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|Life After Google|
I thought I would share this with everyone to show Google may be King but Bing is most definately the Queen. It would be interesting to hear of similiar stories.
It can seem like the end of the world getting a G penality. I have had my share of them, the most recent at the start of the year a -50. The site was a high earning site and I was ready to hang the boots up and move on.
After the initial shock and numb feeling that lasted around three days, I decided that it was time to look at what to do and where to go. Looking at my stats traffic was down from a high of 18,000 to numbers that I had seen years ago, 800+. Not a single Google referal a few Yahoo and the rest of them Bing.
I thought perhaps it is worse than I thought. At the time I employed 5 people, all working on the site. Unfortunately one of them had to go immediately, a hard decission. I spent a few weeks pondering what was wrong with the site, reluctant to change it as it ranked at the top of it's field for years, and Google had to know about it as it was in a fiercly competitive bunch of results, and I had seen manual checks over the years.
I decided not to change anything in general, I ran a copyscape search for duplicate content, and although I found some people had copied a few pages of my content it was not bad. I found a few people had added sitewide links to me, although in my opinion if someone thinks your site is so good that they want to add a sitewide link to your site and if Google does not like it, then penalise them. When I was satisfied that nothing had changed, I submitted a reinclusion request saying exactly what I had done, as described above. After some time I got the standard reply, "if your site meets webmaster guidelines .. BLAH... BLAH".
I noticed I was still getting sales, so I began to investigate this. Sales were converting well with Bing, at less than 10% of the traffic that I had I was still making 25% of my usual sales. Obviously this is not enough to operate at the level and expense I was, so over the next few months I paid off another 3 staff, leaving myself and one employee.
I have had to accept now in the short term that there is no Google for me. Bing has convrted exceptional and now they are displayed in Yahoo results the future looks fair. I have now began to make my site SEO with not Google in mind but Bing. Sales have grown and I must thank Bing for not abandoning me. In my opinion Google is not only punishing me but they are also punishing their users by not displaying a product their users want at the position it should be.
As I bagan, Google is great and can make people a good living. My personal thought on Google penalities is, In any law abiding country you are innocent until proven guilty. Google justice seems you are guilty until proven innocent. Google should tell you what is wrong with your site and give a period of time to repair. Do the peple that hand out these penalities know that they are putting people out of jobs? After all in my company they have made 4 people be without a job.
My thoughts on how Google should handle penalities is, to tell you that your site is breaking thier rules, and how. That in 24 hours your site will be penalised and if you want to appeal this that you can begin a process, which will keep you positioned during this appeal process. There could be a fee for this appeal. I can see that Google will have to do something similiar to this in the future, as there will be someone or some company that will mount a legal challenge to their policy.
My advice for anyone with a penality, forget trying to fix it and begin to work with Bing.
|Besides, I'm not talking one site, I've got numerous sites, many that rank throughout the years. Others I'd be embarrassed to show my mother |
That's funny... I did show my mom one of my horrible sites and she asked me if I was on drugs.... About fell out of my chair :)
There seems to really be two classes of "losses" from Panda, those that:
A) through traditional SEO practices were downgraded/penalized/removed etc.
B) whose sites simply were re-evaluated by strategic changes to the algo (i.e. "G loves big brands" etc.)
Of course it's not exactly this black and white, but hearing those (presumably) in group A complain that G should notify or disclose guidelines should just simply realize that SEO grew out of the idea of "manipulation" which inherently, as a cat-and-mouse game, have risks and potentially dire consequences. So, yes I think "roll with the punches" is right.
For B I think it's slightly different. It appears that a lot of business that do provide a tremendous value to visitors/customers as opposed to the main brand and larger e/re-tailers etc. have been put in an untenable position for ecommerce, as they simply won't be able to grow as much content/links/+1's/social mentions as the larger entities... which begs the question "is bigger and more well-known always better?". G seems to think so, while Bing still provides a mix of brand/big e-tailer/small commerce site/forum and content related results.
Tanks for your thread. This is one of the best situation descriptions I have ever read about Panda.
I couldn't agree with you more :)
I would add to jexx that G has decided to literally kill the 'bad sites' as you described on B, not even scraps are being left for them. The winner takes all and the winner is a big brand, at least in many top e-commerce terms.
