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Old 03-15-2011, 02:57 AM
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Farmer Update Fallout for Small Businesses

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Originally Posted by mjtaylor View Post
  • Corroborating Signals – Content that is quality will be broadcast across social media. Google will be looking at social networking citations, reviews and feedback from users. For example, in formulating the update, they compared the new results of the algorithm with what people were blocking in Chrome.
And therein lies the rub. Now, if something isn't popular because it's new, because of "social signals" lacking, it'll never be found on the serps. This is just another way of turning information into one big popularity contest and if nobody knows about you, how do we ever wind up getting the social media signals.

Congratulations Google on making it impossible for most mom and pops to get ranking now because they'll not be able to afford the huge learning curve for social media and likely won't be able to afford a "social media guru" to help them either. If this isn't just one of many signs of Google's preference of corporate and big brands, I don't know what else is.

DoJ and FTC etc al really need to kick Google a good shot in the head. Popularity does not mean quality, let's just make it another popularity contest like the presidency and everything else politics. Plenty of manipulation and corruption there, but lets apply it to yet another system and see how long till the economy blows up because of it.

All the big brands and deep corporate pocket types need to do now is pay a bunch of people to tweet their pages and related content. Congratulations on looking out for the little guy G. You'll have all the big brands and corporates in the top of the SERPS right where you've always wanted them, while trying to make it look like you didn't do it intentionally. Good luck with that, not all of us on the internet are morons.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:41 AM
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Moved this from the SEO Tip thread to allow space for discussion.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:48 AM
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I've been thinking about this today. And while I don't entirely disagree, I do think that corroborating signals will come a little more easily than you fear to a website that represents a quality business. For example, many small brick and mortar businesses can expect to get Reviews, which are 'corroborating' signals. Likes are surely corroborating signals, and any mom and pop can create a FB Page and add 'like' buttons where it makes sense.

There was a time some years ago when websites seemed out of reach to many mom and pops but they got on that band wagon, too. They can figure out social media.

It is also true that not everyone is going to be able to get on the first page. But when you are talking mom and pop, there's a good chance that the ones who do get social savvy will do better than the ones who don't ...
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:51 AM
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I agree MJ, but I further see, just like I suggested, where the big corporates and brands that Google favors have yet another easy way in the system to game it, and with big endless pockets, mom and pop won't have a chance.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneyonlinesorg View Post
And therein lies the rub. Now, if something isn't popular because it's new, because of "social signals" lacking, it'll never be found on the serps. This is just another way of turning information into one big popularity contest and if nobody knows about you, how do we ever wind up getting the social media signals.
Hundreds (if not thousands) of factors are involved in determining the SERPs.

One signal is not going to destroy the entire puzzle. It is simply one more piece to the puzzle, nothing more, nothing less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moneyonlinesorg View Post
Congratulations Google on making it impossible for most mom and pops to get ranking now because they'll not be able to afford the huge learning curve for social media and likely won't be able to afford a "social media guru" to help them either. If this isn't just one of many signs of Google's preference of corporate and big brands, I don't know what else is.
IMHO this comment greatly underestimates the fire lit under small business owners to do what it takes to develop a successful online business. They CAN and ARE doing what it takes day in and day out. They figured out that SEO and Social Media are not rocket science and they learned (and continue to learn) techniques that do not require paying a "guru". I see them doing it every single day and I see them getting incredible results.

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DoJ and FTC etc al really need to kick Google a good shot in the head. Popularity does not mean quality, let's just make it another popularity contest like the presidency and everything else politics. Plenty of manipulation and corruption there, but lets apply it to yet another system and see how long till the economy blows up because of it.
Quite honestly, I feel the government is already way too involved in stuff that is none of their business. I would hate to see a precedence of government agencies deciding which factors are involved in determining Google search results.

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Originally Posted by moneyonlinesorg View Post
All the big brands and deep corporate pocket types need to do now is pay a bunch of people to tweet their pages and related content. Congratulations on looking out for the little guy G. You'll have all the big brands and corporates in the top of the SERPS right where you've always wanted them, while trying to make it look like you didn't do it intentionally. Good luck with that, not all of us on the internet are morons.
We can either sit around and complain that life isn't fair, or we can simply get our tails back to work and do what needs to me done.
 
