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|Impossible to Rank in Google Anymore, Let's All Quit|
The times have changed and Google is to blame. It is impossible to rank in Google anymore, just ask the website that is ranking above you and they will agree.
The results on Google are just horrible and I can prove it by looking at Google's market share. Consumers are so upset with Google's unhelpful results that their market share has plummeted in the US to a record high of 68% and about 90% in many international markets.
Clearly Google is not a winning option for any website. That is why we should all cut our losses and quit this big waste of time called Google.
How are you going to spend your time after quitting Google?
- Press releases designed to attract media coverage & not spammy backlinks
- Participating in relevant industry forums
- Speaking at relevant seminars and conferences
- Partnering with websites that have complimentary audiences to exchange real traffic
- Publishing & selling products via Amazon
- Build up email newsletter following
- Recruiting popular bloggers to be your brand ambassadors
- Partnering with brick & mortar operations
Google is so silly & confused they won't even realize that we have stopped begging like a whiny baby for their free traffic and made a real brand through actual marketing efforts.
What are we waiting for? Let's all quit Google! Since I am a gentleman I will be nice enough to let my competition quit first :)
|How are you going to spend your time after quitting Google? |
Worst case scenario, I'm a pretty good cook.
How are you going to spend your time after quitting Google?
Being a lone webmaster my life is totally f'ed up at the moment. I got stuck in a town that I absolutely dislike. Not met any nice people and no longer trying. 2 more months and my rental contract is up. On the plus side I have been working solid and am f i n a l y seeing some improvement in google rankings.
On my time off I have been watching some American tv show called survivor and was checking the French Polynesia episodes. Amazing looking place with unspoiled nature and they were just finding food with next to no skills. Whilst I might not be moving to French Polynesia tho it is in the EU I am still looking into that land purchase. I have recently being thinking about a 17 hectare property in Portugal with a small reservoir and really rough land. Perhaps I will go for this one. Working out how to hold the water and improve the ecosystem. Possible tourist income options sleeping in Tipi, earthship etc. Teaching survival skills like making fire, wild foods etc. Selling heirloom seeds, organic foods etc. Getting cool people to come and help/ set up their home on a section of the property. Later buy more land and help people set up new way of life.
Mind you I probably will not be completely quitting google as the web can definately be important to help make this idea work and to share my acheivments. To be sure I really need to get something happening in this area, find my beloved and look to the rain Gods for support. The discounted Pizza is getting really old.
Had to read the OP and all of the following twice to let the subject set in. Saw a bit of tongue-in-cheek in my first read but there is a level of sobriety in it all and my conclusion is, it's about time for a discussion like this.
SEO has always just been a part of what should have always been a larger marketing discussion. Regardless of what happens after you "quit" Google (and providing you still have an objective to achieve on the web), marketing will remain the real topic. Perhaps some will remember that face-to-face marketing is an incredible means to building trust and loyalty in a customer base. Others will spend more time working with Social Media or collaborating with their industry peers. Who knows what combination of activities will work best for you.
I've taken two hard rides on the Google rollercoaster in the last year but the second shows that diversifying my traffic sources between the valleys has made my operation more resilient the second time around. I find myself less worried about the future this time and at ease with the idea of living without Google, permanently if that's the way the cookie crumbles.
Quit? Some might call it being ejected but the reality is that quit is a perfect word. To me, it means abandoning a feeling of need and embracing a constantly evolving and diverse set of possibilities. There's something liberating about knowing that Google can only wipe out 10% of my traffic on a whim. Much different that fearing the destruction of my entire empire in a bottle with one good crack on the rocky shores of Google.
I'll just ad that Google has been reacting and or projecting based on the evolution of the Internet all this time. It gave rise to the SEO wars of our day. We gave it something to react to. Perhaps the best signal you can send Google these days is
"Look at how much traffic comes to my site, stays there, buys there and returns again and again, all without any help from you...people like my website, not because you said it's the number one answer their question but because they found it to be what they wanted".
See all the fabulous suggestions above for ways to accomplish that SEO goal. IMHO, there's no reason the SEO discussion can't continue but I think we need to all recognize that we are in charge of our own credibility and when that credibility is real, it may just be the best SEO tool there ever was.
Here is an option tho, perhaps there is someone out there who can make it happen.
I had this idea and think it could be a very successful site but almost certainly cannot make it happen myself.
