Is Google trying to kill small businesses?

by nmb
72 replies
It seems that each Google update brings more and more challenges for small businesses. Is Google trying to kill of small businesses and concentrate of larger corporations who can feed its advertising machine?
#businesses #google #kill #small
  • I've been saying that Google is now giving preference to "Authority Sites". I know that marketers don't like that, but here is what is happening right now, based on what I've seen:

    These updates are more about the actual QUALITY of the websites as opposed to backlinks. Some types of backlink techniques have been devalued, like the "Build My Rank" blog network. Why? Because sites like Home Depot, CNet, etc do NOT use those types of techniques!! Those kinds of techniques are used by the little marketer; the kind who may not have a very good quality site and which may not be super "relevant" to the keyword. You know the type; the type of sites that used to be able to get to the top positions for their keywords but they're not very good sites and they're NOT the kind of sites that the user is looking for. Here is how one person described it:
    I would correct one thing... Google's USERS prefer the authority sites. This is what people don't get. They get all pissy with Google, but in actuality Google is trying to give its users what they want. They are not in business to cater to those trying to manipulate the algorithm. Their #1 source of income is AdWords. If people stop using the search bar, AdWords advertisers go away. They need to give users what they want so they continue Googling away.

    For example, if I am searching for a new plasma TV and type in some search relating to that, I want to see what sites like Best Buy, Cnet, etc have to say about plasma TVs. I don't want to see bestsamsungplasmatvreviewsever-reallyIswear.org in the search results. I don't care what someone who has no credibility or brand recognition has to say about TVs.

    And you are right, generally those big brands are not creating junky profile links, forum signature links, spinning articles and submitting them to 5000 directories, creating 700 Web 2.0 sites and posting the same 3 spun articles to each one (and still calling it quality), doing blog commenting, or buying blogroll links.
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    • Profile picture of the author GMT
      Originally Posted by Angela V. Edwards View Post

      Those kinds of techniques are used by the little marketer;
      Lol that's pretty funny, but true Not much small businesses can do though short of pay for adwords or try and establish their brand better.
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  • That is a good thing as back linking is easy to manipulate. Good content is what we want to see on the internet.
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    • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
      Originally Posted by Resale Rights Ninja View Post

      That is a good thing as back linking is easy to manipulate. Good content is what we want to see on the internet.

      I got to admit I like your outlook on marketing. Its very refreshing to read stuff like this. Perhaps it IS time to start pushing superior content on my sites.

      -Red
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      • Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

        I got to admit I like your outlook on marketing. Its very refreshing to read stuff like this. Perhaps it IS time to start pushing superior content on my sites.

        -Red
        Not just content, either. Make the navigation of your sites easy and sensible. Wordpress is really good for this and Google has shown favor to Wordpress for quite some time. If your site's content, appearance, and navigation was similar to an "Authority Site's" content, appearance, and navigation I suspect it would do quite well.
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      • Profile picture of the author benf
        I totally agree RedShifted!
        Be passionate about something, get involved, have an opinion, and let the world know what it is!
        This may not be the whole game, but it is a good starting point!
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    Google could care less about small business
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  • Profile picture of the author TheArticlePros
    Originally Posted by nmb View Post

    It seems that each Google update brings more and more challenges for small businesses. Is Google trying to kill of small businesses and concentrate of larger corporations who can feed its advertising machine?
    That is exactly what Google wants. Even though a recent stat from the SBA shows that 99.7% of businesses in the US are classified as small businesses, Google would like nothing more than to kill them all off. Even though those businesses are the ones that buy the majority of AdWords and spend the money on Google's services, killing off a vital income stream makes perfect sense. <endsarcasm>

    Angela's post & quote said it perfectly. I have a similar statement copied to my blog here on the WF.

    Google needs quality results to survive. IM is the only "industry" (sic) that thinks that throwing ---- at the wall and seeing what sticks is a perfectly acceptable business plan...basically because there are no barriers to entry. A 2 year old monkey with a keyboard or an iPad could go into IM and have better results than some of the plans I've seen for "real IMers."

    It's about quality. Google wants it because its readers demand it and its advertisers pay for it. Take some pride in what you produce, hone your craft, and see if you can produce a maximum quality product without taking shortcuts. It's how real businesses work, survive, and stay in business.

    -- j
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    the honest truth is that if google allowed its search results to be manipulated the way the "little guy" ...pure IMers want, that would be bad for the majority of googles customers.

    All these "thin" sites that use lots of tricks to rank well are not what people want to see.

    Think about what you do when you land on one of these type of sites as a customer...you leave almost instantly because you know better. So why would google knowingly allow those sites to rank high.

    Their algorithm is far from perfect, but they will keep tweaking it to eliminate the SOEG (search engine optimization games).
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
    Banned
    The Google brass isn't hanging out at it's evil lair going "Hmmm, how can we kill off nmb's business?" Rather, they're thinking "How do we keep our own business viable and protect our market share?"

    Their answer? Take care of their customers, and doing what they want tends to go against what IMers want. If Google can shut you down, then can you really claim you had a business at all? Most likely not.
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  • Profile picture of the author imfusa
    Actually from what i can see now, they are bringing up, on the first positions, the ones who advertise through their program, google adwords.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Keith
      Originally Posted by imfusa View Post

      Actually from what i can see now, they are bringing up, on the first positions, the ones who advertise through their program, google adwords.
      I have done some testing on whether or not the mere fact of being an advertiser seems to have any seo affect.

      I have seen no evidence of that in my tests so far.

      However, one must realize that it honestly probably would not be a bad metric to include as a part of their algorithm.

      "real businesses" use paid advertising much more often than the "here today...gone tomorrow" IMer who largely just spams content and backlinks onto the web in hopes of ranking well.

      Think about how many IMers would be out of business if they had to pay just $100 to "get in". What if the barrier to entry was $500. Think of all the junk that would be eliminated.

