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Voyaging Outside the Google Box

     
11:24 pm on Oct 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I know that many/most webdevs are short on time juggling far too many basic bits of making a living but am hopeful there are a few here at WebmasterWorld who have the inclination and time to spend on more esoteric bits of webdev.

It's just past two years since I had a heartfelt PM conversation and I'm going to share one concern more openly:

...where are the discussions about contextual content delivery, about visitor fingerprinting and x-device usage identification, natural language programmed site search, direct ad space selling, API ad delivery... I note the affiliate sub-forum is near dead while out on the web direct affiliate pre-sell has changed greatly in the past several years; video is a major percentage of web content yet the single sub-forum is quiet... in an international space where are the discussions about translating sites... ?


It is not only WebmasterWorld but the webdev conferences, which long ago became SEO conferences became Google focussed conferences. They and WebmasterWorld are so far behind current web marketing let alone the cutting or bleeding edges and everyone appears happily oblivious in their bubbles not realising what has gone on past them.

The thoughtful replies I received in that conversation were sufficient to keep me here and participating, albeit time constraints limited starting threads on the out-of-the-Google-box bits that fascinate me. I was shocked that two years have passed, I thought one at the most. Time, never enough time and it passes faster every year, relatively speaking.

So here goes a public kick at the can [en.wikipedia.org]:

I've been playing, as in hobbyist, with LSTM Networks (Long Short Term Memory Recurrent Neural Networks) the last while including Attention/Augmented, all via TensorFlo. Yes, I often don't know what I'm doing.

Putting the bleeding edge look-at-me aside, the reason, besides for the fun of it, is to aid in maintaining my sites' competitive advantage. If you want to talk TensorFlo or NN generally, great!

If not, how about how best to:
* accurately segment visitor's referral
---for one aspect of why see How "Direct Traffic" May Be Undermining Your Marketing [webmasterworld.com] initiated by ergophobe.
* implement personalisation
---take the preceding and add:
------recognise returning visitors to sites without registration.
------contextual delivery
* identify and account for/block bots?
* sell direct advertising space.
* optimise affiliate referral.
* leverage site search.
* market one's site outside Google.
---marketing to Google is a foundation of WebmasterWorld and webdev/SEO sites everywhere.
* etc.

I don't mean by just adding a comment to this thread, rather by initiating, and participating in, threads that reference the above or similar topics. The web is far more complex than it was a decade ago and the speed of change is akin to the rice and chessboard fable [mathforum.org], it's been slow but... and far too many who are currently finding it difficult to remain competitive will find the next several years extremely discombobulating.

Internet: the virtual frontier. These are the voyages of the webdev iamlost. My continuing mission: to explore strange new capabilities, to seek out new traffic and new revenue sources, to boldly go where few have gone before.

Anyone want to come along?
12:02 am on Oct 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'll tag along! Already outside the g box, but using old school Madison Avenue (1950s-70s) "print and media" solutions... in which what was old is new again for the last few years.

Always willing to look at anything new, who knows, it might make a difference!
12:22 am on Oct 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have initiated threads similar in nature to what you are suggesting. Most recently a thread to try and drum up discussion and interest in Progressive Web Apps. A technology that I feel will change the web and app market as we know it. It will make static content obsolete in the not to distant future if it isn't already.

[webmasterworld.com...]

PWA's will give you the ability to:
* implement personalisation
------recognise returning visitors to sites without registration.
------contextual delivery
* identify and account for/block bots?
* market one's site outside Google. (It may be possible to market your content in the various app-stores)
+ engage with user directly, not just by repeat direct visits but from an app-like "desktop" icon
++ personalize content
++ personalize direct ads

In fact the possibilities will likely be endless.

In general I find the discourse here WW to more reactionary in nature, very few participants are looking at ways to innovate and many just trying to survive.

So count me in for the ride.