The idea is along the lines of the something quite old school on the web albeit much more advanced. There used to be these webrings where webmasters would put a bit of code at the bottom of their page and it would create links to the next and previous site in a ring. A ring would be based on a subject and all the sites in the ring would be approved by the ring master. Sites could get traffic from other sites in the ring and give traffic to same. My idea is of a servive designed to provide 5 or 10 links to be placed near the bottom of a webpage. It could be a iframe. The layout would be customisable to match the site. A bot would visit the page and work out what the content is and match links to related resources on other sites. Visitors could then visit those sites and the traffic in and out would be tracked so that people would get visitors in proportion to the ones they sent. The system could measure if people click the back button and there could be rating system so users could say yup this link was great or no not useful and the webmaster could remove any links they didn't like and tweak the algorithm variously. It kind of would be like taking search and putting it back into the old webring or links exchange. This is just an outline but the idea is fresh in my mind so it could get better. If anyone uses this idea do please contact me for further help and to send me a commission.
[edited by: iammeiamfree at 2:02 pm (utc) on Jul 23, 2014]
Webrings were (and still are) a great concept (particularly when they connect quality sites gathered around a specific topic). There are a lot of options for implementing them these days beyond the traditional webring layout/structure. I like to think more in terms of webnets which might actually venture closer to the "linkfarm" or "hub" concept. The caveat is that you need quality, not spam to really make it work. E.G. control the quality of information so you can develop a loyal base and keep them coming back on their own or through referral. Like anything these days, it needs to be able to stand on it's own merits and not depend solely on what Google thinks of it.
I did have a look around and I couldn't find anything near like what I just outlined but someone was saying that the webring was the main way they found Amiga sites before search came on board. Mostly I found old webrings 10 or more years old and then there was a by page service to exchange links but that was intended just for seo rather than actually helping visitors find more related resources.
|I have recently being thinking about a 17 hectare property in Portugal |
Well. Just an option I suppose but it would depend on the land which I only saw photos. With the right land it could be good there or someplace else. I kind of like the idea of some really rough land that nobody else sees value in and making it come alive. I could go someplace else but Portugal is preety good for Europe. Climate is warm, food is relatively good, quite relaxed atmosphere, relatively afordable, some nice people around. Good possibilities for making income from tourists. It is quite beautiful in the winter, the wild flowers, the wind, the rain. These lands were originally deforested to build the ships for exploration of the world and still needs to be repaired. Interesting question. I really need to give it a lot of thought.
Some people don't recognize tongue-in-cheek link bait when they see it, so for those who want a serious answer, here goes:
"Quit" Google? Why? If you're no longer getting organic traffic from Google Search, dumping Google isn't a solution, because Google has already dumped you.
So how do you get traffic from Google after you've lost favor with its organic-search algorithm? I can think of two obvious possibilities:
1) If you have an e-commerce site, learn how to buy and use advertising.
2) If you have an information site, replace your SEO-driven fluff with genuinely useful content. After all, Google Search exists to help users find things, not to help you earn money by targeting keywords for fun and profit.
|How are you going to spend your time after quitting Google? |
I've no intention of quitting Google because, as webcentric correctly states:
|marketing will remain the real topic. |
That's all Google has ever been for me, just like Yahoo! was, just like Altavista was, like Search Spaniel et al.
It's just part of an overall marketing strategy we have been following for the past 20 years, well nearly 20 years, 1995 was the deciding factor when Win95 was introduced and we went from a mere web presence to an all-out effort to get customers converted to the company's new way of doing things.
|Perhaps some will remember that face-to-face marketing is an incredible means to building trust and loyalty in a customer base. |
Yep, this next four years will see us at more global fairs on a regular basis than we have ever done in the last 40 years but maybe that's where I may differ to many others here, I do have real world products that are produced in my own factories.
|Recruiting popular bloggers to be your brand ambassadors |
That is a good point. My own process is called Cultivating Evangelists. The pool of evangelists goes beyond bloggers.
|Speaking at relevant seminars and conferences |
That's an excellent point and I will expand on it. From my experience attending (non-SEO) industry conferences, you can promote your site without speaking at those events. Exhibitors typically are a mix of retailers and news type destination sites. Both have needs you can fill and vice-versa. It's important to be at your best for socializing and to be prepared with business cards. A really nice business card.
From what I understand, French Polynesia is an incredibly expensive place to live.
Also, if you think the pizza is bad where you live now...