      Would some good sites get hurt... of course, but the majority of the damage would be to nonsense sites.
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      • Profile picture of the author msufan
        Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

        I have done some testing on whether or not the mere fact of being an advertiser seems to have any seo affect.

        I have seen no evidence of that in my tests so far.
        Thanks for posting this -- I was under the impression that using AdWords did in fact help your rank on Google.

        (I know, odd first post after lurking for 11 months...)
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        • Profile picture of the author David Keith
          Originally Posted by msufan View Post

          Thanks for posting this -- I was under the impression that using AdWords did in fact help your rank on Google.

          (I know, odd first post after lurking for 11 months...)
          To be honest, no one really knows what the google algo is. I am not even sure many who work for google even know the true algorithm.

          you can setup a test to prove almost any theory because there are just so many variables to play with. However, I have seen no indication of this actually having any affect.

          I think often times people don't understand why something happens so they look to justify their findings with a short, easy, popular answer.

          My experience tells me that on average, the people spending money to advertise have better business models and overall better more useful sites.

          Thats not always the case, but on average it is. So its really not surprising to see sites that have refined their businesses enough to be able to afford advertising ranking well in the natural search listings.
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    • Profile picture of the author TollFreeService
      Originally Posted by imfusa View Post

      Actually from what i can see now, they are bringing up, on the first positions, the ones who advertise through their program, google adwords.
      Most likely because top quality results have an advertising budget where, as mentioned by others, sites like omgbesttvpurchasingguide.info do not.
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  • Profile picture of the author Venkat001
    It still has got hundreds and hundreds of companies running behind
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  • Profile picture of the author Luffy
    I don't think so..
    if you're site is not have 1 of these criteria

    Cloaking and redirection
    Over-optimized content
    Low-quality and duplicated content
    Keyword stuffing (using same anchor text repeatedly)
    Link building schemes that include: paid linking, link exchange, link farms and other black hat methods
    and big flow of outbound links to sites that are not related to the niche

    Then I think it's just safe
    But since we don't really know how they judge us
    yes, they will kill many smallfry in future..
    I think
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  • Originally Posted by nmb View Post

    It seems that each Google update brings more and more challenges for small businesses. Is Google trying to kill of small businesses and concentrate of larger corporations who can feed its advertising machine?
    I clicked on this thread hoping it wasn't another one of those Google conspiracy threads.

    Better luck next time, I guess.

    Matt Cutts has denied several times that the algorithm has anything to do with selling advertising. He says the two Google departments don't even talk to each other.

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    • Profile picture of the author David Keith
      Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

      I clicked on this thread hoping it wasn't another one of those Google conspiracy threads.

      Better luck next time, I guess.

      Matt Cutts has denied several times that the algorithm has anything to do with selling advertising. He says the two Google departments don't even talk to each other.

      fLufF
      --
      Matt Cutts has never and never will be fully open and honest about the google algorithm. I am far from a conspiracy theorist...lol

      But can you actually imagine what would happen if he did reveal the ins and outs of the algorithm. IMers would be all over it and exploit the crap out of the various holes.

      If he publicized what he knows, the google search results would be made irrelevant in under 30 days by get rich quick IMers.

      It is to googles advantage to have the algorithm remain a mystery. And most good mysteries have a little mis-information from time to time.

      I can guarantee that if i were running google, there would be some mis-information to help me catch all the IMers who are trying to destroy googles search results in favor of personal gain.
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      • Profile picture of the author cjreynolds
        Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

        Matt Cutts has never and never will be fully open and honest about the google algorithm. I am far from a conspiracy theorist...lol

        But can you actually imagine what would happen if he did reveal the ins and outs of the algorithm. IMers would be all over it and exploit the crap out of the various holes.

        If he publicized what he knows, the google search results would be made irrelevant in under 30 days by get rich quick IMers.

        It is to googles advantage to have the algorithm remain a mystery. And most good mysteries have a little mis-information from time to time.

        I can guarantee that if i were running google, there would be some mis-information to help me catch all the IMers who are trying to destroy googles search results in favor of personal gain.
        Thanks, David - I don't see why folks don't understand this - Coca Cola will never release the formula for Coke, Tony Chachere will never tell us what's in his cajun spices, and google will never make public their search algos! It would be disastrous for any of these companies to reveal the secrets of their success! Google is not a marketplace, it's a search engine. If Google can be a successful search engine and you can make money from that success, so be it! But don't expect them to compromise their primary mission just to make marketing easier for you - not gonna happen...
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Angela V. Edwards View Post

      Not just content, either. Make the navigation of your sites easy and sensible. Wordpress is really good for this and Google has shown favor to Wordpress for quite some time. If your site's content, appearance, and navigation was similar to an "Authority Site's" content, appearance, and navigation I suspect it would do quite well.
      Agree totally, with one possible rewording...

      'Google has shown favor to sites built taking advantage of Wordpress's usability advantages'

      "Powered by Wordpress" is not a magic bullet. The same thing can be accomplished with plain HTML and Notepad, but WP takes the work out of setting up easy to navigate sites.

      Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

      I clicked on this thread hoping it wasn't another one of those Google conspiracy threads.

      Better luck next time, I guess.

      Matt Cutts has denied several times that the algorithm has anything to do with selling advertising. He says the two Google departments don't even talk to each other.

      fLufF
      --
      Much like print magazines and newspapers, sites like Google depend on people trusting their 'product' (search results, editorial content). So they go to great lengths to erect 'Chinese Walls' between marketing and editorial departments.

      Maybe a better title for this thread would be "Why won't Google let me cheat?"
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      • Maybe a better title for this thread would be "Why won't Google let me cheat?"

        :p

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      • Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        Agree totally, with one possible rewording...

