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Is it time to move on from Google?

     
9:06 pm on Jul 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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With Google results not poorer than ever due to brand domination, ROI on advertising at all time lows, I ask a simple question :

Is it time to move on from Google?

Yandex has been quietly busy building an English search engine in the Netherlands and Bing well I think they're doing their best, both have their faults but they don't show brands repeatedly in their SERPS and maybe just maybe with the support of webmasters could build a rival to Google that would keep them honest.

Google isn't going to change, they will keep SME's suppressed whilst suckers keep spending on advertising. The only way to evoke change is switch to supporting a Search Engine that supports the many not the few.
3:57 pm on July 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Either way, being found in Amazon is important since Amazon is frequently visited by shoppers through most purchase cycles.

Yes, and one of the reasons is research. Amazon's user reviews, ratings, and answers to questions ("Can I use this with a 3A widget charger?") are an incredibly valuable resource. In many cases, you can even use Amazon user reviews for tech support, because people will take time to share their experiences, problems, and solutions.

What's more, such resources are available for all kinds of products--even something as specialized as a USB-to-parallel port adapter, for example. This obviously makes it hard for smaller retailers to compete with Amazon, unless they have a unique selling proposition of their own (such as expert, personalized advice for those shoppers who haven't the patience to read through Amazon's answers and user reviews).
4:18 pm on July 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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When Google, Amazon, Samsung, Apple, Cisco, IBM and Microsoft finally merge, and open the gates of hell, they will send forth a harbinger of the techpocalypse..

This is a joke. BigData do not have harbingers.



[edited by: not2easy at 6:21 pm (utc) on Jul 13, 2017]
[edit reason] charter/ToS [/edit]

4:26 pm on July 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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being found in Amazon is important


Not to me.
5:13 pm on July 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Only in exactly the same way that being in SERPs was important 5 years ago.

It's definitely important to be in both, though one needs to evaluate the limitations and ROI of each platform. At least here in the USA, I'm not seeing much value in spending a great deal of time, effort and money in organic SEO or paid ads for that matter. Google is burying the specialized sellers and service providers well below big brands and Google's other properties/services. And those that care enough to go into detail about their products and services (getting to Editorial Guy's point), the answers to those questions may be lifted (direct or indirectly) by Google and further diminish the value of traffic. What I mean by diminished traffic value, is a time when a potential customer would once find a comprehensive answer to their question on our site and say "this company really knows their stuff so I'm going to buy from them" and instead the answer is provided to them by Google and the sale or at least the positive impression we left with the potential customer is lost. And while we can restrict Google from using our detailed answers in the knowledge box, those that scrape and post our stolen content (sometimes reworded/spun) are not controlled by us.

Right now, the question for retailers is "how is Google trying to eat your lunch"

Here in the USA, there is only an appetizer for Google to eat. Most USA shoppers have left search engines and Google being the largest among them has lost the most. That's why I feel that what little buyer traffic they get is being rotated to different sites. This also helps to explain why our conversion rate from Google is so poor and why we get bursts of sales from Google between prolonged periods of time when Google appears dead. If Google quit rotating the buyer traffic, and dropped the domain crowding, it may add value to being ranked #1 instead of the current moving target that leaves Google traffic with half the conversion rate of Bing and Yahoo. Regardless, there's a lot of data that supports far more purchases involve an interaction with Amazon than search engines - leaving Google with much less influence over product sales. The proof is in the numbers for me. Though we are not yet halfway into July, my total sales are forecast to be 25-30% greater than they were in July of 2016. This is without wasting time, effort and money with Google (SEO or Adwords).

Amazon is not your friend. Even less than Google.

Friend or foe, USA shoppers are spending a lot of time and money at Amazon. Ones failure to be found where these shoppers are spending their money at is more detrimental to sales in the present than what may or may not happen down the road. I know there's a lot of American businesses still stepping over earning a dollar on Amazon to pick up a dime on Google, which is good for those that adapt to changing buyer habits and are able to reach a larger percentage of the buyer market. I don't see Amazon or Google as my friend, but I do see where sales are coming from. And few are coming from Google even though my site ranks really well. But ranking really well means little when Google buries pages beneath the fold, often because of domain crowding, and rotates what little high buyer intent traffic they have.

being found in Amazon is important

Not to me.

Which is good, and let's hope it stays that way. Though my guess is you feel this way because you reside in and serve the UK market. Just as Google personalizes search results, they can and do use different data sets and tweaked layouts for different geographic regions in large part to accommodate political and regulatory pressures. Having a stronger regulatory environment in the UK likely has its benefits when it comes to protecting the interests of consumers and smaller enterprises, which you are a benefactor of. Regardless, I don't live in a bubble. I realize government policies in different regions influence those regions differently and the perceptions of those operating within totally different environments. Unfortunately there's not much interest here in the USA to restrain big search, social and marketplaces. Though it's my hope that at least some of the regulatory actions taken in the UK to hold big search, social and marketplaces accountable can be used as a model in other regions throughout the world including the USA.
6:42 pm on July 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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>> When Google, Amazon, Samsung, Apple, Cisco, IBM and Microsoft finally merge, and open the gates of hell, they will send forth a harbinger of the techpocalypse.. This is a joke. BigData do not have harbingers.

@Shaddows, you really don't know what can of worms you just stepped into...
8:24 pm on July 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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my guess is you feel this way because you reside in and serve the UK market


Not location, business: even if Amazon started trying to take on the services sector in the UK, my own particular service wouldn't be something they could easily take on.

However (as you point out), even for online retailers it doesn't have to be Google or Amazon, so Amazon isn't a reason to move on from Google, even if it is a good reason to diversify.

