I Encouraged Advertising on My Site
I made no changes to my website and to my text linking practices. I continued
to encourage advertising on my site and actually began to promote my web
directory. I charge for all members of my web directory, so in effect I am
accepting money for links or paid links. On Thursday of last week, I
thought I was going to duck the bullet. But, Friday, I finally got hit. Google
updated the server with my new page rank and the home page had dropped from PR4
I was definitely bummed out, but let's think about it. I went from a PR4 to a
PR3. That is nothing compared to the sites that went from PR7 to a PR3. I
actually got off pretty easy. They did hit my web directory pretty hard though.
The web directory home page was not affected at all. But, all the internal pages
of the web directory were stripped of their page rank.
Well, Google spanked me good. I am concerned about the web directory. Did they
quit passing page rank because it is a web directory? Is it because I am
linking to bad neighborhoods? Is it because I accept money for the links in the
web directory? Is it because when I started it, I was using it as a reciprocal
link device and I probably wasn't as diligent as I should have been in policing
the reciprocal link sites? Will my PR go up once I add the rel=nofollow tag
to my pages?
Lot's of Speculation, but Where are the Rules?
I think that is what bothers me most about this process. Everything I have been
reading over the last 7 days, is still just speculation. Everyone thinks they
know what has happened, but the truth is they don't. They are only guessing.
Now as experts in the SEO field and more importantly as some of the people who
have been complaining to Matt Cutts and Google about this problem, these
experts are probably right.
What should I do? Complain? Should I be compliant and follow big brother and
don't cause waves? Should I continue to build my web pages just like always and
not even worry about Google? Do I need Google and the traffic they bring? I was
reading an article on
Search Engine Guide today about their choice. They were just as pissed
as I was about the action by Google. It appears that Robert Clough has decided
to acquiesce and do what Google has requested. But, Robert and Jennifer Laycock
did not go down easy.
Why Shouldn't the Web Site Allow Paid Links?
I don't blame them. In a perfect world, it shouldn't matter to a search engine
whether a website receives paid links or not. Why shouldn't the web site allow
paid links and allow pass through of page rank from those links? That is really
a Google problem and not the problem of the publisher. The publisher is just
trying to make money. Google introduced the little green candy bar, page rank,
to identify the publisher's importance in Google's ranking system.
Unfortunately, that page rank tool bar actually helped the publisher charge
more for their services and made it a more attractive advertising medium. As an
advertiser you are saying, "I am going to receive more traffic from advertising
on your site and you are going to send me some link juice, too." Pretty sweet
combination I think.
But, now, Google is smacking those sites down. Google is spanking those bad
boys and girls for daring to break the poorly published, strictly word of mouth
rules. Website owners like me are left wondering what Google rule has
been broken and how can we get back into the good graces of the mighty Google
Go on a Google AdSense Strike
What if we don't surrender? What if we decide to fight back? I just read today
that Google is considered one of the top 5 richest companies in the world or
something like that. Their stock is trading at over $700. (At least it was
yesterday. The Dow had a pretty bad drop today. I don't know how that affected
Google.) So, how could we hurt Google? Remove all your Adsense ads from your
website. If all the companies that were touched negatively by Google were to
drop their Google ads from their websites, then that might get Google's
attention. Imagine if Google were to lose 5% of their revenue on a single day.
Or what if it really was 10% to 30%? Wow. That would make a statement.
I make some money from Google, but I make 3 times more money from my small
group of 20 or so advertisers on this website. I really don't want to lose a
quarter of my revenue. But, when workers go on extended strikes they end up
losing more money than the gains they would have made without going on strike.
Maybe we should take the hit, too. I have removed my Google ads, but really it
is more because I am rethinking all my advertising on my site and wanted to see
an improvement in the speed of the site.
Google Seemed to Pick and Choose the Web Sites to Spank
I am surprised at some of the websites that weren't affected. For example,
USAToday. They have a link to their
Marketplace that continues to pass page rank. You might say, but Ken,
it is a blank PR. Yes, but click on any one of the advertising PAID LINKS
pages and you will see a huge page rank score, PR7 in some cases. In my humble
opinion they should also be dropped a point or two, including the home page.
How is their link different than mine? Is Google favoring newspapers over my
How about seomoz.org? They claim on one of their pages to have paid the Open
Directory Project bribes to get them to "hurry the process along." Wouldn't
that be considered a paid link? Shouldn't they be smacked around a
little? How is the little guy who really isn't making any money supposed to
compete with an SEM / SEO firm with multiple employees? They are being paid
thousands of dollars each month to do SEO for businesses. They have multiple
people blogging for them. They have friends they can call to put in a good word
for them in their next blog and campaign. The little website is probably just
doing their website part time. They are trying to earn a little money on the
side and just don't have the energy, time or resources to compete with someone
doing this full time. And the one way they have of making money gets smacked
down by Google. Ouch.
How about Yahoo? At one point I paid them over $300 to place my links with
them. I see they have a page rank of 9! So, again. I ask. What am I really
being spanked about? You know as a child when I was punished, I always knew
why. And I always knew if I got punished my brothers who were right there with
me doing wrong were going to get punished. But, this seems like it is a little
more selective by Google. It's their search engine they can do what they want.
And the "dogs will bark, but the caravan moves on." But, I would like to see a
little more even treatment by them.
Blogs Allow People to Rant and Rave
You know I don't make a lot of money with my website. The last three years I
haven't even broken even. I just want to make enough to pay for my website
hosting. I use it as an opportunity to write about things that interest me and
because I enjoy it. To me it is a great hobby. I would like to make a lot of
money, but I haven't found the proper formula of products and services.
Thank you for letting me rant and rave about this issue. I am glad I wasn't the
only one. It's nice to know other respected leaders in the industry have had to
bend over on this issue, too. I wish Robert and Jennifer the best of luck
surviving this speed bump in the road. I think they are very capable and might
even come out a stronger company.