Successful Online Marketing Without Google
Well, some of you have been following my adventures with Google. As explained previously, according to the pros at webmasterworld.com, Google drops many sites from its index daily for real or imagined transgressions. This happened to one of my sites as well. It used to appear in the top 5 SERPs for its key search term. Then it disappeared overnight. Now it's reappeared around the 90th SERP for that term. To be fair, the site does show up on Google's first SERP for a number of less important search terms. However, this is no consolation.
So I made the decision a few months ago to move forward as if Google no longer existed in my universe. This forced me to find workarounds that would replace the traffic lost when Google nuked the site. So far, I've been successful with traffic at about 1.3 times what it was when the site was showing up on Goog's 3rd or 4th SERP.
We have also applied this "Google Doesn't Exist" strategy to a new site recently launched. Yes, its pages are optimized for the SEs. However, we don't use Adwords or spend any time handwringing endlessly over at the webmaster sites about miniscule refinements which could, or could not, nudge us up half a page in the Goog search results three months down the road.
So far the new site is enjoying a ton of traffic and it's only three months old. Yesterday we put up a link to another site and the resultant traffic crashed the other site's server.
So what's the secret sauce? Well, I won't get into the details but will offer a few clues:
1. Study your traffic logs
2. Understand what the Long Tail is
3. Apply basic marketing principles to finding your target market
Today Goog probably controls upwards of 80% of most website's traffic. That's a dangerous position to be in considering how fickle Goog is. If you don't believe me, read the daily stories on the big webmaster sites from webmasters who awoke to discover that their sites had been deindexed over night. Despite this, many small time operators still throw all their marketing eggs into the Google basket.
Let me give you an analogy to show just how insane this approach is. Suppose you move into a new town with the plan of opening up a business. You go down to the licensing department to obtain approval. The clerk pulls out a business license form, then checks around to see if anyone is listening. Since no one is, she leans forward, and in something just above a whisper says, "Mr. Smith, you need to know one thing about doing business in our town. Crazy Ivan controls almost all the access to customers. If you're lucky, you may get a few who slip into your shop through the backdoor, but Crazy Ivan will be standing at your front door all day long determining--on basically a whim--who goes in and who doesn't. Crazy Ivan doesn't reveal how he makes his decisions on who to send into your store. What's even worse is that Crazy Ivan is completely unreliable. One day you can be the apple of his eye and have him wave all the traffic into your store. The next day he may decide that he hates you and put up a barricade to block anyone from entering your store.
Knowing this, are you sure that you want to risk opening up a business in our town?"
What would your answer be? I know what mine would be.
The good news is that Google is becoming less and less relevant by the day for searches. There are numerous alternatives which will provide superior serach results.