iamlost - 3:23 am on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)
I enjoyed the OP; thanks, travelin cat.
Given the mindset of many in this thread I have to wonder how many actually have run a B&M business or truly think of their website as a business? How many can in three sentences or less articulate their business model, similarly their revenue model? Within 10-seconds of being asked.
I know from reading here and elsewhere that many consider the following as a good long term business plan: 80%+ traffic via Google Search, 80%+ revenue via Google AdSense, 80%+ metrics via Google Analytics (other 15-20% via Google Webmaster Tools, Google Trends, Google Insights for Search, etc.). Frankly folks, that says that not only are you in a one company town you are working for the company.
Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Many many webdevs have got rich off the Google Machine. But the sense of shock or abridged entitlement that permeates posts both in this thread and over the years in many others would be amusing if it were not for the underlying anguish.
I grew up in the Canadian north, one company towns are not a new concept, nor is the shock of residents when the employer, i.e. mine, mill, shuts down. In almost every instance it should not have been a surprise, often a mine would open with the understanding that it had a life of 20, 30, 50 years; yet when the one or two year notice of closure would come the response would be nearly identical to posts in this thread.
I am an older fellow who has been involved in several B&M businesses as employee, manager, or owner. Perhaps that has helped since I moved online. Regardless, I listened to many WebmasterWorld members who advised diversification of traffic and revenue (which reinforced my own notion but added a web slant), to incrediBILL who advised and provided (between the lines) the basics for whitelisting and bot bouncing that minimised scraped duplicate content, etc. and ad infinitum. There is wisdom in this place for those who are willing to partake. Thank you one and all.
The Internet is more than the World Wide Web, the Web is more than Search, Search is more than Google... indeed a cogent case can be made that Google is a (major) minority of search; just because you and those you know get 70-80-90-100% of your optimised for Google traffic from Google does not mean that everyone else does or even that most do.
Yes, Google is an easy (relatively) traffic default; yes, AdSense is an easy revenue default; yes, Google supplied metrics are an easy analysis default... BUT... why in heavens name would one base a (long term) business on the exact same defaults as everyone else?
travelin cat did so; travelin cat long recognised the potential pitfall; travelin cat worried unto obsession; travelin cat tripped into a relatively small pit and decided to get out; travelin cat was fortunate to apparently get out well. And, it must also be said, that travelin cat apparently did very well over the years courtesy of Google.
To those that stay in the game please remember the statistics:
* for every page that Google returns for a query there are several hundred others that are almost as good and thousands to millions of others that Google could promote out of quasi-supplemental index if it decided. There are few 'givens' for small-medium enterprises in search results and a hades lot of competition ready to replace each. You need to earn each result placement anew every query.
* given the size of the Google data set every algo change is going to adversely affect a significant absolute number (if fractional percentage) of sites undeserving the hit. And similarly miss a significant absolute number (if fractional percentage) of targeted sites deserving of being hit.
I get 20-25% of my traffic via Google and 20% of my income via AdSense. I truly appreciate Google. However, I also do not partake of all that they offer nor base my entire business future on them. It would be sooo easy to do so, just not wise.
Note: less you think that my Google traffic is low because Google doesn't love me, not so. My sites have seen a steady increase in Google traffic for a decade. However I have also grown non-Google traffic for much of that period such that Google has been less and less in percentage while still increasing in absolute numbers. And no, it has not and is not easy.
I build my business. And groan when things go wrong, often things out of my control. Such is life. And life goes on.