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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.

 

oliondor




msg:4534082
 7:56 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Why do you need to discuss ?

When Google won't sent visitors anymore just adwords ! So easy.

Wilburforce




msg:4534102
 8:20 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Whether or not you have an online market (i.e. your customers find and buy your goods or services online) isn't the only matter to be reckoned with.

My own coal merchant doesn't have any online presence at all, so "coal merchant mytown" doesn't even find a directory with a reference to him. I found him by personal recommendation, and he is a good coal merchant, so I would recommend him to anyone who asked me.

Possibly he has no need at all for more business, but if he came up top on Google for "coal merchant mytown" he would get more business, without needing his next new customer to know me or one of his other clients.

There isn't much in the way of an "online market" for delivered coal in rural areas, but people use Google to find local hairdressers, village hall events, and, in short, anything and everything. A first-page Google organic listing for relevant search terms would affect sales, visitor footfall, participant numbers in the charity seven-a-side or local six-wicket tournament...

The online market question is a red-herring.

HuskyPup




msg:4534106
 8:37 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm probably forgetting something. What else isn't here?


Insofar as I am concerned international widget trade exhibitions.

When Google won't sent visitors anymore just adwords ! So easy.


Only if one has the money to do it.

netmeg




msg:4534116
 9:06 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh yea! One of my clients goes to trade shows, although he's kind of cut down on exhibiting in the past couple years. Even if he doesn't take a booth, he at least goes out to network and check what the industry is doing.

Whitey




msg:4534124
 9:34 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

A big thing is differentiating search versus relationship engagement. Quality versus quantity may ultimately pay bigger dividends.

Depending on your business and affordability, the utilization of social tools and strong PR is possibly the most sustainable way to build brand and drive business. Build that into a sustainable strategy. If you have something relatively unique that folks want, the task get's easier, if not ..... well it's not really a strong business proposition.

seoskunk




msg:4534126
 9:53 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Fascinating thread and surely a vote on Google behaviour in the last few years as people discuss essentially doing anything but Google.....

TheMadScientist




msg:4534127
 9:54 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

The online market question is a red-herring.

The online market question is exactly the point of this thread ... To make people think beyond Google so they don't have to give up if/when they don't have free traffic any more, but apparently some don't get it.

To say Google's 66.9% US market share is 'the only answer', because Facebook's Half a Billion members that are active monthly is the wrong demographic borders on impossible, because if the people being spoken of really don't have a computer or aren't online, then someone else who does have a computer and is online Must tell them otherwise Google's 66.9% US market share is useless too.

So, if there is really some type of 'online interaction' which generates some type of sales on the site or for the business, then the people 'interacting with Google' to find the site very likely interact other places also. (Facebook has half a billion active members, but they're not the right demographic yet Google's visitors are? HUH WTF?)

I know of more than one person who uses Facebook regularly, but doesn't use Google, so they'd be 'out of reach' unless there was a Facebook presence ... Seriously, it's really naive to say Google's results are the only way you can possibly be found online by 'the right people', and if somehow that's really true, the 'giving up' is probably the smartest decision...

Personally, I get to deal with quite a bit of 'blow back' from my posts, even if they're right, but I cannot imagine what it would be like if I tried to convince people a site with a monthly user-base that's greater than the entire US population didn't have the right demographic for any site/business to be useful to some portion of it's members.

netmeg




msg:4534129
 10:12 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Fascinating thread and surely a vote on Google behaviour in the last few years as people discuss essentially doing anything but Google.....


Oh I'm still "doing Google" (!). I'm just not only "doing Google."

no matter how I type that, it just looks wrong

Dymero




msg:4534133
 10:46 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

My father runs a local service business and you know how he gets a lot of leads? He got a company to put the name, address, and phone number of his business on his car. He drives around town a lot (not intentionally to advertise, he just drives a lot), and people see the name of the business (which includes what he does in it) and often approach him with questions.

Of course, online businesses may not have physical addresses, but they do have web addresses and email addresses. There is some upfront cost, but pretty quickly it's free advertising (other than the cost of gas).

