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Is Google worth it? Clean the sites up and get hit again.


Automotive site

8:40 am on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Most of my sites have seen their rankings drop, all because I have been linked to bad neighborhoods. You start a site, rank it for a while, some competitor doesn't like the fact that you are on their heels or even overtaken them, points malicious links to your site, you get an unnatural link warning, see your rankings go down the drain. Whats the point of putting so much effort or/and spending money in creating sites? There's now even a whole industry offering to remove bad links, just adding further costs for webmasters.

Ranking on Google is becoming too random.


10:20 am on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I feel your pain!

AdSense is not my main business but I am self-employed and have used it to supplement my other earnings for several years. At its peak I hit £1100 per month. I am now lucky to get £35!

My main sites (those which generate my work) have all bombed for no apparent reason and they remain on a downward spiral with regard to traffic. I am now thinking of retiring as trying to maintain any sort of Google rank is just too much work.

Automotive site

10:29 am on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I also feel that these SEO companies that help to remove links for people could actually be the culprits themselves, at least some of the times. Why not infect people with malicious links to generate more business?

Automotive site

10:31 am on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

"My main sites (those which generate my work) have all bombed for no apparent reason and they remain on a downward spiral with regard to traffic. I am now thinking of retiring as trying to maintain any sort of Google rank is just too much work."

Don't give up yet. You may find that your sites start ranking again a few months down the line, espeicially when Google realizes too many webmasters who are not engaging in irregularity are being punished.


10:46 am on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Don't give up yet.

65 in November! ;)

Automotive site

11:47 am on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

65 as in age, right? So what? Its just a number. Unless you don't want the hassle, its no big deal. Its at home and on a computer, and people are working well into their 70s and even 80s. I know Google's unpredictability can be hard to take, and I must admit I felt physically sick when I woke up one morning to a huge traffic drop on my biggest site, because, like you, I too rely on income from the sites to supplement my income from a job. I have managed to accept Google messing around with our rankings will be a norm.


12:31 pm on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tigger is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

sadly when your market is the UK you have to jump when G shouts ...the internet is now a very poor place and not a fraction of what it was 10 years ago before G dominated everything, bring back the good old days of having a choice and seeing a spread of traffic across all SE's and directories


1:46 pm on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

I left this forum quite a while ago as I had better things to do than have arguments with Google fanboys. I've skeeted through recent posts & it is apparent Google is on a mission. What that mission is exactly is anyone’s guess but after 11 years in business I no longer what to be involved in the sorry state that is the Internet today.

Back in 2000 the Internet was a game changer for people who wanted to start up in business. You didn't need thousands of pounds to start up your dream, you just made a website & tweaked it to improve things. You could see results, not instantly, normally it took a month to appear in the SERP's, remember those days?! These days you can't even dictate what page title appears in Google's results-they do that for you!

I keep reading "Google can do what they want" & "It's their search engine". Well, of course, this is 100% true. However, if you think the world will be a better place when it is run by huge corporations that have more power than any government on Earth then I wish you luck. Since May 2010 I have seen my revenue decrease little by little, some Monday's I DREAD waking up for fear of what I will see in the coming week. This reached an all time low around September 5th this year. Two websites that have generated income have all but gone, they maybe get a few hits each day from repeat customers or foreign visitors who probably can't find what they want in their country.

At the same time I can see the SERP's full of eBay & Amazon results. There are those on here that say "don't rely on Google". That's very easy to say when in the UK the Internet IS Google. "Google it", "Search on Google", "Found you on Google", "Saw your website on Google" etc etc. I've also read with interest posts by people who think they have achieved something by changing X Y & Z because the Google love has come back to their website (for now!). At the same time I know I have done NOTHING & seen the same gains at the same times.

The latest kick in the #*$! was the form tweeted by Matt Cutts asking about smaller websites that should rank better. Do you honestly think Google do not already know this? Google Shopping is 100% paid for now after years of being "free", what a fool I was do give them (G) all that free data. All I see now on Shopping is eBay sellers shops.

Then they have shutdown Google Checkout, not too bothered as sales via that gateway were few & far between to say the least, however, yet again, I've given them the free data they so wanted. Prior to that announcement it seems they were testing again as we had a run of sales via Checkout! Coincidence? Paranoia?

