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the economic effect of this update

effects of google update on my business

     
5:19 am on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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this May 2003 I lost About 10,000 US Dollars because of recent Google Technical problems . However I am sure that this nightmare will be over and Google is Best search Engine. No complain ,.. And thanks to GoogleGuy for it's effort to contribute to webmaster world.
10:37 am on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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> Buy AdWords. They don't depend on algorithms which are far from perfect.

It is true, but I noted that "free ranking" get a lot more clicks compared to AdWords listing.

chrissyh

10:43 am on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi. I am new to this forum/site. I have to say I can understand the poster's frustration. My site went live in March. I am a web-designer-turned-real-estate-agent. (Weird! I know!) There is very little competition on the web in my area (Seacoast NH) because many RE agents are not computer savvy around here.
Anyway, I was listed on Google (looks like Dbot & FBot both visited) and I use AdWords continually. Suddenly, I'm completely gone from the Google search results and my PR bar is gray. It's frustrating to be paying for AdWords and have my site dropped from Google completely during their "update". I emailed Google for a re-inclusion as someone here suggested. Hopefully I'll be back in soon.
Good luck everybody!
Christine
10:53 am on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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No way, I wont buy adwords.

OK then ... best of luck and enjoy your vacation! :) Care to visit the British Virgin Islands?

11:23 am on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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angioli>> I noted that "free ranking" get a lot more clicks compared to AdWords listing<<

Did they also convert as well?

11:31 am on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi Internet brothers,

Why are you against adwords so much?

Adwords can be a very inexpensive traffic booster,for some of our clients we only spend about 100.00 per month
using not generic but highly targetted keywords, perhaps with only 4 or 5 hits per month for each keyword, but more often than not with very little competition this produces a lot of sales indeed.
We do the same with overture and espotting but the results are no where near as good as googles ads.
Surely it makes perfect sense if you have the money to have a free listing and an adwords listing - 2 chances of getting a click through and ultimately a sale.
I have heard in this forum of people spending the minimum per keyword 5p and getting fantastic results.

11:53 am on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hmmmmm I wonder how Adwords are doing right about now?

Do you think they have increased 10 fold yet?

Given that the top results of commercial searches aren't empty, it seems to me that if there are losers in any update there are also winners. For each site that drops and decides to use adwords there's just as likely to be a site that rises and decides that it doesn't need adwords for the moment.

Google would have to find a way to replace commercial results with noncommercial results in the SERPS in order to drive a significant increase in Adwords. Seems unlikely to me.

12:06 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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MeditationMan

Seems logical except many of the top sites in industries I foolow are single spam pages with all Guestbook links and pages built in an hour. I doubt as though many of these affiliates could make it bidding on Adwords.

The idea that this is related to adwords sales is crazy though. It was just a poor update.

12:12 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Agreed MeditationMan. Has anyone else here felt a positive economic effect this month? I can't believe that everyone's rankings are down, yet no one seems to have gone up to replace them.

> [...] the vast majority of sentiment is bent towards "Look what Google did to me!" as opposed to "Any ideas on working to move forward?"

Absolutely. The solution is to Ignore sentiment, work on reality.

1:02 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My positions are pretty normal, about exactly where they were from a couple months ago. I'd like last month's back of course, but I'll get there.

Same here. I went down a few places for my most popular keyphrase but up to #1 for my second most popular search string. I haven't noticed any other changes in major keyword or keyphrase rankings, and Google continues to supply about the same percentage of referrals as it has in past months.

So why are some of us unaffected while others are hurting? I'd guess it's because the latter are optimizing for "holes in the algorithm," and referrals are drying up as the Google plugs the holes. In cases where that's true, the fact that Google may be temporarily "broken" while the new database and filters are phased in has little if anything to do with the victims' loss of traffic and revenue.

1:02 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi chyio!

Free clicks are 5 times adwords clicks. Convert is better on Adwords because you can adapt ( refine )title and description: you do not risk to lose your ranking.

Maybe it is better to concentrate on communication than on ranking, but everybody here adfirm that only first-two page results count.

1:15 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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europefor..

May be the case for some, but you should preface that by saying this is not the case for NEW sites. If you have a site new in the past few months you are screwed as backlinks are not showing anymore after Feb.

2:18 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I cannot stand this mindset that Google is a "public utility" that should pander to every e-commerce site. Some webmasters seem to think that Google is liable if a change in their algorithm drops traffic to their site.

