This is a guest post by Bryan Hollis, owner of Mid-Carolina Freelance, LLC, the umbrella company that owns Affiliate Manager Pro, Linux Hosting Only which hosts GrowMap.com and Sandlapper Web Design. Bryan also owns the blogging community BlogInteract.
Fear. There is no doubt that this – in it’s simplest form – is what Google is instilling in millions of webmasters, bloggers, SEO Agents, and online marketers in general that are in a constant battle to please the search engine giant.
It’s no secret that the giant snowball started roughly 2 years ago when the first Panda release to combat various forms of spam and duplicate content was released. At the time, this was taken fairly well by those that followed “the rules” – didn’t comment spam, link farm, or submit spun articles all across the web. Then things got worse – much worse.
I have been providing SEO services for some time now and pleasing Google was always goal number one. The “lesser” search engines had a degree of importance, but satisfying Google was certainly the number one priority.
As the title includes the word “fallacies”, the list is rather long in just how Google is increasingly becoming the inferior search engine on the web. I’ll try not to go all over the map in this post. The fact is, it could really be broken into possibly three posts, depending on just how much you can take at one time.
I’ll start with linking and the fear involved – the “false” fear
over Google that has recently had site owners consumed.
Over the course of many years, my company Mid Carolina Freelance, LLC developed well over two dozen sites or so. These sites – for the most part – are still going today and still serving the purpose for which they were established. Each of these sites were formed for a specific purpose. Some were article marketing sites, some blogs.
Their core purpose was to provide a place that my company could post original content on behalf of our clients. Other writers were welcome. We certainly didn’t want lop-sided sites that real readers questioned. They needed to have standards of course. All this said, these websites have worked hard and have all served their purpose. They still do today.
Recently I have been inundated with email after email asking me to remove this link here and that link there. Some are almost a year old. At first I asked, even though their email explicitly detailed the reason. And at first I asked (in the most respectful of ways) if they were kidding.
“No, please remove them ASAP. We are trying to avoid
Google penalties.” I laughed in silence.
Here these webmasters and SEO Agents have spent hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars building links through articles or whatever and now they want to spend the same or more reversing their work. Insanity is what I call it. What I wonder – with all due respect – is whether or not they are testing Google. Are you reading a post like this and reacting? Is it something you heard through the grapevine? Whatever instigated it, it is like a false scare from the CDC or some international epidemic.
Let’s look at Google’s blunders over the last six or so months – then decide for yourself if it’s time to push back. Google is becoming infamous for giving you the results they want you to see, but the truth is like a JFK conspiracy theory.
It is no real secret that Google suffered a pretty significant loss in the third quarter of 2012. However, if you Google “Google 3rd quarter earnings report 2012″, the first search result is – you guessed it – Google’s own investor link. Here is a quote regarding the report:
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – October 18, 2012 – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.
“We had a strong quarter. Revenue was up 45 percent year-on-year, and, at just fourteen years old, we cleared our first $14 billion revenue quarter,” said Larry Page, CEO of Google. “I am also really excited about the progress we’re making creating a beautifully simple, intuitive Google experience across all devices.”
And directly below their search are entirely different, yet very consistent results. CNN Money reported an 8% drop in stock prices and what they called the 3rd quarter earnings “grim”. Forbes’ headline chose to use Google’s “Big Miss on Profit”. Each of the latter were inline with an 8% drop. Why the discrepancy? Moving right along.
Before I go howling at the moon or rambling, I do my due diligence first. Has been my historical approach to SEO, if I am “testing” I always use my own sites first – never a client’s. About four months ago, I launched my new web design and SEO site to consolidate.
After the site indexed in its entirety, it was on page one for several of the keywords I had chosen. I have come to the conclusion that focusing on your local market is wiser than the whole world. Even good ol” fashioned word-of-mouth gets me more work than a page one position.
With my new Google page one serp, I decided to play with some old methods on purpose, without concern or care about Google’s reaction. Hard and fast link building, blog posts linking in, you name it.
Three days later, I wasn’t even ten pages deep. Gone.
I visited Yahoo!, Bing, and AOL.com. Position held with these guys.
What did I do? Nothing. I left it alone.
One week…two weeks…ahh, there we are. I was back. Another week. Page 6. One more week, pages 2 – 4. Hmmm….
So let’s talk about algorithm problems. Google has everyone jumping in fear, yet their own algorithms are simply horrendous. Skewed. Out-of-whack. They want to prevent spam, yet they spam their own site. What content do they spam the most? Their own. The best example I can give is YouTube (Google’s video search engine).
So, here we go. I do a keyword search for my web design site. “Web Design Columbia SC”. Page one, position two is an ancient YouTube video. No problem. It’s still relevant. The web design firm still exists. That’s cool. On to page two. Position one – same EXACT YouTube link, excerpt, etc.
Duplicate content on their own website. Shame Google. Hypocrisy.
I realize now that there really should be a two part series to this post, so I am going to shift gears to make my initial point – pushing back. We all know the old saying about voting for your candidate. Some refuse with the idea that a single vote doesn’t matter. It does matter. If millions of people can choose the candidate they feel should run their country, then the same can be done with search engines.
Know in advance that I have no allegiance to Bill Gates or Microsoft, but it just so happens that Bing is steadily becoming a stronger search engine with each passing day. Do they have work to do? Yes. Do they need support from you? Yes. Until I write part 2, I encourage you to read a post about how Bing is starting to outpace Google.
It’s time to push back at Google. The only way to do this is to let them know that they are not the only search engine out there. Let their stock continue to plummet. Let their users migrate elsewhere. This is the only way to get them – or anyone – to take notice that you can’t push those around that made you who you are.
Image credits: David Noel – aoi.com.au