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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 :)
|Dude, speak for yourself. It's easier to rank in Google then ever. You just need to know what your doing. |
There's always one!
Dude, speak for yourself. It's easier to rank in Google then ever. You just need to know what your doing.
Excellent! Mind telling us how?
|Excellent! Mind telling us how? |
Create great content of intrinsic value in a non-commercial niche that strangers will find and want to do-follow link to? ;)
|Create great content of intrinsic value in a non-commercial niche that strangers will find and want to do-follow link to? ;) |
Or create great content of intrinsic value, regardless of your niche.
That was a good strategy in the years before Google, and it still makes sense today.
It sounds like a good idea on paper and years ago gaining links was easy as there weren't as many decent websites around! Now you have dozens of good quality sites all writing about the same thing, all as good as each other... Which one do you link to?
What value is there for anyone to create a do follow link to a complete strangers website they just stumbled on in 2014? I struggle to see a single benefit for the linking site to do follow links, I see only risk, why risk your site for a strangers benefit?
Today do follow links are brought, begged and bartered (the 3 b's.... I just made that up) through real life relationships built between webmasters! The days of a random sites that aren't big brands picking up do follow links without any outreach program (like the three b's) are all but done and dusted my friend!
|- Desktop |
If you can take it with you -- It's 'Mobile'.
Google really needs to keep up me thinks ...
|If you can take it with you -- It's 'Mobile' |
The reference was to analytics software, which processes user-agents.
You can take a laptop or netbook with you, but the browser sends the same user-agent as a desktop.
Tablets, phones and others tend to include device-specific identification in the user-agent.
|Google really needs to keep up me thinks |
Webmasters have no such need, presumably.
1) You're not alone. I know a whole slew of information-site owners in my topic area who got whacked by panda. (Some have sites that go back to the 1990s.)
EditorialGuy msg:4599277 Page 1 Post 2 @ 30/Page [webmasterworld.com...]
|Our site is an information site that has been at its current domain since 2001, has unsolicited links from the likes of the BBC and an EU government site, has only professionally-written (usually in-depth) content, has never done anything remotely shady in terms of SEO, and has been slugged or slapped by nearly every panda update since February, 2011. |
EditorialGuy msg:4593037 Page 6 Post 10 @ 30/Page [webmasterworld.com...]
|U.S.-based information site with an international audience, at its current domain for nearly a dozen years and at a previous location for more than 16 years. Hit by Panda 1.0 in February, 2011 and currently down at least 60 percent from 2010 traffic levels despite content growth over the last 2-1/2 years. |
EditorialGuy msg:4594254 Page 8 Post 4 @ 30/Page [webmasterworld.com...]
I'm not sure why you keep saying/thinking things haven't and aren't changing, even though you claim to have great content and freely given authority links, yet simple math and your previous posts tell us even with a 100% increase from Panda 4.0 your Google traffic levels probably still aren't what they were Pre-Panda.
Could you please explain what I'm missing and why you think what didn't work for you is going to work for someone else?
[edited by: JD_Toims at 3:47 pm (utc) on Jul 25, 2014]
My best clients don’t fixate on SEO. They just go about creating unique value for the end user and following all of those web best practices. Funny thing, they’re winning in the SERPs.
Unlike yesteryear, there is no guaranteed success these days. And that’s too bad. I rather liked the early 00’s. These days a profitable website is not a sure thing. It takes smart ideas and real talent or dumb luck. In either case it takes work. The sort of hard work that many SEOs are allergic to [many SEOs grew rather found of 20-30 hour work weeks and mad cash]. This, I believe, is the source of the endless complaining.
|You can take a laptop or netbook with you, but the browser sends the same user-agent as a desktop. |
So Google's Analytics gets it wrong, what, 90% or 100% of the time?
And this coming from a search engine that thinks it knows what you need to find - No wonder search is in the toilet.
There might be something to be said for the blind leading the blind ... doncha think?
