It's getting harder for small players to compete, and that trend probably won't change. You need to find something unique that nobody else offers.
There's more than one way to use Google for traffic - and more than one keyword is a big part of it. You say Google is "not worth ranking on" - but don't you really mean that you're frustrated trying to move up the page for this particular search result?
If you do manage to get the "full fire hose" of a #1 ranking on a good volume query term, it's VERY worthwhile to rank on Google.
|There's more than one way to use Google for traffic - and more than one keyword is a big part of it. |
After MayDay? You bet it is.
MayDay hammered me. I saw a 30 and even 40% loss of traffic on some of my better trafficked sites. In a highly competitive market, I'd gone after the choice one and two keyword phrases and for years I'd been moderately successful at it. All of this to the exclusion of the long tail. If your sites were highly focused on individual keywords and keyword pairs, MayDay put you in your place. I just wish I'd seen it coming....
Adapt. I've been working night and day for weeks now to get back in the loop and am only now starting to see some tentative results.
Trying to get no 1 position in Google is a waste of time?
It is possible and it pays mega bucks when you get there.
It is difficult but it can be done. I did it on a site I've now sold. I'm dedicating all my efforts to another site and won't give up until I get there.
Don't give up just because it is difficult, persevere and you can do it.
What I find difficult is the fact that you can get to the top for certain search terms, logic tells you there should be search traffic, the keyword tool tells you there should be decent traffic but in reality its fools gold. I've just got a site to the top for another couple of terms that the Google tool reports in the order of 1 million searches per month and we are pushing to get over 300 unique visits per day...
Kidder, your post jumped out me.
How are your titles and meta descriptions?
Ranking at the top with quality titles and descriptions does wonders for Clickthrough.
|Ive been at site x's position and y position and traffic wasnt much better than where I am now - maybe 35 clicks a day rather than 20 or 30. |
S.P.A.M. = Sites Positioned Above Mine
First, I'd probably file a spam report on sites x, y and z since it's all the same company.
I've been there and done that with one of my competitors that tried to use about 50 cross-linked domains to dominate listings and Google turned a few knobs and dials and suddenly the competition was more fair.
More importantly, why are you struggling on that single term?
I used to bust my butt to keep one single word where I was top 10 in all major SEs for years and it only contributed 3K visitors/mo vs 400K/mo in long tail searches.
Gave up that keyword and never looked back after easily dominating the long tails in my niche that surprisingly drove way more traffic.
|If your sites were highly focused on individual keywords and keyword pairs, MayDay put you in your place. |
On the other hand, many people on these forums have noted that they May day update hammered their long-tail SERPs...
Yes - I agree - my view is that I look at Google KW Suggestion tool as a proportional take. So if they claim theres 100,000 searches per month, I divide by 100 and expect to get that per month from a number 1 spot. So a phrase with a KWST of 45,000 may get me 450 clicks per month from a top spot.
I know theres all the detail with region - exact match and all that - but whatever the reason for the discrepancy between clicks and search tool suggestions - it exists and one can never think they will get that many clicks.
I thought mayday Hammered sites with long tail traffic? I thought I read here that many sites lost all their long tail after mayday? Am I wrong?
Im trying - thats why im here I suppose :/
You could be right - im on a downer at the mo. Amazon just pipped me and bumped me down one too you see.
Yes - I used to try for many phrases as well - but I found that conversions are better for the most targetted ones. In this case its a simple 2 word phrase. I know things are variable though from one product to the next etc. No worries on that front. I get traffic from the longer search terms from my subpages - about 70 phrases in all.
I wont file a spam report - ive read too often that g does nothing anyway mostly.
|It is possible and it pays mega bucks when you get there. |
Might be true if what is offered is mega bucks to start with. Most folks (mom and pops and all the other unwashed ecommerce/adsense/adwords masses hoping to make a dollar or two) won't ever get there. Just the nature of the game. Ever studied Roulette before?
Voice of reason, don't mean to rain on any parades, just what it is...
Crawling back into my niche, with the paltry payouts for effort, etc. etc. etc.
|I wont file a spam report - ive read too often that g does nothing anyway mostly. |
They do even less when you don't file a spam report.
Results don't happen over night, but they will eventually happen in my experience.
Just don't expect to see them whacked in a week or even two, but it they're being bad and you explain to Google how the ownership ties all those site together properly, when the report gets into the right hands it'll be dealt with.
Unless you're doing it too and don't want them looking your way, which is a good reason not to report.
I have a domain ranked no2 on Google for which I have a traffic graph going back to 1992.
Currently my traffic is about 13% of what it was back at it's peak in 1996 and conversion is down to about 20% of what it was at it's peak in about 1997.
If you set up a hot dog stand at a football game you will sell a few hot dogs to those who drift over to your stand and you will effect those stalls around you a little bit.
If several more hot dog sellers arrive every week and spread themselves out around the ground most won't effect you immediately but some will. After a few months you realise that your taking are down and yet there seems to be the same number of folks around.
Then the alternatives to hot dogs start to arrive but you probably don't see them as they are around the back of the stadium.
Conversion rates to hot dogs start to fall so even opening up another hot dig stall doesn't appear to help you but it is what you know so you stick with it.
