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We are not yet out of money and if we get unblocked this week or next we would not do the lay off.
However... there is no communication with Google on this type of issue (almost none, the Google team did send us a reply informing us that we have been blocked due to inadequate quality to determine Page Rank.)
We have increased our quality but now what?
My #1 wish is the same as Google Guy's.
If your entire business relies on Google for income (to the point that if you dont get traffic you have to layoff staff) then there is something seriously wrong with your business strategy.
Personally, if this is the case, then I think you should tell your staff that they have to be laid off due to mis-management.
Granted, if your business was reliant on one supplier, then that supplier cutting you off is a fair reason for redundancies.
But Google is not the end all and be all of traffic on the web.
Your web marketing team should have worked on grabbing repeat visits and custom, product / service diversification and other methods of expanding the business, not putting all your eggs in one basket.
In fact I would consider it pretty irresponsible for an employer to make such a business decision.
Just my opinion though. I dont know all the facts.
To go a bit further, I can't imagine a site with employees whose quality is so bad as to earn an "inadequate quality to determine Page Rank."
some serious points, allow me to expand.
The internet is far beyond google, whether you accept it or not google is a bit player in an industry which eclipses google 1000 times over, from joe-surfers website to the largest ISP's using sat technologies for packet transfers.
Think ROI, then google will find its place in the scheme of things. There are more than one way to skin a cat, and trying to skin google, for which i can only assume via dubious virtue is a little untoward.
If your looking at ROI and brand, it takes alot of time and every possible angle of ROI exposure should be used > SE's google, fast, teoma, av, ink; > directories: MSN, LS, Lycos, DMOZ; Reciprocating link sites> these create traffic, like you would'nt believe; Industry specific portals and vortals > topic specific, traffic.
Create more traffic, industry dependant Google rules, to a degree, but the percentages of usage by surfers, should not be assumed, as in 100%.
There is suddenly something happening in the world of the SE's and the outcome is going to affect everyone on this forum's business, but how it is going to play out > who can tell!
<added> ie dont put all your eggs in one basket...work on marketing...broaden your horizons? </added>
Clarify what Google told you? Have you been booted from Google? Google is a search engine, and doesn't rank sites on *quality*. Just whether they are relevant to the search term. LOTS of low quality sites are in Google. Being booted from Google should require some egregious techniques to trick search engines.
Thought i was being corrected for something...assumed that it was being directed to the original poster.
<creeps into the corner in an embarassed kinda way>
looks like you been at it "Hard"
and using Google as an excuse for laying staff off, is below the belt.
"You do the Crime, then do the Time"
Sorry that I wasn't clear. I was agreeing with Google Guy's #1 New Years with that "better communication with webmasters when they've run into problems"
I wasn't blaming Google for poor managment decisions and I wasn't saying that this was a company killing decision to block us.
Basicly I wish that there was a process that we could understand regarding getting the block lifted.
is the man when it comes to collecting ROI, when everyone else thought its dead and buried.
ROI, implies, and is far more than Google > webdesign, W3C compliance, user-bility of the site, which is structural and navigationally sound to humans, not robots, as well as taking robots into account. Its tricky stuff, but there's money to be made and that drive's a lot of learning, because whether you're a passanger, the boss, or the facilitator of ROI dreams on the web, it's all about learning and the experience of blowing it, and that being one of very many lessons.
I'm not sure if people realize just how much some businesses rely on Google. I can easily see a business folding because they have been blocked by Google. I'm not sure you can categorize reliance on Google as being mis-management. If you depend on print ad's for your business, and suddenly print is no longer available to you, a business could be in deep trouble. Same with reliance on Gov. contracts, or a strong tourist trade.
This reliance on Google is there because a high Google ranking means traffic, and traffic, if the site is built for conversion, means money.
If the site is blocked for spamming or some other infraction, then so be it. However, if not, it should be reinstated in the index.
Basicly I wish that there was a process that we could understand regarding getting the block lifted.
You mean, you want them to respond quickly and explain you exact reasons for being blocked?
LOL. That would be an invitation to cloak and spam :)
When people say they wish they could communicated with google and work out their problems, what the really mean - "I cheated and got caught. I'm going to see the teacher after class, cry a bit, and then find out how he caught me, so that I can keep cheating without getting caught in the future."
Isn't that what you are asking?
If you want to run a sustainable business you need to accept the fact that you cant rely on a single source for business.
Its different for webmasters running sites on their own - they only have their own income to worry about and the decisions made only affect you and your dependants.
But if you are running a business, with staff, you have a responsiblity to do everything you can to either:
1. Sustain your business through multiple sources so that the failure of one doesnt cripple you.
2. Make sure that if you do depend on one source, you dont do anything that will jepordise that source.
Clearly if you follow path 2 this includes a responsibility to keep your knowledge base up to date to avoid situations like facing a penalty from Google.
It is fair to accept that Joe Bloggs's widget hobby site gets a penalty because Joe didnt keep up to date.
Personally, I think it is reasonable to accept that an employee or business owner who is responsible for dealing with these issues should have to keep up to date. More so if the business depends on it.
On the surface I agree with you. However, let's discuss acceptable risk in business.
Is there a way to protect yourself from all risk based on reliance? I don't think it's possible. In this case you have a businessman who has decided to use the Internet as his avenue for achieving sales. I'd bet that Google isn't the only SE that you can find his site on. I'd also bet that Google gives his site the majority of traffic. That's spreading risk.