        'Google has shown favor to sites built taking advantage of Wordpress's usability advantages'

        "Powered by Wordpress" is not a magic bullet. The same thing can be accomplished with plain HTML and Notepad, but WP takes the work out of setting up easy to navigate sites.
        Agreed. Wordpress makes it possible for non techies like me to make a site that looks good and makes sense navigation-wise.
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    • Profile picture of the author alistair
      Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

      Matt Cutts has denied several times that the algorithm has anything to do with selling advertising. He says the two Google departments don't even talk to each other.

      fLufF
      --
      Didn't Bill Clinton deny having "sexual relations with that woman" more than once?

      Just because somebody says something several times doesn't make it true.

      As Christopher Hitchens once said..."Perhaps you notice how the denial is so often the preface to the justification."
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by alistair View Post

        Didn't Bill Clinton deny having "sexual relations with that woman" more than once?

        Just because somebody says something several times doesn't make it true.

        As Christopher Hitchens once said..."Perhaps you notice how the denial is so often the preface to the justification."
        Slick Willie didn't get that name by accident. He denied a very specific allegation - there is no record on either side that they ever had intercourse. In the very narrow definition Slick used, he was telling the literal truth.

        He later admitted to 'an inappropriate relationship' which included more than one instance of getting a Lewinski in the Oval Office, along with at least one count of cigar abuse...

        Calling something a lie loud enough does not make it so.
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      • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
        Listen, in my opinion, no one should be worrying about Google or any search engine for that matter.

        You can get massive traffic without every having to worry about a single algo, or Panda, or slap, or any of the whims of these big corporations.

        Just network! Create profiles within the social sites and online communities within your niche and contribute. Give something away that's unique and original to members in those communities you belong to, that has your website link embedded in it.

        You do that part right, and you will never ever have to worry about what Google does, or any other search engine, for that matter.

        Google will only kill your small business, if you let it. Just don't.

        that's my 2 cents, for what it's worth.

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  • Profile picture of the author nmb
    Some interesting comments - this is what makes a market and makes IM so interesting, different opinions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Google is NOT against small businesses, they just don't understand small businesses. They expect a small business owner to maintain a web site like the big national brands do. The problem is that most small local businesses don't have the resources or understanding of how to do it like the big boys.

    Besides that, I haven't seen much preferential treatment of big brands over local sites when it comes to some search phrases but on other more generic phrases I do see big brands at the top.

    Google wants local brands as well but the problem is that local business owners don't really understand how to brand their business online at all so they tend to suffer in the rankings sometimes. Of course other factors like content, engagement, and social signals also factor in as well.

    But don't be mistaken Google is NOT looking to crush small business! They are actually hoping to build the plus network on the backs of small businesses through the transition from places to local plus. Now reviews on Google must be done through a plus account, see the connection? The problem is, they once again don't really understand small business and it's wishful thinking that small business patrons are going to latch onto Google Plus just to leave reviews.

    As mentioned previously in this thread about 97% of business are classified as small business. That needs to be taken with a MAJOR grain of salt because a business can do up to 500 million a year and is still classified as a small business by the SBA.

    Sorry but Google isn't looking to crush small businesses by any means. They are just to smart for their own good and don't really understand small businesses and the obstacles they encounter every day.
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    • They are just to (sic) smart for their own good

      There's some truth to that.

      Larry Page, since taking over, has pretty much proved he's so smart he's stupid.

      As for Google lies, that's not their style. Matt Cutts is a straight shooter as far as he is able to reveal. The algorithm folks don't try to mislead people. I don't like some of Google's corporate decisions and their do-gooder initiatives occasionally seem pretty creepy, but Google's always been consistent as to their messaging with regard to website ranking.

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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    There is also a vast difference between the people we commonly call IMers and most small businesses.

    Very few small / local business people have even heard of penguins or panda's except to describe wildlife. Those small businesses are not really the target of, or widely affected by all the algorithm changes.

    When you talk about whether or not google wants to kill off the crowd we refer to as IMers, that answer is largely yes. They have no interest in doing business with many, if not most IMers who are filling googles search results with material google users don't really find useful.

    @Rus, I am not so sure its just that they don't understand small businesses as much as it is very difficult for them to come up with a simple algorithm that allows small business owners to rank well. While at the same time be complicated enough that its hard for the now huge IM crowd to exploit.

    I mean 15 years ago, it was about meta tags.. They were pretty easy to figure out, but also easy to exploit. Thus the search engines had to evolve to more complicated algorithm that are harder to cheat.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      David,

      Recent changes to Places/Local Plus shows clearly they don't understand small local businesses. Recently they said that if customers don't come to your actual business location then the business was to hide their address from showing in their places profile. This is just one of many things that clearly demonstrates that Google is out of touch with local small business owners.

      As an example, service companies RARELY have traditional retail space. Companies like siding, roofing, concrete, landscaping and the list goes on. But local consumers want to see and know the addresses of these companies and its important that the addresses are displayed on their listings. I owned a service company for many years and you can bet for sure I wanted my address displayed to build help build trust and confidence to online viewers.

      Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

      There is also a vast difference between the people we commonly call IMers and most small businesses.

      Very few small / local business people have even heard of penguins or panda's except to describe wildlife. Those small businesses are not really the target of, or widely affected by all the algorithm changes.

      When you talk about whether or not google wants to kill off the crowd we refer to as IMers, that answer is largely yes. They have no interest in doing business with many, if not most IMers who are filling googles search results with material google users don't really find useful.

      @Rus, I am not so sure its just that they don't understand small businesses as much as it is very difficult for them to come up with a simple algorithm that allows small business owners to rank well. While at the same time be complicated enough that its hard for the now huge IM crowd to exploit.

      I mean 15 years ago, it was about meta tags.. They were pretty easy to figure out, but also easy to exploit. Thus the search engines had to evolve to more complicated algorithm that are harder to cheat.
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      • Profile picture of the author David Keith
        Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

        David,

        Recent changes to Places/Local Plus shows clearly they don't understand small local businesses. Recently they said that if customers don't come to your actual business location then the business was to hide their address from showing in their places profile. This is just one of many things that clearly demonstrates that Google is out of touch with local small business owners.

