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Can You Break The Google Lock?

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#1 iamlost


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Posted 23 December 2007 - 03:08 PM

The DazzlinDonna shares some stats ( Comparing Traffic From The Big Three Search Engines) and makes an extremely important comment:

This is when you realize that no matter how hard you might want to break away from Google, you see just how ridiculous that concept is. Unless you get lots of traffic from places other than search (which is always nice), Google has to play a large part in your traffic strategy - like it or not.

I have seen similar stats that range G from 60-90+%, Y from 6-28%, MSN/L from 1-16%, the differences probably due to the niches and demographics involved. That does nothing to alter her two main points:
1. "Google has to play a large part in your traffic strategy".
When optimising for search Google has become the default. One can survive on Google alone and even prosper. However, that additional 16-17% (her numbers) of seach traffic could be the difference mere surviving and a comfortable living - an additional 20% potential revenue is well worth pursuing...even for rich folk. :(

There is also the conversion factor: not all traffic from all sources to all niches converts equally. It is quite possible, for example, for Yahoo traffic to provide the same actual number of conversions as a much greater volume from Google.
You need to know your numbers.

2. "traffic from places other than search"
This is the big black hole in the floor that everyone walks around while pretending it doesn't exist. Yet this 'alternate' traffic is often the best converting traffic by a logarithmic factor. Yet 'search' is king. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

There is an increasing awareness of social media as an alternative traffic source, primarily because some in the SEO community (and others who view SEO as passť) are pushing SMM hard. There is much less of an understanding of it's actual value, often a deliberate obfuscation. Shout traffic volume, praise traffic volume, hurrah for sheer volume; it's easy to generate, looks great in reports, impresses the clients; conversion rate and ROI are so Web 1.0. :)

The 'ancient' alternative of direct type-in/bookmark traffic is still the best converting category. Why do you think domainers buy as they do? Leveraging type-in errors is one big reason. We hear more and more about type-in and domain squatting and less and less about type-in as valuable for all sites. Hurrah for the tabloid bloggartsphere. Those who come direct to you are pure gold. Woo them well.

The 'original', 'before Google', indeed 'before search' and still critical traffic source is the backlink. Unless it is of the PR-chasing junkbond variety. Like traffic volume, pure link volume is easy to generate but an exceedingly short term outlook. A quality backlink provides highly converting traffic. A high quality backlink supplies high volume highly converting traffic. That it also juices PR is a nice added feature.

To put all your livelihood on one number, on one supplier, on one client, is a inherently hazardous choice. Make your own risk assessment, your own business plan, and proceed...

#2 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 04:09 PM

Nicely written.

I remember yonks ago when a certain SE company came about that certain folk had a rather dim view of it... and said that somehow it would turn to the darkside... that it would turn it's back upon those it claims to serve and concentrate on enhancing it's own powers for it's own ends.
These people were "poo-pooed" and called nay-sayers, cynics and being highly unfair of the up-coming enterprise.

Well... it appears that little worm not only turned, but grew hue poiunt teeth and bit down hard didn't it!

It's no different than the situatio nwith IE as a browser - until other folk stop using it, we are lumped with it.
So... is there to be an SE equivelent of MFF?
Will there be a new contender that doesn't do some damn strange things, that doesn't sneak and creep and stealthy gain power only to grab businesses by their throats and poss a horrid threat to all?

Of course not - this is busienss, people really are cynical, and people kind of need money to live etc.
The temptation of more money, of control and dominance, and the sheer abiltiy to dictate the market is far to tempting... even I, (pure, sweet, innocent, never a mean thought in my body little me), would admit to the temptation...

Help us Obi Wan SearchEngine - you are our only hope :(

#3 Ron Carnell

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 09:40 PM

LOL. I use to worry terribly, to the point of losing sleep, about Alta Vista. Especially when they fueled Yahoo. Then, for a few more years, I worried even more about Excite, because they fueled both Yahoo and a huge AOL reservoir of traffic.

By the time Google came along, though, I pretty much gave up on worrying. Que sera sera. :(

#4 yannis


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Posted 23 December 2007 - 10:43 PM

A quality backlink provides highly converting traffic

... and this is the real challenge getting quality backlinks. Great content is ok but how would one speed up this process? I know Rome was not build in one day but neither did any of the Romans lived to be 200 years old! :(


#5 iamlost


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Posted 24 December 2007 - 12:56 AM

Que sera sera.

That is just a sign of your increasing maturity. :)

Great content is ok but how would one speed up this process [getting quality backlinks]?

I should give up my rapid link acquisition secrets?

There is a feeling of 'hurry' on the web. A sense that beta is better than alpha but either is better than waiting. I really dislike having to patch things that coulda shoulda been built correctly if they woulda had sufficient design and testing resources.

'Secret' Number 1:
In creating a niche business plan I identify potential keywords and phrases, their probable revenue value in the near, medium, and long-term, along with possible backlink targets for each. An interesting recurring result is that a quarter of these backlink targets cover three quarters of the 'money terms'.

Thus I know right from the start the terms, in value order, for which to build content and acquire links. As a new term is discovered it, it's value, and corresponding backlink targets are added in the appropriate queue position. Lesser value 'bridging' content is built as necessary to maintain site architectural integrity and logical navigation flow.