Only after the new fangled stores start to appear on your patch do you start to think that the days of hot dogs are maybe numbered.
But you now have a whole load of hot dog stalls set up and you just can't bring yourself to think that maybe you would be better off if you tweaking them a bit or moved your pitch a bit to the left or right.
Eventually you realise that the whole take on hot dogs is down and it is being shared by more vendors with other offerings.
The belly of the crowd is only so big and so are the pockets of the buying public.
|Google tool reports in the order of 1 million searches per month |
|I know theres all the detail with region - exact match and all that |
Unless you're checking exact match searches, the AdWords tool does not create realistic expectations about traffic from a particular organic ranking.
The tool's default numbers show how many times your paid ad could theoretically appear if you bid for broad match exposure on a particular word, and that number includes not just the impressions for the word on its own, but also the entire long tail of searches that include that word. So the broad match number can often be, very VERY different from the traffic available from searches for the word on its own.
A paid ad might be able to get a million impressions per month by bidding on broad match for the term [widgets, but a huge percentage of those impressions could easily be coming from multi-word searches for "red widgets", "colored widgets", "disposable widgets", "luxury widgets" and so on. There might be very few searches for just "widgets".
I repeat: unless you're checking the exact match, the Google keyword suggestion tool does not create reliable expectations about potential performance from organic rankings on a particular word or phrase.
even the exact match is still hopelessly optimistic, by a factor of 5-10 times IME
We always look at exact match to get an idea of actual volumes, even still the volumes appear to be way off. Things have changed, brands have become stronger and users are better at going in a straight line these days. And consider that half the internet lives on facebook and twitter and the picture becomes clearer...
It is also important to remember that the Adwords tool shows search volumes, not click volumes. It is common for users to do a search and not click anywhere, but rather reformulate their query. For some query terms there can be as much as 40% no-click.
40% no click? What does that tell us about Google results? I bet Google would hate that little stat.
The test data I've seen shows up to 40% no-click on very short query terms - often one word or a two-word phrase that acts like one word semantically. And yes - Google does hate it. That's why we've been seeing all of these related searches, query revisions, automated spelling changes etc. The whole "user intention" craze of the past 1-2 years.
BTW, I'd bet that Bing sees something quite parallel. It's not about Google results specifically, it's about the human mind-set in general
[edited by: tedster at 11:49 pm (utc) on Jul 28, 2010]
I can't even get my head around how much money a 5 or 10% shift in CTR would equate too.
Google have always had a problem with quality. Since their organic SERPs are so good, people did not click on the ads enough. So they are trying to push the organic down the screen and give more space for ads. They've been trying for years and seem to be achieving their goals. I believe it will end up with only ads on page 1. Even now, ads often drive much more traffic than organic and this trend will continue.
I believe it pays more to master the PPC than SEO.
|I believe it pays more to master the PPC than SEO. |
Not only master, but understand the full business consequences of ppc.
As this has been talked about before organic #1 isn't really #1 anymore, with PPC you are really #4
|As this has been talked about before organic #1 isn't really #1 anymore, with PPC you are really #4 |
#4 with little or no overhead cost to stay there (in most markets) is still better than #1 (PPC) constantly having to pay while watching your ROI every single day.
I really don't know why you haven't expanded your strategy to also focus upon rankings in Shopping and Youtube, as well as perhaps some other verticals which could potentially begin inserting themselves into the SERP, such as blogs, news, images, etc.
Ever since Google introduced Universal Search, your opportunities really have increased, rather than being whittled away. You just cannot continue with a single-minded focus on the primary organic rankings any longer -- you need to think about ranking under multiple vertical searches as well. The cumulative effect can also help out with the main organic rankings, too.
I have clients in niches where people just aren't using organic search to find particular items or information; they're sticking to publications and websites already within that niche. I also have clients who sell things that nobody's searching for yet because they don't know they exist, so don't know to search for them.
I love the whole idea of search, and I've made my living off it (and a lot of money for clients as well) but it's still pretty passive. You're still in Field of Dreams mode, waiting and hoping for just the right mark (customer) to come along at just the right time and find you.
I'm more the "stand in the middle of the street jumping up and down and screaming to call attention to myself" type, so I'm looking to see where I can be more active than passive.
(And yes, occasionally I get run over)
|I also have clients who sell things that nobody's searching for yet because they don't know they exist, so don't know to search for them. |
<off topic>I am intrigued ... perpetual motion engine?</off topic>
|I have clients in niches where people just aren't using organic search to find particular items or information |
Are you using the content network to market that type of product? If not, it's at least worth a test.
Yes of course. But that's still not the same kind of garden variety search type marketing.
HuskyPup - heh, I wish! No, just new products that haven't made their way into the zeitgeist yet.
I mean, there wasn't exactly an existing need to be filled when the Snuggie came along, was there? People had to be convinced first. THEN they started searching for it.
In my experience getting the #1 position is most definitely worth it in Google. We rank for keywords that drive over 5000 visits a day. Hardly insignificant. I have to point out that it took us YEARS to reach this point though. It didn't happen in a few months, think a few years.
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