subjects.
It used to be that any post on this forum negative about Google would automatically be removed. So, I guess when the moderators launch personal attacks rather than delete a post that is not glowing about Google that is some small progress.
Maybe some members would rather change the domain extension for this site to .CN from .COM Later...
[edited by: ILuvSrchEngines at 5:42 am (utc) on July 11, 2004]
|ILuvSrchEngines, if you think Google is impossible to optimize for, then speak for yourself and yourself alone. |
I did speak for myself, don't put words in my mouth.
Get a life while you are at it.
Seriously, I'm glad I haven't had to read your 170 odd other posts besides the ones in this thread.
I don't think anyone is personally insulted by the fact that you feel google is the worst SE.
I think it's somewhat insulting to assume that not one person on this board has ever done anything knowingly to help their SERPs in Google.
I think a closer look at your posts shows that your words were not clearly focused on yourself.
|So if I dump a pile of playing cards randomly on a desk and the 2 of spades happens to land on top, you are saying that proves that the 2 of spades somehow ranks higher than the other cards below it and therefore you can calculate why the 2 of spades landed on top? |
Not if it only happens on average once every 52 throws, but if you keep on throwing the cards down and the 2 of spades regularly comes top, then yes, it's worth trying to calculate, because it reaches a frequency where there's a reason for it.
| This 158 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 158 ( 1 2  4 5 6 ) > > |