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Business Survival, With Or Without Google Organic Traffic
netmeg




msg:4533403
 11:18 pm on Jan 4, 2013 (gmt 0)


System: The following 74 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4533352.htm [webmasterworld.com] by engine - 12:56 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (utc 0)


Everyone by now should realize what the risk is with total dependency on Google. You can't build your entire business (or living) on it because you can't control it. It doesn't MATTER if there are no other options available to you (which, by the way, I do not for one minute believe) that doesn't change the basic truth that what Google gives, Google can easily take away in an instant. And all the sorrow or complaints won't pay the rent.

That said, I have sites that depend almost entirely on Google traffic. But I'm aware of the risks, and they aren't my main source of income. I have other sites that are more under my own control, and while they get organic traffic, they also use other channels (I also run a consulting company as a "day job") That way, my risk is at least somewhat distributed.

Rather than discuss the folly of depending on Google (which, c'mon, isn't really debatable) maybe it'd be more constructive to talk about what other channels you can use. I'm not sure that belongs here in this forum though (not sure where it would go that anyone would actually find it)

For example, I'm taking some of that "free money" that I get from the sites that depend on Google, and I'm having a mobile app made for iOS and Android. More than half my traffic is mobile, so that's an easy call. The first version probably won't be very fancy (mobile app development ain't cheap) but it starts to build my base and I can always ramp it up in 2.0 and 3.0 and so on.

 

Whitey




msg:4533653
 3:32 am on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

It is absolutely not free.

...and to enable SEO traffic can be resource intensive for some. That's not free either.

The bottom line is, do you have the funds, will you get ROI, can you scale and are other marketing channels cheaper and sustainable.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4533694
 11:11 am on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

As far as another search engine coming along goes, who, besides M$ has deep enough pockets to even come close to the quality and accuracy they provide? Facebook, Apple, who else? There's only a handful of companies, at the most, and they're all Years behind where Google is now as far as development goes...

If we are talking purely search engines then I have disagree. Bing's results are now in some ways superior to google's. Their problem is in convincing people of this.

Wilburforce




msg:4533696
 11:44 am on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Bing's results are now in some ways superior to google's.


I think they are now better for short phrases/key terms. For longer phrases I think Google still has it.

However, sooner or later, some radically different approach (Watson?) might make current search engine methods obsolete. Having said that, there are signs that some of Google's current efforts might involve AI, and they are not promising.

TheMadScientist




msg:4533720
 5:02 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

As far as another search engine coming along goes, who, besides M$ has deep enough pockets to even come close to the quality and accuracy they provide?

If we are talking purely search engines then I have disagree. Bing's results are now in some ways superior to google's. Their problem is in convincing people of this.

Are you saying Bing and M$ (Microsoft) aren't the same thing?

And Bing, which was launched as the first 'Intent, Knowledge & Decision Engine', has reverted and now wants to be a pure search engine?

###

ADDED: The main point I hope people 'get' is the two biggest engines, are not 'search engines' and don't want to be 'search engines' ... For another 'search engine' like we've know to come along and have any type of market share like Google & Bing control is Years in the making.

That will only even happen if whomever builds it decides two of the largest companies on the planet with some of the longest history in search have gotten it wrong and they should do what those two did before they decided to invest millions into Not Being a search engine any more.

I guess my posts and the points I'm trying to make are very difficult for some to understand ... I had no clue they were so difficult for some to 'get'.

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 5:30 pm (utc) on Jan 6, 2013]

SevenCubed




msg:4533723
 5:25 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

For longer phrases I think Google still has it.


They do but only if a site isn't properly structured as per the way Bingbot likes to interpret it. Chances of appearing higher in SERPs for long-tails in Bing increase if you maintain a proper one H1 tag per page and the complimenting elements support and digress to that H1, especially in keyword density (3%-7%).

For you old timers rolling your eyes at the mention of density -- it's related to frequency and dispersion, not frequent repetition. But it always has meant that.

superclown2




msg:4533725
 5:30 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

However, sooner or later, some radically different approach (Watson?) might make current search engine methods obsolete. Having said that, there are signs that some of Google's current efforts might involve AI, and they are not promising.


Picture this future scenario:

The whole web copied and held on ultra-fast servers all over the world with near-instant updates. All sorts of diffent search algorithms provided with browsers or downloadable from multiple providers - all free of course.

