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Economies of Internet and SEO

 7:47 pm on Jun 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Everybody knows it takes loads of effort.

You invest in infrastructure and hire technical people.

You lease an office and pay rent.

You hire expensive writers to create content for you.

And then you spend months getting legal backlinks (white hat) and doing marketing so that you start making something out of this huge investment.

And then something like 5th June, 2013 happens.

What do you do then? Do you keep pushing or do you quit the site and start off a new one?

Quiting the site is such a hard option and thousands of dollars of investment has been put into it?

Am I doing something wrong here? What do you guys do? How do you justify economic return out of this huge investment?



 12:57 pm on Jun 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't know about your specific situation or your company financials but I do know about my experiences and what I have learned from them. These are some things I try to focus on.

1) Be honest with yourself. No seriously, be honest. Too often we let our ego and personal feelings cloud our decision making.

2) Diversify, you never know when your good resource is going to fade so you better have alternatives.

3) Live and operate below your means. Skip the first class tickets & save that money for when your business needs extra work.

4) Plan for the worst case scenario and you will be better prepared for whatever reality throws at you.

5) Don't believe the hype. People are always trying to sell me some service. I need to be my own advocate who is protecting my budget.

6) Don't let social pressure push you into decisions that you can't afford. SEO conferences can cost over $5k (tickets, airfare, hotel, food, etc) but it is free to read SEO forums and blogs.

7) Test, Test and Test again. If you don't know what is wrong, you can't fix it. If you don't know what is right, you can't repeat it.

8) Monitor your own industry. I regularly monitor traffic, competition and profit levels. Horse buggy whips were once profitable, then along came cars, who know what will replace cars. Just remember that eventually all things change.

9) Don't work for today. Build for tomorrow. If you have Google's secret algo it might not help you because by the time you built the perfect site for today's algo, Google will have already updated & changed their secret formula or consumer preferences could change or government regulations or anything else. Keep your eyes looking forward.

10) Think outside of Google. Imagine if you didn't buy your own computer but borrowed your friend's laptop who any day is going to take it back without asking. You wouldn't borrow your friend's laptop because it is smarter to buy your own. Don't rely on Google traffic. Develop traffic from social sites, email newsletters, traditional media, Amazon, affiliate marketing and all the other sources.

11) Don't blindly follow. People can say and write anything. It doesn't mean it is true and even if it is it doesn't mean it will be accurate tomorrow. Think for yourself.

12) Don't settle. Your business can be improved. Your vendors can produce better and at lower costs. Your monetization can grow with higher profit margins or opening up new revenue streams. It is not easy but you can always find something to improve.

13) Be honest with yourself.


 2:00 pm on Jun 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Put your best and most resources towards something you can control. Spend time on SEO sure, but don't sink a ton of money into it when you know ahead of time you do not control the outcome. The money might be better spent building your community, or even on PPC which is maybe still not under your control, but moreso than organics.

And above all, make sure whatever you're doing is focusing on getting people to come BACK to your site on their own. Which means giving them a really good reason to want to come back.


 2:37 pm on Jun 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

1. I would let the dust settle first-

I remember when Panda 1.0 hit and I lost 50% of my traffic overnight. I freaked. In about a month it was only 28% down YOY. I was able to manage.

2. Run the numbers.

Do all math! I let the economics tell me what to do. I calculate all expenses and expect revenues and let that be my guide. If 3 years from now you can double your income, make a new site.


 3:14 am on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

What do you do then? Do you keep pushing or do you quit the site and start off a new one?

Quiting the site is such a hard option and thousands of dollars of investment has been put into it?

Am I doing something wrong here? What do you guys do? How do you justify economic return out of this huge investment?

This is an important question.
It's very distressing, to build and promote a quality site, only to find that you have fallen foul doing simple practices such as link building, which has been the norm since the internet started.

If the site has never been established, then without doubt, its best to put your quality content on a new site and start again.This time by doing a very small amount of link building.
I have yet to see a website flourish without any.
Aim for a limited number of high quality links and forget the rest.
Of course, even then, there is a gamble the google will see this as 'unnatural'.

If your site has been established for some time and has enjoyed success, then it gets much harder to decide.
You can jump through all google's hoops, which may take 6 months and still be no better off.
You may do reinclusion requests and have extenuating circumstances but it wont matter.
Google probably won't read your reinclusion request.
They will merely just process it and see if your site still has those "bad links".
You can dance to their tune and try and get some personal reply on google's forums, but you are more than likely not get one.
This will cause more angst.
You may get lucky and google will say your penalty has been lifted, but then you may never see any improvements in your rankings.
More angst.

You may end up giving up altogether, which surely must be what Google are aiming for.
The internet will fall into the hands of the few, who will make the brands and the rules and lord over the internet just as powers have done in most other areas of life.
You'll go back to working for one of those powers, and order will be reestablished in Orwellian fashion.

Google have espoused their mass judgement and it's certainly rough justice they have delivered.
With limited avenue for individual appeal and the stories of recovery, few, let's hope Google are cutting their nose to spite their face.


 4:35 am on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

A friend of mine who has a business of online self-publishing and has suffered from the last Google updates mentioned that, (I quote him):
“Any of the small publishers are reaching the depressing conclusion that they are just as dependent on the monopoly of Google or Amazon as they were on the big trade publishers and bookstore chains ten and twenty years ago. It's sad, when I started the group we all saw ourselves as pioneers of the future of publishing, breaking outside of the established channels. Instead, all we did was contribute to a power shift from the old boss to the new boss. Reminds me of a song from the 60's.”
BTW: There are some good advice here above.


 12:34 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've abandoned sites that were just gonna be more trouble than they were worth. No point beating my head against a wall.

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