Over the past year or so Google has treated me well, in fact over the last year it has contributed to a very good proportion of our revenue (babynames.co.uk, pregnancy.co.uk, babies.co.uk etc). But the time has come for me to break away from my relationship with Google – we have had a good run but I want to diversify.
In the online industry it is so easy to get tunnel vision and over the last 4-5 years I would say I am guilty of that. It is very easy to build an entire business model from doing well in Google and a lot of press I read revolves around that. Fantastic resources such as SEOMoz, Search Engine Land and Search Engine Round Table allow me to wake up every day and look at what the search engines are doing, the changes they are making and the way they want to shape the web moving forward. With all this great information available at your figure tips it is very easy to forget that all these sites make their money from selling to SEO’s whether it is a product such as SEOMoz or conferences like SMX – it’s in their interest to promote a search engine lifestyle when it comes to business.
I somehow managed to ignore the fact that I had a very unhealthy relationship with Google – they accounted for such a high percentage of my traffic and my income. We monetized through Adsense, we ran PPC through AdWords and we got a huge amount of traffic through their organic listings. Having such a large amount of money coming from a business that doesn’t know I exist is not a healthy business model. If Google makes changes within their business and it affects me negatively I am just collateral damage – they have no real knowledge of what I do and will always act in the interest of themselves as a company.
After all of this we can take a look at big algorithm changes over the last year or so. Panda/Penguin are really changing the landscape of how the web thinks – along with a lot of other unnamed updates that have had huge effects on search moving forward – it’s quite obvious that Google are trying to shape the web the way they want but that is not always the way everyone else wants the web. It’s very easy to read this post and immediately assume that I am just angry that I got negatively hit by an update Google pushed through and the truth is some of my sites got hit and some of them grew in traffic – ultimately my income stayed the same. What I am fed up with is the fact I am so reliant on Google for my business – that’s not a way to build a long term business. This is my fault – not Google’s! If Google want to reshape the web and their results they are in the right to do so – ultimately they have to act in their business interests not anyone else’s.
So there you have it – these are the reasons why I am going to care a lot less about Google moving forward. Anyone reading this will be most likely be wondering – well how do you do that?! Well watch out with posts to follow but in a nut shell -> email lists, site membership and social media.
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