If Google can't differentiate between various devices, then they certainly shouldn't be trying to second guess what I might need to find whilst searching ...
Thanks for all the great ideas posted so far, loads of things to be thinking about. But I wonder, for an information site is it really better to (1) focus on improving content despite diminishing traffic levels from google or (2) focus on the traffic generating techniques mentioned, assuming my time is finite and wehave to choose one or the other to devote most of our time to.
I have briefly tried many of the things mentioned but never really done much because it takes time away from content / site management. From all I have seen it is pretty much impossible to generate large volumes of traffic from these techniques for an information site that doesn't lend itself well to building a community (eg sports sites attract communities better than christmas sites because enthusiasts always like to talk about sports).
So my suspicion is that even if search engine traffic continues to fall, as it surely will, it is still a more efficient method of traffic generation than most others, even if it falls by a large percentage.
Of course, it is easy to become 'google free' and get 99% of traffic from elsewhere, but if that means getting 2000 visitors a day instead of 20000 it is not such a great achievement.
Eg facebook posts, even if I have 100 000 fans, will only be seen by 5000 of those, and perhaps 1000 or less will actually visit the site from a post.
I wonder, do many (any) people here really earn a decent income from an info site without depending on visitors from search engines, or on returning visitors who originally found the site through a search engine?
|So Google's Analytics gets it wrong, what, 90% or 100% of the time? |
No, only a special subset of webmasters are capable of such accuracy.
An analytics package might report on browser user-agents like this:
Desktop Browser UA: commonly sent by desktop, laptop and netbook devices
Tablet Browser UA: commonly sent by tablet devices
Mobile Browser UA: commonly sent by phone devices
There may also be an "other" section for browsers on game consoles and sundry devices.
You can, of course, change your browser user-agent to anything you want.
That way you can really "stick it to the man".
|I wonder, do many (any) people here really earn a decent income from an info site without depending on visitors from search engines, or on returning visitors who originally found the site through a search engine? |
Not me, that's for sure.
|Create great content of intrinsic value in a non-commercial niche that strangers will find and want to do-follow link to? ;) |
Just as I thought. So if you have great content of intrinsic value that is in a non-commercial nich that strangers will find and then love it to much they copy it across the net and lower your rankings, then what?
|If you feel that way, then by all means "quit Google." Robots.txt is your friend. |
If you block your site by robots.txt (or by any other means), then scraper sites would benefit from the content they stole from your website. They could even place ads on it and take advantage of your work for free.
|If you block your site by robots.txt (or by any other means), then scraper sites would benefit from the content they stole from your website. |
My comment was addressed to the "organic search is dead" crowd. If you believe, as they do, that Google is going to replace all organic results with AdWords and Knowledge Graph answer boxes, then you can take comfort in your assumption that--like you--the scrapers won't be getting any traffic from Google.
|My comment was addressed to the "organic search is dead" crowd. |
I see dying, but I don't see dead.
Please, let us know how have the last few years treated you...
Is your Google organic traffic in 2014 even at the level it was in 2010?
Please, when you respond, remember your previous posts, but go ahead and factor in the new content you've added since Panda 1.0 that would obviously contribute to your current Google traffic level but did not contribute to the level of Google traffic you had prior to Panda 1.0. (As of a year or so ago, you were down 60% from 2010 even after adding new, compelling, professional content IIRC.)
As of Panda 4.0 you claim to have doubled your Google traffic meaning the 60% or more loss in traffic you experienced in Feb 2011, today is only approx 20% below your where your 2010 Google traffic level was with less content than you have now, so please, let us all know what your efforts and "playing by the rules" have netted you in overall organic traffic level from Google when you compare 2010 to 2014. (Yes, the info/stats I asked for should be *heavily* skewed in your favor if you've really added compelling, original, link worthy content for over 3 years now and "playing by the rules" really works.)
