Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Diary of a Google Gazumpee > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Diary of a Google Gazumpee

Back in November, when the Google Dance began, Barry Lloyd of makemetop.co.uk wrote an article entitled "Been Gazumped by Google?" GAZUMPED! What a wonderfully descriptive term. In fact, it succinctly describes what happened to us when our website went from #1 to oblivion a few months ago.

We were gazumped, swindled, cheated out of what was rightfully ours. Okay, who's to say what search engine position rightfully belongs to anyone. I mean, let's face it, getting to the top of the search engines for coveted keywords is really just a crap shoot, isn't it?

Or is it?

The SEO Cycle...

We've been at this internet game for a long time, a decade, in fact. Dinosaur days! We don't pretend to be search engine experts, it's not our forte. Nevertheless, we have been around long enough to see some patterns emerge.

Here's a recurring pattern we've observed in Search Engine Optimization:

1) The SEO experts research and make claims of what works to get a website to the top of the search engines.

2) It works for a time, and websites implementing their tactics move up the ranks.

3) Eventually, the algorithms change, and websites gain or lose rankings.

4) SEO experts make adjustments, then back to step one in the cycle again.

Around and around we go like mice on the optimization exercise wheel. Furthermore, we do not foresee any chance of stepping off of the optimization wheel for years to come. From our experience, as long as search engines exist, the algorithms will always change, and the SEO experts will always have a job.

But, is Search Engine Optimization really necessary?

To Optimize or Not...

If you've set up a flow of traffic to your website outside of search engines, there really is no need to optimize. However, if you want search engine traffic, you'll need to step onto the wheel. Furthermore, you need to know there's some pretty fierce competition riding the same wheel. But, be forewarned. Once you step onto the wheel, it will become part of your regular marketing exercise.

Is search engine traffic worth stepping onto the endless wheel?

Marketing experts tell us all the reasons why search engine traffic is targeted. But, let's put that aside for a moment and talk about real-world experience for a minute. In the past 10 years, our websites have received traffic from every imaginable source. But, you want to know about search engine traffic, right? We'll give it to you straight.

Search engines have sent us some of our best customers. A significant number have stayed with us for years, and a surprising number have made purchases on their first visit - direct from the search engines.

Now, with this is mind, perhaps you can understand why we have felt gazumped after losing a significant amount of search engine traffic.

So, what exactly happened to us?

Dancing With Google...

For years, we have been building a professional community where home-based entrepreneurs can network with one another and find the resources they need. As a clearinghouse of information, it has been a real task to organize the thousands of pages of information and make it user-friendly.

We had been #1 on Google for years for the coveted term "home business," among other terms. As such, we enjoyed traffic that brought us a significant number of customers and subscribers. Traffic and sales grew consistently for those years. Our Alexa rating showed the continued growth by going from a ranking of 30,000 to almost 15,000 in a year.

Enter the 'Florida' Update.

In November, we were still #1 on Google. Traffic and sales were good.

In December, it appeared the Update was good for us. We remained #1 and sales were at an all-time high. "We're getting through this just fine," we gloated. Nothing to worry about.

But, then things began to change - drastically!

- Gazump #1

Around January 3rd, our traffic plummeted to an all-time, two-year low

( http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?q=&url=http://www.homebusinessonline .com/ ).

After a quick perusal of our traffic logs, it became obvious Google was playing with our rankings. You know, playing the dance floor. Google may have come to the dance with us as her date, but she left with a different partner.

A little research confirmed that not only had we dropped in our rankings for our coveted search term, but we were nowhere to be found in even the top 1,000. What? From #1 to oblivion? How could that be? The date was over... Gazumped by Google!

- Gazump #2

Some weeks later, typing 'link:www.ourURL' in the Google toolbar brought another startling revelation. While our inbound links before the dance were around 800

(http://www.linkpopularity.com/linkpop.cgi?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homebusinessonline.com),

Google now listed only 69. Now, that doesn't even make sense after almost a decade online, especially when typing in our URL returns 2,620 links

(http://www.google.com/search?q=%22homebusinessonline.com%22).

Gazumped by Google!

- Gazump #3

But, why stop there? Let's add a little salt to the wound, shall we? It also appeared that Google was only spidering a few, select parts of our website. No more deep crawls where all the meaty content can be found. Gazumped by Google!