        As an example, service companies RARELY have traditional retail space. Companies like siding, roofing, concrete, landscaping and the list goes on. But local consumers want to see and know the addresses of these companies and its important that the addresses are displayed on their listings. I owned a service company for many years and you can bet for sure I wanted my address displayed to build help build trust and confidence to online viewers.
        I actually talked to a google rep about this. There explanation makes a lot of sense and is likely due to them having their web properties exploited so frequently.

        Basically if your services are virtual, there is not much to stop you from listing your business in many "places".

        lets say a lawyer in New York could list his business in Chicago because the type of legal services he provides can be done over the phone.

        virtual address are cheap to get. If they allow the address to show, that could help this lawyer market in many different markets that are not truly where his business is based. now you get 1000 lawyers doing that and the consumer loses.

        You can see how this could quickly and easily be exploited and essentially people could build a business out of google place listings.

        While i do see your point, and it is very valid. Its not just that they don't understand small business, its that the have to balance the interests of many.

        my guess is that they will continue to work to improve stuff like this, but I just don't think its totally about them not understanding small business.

        picture this "hole" with IMers. i could have "aaa web design " listed in a few hundred locations via google places.
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        • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
          Google is clearly emphasizing large sites and authority sites (often the same thing). But this seems to ebb and flow. Years ago Google was accused of doing the same thing and then they tried to diversify their results. We've come full circle.

          One problem I see for Google is that if the same websites keep coming up in the search results then users will start to skip Google and go straight to those websites. Why use Google before Amazon if Google is only going to tell you to use Amazon?

          On the other hand, the web spam problem is out of control and despite all its brainpower I don't think Google can really sort out what is quality content and what is not. Hence, the current over-reliance on certain sites so that Google can show quality sites in response to searches.

          Would you rather show a good / mediocre result from Amazon.com or gamble with greatness or putridness with a result from mykeywordstuffeddomain.info?

          The effect, even if not intended, is harm to small businesses.

          .
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        • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
          This is what post card verification is for.

          Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

          I actually talked to a google rep about this. There explanation makes a lot of sense and is likely due to them having their web properties exploited so frequently.

          Basically if your services are virtual, there is not much to stop you from listing your business in many "places".

          lets say a lawyer in New York could list his business in Chicago because the type of legal services he provides can be done over the phone.

          virtual address are cheap to get. If they allow the address to show, that could help this lawyer market in many different markets that are not truly where his business is based. now you get 1000 lawyers doing that and the consumer loses.

          You can see how this could quickly and easily be exploited and essentially people could build a business out of google place listings.

          While i do see your point, and it is very valid. Its not just that they don't understand small business, its that the have to balance the interests of many.

          my guess is that they will continue to work to improve stuff like this, but I just don't think its totally about them not understanding small business.

          picture this "hole" with IMers. i could have "aaa web design " listed in a few hundred locations via google places.
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          • Profile picture of the author David Keith
            Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

            This is what post card verification is for.
            with virtual addresses, that is easy to verify addresses and essentially fake.

            heck, even the UPS store "po" boxes don't trigger the normal "no po boxes allowed" checks. There are lots of address forwarding service available to make it look like your business exists in other places.

            You are clearly a google places expert, and i have no real interest in arguing.

            My point is that rules like this are not just arbitrarily thought up and put into place for the hell of it. And they certainly don't exist just to make it hard on small business.

            Google is probably the target of more greedy exploit attempts than any business in history. Hell, there are massive groups devoted almost entirely to making it hard for them to keep their results clean and accurate.

            Even on this very forum, there are products sold to hundreds if not thousands of people designed to exploit holes in their systems for personal gain that damage their business.

            I will agree that many of their rules have unintended consequences that do damage small businesses more than larger ones. But i am not of the belief that their efforts are meant to hurt small business or that they even have even acted without regard to potential impacts on small business.
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  • Profile picture of the author mandude002
    Ive always heard its the opposite, Google is trying to help the small businesses. hence Google Placs. Without Google Places no body would ever even know about 1/2 of these local businesses.
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  • Profile picture of the author karlmay1980
    Google doesn't really get on well with small businesses as many don't conform to the standards that they set out, and while they keep working at building a relationship with them they repeatedly blow them away very quickly.

    The bigger businesses generally have better and more content on their sites and are what consumers are looking for.

    They don't really need small businesses as the top 10% of advertisers on Google give them 90% of revenues, and these are not going to leave as they are milking the rewards from Google traffic.

    Google likes sites that also show good numbers of traffic, so advertising to get the numbers up may make this rating go up and help you search results ranking slightly, which may be a reason you see some sites appear on both, but they also actively encourage top ranked sites to advertise to as they generate a far higher click through rate to sites that appear in the results or ads only.
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  • Profile picture of the author cogapartments
    No,Google is not trying to kill small business.Its updates ,only meaning ,to provide a good content on internet .It avoids the duplicate contents or copy contents.Its very helpful us , to get a unique and good content.

    Thanks,
    cogapartments
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    The boom era days of "ma and pa" level sites competing with the big boys are done and over. That will never return. What it takes to compete online increases each year. In 1998 all you needed was a ridiculously simple site coded in pure HTML with bad graphics. I could produce a really great site in a week. Nowadays if you are working alone it'll take you at least a few months to develop something just "good." The little guys are being pushed out because so few have the time or desire to do all of the extra work.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marty S
      They are definitely not perfect but imho Google has created/adopted three incredibly affordable advertising alternatives for "local" small businesses with the ability to rank on the first page results in Local +, as well as advertising on AdWords and creating your own videos for Youtube.

      Say what you want, but just a few years ago the traditional advertising options for small businesses were a lot more expensive, and for many - out of reach. Now any small business can be in the "game" focusing just on the tools that Google has to offer.
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      • Profile picture of the author KenJ
        I think that google has helped certain local businesses enormously in the last few years. Those businesses utilise the opportunities that are offered to them using the tools mentioned above.
        The small local businesses doing well do most of the following.

