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So Long Google And Thanks For All The Fish
travelin cat




msg:4377387
 12:04 am on Oct 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Two months ago I sold my main business. It was a website that depended 100% on free Google traffic. We had owned the site since 1995 and after I visited a conference and found out what Google wanted to see to rank well, it started making money in 2001.

Over the years we tried everything we could to generate additional traffic outside of the organic traffic from Google. In our sector the ROI was just not there and we were literally throwing money away. So we just sat and happily watched the money come in. And boy did it come in. Google LOVED us.

We knew that the income was essentially a gift and tried hard to not ramp up our monthly spending, but these things happen. You always seem to want more as you make more without thinking of what would happen if the money stopped coming in. That's just human nature.

So we kept chugging along and bought our dream home in the Wine Country. Our bills increased as we advanced our lifestyle and things were groovy. Yet I always felt strange about our income stream. I always felt as if I was not in control. Of course I was not in control, Google was and I allowed it.

I allowed the free income to continue. Who wouldn't? Google had us by the you-know-whats and I allowed it. But I had many sleepless nights fretting about our rankings, and I began to check our keywords way too often, almost to the point of an obsession. It was affecting my mental and physical health but I really had no other choice but to try and find other sources of income while maintaining the money-maker site.

So 2010 was our best year to date. We had incredible rankings for top keywords as we had for many years, but for some reason, we were exceptionally successful that year. We had not become totally complacent, we had developed other websites, but none of them made close to the money we were making.

Then came Panda. The time I had feared for over 10 years had finally arrived and Google no longer loved us, they liked us, but the heavy petting of the past was over between us. Our income dived by 45% which was tough to swallow. My wife and I talked it over and we decided to sell the business/website. We were fortunate enough to find the perfect buyer and we were free of our Google lust shortly thereafter.

Now I can sit back and read the reports of Google being evil and Panda being some sort of horrible conflagration beset upon the unknowing public and shake my head.

Panda should be a lesson for EVERYBODY that depends on traffic from search engines. If you depend upon free traffic, you should know that it WILL go away at some time. It may take 10 years, it may take a month or a minute, but it will go away, at least a portion of it will and there is nothing you can do about it. Sure you can try whatever remedy you read about here and other places, and they may work, but you are still getting free traffic that can go away at any time. Do you really think that 10 years from now you will still be getting free traffic?

I watch people complaining that they have families to feed and a mortgage to pay so how could this happen to me? Well, ya know what? You have nobody to blame but yourself. It was FREE money and it ended. You allowed it to begin and to end just as I did.

I apologize if this seems harsh, but sometimes a smack in the face is more helpful then a sympathetic pat on the back.

Our next business will not depend on any search engines to be successful. It'll be our hard work that either makes or breaks the business, not some damn algorithm. So goodbye Google and like Douglas Adams, said - So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish, or in this case, money.

 

MrSavage




msg:4378716
 4:11 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

The split is coming. Google Adsense vs. (insert MS Bing ad program name here) is it. It's pretty simple. That makes it pretty interesting as webmasters. Obviously Google isn't liking ads on page as much (timing is ironic isn't it?) so you aren't going to have both are you? I'm sure there is a policy in place about similar looking ads with Adsense. Therefore the divide is coming. Of course people will go where the money is at 95% of the time. Google pays more? People stay.

I'm still surprised that people argue that Google doesn't need us, we need them. People keep saying oh it's so stupid to rely on one source of traffic. Other claim they don't rely on Google at all. In that case, our website can exist even if we chose not to run Adsense on them. No billboards for ads means what for an ad company? Collectively we have the hammer. There is no disputing that. Not saying a million++ of people can unite, but the point is if they did, we could certainly dictate to them and not the other way around. Being united only becomes important when enough people collectively become sick and tired.

So yes I'm shooting a big hole in this "Google gave me some easy or free money" thinking. Actually you gave them the billboard, they made a lot more money than you did and they ended your revenue stream because you sold your lemon to somebody before Panda came along. I guess I have a different idea of what success is.

indyank




msg:4378738
 4:40 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think you mean they didn't mention "Panda"..


No I didn't mean them... To be honest, I don't even know their past love for Google or their business models...

My point is that down the years when I or others have criticised Google for privacy issues...


yes, I do understand what you say....but that is how many will react including big corporates. I do consider it to be a common human behavior.

