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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?
AltaVista introduced a whole range of new spam filters - totally obliterating many spammy sites - and reeking a huge amount of collateral damage - banning many clean sites from their index. Stopped paying referal fees to webmasters around the same time?. They were number #1 - and wanted it understood that they were in total control.
For those who don't study & learn from mistakes of the past - History is doomed to repeat
[edited by: Chris_D at 12:41 am (utc) on June 7, 2003]
But you know - any business is going to face ups and downs, regardless of whether they're Internet-based or not.
Maybe you need to ask yourself - do I have the entrepreneurial spirit that will sustain me through the downtimes? Because - Google or not - there will be downtimes as a business owner.
Personally - I don't have the entrepreneurial spirit. I'd much rather let someone else carry the stresses of running a business. Let me do my job, let me contribute, let me do what I can, and let someone else worry about the rest. ;)
Throwing in the towel may be the right decision for some people. I know my sanity would be long gone if I were trying to do it by myself. My strengths are not as an entrepreneur. My strengths are as both a manager and an individual contributor to the business.
As for the rest of you brave souls – as you break out the antacids and pour that ninth cup of coffee … I salute you!
Stop whining and PAY ATTENTION to all the great SEO advice offered here at Webmaster World. If... the site you are referring to, is the same as your profile suggests, then I can see why you have problems.
As the lyrics state: "You have to be cruel to be kind."
Google ain't so bad as long as ya know how to talk to 'im....
Google isn't going to stay broke forever, either.
There seems to be a lot of confusion about how to (or whether to) optomize sites currently. I know I am confused and a little scared. I have clients that are doing much worse for their money keywords and I'm not quite sure what to do. I was scared to go get links because that would appear to be a sign of someone optomizing a site. I was scared to optomize because, well, that too would appear to be a sign of someone optomizing a site. All my new pages are now called either welcome or home. Okay, so I'm kidding. There is one thing that will hold steady, whatever happens with G. If you make your sites well for the user, whatever happens with the SE's will be temporary. While things may be cloudy now, all the basics still apply. Make your site's content interesting and unique. Base your inbound links on traffic (I consider added value to SE traffic here) and your outbound links on your visitor. Make your navigation spider friendly as well as user friendly. Now you do everything you can to get traffic, keep traffic, sell, whatever, without damaging the strong base you've created for search engines. It has become very cloudy as to how we should optomize for Google. "Which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it! 'n I don't like it any more than you men."
I should add that the quote referenced above is from Guns n Roses' Civil War. I found the exact phrasing by searching on Google.
After 220,000 miles my Subaru is definitely broke(n). The stereo still works and it still gets us there so noone really notices. It doesn't mean I wouldn't drive something else if it became available though.
It's not really a question of towels, though every hitch hiker knows you should never be without a towel.
It's a question of baskets.
If you want to put all your eggs in one basket, be sure to hard boil them first.
There have been many posts about not relying on Google, and making sure to have other ways for people to reach you site such as other SE's (see below) or good links, directories and niche sites. If you can really spread your site around you may still get half decent traffic.
Also, if your site is like mine, and Google has somehow not found the index page, be sure that you have lots of other good pages that are found and come up in all kinds of different searches.
I agree with all these posts and guess what, our site is well ranked on other SE's such as MSN, Alltheweb, Ask, Altavista, and the missing index page has not had such a disastrous impact since some people are still finding our site via Google.
We also started AdWords as soon as we saw the missing index page, so our site still appears for the big KW's, though I honestly think appearing top of the AdWords pile gives you maybe 10% of the traffic compared to top of the real results, and that is probably optimistic.
The problem with all this eggs in different baskets advice is that even if we do all this, you cannot deny that Google is the No.1 search engine, and losing half your traffic from Google is BAD. And having eggs in different baskets is no good if nobody is looking in those other baskets. Our SE traffic, even now with a missing index page, is something like : Google 60%, Yahoo 20%, MSN 6%, all the rest: almost nothing put together. Having a really good ranking on AlltheWeb is very nice, but nobody uses it YET.
So we don't give up. We still have some traffic and try all the time to get some links that may provide the odd visitor from time to time. But all the advice to quit moaning about lost business and try to get traffic from other places, and it IS good advice, actually ignores the fact that Google dominates the web, and if they lose your site, you WILL lose business.
Nevertheless, like Essex_boy, we must keep our heads up and fight the good fight. Keep looking for new sources of traffic so that NEXT time we are more ready and don't need to moan so much. Accept the fact that you can't change the SERP's. Instead try to realise the truth. There are no SERP's
I have wittered long enough and probably make no sense. As a disclaimer, I am a rank amateur and know little other than what I have picked up from WebMaster World, so if I said something well out of order, don't blame me I'm just the piano player.
