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I am just wondering, in people's general opinion, is Google again stable? Is it worthwhile to SEO for it now or more worth while to focus efforts on Yahoo?
More important, if efforts are focused on Google, is it possible all will be for nothing (is it still dropping homepages for no reason, etc)?
The "winning formula" that I found "really easy" prior to mid Feb is now different regarding links.
Because getting PR is thus so much harder, I consider it almost not worthwhile to try for competitive terms at the moment. If you try too hard you might overbalance the scales and get yourself with an automatic penalty. Just when that auto penalty can be released is something I have yet to work through. I'm selectively dropping links out at the moment.
(GG - I emailed email@example.com including my handle)
was just wondering b/c I have found a pretty good optimizing formula for Yahoo.
In theory, if I optimize for Google, I should do well on Yahoo too.
But am thinking, if I see 100,000 searches on Overture for a keyword, does this mean there are 50,000 on Yahoo (since the market is split down the middle)?
The recent switch by Yahoo definitely makes SEO much more challenging. You can no long focus on one search engine to reach the lions share of the search traffic. To rank well in Google, Yahoo & Inktomi is going to be difficult.
">I would definitely spend some time looking at other search engines. Diversification and seeing if you can do well on other search engines is one of the best ways to make sure that not all your eggs are in one basket."
WOW....That is either extreme confidence or a total lack of trust in Google SERPS.
GG, post Florida Google was the odd man out, showing totally different results to all other major engines. That continued until Feb 18th when Yahoo ditched Google for most users.
Since then we have seen Google turn 180 degrees, ditch many of the filters previously deployed, and ditch to a great extent the so called "semantic" algo.
I have been talking with webmasters socially for several days that Google has realized it screwed up......Is your comment above a confirmation of that?
I wish Google had a tool for seeing keyword searches within a month...
The tool is called Adwords - you get some fab stats out of there. But broad matching makes it slightly harder since your own serps aren't as likely to be broad matched. Gives you an excellent idea of how big the market is though.
WOW....That is either extreme confidence or a total lack of trust in Google SERPS.
Apart from Google misbehaving itself, I have found it true - get it right for Google in all its 100 parts, and you get top of the other engines as well. The other engines may emphasis different parts to Google, but if you have done all parts well...
if someone else would have said that, it would not have stir a controversy, would it?
Whoa, hold up a second.....you can't proclaim yourself as the "be all, and end all of search" and in the same breath claim you are experimenting with the results......either you are the best, or you are just testing out some theories!
Google doesn't know where the heck it is at. The results fluctuate from highly filtered to back to the old algo.
So who cares?.....well for some of us it means hundreds of thousands of dollars per month in profit. So while the Google PHD's are having fun with screwing with the results, some of us are losing huge amounts of money for their experiments into the "semantic" algo and various types of filtering.
As of today they seem to be getting back on track, but they have shown themselves to be incompetent, that will cost them, and rightly so IMHO!
People bought IBM's "lesser" technology because it guaranteed security......Google is not secure for webmasters or the public......and long-term people will cease to buy (albeit for at no financial cost to the user).
Simple facts.....I have over 50 sites that have gone from #1 to not in the top 100, and back again.....SO WHICH EXACTLY WERE THE GOOD GOOGLE RESULTS?
Whichever way the Google fans spin this it is either a 3 month screw up or simple plain total incompetence that has deprived the public that trusted Google of good results.
Google thought it could do as it pleased, then Yahoo switched and Google was the minority player with Yahoo and MSN taking the lead. Google had so much confidence in its results it scrapped them and switched back to pre-Florida......Once again, dear Google, do your tests behind closed doors, don't mess with the live SERPs until you know they are better than other offerings. That is a programming 101 principle......maybe they didn't teach it at your school?;)
I would definitely spend some time looking at other search engines. Diversification and seeing if you can do well on other search engines is one of the best ways to make sure that not all your eggs are in one basket.
Coming from anyone else, it would be considered a very generalized statement which makes good business sense. However, coming from GoogleGuy, it could be interpreted other ways.
We could go on and on with paranoid speculation ... but I think I will take GG's advise (he's never lied to me before) and concentrate on other engines for now. :) (Read Y!)
I ain't touching anything and don't care much anymore about being in the top #1-3 slots. Stable? I hope so, but it doesn't hurt to get into adwords for peace of mind. I've seen a nice 150% jump in money phrase sales in that respect.
SEO? Follow Brett's 12 steps. GG reiterated that in Orlando.
Google's current results have regressed to being inferior to a month ago, but you can take to the bank that they will have another significant change in the near future, and it will be an attempt to get better. Whether it succeeds or not only time will tell, but this whining that they shouldn't try to improve is just too much.
but you can take to the bank that they will have another significant change in the near future
But wouldn't it be nice to have a bit of stability for a few months. My own take on this is that Google now has all of the major ingredients in the bowl they just need to mix them up a bit more;)
Back to the original topic. I don't think its sure fire and its certainly an awful lot more complicated. Gone are the days when a few backlinks with the right anchor text will get you on the first page. Gone are the days when adding your terms in another <h2> tag would move you up a couple of places.
I have absolutely no confidence that my #1 ranking site/pages for various terms will be there on Google next month. My confidence that they will be there on every other major search engine is much stronger. The problem is this. If you study in detail the top ranking pages in your SERPs and you let Google demonstrate to you what it likes and then engineer your pages and links to match or go one better than the #1 ranking site, what happens when the Google engineers mix the algo a bit more? Next month you might get another page at #1 and have to go through the whole process again.