The searcher could fine tune his or her favourite algo, and the master servers would deliver near-instant results with no ads to clutter them up. Pure, unadulterated, individually tailored search in which buyers could find just the sellers of widgets with no necessity to wade through a lot of irrelevant blog, wiki, brandspam, EHow type sites and researchers could actually find information (wow, can you remember those days when you could actually do that?). Goodbe Google and thanks for all the fish. Oh, and goodbye SEO too.

Unlikely? Maybe or maybe not but it's only one of a whole mass of possibilities.

I can understand why some people fear Google and want to find alternative ways of getting business. Exploring new avenues is always an excellent idea but let's not lose track of the fact that right now about 90% of the available business still comes via that company, at least here in the UK and although this empire will crumble one day like all the rest it isn't going to happen tomorrow. So ride it as long as you can but be constantly prepared to adapt to conditions as they change would be my advice, in the unlikely event that I would be asked for it.

TheMadScientist




msg:4533726
 5:34 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

The whole web copied and held on ultra-fast servers all over the world with near-instant updates. All sorts of diffent search algorithms provided ... The searcher could fine tune his or her favourite algo

FYP Below ...

The whole web copied and held on ultra-fast servers all over the world with near-instant updates made to results [caffeine]. All sorts of different search algorithms provided [personalization]. The searcher's algo is fine tuned every time they make a query or click on a result [one right answer].

Oh, and goodbye SEO too

^ That's where Google is going and they're not 'broken' or missing things right now. They have a long-term plan they're working with and to go from where they were to 'one right answer' for a query they have to 'narrow things down' from 1,000,000+ results served to all users for a query to 1 personalized 'answer' for each individual user. It takes quite a bit of time to get enough info in the system to do it, but they're definitely on the way as far as I can tell.

IOW: I don't think your [meaning superclown2's] post is 'far fetched' at all, because I'm already seeing something very similar to what you [meaning superclown2] posted happening ... In fact, you [meaning superclown2] fairly accurately described 'The Future of Google', in my opinion.

driller41




msg:4533751
 7:18 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google may want to be a knowledge engine, the problem is the users want it to be a search engine used to find other sites and google can try as hard as they like but they wont change that anymore then they can make google plus comparable to facebook.

nickreynolds




msg:4533753
 7:22 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Since for about 90% of the UK population Google is the internet, the original title could be paraphrased "the folly of relying on the internet for free traffic"

oliondor




msg:4533764
 8:09 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think it's just stupid to pay Google for traffic that is sent for free...

Wilburforce




msg:4533766
 8:28 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think it's just stupid to pay Google for traffic that is sent for free...


...and when that traffic dries up?

TheMadScientist




msg:4533770
 8:50 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google may want to be a knowledge engine, the problem is the users want it to be a search engine used to find other sites and google can try as hard as they like but they wont change that anymore then they can make google plus comparable to facebook.

As of Oct. their approach increased their market share by more than Bing managed to increase theirs...

Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in October with 66.9 percent market share (up 0.2 percentage points), followed by Microsoft Sites with 16 percent (up 0.1 percentage points) and Yahoo! Sites with 12.2 percent. Ask Network accounted for 3.2 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.8 percent.

[comscore.com...]

Until Google's market share really starts to decline (if it does), I'd have to say it seems your opinion of what searchers want is 'at odds' with what most searchers (well over half) are actually indicating they like and are happy with.

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 8:53 pm (utc) on Jan 6, 2013]

Wilburforce




msg:4533779
 9:14 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

your opinion of what searchers want


Have I missed something? I have been saying that until searchers start using something else, the advice not to rely on Google is useless:

TheMadScientist




msg:4533784
 9:21 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Uh, maybe the quote I posted which was from driller41 not you?

This one's from you Wilburforce
...until searchers start using something else, the advice not to rely on Google is useless

And I'm sorry you [meaning Wilburforce and anyone else reading who's of the same opinion] feel that way, because I doubt Google's traffic is going to seriously decline any time in the near future, but I'm fairly certain yours [meaning anyone who's reading] will decline much sooner than theirs is at all likely to (and if theirs declines sooner, so does yours [meaning anyone who's reading's] from them ... Relying on Google for free traffic is a 'catch 22' and not a good plan, in my opinion.)

That's where the advice to not rely on them stems from ... It's not about Google's market share, it's about the amount of traffic they send sites and them not wanting or needing to send traffic to nearly as many sites as they have previously ... I would also not be surprised to see them find a 'new and innovative way' to charge for much of the traffic they do send to sites beyond theirs.

