turbocharged - 1:41 am on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)
"Conspiracy theories" about Google targeting my little site are silly. But theories about big businesses with similar interests working against other big businesses with similar interests, and little sites getting crushed in the process... yeah, that's just business as usual.
Diberry I completely agree. Most small business websites are not worth the time for big businesses to target on an individual basis. But collectively, these large corporations control most of the traffic online in the USA. This gives them enormous power to impact a multitude of industries and the entire economy as consumers grow even more accustomed to making purchases online and shipping options make deliveries more timely. Whether Google turned up the domain authority dial or flipped the favoritism switch to on, I don't know. What I have seen are many different types of small businesses squeezed out of the serps for no apparent reason. Great content, super site structure, natural links, etc. does not matter. Maybe these small businesses just are not big enough for Google to even want to bother with?
Authority sites are completely different. The branded sites I work with remain relatively stable and actually have seen slight improvements over this weekend. Even when Google is in a state of flux, these sites still do relatively well. Searchers modify their queries to search for "brand name widget" when Google does not display their site for simply "widget." I'm sure Google monitors query to query refinements closely, which would explain why these sites typically don't get bumped from page one for very long.
The key to stability in the serps is being branded. But for many small businesses, in some industries, they are lucky to get a few hundred visitors a day. It's hard to deliver brand signals to Google in the form of query refinements, which I believe to be weighed heavily in the overall ranking scheme.