'Secret' Number 2:
I identify the minimum traffic levels for each revenue stream and hold off monetising until that level is surpassed. In practice this has meant waiting at least 6-months before even placing an AdSense ad group or an affiliate link.

Note that I develop strictly green natural organic, no ppc added. If I was in a panic and had money to burn priming the pump, which I am not and do not, wait times could decrease to zilch. But that is not my business model.

Conveniently, it is easier to acquire backlinks from some very 'juicy' organisations if your site appears non-commercial. Knowing who is best convinced pre-ads (see secret #1) is extremely helpful.

It also means that you spend the time adding content so that there is somewhere for a link to point. The more somewheres the more possible link terms, the more terms the more possible linking sites, the more sites the more possible traffic. It's a loverly serial process.

And lastly it allows an analytics foundation. You can test and retest bug zapping procedures before you are chockfull of high SERP scrapeable goodies. You can engage revenue streams with good confidence in traffic and conversion numbers - it is always nice to be confident when addressing affiliate underpayment.

Obviously there is no 'secret'. Some planning, some organisation, a whole lot of work, but no secret. Sorry.

#6 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 05:38 AM

Thats actually pretty sound planning... and I'm not suprised at all.
The one thing that still gets me is how to get backlinks to certain types of business site etc... but thats a different topic :)

So I will ask the un-asked here... if there was a "greener" version of google... without all the monetising and grubbing.... would people likely switch to it?
If there was already a good SE System in place, would folk refer their clients to it and campaign for it (as many do for FF) instead of G?

I suppose, in a way, G revolutionised the whole SE system... and in the process look at al lthe wonderful extra jobs that it has helped ccreate... we have thousands of SE experts, SE Optimisation companies as far as the eye can see, SE Marketers who make the world a better place... I'm gonna load me shotty and go a G hunting!
(Okay... so there are plenty of good, reliable SE based people out there... just feeling a little less charitable than usual today (so I'm on -20 on the charity scale)).

#7 yannis


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Posted 24 December 2007 - 09:02 AM

Obviously there is no 'secret'. Some planning, some organisation, a whole lot of work, but no secret.

Thanks for all the insights. Nothing new under the sun though, plenty hard work patience and as much planning as possible. Let's talk link magnets are there such things? Not just link bait but link magnets, content that would automatically attract links, the equivalent of 9/11 for a product?


#8 earlpearl


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Posted 26 December 2007 - 05:24 PM

The volume of traffic and percentage of it that came from google were pretty astounding. Kudo's to Donna for getting that across the board ranking.

Those numbers are both anecdotal representing only one web site for some unkown phrase, but also significantly different from what the market research companies report. Yet similar anecdotal evidence comes from webmasters all the time.

Here are two links to the same dominance issue of Google from another perspective. It also raises different issues relative to the dominance of google:

http://blumenthals.c...g-lucky-or-not/ and

Years ago there was an active anti trust element within the govt that pursued businesses within industries that accumulated extraordinary market share. If memory serves me right on what I studied decades ago 83% was considered monopolistic.

It is important to spread your sources of traffic and marketing. Sometimes its hard when the great preponderance of potential customers relies on one source. It is very challenging.

#9 A.N.Onym


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Posted 27 December 2007 - 02:12 AM

I think it is the right thread to remind everyone a once loved phrase:

"Create and promote websites as if the search engines didn't exist."

which has transformed to

"Create the websites for the humans."

While we surely need to remember about crawlability, keywords people use and so on, submerging the website into the industry site network through communication, relationship, partnership and so on seems to be the best way to get traffic, both from the other sites and the search engines.

While I don't think we should ban Google (though there are some exceptions, such as 14thc.com), we can surely build the Web without counting on them much, but reaching the people instead.

#10 AbleReach


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Posted 27 December 2007 - 05:20 AM

Whenever I read these conversations I remember the first time I used view>source to see how a link was written. I knew NOTHING about the web, or really much of anything computer related. It was the early 90's.

When I found matching anchor tag and link text it still didn't make sense to me, any more than seeing puppies being born explains the miracle of life. I sat there and thought, "People click on this and are connected."


Everything else is... stamp collecting... though other kinds of knowledge (and fascination) may come along for a ride.

Edited by AbleReach, 27 December 2007 - 06:35 PM.

#11 kensplace


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Posted 27 December 2007 - 02:43 PM

I set up and maintain one site (content maintained by others) which completely bans all the complying search engines from spidering via robots.txt

Its doing great, nice and busy, and no spammy sign ups caused by search engine results...

But it is a niche site, and is spread via word of mouth (and email, logo's, recommendations etc)

#12 yannis


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Posted 27 December 2007 - 11:36 PM

But it is a niche site, and is spread via word of mouth (and email, logo's, recommendations etc)

I am awed! You blessed!


#13 kensplace


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Posted 27 December 2007 - 11:48 PM


I wish my other sites were doing as well :P

Just heard tonight, someone wants to fly over and do a photoshoot about the topic/site for a book they are going to write about the topic. (its a niche site mainly for women who like realistic dolls that look like real babies, called reborn dolls).

Could lead to even more visits to the site ;)

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