seanpecor - 6:46 pm on May 29, 2008 (gmt 0) Lately I'm concentrating my energies on adding more social currency models to my resource sites ("Ask the Pros" type stuff, along with nice features like intern recruitment brokerages for specific industries that are free to use for colleges and universities, and vendors). Sean
Prior to my ban I was doing very, very well with traffic and inbounds. On my flagship site, I had 10,000+ good inbounds from professional vendor sites. And those were inbounds I didn't pay for, nor did I ever require a link back to my site in order to be included in the resource. Alexa.com ranking was 14,000 which for a niche vendor directory was pretty darn good. An order of magnitude better than my closest competitor. In fact, I made the difficult decision after the original -60 penalty to split that flagship site into 9 individual category sites (the flagship had 9 vendor categories, each in the I.T. and Marketing fields but with very little consultative overlap). I thought that perhaps Google thought the original site had grown too large and vague contextually and applied an automated penalty. In some ways I regret making this change, because I was in effect sacrificing my authority with Yahoo and MSN. But overall each site is stronger and more useful to both vendors and consumers. After 8 months I'm doing better with Yahoo and MSN than I ever have so I'm pleased with the outcome. One step backward, two steps forward, as the saying goes. With the Google ban still in place, I've still got a ways to go to grow back my original traffic levels. But I'll get there. I'll tell you that the ban hurt more than just my own business income. The ban literally sent a ripple through multiple industries. I had advertisers who for years grew to rely on my flagship site for a majority of their leads. PR firms, photographers, web firms, across the country had to downsize not long after my site traffic dropped 80%. My conservative estimate was that about 1,000 people across the country lost their jobs because of my ban. I'm not kidding. That's an icky feeling.
Lately I'm concentrating my energies on adding more social currency models to my resource sites ("Ask the Pros" type stuff, along with nice features like intern recruitment brokerages for specific industries that are free to use for colleges and universities, and vendors).