How did Google capture market domination of the search engine business? By working hard and intelligently to return content-based results that web surfers found most useful to their queries. Their basic customer (with the exception of Ad Words) is the internet user, not the e-commerce sites. By concentrating their results on their customers, they've reached the top. Other search engines that return results based on their advertisers instead of their customers haven't done so well.

As people begin to comprehend Google's algorithm and optimize their sites for it, many of the results returned to the user (Google's customer) turns out to be not what they're looking for. You want to search for how to fix a blue widget and you get a host of sites with almost the exact information telling you where to buy the newest blue widget along with yellow and red and green ones too. The user already knew where to buy one, he wanted information on how to fix the one he had, and he had to weed through a lot of chaff to find the site he wanted, if he didn't give up before he got there.

So Google updates its algorithm again to return better results to their user so when they surf for fixing blue widgets that yellow widget sellers don't come up on the top of their search results. Now the yellow widget seller is up in arms because his traffic drops and he thinks he has a right to the blue widget fixing traffic.

If e-commerce sites concentrated on delivering the best content to their customers, much like Google has, then the customers will find them. If they optimize their sites to find impulse buyers they might snag from Google traffic, then they run the risk of alienating their real customer base, if they have one, and live at the whim of Google's latest algorithm.

2:33 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The biggest problem I have experienced is the ability to deliver new content to Google. Even though there have been some sporadic "fresh" updates, I have found that google is not adding NEW pages at the rate I experienced in the past.

The Result:
1. New Products are not selling as well as they did in the past. In my line of work (fashion), people often search specifically for new products.
2. New threads in discussion forums are receiving fewer hits. There are some movies that are related to my industry that are coming out, but I think the Google News sites are winning out right now.

2:34 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>Has anyone else here felt a positive economic effect this month? I can't believe that everyone's rankings are down, yet no one seems to have gone up

I can't say that I've gone up in rank, ciml, because the site is to big and google traffic too broad-based to go chasing serps, but -yes- I'm still trending up on conversions and lead generation. (A few spot checks of serps do appear to be about the same, certainly nothing spectacular down or up. PR5's and 6's held across the board, but it's been that way for months and months now.)

2:51 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Parabola wrote:

May be the case for some, but you should preface that by saying this is not the case for NEW sites. If you have a site new in the past few months you are screwed as backlinks are not showing anymore after Feb.

GoogleGuy has said that new data (along with new filters) will be phased in over time. (I think he said "more than days and less than months.") So pages that aren't in the index now are likely to show up in due course.

2:59 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have had a positive effect for two of my sites with Dominic. Managed to boot out some of the script generated pages that certain price comparison sites having been enjoying! Not quite sure why this update has hurt so many except for the loss of backlinks. My backlinks are down to but I don't rely on anchor text too much to get high rankings. Seems traditional seo has done the trick this month :)
3:06 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone else here felt a positive economic effect this month?

Yes we have, though some in here have all but said that they find it hard to believe (because my posts about Dominic have been largely critical).

Overall, our business has been up slightly since the new SERP's. We run *many* sites, so the more accurate way to put it is that some are down, more are up, and some are unchanged.

The odd thing for us has been that our sites with the greatest number of backlinks are the ones that are *down the most* and that tend to have the *deepest content.* Also, these sites enjoy backlinks that have been in place for months/years (we haven't added many backlinks recently). And, the backlinks are from independent sites, generally very related to our sites. So diversity has worked for us, but in a way opposite to what many in here are speculating.

Also of note, our e-commerce sites have done better; content sites worse (again a generalization, but a fair one, and opposite to what many are speculating).

At the same time, we offer Google on our sites for our visitors...or at least we have. We are just about to remove them because the overall quality of the SERP's in our opinion (five human editors looking at 20+ categories) has dropped substantially. Spam pages running rampant, especially in travel related categories.

For us, unless Google recovers from this, we will start to view G as more of an ecommerce tool, and less of a quality, balanced search engine. For the first time, we think there are better options out there...and I am a long time Google user and fan.

GG seems to say simultaneously that they like these SERP's...and that we should all be patient, implying that they will get better. Well, we are not patient when it comes to the quality of the search results we offer our customers. We do what is best for our business. Right now, that means offering other search results, continuing to build sites with an awareness of SEO, and running advertising (including but not limited to AdWords), when it makes sense for us.

