Google Wants Brands Not "buyhairlossformulax.com"

by IM Ash
30 replies
  • SEO
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I think I have been guilty of following the EMD brigade and profiting quickly over the last 2 years but the effect has been a few sites getting hit here and there after every update! SEO is unpredictable but what Google wants isn't! Artificially building links will always be risky but building a brand is what will stand the test of time! Yes, there will always be good sites that tumble but to lower risks you need to focus on branding!

Instead of 301 redirecting hit sites after every update and spinning your wheels it is time to focus on a brand! Ironically, my first site was on a branded domain and I had plans to build it up into something big. I got that site to $1000 after 2 and 1/2 months and Google was just loving that site but it took its biggest hit after the blog network deindexing early this year! After that heartache I was following the "churn and burn" approach which relied heavily on EMDs! I still have a large number of sites standing but these can disappear at any time - they are not built on a solid foundation which can evolve into a brand!

I dug up an article that actually gives you exactly what Google wants for the future and guess what - it was written in 2008:

The article covered Eric Schmidt addressing a group of magazine execs. Here are some of the takeaways:

The internet is fast becoming a "cesspool" where false information thrives, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said yesterday. Speaking with an audience of magazine executives visiting the Google campus here as part of their annual industry conference, he said their brands were increasingly important signals that content can be trusted.

"Brands are the solution, not the problem," Mr. Schmidt said. "Brands are how you sort out the cesspool."
In a talk that he structured mostly as an invitation for questions and ideas, Mr. Schmidt declined to advise magazines on looking more popular to Google's page-ranking programs.

"We don't actually want you to be successful," he said. The company's algorithms are trying to find the most relevant search results, after all, not the sites that best game the system. "The fundamental way to increase your rank is to increase your relevance," he added
Branding, on the other hand, may be an essential element that helps people navigate the world, he said. "Brand affinity is clearly hard wired," he said. "It is so fundamental to human existence that it's not going away. It must have a genetic component."
Source: Google's Schmidt Says Internet 'Cesspool' Needs Brands | Media - Advertising Age

The awesome aspect about building an online brand is that it is really fun! You get to choose an awesome domain name which is catchy and memorable and it doesn't look like "buyhairlossformulax.com" and you get to go about creating a real social presence and you can promote your business with pride using various channels besides SEO! You concentrate all your efforts on one sites and delivering quality in every regard and your focus is not split in a million different directions.

The other benefit is your costs can actually be lowered because you will not be paying for 10s or even 100s of domains, articles for every site and SEO for every site.

Think about it:

If you have 20 micro-sites with 10 articles on each site:

10 articles x 20 = 200 articles @ $5 each = $1000.00
(and that is for really low quality stuff)

20 domains @ $10 each = $200/ year


That is already $1200 dollars spent without even considering the SEO costs, the time taken to build these sites, and then there is the risks of losing it all at the next algo update.

But if you are building a brand it will firstly have to be in an area that you are knowledgeable (or you can spend the time gaining the knowledge in an area that interests you). You will have one domain, you will write the articles yourself and do all your on-page SEO (in the early stages) and then you can invest in promotion of the site!

The costs of building one large site will actually be less over the long-term, the risks will be lower and you will have a site that you are proud to share with the world. This is what Google wants! They want you to forget the "churn and burn" 10 page EMDs and to focus on delivering value to the internet via a brand!

I am back to where I started and I am focusing on building an online brand again and I am having fun choosing the domain, designing my logo, planning the structure of the site and the marketing plan which goes beyond SEO.

If you not having fun in this industry and you are pulling your hair out after every update then you should consider changing your approach!

What is a Brand?

https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+a+brand

Online Brand Building Resources:

Mona Elesseily: 5 Easy Steps to Build Your Online Brand

http://mashable.com/2011/05/25/entre...rand-building/

Building Online Brand in a Post Google Panda World

These are just a few articles that I found helpful!
#brands #building a brand #buyhairlossformulaxcom #google
  • Profile picture of the author bbradford71
    Great information, thanks for sharing!
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  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    I hope you aren't talking about building a content website and calling it a brand.
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    • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
      Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

      I hope you aren't talking about building a content website and calling it a brand.
      You should click the link at the end of the post if you want to know what a brand is! And by the way: a content site can easily become a brand... ever heard of Huffington Post?
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      • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
        Originally Posted by IM Ash View Post

        You should click the link at the end of the post if you want to know what a brand is! And by the way: a content site can easily become a brand... ever heard of Huffington Post?
        Sure, I've heard of Huffington Post. I'd hardly call their ascent to the top 'easy.' Most content websites just aren't original enough to ever be 'branded' in people's minds.