[Rhetorically] How is the advice and information given in this thread so tough for people to comprehend or understand?

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 9:56 pm (utc) on Jan 6, 2013]

TheMadScientist




msg:4533787
 9:48 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

This seems so simple to understand, and I keep thinking it's well explained in this thread, but I must be mistaken, so I'll explain it a bit better [I hope].

Google is moving to 'the one right answer' and there are only 2 likely possibilities relating to their market share as they do, both of which directly impact the free traffic they send you [meaning anyone reading]:

1.) Their market share will decline, and as a result of that decline, so will the free traffic they send you [meaning anyone reading].

2.) Their market share will not decline, but they will serve people less results off their site, which means as a result your [meaning anyone reading's] free traffic from them is very likely to decline.

* They may even find a way to charge for much/most of the traffic they do send non-Google Sites as they move closer to 'the one right answer'. (I would not be surprised to see them come up with something.)

There are not many possibilities for their market share.

There are not many possible outcomes relating to the free traffic they send to other sites.

Neither of the possibilities I see as a result of the direction they're going are very likely to increase free traffic to non-Google sites or even maintain it. They're actually both likely to decrease it, quite probably significantly.

Play_Bach




msg:4533798
 10:22 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I see where you're coming from TMS, but for the sites that are typically found by search, they're in a very difficult situation. Giving Google the bird is fine in theory, in practice it can be suicide.

TheMadScientist




msg:4533799
 10:37 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm glad someone 'gets it' Play_Bach, thanks.

... for the sites that are typically found by search, they're in a very difficult situation.

I absolutely agree, totally, 100% and that's why I think this is an important thread, now, today, because there's still time to plan, think, and try to find a way.

Giving Google the bird is fine in theory, in practice it can be suicide.

And, not thinking and planning ahead for if/when Google gives us the bird, which is the direction they are moving, has the same effect for those who aren't ready. (I'm not trying to argue with you, it's just the reality of the direction things are moving.)

###

I really think this is one of the most important threads we've had here in a long time, because if people pay attention to what's being said and start thinking of a way to have a viable website without free traffic from Google now [planning] they will have a way better chance at long-term sustainability and success than if they wake up one day and realize they don't rank and their entire livelihood just went away [reactionary]...

Play_Bach




msg:4533810
 10:57 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

In the words of Joni Mitchell

Some get the gravy
And some get the gristle

seoskunk




msg:4533811
 10:59 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think TMS is right, its important now to plan your business beyond Google. If you can create a sustainable business without the use of Google all the better.

But what there is here is the usual patronising BS about how foolish you were to depend on Google an no list of viable alternatives for e-commerce so here are my top 5


1. Ebay
2. Amazon
3. Facebook
4. Twitter
5. Pinterest

seoskunk




msg:4533813
 11:06 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

In the words of Bob Marley......

Rat race!
Oh, it's a disgrace
To see the human-race
In a rat race, rat race!

johnhh




msg:4533814
 11:07 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

it all depends

1. Ebay = we have nothing to sell except information
2. Amazon = we have nothing to sell except information
3. Facebook =wrong demographic
4. Twitter =wrong demographic
5. Pinterest =wrong demographic

Simsi




msg:4533815
 11:08 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google is moving to 'the one right answer'


While this "knowledge engine" dream is a stated goal of Google, all that will do in my opinion is to suplement their service because, quite simply, there isn't always a right answer, yet alone one.

What is the best car?

Depends who you are, where you live, what you do, what your circumstances are, how much money you have etc, etc.

And if Google isn't prepared to show me somewhere that will help me decide what car is right for me, another search engine surely will. In my opinion, the day they stop being the mechanism to find anything you need quickly and efficiently (which personally, I think they do very well right now), they leave themselves vulnerable.

Thus, I don't expect to see the ability to search for, find and visit websites disappear in my lifetime. Whether anything remains "free" on the Internet is debateable mind.

Also, recent investigations (while somewhat muted in outcome thus far) suggest that Google won't be allowed to simply ride roughshod over other people's intellectual property.

It's fun to speculate and it's undeniably important for any serious business to diversify traffic sources but there is a tendency sometimes to read a bit too much into patents, PR and statements of intent. Lest we forget, they are answerable to shareholders who demand talk of progress, innovation and ultimately, new revenue streams. In that position, you are obligated to talk the talk but it doesn't mean you will be able to walk the walk.