        Using Google Maps.
        Using Youtube videos.
        Adding geographical elements to their content.
        Having their address on every page.
        Having a telephone number with a local dialing code number.
        Adding new content to the website at least weekly.
        Have a twitter account and feed it to the website


        On top of these their are other opportunities I have not made use of such as Facebook, pinterest and other socialmedia sites. (I am still hugely suspicious of social media for offline businesses. I like to be in control.)

        KenJ
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        Would you rather show a good / mediocre result from Amazon.com or gamble with greatness or putridness with a result from mykeywordstuffeddomain.info?
        It's this that will make the Exact Match Domain irrelevant. In fact, I can see the day coming where an EMD will actually be a negative, kind of like using .info domains was for awhile.

        Seriously, who besides someone trying to rank some feeble review site has a five-word keyword domain? Especially so-called "buyer keywords?"
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        • Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          It's this that will make the Exact Match Domain irrelevant. In fact, I can see the day coming where an EMD will actually be a negative, kind of like using .info domains was for awhile.

          Seriously, who besides someone trying to rank some feeble review site has a five-word keyword domain? Especially so-called "buyer keywords?"
          I actually wish this would happen. Obviously, the actual company would have their brand name in their domain, but for dozens of other sites to have it is kind of misleading to some. I had to teach my husband that sites that say XXXXXXreviews.com and that sort of thing are AFFILIATE sites. We were making an extremely LARGE purchase a couple of months back and of course, my husband was reading all the reviews. He finally figured out that there was something a little "off" about the reviews he was seeing. That's when I taught him that domains with the actual product name in them (outside of the company's brand website) are almost invariably affiliate sites. We could have been steered very wrong with our large purchase, too. My husband almost got swayed to purchased an inferior brand by these types of sites.
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          • Profile picture of the author David Keith
            and some people still think the smart folks at goolge somehow don't recognize this.

            Originally Posted by Angela V. Edwards View Post

            I actually wish this would happen. Obviously, the actual company would have their brand name in their domain, but for dozens of other sites to have it is kind of misleading to some. I had to teach my husband that sites that say XXXXXXreviews.com and that sort of thing are AFFILIATE sites. We were making an extremely LARGE purchase a couple of months back and of course, my husband was reading all the reviews. He finally figured out that there was something a little "off" about the reviews he was seeing. That's when I taught him that domains with the actual product name in them (outside of the company's brand website) are almost invariably affiliate sites. We could have been steered very wrong with our large purchase, too. My husband almost got swayed to purchased an inferior brand by these types of sites.
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          • Profile picture of the author DANMYSON
            Originally Posted by Angela V. Edwards View Post

            I actually wish this would happen. Obviously, the actual company would have their brand name in their domain, but for dozens of other sites to have it is kind of misleading to some. I had to teach my husband that sites that say XXXXXXreviews.com and that sort of thing are AFFILIATE sites. We were making an extremely LARGE purchase a couple of months back and of course, my husband was reading all the reviews. He finally figured out that there was something a little "off" about the reviews he was seeing. That's when I taught him that domains with the actual product name in them (outside of the company's brand website) are almost invariably affiliate sites. We could have been steered very wrong with our large purchase, too. My husband almost got swayed to purchased an inferior brand by these types of sites.
            Isn't that why Panda was created? To step on crap content affiliate sites? The whole point of EMD's work in the consumer and googles favour, and should carry a strong advantage. If I want to buy purplevestsforwinter, then a business selling these should be able to rank higher with a site dedicated to that search term. If the site promotes penis pills, or content that is spun and of no value, let the algorithms do their stuff, we are seeing that now. But if I have a site offering good content/products on purplevestsforwinter then I want priority over a multi national company with a well optimised page on the subject. If you can't be bothered as a small business to sit down and find proper content/products for your niche, research emd's or as close as you can get to promote yourself, then don't whine because you can't get to the top of purplevestsforwinter with your site that vaguely promotes undergarments.
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  • Hello all! I am new to the Warrior Forum and this is my first post. I am an avid internet marketer, blogger, and video producer. In regards to this thread, which is very closely related to what I do, I would have to say that Google is definitely improving their algorithms to give us small businesses an opportunity to further succeed, rather than stripping us of any opportunities to do so!

    As I have read in numerous, numerous blogs and forums, and even from those in this thread, Google is making it harder for those "black hat" search engine optimizers who try and manipulate the system, in turn making it twice as hard for other small businesses to rank and see traffic. With Google's Penguin algorithm, it finally brought back the notion that "content is KING" and forced companies to be more honest and strategic with their online marketing rather than trying to cut corners and flood sites with thousands of backlinks.

    As a small business owner, internet marketer, and video marketing enthusiast, I wholeheartedly think that Google is moving into the right direction in terms of making it "fair" for small businesses to compete with huge conglomerates. Of course they still have the resources to fund massive AdWord campaigns, BUT they do not have the local "steam" and appeal that we have in our communities.
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    • Profile picture of the author wtatlas
      It is my opinion that Google doesn't care about any business, large or small, apart from its own. Nor does it care particularly about the quality of content on the internet, per se. Why should it? Google exists to make money for its shareholders, the same as any other commercial enterprise.

      If, for some reason, it came to be in Google's best interests to give page one rankings to the exact match domain, affiliate review website brigade, then that is what Google would do. They aren't some altruistic entity out to improve the internet. They are driven by market forces just like any other company and will do whatever they consider is the best course of action to help them stay profitable and expand their business.

      In other words, as long as it's clear that searchers want to view websites that offer good quality, relevant content in response to their search queries, then that is what Google will try to give them. If, however, it became apparent that searchers wanted the opposite, then THAT is what Google would serve to them.