Leosghost




msg:4378758
 5:12 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

In the past here most criticism of Google, on matters other than their serps, has been met with , either a blank response, or hostility ( due I presume ) -and it was actually said a few times -..( the perception, that one might be "rocking the boat" by criticising Google for privacy or copyright on books etc..or buying up the competition ) ..and thus possibly affecting adversely, the adsense income stream of many, ( as in "say too much and they might turn of the money taps"..or the response was of the, "*$# all that we've got to get on with these" ( think Pink Floyd "the wall" ;-)..Google was almost everyone's friend, and their bread and butter, their goose that laid golden eggs, and whose existence meant, that they did not have to do a 9 to 5..or "heaven forbid"..manual work..that is with their hands, that is not typing and moving a pointing device cursor on a screen..

The recent outcry already prompted me to say in another thread ..why would any US corp do other than act like all the US corps do*..what ever made anyone think it would be different ..because they said "do no evil" ? ..

In that case I have a bridge for sale that some might be interested in ..if they have any funds, time, or money left after having built Google's bridge for them and then bought it right back off Google..

Big corps don't care..about any of this..if they have to change their spend or their model, because of anything Google does ..they will pass on any additional cost to their customer ..and / or ask for ( and receive ) a handout from which ever Government is in power of which ever political colour, in which ever country ..

*not only US corps behave in this way , it is in the nature of the "corporate beast"..google also "folds in" many aspects borrowed from religion ..

Reno




msg:4378794
 6:20 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

google also "folds in" many aspects borrowed from religion

I'd go as far as to say "cult", with way too many smart people worshipping at the shrine. But now that the curtain is being pulled back, maybe the deity won't seem so holy, and the kool-aide will be poured down the drain...

.......................

webastronaut




msg:4378832
 7:59 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Mmm glad I don't rely on Goog Adsense or MS Bing ads or any ad networks. I don't use any. Plus I learned the hard way not to depend on Goog alone for unique visitors but for what it worth, I'm getting my Goog love back for organic search. My direct visits have never been higher since I dropped big time in Goog for a few days.

AnthonysItalianFood




msg:4378868
 9:06 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

it was free money


I have to highly disagree with this statement of "it was free money". So do you work for 0 dollars per hour? Did you spend any time building your website? Is your time worth anything? This is a huge misconception. Yes, I have been slapped hard multiple times by the Panda since April 2011 on my own website. Huge loss of traffic with each slap. Do I deserve it? I don't think so at all due to the fact that all content is originally written by me for the sole purpose of the visitor. But what do I know? I'm just a small webmaster guy who means nothing to google. Here is the problem I have with the statement of "free money". I have poured 1000's of hours into my own website to help others. There is nothing wrong with being paid for all that hard work.

If the Panda is penalizing people for having advertising, well, I highly disagree with that reasoning. Sure, maybe there could be a percentage cap, meaning only so much advertising per percentage of content, etc... but there is nothing wrong with trying to make a little money for one's very hard work. Especially when you have a site that is not selling anything.

Peace! Anthony

travelin cat




msg:4378874
 9:14 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

There seems to be a lot of confusion about my using the term "free money" even though I have repeatedly explain it throughout this thread, so I will try further to explain.

First and foremost is to not confuse any time and money that you have put in to your site as somehow being free. I am not talking about this I am talking about the traffic that comes to your site. It does not matter if you spent 5000 hours and $5 million dollars to create your site. That part is done. You have a site and the money is well spent hopefully on creating a good site.

Now you have to get traffic to your site. You can pay for it via AdWords and other places, you can have great links from other sites or you can get organic traffic. When I refer to "Free Money" it is the organic traffic I am talking about.

If the search engines send you repeat organic traffic, it is FREE. It cost you nothing to convert those people in to customers because you paid nothing for them to visit your site. The search engine sent them to you at no cost. That's free. The fact that you may have spent decades and millions of dollars in creating your site is not what this thread was originally about.

The subject was originally about depending on organic traffic from the search engines as not being a sustainable business model.

travelin cat




msg:4378875
 9:16 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

There is nothing wrong with being paid for all that hard work.