Optimizing for G - worth it? Hmmm, let's see now. G still has about 50% SOM. Let me think...is it worth it to pay attention to a SE that has 50% SOM... ;-)
I have a site that is number one for its "pet" keyword in both Google and Yahoo - until this post ;) - so it is possible to rank in well both search engines.
But I also have a number of client sites that rank well in Google, but are no where in Y! - and vice versa.
However, now that Y! has stopped using G, people have a new opportunity to rank.
Personally I think Google benefits from losing Yahoo - they're just like us, in many aspects:
They had the lion's share of search and everyone (Y!, MSN, FreeSearch...) is gunning for a chunk of their market.
Perhaps they would have benefitted from the business model that many employ here - they should have quietly rolled out a number of "competing" search engines that used Google technology, meanwhile promoting the Google brand exclusively.
There is no such thing as a stable Google any longer - they are purposely employing "floating variables" in order to do "quality testing" and these variables are shaking loose the SERPs from day-to-day. My interpretation of that is that they have a handful factors that toggle the weight of particular on-page and off-page factors just enough to scramble the SERPs without hurting relevance. For instance on Monday the algo will score a point higher for words in bold text, and the next day bold text will be neutral, but external links from sites within the same theme will score one point higher.
In certain SERPs the searches remain relatively stable, in others, this slight variance is really stirring the pot.
Google's dream is to have everyone make content rich sites that made absolute no special effort to rank in their search engine (other than creating a site map and getting listed in DMOZ and Y! directory). Unfortunately, with so many millions of dollars at stake - this will never happen.
So... you have to optimize a site for Google without making it look like you are optimizing a site for Google. Some people call that "organic SEO".
But there are still "hacks" and there always will be, unless Google (et al) can have a human hand-check every SERP in the world. Ain't gonna happen.
If you employ a hack, expect that domain name to get banned eventually. However if you can gross 100 K on that domain in the three months that it was #1 - who cares. If you are trying to promote your "mom and pop" - the business that is supposed to pay your mortgage and your kid's college tuition every month - you may not want to risk everything for such short-term gains.
Unfortunately I am long-in-tooth. ;)
I professionally believe the role of an SEO is changing -- or more importantly must change in order for clients to achieve a positive cash flow on their investment.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
You must recommend PPC (if they are not already doing so). Even when "ranked results" go up and down PPC tends to be quite stable. As such, clients "get" return even if you and attempting to determine "how to fix a slide in results". Although PPC is market, industry, and regionally dependent and normally above the costs of SEO fees - the immediate and near continuous return is there that you should not be ignoring it.
You must validate - doing this ensures vast errors are not negatively affecting the website. Here's something unique -- Once validated a link is provided and your link back ensures that bots see that link (admittedly W3C) through the robots.txt disallows these pages from being crawled from their end - notwithstanding on every site I have validated I see PageRank appear on the W3C page where none should exist according to Google's (if not part of the archive) thus the lost/gain risk in my opinion is in favor of the client.
If your sites "slide" and often - and you don't validate - maybe this is the problem -- I could be spiff-balling as well - yet I waste my time doing this on even site - and rarely slide in any results.
The normal SEO Stuff - still quite valid.
The link anchor is by far the single most important benefit in developing ranked results for a very simply reason -- it is the bridge of "content" from one page to another page. I term this "content" since the link itself on the "linked from" page is simply extending some form of topical discussion.
This is extremely profound - yet more importantly why many "get it wrong".
The link text (or image) is precisely content on the page it resides on - extending the topic elsewhere. Why are external links important?
"Reach" -- extending your circle of influence. Regardless of in or out of your website they have a profound impact on your marketing reach.
Why are they important to search engine ranked results?
Without getting into the topics of PageRank and/or Link Popularity - they are a credential of worthiness.
That brings us to...
A website that is stagnant is less appealing to search engines - let me say that again - A website that is stagnant is less appealing to search engines... Why do search engines "love" forums -- "continuous change". I have often looked at WebmasterWorld keyphrases - and rarely ever see them drop.
About a year ago Brett slapped up a post -- sites that do not incorporate a forum will have a difficult time in search engines (paraphrasing).
We get quite comfortable (and client to) with the "content" of sites -- it not just about keywords boys and girls -- you must continue to develop new directions to move into, open new market areas which in turn help to secure or improve existing ones. Anyone that believes Google or any other search engine will stop seeking out new content that directly competes with your client's content or that their competitors will simply "give up" attempting to displace them - is not forward thinking.
Continuous content updating takes alot of bloody work but adding a topical discussion forum is not just content development -- it's added merit and forward thinking. The forum aggregates content without the need to write "all of it".
The forum draws interested members in some of which can demonstrate moderator potential (and quality content development) - which allows you (and the client) to focus on the bigger online picture and non-employees to manage your content development directions.
It is a bit more complex than that - but it is probably easier than you think.
It is also the difference between "stable results" and Is Google SEO a sure thing again.
You nailed it right on the head, fathom.
Changing our homepage on a daily basis propelled our site from #2-4 for its main keyword to #1. Florida & Brady came and went, but our #1 position hasn't changed. We don't obsess about optimizing our site (we don't even have H1, H2 or whatever tags) - we just focus on improving our content, and being the best site in our niche. Everything follows.