        It's a lot easier to brand a site that sells products or services IMHO.
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      • Profile picture of the author Geekgirl01
        Originally Posted by IM Ash View Post

        You should click the link at the end of the post if you want to know what a brand is! And by the way: a content site can easily become a brand... ever heard of Huffington Post?
        His right and forums can be a brand too! We have a few well known ones here in the UK.
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        • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
          Originally Posted by Geekgirl01 View Post

          His right and forums can be a brand too! We have a few well known ones here in the UK.
          Sure thing... you also posting on one right now
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    I don't really think it is Google that wants brands. I think it is search engine users that want it.

    Despite what many of its detractors would want you to believe, Google is not simply a fly by night company. They are not going to make any significant changes to the algorithm without it being based on heaps of data.

    I bet they found people are sick and tired of some of these silly MFA EMD's and have decided to clean house.

    At the end of the day, they want good search results. Good search results is not defined by you or I, or even Google for that matter. It's defined by its users, which I'm sure they are collecting marketing data on constantly.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nelapsi
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      I don't really think it is Google that wants brands. I think it is search engine users that want it.

      Despite what many of its detractors would want you to believe, Google is not simply a fly by night company. They are not going to make any significant changes to the algorithm without it being based on heaps of data.

      I bet they found people are sick and tired of some of these silly MFA EMD's and have decided to clean house.

      At the end of the day, they want good search results. Good search results is not defined by you or I, or even Google for that matter. It's defined by its users, which I'm sure they are collecting marketing data on constantly.
      We completely agree.. if you run a website and your data shows users are not sticking around then you might want to do something before market research and data support a Google Update that reflects that problem.
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    • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      I don't really think it is Google that wants brands. I think it is search engine users that want it.

      Despite what many of its detractors would want you to believe, Google is not simply a fly by night company. They are not going to make any significant changes to the algorithm without it being based on heaps of data.

      I bet they found people are sick and tired of some of these silly MFA EMD's and have decided to clean house.

      At the end of the day, they want good search results. Good search results is not defined by you or I, or even Google for that matter. It's defined by its users, which I'm sure they are collecting marketing data on constantly.
      I agree! But I also believe that Google is looking at site's with strong signals that depict the site as a trustworthy source of information... this can be achieved through online branding!

      Ultimately people trust brands and Google is beginning to do the same by giving branded sites a whole lot of love!

      Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

      Sure, I've heard of Huffington Post. I'd hardly call their ascent to the top 'easy.' Most content websites just aren't original enough to ever be 'branded' in people's minds.

      It's a lot easier to brand a site that sells products or services IMHO.
      Huffington is at the top end but there are smaller brands within certain market segments as well! It surely isn't an easy task to achieve but not impossible either!
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      • Profile picture of the author paulgl
        How many times has this been promoted by me since I've
        joined here?

        There's nothing new.

        Unfortunately, people were blind back then. Why are they
        now seeing the light?

        Why does every Tom, Dick, and Harry think this is new?!?!?!

        Oh. I know. Because one of their favorite nonsense voodoo
        SEO tricks is now thought to be some new algo change.

        These same folks will look under the same rock, seeking
        something else among the worms.

        Will people ever get with it?

        No.

        Originally Posted by IM Ash View Post

        If you not having fun in this industry and you are pulling your hair out after every update then you should consider changing your approach!
        Sorry, that's much too difficult.

        Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

        Sure, I've heard of Huffington Post. I'd hardly call their ascent to the top 'easy.' Most content websites just aren't original enough to ever be 'branded' in people's minds.
        Their ascent was very, very, very easy. Obviously you don't know how the internet
        works. You don't know the history of the person "Huffington."

        Celebrities and famous figures get a HUGE jump. They are instant web
        superstars. Hence, their websites instantly become "hits," especially
        sites like Arianna started. Of course me being from Cali would know
        who she was. She had instant success with the website because
        she was a "success." I always thought she was full of drivel, but
        contrary to popular belief, google does not hate drivel.