      From some of the previous comments it seems that there are some people who equate Google's search results with the level of quality of the internet as a whole. All that Google can do is improve the quality of their search results. Even if they could weed out from their index all the really poor websites that offer no value, this doesn't mean that these websites won't exist; they just won't show up in a Google search. Put another way, Google's search results might be full of the best, most relevant websites for a particular search term but the internet will still be full of junk websites.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Well... there's always Yahoo and Bing.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheArticlePros
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      Well... there's always Yahoo and Bing.
      Wait for it....no...no...OK now! Those are both the same algorithm now.

      -- j
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  • Profile picture of the author Jennifer82
    Law of the jungle, It'ts the real and cruel world.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
    From Google's perspective, life is much easier with "Big Brands". Just like "nobody got fired for hiring IBM", you could also say "Google never looked stupid by ranking Walmart number 1"

    You also could say that Web 2.0 made a lot of sites pretty obsolete. Who needs a review site for car seats when Babies R Us, Amazon, and Buy Buy Baby have hundreds of reviews for car seats written by actual users? Who needs to rank a website about "Fuji Vacations" when Trip Advisor has hundreds of reviews (per hotel) for every hotel in Fuji.

    When you think about it, nobody is going to notice if your site is showing up in the serps. It's meaningless to a user and it's meaningless to Google. I learned that a long time ago. I have a decent amount of exposure to Google, but I treat that as found money and am ALWAYS diversifying out of Google.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cee
      I write articles for a living and do a lot of research on Google. I noticed that in the last few years the quality of websites drastically decreased to the point of having to check three or four Google pages before finding decent content to read. Many of the websites on the first page were pure crap with spun or poorly written articles that made no sense.

      Small websites with fresh, relevant content that gives people what they want, should have no problem ranking well.
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    • Profile picture of the author mosthost
      Originally Posted by Ryan David View Post

      From Google's perspective, life is much easier with "Big Brands". Just like "nobody got fired for hiring IBM", you could also say "Google never looked stupid by ranking Walmart number 1"

      You also could say that Web 2.0 made a lot of sites pretty obsolete. Who needs a review site for car seats when Babies R Us, Amazon, and Buy Buy Baby have hundreds of reviews for car seats written by actual users? Who needs to rank a website about "Fuji Vacations" when Trip Advisor has hundreds of reviews (per hotel) for every hotel in Fuji.

      When you think about it, nobody is going to notice if your site is showing up in the serps. It's meaningless to a user and it's meaningless to Google. I learned that a long time ago. I have a decent amount of exposure to Google, but I treat that as found money and am ALWAYS diversifying out of Google.
      No question this about sums it up. I really think a lot of this goes back to Vitaly Borker of 'Decor My Eyes' infamy. Google was embarrassed in main stream media by a clown like this guy and vowed to 'clean up' their SERPs.

      They're better off showing authoritative sites for most searches.

      That said, people are changing the ways they search anyway so 'small businesses' better be prepared for lots more changes online and not just from Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author Davy44
    For Google, it's all about quality content. If you build it, Google will come knocking. That is as constant as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. Google's Matt Cutts says it all the time: Build your sites for humans rather than building them for search engines. That's another way of saying add quality content to your site and Google will reward you.
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  • Profile picture of the author nmb
    I think there is still scope for small businesses to succeed if you put the time and effort in and have unique content.
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  • Profile picture of the author atlantarobin
    Ahhhhhhhh... big boys don't cry... big or small, they just keep building better businesses. When nothing else seems to work, just do what they do.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by atlantarobin View Post

      Ahhhhhhhh... big boys don't cry... big or small, they just keep building better businesses. When nothing else seems to work, just do what they do.
      Robin, big boys do cry. Just not on public forums.

      They do it in cushy boardrooms, then buy another lobbyist to cry for them in cushy government offices...
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  • Profile picture of the author nmb
    The challenge for us all is to grow our small businesses into large businesses - simples! lol
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  • Profile picture of the author AZMD
    Originally Posted by nmb View Post

    It seems that each Google update brings more and more challenges for small businesses.
    And in those challenges lie opportunities for small businesses to thrive. If a site is on the first page of Google and disappears, another site takes its place and benefits.

    Originally Posted by nmb View Post

    Is Google trying to kill of small businesses and concentrate of larger corporations who can feed its advertising machine?
    Google could care less about small businesses in the overall scheme of things. Google cares about THEIR business and will act in the best interest of THEIR business just as most any smart person or company would.
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  • Profile picture of the author bumgardner1
    I spent a while on the phone yesterday with one of the Google Reps and it was a tough call to get through to be honest. I think that money is money, but what she told me was if someone has a higher budget they win. Even if the site is not as nice or relevant. How can a little guy even get a chance?
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    • Profile picture of the author HN
      Banned
      Originally Posted by bumgardner1 View Post

      I spent a while on the phone yesterday with one of the Google Reps and it was a tough call to get through to be honest. I think that money is money, but what she told me was if someone has a higher budget they win. Even if the site is not as nice or relevant. How can a little guy even get a chance?
      I can tell you exactly how a little guy can get a chance, but I am becoming unpopular here. The answer is collaboration. If 100 little guys made an effort to build a big, high quality website together they would make much more than all 100 small websites (run separately by small guys) combined. Easier said than done. Why? Because of fear and greed.
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      • Profile picture of the author DANMYSON
        Originally Posted by HN View Post

        I can tell you exactly how a little guy can get a chance, but I am becoming unpopular here. The answer is collaboration. If 100 little guys made an effort to build a big, high quality website together they would make much more than all 100 small websites (run separately by small guys) combined. Easier said than done. Why? Because of fear and greed.
        More chance of farting out a fiver. The point is not to "favour" the little guy, it is the victory of good marketing that is at stake. if a big brand cannot be bothered to research and find emd's relevant to all its products, then it deserves to have "little guys" do that research and find niches that they can make money from. That is capitalism. Google has the full backing of virtually everyone in throwing out low content ad rich sites that provide nothing, not even actually for those site owners, to anybody. The point is if I have a 5 page content specific site for a long/short tailed emd, with products to sell specific to that emd, why should a big brand have preferential treatment. They haven't even marketed themselves correctly to gain the advantage. In my book, they should lose. Emd's are great for indexing because they are the phrases that x amount of people are looking for on a search. Why should that efficient way of indexing be lost to benefit, say, coca cola? How will customers be benefited from massive companies that are not specific taking over from small niche stores that are?
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        • Profile picture of the author HN
          Banned
          Originally Posted by DANMYSON View Post