The even worst part is that Google already sends a lot less clicks to site owners than Bing or Yahoo. And those relative few clicks are much worst at converting as far as I can tell. Since Google brags about reading intent with all their tracking and super-duper technology, and showing SERPs according to intent, it's not far fetched to believe that they purposefully push buyers into clicking Google ads. Money makes the OO in their logo go around.
After reading about their behavior on G Books, Android, illegal ads for unregulated pharmacies etc, I'm willing to believe the worst.
It's no surprise when Google decides to pronounce you guilty before being proven innocent. They're massive and can probably buy the world. But what's funny are some posters on the thread here who have similar airs about themselves. The arrogance.
Give the OP some breathing space folks. We do not even know his/her site to preach on how they did it all wrong. As a couple of earlier posters have pointed out, Google does make mistakes and they can rectify it at a later stage if it benefits them. Learning to live without Google is what we should be talking about.
I've removed a few posts from this thread because they were just talking about other members, not Google -- or rather "Life After Google".
As affiliation asked in the opening post: "I thought I would share this with everyone to show Google may be King but Bing is most definately the Queen. It would be interesting to hear of similiar stories."
One noteworthy story regarding post-Panda..
A domain I track that was registered in mid-nineties still rank and out-rank many big brands with very sub-optimal structure, old/rarely changed content, older incoming links...but not that many, etc. etc..
So, IMHO this somewhat defies the "quality criteria" purported by G.
As I see it, right now...IF you're Big, Old, or Liked by Twitter-verse G loves you, otherwise too bad.
Google doesn't get everything right by a longshot.
But there are also a ton of people who have no idea how to run (or grow) a business, who think everything should just fall into their laps without putting in the effort, and who just have stupid business plans (or no business plan at all). In the old pre-internet days, those people could blame the weather or the competition or the government or gremlins for their failures.
Now they can just blame Google.
When Amit Singhal posted the 23 questions to ask yourself if your site has been Pandalized back in May, I put up a website to allow website owners review other websites on these 23 questions, in exchange for having their own site reviewed.
Perhaps not surprisingly, most site owners were shocked how poorly their website did in regards to these questions. I know I was shocked myself.
Fortunately I've been able to regain some traffic since Panda. Unfortunately this has allowed me to continued to be nearly 100% reliant on Google for my business. It would be irresponsible for me to not make hay while the sun is shining. I just hope I can put enough of the harvest away so that I can move on to a new business model.
Dataguy, I'm almost 100% certain that Google doesn't use that nonsense they posted for ranking. Especially since just a tiny % of sites even has articles. They look at signals, IMo, which is totally stupid since they depend on what keywords Google send you for example. Bad keyword referral = click back. Too many of them or whatever they look and you're pandalized when you'd be fine if Google had sent you people searching for your good keywords. By dividing your site in a gazillion, million, billion, trillion subdomains you increase the chances of having good 'data' in many of them.
|Fortunately I've been able to regain some traffic since Panda. Unfortunately this has allowed me to continued to be nearly 100% reliant on Google for my business. It would be irresponsible for me to not make hay while the sun is shining. I just hope I can put enough of the harvest away so that I can move on to a new business model. |
Smart move. Google is no longer a search engine, they want to keep the people that came to their own network and advertisers. Eventually they will move into new ares (travel was done yesterday) and essentially declare many of our sites not desirable. Each time a user clicks on an organic link, a Googler weeps from sadness.
Of course, I agree with you walkman. Panda doesn't have anything to do with content farms or even quality, directly. This doesn't mean that those questions are nonsense, but they are a smokescreen as far as Panda is concerned.
Fortunately for me, my branch of the 'decision tree' has been roughly figured out. My area was scoped out by Google a few years ago (knols). Of course they failed at it, and they'll continue failing in most of the new verticals they enter.
There's little consolation, though. Like Walmart, they'll keep running the little guys out of business until the public has no choice but to use Google for everything.
I think it's okay to mention Bing since the OP did?
Clearly Bing/MS will pull the trigger on their own Adwords/Adsense program. Clearly MS is creating an ecosystem of devices that will most likely include Bing. Clearly in the Adsense policies you cannot have ads looking like Adsense ads from another company. So if your business involves making money off Adsense it might appear you have some decisions to make. It also begs the question about the "new" Google algo and how much of it is a preemptive move, if you catch my drift.
