Help save my job, please: Can a business model be based on organic Google (non news) search alone?

7 replies
  • SEO
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First time poster but I'm sure people here can help.

I'm editor of a significant (but previously neglected) website but I'm the only editorial employee.

My job description changes daily but what's constant is this...

I'm being given KPIs to boost traffic to the site and the only way I'm allowed to do it is by creating articles that, "Get lots of traffic initially and have a long tail." I'm not allowed to write news so everything has to be product reviews or product-related features.

I'm being told this is how to progress because some 90% of our traffic is From Google Search. However, our top 30 traffic drivers are years-old stories including one which is a proper Google Answer.

To me all these old top stories are like lottery wins. You can't predict that some click-baity out of date article from two years ago will still be featured so highly. However, I'm being told that this old, traffic-happy content is what I need to emulate to boost traffic.

I recently started getting micromanaged to the point where I have to get everything approved before publishing and only to write broad content with Google-friendly titles etc. I got praised for what I came up with but its not getting any traffic spikes.

Now to me, traffic on a site with very few return users and with heaps of competition is most likely to grow for free by social and newsletter (the site map is hugely out of date and I've not been allowed to update anything). It's an old site with loads of content but the layout is out of date and many sections are completely dead.

so what are my options for increasing traffic with no budget and a broken site? Can I really hope to just keep writing good stories in the hope that one of them goes nuts and keeps going nuts? I get occasional short-term spikes but they're hard to come by and not the sort of articles I can do daily.

Is there any article regarding it not being a viable business model to rely purely on organic Google Search on a day to day basis? Or is it possible and I'm wrong, please?

My job literally depends on this as it's proving very difficult to manage my boss' expectations.
#based #business #google #job #model #news #organic #save #search
  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    I am getting the impression that your management is tieing your hands, you need to talk them, proper SEO is needed, articles alone will not getting u anywhere, it is not the 90s, and there are enough players out there today on the game.

    Talk to your manager and maybe print some articles from SEOMOZ to back up your case
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    It is a job. You do what they tell you to do. It's a no-win argument where if you don't do it, they will find someone who says they can (whether or not that is true).

    And yes, it is absolutely possible to rank well organically for long tail searches. The impossibility, in many niches, is the combination of long tail AND high traffic searches. Usually, the two do not coexist. Longer tail and relatively high, maybe.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aneditor
      My problem is that I keep getting shown monthly stats where our top story (an enormous chunk of our daily traffic) is a curated Google Answer. It's high traffic and long tail. I then get told to go and do that.The next group of articles aren't Google Answers but they're top-listed very generic searches from years back. So all my boss is seeing is this every day thinking that that's how publishing works.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    You need to do what your employer asks but if I were you and think thats not going to work I would create a site and rank it for something related to your business (but not anything you are going for on the job). Your boss isn't going to change his mind until he sees real results. You start getting results your way and his ears will perk up

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  • Profile picture of the author paulgl
    Your post makes no sense. Many times here, people don't read and pay attention.

    First of all, you say "neglected" website.
    You talk company.
    You talk boss.
    You talk nonsense.

    Any huge website that is a company, will not have a neglected website unless they have been making money, and lots of it, with it.

    What does editorial mean? Writer? Screener? Proofreader? Mailroom chimp?

    You write product reviews? Only? That's complete garbage. Do one on shower curtains.

    You have no budget and a broken site. And yet, you are an "employee" of this great company?

    And this great company that is still in business despite you and the rest of the ding-dongs, well, you people get exactly what you deserve.

    The truth is probably not even close to your post.

    I imagine that not only are you the only "editorial" person, you are also the janitor, the mail boy, the coffee getter, the valet, the masseuse, shoe shiner, as well as......the owner.

    Or else you tell the truth: Your boss needs to fire you and hire a staff like all the other big website "companies." A staff that includes writers, webmasters, web designers, etc.


    If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    If the content/pages OP is creating aren't generating traffic s/he is already on the way out the door so there's no point in dragging this out.

    Move on... odds are you're making $5 per article for a silly fake product review. I know, some people live in a hut, blah, blah, blah.
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