Sorry to all those who seem averse to even considering criticizing Google, but that's our take. Slightly higher revenues + lower quality overall search results.

Confidence level in Google: shaken, not stirred.

3:06 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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--GoogleGuy has said that new data (along with new filters) will be phased in over time. (I think he said "more than days and less than months.") So pages that aren't in the index now are likely to show up in due course.--

This has been repeated over and over yet people just don't seem to understand it or they choose to ignore it and keep asking why their new pages are gone.

We exerienced a loss of any gains we made since Feb, but we were sitting pretty good in Feb so it is as if they rolled back the clock.

I know, that the missing links will show back up and it is just a matter of time.

So, having experimented with Looksmart prior to this, we pretty much have maintianed our traffic with referrals from MSN and when things straighten out our traffic will just be that much more. I've noticed a marked increase in the number of leads from MSN that convert to sales.

We've proactivley been able to get fresher pages spidered and sticking after the dominic update.

The quality of this forum has really gone downhill lately and while it is understandable that people who relied on Google for traffic freak out when it is gone, there is not a thing anybody can do about it no matter how vocal your posts are.

3:14 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I work in a software development company. My company almost engages 1 full time SE optimiser. Its me ;-). It costs around 500$/month Salary(In India so lower salary). Now we used to get around 70/hits/day from google and partners. We ranked in top 5. I guess switching to Adwords would be a better trade off. Should me company give me a lay off?.

My point is we the SEO's are so much involved with google that some might ignore its real benifits, like our company.

What should my company do?

3:23 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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--What should my company do?--

Diversify into other areas so that when things like this happen, your not out of ALL your traffic.

Yes, Google does have a larger market share right now, but there are other sources of traffic if you know how to get them.

I would be looking real hard at Inktomi and MSN right now because once they do "their thing" in the near future, Googles hold will suddenly drop to about 50% market share. At that point you will be forced to diversify or lose 50% of an opporutnity for more traffic.

And yes, let your company know that advertising does cost money and it would be wise to put some money into adwords and other areas. Your SEO experitise would come into play in writing the "attention grabbinb ads" and maintaining the account. Once your free hits pick back up, you can reduce your spend in adwords.

While I really feel for the people who got creamed this last update, there are just so many other ways to get at least some traffic which will carry you through until Google gets straightened out.

3:30 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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--GoogleGuy has said that new data (along with new filters) will be phased in over time. (I think he said "more than days and less than months.") So pages that aren't in the index now are likely to show up in due course.--

This has been repeated over and over yet people just don't seem to understand it or they choose to ignore it and keep asking why their new pages are gone.


mrguy, don't know if you're referring to my post, but this is not the issue with us. The number of new pages we've added since March is relatively small compared to our total number of pages. Most of our recent activity, meaning in the last few months, has been in marketing. And again, I've never complained about our *business*; it's up a bit since last months, and up a bit more than that since February. More secondary searches doing well too, just as GG has implied.

Our issue is simple: we see way more spam in the categories we watch. It's only in the categories we watch; can't speak for the whole Web. This is not a matter of bringing some new, recently created Web pages.

Other questions I have about dropped pages, semi-penalties, etc., are interesting to discuss but until we reach the point where all the new data is in, backlinks added, etc, the truth is no one will know for sure.

What I do know now is that I'm being forced to choose *right now* whether or not to serve these results to my customers...and right now, me plus five of five editors at my place are thinking that the answer is *no*.

3:32 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I agree that diversification is the key to good optimization for Google. Even though my biggest site has lost rankings, I at least have other sites that are still doing OK. Nevertheless, I must say the lack of new pages being added to the index is not good for me, my customers or searchers.

I do see that alltheweb is more current for my sites.

3:39 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Economic effect of update? What update?
3:41 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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parabola
> If you have a site new in the past few months you are screwed as backlinks are not showing anymore after Feb.

That's true if the success of the site revolves around the link: search and the little green bar, but if the site just needs to rank well I don't see a real problem.

Problems like an out of date Toolbar and link: search are a pain for me because I like to measure things, but on the whole I don't find that customers care about that so long as they get good visitors and make money.

3:56 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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--Our issue is simple: we see way more spam in the categories we watch.-

Wackmaster. Understood yet GG has also said numerous times that there will be more spam in the index for a time as all the spam filters if any were not being applied and not to worry about it.