So, where from here?

Lessons Learned...

After two months of a substantial drop in traffic and sales, we are not out of business. Why not? For one, we have not counted on Google as our sole source of traffic. We are still receiving decent traffic, but we could be doing better. I'm afraid we had been gliding on the coattails of Google for too long. Sometimes you just need a good kick in the pants. This wake-up call has been good for us. Like multiple streams of income, we will up the anti on multiple streams of traffic. That way, when one traffic source dries up, it will not effect us significantly.

It's time to make some well-needed changes to our website. It could be better. A lot better. We're going to stop talking about them, hunker down, and make those changes.

We believe this dance is not over yet and Google may decide to return to the dance floor. Considering 'Gazump #2' above, it only makes sense that there are still plenty of bugs to be ironed out.

We'll get our traffic back and in a big way. If not through Google, certainly through other traffic sources. There's more than one way to reach the summit.

The Very Best Strategy...

The fact is you could spend hours upon hours in search engine optimization, and while we believe that optimizing your website is important, it shouldn't be the main focus. We're of the opinion that websites should first be built for customers and prospective customers, and second for search engines. Take a look at your website from your customer's perspective. Does it do what you want it to do?

Go ahead and hop on the optimization wheel. Get it turning, but don't become obsessed with it. If you have the resources for it, consider hiring an SEO specialist to help. Be sure you have plenty of traffic sources, don't rely on just one or two.

Finally, anything online, including the search engines, are driven by the market's opinion. When the dance is over, if Google doesn't provide the very best search results, the market will go elsewhere. For this reason, no matter what might happen to us personally through the Google Dance, the end result will be better search results - if not Google, then another search engine.

Either way, the market will determine who wins in the end.

Copyright 2004 Heidi Perry

About The Author

Seasoned entrepreneurs, Dave and Heidi Perry have developed half a dozen businesses and are founders of HomeBusinessOnline.com and PrettyGreat.com. Known for their unique insights and straight-shooter style, Heidi and Dave are editors of HomeBizBytes. Receive a free issue at http://www.HomeBusinessOnline.com/nsl.htm?sya

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Search Engine Land

5 ways ignoring SEO could affect your bottom line - Search Engine ...
Search Engine Land
Anyone who has tried to make the case for investing in Search Engine Optimization to a client, boss, or colleague, will be all too familiar with the common ...

and more »

Forbes

SEO Is A Must For Small Businesses: Here's How To Get Started
Forbes
If this means you have to take a crash course on search engine optimization (SEO), so be it. Another option is to create your website and then solicit SEO services from a reputable company. Although you may not have a large budget as a small business ...
How To Improve SEO Practices and Move Past Beginner's LevelMarTech Advisor
Why Do We Need Voice Search Optimization? - EntrepreneurEntrepreneur

all 6 news articles »

Forbes

15 Common SEO Mistakes To Avoid
Forbes
Understanding SEO is the ultimate marketing discipline, especially in today's highly digital world. If you want to drive traffic to your site and increase sales, you have to keep up with the ever-changing search engine algorithms. Of course, in the ...
The benefits of using SEO for your small businessAugusta Free Press
Hiring The Right North London SEO CompanyThe Frisky
Why You Should Hire An SEO Marketing Expert For Your Law PracticeTG Daily (blog)

all 8 news articles »

Forbes

Rich Snippets: A Valuable And Underutilized SEO Strategy
Forbes
In reviewing your latest digital marketing strategy, perhaps you feel like you've dotted all your i's and crossed all your t's, yet you're still not ranking as high as you'd like. You've optimized the title tags and meta descriptions and targeted all ...


Forbes

Three Simple Steps To Seasonal SEO Success
Forbes
'Tis the season for seasonal SEO. Now you're asking: “Wait, seasonal SEO. Is that even a thing? I thought SEO was a long-term strategy.” Yes, seasonal SEO is surely a thing -- a big thing -- that should work hand-in-hand with your long-term strategy.


CMSWire

How to Ensure Your SEO Plan Is Put Into Action
CMSWire
Businesses opt not to implement SEO recommendations for a variety of common reasons: lack of understanding, limited resources, bureaucracy and more. While this stonewalling will unfortunately sound all too familiar to SEO practitioners, there are ways ...