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:43 AM
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Hey! That guy's wearin' a hoodie!
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
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Quite honestly, I feel the government is already way too involved in stuff that is none of their business. I would hate to see a precedence of government agencies deciding which factors are involved in determining Google search results.
I'm not talking about moderating SERPs here, I'm talking about preventing the monopoly that is Google. I'm talking about Google forced to more level terms that are equal to all without the massive slants it tends to take, not that the government should be the ones making the changes, just making it known that if Google is supposedly neutral, it needs to stop acting otherwise, and stop manipulating the results, or if it's going to do so, make it the same for all across the board.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
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IMHO this comment greatly underestimates the fire lit under small business owners to do what it takes to develop a successful online business. They CAN and ARE doing what it takes day in and day out. They figured out that SEO and Social Media are not rocket science and they learned (and continue to learn) techniques that do not require paying a "guru". I see them doing it every single day and I see them getting incredible results.
And I still stand by what I said on this because, there are mom and pops and other small business that are NOT going to be able to compete should large companies and corporates manipulate like I suggested. Sure, they'll find other ways, sure, they'll innovate as they've always done, but there are still going to be many that won't have the resources to do so, and ones that were already crushed by some of the antics Google has already committed in past.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:53 AM
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Again, this is just my humble opinion. Google doesn't owe us anything, let alone a living. They can choose any signals they would like to determine the search results. They can choose not to list my site. It is their search engine. If a business DEPENDS on a specific search engine to survive, they may want to consider rewriting their business plan.

Just my 2 cents as always...
 
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneyonlinesorg View Post
And I still stand by what I said on this because, there are mom and pops and other small business that are NOT going to be able to compete should large companies and corporates manipulate like I suggested. Sure, they'll find other ways, sure, they'll innovate as they've always done, but there are still going to be many that won't have the resources to do so, and ones that were already crushed by some of the antics Google has already committed in past.
I respectfully but adamantly disagree. I have been working with small mom and pop businesses online since about 2003 now. They are resilient, and they are fighters. The resources are out there and they are free, some right here on the V7N. Those who CHOOSE to succeed will do so.

We may have to agree to disagree on this one because I am an avid believer in not focusing on reasons why it can't be done, but rather finding ways that it CAN be done.

It has served me very well over the years...
 
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
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I respectfully but adamantly disagree. I have been working with small mom and pop businesses online since about 2003 now. They are resilient, and they are fighters. The resources are out there and they are free, some right here on the V7N. Those who CHOOSE to succeed will do so.

We may have to agree to disagree on this one because I am an avid believer in not focusing on reasons why it can't be done, but rather finding ways that it CAN be done.

It has served me very well over the years...
In all honesty, I'd rather you were right than me on this, and no disrespect intended for small business and such either, I simply pointed out that it's yet another hurdle they really didn't need. Hopefully they all find a way around it. No, Google owes us nothing, but my issue with them has never been about what they owed or didn't, it was their double talk and warm sunshine up my digital bottom.

No reason to agree to disagree, there's no fight or argument here.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:10 PM
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What Google is doing with his serp algorithm it's never what we wanted the algo to be (or we thought it was). I believe they have a deeper and better reason for doing any change. Corroborating Signals have a "healthy" point of view!

Let me say my opinion...

Think about how many hours, people spend on social nets, and how many hours they spend on search engines,blogs and sites. I can see from my 15-19 years old students that they spend more than 80% of their "internet-time" on socials. People often ask me to make them a Facebook page and not a webpage. Many other, through Facebook, they try to find shoe store, lessons and even doctors! (For God shake!!!)

What does this mean? This mean that many clients of google (and eventually clients of us) have started focusing on social networks, and this is not going to stop. Youngsters have left out us behind! We focus on tradition SEO and our clients focus on social. So thats why Google has to put in it's algo the social factor. Google can't stay out of this social breakout and want us to be a part of it! We shouldn't stay out, either. Like it or not we just have to catch the ball.

I had the though that Google it's like an opponent for websites but that is not at least totally true. I am not trying to say that they are angels, but I believe that google wants our site to succeed. If we succeed, google will succeed too and vice versa.

Moneyonlinesorg I understand you how you feel. I haven't thought either that I have to be a social guru in order to have a profitable web company. But I shouldn't fear the unknown, cause social networks it's a bit unknown for me. I am not so good at it. But I try to get informed every day. I try to become better and better. And as Cricket says don't forget that it's not the only factor. There are so many things that we can do for our website... I don't believe we loose any serious amount of serp without socials, but we will not gain the serp that we could, if we were better on using social networks.