Play_Bach




msg:4534137
 11:27 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Dymero

I put my domain on my car a few years ago as well. Decal only cost $5. No idea if/how much it's helped, but it's there!

Wilburforce




msg:4534143
 12:00 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

The online market question is exactly the point of this thread


No, online marketing is the point of this thread. Google listings are one form - probably the most effective form - of online marketing. We are discussing alternatives to it, and the future of it.

The online market is a completely separate issue, and will continue with or without Google.

JohnRoy




msg:4534148
 12:17 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Seoskunk
...viable alternatives for e-commerce ...top 5
1. Ebay
2. Amazon
3. Facebook
4. Twitter
5. Pinterest

Although Netmag' broad list ( This thread msg:4534078 ) also includes Amazon, I've heard from many that they're no better than Google.

They'll serve you until your niche is big enough to be offered by themselves.

So unless you're certain it's not a waste of effort for short term, be cautious.

TheMadScientist




msg:4534150
 12:20 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

That's a good point ... I read their TOS [meaning Amazon's] once and they reserved the right to build an 'essentially the same site' as you if you use them as a 'sales avenue', so it's definitely something I think is important to watch out for ... I'm not sure if they still have that clause in there, because I haven't checked for quite a while, but I'd personally double check before using them for anything.

netmeg




msg:4534160
 1:39 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well and you pretty much have to devote a full time person just to learn the rules, deal with the feed, answer questions, etc etc. But for one client, we need to be there.

He got a company to put the name, address, and phone number of his business on his car.


How could I forget? I have merch on some of my sites - t-shirts. If you can get a decent design (I need to get some better ones, actually) people will actually *pay* to walk around with your web address on their backs. I didn't do the shipping myself; used cafepress and it wasn't a big money maker, but my URLs are out there on t-shirts, coffee mugs and tote bags, and that's good enough for me.

Robert Charlton




msg:4534162
 1:41 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Can you click on a t-shirt if you're not already good friends? ;)

netmeg




msg:4534181
 4:53 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Depends on the site.

bluntforce




msg:4534185
 7:02 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Finding hot spots isn't usually limited to t-shirts, although I normally stay away from mugs and bags.

incrediBILL




msg:4534209
 10:14 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

its important now to plan your business beyond Google


No, it's important from the beginning to build a complete marketing plan. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to address the situation now rather than later when it's too late. Google by itself isn't the marketing plan, it's just one component of an overall plan.

It appears some can't seem to wrap their head around anything beyond Google which is how they get caught in the trap in the first place.

If you do get into trouble in Google getting second hand traffic is another strategy by trying to get mentioned or linked in any sites, if possible, that are in the top 10 results for any of your keywords or long tails. I made a lot of money selling that ad space to people for many years.

Funny thing is how us internet old-timers got lots of traffic before Google ever showed up in the first place so it's obvious very possible, even today, just at lower traffic volumes that you would get being at the forefront of a search query, but it can still pay the bills.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4534210
 10:15 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Fascinating thread and surely a vote on Google behaviour in the last few years as people discuss essentially doing anything but Google.....

I couldn't agree more, it definitely feels like the days of Google as an amazing search engine are dwindling, just look at the number of unhappy campers in this thread alone. The thing is nobody is asking Google to do any of this, they are doing it on their own. The best search company on the planet woke up one morning wanting to be everything but, it's almost sad to watch.

I've found success with adding forums, when visitors DO find me they tend to stick around a while. These visitors never need to visit Google to come back again and again which is great, even if Google sends forums less traffic in general. Start your own communities, it looks bad on Google to ignore you just because you do so don't worry about them.

claaarky




msg:4534230
 12:09 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Of course, NOT focusing on Google is exactly what Google would love you to do. Their advice is to focus on the user, create something useful and unique, don't focus on gaming the system. That's what Panda, Penguin etc. are all about.

It's undeniably sensible not to be dependent on one source of business but personally I haven't found it that easy to match the volumes of converting traffic Google sends. Firstly, each form of advertising/marketing requires real expertise and dedication to make a profit. We live in a competitive world - you can't just expect to get into Adwords, Facebook, affiliate marketing, etc. and make an easy profit from the word go.