CMSWire

Why SEO Efforts So Often Fall Short
CMSWire
The inability to get people to implement SEO recommendations is the most common SEO fail of them all. I know, this sound like a no-brainer — but it's one of the biggest issues that we deal with as an industry. Often SEOs can explain perfectly why ...


Forbes

The Truth About Launching An SEO Strategy
Forbes
I've never been a fan of the self-proclaimed "SEO guru." Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies can seem like such mythical solutions: Do XYZ for X amount of months and “they” will just come to your website. It sounds too good to be true. The fact ...


Search Engine Journal

23 SEO & Search Takeaways from Google's Gary Illyes
Search Engine Journal
Gary Illyes, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, opened up Pubcon in Las Vegas this morning talking about what's new with Google and what you need to know about optimizing for search. Here are the highlights.


Forbes

The Vicious Circle Of SEO (And How To Beat It)
Forbes
The vicious circle of SEO is the theory that top‐ranking pages in Google rank high because they get lots of backlinks, and they get lots of backlinks because they rank high. It's easy to see why this theory is so convincing. Imagine you're a journalist ...
12 most important pillars of an effective SEO strategyTNW
Technical SEO: 15 Critical Areas That Impact PerformancePractical Ecommerce
6 Reasons Startups Continue to 'Face-Plant' SEO the First Time AroundInfluencive
Search Engine Journal -Search Engine Land
all 20 news articles »
Google News

A Simple White Hat Technique To Get Indexed By Google

Everybody knows that getting indexed in Google is getting more... Read More

What are the Benefits Of Submitting To Directories?

Increasing your web traffic and rank in search engines is... Read More

Search Engine Keywords - What Do People Search For?

Do you ever wonder how people search for things on... Read More

Owning Your Category Online - Is Our Website Broken?

"Owning your business category online is more than just a... Read More

3 Principles Of Google

When online "Use it. Use it. Use it."Google is our... Read More

SEO -- Tips to Optimize Your Webpage to Compete for a High Ranking

Search engine optimization (SEO) is very important to websites. If... Read More

Search Engine Musical Chairs

News broke this week that Yahoo has purchased the Inktomi... Read More

Link Building for Hilltop

Hilltop is one of the major concepts underpinning Google's search... Read More

Six Reasons Why Your Alexa Rating Is Still Important

1. Additional Exposure For Your Site.At the end of 2003,... Read More

These 7 Back Link Strategies Will Get You a Top Ranking on Google Guaranteed

Google use a very complex function to determine which search... Read More

Submit Your WebSite: Add Your URL to Web Directories & Search Engines

Why get into Search engines and directories?Increase backlinks of your... Read More

Tales, Fails And Betrayals Of Search Engine Placement Part 1

This is the first of a series of articles about... Read More

Three Search Engine Ranking Gold Tips

Getting a high ranking in the search engines is something... Read More

Earn with Fun by simple SEO (search engine optimization)

It all happened 3 months back, I have a blog... Read More

Search Engine Optimization Tips For 2005 - Part Two

Welcome to the second part of our series of articles... Read More

The Google Sandbox Explained

Introduction The Google Sandbox is a metaphorical term... Read More

Do the Search Engines Know Your Website?

Are you considering a search engine promotion campaign to improve... Read More

New Free Online Tool for Keyword Research

I came across a new website the other day and... Read More

Your Search Engine Optimization Strategy: Make Love, Not War

When it comes to search engine optimization strategy, there are... Read More

Do You Have a Bad SEO Company, or Are You Just a Bad Client?

I admit it, our SEO services are pretty bad.Speaking of... Read More

The Great Search Engine Experiment Revisited Who is the Coolest Guy in the Universe

A recent Search Engine Experiment Demonstrates how by combining Key... Read More

Black Hat SEO and the Sneaky Redirect

Are shades of grey SEO really Black Hat SEO?Black hat... Read More

How To Get Listed In Google For Free

Google does not accept payment for inclusion in their main... Read More

Google News - Just another article announcer?

In Google's recent battle towards becoming an international news center,... Read More

How to Improve Your Search Engine Positioning and Increase Traffic Today

Every website has times when traffic is higher than others.... Read More