That lead me to the excellent graphic by Wordstream, Google Ads and the War on Free Click. Like many infographics it’s too wide to reproduce comfortably here but it is worth looking through.
The war on organic search has been going on a while, and it’s going to get worse for small business.
The agressive placement of ads on above content on a search itself
Colour of the background of ads to look the same as the content for most screen types – on a LCD screen it’s often nearly impossible to see the pink / orange background of the adverts unless you adjust the screen angle
The cannibalisation of the SERPs to promote their own properties
Removal of search data from referrals so sites need to purchase more adwords
No customer service for organic problems
Apparently arbitrary bans, filters and penalties with no debate or warning
Promotion of “big brand” over niche in Organic leading to greater adword bidding by niche sites
How long will it be until there aren’t any organic results on the first page?
Well, it wasn’t much of an accident. I took a domain that was several years old, and a PR3, but I hadn’t done much with it for months. The domain was to expire on 19th of January 2011. I let it. A few days later the site stopped resolving and was replaced by a parked page.
On the 28th of February I was sent the message that the domain was to be deleted that day. I still waited and on the 1st of March I renewed the domain.
As of the 3rd of March Google reported the domain as grey PR (using the SEO Book toolbar) and no cache date. Searching for the domain name (which is a unique phrase) and my domain wasn’t returned.
Now it’s the end of the month, and I’ve searched again. The domain is returned as the second result and the Page Rank now appears as PR1 with a cache date of 3 weeks ago.
The domain remained a PR3 after the January Google Page Rank update so the drop unfortunate and looks like it was recalculated after the expiry. As regards the cache, as the domain still gets no content love from me so the date is reasonable.
I was absolutely delighted to be included in a fantastic free eBook “Web Strategies for Small Businesses“. The book is a compilation of small business tips focusing on multiple Internet strategies. I provided the “Building Web Success – Optimizing Online Conversions”, but there’s good stuff there too!
Getting Ahead on the Web – Strategies To Make More Of Your Time Online, featuring comments from Aaron Wall of SEO book.
Understanding the Basics of Local Search – Optimizing Your Local Business Listings with Vedran Tomic.
Should My Business be More Social Online? – The Role of Social Media in Your Small Business – Aaron Wall
Visual Communication through Web Design – Strategy and Psychology of Web Design with Melvin Ram from Web Design Company Net.
To great fanfare and presumably at great cost Google launched boutiques.com, their potential rival to eBay, or as they put it:
Boutiques.com is a personalized shopping experience, brought to you by Google, that lets you find and discover fashion goods through a collection of boutiques curated by taste-makers — celebrities, stylists, designers, and fashion bloggers. Boutiques uses visual technology to help fashionistas discover and shop their look and creates the opportunity for designers to showcase their collections and latest inspirations online
Firstly I noticed that despite getting top fashion bloggers on board to develop shops, they don’t have the good grace to follow the links out to them. Over here with Karla of Karlas Closet shop, you’ll notice that the link to karlascloset.com is nofollow. Surely if Google have recruited someone to create a shop they must trust them? The great and the good Google can’t be hoarding page rank can they?
On site SEO can still make a massive difference. I was recently building out a Stocking Fillers website, and in my research I noticed that a site went from number ten in the serps one day, to number one the next.
The difference seemed to be that they previously had the https version indexed.
The reason for their increase in ranking could be:
They are no longer splitting the page rank / link equity to two versions of the URL.
The https is slower to load and if Google are indexing that, it can impact the rankings.
I was delighted to be given an early Beta pass and just wanted to take a moment to thank them for the invite.
Naturally I have been playing a little with the search engine and have adapted my serps bookmarklet with a Blekko friendly version. As their service is beta, the bookmarklet is bound to break as they adjust things. Please leave a comment below if you find a problem.