Perhaps I might cancel my subscription to WebmasterWorld. That might be a start. Now the Google apologists might claim it is fine for Google to replace SERPs with their own disguised adverts and Wikipedia scraped "knowledge" graph but for most webmasters who aren't slurping the Google koolaid, Google is rapidly becoming a hostile competitor that scrapes content so that it can plaster it with adverts with rapidly decreasing economic benefits for the scrapee. Google is trying to take the high value keyword advertising for itself and it won't be long before it moves on to devour the medium tail searches. You've really got to wonder at the limitations of the process that scrapes Wikipedia for a "knowledge" graph and then puts the Wikipedia link at the top of the SERPs. But then Google has learned from the Content Farms and has become one itself. It doesn't actually produce content itself but merely scrapes that of others.
Perhaps the best advice would have been that offered by others in the thread - build an audience. A more extreme form of this process would be to deepsix every Google attempt to scrape deeper than the front page and drop all Google products such as Google Analytics and Adsense. To put it very simply: Build websites for your users rather than maggots (scrapers), crawlers and bots. People use websites. They are the ones who buy your products and services.
Given the tongue-in-cheek nature of the title of this thread, I'd like to offer another title...
"Impossible to find the Results in Google Anymore, Let's All Quit"
Who cares about ranking if you can't find the results? Ranking will probably always have a value but if it comes down to satisfying your audience vs satisfying Google, I suggest that the former is the better long-term strategy. Put the SERPs in their proper place in your overall marketing strategy (e.g. not 100% of your strategy but a reasonable fraction thereof) and you don't have to quit Google. You can just quit worrying about its potential to devastate you at a moment's notice.
|Webrings were (and still are) a great concept (particularly when they connect quality sites gathered around a specific topic). |
Aren't webrings the textbook example of either/or? You can either be in webrings, or you can have search engines think well of you, but not both.
Do ordinary humans still know what a webring is?
Funny after reading the above comments no one has mentioned the blackhat SEO methods that are still being used - and allowed to place first page and often first spot on Google, you would think after all these years, Google would have came up with a bot that can weed out invisible text. Sure you can report them when you find it, but that seems to me a bit 90ish. Today while surfing, I came across a website placing first place for many terms using invisible text, its 2014, really Google?
|To put it very simply: Build websites for your users rather than maggots (scrapers), crawlers and bots. |
Nothing new there. Google has been saying for years that you should build sites for users, not for search engines. That's good common-sense advice, no matter who's offering it.
I have found hundreds of poorly designed and written websites rank far ahead of better built websites. While I agree that quality content is best, I must disagree that quality content and design will get you listed better over poor websites. Just isn't true.
I want to go back to this point posted by Netmeg
|direct mail (still works ... |
I suppose it depends on what type of site you have info vs ecomm etc.
But direct mail needn't be all too expensive.
A simple postcard sent to the right person can result in both a good link and a bunch of repeat visitors/business.
A huge part of this is starting with a good list, and hopefully you've built that up over the years.
Some of us have been saying that since before Google was even developed.
|Nothing new there. Google has been saying for years that you should build sites for users, not for search engines. That's good common-sense advice, no matter who's offering it. |
Do you have to bring your adulation of Google into every post?
|brotherhood of LAN|
Please, no pro/anti Google diversion/discussion. Thanks.
Remember the scene in 'Dead Poets Society' where Robin Williams tears out the introduction to a book of poetry that talked about how "good" a poem was and how its quality could be measured using a set of metrics? Well that's the problem with Search at the moment. Quality is a human issue.
|I have found hundreds of poorly designed and written websites rank far ahead of better built websites. While I agree that quality content is best, I must disagree that quality content and design will get you listed better over poor websites. Just isn't true. |
Perhaps after the Google, I might set about taking some of my country's Search business back from Google with a superior search engine with fresher and better content. After the fudbuddy fest about "unnatural" links, website owners are scared about linking to other sites. And if websites are scared about linking to other websites and no longer link, doesn't that create a bit of an existential problem for a search engine that largely relies on blind crawling to discover new websites?
There might be an opportunity for a pile of new search engines. Anyone want to buy a search engine index? :)
[edited by: jmccormac at 8:08 pm (utc) on Jul 23, 2014]
|If you have an information site, replace your SEO-driven fluff with genuinely useful content. After all, Google Search exists to help users find things, not to help you earn money by targeting keywords for fun and profit. |
I have never engaged in SEO or targeted keywords. I've always written for my visitors, I'd feel dirty otherwise.
I do actually think compared to 5 years ago the SERPS are greatly improved. They've got rid of the crappy sites with user submitted articles that tell you nothing about the topic at hand. Last year there was so much weight on branded sites, even if their content was thinner, it outranked lesser known (but better) sites. The branded sites dial seemed to be turned down for the better. But I still don't think that it is as simple as quality content written for your audience. Some of us have always done that.