We all try to figure out what is the best that we can do... And we try not to focus on the "bad side" of the coin. That is what I will be saying to my childen (I hope soon) ... Be Positive No Matter What! I know it's hard to have that positive thinking no matter what. But believe me, that is what is keeping all of us alive.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:19 PM
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Google has to fight to stay relevant and Facebook is the #1 website on the net now instead of them. That had to hurt. But if you can't beat em, join em so that's what they are doing. As for small businesses a lot of older people use Facebook and from what I have seen use it even more than they use other parts of the net. They use Facebook as their main platform through which they find other sites. At least the people in my family sure do.
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:11 PM
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Businesses evolve and systems of doing business evolve.....
Some follow the changes and survive...
Some do not and survive.....
Doesn't seem logical..
But it works that way.....
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:49 PM
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To a degree we have ourselves to blame. We have allowed this google monster to grow and take control of us and the internet. It can destroy any of us in a second. It reminds me a lot of "skynet" in the terminator movies.
The key to getting around the google monster is webmasters promoting other services that are in competition to google.
Im as guilty as anyone of slaving to the google monster. I just closed down my gmail account and will never use it again. That does not mean Ill now use yahoo or hotmail. Whats needed here is more search engines. But half the problem was that google and yahoo bought out most of the search engines and shut them down.
The only real way out of this google monster is a multi-polar web.
 
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:21 PM
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Just a thought, but there IS 2 things that Google DOES owe us.

#1. To conduct business ethically
Not sure, but I think part of that is law with different things as well as it covers advertisement of falsehoods, and although Google might not run the "typical" ads, they DO make claims, which ARE government regulated at least at the FTC level.

#2. Sticking to their word
To me, they have not done this. They have already denied, basically flat out LIED that they did NOT use whitelists when the EU pressed Antitrust there. Years after the fact, it's come out that indeed, they DO use whitelists, but choose to call it something else. So as I've said, they double talk and even flat out lie when it suits them.

To me, this is not ethical, and why would I want anyone having so much control when it's completely obvious that they're willing to lie, act unethically, and make so many moves to monopolize things? I don't see a company like this using "social signals" in any way that's going to benefit anything but them, and the big brands and corporate they seem to prefer.

Again, just another hurdle small business and even mom and pops don't need. Business is already difficult enough in hard economic times. Again, I do hope that people find a way around it, and a way to overcome it.
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:46 PM
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To me, Google's impact on these small businesses is a sign that the businesses need to do more. Search engines are very important to small businesses, and Google of course is one of the main ways that businesses - whether they're small bricks-and-mortar, medium-sized e-commerce only, or huge brands - get found.

But I think people have been depending too much on Google for their marketing lately. They forget to send out postcards, to have people sign up for email newsletters. They neglect the places where people are gathering. In the 1990s, people checked the Yellow Pages. In the early 2000s, they used Google. But people keep getting better at gaming the system, so the searchers have been gathering on social networks like Facebook and Yelp to get opinions from people like them. I think it's just another evolution in the way people are looking for information. People moved away from newspapers to online news. Then they moved toward search engines. Now they're moving toward groups where they can help each other.

Rand Fishkin posted a great article earlier today: Traffic Source Diversity is Essential for SEO. He sums it up saying: "In order to win at SEO, we're going to need to win at ALL of inbound marketing, and luckily, the side effects are incredibly beneficial, too."
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:13 AM
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So, I hear ya on the Google is unethical, and I hear ya (alla y'all) on finding other sources of traffic than Google dependence. And I am not saying that Google's apparent preference for larger companies is not a detriment to search, but I am saying that for "local" mom and pops, I don't see a problem - as long as they are competing with other mom and pops at the same level.

Here's what Google fears: Facebook. I have advised more than one friend who came to me for a website recently with no budget. Develop your Facebook page first - and put the website on the back burner. If you have the willingness to develop and use FB and Twitter, you can go a long way without Google.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneyonlinesorg View Post
And I still stand by what I said on this because, there are mom and pops and other small business that are NOT going to be able to compete should large companies and corporates manipulate like I suggested. Sure, they'll find other ways, sure, they'll innovate as they've always done, but there are still going to be many that won't have the resources to do so, and ones that were already crushed by some of the antics Google has already committed in past.
As both small business owner and consumer who prefers to support small Mom and Pop businesses I appreciate your concern for small businesses, but I wonder if we need to take a step back to see what the businesses themselves want and need?

How many small businesses want/need to be more then local? We shop at a family-run bead store that has a website for information. At one time they sold beads through the site but couldn't keep up with demand and didn't want to expand so they could. They stopped selling online and are more than happy with their local business.

I think that the businesses who want to be more than local will figure out how. And as far as Google goes, I can't control what they do so I'm going to do what I can - ethically of course - and let the chips fall where they may.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:31 AM
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Just re-reading the article that was, indirectly the impetus to this thread and these two simple lines popped out at me.

Quote:
Vanessa: Just create high-quality content because the algorithms are going to change over time to find high quality content.
Quote:
Stephan: Google is looking for corroborating signals [DRINK!]. If it’s high-quality content it’s going to get tweeted, stumbled, etc.
Isn't quality always the point, whether it's a product, a service or website content?
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