Are you suggesting that 10K_Guy build a brick & morter company to protect his business? Maybe he already has a storefront. Perhaps overhead of that tyope is unacceptable risk for him. Perhaps your suggesting he use a PPC program. Again, there is a risk with this as well.
If he has employee's, then he's probably been somewhat successful with his current business model. This tells me that 10K_Guy has accepted the risk of doing business on the Internet and to this point has done well.
The problem 10K_Guy is apparantly trying to point out is one of communication with Google. This isn't about how he runs his business. He is frustrated that his business is being curtailed. He would like more information on how to get it out of trouble. Unfortunately he is considered guilty until proven innocent. This assumption, by Google and perhaps some posting here, is the risk nobody plans for.
Ouch! Is there no chance at all that a mistake was made and that 10K_Guy has a valid grievance?
I'm sure there are sites that get dropped for minor things they did not intend to do.
But if google responds saying they intentionally blocked the site - that means he must have been doing something really wrong.
In the words of Joe Tribiani - "You are so far behind the line - the line is a dot to you!" :)
there is ...
it sounds like you've been caught by a trap. a spam filter maybe? either way, your site just aint right. fix it. googlebot will come back again and if your site's ok, it should get listed properly. problem solved and no need to lay anyone off.
now all you need to do is find out what caused google to drop your site in the first place. cloaking? over-optimisation? lack of inbound links? server unavailable at spidering time? keyword spamming? hidden text? messed up .htaccess or robots.txt? lots of other possibilities.
read back through previous messages in this forum, especially the ones with pr0, banned or dropped in the title. every time you find a new "reason", check your site. eventually you'll find out what went wrong. if you can't work out what's wrong, employ a search engine expert to find out and fix it - there are plenty here, just post a message to the commercial exchange forum [webmasterworld.com...]
in the meantime, use PPC listings (adwords, overture, espotting etc etc etc) to bring in traffic.
G! is a quality supplier who can provide leads if it finds your content useful for their own purposes. They have so many "partners" (web sites) that communicating to all of them just would not make their cost-return model sustainable.
Anyone who has done their research will know that positions in G! can never be guaranteed, unless you use Adwords. High traffic from G! is very valuable but there is always a downside, and that is that it is transient. If you think that your business due to google referrals is too good to be true, it probably is. - for anything other than today. Tomorrow is something different - and wait until you lose your yahoo hits next year, when y! referrals become totally monetized for commercial sites at least.
You just need common business sense. No savvy businessmen honestly blames his suppliers or agents for problems. It's his/her mismanagement in not evaluating them and doing risk management well enough to start with.
i disagree with your analogy. a more correct analogy would be one type of printed advertising (ie, newspapers) being no longer available. others (ie, magazines) will still be available. dropped from google? google is only a small part of the internet ....
>>If the site is blocked for spamming or some other
>>infraction, then so be it. However, if not, it should be
>>reinstated in the index.
google doesn't guarantee listings. a listing in google is a privilege, not a right. if you get a listing in google, look at it as a bonus. if you hit top spot, then it's a big bonus. if you get dropped, you've lost nothing, you just didn't gain.
it isn't google's job to tell people how to correctly build and optimise sites or how to fix them - it's the web developer or SEOs job to do that. google must get thousands of "hey, why isn't my site listed" emails every week. it would cost a fortune for them to check sites and tell webmasters exactly what they've done wrong (or in other words, how to correctly build and optimise a site). if they charged a fee for reviewing and analysing sites and explaining why they were booted, google would be accused of deliberately booting sites just to earn money from desperate webmasters. they can't win, can they? but at least they're kind enough to respond with a "you broke the rules so you got booted" message, which is a lot more than other search engines will do.
I disagree with your attitude towards Google and it's responsibility toward webmasters. Without us there would be no money flowing into the Google coffers. Who pays for adwords? People obviously don't use Google for information only.
I see your point with print ad's. I'll go step further then. What if you relied on the New York Times for your ad's because that was your market. Then the New York Times became unavailable to you. Would a smaller, less circulated, possibly less read paper due to place your ad in?
Now, if your site gets booted and you get a cryptic message from Google saying "You broke the rules, you're out". Wouldn't you like to know generally what you did, what happens if you correct it, when you may get back in, if you can get back in, etc..
Your worship of Google is an example for us all. However, perhaps you could show some compassion and put yourself in someones eles's shoes.
In a general way, I am with you.
..pay very close attention to the "Quality Guidelines," which outline some of the illicit practices that may lead to a site being removed entirely from the Google index..
in a way sounds like a "zero-tolerance" towards mistakes, with life-long possible penalties.
In reality Google can be quite forgiving, but how to know, with such answers from Google, other than by visiting WebmasterWorld?
If a search engine such as Google has upto a 80-90% SE referral score (inlcuding Yahoo/Aol) for well established larger sites (and Google knows it has such a dominance), then public relations wise, it should go a bit further in its communication with webmasters on how long penalties will take and what to do about it, once they are installed, other than posting a few tips on this board (however well intended).
God forbid the day one of my staff - in an over ambitious mood - would publish something Google dislikes, without my knowledge.
That's the crucial point -- if someone is going to build a business that depends on ranking well in Google, how intelligent is it not to have done serious research into Google's needs and quirks first?