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Im not sure how many other hobby/minor interest sites are doing the same.
Has there ever been a straight answer as to what the problem was/is?
Maybe I have enough sites out there now so that with anything from a hiccup to a feinting spell with Google, it always seems I just win some and lose some. And just when I think a site has gone completely dead, there'll be a knocking from inside the coffin. I've had sites make startling comebacks from obscurity.
Mostly, however, it just seems that some pages rise, some pages fall and some stay the same. There's a constant state of flux.
I can see that if you have only one site, or just a few, you may experience the effects of google's machinations more intensely. Once you get a few thousand pages, you won't be quite so affected.
Anyone thinking of throwing in the towel after this little moment in Googletime - webmastering e-commerce sites is one of the easiest ways to make money while you sleep on the planet - get over it, go get some more links and write content while you await a return to normality phase II.
We are not in an exceptional industry. Far from it actually. It's fiercely competitive.
I didn't want to pay the price at first in the days when Overture bids went silly, but now I would pay a lot more than I do today if I had to.
It is survival of the fittest out there in the big nasty world. You can give up if you want that is fine. Do you think that google is presenting a blank space where your listing once was? No, there is someone else who has taken your place and another 5 who want to move there.
If any of my competitors are in here, please follow Essex Boy's lead and give up. It's just not worth it! Google is ruined now. Go back to whatever you were doing before and leave the coast clear for me.
Monkscuba: It's a question of baskets.
I've got Basket Deja Vu. We just spend a substantial portion of today discussing "having more baskets" that are outside of the net/web/online or technology related world. More baskets that aren't reliant on the Google or any other online method of advertising - or reliant on computer technology. (Gasp!) Yes, we're talking about diversification and the ability to make money from multiple enterprises... It's a cliche, but don't have your eggs all in one basket is truth. Don't.
BTW- We do depend on the web for a large portion of our bread and butter, and we've done okay with the latest update on Google. But more baskets are in the works...