JD_Toims, this thread isn't about me, it's about the people who want to "quit Google." Still, if you insist:
It's difficult to make an meaningful comparison of our traffic today with our traffic four years ago, because we've both removed and added content since then. (Large swaths of the site have been deleted because we've chosen to focus on the niches and types of content that interest us the most and that aren't a burden to maintain.)
Suffice it to say that our overall traffic is down slightly from the pre-Panda era (see reasons above), but traffic for the most profitable section of our site has climbed 38 percent. What's more, our overall trend is upward in terms of Google organic traffic, traffic from other sources, and revenue.
Like Google, we believe that serving the user is the most productive strategy over the long haul. If people want to fantasize that Google organic traffic is dead and dying, they're welcome to do so, but I think it's more likely that the practice of relying on SEO at the expense of content is dead, dying, or at least sicklier than it has been in the past.
Thank you for answering honestly, because my questions [believe it or not] were honest.
|Like Google, we believe that serving the user is the most productive strategy over the long haul. |
I don't disagree, but here's my point:
In 2010 you admittedly had more traffic overall than you have today. Regardless of adding, deleting, upgrading pages, between 2010 and today, your results "following the old way", and "following the rules" Google outlines [I believe you do] are negative between 2010 and 2014 in organic results.
There are only two logical conclusions I can find:
1.) You don't really follow the rules, so you do not enjoy the traffic you once did.
2.) Following the rules doesn't generate the traffic it used to.
If you can find or know something better, please, share it, because according to your posts you have seen a number of tenured informational sites drop in the rankings and/or traffic [including yours], plus your traffic [even "following the rules" and doing your best] is still below 2010 levels, so how you cannot see a change on Google's end and a change in what type/level of traffic SERP positioning makes is beyond me.
Your statements about adding/deleting content, to me, indicate you have absolutely made an effort to improve your site, yet the bottom line of all the effort you made is less organic traffic today than you enjoyed a few years ago -- How is it possible you made an effort to improve [and likely did], yet have less traffic today than you did years ago, unless something fundamental changed at Google?
I can't figure it out -- To me, either you don't get as much traffic by doing things "the right way" and ranking highly due to ads, noise, shiny stuff, etc. at the top of the SERPs today as you did yesterday [indicative of "shiny stuff" distracting people from clicking on your site]; or you're really not doing things the right way [I don't believe you're lying].
I believe the former to be true, but if you think I'm wrong, even though your traffic now after making an effort to ensure "things were right" on your site over a 3+ year period of time, please, tell me how you're wrong about what you present on your site and what mistakes you made, so I can stop thinking it's Google's algo and SERPs that have "pushed down" quality sites so they generate traffic at lower levels than they did a few years ago.
[edited by: JD_Toims at 3:55 am (utc) on Jul 26, 2014]
If I was Google SEO (I may still be ;), my goal would be to provide the best user experience possible. That (ultimately) means that I want all users to stay on google.com and get all their answers and information with one click/request without leaving the site.
The only exception - they can leave by clicking on a relevant ad (if the information/answer I offer them is not good or complete enough).
As a user - I like this ultimate experience. As a webmaster, it's probably the opposite.
@jd_toims, there is perhaps one part of the equation that you are overlooking. Certainly the english language version of our oldest site has about 20% less google sourced visitors than in 2010, but in truth that can be attributed to many things, including google efforts to improve their results.
As example, we previously had site sections that most definitely received many more visitors than they should have eg thousands of visitors a day for a poor quality recipes section, thousands a day rom a single photo of a dolphin I bought for 1 euro...
As we all know a few years ago it was easier to rank a page with a bit of on page and off page SEO, whether the page deserved to rank or not. So we can't really complain when that possibility is taken away.
My point isn't that KG and ads, brand boosting and flawed panda/ penguin updates don't reduce search traffic for many of us, because they surely do, and IMO often unfairly, but that it is very difficult to accurately compare traffic across such a long period when so many other things have changed in the meantime, sites have been restructured, and so many new sites have been created that compete with parts of our own sites.
