April 24th, 2012 saw the birth of “The Penguin.”
A colleague just posted on Facebook that today (4/24/15) is the third anniversary of Google’s “Penguin” Algorithm update. That update began to change the scope of search results – weeding out poor quality and/or redundant sites – to make the results better for people looking for content on the internet. It was meant to level the playing field among people and companies marketing on the Internet.
Many affiliate marketers complained because “Penguin” negatively affected traffic to their websites. But maybe there were problems with their websites – such as poor content, copied content, a rehash of products offered by an actual merchant in hopes of gaining affiliate commissions, or whatever. Overall it was a good thing – good for the consumer/end user – and good for us. It was good for us because we never tried to duplicate someone else’s efforts and our websites offer unique content and/or merchants’ products with an “added value” component.
The next major step will be to clean up the myriad ads that blur the real content/results whenever someone searches. Some people/merchants are “cheating” by masquerading and duplicating sites from the same company – to get around the Search Engine Terms of Service which (supposedly) allow only one company per search result. For true variety and relevance to the end user that needs to be enforced. I believe it will – eventually. Google and Bing/Yahoo need to produce truly relevant results for the public or they will lose market share to “other” entities. Can anyone say “Facebook search?”
I’m getting tired of hearing people on “the forums” (like ABestWeb.com) complain about algorithm changes killing their traffic. Of course the main search engines are in business to make a buck for themselves (or their stockholders) but they still need to provide relevant results to “their” readers’ searches – or they will lose those readers.
While perusing ABestWeb the other day I saw a thread stared buy a relative “newbie” with a poll about search engine attitudes (or something like that). He was, of course, jumped on for being a newbie and not knowing the “difficulties” that long-established affiliate marketers were facing because of the search engine (mostly Google) algorithm changes and how those changes have hurt their business models.
Here is what I started to respond on a recent post – but figured it may do more good here:
Originally Posted by Elwin
……if you as an affiliate marketer didn’t care so much about all the technical stuff to make the bucks, but instead completely only focused on the end users and their experiences of you, in other words, focused entirely on building relationships instead of making sales, than the changes by Google wouldn’t affect you that much, in fact, you should benefit.
Sounds about right to me…
If you really care about your readers and NOT the search engine(s) “algorithm” crap you can do all right – and on a consistent basis. Don’t be a copy-cat, don’t regurgitate a merchant datafeed – but provide something in which your readers may find interest. If you can do that you can earn some money.
Some people spend more time worrying about what Goog’s “Webmaster Tools” say than about what their readers like – and then wonder why they are “struggling” to earn a buck. Some folks have a million or more (datafeed-fed) pages on line and only make two grand a month – and then blame poor results on something/everything else…
Build something your readers like. Identify “that” by looking at basic web stats (provided free by most hosts) to see what pages are visited most frequently – and build more pages like those. Then you can do OK. You might not get rich – but you can do well.
Remember, please, that traffic (visitors) provided by the search engine organic (natural, non-paid) results is FREE traffic. Something provided for FREE – should not be criticized – or “blamed” – when that traffic changes.
Oops – lost some content here – but it will be back…maybe…
However, for a web developer to NOT optimize sites for the top browsers, Chrome, IE. FF and Safari would be either stupid, ignorant, foolish, arrogant or, perhaps, all four.
Just sayin… (but those two remaining sentences just about sum up all the thoughts on the issue. 🙂 )