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|If your google traffic is down - what are you doing about it?|
is it time to stop doing the same thing while expecting different results?
it's the same old story - someone played with the knobs at google - and now everyone's hurting a bit.
If you're like me - you've been following the "white hat" / page-a-day mantra - and have found it just isn't paying of like it used to.
what are you doing to try to make up for lost traffic?
more aggressive optimization?
less aggressive optimization / more content?
focusing on other search engines?
(personally - I'm getting a bit more "aggressive" / doing more "focus" pages in an effort to go after traffic from other search engines)
I went to the Google Webmaster Tools. There, I discovered, quite to my dismay, one of my top keywords, according to the tool, was entirely wasted. I have been working night and day to remove that word from content, on hundreds of pages, because it has nothing at all to do with ANY of my content. This was not the other ranking non-keyword.
In checking through the tool, there were several things I noticed and am correcting.
Inspect page code carefully.
Think: "If I were Google, what wouldn't I like about this?"
Completely anecdotal here, but of my 2 sites that noticed a difference, I'm up on traffic on the focused, article based one and down a little on the sporadic blog one.
Neutral overall for me personally, but interesting to see. Again, anecdotal and hardly traffic numbers to bet the farm on statistically.
Forget the "deep links", forget all the other techo babble, just compose pages that are original and user-orientated. If this is a challenge that you can't overcome, then here is my top tip. Join up to every discussion group you can see on your subject and look closely at the posts. You will discover sesveral common posts in those discussion groups where the users are begging for information presnted in this and that format. Present your information in "this and that" format and you will get the traffic. Google will respond, their eistence depends on it.
klown: "diversify the way your sites are marketed for steady income streams."
That's very good advise, it's something that I am starting to practice to try and avoid these "google waves" and keep a steady income.
Currently most of our sales come from other search engines! Only by battling with keywords and links, not just content, do I think google will come my way.
Strategies will differ by niche.
For my music related site there is a lot of repeat traffic and a lot from links both of which seems stickier that a lot of search engine traffic.
In the short term I would look to put on some new content and follow that up with a newsletter encouraging my regulars to visit it.
Then review links, see if I can find some more quality outbounds and politely and carefully canvas return links.
Finally go through the page structures site map and see what I can tweak for Google.
|Forget the "deep links", forget all the other techo babble, just compose pages that are original and user-orientated...Google will respond, their existence depends on it. |
You know. This notion is becoming so widespread that I fear many people are actually beginning to believe it. The fact is, Google have no reliable means of detecting "user-oriented" content, "quality" content, or "useful" content...they just don't. If Google truly wanted to rid the World of Spam they would simply vet sites before allowing them to display AdSense ads. Instead, they are dabbling in a bunch of AI nonsense - a field, incidentally, in which they have no demonstrable expertise or track record.
Google's existence today, depends on their performance over the last several years. Their performance is, in my opinion, degrading with every passing day, but this won't begin to effect their bottom line for at least a year or two; in fact, because of the quirky relationship between SERP quality and AdWord revenues, their revenues tend to go up as quality declines (at least in the short term).
Until a serious competitor comes along, Google's near monopoly means they can, and do, get away with pretty much anything.
After some years of success in attaining good results on Google by examining those that rank above me and trying to unearth what makes their particular sites tick and then experimenting then my solution to the current massive demise of my rankings is to simply do what I have always done.
The only problem that I have with this approach appears to be a moral one in that it seems that I am moving ever more quickly to the dark side of the road.
White hat - R.I.P. - a sad day.
Well said Clint, I agree 100 percent.
I always used Google for my search engine, up until yesterday. I was searching for information on Google but got very little results, I was desperate for more information on this subject, so I figured I will give Yahoo a try. Believe it or not, Yahoo had the information I needed.
It just gets me happy knowing that there are still others competing with Google AND succeeding.
> Forget the "deep links", forget all the other techo babble, just compose pages that are original and user-orientated...Google will respond, their existence depends on it.
LOL... and I have a bridge to sell ya if you're interested.
True story - I went to a pubcon conference 1.5 years ago and got so pumped up on this idea that Matt Cutts was selling that I went out and spent $12k on creating thousands of pages of great UNIQUE content. What was the result? No traffic. In fact, the majority of the pages were immediatley thrown into the "Supplemental" jail. I had a chance to ask Matt Cutts again at the following Pubcon why this happened ... know what he said? "you have no inbound links to these pages".
Lesson learned - don't listen to the garbage the Google evangelists spew. This is some theory they probably game up with to keep us all busy so we don't spend our time trying to game Google. Either that or this is their ultimate goal which is a far cry from being realized yet.