[edited by: Monkscuba at 12:04 pm (utc) on June 7, 2003]
Our business autoresponder emails now contain a tagline link to ATW. I did it just on general principle.
Whatever improvement Google thinks they may have gained with searchers they lost with webmasters. This is a Martha Stewart PR FUBAR.
Whether this is the death of Google I don't care. I am surviving without them and I will continue to grow without them. They lost all my respect.
This has been a wake up call for us and consequently we have explored a whole new world of traffic outside of google.... and its good, steady and better conversion. Google searchers in our sector are 'information seekers' and not 'buyers', we never really appreciated that.
We are now hoping we still get google traffic, but the wake up call has made our sites far more efficient and user friendly, with a much more secure clientele. In other words, a shift from just attracting bucket loads of visitors to making sure our visitors return and buy.
The big players of the future will learn from this update and adapt, the trick is to learn. I know 70%+ traffic is google etc. but that leaves 30% of a very big pie out there. This 30% is a very different kind of visitor and potentially far more valuable.
Anybody who got stung in the last few weeks will need to make their site more efficient at converting sales due to the recent drop in traffic..... but the really exciting bit is that google will notice this improvement in the quality of your site and long term you may end up with a better site being rewarded with higher rankings... after all, that is what google wants us to do.
I think the best optimisation is to increase the 'quality' of your site for the user, this is what the new algo's are trying to detect, so just focus on that and let google worry about how to detect you.... they will! If you take control and make the best site on the net, they will have to adapt in order to find you... now there's a refreshing thought!
IMHO Forget all the old rules (h1 etc.) .... (except, of course. for letting the spider in). Just make a damn good site and look at the bigger picture, longterm this will pay dividends.
I was putting a lot of work to change my main site's domain, overall look, funcitonality, etc. when I realized I should just leave both running. I've since also started selling a variety of other stuff and once I have 7-10 unique/stable sites I will finally be able to breath easier :)
As a result down went the traffic and with it the revenues. My livelihood and that of my few employees was on the line. We were barely breathing from traffic from other sources. That's when I realized that I had relied too heavily on traffic from Google and that I should have diversified my sources of traffic even while enjoying good traffic from google. As a netpreneur I realized that no fundamentally sound web business model should rely too heavily on just one (or two) source(s) of traffic for their revenues. And, as an engineer who had always chosen to be self employed and never worked for a company ever, there was no going back. I HAD to make it work. I knew I wasn't giving up.
That's when I went back to the drawing board to devise a strategy for survival (without Google) while at the same time trying to regain my lost positions in G. I have to admit that was the time of most learning for me, spending 14 to 16 hours each day in front of my computer trying to work it all out. It seemed as if a well-established netpreneur (from a few weeks back) had to learn it all over again.
Finally I was able to devise a strategy and guess who was the savior again? you guessed right; the big G. I sharpened my skills on Excel and immersed myself in a sea of keywords, developing individual (innovative) adwords campaigns for all the sites that had fallen; with my biggest campaign containing close to 10,000 keywords. Even adwords I realized then is a science in itself, and if approached properly could be (surprisingly) profitable, though nothing is as profitable as the free clicks.
Careful study of my campaigns and my ROI gave me a pretty good idea of how much profit I was making and the amount of time I was buying to bounce back. It also gave the workers confidence that the company they were working for was still in business. Adwords campaign coupled with an Overture campaign helped keep my business afloat until slowly but surely things started to take a turn. After making adjustments over a couple of updates and implementing wiser linking strategies, I found my sites creeping up in search results and regaining some of their lost PR.
Now when the dust has settled, not only are my sources of traffic diversified, but I feel as if I have gained so much more. In this (web) medium of fluctuating fortunes, I feel a tad bit safer. Btw, revenues are up and profits are back, and this time I feel and believe it is for real :)
Glad you've decided not to throw in the towel, as "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger".
With good advice in this forum combined with some faith and confidence in your ability, you can pretty much accomplish anything on the web.
Certainly. There are some very successful people in these forums who've suffered massive penalties or bans across their sites, or their clients' sites. They're the ones who learn and grow stronger.
Essex_boy, this won't come as any comfort now but think back to when your site was rising in the SERPS - someone else was falling.
> Throwing in the towel may be the right decision for some people.
I'd probably get in trouble if I agreed with that, so I'll just agree with Kareem. You can pretty much accomplish anything on the Web, but you need to be willing to invest and not get caught up in an obsession with a site or a small bunch of search phrases.
Once you've worked through a ban, you have just gained another level in your programming skills.
A tip is to make it work with js off, and everything visible, no spam. Then get it validated.
Just keep working at it, as it is a hobby.
And remember how much it would cost to get someone else to program it, and update it week by week. Think of where you will be in 2 years time....
Now if you earn more than a programmer, I suggest you hire help.......