The "Let's All Quit" aspect of the thread title is somewhat ironic. Some are in denial and have quit without even realizing it.
It's really two camps in my mind. If you're already established with your site, then terrific. Attempting to break into this era of the scrape as a start up is another thing all together. If I'm looking at this with a new project, yes the points made and the "traditional" business building concepts make sense. That's because the free lunch era is over until people start getting restless about their content being used against them (answer box).
On a side note, this thread and others in the recent past as more than ever, painting a picture of the webmaster mindset. It's like a wave of pessimism that is ultimately drowning out the optimistic. I always think these things eventually take care of themselves. I'm neutral, but I'll call things as I see them. I've said it a few times lately but there will always be mayors, president, rock stars and models. There will always be millionaires but I think for most, being realistic is key. Believe what you want to believe.
I'm not a veteran, but I've been mulling around for a while. No question this is the most turmoil I've seen from the webmaster community. Dare I say it's in shambles? That isn't to say I don't enjoy reading, I do enjoy reading everyone's take on the current Google SEO landscape.
|Following the rules doesn't generate the traffic it used to. |
Exactly! I have always followed the rules as Google has set forth since my site began in 1994. I even skipped all of the shady SEO practices and had quality links an no spamming. In fact, my content was so popular that it has been copied across the internet. I'm not talking about scrapers here - although there certainly has been some scraping - I'm talking about people in my niche copying and pasting the content in their blogs because they like it. This fact has come against me now because Google no longer cares what the original content is - or their algorithms are not good enough to detect it any longer. If Google truly cared, they would honor our DMCA removal requests. Because they reject them all, we have no chance of recovering because of duplicate content penalties. We are asking for a little respect here. That's not asking too much.
My first experience with Google, was them sending me videos of my websites exploding, I suppose to show me that I didn't know what I was doing. Google sent me these videos for a Christmas present, has this ever happened to anyone? I can still see in my mind's eye the websites blowing up and burning.
My second experience was being scammed out of $600.00 from a Google Ad Words specialist, Google would do nothing about it. Every website that has taken my money has came from Google's search engine. I have received some value over the years, but mostly I've learned a lesson not to do that again.
My children laugh at me for being scammed out of thousands of dollars in my efforts to help people online. I've always been one step behind and one dollar short. At least, I can look in the mirror and know I've never taken money from people for nothing.
Google will take my money for advertising my websites as long as it meets their quality guidelines, even when they know; I have no chance of getting a return on investment. Most authority websites will take my money for nothing too. Some people in these forums will take my money for nothing.
I now realize poor people are what is called, "spam". I now realize "SEO experts", these days can't predict what Google will do any more than I can. Google eats everyone's lunch, because they don't have to prove anything and that's the same as SEO experts. I feel sorry for all of the young people coming up behind us, because most of them will have a fruitless road to travel. I wish I could warn them, but Google will never show them what I intend for them to know.
Free lunch is over for some, never got started for others, others are running from the giant Google lunch eater and soon to be eaten. Yes the gold rush is over and the gold is gone, all that is left behind is the gold fever hangover. Many webmasters got to cross over to the other side and I congratulate them. I'm sincerely happy for them, some of them have my money. Most of the winners and losers have been made, but maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the losers?
People must realize it takes real money to start a business online these days and lot's of it to become successful. The days of starting on a shoe string budget are over for now. Companies spend millions of dollars for a single domain name and millions of dollars to build a single website. How can anyone compete with that?
Go out into the real world and create, invent and imagine your business into reality by getting one customer at a time. Find solutions to problems in the real offline world as the world is full of problems. Get phone numbers, email addresses and connect with real offline people first, then bring your business online if it makes sense.
I've been scammed online from the big name companies and by them cold calling me first promising me some gold nuggets. I should have known Google has all of the gold nuggets inside of their index because that's how search works.