So Google is supposed to agree with you on that and continue to give you traffic because you spent a lot of time and money on your site? Really?

cabbie




msg:4378878
 9:40 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't agree that organic traffic should be called free traffic.
Google needs websites in its search engine as much if not more than those websites need to be in their search engine. It's really a partnership between website owners and google.At least thats what they tell us when they want us to sign up for their adsense.
Google aims to have the best websites in their serps.
They do it by a algo which is less perfect than a manual review.
Webmasters do manual reviews and I think are perfectly entitled to judge what websites should be showing in the serps and thus should be able to expect that hard work on creating a top ten website will result in traffic from search engines.

travelin cat




msg:4378888
 9:53 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

should be able to expect that hard work on creating a top ten website will result in traffic from search engines.


Expect. That's the problem and an underlying reason for my post. If you expect to continue to receive traffic without paying for it you are eventually doomed to fail, do you really think you will continue to get organic traffic forever? I got it for 10 years before Panda.

What happens when the next change comes? What happens when Google unleashes Elephant or whatever it will be called? What will the Elephant do to your traffic? No one knows, but I bet a bunch of people will get nailed by it.

[edited by: travelin_cat at 9:55 pm (utc) on Oct 24, 2011]

Simsi




msg:4378889
 9:55 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's really a partnership between website owners and google


It might have started life like that but like everything in commerce, it comes down eventually to supply and demand. Simply put, there are lots of webmasters who can supply stuff and there aren't many companies that can supply the traffic we require.

Google holds the cards and - just as any of us would do in that situation, especially when you have shareholder pressure and it's not really your decision anyway - they try to maximise the value of their service.

It's a fun distraction arguing why it's supposedly unfair but bottom line is you simply need to find ways to adapt your business and among all the fluffy stuff in this thread there are some good posts on that score.

As an aside, made me laugh the other day when a co-worker who spent years trying to convince me to use Mozilla to help defeat the evil "Micro$oft" started explaining why I should use Bing to help defeat the evil Google :-)

potentialgeek




msg:4378915
 11:29 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

I hope to figure out Panda and then buy distressed sites at a deep discount.

cabbie




msg:4378920
 11:47 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

In the short term, it maybe the individual website owners problem but in the long term it will be google's problem that they are not showing the best websites.
.. do you really think you will continue to get organic traffic forever? I got it for 10 years before Panda.

I got it 10 years before Panda as well and I still have it and intend to have it another 10.;)
My operation has always been the same from day one.
Throw enough mud!
@Potentialgeek.
Great idea!

AlyssaS




msg:4378931
 12:42 am on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

It does not matter if you spent 5000 hours and $5 million dollars to create your site. That part is done. You have a site and the money is well spent hopefully on creating a good site.

Now you have to get traffic to your site. You can pay for it via AdWords and other places, you can have great links from other sites or you can get organic traffic. When I refer to "Free Money" it is the organic traffic I am talking about


They arn't talking about time and money spent creating their site, travelin cat. They are talking about time and money spent trying to manipulate G's proprietary algo!

There's a divide on this thread between those who started a decade ago or more, like yourself, and those who started a few years ago.

In the early days of the net, you set up your site, networked like mad trying to build a "loyal readership", which involved exchanging blogroll links and commenting, building subscription readers, and so on. And if someone linked to you and sent you traffic and a) you hadn't solicited the link and b) hadn't paid for the traffic, it was "free traffic".

I remember thinking "OMG, Google likes me and has linked to me and sent me traffic!" and there was a giddy sense of bounty. I had no idea that I had featured on their radar because of all the networking and consequent linking that was taking place, I knew diddly squat back then. I also had the "free traffic" feeling when people dugg my articles or stumbled them. I've still got a screenshot on my hard drive of my stats for this miraculous moment when I got 8000 hits in an hour because something I wrote was current, and I kept admiring it from time to time, and emailed the image to my mom! It was a very big deal back then. I still get the "free traffic" feeling when I get a rush of hits from Facebook because someone somewhere has shared my stuff.

But it's now late 2011, and when people talk about working hard for their traffic they mean "I've busted my gut writing and spinning articles and creating profiles and guest posting and whatnot to manipulate G's algo. Dammit, I've worked for this traffic!"

And they have worked. But it is still a flawed business model. Perhaps not because people shouldn't rely on "free traffic" but because people should realise that basing your whole existence on trying to manipulate a proprietary algo on someone else's website, over which you have no control, might end in tears.