Will I now be removing all Google apps like analytics from my websites? No, it's too late. The sites are dead. Is it worth trying to please Google? No. After 11 years I'm calling it a day, I don't know what I can now do but I'll find something. It sure as hell won't be anything related to the Internet though! The writing was on the wall back in May 2010, that is when I first knew the good times would be coming to an end. The only surprise is it has taken this long.

Good luck everyone, it's been a blast but it's with tears in my eyes that I finally go offline. What a #*$!ty world eh?


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:42 pm (utc) on Sep 12, 2013]
[edit reason] added paragraphs to make readable [/edit]


1:58 pm on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tigger is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

think you've summed up many there ohno ....hope things work out well what ever you do


12:28 am on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I’m UK based as well, and I will be off as well if things don’t improve by the end of October. Had enough of Google’s arrogant “do this” “do that” and the last straw was the “fill in the form if your small website should do better”.

Back a few years I was only too happy to help out, now they can stuff it.

I don’t have Google’s billions, but a quick look at Bing or Yahoo would give them the answer in 5 seconds !

We have been online since 1997 and this last update has taken me from just surviving to not surviving.

Panda is a joke, Penguin is a joke. I do know that some here work in SEO, I wonder how effective they are, probably not very.

I got killed basically on 12th April 2011, it cost my employees their jobs, which was not nice, and it has been downhill since then but this September update is about it for me.

Google doesn’t care, they are too busy calculating the value of their share options.

Cleaning sites is an utter waste of time, we have NEVER purchased links, we have links from the BBC, national newspapers, Wikipedia citations, etc and what do you get in the results, Wikipedia and Google’s American corporate brand friends.

I actually happen to know, from an inside source at a major brand it’s spend $x million on Adwords and Google will help you in the natural SERPS. I look forward to a denial from Google.

Writing new content is a waste of time, re-designs are a waste of time. I have gone to being very popular one day to nowhere the next. I even get emails from people who look forward to our emailed newsletters !

Don’t be diverted by popular co.uk web site names, it probably is American owned or financed if you look hard enough.

And the icing on the cake, Google is building a new HQ in London, with money they didn’t have to pay corporation tax ( nor do their their buddies ) like we have to. No doubt they will proclaim the building as being Irish !

So I will be off soon I expect, two and a half years of hard work improving our main site, missing 3 summers, and nothing to show for it – waste of time.

@ohno and @BeeDeeDubbleU I hope it all works out for you. Our only hope is that the privacy and tax problems will make them rethink, but I doubt it, the population in the UK is the same as California but the UK is their biggest non-US market which shows how dominant they are.

Just one final thing, it not just me, it’s my UK based competitors as well.

bet this don't get past the mods for Google bashing, but it's reality


12:55 am on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

ohno pretty much summed up the frustration I am seeing with many small businesses in the USA. I assure my UK friends that Google's marketshare here in the United States gives them the ability to make or break businesses in most industries just as they can do in the UK. Although we can blame Google for much, it's poor government regulations that allowed Google to grow to the point to where they have a stranglehold over ecommerce.

As it relates to the topic of this thread, on some sites I see absolutely nothing to "clean up." If being in business for decades, an A+ BBB rating and an abundance of positive reviews from Angie's list is to be penalized, we are all in deep trouble. In the absence of anything to clean up (no keyword stuffing or spam links which anyone could send to a site anyway), I feel that the majority of the dirt that needs swept up and tossed in the garbage is the code used to construct Google's current algorithm.

Fact: Very few websites that do clean house ever see any kind of recovery. At most, the recovery they see is not having a nagging message in webmaster tools about something unnatural. Most who do clean up fall farther into the abyss and are even harder to find in Google. If content was truly king, this would not be the case and the playing field would be level for all.


1:29 am on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

The internet early was like those days after the Gutenberg Bible... printing presses! Anyone could do it! Then the American West (as in Wild) and ten the Internet... All of these have one thing in common: an open early playing field with little initial competition that EVENTUALLY fell to organization and consolidation (remember all those early buys and more buys, etc) until near monopolies remain. We are at that stage now. That said, even in these days where things might appear fixed, those who stay and play still have a chance to success. This is not rah rah speech, just a reminder that there are still book publishers, the Wild West is still pretty wild and prosperous, and the internet is not yet locked up in corporate. Hang in there, Bucky!