Secondly, most forms of marketing require some form of upfront payment with no guarantee of any return. For me, getting to the top of Google just requires my time.

So to successfully generate business from other sources you need to invest all your time in those to become expert enough to get the best value from them, or hire someone who is, or claims to be, an expert (more expense and risk). And any of those forms of advertising could go up in cost, change the way they operate or disappear overnight. So you can't become dependent on any one source (even if you could generate enough traffic from just one source!).

But before you do any of this, you need to focus on your site and your users to make sure your site is great at monetising the traffic your marketing generates. Ironically, get this right and you could find yourself at the top of Google!

What do you do then? Despite your policy of not relying on Google traffic it has suddenly become your main source of traffic, the phones are ringing more, you have more orders, more customers to deal with, you need to order more stock, you need more staff....do you try to get by on the assumption it's only transient traffic, noindex everything to get rid of the traffic or gear up to deal with it?

If you're running a good business and an efficient website, Google will want it in their results.

If what The Mad Scientist is saying is Google plans to change things in such a way that only a very small percentage of the traffic on Google will find its' way to our sites then that obviously sounds like an end of the world scenario for online businesses who haven't found other ways to generate business. I'm struggling to see it though. I agree the 'machine learning' aspect of Panda will become more and more influential over time and I can see how that could be the foundation of the 'one right answer' concept but my understanding is the machine learns from the behaviour of humans who visit your site, so how can it learn what the one right answer is without continuing to send humans to our sites? Has Google really developed intelligence to match that of a human? I doubt it.

I think I need more info on the 'one right answer' idea. Will this be an option, with results listed as normal if you're not satisfied with the one right answer? Does anyone know or are we discussing something based on speculation about HOW Google will implement what they've talked about?

7_Driver




msg:4534234
 12:12 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)


"Don't rely on free traffic" is easy to say - but that's only possible for some business models. E-commerce can certainly work with paid traffic - but information publishing funded by advertising can't (in most niches):

As a publisher you simply can't afford to pay to create great content, then pay for visitors to come and consume it for free, in the hope that 2% of them will click an ad - unless you've got amazing visitor retention, the figures just won't work.

So if Google succeeds in bringing about the "death of free traffic" - it will also mean the death of ad-supported information publishing.

The FTC decision is very disappointing - and we'll no doubt see Google tighten the screw further on sites that compete with them. They're in a very strong position - but there are a couple of chinks in their armour - not least the fact that a lot of webmasters and tech-influencers absolutely loathe them.

I've seen some interesting figures recently though: The % of traffic that many websites here in the UK are getting from Google has dropped significantly over the past year. Not just small ones either - big names too. Google's market share hasn't really changed - so it's a bit of a mystery - perhaps everyone is busy diversifying their traffic away from Google?

Excellent thread - particularly taberstruths posts. Great job on diversifying away from Google so effectively - and those are some fantastic stats on bounce rates etc. As a Panda victim, disallowing Googlebot is my ultimate goal too - it's some distance away for me, but it'll be a great day when it comes!

Rasputin




msg:4534244
 12:34 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you're running a good business and an efficient website, Google will want it in their results.


This is true but only with certain provisos including the reality that if a search term can potentially earn money google want to profit from it themselves, not send traffic to other sites, so the amount of ads and 'google product' type links makes it unlikely visitors will easily find a 'regular' site.

That isn't a 'google bashing' statement, it is more or less what Larry Page himself has said.

Sooner or later we will get used to 4 ads at the top of the SERPS, then 5, then 6...because they can't stop their relentless pursuit of money even if it is at the cost of user experience.

Having said that I am are doing just fine, and have done for several years, relying only on free google (and other search engine) traffic, never doing any link building etc, and spending all our time on making our sites as high quality as possible.

Will the traffic disappear tomorrow? probably not. Will it keep getting tougher? Almost certainly yes. But lots of other things will also change before then as well (new search engines, better apps, facebook search engine, new advertising opportunities etc).

In any case, information sites (like our own) earn little per page view, so adwords isn't a viable proposition, and traffic volume and quality from facebook just doesn't repay the effort involved.

