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What I am proposing is an antithesis thread to Brett's 26 steps to a successful website with google alone.
26 steps to a successful website in 12 months without google.
1.write and distribute articles
2.find as many directories as possible and submit.
3.submit to all search engines you can.
4. press releases(although I have heard the press release is dead)
How about it? Those that say to get over whining about google and improve your site in other ways, promote elsewhere...what are your tips? I challenge you.
I am assuming you mean the free google listing?
That is a difficult one.
A successful website without google would be very difficult if you are looking to make serious money from it.
You could get by with
Word of mouth
We are top on most search engines for generic keywords, but nothing comes close to our google conversions.
This thread will be interesting.
1. Should contain valuable information to the surfer.
2. Should contain a content creation system (user generated content)
3. Should have a number of sticky elements (reasons for the surfer to return tommorrow). Such as Forums, Calculators, news, articles)
4. Should contain significant motivation for people to link to the site.
5. Should appear to be updated daily
6. Should encourage two way interaction with the site. Give the surfer reason to contribute to the site, such as forum, submitting articles, membership systems.
7. Have a revenue system that is as subtle as possible. Your site should not appear as a money machine. This is done by promoting things that are useful to the surfer.
Wen all of the above on-site features are in place,
* Find all the relevant forums and drop your URL.
* Work through your personal network. Moth-to-mouth.
* Press releases might be dead, write a news-letter with nice images and send it off (personally) to webmasters covering the same area as you.
* Have your "club", "member area", "subscriber section" set up from the very beginning. Make sure people register so that you can remind them of your existance. But don't hide any of the substatial content from unregistered visitors. Just make sure the registered ones get extra value.
* Make sure you communicate your domain url in every kind of communication with potential visitors, on- or off-line.
Have visible signs with your URL ready in case you're allowed to show it on air. Calling in to a talk show to promote your site is tacky but if it fits well into the topic it can work.
Do your best to see that any celebrity who might be interested in your site is aware of it. I know this is difficult but a single mention of your site in the right place can bring in a lot of traffic. I have seen nice spikes associated with on air mentions.
Develop relationships with journalists who might want to write a feature about the subject of your site. Or you could write one yourself and give it to a lazy journalist who will run it under their byline.
Make sure that everyone in the field in which your site operates is aware of it. A post card mailing can be effective, but remember that direct mail is a brutal business.
For that matter, some -- but not all -- of those steps would still be important even if you weren't hoping for a single referral from any of the search engines.
Possibly ideas on diversifying your web site. Other ways to multiply traffic from the other se's.
Ok, try this... Think beyond your native language.
Translate your site into different languages, and then target/submit to search engines that use those languages natively. Expand your market! If you can't translate your whole site, translate/build some tightly-targetted pages for each language. On other pages, put links that run your page through an online translator. Personally, I recommend FreeTranslation [freetranslation.com]. Read this thread, Are all free online translators created equal? [webmasterworld.com], and note the last post, mine. But!, also note the third message, from encyclo.
(I'll let a cat out of the bag: You know, with some preplanning, work and trial-and-error testing, you can build one website but have seven (or more!) copies in each search engine! Sure, it's "duplicate" content, but it's not really duplicate content - to any search engine, anyway - since each "version" of your site is in a different language. You add ten pages to your site - to the SEs, you just added 30, 40, 50 or more. Mind you the caveat: increased spidering by the SEs via a third-party server - the translator (so be nice!). There's a number of ways this can blow-up in your face - I speak from experience - so I highly discourage doing this to your 100,000 page site in one go, especially if it brings you mucho dinero.)
One other thing I'd like to mention: We're all smart enough - I hope - to know to not put all our eggs in Google's, or anyone else's, basket, but don't let the SEs take your eggs for their basket. If you're starting a new site, then hopefully this thread will be a great resource to prevent that. But if you've a site that's getting a significant amount of its traffic from any one engine, then you must SEO for the others and ignore your main source.
A few well placed niche directory listings have worked for us. These aren't free, and in at least one case they get their traffic from Google. (OK, so that was about traffic) In addition to the web directory, they also sponsor a printed trade catalog.
