Most Brazilian News Websites Blocking Google

October 22nd, 2012

With the many algorithm changes that Google has made, many businesses both large and small are reevaluating their relationships with Google and the value of the traffic that the search giant brings their businesses. This self-assessment, which is needed particularly in a struggling economy, is not a task businesses should overlook. At least in the case of Brazilian newspapers, they found that allowing Google to display their news in the Google’s news results was actually harming their business.

Google acknowledged that they send a billion clicks to news websites around the world. While that may be true, some are calling into question how many clicks Google is sending elsewhere. The National Association of Newspapers, otherwise known as ANJ, performed a study and concluded that allowing Google to display headlines in 154 stories actually resulted in less traffic to their organization’s news websites.

Google Helps Form Lobbying Cartel

October 3rd, 2012

Just as most corporations lobby members of Congress, to enact laws which favor their businesses, many online businesses do the same. While unfortunate, lobby dollars do get the attention of lawmakers, and they surely will sit down to listen when large campaign contributions are there to be had. It’s no surprise that Google lobbies Congress and other branches/agencies of government. After all, the US Supreme Court did rule that corporations are entitled to free speech too.

Over the course of 2012, Google has spent nearly twice as much money on lobbying then they did in 2011. Internet regulatory threats impact many online businesses, but few have the funds to allocate a significant amount of money to get their way. But what would happen if you combined Google’s lobbying efforts with those of other online heavyweights such as Amazon, eBay, Yahoo and even Facebook? You would have the new Washington D.C. based lobbying group named “The Internet Association.”

Google Continues Process of Digital Cleansing

October 3rd, 2012

Over the course of 2012, many webmasters have been forced to deal with a fury of algorithm changes unleashed by Google. Just as in the past, Google has stated these updates were needed to improve their search product. Looking back, over the updates that Google released, it is becoming much clearer that Google is trying to improve their search product by eliminating organic listings. This is a process I would refer to as “digital cleansing” since it is happening on such a large scale.

Of the different keywords I monitor, many organic listings have been pushed beneath the fold. The most recent occurrence of this was just a day ago. Dead smack at the top of the screen are Adwords ads and to the right are Google products. Ironically, Amazon has a paid listing at the top and the number two organic position as well. What is hypocritical about this is that Google has released a penalty of sorts that demotes websites which have too many ads above the fold, yet in many keyword searches Google has nothing but paid ads above the fold.

Google Now Classifies Average Sites as Spam

June 9th, 2012

Has your website been hit by a panda, slapped by a penguin or trampled over by another type of zoo animal? If your site has, chances are Google has classified your website as being spam. While many websites are truly deserving of being demoted in the SERPS, many other website owners have been left scratching their heads as to why their websites nearly disappeared from the SERPS. In a recent interview with Matt Cutts, we now learn that penguin has targeted “average” websites to be demoted.

In an interview, Matt Cutts explained that panda was designed to target websites engaged in dubious practices to artificially inflate their search positions. Now, penguin has arrived with its sole purpose of demoting those websites “in the middle” of being high quality and spam. What type of person or entity typically has an “average” website? Small businesses of course.

Beth Wilkinson Joins FTC Google Antitrust Probe

April 27th, 2012

Because of its broad implications on the economy, the FTC has hired outside legal counsel to head the FTC antitrust probe of Google. Announced just a couple of hours ago, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz noted that the case was both complex and Google’s actions could have a dramatic impact on consumers both now and in the years ahead. Of the many complaints against Google, it is alleged that Google is using its search monopoly to crush competitors as they steamroll into new ventures.

Hearing such news on a day when the Penguin algorithm update has been confirmed is a small taste of justice by those that have seen their ranks drop out of Google’s SERPS. Many of these people, which own small businesses, have been complaining for a week or more that they no longer have any search engine visibility in Google. These same people also allege that corporate interests were delivered in the Penguin algorithm which pushed small businesses aside.

Google’s April 2012 Algorithm Update Failure

April 25th, 2012

On April 24, 2012, Google posted a blog post in the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog about an algorithm update targeting webspam. This type of SEO, which is described by many as black hat SEO, has been a target of Google’s Matt Cutts for some time. It’s a daunting task for him and his team, but early reports of this algorithm update suggest that all webmasters should have cause for concern.

First, you might want to read Google’s post titled “Another Step to Reward High Quality Sites.” Judging by the comments on their blog post, Google is not dishing out rewards. Instead, Google is destroying many legitimate businesses that rely on search traffic for their sole existence. Obviously, many webmasters are upset.

Google Directory Closes

July 20th, 2011

Google, which has consistently preached that webmasters should focus on unique and compelling content, has apparently closed its directory. While branded with the Google name, and residing on a Google URL, this directory was simply scraped from DMOZ.

What is interesting is how the Panda algorithm update was supposed to nail scraper sites to the wall, Google’s scraped directory survived Panda quite well. It’s these mixed signals, and double standards, which sets a horrible example for webmasters that are truly working hard to offer their visitors value through unique and detailed content.

Google Algorithm Devastates Small Publishers

March 12th, 2011

As any successful website owner will tell you, if you are not getting traffic from Google you are nothing. Sadly, this is true in many cases. And Google’s latest algorithm update, which are dubbed Farmer and Panda, there were obviously some winners and some losers. What has come to light is that many of the losers were mainly small mom and pop publishers which lack SEO skills and the budget to hire SEO professionals. You know the mom and pop type sites – the ones that typically have a limited amount of niche traffic but are heavily dependent on traffic to maintain their businesses. And there are some reports that already some smaller sites have closed their doors.

Diminished Value of Top Organic Google Rankings

November 20th, 2010

For those that have held top positions in Google, they understand that their largest competitor has become Google. Regardless of how popular ones site is, Google is creeping into the mix by competing for organic traffic in many niches. And folks, they are continuing to expand at an alarming rate. This is why I felt it important to discuss some of the problems even top SEO professionals are coping with.

As an example of what I am talking about, do a quick Google search for dishwasher. Only the top two organic listings are above the fold. Searchers are bombarded with Adwords ads, a related searches box and shopping results. While this is not new, I have witnessed the expansion of Google’s desire to expand their reach into a variety of products and niches. Why is Google doing this?

As with any website, it is only natural to provide users with as much information onsite as possible. What Google is doing is no different. They have been moving away from their search business model to a find business model. And Google is making every effort to monetize this traffic.

Business.com Directory Closing

November 13th, 2010

A recent Business Wire press release has many speculating that the Business.com directory will be closing. Already many webmaster and SEO forums have lit up with activity in regards to this topic. Either its great link bait or true. With such a vague press release, it’s really hard to tell what their plans truly are.

Let’s be realistic. Business.com had a lot of dead listings in its directory. For quite some time the neglect became ever more apparent. This is the main reason why I refused to list sites there. Those dead listings are a drag on the domain authority or at least the pages where the listings are at. And the dead listings were all over.