AlyssaS - 1:49 am on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)
Google got popular because of the websites they featured, not because of anything else.
All the search engines were crawling the same websites - Yahoo, Excite, Lycos and all the others. Google got popular because of how they ordered the websites. It was the order that was the magic ingredient. And that was all their own recipe. Don't kid yourself that somehow your website magically instructed them on how to build an algo to order the web. It didn't.
And how do you know McDonalds and others haven't been altering their recipes? I know for a fact that McDonalds have been changing the ingredients, using properly farmed meat instead of the dross they used for a time, because of a public backlash, and trying to sell salads and healthy food and so on. All businesses have to respond to public opinion. Ironically, Panda was unleashed because people were complaining that G had too much spam in their index, and this hit the mainstream media - and the complaints have now stopped in the mainstream media. So is G really doing badly?
Nothing stands still. Start acting like there is no Google and networking and you will find that G gives you plenty of love. They can see the alternate sources of traffic in analytics and via the Chrome browser and they tend to think that if lots of others like you, they are missing out if they don't feature you. Just saying.