My site's traffic from Google has been down this month. My rankings went down and, in one popular keyword search, my page disappeared. For about the past 4 years, that page has rarely dropped below #9 in G SERPs for that keyword. It appeared back this morning, at #6 and has held steady throughout the day.
What did I do about my traffic from Google being down? I started checking all my pages, one at a time. Looking for errors, checking all tags, updating links, and also posting new original content. It's been a busy month but worth it as I see my G rankings steadily creeping back up.
I'm concentrating on blocking scrapers and strong site structure. I see little point in adding content unless the content already there is fully crawled.
|Over the past 6 months my company has created a number of sites on the same topic |
One site by one company on a topic is USEFUL, two may be diversity, many = spam.
[edited by: incrediBILL at 12:14 am (utc) on Mar. 23, 2007]
|Forget the "deep links", forget all the other techo babble, just compose pages that are original and user-orientated. |
Then you can forget your traffic, forget your income, forget that lovely house that just went into foreclosure...
I thought this was a serious conversation?
Think about it. Free traffic = BIG money. G$$gle right now is sitting on a goldmine - it is distributing 50% of all internet traffic for free. This can't stay for long, they are and will be finding ways to extract revenue from it. And they will be creative. It could be Adwords, it could be selling lists of your KW and analytics about your most converting KWs to your competitors with deeper pockets. You WILL see fierce competition in the long tail, sooner or later. It is just getting started, the safety some of us have been enjoying few years back is no more. This is JMHO.
To survive, it is not enough to just "build more content" or "build more links". You have to think broader, think bigger than that, think ahead.
|Think about it. Free traffic = BIG money. G$$gle right now is sitting on a goldmine - it is distributing 50% of all internet traffic for free. This can't stay for long |
Why not? Google makes billions of dollars by providing free search results. Why would it endanger its core business by doing something stupid (as its competitors did by introducing PFI, for example)?
If your google traffic is down - what are you doing about it?
This is underestimated: change your hosting provider.
My traffic dropped on some sites (equally) and even I didn't got obvious downtimes, reports or claims, at key times they started appearing. Not being online is one thing, sometimes being slow is another.
Oh yes, Im speaking Chinese here... nop. The uptime traffic report of my old hosting said nice 99.95% (not true). I started researching and others on the same box (shared server) had the same problems. I moved.
Instantly my traffic went up.
The thing is, not always we have "offline" reports. I did nothing (just moving away) and traffic went back. This is not only showed on the stats apps, but on earnings.
Like I said waiting for the full crawl. Untill then I Wait............
Well, we for one, I can say, despite home page PR rank being driven down by one, our SERPs and traffic has remained virtually the same, yet our earnings and EPC have dropped by at least 25+% in the last 3 months and 50% in the last year. If it's not the US economy-at-large that has taken a 25-50% hit (a very distinct possibility IMHO) then it is G making a major goof in algorithms or else doing some fancy footwork on the smart-pricing.
"The thing is, not always we have "offline" reports. I did nothing (just moving away) and traffic went back. This is not only showed on the stats apps, but on earnings."
... or was perhaps your old IP address block penalized? We've seen interesting fluctuations whenever we made IP changes as well.
[edited by: MikeNoLastName at 7:58 am (utc) on Mar. 23, 2007]
EFV, this is offtop, but I don't imply that Google will introduce PFI. However, I'll give you examples:
1) I am sure Google started selling analytics by now - so YOUR keywords are sold to your competition, or will be soon.
2) Google started affiliate program and Checkout, combine that with Froogle(or GBase), and you have an affiliate network or a commerce engine. Now G$$gle can start a) charging advertisers for Froogle, or b) competing against ecommrece websites in niches, or c) buying other sites to start competiting DIRECTLY WITH YOU (so that it doesn't look like conflict of interests).
I am sure there are 3), 4) and 5) down the sleeve of hot-shot marketing guys at G$$gle. Either way, I wouldn't bet on them throwing you a free bone for long.
Now, whether you think that would be "stupid" of G$$gle or not, doesn't make a slightest difference, as it IS happening as we speak.
Alexsl, Google may have any number of side businesses (Google Checkout or Froogle or whatever), but search is its core business--its "unique selling proposition," in terms of technology and market share--and if it doesn't fulfill its mission of "organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible," it becomes just another vendor of advertising and business services.