Side note about the "rice and chessboard":
When I started this crazy journey as a "webmaster" I called a friend when I had the first visitors to my site and described my grim situation. He said "wait it will take time", I few weeks later I called my friend back "how's it going" he asked. "I'm up two visitors", I replied, He said "great you doubled your traffic since the last time, now just keep doubling every few weeks and you will be fine". Well it took a little more than a few weeks, but I have come a long way. I'm not quite at the end of the chessboard, so I have to keep looking for new and innovative ideas to try and get me there.
3:25 am on Oct 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yes, that's the sort of subject I'm after, NickMNS, and that I think we all can learn more from rather than the usual same but in other words new time stuff.

I've put up my first one: The Power of Flow, Courtesy of the Theory of PageRank [webmasterworld.com]

Let me know what you think, and by all means jump in and add whatever you think will extend the topic.
4:01 am on Oct 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

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These are "sticky" ideas (which I like), but does not address general exposure and totally ignores niche limitations (think books and genre, how many read westerns compared to romance compared to SF compared to .... list is endless and all of them are NOT the full market).

Sticky and working with the interested user is very good commonsense, but is not a magic bullet for growth, if that makes sense.
2:16 pm on Oct 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

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* market one's site outside Google.


This has always been an important part of marketing, especially for establishing oneself as a market dominator. That focus becomes pushed aside in the rush to rank number one. Dominating a niche isn't about ranking #1. That's not domination or even a definition of being established.
1:30 pm on Oct 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I don't know about bleeding edge, but I am working on developing traffic sources outside of google.
It can't be healthy to rely on only one provider of traffic.
8:17 pm on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Something to think about:
When consumers query you by name, I'm certain that Google will begin to associate that with searcher satisfaction if traffic logs confirm it.

The SERPs are not the top ten ordered by "best" links. Nor are they ordered by relevance to a search query. They're ordered by what's going to satisfy the user. That's a user provided signal, not a ranking signal.

THUS, cultivating popularity and name recognition is a good activity.
9:21 pm on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The best websites I know are type ins, (known domains) I never go to google to visit them.
10:58 pm on Nov 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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My personal site enjoys the majority of traffic from outside Google organic referrers. This was just a byproduct of being in several overlapping niches, one being edu. On an average day, Google sends me about 15% to 20% of all traffic, Social Media about the same and the rest is from various schools around the globe. The downside of this metric is that school traffic is basically research and not shoppers, if we are including the commercial side of this argument.

I have been developing 2 PWAs that are currently interactive web pages. When viewed on mobile, they look and act like apps, so I'm taking the effort a couple steps further into packaging them as stand alone. However, again, I am in that edu niche and will need to bring them into SM, at least at first.
5:50 pm on Nov 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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For those interested I've posted on a particular type of direct ad space selling in Direct Ad Sales, Differently [webmasterworld.com]. Yes, it's not applicable to many, perhaps not most, however, it is a goal few know exists.


My personal site enjoys the majority of traffic from outside Google organic referrers.

It is great when this gets pointed out as not only possible but real because so many webdevs including here at WebmasterWorld are so totally Google focussed/locked that even as they sink out of business seem unable to look away from Google the addictive.

As with keyplr Google is, for my sites, a minor if important traffic referrer. It is critical that readers understand that while I've been driving Google numbers lower relatively (compared to other sources) in absolute numbers Google referred traffic is up YoY for 15+ years staright; it is not at all a loss of Google, rather a correspondingly greater rise in others. I'm not certain about keyplr but Google referred traffic is just about the worst converting.

Roughly 40% of my traffic is from SEs, 55% of that (22% of total) is Google. Yes, it is possible. And profitable (remember that my other referrers mostly convert better, often much much better).

I'm a little behind keyplr in regards to PWAs although I'd really like to have them replace my current Android/iOS web apps so as to keep things in-house and not reliant on third parties. Why are they important? Because they (both web apps and PWAs) are the web equivalent of loyalty cards. It is a full step up from bookmarking in direct traffic generation. And provides yet another step away from reliance on SEs.
8:25 am on Nov 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Google, organic and PPC accounts for 50% of our sessions.
I intend to increase non G visitors as significantly as I can in the coming weeks and months.
 

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