So overall I agree with the idea that the most important thing is to make a site as good as possible for users and let other things - particularly google organic traffic - follow, and find that most other activities are just a costly or time expensive diversion (for information sites, not ecom sites).

Simsi




msg:4534279
 1:30 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Why do you need to discuss ?

When Google won't sent visitors anymore just adwords ! So easy.


So how's adwords going to work alongside the "Knowledge Engine"? Surely it will be a case of "go to Google, get your answer, go".

"Monetisation" - another reason why this Knowledge Engine thing can only really be used to supplement another service? Another reason why organic results will remain important?

netmeg




msg:4534289
 1:43 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

just look at the number of unhappy campers in this thread alone


I certainly wouldn't take that as representative of anything other than the number of unhappy campers on WebmasterWorld. Most of the world knows nothing about this Google stuff, and cares less. Yea, your brother in law may complain he can't find something in Google, but statistically, that means nothing. Even if 10,000 of your closest friends say it, it still means nothing, as a percentage of total searches.

do you try to get by on the assumption it's only transient traffic, noindex everything to get rid of the traffic or gear up to deal with it?


Just because it makes good money doesn't mean it's a good business plan. Let me repeat. Just because it makes good money doesn't mean it's a good business plan. At the very least, you take what you make off Google and invest it in other channels.

I used to work for a company that got this fantastic contract to supply equipment for a couple years. It was huge - way over what they normally would sell. The owner accepted the contract, and ramped up personnel and inventory to meet it. Everyone in the company was focused on making this one customer happy, to the point where there just wasn't time to pay attention to the other customers or try to get new ones. But it was okay, because everyone was making money and getting paid well. And the customer was really happy with everything, and assured the company the contract would be renewed. Guess what? Near the end of the contract, the big customer got bought, and the contract wasn't renewed. The company went out of business about 18mos after I left.

"Don't rely on free traffic" is easy to say - but that's only possible for some business models.


I keep hearing that, but so far nobody's brought me a niche that can't use other channels. And just because you can't afford both content AND marketing doesn't mean it's not a faulty model. All it means is you can't afford both content and marketing, and if you want stability, you're going to have to solve that problem, eventually.

Convergence




msg:4534321
 3:29 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nothing more than an evolution to your business model.

In 1998, my business partner and I, were old school type sales people. Knocking on doors, making phone calls, attending trade shows, etc. The internet was still very new and virtually no one in our industry was using it personally, much less professionally. Our industry was made up of "fat, old, white guys".

In six short years there were some serious powerhouses in our industry who went from B&M to C&M. Two short years later and the industry was mainly online only. Margins went from 50% to selling at cost and working on rebates - everyone in the industry became whores.

Back when we started out marketing onine our website was nothing more than another marketing channel - a virtual pamphlet or brochure. Traffic came from the likes of AOL, Yahoo, Alta-Vista - but ONLY after someone took our business card, printed material, or word of mouth advertising and typed www.ourwebsitename.com into AOL's, Yahoo's, or Alta-Vista's search box.

Over the years marketing has changed, always has changed. Is changing again. Just like us "old-timers" had to learn to embrace the online world, have become addicted and perhaps "lazy" with the free traffic we have been receiving for a decade, we have to adjust again.

There are those that have known nothing more than receiving free traffic from the Google. These people are the "old-timers" now. As we (the old-timers in 1998) had to learn to add online marketing to our marketing channels, they have to learn to add other channels to their marketing. We all do.

Nothing more than an evolution to your business model...

TheMadScientist




msg:4534345
 4:33 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

"Don't rely on free traffic" is easy to say - but that's only possible for some business models. E-commerce can certainly work with paid traffic - but information publishing funded by advertising can't (in most niches):

As a publisher you simply can't afford to pay to create great content, then pay for visitors to come and consume it for free, in the hope that 2% of them will click an ad - unless you've got amazing visitor retention, the figures just won't work.

I'm starting to see why so many people here 'lose everything' when their free traffic goes away, but I also don't know of anyone in the 'real business world' who would invest in a 'business' that wanted to build a site that totally relies on free traffic without any plan (or hope) for long-term sustainability if that free traffic goes away ... What's described above doesn't really sound like a business to me.