That isn't to say that Google Search couldn't redefine what constitutes "information" (or how it prioritizes types of information), but I don't think we'll see free-for-the-public-and-for-the-site-owner Google Search going away in the foreseeable future. (It's worth noting that Google historically has kept a "Chinese wall" between the business side and its search results; that's why, for example, you'll often see Yahoo pages ranking high for searches on certain toyics.)
|I am sure Google started selling analytics by now - so YOUR keywords are sold to your competition, or will be soon. |
That is a powerful accusation, aleksl. What makes you sure about that? I find it very hard to believe.
What have I done?
I have fixed around 2 million issues with our site, reduced the amount of indexed content, removed nearly thousand urls with the url removal tool by hand, improved the quality of the site, fixed the servers of my incapable provider and ... and ... and...
Basically I have worked the last 3 Months full time to fix and improve everything. My site is still the best in my niche.
Result? Still declining traffic and hundred thousands of supplemental pages. Nothing worked. I could run a blog about the cosmetical impact of using cheddar as a facial mask - and I would probably earn more. Basically I gave up yesterday and will concentrate on other solutions now.
I don't care anymore and started to remove Google Adsense from a large part of my site. It's just not worth to show these for a few cents per day.
I learned some things the hard way:
- Don't ever feel comfortable if you get lots of visitors from Google.
- Don't ever believe your are running an "authority site" - just because G likes your temporary setup. Believe you have a HUB? Forget it.
- Being a successful "Adsense UPS Club get a funky gift for XMAS" - Member means nothing.
The most important thing I have learned:
Adsense is a great way to earn some supplemental cash. If you base a business on it (especially combined with free Google traffic) you're lost.
I can see where he is going with this. Face it, google is a business. It has to make money. Google is tossing a lot of money to gather up eccomerce sites.
1. Pay per action rolling out. Very smart, gets them away from the pay per click lawsuits. Plus sellers will be willing to throw more money into the advertising pot since it will be paid on a conversion basis. Right now we hold back on adwords because of the fear of click fraud.
2. Google Check out $1 referal for advertisers.
3. No credit card processing fees this year. Lets see, our sites alone will save well over $50,000 in fees this year.
So, if you come to our site, you save $10 and can easily check out.
We get $1 for you signing up and we save $$$ in processing fees.
Now look at all the big sites using check out:
Google is throwing some serious dollars at eccomerce to win them over. I would expect that by the end of the year, they will be twice as big a pay pal ever will be.
EFV, Search is only a part of google's business. The core of their business is advertising! Thats where they make their money!
Trinorthlighting, search is very much Google's core business, in the same way that news is the core business of the NEW YORK TIMES or entertainment is the core business of a TV network. All three use advertising to monetize their content, but their core businesses are search, news, and entertainment respectively.
As for Google's ventures into other areas, those new ventures aren't--and aren't likely to be--replacements for Google's core business, any more than Frito-Lay salty snacks and Tropicana juice products have become replacements for Pepsi's core business. What's more, there has never been any evidence whatever that Google is stupid enough to let AdWords, Google Checkout, etc. compromise its organic search results. Nor is there any reason to believe that Google would be foolish enough to dump free organic search (as Aleksl seemed to be suggesting).
That doesn't mean that Google Search won't evolve, and that some e-commerce businesses, affiliate businesses, or (for that matter) media businesses won't be hurt--or, in other cases, helped--by changes in what how Google prioritizes its search results.
I agree with you somewhat, but the bottom line is that google is in the business to make money. They have more people dedicated to making money than to search. Its all about management of those people they have.
Any corporation can decide to change its path at any time. What if management changed? What if they did ditch search in order to make more money? Now thats food for thought.....
|Any corporation can decide to change its path at any time. What if management changed? What if they did ditch search in order to make more money? Now thats food for thought..... |
Sure, and what if the Vatican decided that sex shops and porn paid better than passing the basket at Sunday services? Or if THE NEW YORK TIMES decided that producing reality TV shows paid better than covering world events? Or if McDonald's decided that profit margins on caviar were bigger than profit margins on Big Macs? This forum is often awash in "what if" and "could be" scenarios, but they're seldom (if ever) supported by evidence of any kind.
Folks, this thread is "If your google traffic is down - what are you doing about it?" Please let's get back on topic - thanks.
It looks like my attempts to get rankings back worked. After about 2 weeks or so of tweaking, everything is nearly back to normal. I'm again maintaining a top 10 spot for a popular keyword(over a billion results) and my long tail searches never took a beating in the first place so all is well here, even after G's little hiccup.
To others who also lost their rankings, just fix what you can and be patient. That's all I did and everything worked out fine. I lost about 1/3 of my income for a few weeks, but that's nothing, IMO, compared to the long run.
It appears if your traffic in Google is down you go of on wild tangents thrashing wildly in thin air based on this thread.
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