So, I expect to see a lot of it cleaned up during their next update taking us into their "new system".

Switching over an entrenched system such as the one in place was never going to be a painless job.

Most all of us have suffered in one way or another.

I admit, I got caught up on the frenzy in the beginning but quickly realized I was spinning my wheels because there was nothing I could do about and I would just have to wait.

I have made no serious changes to my site based on dominic because is not complete and to do so might cause a bigger problem once more filters kick in.

I to have had pages dropped but they were pages added after Feb, so no big deal, they will be back.

Some of the posts on here are pretty hardcore and I know they are done our of frustation. Other frustrated people add to it and they snowball.

The forum needs to turn to other productive converstions and wait until the Google system switch plays out. Right, now any assumptions to the algo that cause you to change your pages may end up causing you to lose even further in the SERPs once it is all said and done.

4:01 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My traffic is up around 30-40% since the update, on too many keyphrases to track. The previous two updates were my worst ever, traffic held steady.

The site structure is about the only thing that I can apply SEO to. All the real site content is produced by users, and external link text is produced by the sites that link to us.

Traffic on four other sites I have been helping have all gone up. This was all stuff like having them add titles, not intentional keword titles, just appropriate titles instead of "untitled". I also helped them to reorganize their site structure by improving their navigation.

None of the sites compare in any way to the results that would be expected from established e-commerce sites. All the sites are small time information sites.

I have found that the results on *a few* searches since the update are noticably degraded. But I don't search for travel, casinos, or web design.

As far as those that claim that google is the only game in town, in a global market, that is simply a load of crap. A full 5% of my SE traffic comes from MSN, and MSN only has 10% of my site in their index.

As there are only 10 first page slots on Google for any keyphrase, and there are only 10 more on the second page, suddenly top of the list on that 5% might not seem so bad.

If you were given a choice between the first page of google and the first page of MSN, you would be an idiot to choose MSN. The thing is, you don't always have that choice. In any month you can suddenly find yourself getting knocked from #3 to #87. There doesn't have to be a dominic to do that to you.

5:27 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone else here felt a positive economic effect this month?

I have seen an increase in incoming links, listings and PR. This dance has been good to me.

Relevance driven listings do generate a LOT more traffic than AdWords. I use both and can see the difference.

I like Google, but I have been trying to put more emphasis on optimizing with other search engines. Google still accounts for about 60% of my traffic, but I get 40% from other search engines. If your looking for b2b traffic, businesses tend to use MSN a lot more than your typical home user.

Good luck optimizing!

6:05 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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ciml?

Are you saying that backlinks don't affect ranking?

Google guy has admitted that they have not brought in new backlink data and that when they do it will, obviously effect scoring/ranking. I dont give a $#$# about what backlinks or PR show but I would love to hear a solid argument from you debating that backlinks, PR, and anchor text are not improtant issues in ranking well in Google.

Take out all the backlinks from your site and see how you would rank :) This is the same thing for NEW sites online since february - no backlinks counting towards rank. IT IS NOT THAT THEY ARE JUST NOT SHOWING _ IT IS OLD DATA USED TO CALCULATE RANK.

6:27 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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parabola, I'm not quite saying that. Backlinks count, but the link: search and the Toolbar PR graph do not. It does not matter for rankings if those two indicators are out of date.

The backlink data used for current rankings may or may not be very new (I suspect it's quite new) but it's certainly not as old as the data you see in the link: search and the Toolbar.

Are there sites put up after February that are doing well in terms of rankings, traffic and sales? Certainly. :-)

6:50 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This thread looks suspiciously like the others that prompted the "charter Update"

But since it's here, I'll put in my $0.02. ;)

The point was made earlier that if adwords or expensive advertising is the only entry to SERPS than we will all be left with the "Walmarting" of Google. I agree.

Saying to "diversify" for a small business that doesn't have the capital, doesn't help. The greatness of Google, IMHO, is that it can level the playing field for business of quality that may be small a less financially able. This helps small business grow and is the backbone of our economy.

Others, like myself, often use search engines like a phone book. They may know the business but don't know how to find it exactly, since we're currently not indexed, a person can even look up our name. It like being left out of the phonebook 25 years ago. I suppose I could put our number on billboards all over the country.

The only way for some to diversify is if we can get the surfing public to diversify their search engine habits.

This 70 message thread spans 3 pages: 70