5:37 am on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

OK... can't resist this one.

I've posted a few times in other threads that maybe its all about the money so I'll not harp on that again.

I don't have mountains of irrefutable data to call on, just the signals and indicators that I see everywhere... and I have come to the conclusion that Google has called time on all sites that made a living off Google traffic without owning or operating an actual business.

For years sites like affiliates, advertising platforms, business directories, shopping portals, SEO operations etc etc became experts in how to manipulate the SERP's in their own favour and generated revenue from the "free" traffic they got from Google.

My gut feel is that Google has said "enough... these sites are pariahs and have to go. They add nothing to our search results that isn't available via the merchants own site... and they divert money from our revenue streams"

I think this is why we are hearing so many reports of sites that never come back, despite all the remedial work that is poured into them.

My sites fall into the group that I described above and there were about 10-12 serious players in my niche, all operating similar sites and generating revenues the same way. Penguin took out every single one at exactly the same time. I struggle with those types of coincidences.


7:03 am on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

The irony though is that those independent resellers have, on the whole, not been replaced by the manufacturer's websites. They've been replaced by huge aggregators. So the SERPs are still full of middle men, just a different sort, and far less in number. Diversity has been drastically reduced.

Martin Ice Web

7:30 am on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

With first penguin and Panda I though, yes, Google cleans up multiple Domains with same Content all redirecting traffic to the main site. My niche was full of it. And, yes, first penguin and Panda did a nice Job with some collateral damage. We have lost about 25% with the first algo changes but our conversions were going up and we did have some good times. Then the next Panda came up and with this brands, Amazon and ebay started to rule with multiple entries in serps. Within the 23 Panda we lost 70% of our traffic. Fortunately Google ois not able to manipulate our returning visitors!
All Pandas di make the serps weaker in regard of content/matiching the query. All my favoured coding sites have been vanished in favor of simple silly blog sites that only touches the theme and seem to be written by School Kids. Great.
My niche is dominated by Amazon, ebay and two big brands. This 4 ecoms share ALL, realy ALL searchs on the first page with multiple listings. Coincidentally
they are big adwords users. Or is it calculation by the 4? Now they "own" the first serps page!
I can only talk about my niche. All my competitors are gone! One our two moved to paid shopping. I did not see any of the others again.
There has been a lot of "hints" from Google how to make a good site.
And after going through all points and fix some small errors on my site I can surely say, panda has nothing to do with the hints.
As MC says, if there is a leader in your niche, don´t try to compete! What a sarcasm, isn´t just Google try to compete with Shopping , Hotel, booking, flying sites? Isn´t free market economy just to compete with others? Should we just let win Amazon and ebay? They are not leaders in my niche but big. I have moch more Background know how but this does not count anymore.
With introducing from Panda/penguin MC told us not to count on free traffic anymore! What does that mean? U can buy traffic with paid shopping or u can by natural traffic with beeing a big adwords buyer!
I u read between the lines and see the progressing in
-brands bias
-getting worse serps -growing stock value
-quaterly earnings
-don´t passing the query
then u know that it is not worth it to follow google anymore.
Since they make webmasters uncertain about any links the intention of links - to link to a nice site that gives more answers etc. - has been cropped. Soon the WWW will be only single site without interlinking. But wasn´t this the intentention of the WWW? Has Google any right to "rewrite" the Internet only because their silly algo depends on links? I say NO.

And like my old friend ohno ( hi ohno! ) says, this last updates cropped away the last buyers.

Human sights:
I feel realy sorry about the way Google goes. There seems stock value is the only thing that counts. Staff, donates small business spend, free Internet, free market economy does not Count anymore. Every one wants to get rich but Google don´t forget the poor poeple, they want to live too. And this poeple depend on donations from small Business that big Business will not do!


7:31 am on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Agree 100%. The replacement sites.. ie.. the "authority sites" are all affiliates in my niche. They just happen to be #*$! big affiliates that no small independent can possibly compete with with.

That is the reality of today's web. Sad but true...


7:35 am on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

One thing that I would say is irrefutable is that the search results are no better for any of the "improvements" they have made during the last two years.

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