The black hatters have a more realistic view of the world - they know that at any time their sites may lose traffic because they are essentially being parasites on someone else's platform, and they ride the wave. White hatters are also being parasites on someone else's platform, but they don't realise it, and hence the crash hurts more.

MrSavage




msg:4378938
 1:08 am on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

@AlyssaS, with respect lets think about this. Google got where they are from what? Yes, finding good websites that people liked. If people like a restaurants food, the restaurant gets popular. Google got popular because of the websites they featured, not because of anything else. Last couple years? They were built upon the websites which we created.

The point is, if those sites were crappy, guess what? I really don't think Google would have gained popularity. What. You telling me the search results of today, for a start up search engine would gain them the same market share?

The results they found were the websites. These websites that you speak of were what made Google great.

So really call a spade a spade. It's their business model that is flawed. It's their direction and flip flop on what is a quality result that is the issue. It's not the manipulation of white hat or black hats do. We all made up the top results and the consumers didn't mind did they? If they did Google would not have gained the market share.

So Google are now changing the secret sauce, rewriting the menu, changing the recipies and the ingredients. So that tells me the public when eating the food will soon enough realize that the food is different. It's not the food they came to love and enjoy. It's not better. Afterall, how can you beat 90% market share?

So I say no way. Everyone deserved what they got and frankly still do. Either that or you can convince me why those top ranking sites that made up Google SERPS for YEARS are gone and that is somehow sensible. It's not. McDonalds doesn't change the secret sauce. Kentucky didn't rewrite their recipe. Coke didn't change their recipe. Ooops, scratch that. They did. Let that be the lesson. Difference is was Coke desperate at that point? Or was Coke at 90% market share when they changed up the game?

Our sites are just as good now as they were then. They deserve what they had in most instances. I have no reservation saying it. People are supposed to expect corporate stupidity? I suppose that's what some are suggesting here. And in that sense, I agree.

Reno




msg:4378939
 1:27 am on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Coke didn't change their recipe. Ooops, scratch that.

I have no doubt the Coca-Cola experience is studied in business schools, and to Coke's credit, they quickly did an about face, brought back Classic Coke, had a massive PR campaign, and came out better than before. They listened to their constituency.

But tastebuds and search results are two different animals. The average person in the public-at-large could tell that New Coke was not as good as classic; on the WWW, it is mostly professional searchers and webmasters that have seen the difference in Google, and have given it a thumbs down. We know they don't listen to us, and in fact, they pat themselves on the back and tell interviewers how pleased they are with the Panda results.

So I think the lesson is this: until the public-at-large begins turning away and vocally complaining, what we see now is what we'll get for the foreseeable future. This is why it is probably futile to sit and wait for the algo to correct itself (it won't), and why everyone must proceed as if there is no Google, because in reality, for many of us, the Google we see is not the Google we knew (in results OR philosophy!), and it won't be coming back anytime soon..... if ever.

..........................

AlyssaS




msg:4378941
 1:49 am on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google got popular because of the websites they featured, not because of anything else.


All the search engines were crawling the same websites - Yahoo, Excite, Lycos and all the others. Google got popular because of how they ordered the websites. It was the order that was the magic ingredient. And that was all their own recipe. Don't kid yourself that somehow your website magically instructed them on how to build an algo to order the web. It didn't.

And how do you know McDonalds and others haven't been altering their recipes? I know for a fact that McDonalds have been changing the ingredients, using properly farmed meat instead of the dross they used for a time, because of a public backlash, and trying to sell salads and healthy food and so on. All businesses have to respond to public opinion. Ironically, Panda was unleashed because people were complaining that G had too much spam in their index, and this hit the mainstream media - and the complaints have now stopped in the mainstream media. So is G really doing badly?

Nothing stands still. Start acting like there is no Google and networking and you will find that G gives you plenty of love. They can see the alternate sources of traffic in analytics and via the Chrome browser and they tend to think that if lots of others like you, they are missing out if they don't feature you. Just saying.

lucy24




msg:4378980
 3:39 am on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

If the search engines send you repeat organic traffic, it is FREE. It cost you nothing to convert those people in to customers because you paid nothing for them to visit your site. The search engine sent them to you at no cost.