          Emd's are great for indexing because they are the phrases that x amount of people are looking for on a search. Why should that efficient way of indexing be lost to benefit, say, coca cola? How will customers be benefited from massive companies that are not specific taking over from small niche stores that are?
          So if you search for 'how to make coca cola' you want to see the following sites come up in search engine

          1. howtomakecocacola.com
          2. howtomakecocacola.org
          3. howtomakecocacola.net
          4. howtomakecocacola.info
          5. howtomake-cocacola.com
          6. how-to-make-coca-cola.com
          7. 2makecocacola.com
          8. howdoimakecocacola.org
          ....
          176. cocacola.com

          And now let's imagine all those sites actually only want to you click on an adsense ad that Google sold to Coca Cola. Why should those sites be able to milk those two companies without producing anything themselves and without providing any value to people? Why should they even get away with using a brand name in their domain name?
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          • Profile picture of the author DANMYSON
            Originally Posted by HN View Post

            So if you search for 'how to make coca cola' you want to see the following sites come up in search engine

            1. howtomakecocacola.com
            2. howtomakecocacola.org
            3. howtomakecocacola.net
            4. howtomakecocacola.info
            5. howtomake-cocacola.com
            6. how-to-make-coca-cola.com
            7. 2makecocacola.com
            8. howdoimakecocacola.org
            ....
            176. cocacola.com

            And now let's imagine all those sites actually only want to you click on an adsense ad that Google sold to Coca Cola. Why should those sites be able to milk those two companies without producing anything themselves and without providing any value to people? Why should they even get away with using a brand name in their domain name?
            Coke is a big brand, it should be buying up these domains to correctly index and advertise itself online. The fact it isn't is not my problem. If I put up a blog under one of those titles with relevant and non spun content, perhaps an opinion as to how I make cola or whatever, or perhaps I am pepsi and I want to share in pepsi colas recipe, as long as it is relevant why should there be an issue? If I infringe on any copyright, then coke can sue me. Google only has to remove a site. (Why if this is the case are massive music companies in the Uk and US furious with google for ranking pirate sites free downloads massively ahead of genuine sites selling Itunes?).
            I might want to start a forum discussing guesses as to what colas secret recipe is. If you think all this is wrong then, why when I watch the cup final do I have to sit through tonnes of ads that have nothing to do with football selling off the back of the fact they know there is a captive audience that just wants to watch football? Is this wrong too? Should I be sold a piece of crappy music because the singer is hot and dresses like a schoolgirl? Where do you want to stop with this? When big companies get to win due to being big, and little guys or smaller business has to just move out the way because big business doesn't want to go on flippa and buy up domains that are relevant to itself, or maybe just do their own keyword research?
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            • Profile picture of the author HN
              Banned
              Originally Posted by DANMYSON View Post

              Coke is a big brand, it should be buying up these domains to correctly index and advertise itself online. The fact it isn't is not my problem. If I put up a blog under one of those titles with relevant and non spun content, perhaps an opinion as to how I make cola or whatever, or perhaps I am pepsi and I want to share in pepsi colas recipe, as long as it is relevant why should there be an issue? If I infringe on any copyright, then coke can sue me. Google only has to remove a site. (Why if this is the case are massive music companies in the Uk and US furious with google for ranking pirate sites free downloads massively ahead of genuine sites selling Itunes?).
              I might want to start a forum discussing guesses as to what colas secret recipe is. If you think all this is wrong then, why when I watch the cup final do I have to sit through tonnes of ads that have nothing to do with football selling off the back of the fact they know there is a captive audience that just wants to watch football? Is this wrong too? Should I be sold a piece of crappy music because the singer is hot and dresses like a schoolgirl? Where do you want to stop with this? When big companies get to win due to being big, and little guys or smaller business has to just move out the way because big business doesn't want to go on flippa and buy up domains that are relevant to itself, or maybe just do their own keyword research?
              I am sorry you had to spend time proving your point while you could have spent it working on your website. I am not going to talk you out of this so go ahead and just do it.
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              • Profile picture of the author DANMYSON
                Originally Posted by HN View Post

                I am sorry you had to spend time proving your point while you could have spent it working on your website. I am not going to talk you out of this so go ahead and just do it.
                You are having a farting competition? At your age? Are you mad? Why would I want to? I am just saying that anyone wanting to do this should be free to do so and gain their advantage. If the content is crap, dismiss it. If it isn't , then it deserves to be high up and indexed well.
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            • Profile picture of the author LimahCP
              Originally Posted by DANMYSON View Post

              Coke is a big brand, it should be buying up these domains to correctly index and advertise itself online. The fact it isn't is not my problem. If I put up a blog under one of those titles with relevant and non spun content, perhaps an opinion as to how I make cola or whatever, or perhaps I am pepsi and I want to share in pepsi colas recipe, as long as it is relevant why should there be an issue? If I infringe on any copyright, then coke can sue me. Google only has to remove a site. (Why if this is the case are massive music companies in the Uk and US furious with google for ranking pirate sites free downloads massively ahead of genuine sites selling Itunes?).
              I might want to start a forum discussing guesses as to what colas secret recipe is. If you think all this is wrong then, why when I watch the cup final do I have to sit through tonnes of ads that have nothing to do with football selling off the back of the fact they know there is a captive audience that just wants to watch football? Is this wrong too? Should I be sold a piece of crappy music because the singer is hot and dresses like a schoolgirl? Where do you want to stop with this? When big companies get to win due to being big, and little guys or smaller business has to just move out the way because big business doesn't want to go on flippa and buy up domains that are relevant to itself, or maybe just do their own keyword research?
              I'm sorry to bring up such an old thread, and I never post on the forums, only read.... but this post made me want to post a response about how absurd it really is.