(I'm not trying to pick on anyone, it's just a good example of the difference in how some of us think.)

###

One interesting thing I was thinking last night is Google, Apple, Nike and some others I'm probably not remembering right now, all started in garages. Dell started in a dorm room ... They all took time, hard work, and (here's the kicker) Created Something People Liked and Wanted.

I really think the free traffic available from one source has made many think what they do is more important to other people than it really is, and, unfortunately it seems (to me at least) many have gotten 'caught up' in the idea that since a bunch of people visit for a while that means the site is 'important' to people when it's really could have been a different site or series of sites all along and the end user would have been equally as happy.

###

People visiting a site when it ranks at the top of the results doesn't necessarily mean it's 'needed' or 'important' to anyone else ... It's actually when it doesn't rank but previous visitors return and new people visit anyway you know it's important to people and you've really created something people like and want.

Leosghost




msg:4534360
 5:09 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

@
TheMadScientist ( especially that last post ;)
netmeg
Convergence

Precisely ;)..

If G went bust at midnight tonight..and adwords and thus adsense stopped..and organic free G search traffic stopped..

Some of us would stay afloat ( but maybe lose some income and or traffic, for a while ) ..most here would fold..probably "indebtedly"..because IMO ..if you still think that TMS, netmeg and convergence and some others of us who have been saying "diverge your traffic / revenue sources" are wrong..

Then it is probably too late for you..

Because G will "take all the pie" they can ( meaning most peoples traffic or revenue sources will shrink even more drastically than they maybe have )..one day..maybe sooner rather than later..

Like TMS..I think it will be sooner..

The average G searcher does not give a rodents rear about us..just so long as they can get what they searched for ( mainly pron, bootleg movies and music, warez, pretty pictures etc ) ..they don't much care who the mega scrapers like G or ehow or the little scrapers ( like some members here at WebmasterWorld have admitted to being ) got the "content" from..G knows this..

G knows what people search for at work , at home, and in the middle of the night all alone..and how they search ..Webmasters using Ganalytics ( "webmaster crack" ) helps G to take away your bread, eventually..

Doesn't mean I approve of all that they do, I certainly don't..But searchers don't care what we think..and neither does Google..or Bing for that matter..

TheMadScientist




msg:4534368
 5:30 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Doesn't mean I approve of all that they do, I certainly don't..But searchers don't care what we think..and neither does Google..or Bing for that matter..

Good points LG and I've gotta agree with the fine print, most definitely...

I know when I look to see where things are going I have to 'throw out' what I think is 'right', 'cool', and sometimes even 'ethical' and just look at the reality of a situation, which often differs greatly from 'wishful thinking' about where I would really like to see things heading.

Because G will "take all the pie" they can ( meaning most peoples traffic or revenue sources will shrink even more drastically than they maybe have )..one day

And, not only because they can, but because as a publicly traded company they have a legal responsibility to try and increase the value of their business for their shareholders, so they actually Have to 'take all the pie' they can.

###

One 'added point' to my previous post I'm not sure everyone knows about ... A few years ago Brett_Tabke had the nads to block gBot in the robots.txt for a while*, but WebmasterWorld didn't 'dry up', 'fade away' or 'go bust' without Google ... It continued to grow, have new members and be a place people visited and posted, which speaks volumes more than rankings ever could about the quality and importance of the site he created.

* I thought I was the only one crazy enough to try something like that lol - hat tip to Brett for not only 'taking the plunge' and giving the proverbial 'finger' to the big G for a bit, but also creating a site that's actually important to people.

TheMadScientist




msg:4534383
 5:58 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

If what The Mad Scientist is saying is Google plans to change things in such a way that only a very small percentage of the traffic on Google will find its' way to our sites then that obviously sounds like an end of the world scenario for online businesses who haven't found other ways to generate business. I'm struggling to see it though. I agree the 'machine learning' aspect of Panda will become more and more influential over time and I can see how that could be the foundation of the 'one right answer' concept but my understanding is the machine learns from the behaviour of humans who visit your site, so how can it learn what the one right answer is without continuing to send humans to our sites? Has Google really developed intelligence to match that of a human? I doubt it.