The search engines don't SEND people to your site any more than the Yellow Pages SEND people to physical stores. They just make people aware that you exist. And then you've got two or three lines to convince them that you're more desirable than the people immediately above and below you. Or twelve square inches to show how attractive you are.

diberry




msg:4379008
 4:39 am on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Reno's making the big point that it all keeps coming back to. If McD's isn't tasty, a child can know that instinctively and ask for Burger King. But search is intellectual. When you get bad results, is it that Google failed, or did you fail to use the right search terms? Or is there simply nothing on the internet about your topic? You don't know, so you don't immediately assume Google's the problem and turn to their competitors.

It's coming - users are getting more savvy. An older lady I know who only owns a computer to check email and shop recently informed me appropos of nothing that Google results are terrible anymore and so she'd switched to Bing. I think we'll see a lot more of this, now that entire generations are coming of age post-search.

Google is simply lucky in this regard, and their luck won't hold out forever. So for now, they're changing the algo not to better please users, but to better please themselves. They're knocking Yelp down because it refused to let Google scrape its content, for pete's sake. That's the height of hypocrisy, and it's not remotely about what's best for users.

But right now, they're in this magical place where they can screw users over completely, and the users won't realize it. For a while. But the day is coming.

viggen




msg:4379073
 8:53 am on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's really a partnership between website owners and google


No, in a partnership both parties know the rules, in this one only one party does...

I dont know about the US, but with the european financial crisis, governments desperately trying to find money, its a sure bet the EU will slam Google very very hard.

They need money and they need softs targets, with 90% or more market share, Google has in most european countries basically a monopoly in search. And if they can fine companies the EU is not afraid to do so, just a few days ago they marched into several big banks for cartell suspicion on interest rates, if they can move into the office of world banks, they will move into the office of Google (in europe)...

vivalasvegas




msg:4379075
 9:02 am on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

They do it by a algo which is less perfect than a manual review.
Webmasters do manual reviews and I think are perfectly entitled to judge what websites should be showing in the serps and thus should be able to expect that hard work on creating a top ten website will result in traffic from search engines.


I am with Cabbie on this. People who don't agree that traffic from Google is free traffic aren't just misunderstanding the OP's post. Here's how I see this long debated issue: as long as there will be search engines and demand for the search results they provide, there will be money to earn from the "free traffic" they send our way. Of course you need diversification and by that I don't just mean finding multiple traffic sources, but also building multiple websites. If one day Google stops sending traffic to one of your websites you will likely still have your other website(s) to make money from. And of course you don't have to sell or desert the downgraded site if you are an honest webmaster who believes in his work. Instead you can continue developing and improving it and eventually there is a good chance that you will regain your SE positions. About a year ago one of the websites I maintain lost about 60% of its visitors due to a drastic drop in rankings. I have kept working on this site and promoting it and a year later my rankings are back and traffic is better than ever.

Sure, the ideal situation is to build a popular brand like PlentyofFish or Facebook, etc. But I guess not all of us possess the right combination of skills and genius required for this. Until then we can at least try, and in the meantime stay in business and earn a decent income on the web.

NomadMan




msg:4379086
 10:56 am on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Think travelincat has hit the right spot here. I've been lurking this forum on and off - at times when Google acted up. This week i had a look again, because Google SERPS are well off mark.

It strikes me discussions are pretty much the same each time i have a look. Google demotes sites during Algo updates, publishers go crazy about lost rankings / revenue.

The Panda thing seems like a bigger change, but the web has grown bigger and more are in the worldwide sport of Google Algo manipulation. Any algo update from google just hits more out there.

The discussion about the Free Traffic part is interesting. With 90% market domination / dictatorship, the inevitable will happen some day - Google gets less big. Because people start using other search engines to find what they want.

Just the word has to spread and "free traffic" will appear elsewhere. Bing or whatever other SE gets bigger and bigger and starts updating Algo's also.

There was an article a week ago about online newspaper sites getting demoted big time - content versus adspace made Google demote them like spamsites.

Manual intervention was necessary to put them back into the top rankings .... because "Free Traffic" was lost and Ad revenue dropped like crazy.

Cheers!
Nomadman

AnthonysItalianFood




msg:4379110
 12:06 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

It does not matter if you spent 5000 hours and $5 million dollars to create your site. That part is done. You have a site and the money is well spent hopefully on creating a good site.
.. side note, this quote should have said: "money AND time is well spent".

