Senior Member from CA
joined:Nov 25, 2003
The following is NOT directed at anyone in particular nor caused by any specific thread or post.
Please do not take it as a personal attack but as a general commentary on a common behaviour pattern and mindset.
Note: I know that this is the 'Google' SEO forum. I also know that this is where most of the angst is felt.
If this should be posted elsewhere by all means please move as appropriate.
SEO, as usually practiced, creates a critical chain of linked (that's a puny, folks!) problems that artificially constrain a website's growth and prosperity. And exacerbate given situations.
No two SE algorithms are the same and even where they may be including a similar input it's weighting and positioning are probably different. This means that the more one tries to acquire increased benefit from aka game a particular SE the more likely one is failing in others.
Yes, in many markets a particular SE may be dominant, even severely so. However, by deliberately targeting just the 'biggest buck' you are:
* reinforcing the market dominance.
Perpetuating non-diversity and limiting future options.
* confusing biggest with best.
Each SE has slightly to significantly different user demographics, one or more of the others may actually be a better fit aka convert at higher rates for your niche and site, given the opportunity.
* turning away a significant number of potential customers.
In the UK Google has ~90.5% of search, Bing ~5.5%, Yahoo ~2.5%
in transactional UK search it is Yahoo with ~34%, Bing ~33%, Google ~31% (via Experian).
Yup, that ~8% of the UK general search market accounts for upwards of two-thirds of UK transactional search.
Not all search is created equal.
Search referred traffic is predominantly new traffic. Given that on average only 15%-20% of search traffic is navigational AND that that includes major brand sites yours is likely under 5% (by all means research your particular stats). ~95% new traffic.
Unfortunately this also tends to mean that your site is structured and your pages designed to convert first time, only time visitors. Not only that but noobies from a somewhat constrained demographic. What most in this situation are not doing:
* providing reasons to return.
---you do know that returning visitors often behave differently aka are looking differently than first timers?
---you do know that it 'costs' ~6-times more to acquire new customers than retain existing? Put another way: that returning visitors provide ~6-times the conversion value than ever new?
* being attractive/beneficial to visitors from other groups/places than referred from 'that' SE.
I am always being told that other SEs just don't send the traffic and that what they do just doesn't convert. Similarly for that from various SM platforms.
Well, you made sure of that by designing/developing for not-them.
Note: while Google is the preferred SE of most younger demographics it is the over 50's who hold ~42% of all disposable income and buy ~55% of consumer goods plus pay for a third of what those younger purchase.
Sole (or near) sourced business is a fragile business.
All (or most of) your eggs in one basket aka owing your soul to the company store can be quite comfortable even extremely profitable until...it isn't.
There are three forces at work: (1) what you do or don't, (2) what your competitors do or don't, and (3) what the SE does or doesn't. Only one is in your hands. Statistically not a great longterm viability.
And yes, the world is not fair.
The same goes for any single provider.
Rather than 'just' Google search traffic it could be 'just' AdSense for revenue.
Or 'just' ...
If you do hitch your star to a single whatever I truly hope that it takes you to the stars and that it never lets you drop. However, if not, please don't whine. It merely underlines your ignorance, incompetence, and/or hubris.
Note: asking for assistance in a given circumstance is absolutely fine, indeed encouraged; refusing to accept anything but a return to what was is not, nor that a proposed solution is hard or long, nor that 'it' is not fair - unless just once with a sigh.
I'll reiterate what I've said previously elsewhere on WebmasterWorld:
Note: averaged across sites.
* ~40% of my traffic is SE referred.
* ~22% of my traffic is Google referred; that's ~55% of search traffic.
* ~10% (down from ~90% in 2004) of revenue is AdSense;
---it's about half what it was at it's height in absolute terms but then it's on a lot fewer pages with fewer ad blocks per page.
* ~35% of revenue is affiliate pre-sell.
* ~55% of revenue is direct ad space sales.
Note: there are significant cross-over actions between aff and ads.
Note: aff and ads are immune from the AdSense mobile blues. Indeed mobile opens up huge new vistas.
If I can do it, anyone can.
Trite, perhaps, but quite true.
Granted, the learning/development curve is much steeper now than it was back when I started. On the other hand the options are much greater.