From part one: The Secret of Google’s Failure
See the update at bottom!
Launch the Lifeboats – Who Cares Who’s in Them?
Did I miss somebody? Porbably, but let’s move on to Google pretty much destroying not only allegiances but the Web in general with their Panda nonsense. Barry Schwartz, over at Search Engine Roundtable, is as tuned in as anyone to what publishers “should” do to “recover” from Panda. Before you read Barry’s latest, examine the term “recover” when applied to people in the business of news etc. My first question is, “Why the hell should we be recovering from something created by the people who demanded our SEO adherence in the first place?” Content farms and bought links be damned, what about publishers caught in the crossfire? Schwartz’s article is entitled:
“Want A Google Penalty? Listen To Google AdSense”
Panda is, first and foremost, nothing to do at all with quality content. In my view it is an ad and marketing tool aimed at helping Google recover from lost ad revenue. It is also, in my view, a vehicle for buttering up the biggest ad spenders at Google. Large media conglomerates, consumer products companies with tenticles into media and marketing, huge corporations that want their “money’s worth” out of Google and others. In short, once the economic pressure was turned up, Larry Page and his fellows turned their backs on the little guy.
Can anyone know this? Somebody probably does, many have alluded to same.
In an effort to “destroy content farms” and to reapportion traffic to what I call “ad authority sites,” Google has, in effect, destroyed their only real value. How? First by lying about how Panda is intent on ensuring quality content. I quote from Tom Foremski (uh oh, there goes any ZDNet conspiratorial theories):
“Yet when the Panda “Farmer” algorithm hit the Internet, it failed to highlight “quality” content. Quality sites, such as my friends at Ubergizmo, lost rank and their scrapers ranked higher than them. That’s an #epicfail.”
SOS – We’re Sunk!
We are experiencing the same phenomenon, scraping sites ranking for our own titles even. Bloggers and publications we know do not even rank at all for content 100 times more credible and valuable by any stretch. And go to Google’s forums for help? Forget about it. Look here, as Foremski suggests too. As for the real impact, what Google can be most proud of, I quote again from my new hero:
“I am so devastated. My main site and my life’s work, cure-back-pain.org was drastically affected. I am not a learned webmaster, I am a back pain patient and someone who writes to help others recover. My site is 5 years old and has often led in the rankings for my topic, back pain and back pain treatment.
I was let go from my “dayjob” in the economic decline of 2008 and found a savior in the fact that I could make a living helping those who needed it most, so I turned to my site full time and found it very rewarding. I write all my own content and work my site 80 hours a week+. I do everything myself.
… with the terrible downturn in rankings, I am most likely going to lose my house. This is not an exaggeration. My wife and I are in free fall now, as we are both casualties of this economy. This is a very sad to me, but I am not here to cry about money. Just as important is the fact that I spent 5 years building a safe haven for back pain sufferers to find honest info and help without feeling like they have to spend all their money doing it.”
I applaud Foremski and ZDNet for publishing the plight of these publishers. By God somebody has to take up for the little guys. Google stopped. The article suggests the Google profit surge is due to Panda. Hurray! Google shareholders win a dividend. But what if the waiting web finds out Google has gone over to the dark side? What if a few names come out of the bought blogger witch hunt? What if all this was, as Foremski suggests, a ruse so that; “Google is taking away traffic from its partner sites and that means it doesn’t have to split the revenues, about 68%, with partners – it keeps all the money?”
What Henry Blodget’s definitive post on Internet growth cycles showed clearly only a few of the phases of many in any market economy. Google leveraging what Blodget termed the “mature growth” phase. Google now generates more cash than just about anything. However, like most cycles the Internet business one can be circular. What if Google, like Netscape and many others, falls victim in the end to yet another phase not foreseen? What if the Web has gone so social, has become so “product-like” as to mimic what digital market expert Tamar Weinberg describes in her cyclical nature of social networks?
What if all that is left for Google is the company’s decline? Jim Chisholm, Travis Hoium (speaking of Facebook), Rob Preston (tho conservatively), and especially Rob Enderle, these writers postulate likewise. Google is vulnerable is what they would say, I say key mistakes by Page and others now will spell the end. Paid bloggers or not, turning your back on the people that help make you famous is just bad business, not to mention bad PR.
This just in from Google Webmaster with regard to a request I sent to please explain what is going on for Everything PR News, you will find my responses to Google in red (added links in parenthesis):
Hello Phil, Hello
Thank you for your email. You are most welcome, I so enjoyed writing it!
The most important thing to remember is that Google aims to give users the most relevant, useful, and highest quality results for any query. Creating a site which will make users happy when they find it as a search result keeps your goals aligned with Google’s. This can include creating a great product or service that people would recommend, providing entertainment, or becoming an authoritative source of information based on original research. Sites which users may not find as useful include sites with low-quality or copied content, and sites which otherwise violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines: http://www.google.com/
One thing to consider when looking at your site’s performance in Google search is to look at your search traffic and conversions as a whole instead of worrying about your ranking for one or two trophy phrases. You can get some useful data about your search impressions and clickthroughs on the ‘Search queries’ page of Webmaster Tools, which you can read about in the following link: http://www.google.com/support/
If you’d like someone to take a look at your specific site, consider posting in our Webmaster Help Forum, where members of the webmaster community may be able to help you. You can post to the Webmaster Help Forum by visiting the following link: http://groups.google.com/a/
The Google Search Quality Team
Is that you Matt?