I think I need more info on the 'one right answer' idea. Will this be an option, with results listed as normal if you're not satisfied with the one right answer? Does anyone know or are we discussing something based on speculation about HOW Google will implement what they've talked about?

There's actually more info on it in some of my previous posts in this thread.

Yes, they will still have to continue to send people to sites especially when they 'don't have the answer', but as things are 'segmented' and 'fragmented' and 'refined' the 'personalization' of the results will have to become much more drastic and individualized, so where it used to be you if ranked for Super Widget you would rank in the same place or close to it 'across the board'.

Once they get things 'segmented' down, rather than ranking for all 10,000 Super Widget queries you may only rank for 100 Super Widget queries if your site is determined to be 'right' for that sub-set of searchers.


###

I also stated earlier I'll try and explain it more in another thread when I can figure out how to do it in 'plain English', because it's really complicated to explain, but once they 'get close' (even if not all the way there), the game can really change and how the non-Google results they actually show are determined are, in my opinion, is very likely to change with it...

Can you imagine if they applied the 'image search' comparisons they make to sites to determine what colors, contrast, layout, white space and other 'visual cues' specific searchers are happiest with?

There's no reason why they can't, even if it's not implemented yet (I'm actually inclined to think that's part of what Panda does, but I don't have any 'proof', just a hunch) ... Either way, there's also no reason I can think of for them to 'not go there', because it helps them 'drill down' to 'the right answer' for a specific individual, which is what they're moving to.

###

ADDED: If we just stop and look at personalization of results, as it gets farther along, it's going to be increasingly difficult to 'rank for everyone who searches', which lowers traffic sent to any specific 'number one ranking' or even 'top ten ranking' across the board ... They don't have to even 'keep all the traffic' for many here to have serious issues from decreased traffic, because as the segmenting and fragmenting of results necessary for personalization gets greater, the traffic level sent to any one site for any single query drops to N% of the % of queries for the phrase searched on and the result is shown for, rather than N% of All Queries for the phrase searched on.

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 6:21 pm (utc) on Jan 8, 2013]

Convergence




msg:4534392
 6:18 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

The reasons for HAVING to diversify is because the Google's goal IS to provide that "one right answer" - That "one right answer" is to keep the visitor on any of the Google's web properties until such time the visitor clicks on a revenue producing link - the Google's revenue producing link.

Not going to argue if the "one right answer" is "right" in my eyes - is what it is. The Google can afford, at this point in time, to serve up less than right answers 100% of the time.

There's a great video created years ago called EPIC 2014 - worth watching. Erie how accurate the creators were able to perceive what the Google was becoming. Search for it on Bing <snicker>. Life imitating art.

Not trying to beat a dead horse, but like TMS, I think it's important for webmasters to understand why they need to diversify and why they need to adjust their marketing efforts to not rely solely on the Google. They exist to make money, not friends...

claaarky




msg:4534405
 7:12 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

TMS, I see that as Google gets more granular and specific with the traffic it sends, our traffic 'could' go down. However, that traffic is likely to convert much better, because it's more specific and qualified, so we don't necessarily lose financially in that scenario, we just have less traffic.

It's also possible we wouldn't have less traffic, as we could pick up traffic elsewhere if our site is found to be a better match to more individual searchers than our competitors. In that scenario we win big time....same traffic as before but it's much better converting.

If the argument is Google will be sending more of their traffic to their own sites then, yes, the end of the world is nigh. They have all the information they need about every site in the world to set up in competition, do a better job and have all their sites ranking top on merit.

It's difficult to be certain how this will play out though. Going down this road appears obvious but Google needs websites and it needs websites to need it. If Google gives us an incentive to move away from depending on them then one day we might actually decide to block Google and then it has nothing to show in its' results. Would they risk that?

Building a business on Google traffic is risky, no doubt about that, but assuming Google will go for the 'easy money' is a big underestimation of their ability.

My view is Google wants to do a better job of sending the right traffic to the right sites. They are miles away from that at the moment (if my keyword stats are anything to go by) and it might actually be better for us when they perfect it, you never know.

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