What Amazon does well is make it easy to find and compare products, easy to pay for them, and easy to get them to your house. If your own site does those things less well, forget Google: concentrate on user experience.
8:45 pm on July 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Shaddows, you really don't know what can of worms you just stepped into...


I think Ed Snowden just spat out his Russian Breakfast :)

Anyway nothing to see here back to the thread
9:14 pm on July 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It's interesting, I went for a job interview a few days ago (didn't get it sadly), and I asked the man where most of his customers come from, and he said word of mouth. I thought about Google as I was suggesting ways for him to find more clients, but immediately ditched that idea, not out of spite, I just felt being a small operator, he wouldn't have much of a chance among the big fish in the Google pool. Instead I suggested Facebook, particularly the local pages (we have one called Xtown Help, which is for us to post about lost cats, traffic accidents, and particularly look for recommendations for services), he said he is on that page as well as a couple of others north and south of our town.

Just funny how on the spot I thought about Google then realised it wouldn't be of much help to him.
9:22 pm on July 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@browndog I just find it sad how many talented webmasters are forced into going to job interviews because Google decided to rig the results.
12:22 am on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks seoskunk, I agree. I'd rather be adding new content, but that role has been given to the big media companies with little room for the independent sites :(

The guy did want to hire me to do his social media work for him (hence the conversation on the way out), so that's something I guess.
12:36 am on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So they penalise you for links regardless of who added them and they penalise for content with no good reason, then whitelist their friends and call this a Search Engine ? I think it's a joke and time to move on from this charade for the good of the internet.
1:43 am on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I was just thinking how maybe eventually the Internet will be split two ways, commercial will use Google and another browser will be used for independent/boutique sites.

As it is, Google looks like any high street with your high street stores that sell the same product regardless of where you are. But many of us want a more unique experience and certainly less domain clustering, I thought they'd sorted that problem out years ago, but it has come back.

The links thing has long been a joke. Why would I want some dodgy X rated Russian site linking to mine G rated site? It defies logic.
8:18 pm on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I was just thinking how maybe eventually the Internet will be split two ways, commercial will use Google and another browser will be used for independent/boutique sites.

Browser or search engine? Either way, I think Google is pretty committed to serving up results from "independent/boutique sites." After all, most search queries can't be answered with pages from Amazon, eBay, Target, or WalMart. There's a lot more to the Web than e-commerce.
3:38 am on July 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, I meant search engine, not browser.

Well I am not in e-commerce, so don't actually focus on that a great deal. My site is an information site, I don't sell anything. Right now I am being hammered by a media site and a commercial (e-commerce) business owned by Mars. Media site, sure, but the e-commerce site are providing short, pretty thin content, but Google loves them.
8:35 pm on July 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Mars owned site has an article that ranks no. 2, it is 168 words long. I rank no. 5 with my 1200 word article. I know, I know...it's not all about word count, but their content is routinely rubbish but is now constantly outranking me.

Another example. Mars owned company rank 2 and three for a two word phrase. 191 and 171 word articles. I rank 14th with my 1,600 word article. Other spots before me, a charity (has two places), a media company (2 places), another 'Mars' like company (2 places), 171 words and the other article was just links to info on using their products...and we have a shop.

To me it's all about e-commerce these days, even for information.

The above post is 122 words long, does that look like a lot of information for an article on let's say 'widget care' which has a lot of factors in it?
1:28 am on July 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Many times it is the flavor of the month. Go figure.

Sometimes it is a site redesign that leads to lower ranking (ie, a BIG change).

Sometimes it is losing out to paid advertising, and to combat that, your wallet needs to be larger than theirs.

This goes for any search engine, not just g.

Of course diversification can make a difference to the bottom line, as long as that diversification does not stretch ability and expense.
8:19 am on July 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm starting to wonder if Google have changed their mind on quality of content and are now going with speed. Short articles with no images but fast loading. Maybe that has become a bigger factor than longer/detailed articles with images?
8:31 am on July 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@browdog - Google has probably been more explicit than ever recently, announcing exactly how ranking will be determined.

Read here: Are you ready for the Mobile-First Index? [webmasterworld.com]
9:41 am on July 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My site is 100% responsive.
9:52 am on July 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So that's how your site will be ranked. You don't need to "wonder." :)
10:16 pm on July 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Well that's just one factor sadly.

The reason I ask is I came upon the term TL;DR recently. I'd never heard of it before. I regularly read comments on news articles and see quite a few people using it. So with that, plus noticing Google ranking a lot of really thin content recently, I wondered if they are reversing their guidelines for quality content because Internet users don't want that, they prefer short articles.

Just thinking out loud about what can be done with this latest change towards short articles...plus other factors such as site speed...
10:43 pm on July 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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In code I find the shortest answer is normally the one I go for, same with articles, a long winded article can put me off the page and I'll bounce to a shorter one, having said that I see no correlation between articles being dropped on Google, both indepth and short articles are disappearing.

Perhaps it's time for a different Search Engine ?
11:03 pm on July 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Well that's just one factor sadly
One factor? No, I'm not referring to a ranking boost because you have a mobile site, the link I provided discusses the upcoming algo update that will change the way all sites (desktop & mobile) will be ranked. This is the biggest change in ranking that Google has ever done. This relates to all the comments in this thread.
Currently, Google looks at the desktop version of a site and then bases how it will rank the mobile site according to that information. Once this update rolls out, the opposite of that will happen. Google will begin looking at your mobile site and from that, will rank the desktop site.
[webmasterworld.com...]
11:07 pm on July 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have some questions on this, I will post in that thread though
This 114 message thread spans 4 pages: 114