I don't know what the solution is. I'm not here to bash Google, but I am very scared. It is my income. I have tried to diversify, use social media etc., but it's not been particularly successful. I do think Google will continue to take more and more of the pie for themselves. I wonder if there will come a point when it's not worth it to some webmasters to continue on. If I am going to work 8 hours a day, I don't want Google to just take my content and use it for free.
I haven't posted here on WebmasterWorld in quite some time but this discussion was one I wanted to enter, so thank you for starting it. :)
Before I say what I think, let me give you a little background. I've worked in our industry for quite some time. I've abused all of the major search engines when it was appropriate to do so towards my and my client's business goals. Many of them no longer exist in their old form and some of them don't even exist in name anymore. I still miss the Norwegian Fast engine but can happily live without many of it's predecessors and contemporaries.
I've also taken direct payment from many of the major search engines at one time or another. Often for their own requirements in abusing another engine's algo.
I've gamed the system to rank #1 and often #1 to #10; for everything from "underpants to pull in, whether you're after a girl or a guy" , "poker", "payday loans", "mortgages" and and a myriad of every other widget phrases, whether they be red, green, yellow or often polka dot in colour.
All the while though the core fundamental wasn't about getting a ranking. It wasn't about being #1.
The rankings we chased were simply markers to our ultimate goal, metrics to measure against.
#*$!..... I didn't even care about the sales. The only stat that matters was the one the ATM told me - How much money do I have?
For most clients, their ultimate goal was very similar. It just happened to be that money meant sales and sales meant rankings....and dependant on when they wanted these rankings that often meant rankings meant links, content, both or a manipulation of one kind of another.
The rare times when rankings weren't to increase sales it was all about presence and part of the larger game of IPO and perception of importance in a brand. There were also some time, and I am talking soon after the turn of the century here, that negative aspects were the goal, again for stock market and share price reasons....
If you knew a company got a load of its sales via direct SE referral and you could effect that, then surely it would be a worth shorting them prior to their quarterly numbers?
Anyway, I digress....
The reason for the waffling, rabbling trip down memory lane is that it didn't matter what the search engine was who was "King" or "Queen" every ranking that came (and many that didn't) were simply a guide to the only stat that mattered. Yup, it's the ATM machine number again.....
Every SEO campaign that was thought about was simply a channel to try and get that ATM magic number higher. It was rarely the only channel but normally it was highly prized and had more focus than other channels, purely because the RoI was much, much higher.
IE - If we asked the simple question, "Where does spending a buck get most bucks back?" The answer kept being Search, search, search and search.
But.... that doesn't mean that once you get the visit you wanted the sale and that was it.... SPAM was fine to get the rankings, but what if you could turn those rankings you earned through abusing this 3rd party's web site algo, into a long term customer - We call this conversion optimisation now but but then it was simply thought of as common sense.
Common sense hasn't gone away and never will. People who run sites now just may not be in the position to gain a ranking like they used to be able to. That's not new. Many years ago, people couldn't rank in Google but they had an easy time on Excite.
Things change. People change. Algos change (although not that much for quite some time) but the metric that matters hasn't....
The ATM machine algo...The only stat that matters.
I haven't directly tried to rank a site for quite some time. I've advised others and helped them move their own rankings but ask yourself this. if the leading search engine wasn't there what would happen?
Well lots of people would say Social - I'd say BS, but that wouldn't stop people saying it.
Lots of people would say email - I'd say yes, but no, but yes but no...
Lots of people would say - PPC
Lots of people would say - Media buys
Lots of people would say - phone calls
Lots of people would say - snail mail
Lots of people would say - Conversion Optimisation
Lots of people would say - SMS marketing
Lots of people would say - word of mouth
Lots of people would say - tv
Lots of people would say - radio
Lots of people would say lots and lots and lots of things.
And all of them would be right.
But they'd also be wrong, because when all is said and done, nothing has changed. People buy from people. People buy from people who understand them and People buy from people they are comfortable with.
Quite simply, to hit the "Only Stat that matters, the ATM algo" you need to understand your prospect, every single fu**ing one of them, You need to treat them as the person they are and you need to hit them with the right way to speak to them.
I spoke completely differently to my (now dead) grandmother than I did with work colleagues. I speak differently to my kids than I do to my pals.
