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How to quit the Google rat race?
tama




msg:730477
 1:34 am on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've been blessed by Google and I've been devastasted by Google several times each. While the good times are great, we all know Google can drop you in a second. If you are Google-dependant, it can be ugly.

I would like to hear from anyone who has successfully forged their sites and businesses forward without Google?

I know there is always PPC, but is there a way to go about that game without spending a fortune? My field is pretty costly (though not in the casino, pharmacy range!).

I've had a number of sites do very well in Google, only to get dumped (all white hat), then get to original levels again, then dumped again, etc. Now even my 9 year spotless site, which has always done well, is MIA.

I realize Google doesn't owe me anything. I will be happy to accept their free traffic whenever I can though, but I would rather think of it as "bonus" traffic, than needed traffic.

Any tips for moving forward without needing Google would be greatly appreciated.

 

mtishetsky




msg:730478
 11:40 am on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Optimize for MSN. It's rather dumb so it is not a problem to optimize for it.

Also you may place a big colorful leaderboard by the highway to LA Airport. I saw a post in some forum where the guy told about the offline ads and about leaderboard in particular. He said that after placing a leaderboard he had never thought about SEO and PPC. Also he said that his income after setting a leaderboard rised enough to cover its cost.

Jakpot




msg:730479
 11:57 am on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's been like a rollercoaster ride since 2003.
The Googleplex has made a ton of money since then
but the bubble is going to burst

guitaristinus




msg:730480
 12:13 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Google no longer drives most of my traffic these days, at the proportion of 40 for Yahoo, 30 for G, and the remainder coming from everyone else. I should be able to weather the new google update reasonably well." - rfung, The quest to $300/day, msg # 395.

xenoborg




msg:730481
 12:33 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Tama, I'm in the same situation. I currently run a Google-dependent business that works pretty well, but I understand that this may not last forever. My latest Google-dependent projects didn't do very well (previous ones did).

My solution is to build a business that is not centered on search engines. I'm not talking about things like "design your site for visitors not for spiders" or "organic SEO" etc. I mean more traditional approach -- build a good service, let people know about it, improve it.

In my opinion, business is ultimately about *people*, not about search engines or ads or factories or stocks. It boils down to people who pay for your goods and who tell friends how good your business is.

Therefore, you'll have to learn "how humans work". I can recommend all books written by Seth Godin, all books written by Malcolm Gladwell, "The Anatomy of Buzz" by Emanuel Rosen, and of course the classics by Jack Trout and Al Ries (their early books are brilliant), and maybe Tom Peters (I'm not familiar with all of his books though).

To sum up:
1. Learn how humans work.
2. Learn traditional and new-age marketing.

Pico_Train




msg:730482
 1:27 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Don't forget to just buy your keywords. That always works well with Google, especially in AdWords.

Then you can even advertise your own site with AdSense and save some money...

helleborine




msg:730483
 3:16 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Promote Yahoo search. The more people use Yahoo, the less power Google has over us.

bobothecat




msg:730484
 3:28 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

the less power Google has over us

Google only has power over your site if you allow them to. The rule of thumb is to create sites that can do well in ALL engines - it's really not that hard if you know what you're doing, and will save you a lot of frustration when Google doesn't behave the way you think it should. ( I don't pay a dime to any of them, and still do quite well ).

As had been said many times on these forums... never put all of your eggs in basket - if you do you're ripe for failure.

MLHmptn




msg:730485
 3:41 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Promote Yahoo and MSN! Put up MSN search and Yahoo search on your sites and help let your visitors know that you support Yahoo and MSN. If every webmaster had MSN and Yahoo search on their site it would sure make a difference in peoples minds that Google is not everything!

Also besides doing PPC try getting links from business's that are like your own.

lgn1




msg:730486
 4:17 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I now depend 100% on both Adwords and Overture for our traffic. We do get some free traffic, but this is just the gravy. I can now sleep much better at night.

For the past year I have watched our keywords jump randomly from page 1 to page 10, and all pages in between, and we have done nothing to our site in the past year.

With PPC I can accurately predict my traffic and my income, and make adjustments accordly.

My opinion, is that sites that depend solely on free traffic from search engines are doomed to fail.

The days of the free ride is over. Build PPC into your cost of doing business, stay out of highly competite market and better yet find a niche market and you will succeed.

europeforvisitors




msg:730487
 4:38 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

The days of the free ride is over. Build PPC into your cost of doing business, stay out of highly competite market and better yet find a niche market and you will succeed.

Advertising works for some things (e-commerce and affiliate sales, for example), but it's seldom cost-effective for editorial, reference, and other information sites.

What's more, the search engines have a vested interest in providing a "free ride," because pointing users to information is their reason for existing. Google, Yahoo, and MSN search wouldn't have many users if their content existed solely of PPC (or PPC plus CPM) ads.

In short, search engines and content providers are mutually dependent, and that isn't likely to change in the foreseeable future.

JuniorOptimizer




msg:730488
 4:40 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I started a forum in January that receives .10% of its traffic from Google. It's at over 2,000 members with 50,000 posts based on traffic from Yahoo and MSN only.

Google needs to wake up and smell the coffee real quick. But I doubt they will.

BigDave




msg:730489
 4:42 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Are you concerned about your site retaining traffic or are you concerned with retaining the income from your sites?

If it is the latter, I would recommend that you follow the common advice that I learned as a contract programmer. Make sure that you have 6 months to a year of cash socked away suring the good times, before you do anything to increase your standard of living.

Or even better, take all your excess income from those good times, and invest it until you can live off the income produced by those investments.

If your real goal is more consistant traffic, then the best thing that you can do is to get really good links. Not links for search engines, but highly relevant links that people will click on.

You sites should also give people a reason to bookmark them and come back to them. Use the SEs to bring you new users, in the mean time work on keeping your old users coming back.

My two biggest sites get less than half their traffic from search engines because they appeal to return visitors. Yeah, the numbers would be real dissapointing if the google traffic went away, but they would not be dead.

Consider webmaster world. I suspect that most of us found it with a search engine, but we either have it bookmarked, or just type it in.

Then there are newsletters to your customers. Don't make them one big ad, give them real information, and give them some entertainment.

Forget the google/yahoo/msn battle. Playing that game will still leave you in the same boat.

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