We sell a widget that's easily promoted at fairs and events and in retail shops. By getting about a bit we have developed good leads. If I can come to a event in your city and generate another new customer then I'm happy. Business cards are good, we leave samples.
I take a lot of phone calls, and I always ask a new person how they heard about us. A frequent answer is that a friend told them. Taking care of your customers should be the number one step to creating a successful site without Google.
Almost forgot to mention Overture. I set up a few keywords there a couple of years ago, and they have consistently provided good leads.
My site (from 1997) has been living without Google for sometime, almost. On 3rd Feb. 2005 I lost around 75% of Google´s merry referrals. Then on the 22nd July lost most of the rest.
But very "converting" referrals still arrive to my site from Yahoo, Wanadoo UK, MSN etc..
And we don´t need to invent new SEs. They are right there in front of our eyes. We just need to start promoting the SEs which send us referrals. Thats all.
That is genious.. im being for real -- unavailableatgoogle.com
In order that the many visitors to my site not mistakenly try to find it later on Google, every page bears "Not found on Google." My original thought was to link this text to a site where those of us not found on Google can congregate and air our comments.
This is still in the rumination phase...
Life without Google
Lest people think it serp related, my MSN and Y etc serps are as good, if not better, than those on Google.
The reality is, in some areas nearly everyone uses Google.
The reality is, in some areas nearly everyone uses Google.
Consider that in any case their time scale of "getting you back in the index in a few months" will virtually kill the habits that were bringing traffic to your site and even if everything (serps, PR) is restored in a few months the traffic patterns will take much longer to restore.
Ok let me rephrase my openion, there is a life without google, but life is much greater with them that's for sure.
There are many original out-of-the-box thinkers here on WW, and there are also many who want some sort of formula that can be followed to allow mailbox money. I am in both of those camps, but realize "change happens".
I used to rock the serps when Altavista was king. Change happened. I can still use the same techniques to rock Yahoo!'s serps, and do. Not a lot of traffic compared to the same ranking in Google. But I think change will happen, as with Amazon/A9's photos, and the odds that search will be further integrated into the OS, browsers, chat/IM, and other apps.
But outside of the fun of having thousands of people interact in some way with our content (our creations), we want money from our time. Does it have to be earned online? No. But that's not why we are here in the forums
Things I haven't done, but should have:
1) Put a bumper sticker on my car promoting my site(s)
2) Change the license plate (tag) of my car to promote
3) Issue more press releases, external and internal
4) Build more brands that people will refer others too.
5) Have a flyer or card in my pocket at all times to
give to people, to promote the services of my sites
6) Set up a page that I would use as *my* start page
(and others would use also, with tweaking)
7) Get an intern or 2 to work my sites regularly
(perhaps on a commission or results-based bases)
8) Put a focus on getting in local newspapers, tv,
etc., and extending to the national and international
outlets. (basically Slashdotting via the media)
There are more items on my list... running out of time right now.
I do old fashioned marketing to drive people there. I attend trade shows, I advertise in key publications, I make phone calls.
I used to used targeted email marketing, but gave that up several years ago due to SPAM issues.
The thing is, though, my web business is unique. I provide a service, rather than try to sell a product that everyone else is selling.
Still, if I'm looking to buy a particular brand of candy for a trade show, I'll use google to find it.
So, if you're relying on selling merchandise that can be found in lots of places (commodities) you'll have to be very creative without google.
But it's certainly possible, and in my opinion, not worth worrying about. If you base your business plan solely on whether a Search Engine can find you, you're in big trouble as a business.
sites based on brick and mortar businesses trying to expand by creating a web presence
They would do it the same way they built their brick business. I would contend that they could indeed do it without relying on Google. Anything a SE sends would be gravy, but they should rely on their regular marketing approaches.
But after the dust has settled I am left with a USEFUL site that people return to, and it will still be so after Google one day crashes and burns (I think it will, slowly, very slowly).
So if Google is foolish enough to ignore my site now I will certainly not be very sympathetic when their fortunes fall.