              Those domains and search terms hold ZERO value to someone looking to make coca-cola. If you think Google is crushing small businesses, than your business model for them absolutely would crush small business. What is to stop a new, small business from getting it's domain, keywords, and product ripped by a big company that can buy up 10,000 domains? Your ideas are absolutely backwards. The truth is that all of those domains WOULD be spam in the eyes of the consumer who searched for "how to make coca-cola". If you can't see that, then you are obviously A) Not a true marketer, B) Out of business.

              Also, trying to compare TV commercials to spam websites is absolutely absurd as well. Commercials pay for the Football game to air on networks. Is your website somehow going to help Coca-cola pay to deliver Coke to it's customers? The answer is simple, absolutely not.

              Now on subject, EMDs no longer hold relevancy, which is a great thing IMHO. The way to get your business to rank well is simple, do it right, and have something that the consumer wants. If you have those things, then your business will succeed.

              Again, so sorry to bring up such an old thread, but my impulsive side took over on this post.

              Thanks,

              LimahCP
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  • Profile picture of the author DaveWarrior
    I don't mind authority sites ranking high, but there are now many search results where you get something like:

    Amazon
    Amazon #2
    Amazon #3
    ebay
    Amazon #4
    ebay #2
    Costco
    Amazon #5
    Walmart
    Walmart #2

    1-2 per domain please!
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  • Profile picture of the author ltrain_riders
    Google makes their money through Ads. They are going to do what it takes to get sites that make them money to the top. These sites are going to be sites who spend money on PPC. Google is going to want to give these guys results, otherwise they will cut back on PPC spending.

    I found it interesting that since Penguin update, my visitors have dropped in half, but my CPC in AdSense has doubled.
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  • Profile picture of the author prismkuet
    No, Google is not trying to kill small business rather encouraging to do small business in a ethical way. Through it's every new update, Google is telling that, come up with new ideas and work hard, don't run for easily avail dollar. If you have good amount of skill, Google will keep you on top and help you to grow more. Instead of looking for worst side, why not we look for the best?
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  • Profile picture of the author repstein
    Of course Google isn't trying to hurt small businesses. Look at Google Places- great for small businesses. Google Adwords too- they level the playing field against competitors who already got to the first page of Google first. Google Apps and Docs- high quality, often free software to help run your business.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Real Deal
      Originally Posted by Angela V. Edwards View Post

      These updates are more about the actual QUALITY of the websites as opposed to backlinks.
      If the search results would actually end up showing QUALITY and RELEVANT websites (pages) everyone would be happy.

      This is not what has been happening over the last 18 months...

      Originally Posted by Angela V. Edwards View Post

      Why? Because sites like Home Depot, CNet, etc do NOT use those types of techniques!!:
      Actually many of them do exactly that.

      Have you not heard about:

      Overstock.com offering university students discounts for putting up links from .edu domains?

      or

      JC Penny buying vast numbers of paid links and getting penalized?

      or

      BMW getting de-indexed for building doorway pages displaying different content to Google than the visitors by using Java?

      It's all about what SEO firm they have hired and how far they are willing to "push the line".

      Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

      Matt Cutts has denied several times that the algorithm has anything to do with selling advertising. He says the two Google departments don't even talk to each other.
      --
      It is very naive to trust everything that Matt Cutt's say. He is great spokesperson for Google, and that is his job. He will say what is beneficial for Google, not "the truth".

      Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

      Matt Cutts has never and never will be fully open and honest about the google algorithm. I am far from a conspiracy theorist...lol
      Exactly!

      Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

      As for Google lies, that's not their style. Matt Cutts is a straight shooter as far as he is able to reveal. The algorithm folks don't try to mislead people. I don't like some of Google's corporate decisions and their do-gooder initiatives occasionally seem pretty creepy, but Google's always been consistent as to their messaging with regard to website ranking.--
      I have had several one-on-one discussions with Matt Cutt's over the years and I can tell you that he is really nice guy, but he is not truthful when it comes to questions about the Google algorithm!

      Many years ago, shortly after the Page Rank toolbar first came out I asked Matt Cutt's if Google was using the toolbar data to find and index new previously "undiscovered" pages. His answer was: NO, absolutely and categorically not!

      There were at least 10 of us old members at Webmasterworld who knew with 100% certainty that this was not true. We had run multiple tests to prove that Google did in fact use the toolbar data to spider and find new pages to index. When we were discussing these test with "Googleguy" :rolleyes: over at WW he tried to come up with all sorts of reasons why our tests could have been flawed. We had taken all of those issues into account already and could actually "prove" that Matt's statement was false...

      Same is true about the "What a competitor does to your site can't hurt you" - i.e. "bad links" statement that went on for years. This was clearly false information being provided because Google wanted to avoid negative SEO as much as possible. Now they have slightly changed what they say in regards to this to something like: "There is almost nothing a competitor can do that will hurt your site"

      Anyway, there will always be those who think that Matt Cutts is the most honest guy in the world, but I have been in the SEO game for 14 years and I know better!

      Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

      But can you actually imagine what would happen if he did reveal the ins and outs of the algorithm. IMers would be all over it and exploit the crap out of the various holes.
      If Google would never have launched the Page Rank toolbar back in 2000 they could still be using a much larger part of the "old algorithm" that made them successful in the first place.

      This was one of the biggest strategic mistakes made by Google IMHO.

      Originally Posted by wtatlas View Post

      It is my opinion that Google doesn't care about any business, large or small, apart from its own. Nor does it care particularly about the quality of content on the internet, per se. Why should it? Google exists to make money for its shareholders, the same as any other commercial enterprise
      Exactly!

      Like almost every other company in the world Google is listening to the WII.FM (what's in it for me) radio station and almost everything they have done since going public is about increasing their revenue.
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