        If a very influential person on the planet created a website, you don't
        think that site would have almost instant success?

        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
          Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

          Their ascent was very, very, very easy. Obviously you don't know how the internet
          works. You don't know the history of the person "Huffington."

          Celebrities and famous figures get a HUGE jump. They are instant web
          superstars. Hence, their websites instantly become "hits," especially
          sites like Arianna started. Of course me being from Cali would know
          who she was. She had instant success with the website because
          she was a "success." I always thought she was full of drivel, but
          contrary to popular belief, google does not hate drivel.

          If a very influential person on the planet created a website, you don't
          think that site would have almost instant success?

          Paul
          Yes, I know how the internet works. So you're suggesting that people become celebrities and then build 'branded websites?' Yep, sure sounds 'easy' to me.
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          • Profile picture of the author boxoun
            Actually that's not what he said. A popular local hair stylist can use her fan base and authority in the field to quickly get a site up and running.if you don't have any skills that can replicate what Paul suggested then get a job or seek training or acquire the resources to hire staff. It's not impossible but not for everyone

            Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

            Yes, I know how the internet works. So you're suggesting that people become celebrities and then build 'branded websites?' Yep, sure sounds 'easy' to me.
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    • Profile picture of the author retsek
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      I don't really think it is Google that wants brands.
      @GregrySmith keywords in domain would be going down as we turned the knob toward brandable domains.

      https://twitter.com/mattcutts/status/252483995013636096
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  • I would agree with you partially. Why? Because I believe "don't put all your eggs in one basket". I would say it should be a mix of authority and EMD sites. EMD sites are not bad and Google is not against EMDs (show me a proof if disagree).

    The algo is automated and even an authority site can get a hit. Some people here seems to have a false EMD idea. xyzEMD and EMDxyz is not an EMD. These are the sites that have been mostly hit.
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    • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
      Originally Posted by ecommercevisibility View Post

      I would agree with you partially. Why? Because I believe "don't put all your eggs in one basket".
      I think diversifying traffic sources will be a way to ensure all our eggs are not in Google's basket

      Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

      Sorry, that's much too difficult.

      Paul
      No hair left huh?

      I get you Paulgl!
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    • Profile picture of the author ps2home
      I agree. I think having a branded website is possibly the way forward. The only problem with putting all your efforts into a single website, is what happens if Google decide to peanlize it for some reason? You then have no business. If you have 20 smaller sites and 5 get knocked off, then this isn't that bad.
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      • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
        Originally Posted by ps2home View Post

        I agree. I think having a branded website is possibly the way forward. The only problem with putting all your efforts into a single website, is what happens if Google decide to peanlize it for some reason? You then have no business. If you have 20 smaller sites and 5 get knocked off, then this isn't that bad.
        I totally understand where you coming from... I have been doing the many site thing for the last 8 months but my income has been all over the place! I am just going to be focused on diversifying my traffic sources so if it does come to that I will have other sources of traffic to keep me afloat!
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  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    Obviously no one can afford to rely solely on one source of traffic these days, especially Google organic search traffic. It's much too dangerous.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

      Obviously no one can afford to rely solely on one source of traffic these days, especially Google organic search traffic. It's much too dangerous.
      It is obvious, actually it's extremely obvious, but the masses still ignore it (single source of traffic).

      A lot of people in IM have tunnel vision when it comes to traffic, the SERPs are only a single source of traffic but most people here act like it's the only source (it's not).

      Then you have the people that think "get traffic to land on my page & never return", which is the dumbest concept I've ever witnessed here on WF, but people promote that thinking here all the time. It's far easier to sell something to someone that's familiar with a person or site, buyers trust things their familiar with (branding).
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  • Profile picture of the author Geekgirl01
    I personally won't put all my eggs in one basket. It is far too risky from what I have seen.
    If you can get one brand or website and build it up well to a good level and do it the right way. Give Google and your visitors what they want and are looking for.
    And then do another and follow the same.
    And only do as many as you can handle. I have a partnership with my websites so between us we can probably handl up to 5 big, quality, branded sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
      Originally Posted by Geekgirl01 View Post