So as webmasters certainly there will be a life after Google. It really depends if what you here on this board is what the average searcher out there is experiencing. After all it's the masses that would speak volumes to Google about the algo and whether those results are actually better quality and more relevant.
If Bing moves 1% greater in search, that's going towards the benefit of webmasters period. It's only like real life. When you have only 1 choice, that choice can dictate. When there are 2 choices, those choices want to be chosen by you and me. There is a big difference.
I will also resay this. Yes resay. It's insulting to be insulted about basing a business on the internet and organic traffic. It's like insulting a business for depending on the economy or for depending on a strong local currency. Sure, my fault? Okay what do real businesses depend on? They ALL depend on some factor outside of THEIR OWN CONTROL. Business can adapt. All of us here are not the same. Some people like to be PT and make some cash from organic traffic. When you are a farmer and the rains pour and your crop die, you're going to blame what? The US president? No, you're going to blame the weather. In this case, we can blame Google if we so choose. If Bing emerges we can blame them too for algo changes they make that help sink our "business".
In closing, seriously consider your website or websites and whether then can survive on traffic aside from Google. Right now, assume the profitable Google organic traffic as a short term luxury. It my opinion, as your organic traffic and profitability goes up, so to does the Google measuring stick. That means you're up against Wikipedia level sites. If anything be realistic about what you're doing.
I agree with MrSavage. I don't WANT to depend on G traffic, but what am I supposed to do? Turn away any sales that come from G? If I accept the sales, I have to have the staff, inventory, and warehouse to serve those sales. I have to size my business appropriately. I can (and have) greatly adjust the size of the business, but it takes time, is exceedingly painful, and it's inefficient to keep changing.
What's worse is that if I'm too slow to react when downsizing, I'm out of business! That's what was so devastating about Panda, it happened -- literally -- overnight and without warning, and at a very bad time, economically speaking.
So the only way for me to not rely on G is to actively turn away all G traffic (and sales). Because if I allow G sales, I must size my business accordingly.
As MrSavage says, I just adapt when necessary.
Thanks for the post I found it inspirational I had given up on a site that got pandalized in febuary and has never recovered. However it is ranking on Bing and Yahoo so I am now planning to try again and optomize for those sites instead
|When Amit Singhal posted the 23 questions to ask yourself if your site has been Pandalized back in May, I put up a website to allow website owners review other websites on these 23 questions, in exchange for having their own site reviewed. |
Perhaps not surprisingly, most site owners were shocked how poorly their website did in regards to these questions. I know I was shocked myself.
Hmmm...I could easily have written those questions before Google was even known!
I'm not being rude but what the heck are you people constructing?
Are you adding genuine value or are you simply trying to exploit any possible loophole to gain a supposedly pecuniary advantage?
If so then you desevered to be smashed to pieces.
Again, not to be rude, but I'd guess that you would be shocked how your site would be rated by others using these criteria, too, HuskyPup.
|Again, not to be rude, but I'd guess that you would be shocked how your site would be rated by others using these criteria, too, HuskyPup. |
+1 - Like - ReTweet
Not to mention that content might have very little to do with Panda. If Google sends you the wrong traffic you could be toast, talk to the wall or complain here all you want. Or if people from Pakistan or China all of the sudden show up and ruin your stats. I tested a limited ad buy with keywords as are in my title: Bounce rate is 30% less and time on site is 2-3 times higher that the third rate traffic Google sends me now.
Since this is "Life after Google" looks like some Googlers are making sort of a final stand for the soul of the company. "An internal petition in support of pseudonyms was signed by about 10% of all Google engineers" (one of Google's many greedy moves.) Obviously they were told to shut up and code by their bosses, but it's a start. I can't think that the Search team is happy with what's going on, there's an acceptable limit to everything. You can make very good money for the long run, or you can try to be greedy and short sighted pig.
But Google has many brainwashed supporters, so it will take time...
|So the only way for me to not rely on G is to actively turn away all G traffic (and sales). Because if I allow G sales, I must size my business accordingly. |
I am not sure I understand this...