[edited by: TapFam at 11:05 am (utc) on Jul 26, 2014]
|I file DMCA removal requests and Google denies them |
If I understand the law correctly, that means you can then sue Google for the breach of copyright?
|Eg facebook posts, even if I have 100 000 fans, will only be seen by 5000 of those, and perhaps 1000 or less will actually visit the site from a post. |
Facebook fans are very low value. People follow a lot of stuff they are not really interested in and Facebook does not want commercial posts other than paid ads taking up too much space.
|How is it possible you made an effort to improve [and likely did], yet have less traffic today than you did years ago, unless something fundamental changed at Google? |
As I said, we have fewer pages than we did years ago. That's one pretty good reason. Sites evolve, and smart publishers learn to be more efficient.
Also, we're talking about trends: ("Google organic traffic is dying" vs. "Google organic traffic is not dying.") When our Google organic traffic graph is climbing and average search rankings increase from week to week, that's hardly evidence that "Google organic traffic is dying." And whatever Google may have done in 2011 isn't really relevant to what Google is doing today.
Google organic traffic may be dying for some people, but it isn't dying for everyone. And just because misery loves company doesn't mean everyone should "quit" a potential source of traffic that's used by nearly two billion searchers a day.
You’re a smart publisher; therefore you publish fewer pages... to receive less traffic(?)
That sure as heck doesn’t make sense to me.
Google has been talking about some of the changes that are in the works for some time. For example, Matt Cutts has talked repeatedly about placing more emphasis on subject authority or expertise, and the authorship project sends a message about credibility and accountability.
It's easy (and, for some people, cathartic) to dismiss such things as "Google propaganda" or to simply ignore them, but for those who listen, there are lessons to be learned.
|You’re a smart publisher; therefore you publish fewer pages... to receive less traffic(?) |
That sure as heck doesn’t make sense to me.
Not all pageviews are equally valuable (we earn far more money on some parts of our site than on others), and a publisher also needs to consider the time, bother, and/or cost of maintaining things like directory pages.
It's like anything else: If you're a chef in a restaurant and only 1 in 200 diners orders the sweetbreads in sea-urchin sauce, you'll probably take that dish off the menu unless you think the dish is important enough to justify stocking the ingredients and training new staff in how to prepare sweetbreads in sea-urchin sauce.
Edited to add:
Let's tie the question above (and my answer) into the topic at hand.
An SEO-driven publishing approach goes something like, "Let's make a list of keywords, crank out a bunch of pages based on those keywords, and populate the pages with filler material." (This could be called a "quantity over quality" strategy.)
An editorially-driven publishing approach goes something like: "Let's figure out what we should cover (or want to cover, or need to cover) and write pages that will be useful to readers." (This is a "quality over quantity" strategy.)
In the past, Google happily served up SEO-driven pages regardless of how much or how little useful content was on the page. (Think Wikipedia stubs or CNet and TripAdvisor pages with invitations to "Write a review.") Panda 1.0 was, in large part, a reaction to the excesses of SEOs and content farms. Today, Google is telling site owners that real content matters, and that things like subject expertise and author credibility are going to become more important in the months and years ahead. Whether that's good news or bad news is up to you.
I am in the business to make money thus I presume I have a money-driven publishing approach...Or perhaps it is plain and simple a combination/mixture of your SEO-driven publishing approach AND your editorially-driven publishing approach.
What you call “time, bother, and/or cost of maintaining things” I call salaries and that doesn’t increase if we publish more pages.
As such we easily publish new pages on a daily/weekly basis. And, with each new page we not only get more traffic, but most importantly, we also make more money!
|When our Google organic traffic graph is climbing and average search rankings increase from week to week, that's hardly evidence that "Google organic traffic is dying." |
I think the point of this discussion is that you can have your 'organic traffic graph' and 'average search rankings' increased to the record levels, but it doesn't mean you will have more visitors who actually visit your site. Unless your goal is to (technically) rank higher and have fewer and fewer visitors in return.
[edited by: Selen at 5:11 pm (utc) on Jul 26, 2014]
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