...and this is exactly what gets you the traffic. Because you worked hard on creating original quality content that is valuable to the visitor you get traffic from Google. You build a following, people enjoy your website and find it useful and link to it, etc... You get rewarded for that hard work by "free traffic", not "free money".

It's only "free money" once you start making more money than what you poured into the site and this includes what your time is worth.

If you spent one day on a 1 page website and put very little effort into the content then you would not be getting the traffic. My rant is that I have spent the past 10 years on a labor of love that Google has squashed with this crazy Panda that really is not working in my opinion. All it's doing is bringing the big brands amd massive website to the top while squashing the little guy like me down to oblivion.

All the key phrases I was ranking on prior to the Panda are now ONLY ranking for HUGE brand names and or massive websites that have 100' of 1'000's of pages and massive resources.

Panda is squashing the little guy.

That is my 2 cents on this.

ChanandlerBong




msg:4379139
 2:05 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've had a couple of wake up calls in my time with regards to google. Back in 2005, I started a pay section to my site when, even back then, I saw the first signs of adsense earnings starting to taper off and thought "I need other baskets for my eggs". That pay section now provides 80% of my earnings.

But, lot of traffic for that pay site comes through G, nothing horrendous but probably 50% all in all - that now has to change and have begun writing to other sites in my niche about advertising. I have only 3 main sources for the traffic to my pay site and I want that to be 5 by the end of this year, 8 by end of next year. I aim to get G's 50% down to 25/30% in 12 months. You have to diversify on today's internet. It's your responsibility as a business owner. Didn't know you were a business owner, eh? Well, that can be your wake up call. :)

paybacksa




msg:4379244
 5:41 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sounds a lot like common stories told/heard at pubcon. Owner starts late nineties, builds successful seo site, lives off it, keeps it evolving, suffers Google challenges, experiences crisis of confidence, convinces self the ride is over, then sells it for way less than comparables because honestly didn't know the latent value of the site for the same reasons was unable to see a positive future for the site.

I bet the buyer got an excellent value...its very common to hear a business person doubled or tripled revenues of sites like that in a year, usually by simply injecting capital in the obvious places.

Good story, thanks for sharing, but save the preaching. You lost the vision, confidence, and decided to exit. If you really want to help everyone else survive the future of Google seo etc. share your site stats, revenues/revenue mix, sale price, details of negotiation your exit, and domain so we can evaluate the risk for ourselves, and learn.

travelin cat




msg:4379257
 6:09 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

You call it preaching, I call it advice.

wheel




msg:4379273
 6:35 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Good story, thanks for sharing, but save the preaching. You lost the vision, confidence, and decided to exit.

Huh? He made out like a bandit. That's not preaching, that's freakin' awesome. Good on him, and I appreciate the disclosure.

travelin cat




msg:4379276
 6:41 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks wheel. You and many others actually took the time to read my original post.

Reno




msg:4379282
 6:55 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Good on him, and I appreciate the disclosure.
Me too ~ I'll go even further in saying I am envious ~ if enough $$ was on the table, I'd say adios as well. Was a lot of fun in '02; was somewhat enjoyable in '08; is not much fun anymore. Work your butt off, follow the rules, get slapped down without a clue as to why. I feel like I'm dealing with a schizo neighbor, always walking on eggshells as to not incur their unpredictable wrath ~ enough is enough.

....................

diberry




msg:4379343
 9:41 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

What's not getting clearly distinguished in this thread is the difference between foolishly depending on Google and actually being independent of Google. No website is really independent of Google - except maybe Facebook and Amazon. But even they would feel a noticeable drop if Google banned them tomorrow. There's no site on the web that wouldn't reel a little if suddenly the Google traffic went away.

But I think travelin cat was talking more about relying on Adsense for your whole income stream, and/or Google search for all your traffic-driving efforts. That is certainly "depending" on Google in a way that's going to make it hurt extra bad if they ever pull the rug out from under you. But the fact that Google makes up a big percentage of traffic for most decent sites, no matter how hard they try to build other traffic streams, is just a matter of numbers. It's nerve-wracking, but it's a different issue from willfully depending on Google/Adsense while they're still loving you.

jmorgan




msg:4379390
 11:20 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

travelin cat, can I ask a question?

Were you primarily relying on a small number (maybe even just one or two?) magical high ranking keyword(s) that was bringing in the bulk of your traffic until you were hit with Panda?

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