While sales are rolling in from G, would it not also be wise to develop other marketing channels? Maybe now would be the time to look into other forms of advertising, affiliate marketing, facebook, radio, etc., so that, should one day google decide to turn off the faucet, you would still have alternate streams coming in.
|I am not sure I understand this... |
Let's say you get 100 orders a day from Google. You size up your inventory accordingly, invest in the warehouses of appropriate sizes,etc. You may also invest extensively in other channels of marketing via affiliates, SMM,etc. In that case, the number of orders may go to 150.
But now let's say Google pandalizes your site (so Google orders comes down to zero). Now, the daily orders come down to 50. How do you manage your inventory? You can move your inventory to a smaller warehouse, but then Google's whimsical SERPS can bounce your site back to the top making you go again for a larger warehouse.
Bottom line is that with Google; if it rains, it pours. So, you either have to constantly have their traffic or never have traffic. The whimisical bounce up and down the SERPs is a very unsettling situation
It's simple because if Google ban you then the only other option is Bing. There are no other options, maybe.
But think on this, unless the universe changes dramatically, you have lost 80% of your traffic.
So, either continue with your existing site and concentrate on the paltry 20% Bing provide or maybe, just maybe, you should start another site under another id and put your efforts where the real returns are - Google (sad to say but that's life).
>> maybe, just maybe, you should start another site under another id and put your efforts where the real returns are - Google
That might make sense for a MFA site. But not for a real company who's 20 year old corporate name IS the domain name.
The thing that bugs me the most. In the real world, If I slack off or screw my customers my business suffers but it suffers slowly. It give you time to react and generally the answer is obvious on why your business is suffering.
With Google you can work hard, follow their ultimatums, be on top of the world one minute and the next lose your shirt. Its akin to gambling. Until they learn to stabilize their engine and give webmasters time to react to changes and let us know generally what changes are going in. Running a business from the traffic they send you is a crap shoot.
Of course, Goog search is gambling, change your mind folks, Bing is the way to go, with Goog you can only lose.
Bing is consistent, does not have -50 and -950, panda or whatever this #*$! is named in order to hide their real intentions and paranoia.
With Bing+Yahoo traffic you can only win, believe me, you won't regret my advice.
Just one more additional advice, they moved all my sites in the multi purpose -50 #*$!box after 301 some of them from .com to .net back in March. Don't do a sitewide 301, this will raise a red flag at Goog paranoia manual review department, they will not only kill your 301 domains but also all of your domains they can find through a pattern like adsense id, hosting company, domain registrar, backlink proifle, onsite patterns, whatever. They will not even tell you a reason why they do this paranormal behavior.. Beware!
If you really rely on their traffic try to avoid patterns through different hosting accounts(if possible different adsense IDs). Never use webmaster tools, analytics or anything else they own. They will kick your ass and the best thing is, they don't mind at all.
If you receive a -50 paranoia penalty do not wait, it can take them two years to remove this #*$!. Remove the domain from their index instantly and if the content is valuable use a new domain and change all incomaing links. Don't do a 301 in this case, they will catch and punish you badly. The disadvantage is, trust rank will not be applied to the new site if you don't 301 (lack of backlinks age), therefore this new site can easily catch a -950 algorithmic re-ranking. You decide.
At the end of the day a -950 is better than a -50 penalty.
Where do you want to go today within Goog paranoia box?
Definition of Paranoia:
"... is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning a perceived threat towards oneself"
[edited by: SEOPTI at 4:31 am (utc) on Sep 21, 2011]
google purports to 'organize the world's information'.
But nothing that ever did that in the past did it in such a 'flaky' way. Phone book, encyclopedia, business directory, etc.
So if you suddenly get either unpopular, or popular in google, it creates havoc.
So google just is'nt compatible with many smaller, "real" businesses. The ones that can ride it out fine are the fly-by-nights, scammers, and the huge internet darlings that always keep their high rankings. JMO
|The thing that bugs me the most. In the real world, If I slack off or screw my customers my business suffers but it suffers slowly |
I think this is a very important point when it comes to Google penalties. Many people will say there is no smoke without fire, and possible could be correct, but if you make an error without knowing what the error is, is this enough to wreck a viable business?
Yes I have always found this, and although may convert better than Google, without the volume of users stays a second to Google. Many general users could be unaware of Bing.
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