[edited by: Simsi at 11:12 pm (utc) on Jan 6, 2013]

seoskunk




msg:4533817
 11:12 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

johnhh I wish you would reread the post i said ..... e-commerce!

BUT HOW CAN TWITTER FACEBOOK AND PINTEREST BE WRONG DEMOGRAPHIC?

THEY COVER ALL AREAS........

IS YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC HUMAN?

TheMadScientist




msg:4533818
 11:12 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks seoskunk ... I've gotten so much here out of this community over the years (I can't even begin to say how much or say thanks enough to all who have contributed) ... I'm really trying to give something back to all those who have taken the time to help make WebmasterWorld what it is.

Love the list ... I think the things I talked about with some clients the other day got missed, and we decided to not only 'go social', which some of your list is, we decided to 'go traditional' and pretend we had 'B & M locations' across the US, so what we discussed was:

Traditional:
News Papers (Print + Online)
Magazine Publications (Print + Online)
Direct Mail (Yeah, the stuff that comes in the box outside your house.)
Possibly Television

Non-Traditional
Social (Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Whatever Else)

TheMadScientist




msg:4533819
 11:18 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

What is the best car?

How about 10 results from the highest bidders with cars in the price range you can afford? Would you be disappointed?

I'm tellin you [meaning anyone reading], they have really 'thought this thing through' to be 'giving up as a search engine', because to be moving to a 'knowledge engine' or 'answer machine' after the thought and thoroughness it takes to provide the results they do says to me they've got this thing 'figured out' way better than it's likely for us to think they do.

Please, I'm beggin you, do not underestimate them or think for a minute they've 'missed the boat' ... The results they generate today aren't by accident and moving beyond those, they are WAY ahead of where most people think they are or could be, in my opinion.

If the 'one right answer' for someone is 10 different results for a query, then that's likely what they will see, but how those results are generated and the sites shown (and which bidders on adds show for a specific searcher?) are the 'most targeted' to the person they're tailoring the results for will likely vary widely from user to user.

Where they're going is not a joke and I'm sure they didn't 'move beyond' being a search engine lightly or casually ... To make that type of move at a multi-billion $$$ corporation is not some 'whim' or 'silliness' someone dreamed up ... It's well thought through and well planned from the start...

IOW: They already KNOW they can do it and they've already figured out how, likely well before it was announced.

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 11:47 pm (utc) on Jan 6, 2013]

seoskunk




msg:4533820
 11:20 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

LOL @ Whatever Else........

Well lets see,
Industry Specific Forums
Yell
Review sites

Anyone else social
Anyone
Anyone at all.....

Oh well guess I have to mention Google +

TheMadScientist




msg:4533824
 11:44 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh well guess I have to mention Google +

Nooooooo, please don't LOL ... Honestly though, anything except, 'getting hooked on Google's organic results', is 'in play' for me as far as traffic goes right now and will be moving forward.

seoskunk




msg:4533825
 11:45 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yeah your right Scratch Google + for Myspace
Also Craiglist and many others

TheMadScientist




msg:4533827
 11:49 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

LMFAO!

Seriously, seoskunk, you've got a good handle on things in my opinion ... Best wishes to you moving forward ... I hope you keep figuring things out and have great success in the future.

Wilburforce




msg:4533828
 11:54 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

The results they generate today aren't by accident


It isn't possible for Google to anticipate every possible search term and every possible searcher's intention. Some of the results of recent changes cannot have been intended, and in that sense are accidental.

they are WAY ahead of where most people think they are


They are not standing still and allowing competing forces to overtake them. That doesn't make them immune from mistakes, or mean that improved relevance from their perspective is the same thing as improved relevance from mine. My experience lately is that it is harder from me to find what I am looking for in Google results than it used to be. From my point of view, throwing up a load of synonyms instead of exact matches is an example of being smart when it isn't necessary. I am looking for a spade, not a shovel. OK, they are ahead of me in getting me to think about shovels, but in reality it simply distracts me from spades.

TheMadScientist




msg:4533829
 11:59 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

What you're seeing is a byproduct of machine learning...

I'll post about it later when I figure out how to say/explain WTF I mean in 'plain English' ... Panda is a 'machine learning' algo at it's base ... There's way more to what they're doing and why the results are all over the place than it would seem ... The 'short version' is: They're 'segmenting' and 'drilling down' on things ... How long it will take is really a guess, but mine is two more years at the most until they're at least really close, if not able to, 'switch over' to something totally different than we've ever seen.

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 12:13 am (utc) on Jan 7, 2013]

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