besnette - 3:02 pm on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)
I'd like to share a paraphrased version of an email conversation I had with someone a few weeks ago, that after several back-and-forths...
....turns out he is a retired google engineer -
He emailed me... and since it's against the TOS of WebmasterWorld to quote from private emails, I'll paraphrase what he said
This email stared back on June 4, before this current update of the past week or so.
He emailed me, frustrated that his search for information kept leading him to well ranked sites that look nice when you land on them, but are nothing more than thin or regurgitated information that has one goal of getting personal information (a referral) - that is obviously going to a larger site or conglomerate...
He went on to thank me for my site, for helping my users to make smart, informed choices, and that I seemed to genuinely care about what I do, and my users. He thanked me to for linking to other websites that are useful.(.which, I do freely if I find a good site that compliments my site's offerings....again, it's for my users...never has it been done for a 'link exchange') I was thrilled to hear this feedback..
I emailed him back, and knowing his background (yes, I shamelessly took the opportunity..) tactfully and nicely explained my growing frustration with him that no matter how much I try to help my users, create original, helpful content, and be tranparent, honest, and all the rest...it seems like it's becoming an increasingly futile effort against the types of sites he was complaining about - sites that, we've learned in this forum a/thread are often owned by a larger, already well ranked parent company or site (multi-domain crowding). Sites that I noticed, in my niche at least, have almost no support socially, sites that it is almost impossible to figure out who is behind them and who is responsible for the content, that lack sincerity, expertise, topical experience, passion, authorship.....etc.
He pointed out to me that Content is still "King" and since he is an ex-googler, and stockholder, and someone who helped with the development of the company, it's his duty to defend them - nicely, in his own words, he explained that he's a big believer that great content will win, and he encouraged me strongly to keep up what I am doing.
After these new updates started rolling out over the past few weeks, and after my niche took a major swing favoring the types of sites menionted above last Friday (it has since 'rolled back' for the most part), I emailed him on that Friday and asked him to look at the results, and tell me if he still though "Content was King."
He emailed back, and didn't have any answers, and seemed to be genuinely taken aback, referring to his first email to me on the 4th of June, and encouraged me to keep going. He said he was going to look into' what was happening..and that's where it was left. I don't expect to hear more, and I understand if he doesn't say more..given who he is..he was nice enough with the time he already gave me.
Thankfully, the serps seemed to go back to what they were, for the most part in my niche...for now. I am guessing that there are still changes probably to come...
Even so..at the moment, there's still big sites that own many sub sites that all rank very well, so that's still adding to the difficulty...
I share this only to highlight that humans can often see what an algorighm can't - yet, and that the 'appearance' of quality does not mean quality, and to see it pointed out by an ex-google insider was validating that not all of us are diluted with the trends we are seeing. There are many of us who put a lot of heart, soul and time into our sites, and to simply wake up one morning to see them buried under one company's numerous sub-sites, and sites that have one goal only - getting your information, has been disheartening..
I'll try to retain hope that quality, original content will still matter down the road, and will eventually be given preference over huge, mostly auto-generated, often-anonymous, muli-domain or hidden-ownership sites.