      I personally won't put all my eggs in one basket. It is far too risky from what I have seen.
      If you can get one brand or website and build it up well to a good level and do it the right way. Give Google and your visitors what they want and are looking for.
      And then do another and follow the same.
      And only do as many as you can handle. I have a partnership with my websites so between us we can probably handl up to 5 big, quality, branded sites.
      This is pretty much my future plan! I am using the first one to gain experience and thereafter I have another 2 hot niches where I can develop two real authority sites! I think the EMD mentality was really stifling my creativity!
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      • Profile picture of the author EMV
        I have a very good site with this formula, but will the last.
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      • Profile picture of the author Geekgirl01
        Originally Posted by IM Ash View Post

        This is pretty much my future plan! I am using the first one to gain experience and thereafter I have another 2 hot niches where I can develop two real authority sites! I think the EMD mentality was really stifling my creativity!
        Same here! To the point where I would find a great topic/website that I would like to a create with big search results - then I would go and see if I could find an EMD for it and if I couldnt find one - I wouldnt go ahead with it!

        Sometimes you can find witty and catchy branded name for your website and that will stick longer in peoples minds a million times more than an EMD
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  • Profile picture of the author UMS
    Out of the Gregory Smith/Matt Cutts "discussion", I think the following three tweets summarise the whole thing.

    Matt "Multiple algos are rolling out all the time. Likely those sites weren't affected by EMD update but by another algo."

    Gregory"Thank you matt but all this happened during the past 3 days. Has another update happened during this time?"

    Matt "yes. 500+ algo launches/year mean 1-2 a day. I know of at least one other algo rolling out over same timeframe for example."
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    • Profile picture of the author retsek
      Originally Posted by UMS View Post

      Out of the Gregory Smith/Matt Cutts "discussion", I think the following three tweets summarise the whole thing.

      Matt "Multiple algos are rolling out all the time. Likely those sites weren't affected by EMD update but by another algo."

      Gregory"Thank you matt but all this happened during the past 3 days. Has another update happened during this time?"

      Matt "yes. 500+ algo launches/year mean 1-2 a day. I know of at least one other algo rolling out over same timeframe for example."

      Yup, saw those. Supposedly the algo that was rolling out at the same time as the EMD update was a Google Images update.

      link -> Big Image Update at Google Google SEO News and Discussion forum at WebmasterWorld
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
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        Originally Posted by retsek View Post

        Yup, saw those. Supposedly the algo that was rolling out at the same time as the EMD update was a Google Images update.

        link -> Big Image Update at Google Google SEO News and Discussion forum at WebmasterWorld
        I skimmed over that WMW link/page & have no idea what they are carrying on about, right now I'm killing it with G-Images & have been for a long time. I have multiple keywords where I own 4-5 thumbnail images in text SERPs, along with ranking 1-2 pages for the same keywords. For me the most important G Images are the text SERP image thumbnails.
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  • Profile picture of the author jerrywhyte
    Useful information, i have said it several times that EMD (Exact Match Domain) is gonna destroy and frustrate many desperate IM, Google love brands
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  • Profile picture of the author Domainate
    There are brands on EMDs, but they are not on EMDs that realistically can't support a full site.

    Cars.com is happily ranked #1 for cars. Hotels.com happily ranked #1 for hotels. CreditCards.com happily ranked #1 for credit cards. Each of them have much bigger companies competing with them.

    Something like SmallBrownPickupTruck.com on the other hand - let's face it, that is not going to be anything but a thin site. Either it won't have much content, it will have lots of irrelevant content, or it will simply not look like the kinds of results that people might otherwise get from highly reputable sites when searching that term.

    Now of course there may be some better EMDs getting hit, but consider that the EMD is one of hundreds of factors. Some other things to ask:

    - Is the site on it thin? From what I've seen, it's mostly thin sites getting hit.
    - Where they using thin SEO efforts? For instance, tons of links pointing to main page, all with the EMD phrase anchor text.
    - Do they have any incoming links at all? Bearing in mind that many EMD owners used minimal efforts to rank them, they may have few incoming links compared to competition.
    - Is their CTR, bounce rate and and time on site poor? Perhaps they got to where they were but ultimately didn't deserve to remain there based on visitor experience.

    Probably many more questions to ask, but the bottom line is, the days of expecting a silver bullet to rank highly are gone. Even if something has been working nearly without fail, don't expect it to forever. Google wants you to work towards providing value to visitors, not manipulating yourself up the ranks.
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