I don't speak "wrongly" with any of them, but I do communicate in different ways - Once that has been understood and once that can be accomplished via the right channel as efficiently (and hopefully) automatically as possible, it's about scale... Turn the knob to volume and see the ATM tell you how successful you are.
It seems spam hasn't gone away and for many search engines, of whatever name, haven't either but sometimes the methods do...
Let me leave you with one little, let's call it hypothetical, anecdote....
I was asked once, "if you could get lots and lots and lots of traffic on command and demand, what would be the one thing you would do?"
I thought long and hard to that question and my answer was simple, "For them to come back,and keep coming back to me again. The problem with spam, especially in the click pimping days, was to get someone in and out as speedily as possible.
My answer took a while to deliver the theoretical answer. The answer was to adapt what the searcher asked the search engine for.
In these instances it meant the user, on their 1st visit to Site A (our site) would request the search engine to only show them results in a language that was not their own - let's say Swahili. If that user continued to search in their normal language (let's say English) then the search engine would only try to show Swahili language sites with the English language search term on the page.
It meant that the competition was waayyyyyyy smaller and the only results in the SERPs the visitor understood were your one. You can imagine the CTR!
Now I am not saying I did or did not do the above, but it was very possible to accomplish (not so easy or even possible now) and i know it worked to deliver constant repeat visits for ever and a day to some sites.
In summary. Do what works, do what works well and make sure you do it in a manner that means the person will keep on coming back to you, Generally this means thinking not of Google or any other search engine but it does mean thinking of the consumer as the person they are, not the search engine referal you are likely thinking of them at the moment.
The irony? Delivering visitors what they want and building an experience that is excellent for them as an individual...... I'm sure I've read almost exactly that mantra from Google themselves as to how to rank......
|Some of us have been saying that since before Google was even developed. |
Yes, and I'm one of them. As I said, that's good common-sense advice no matter who's offering it. It's a strategy that worked pretty well in the days of Infoseek, Altavista, and Hotbot, and it still makes sense in the era of Google, Bing, and Yandex.
Something else to think about: Search engines aren't standing still, and SEO techniques that may have worked two years ago (or that may even be working now) will seem as laughable as doorway pages and keyword-stuffed alt text in the not-too-distant future. If you're unable or unwilling to deliver the intrinsically-useful content that search engines and searchers want, then maybe it's time not just to "quit Google," but to find another line of work.
+EditorialGuy - The problem now is that even if you have great content, it's a crap shoot. For me, all the scrapers and copiers rank higher than my own site. This is proof to me that Google's algorithm is sorely lacking. Now I'm left to submit DMCA copyright removal requests to Google and have them deny the requests. I don't think they really care about original content anymore.
|The problem now is that even if you have great content, it's a crap shoot. |
Please, don't go confusing people who haven't been affect yet or really "don't get" what's happening with the facts. It's just plain mean spirited! LOL
I know *exactly* what you're talking about -- When researching a site that wasn't getting the traffic it used to I found a page that historically ranked in the top 3 which was duplicated on a forum over 5 years after the original was posted --The page content was reposted verbatim on the forum-- and the repost replaced the original in the results.
Great content, much as people who haven't been affected by scraping and duplication replacing them isn't the "be-all; end-all" it's often touted as by those people.
When a page is duplicated *years* after it's posted, spidered, indexed, ranked, etc. and subsequently replaced in one of the top 3 spots for a number of phrases by an exact duplicate of the content, it's not because the content is "bad" on "not compelling" or "not useful" or "not what the searcher was looking for" or anything along those lines -- If the content were really the problem neither the original nor the copy would rank highly.
Those who haven't experienced it yet, imo, should talk about being lucky rather than shouting "follow me" and doubting everyone who has posted about differing experiences over the last couple/few years, because those who have experienced rankings being replaced by their own content, which is stolen and posted on another site(s) far outnumber those who haven't been affected based on what I've seen, read and heard.
[edited by: JD_Toims at 2:41 am (utc) on Jul 24, 2014]
Thanks JasonD for that awesome post.
|The ATM machine algo...The only stat that matters. |
|I don't think they really care about original content anymore. |
If you feel that way, then by all means "quit Google." Robots.txt is your friend.
If you feel that way, then by all means "quit Google."
|I don't think they really care about original content anymore. |
Or maybe exploring reality to see if your statement is true based on the posts here over the last few years is a better idea, even as much as some people keep trying to deny what's going on since it hasn't become an issue for them, yet...
| This 138 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 138 ( 1  3 4 5 ) > > |