Dreams in the rain – Google and Thongs

As an entrepreneur you are always working towards the future, you are always dreaming, you are always working towards higher everything… higher traffic, higher sales, higher conversion rates, higher efficiencies, higher margines, higher average cost per transaction, higher customer lifetime value and higher lifetime value TO the customer.

This is all hard work … you are always working up hill, and what makes it seem harder is that I feel , like very infrequently am I working downhill… but rather, always up the hill and it’s always raining.

For example, the google Panda update just took its toll on 60% of my traffic in some of my key converting search keywords… and the blog is now literally a shadow of what it was last month and Google has typically pushed as back about 6 months in terms of revenue.

I have decided that it’s all good. I have decided that I won’t let this get to me. I have decided two more things that seem a bit out there, a bit dreamy, if you will, like rain in August… but:

1- I will defeat the google… I’m going to do what everyone else did and diversify my traffic sources from the safe and steady search … into more social and primarily more referral traffic through a nice forum engagement strategy I’ve been working on recently. Forums are a big BIG collective of engaged fans and these have not yet been displaced by anything out there including facebook groups and and google groups.

2- Google is dying. Yes this might seem far out but google to me is truly dying. You have to understand that the rise of google was the democratization of search, advertising and monetization. Google’s rise to fame was that it enabled anyone to make money blogging… doing so, it pushed for the expansion of the internet. It got more people starting blogs and websites with ‘display advertising’ as their primary monetization strategy.

Ads are dying, at least in the traditional sense … basic banner ads are going away and getting more annoying (when they try to hang on using pop unders and pop outs and flash enabled interactive ads) … and margins on ads are shrinking and that whole ecosystem is dying.

Google knows this, so rather than making their ads better, they too are playing the game of the uphill battle in the rain… launching chrome OS and android OS to get ads out on more installs rather than getting better ads out on existing installs , or reinventing the ad game altogether.

Either way, that is not google’s only mistake, they have also sequentially and efficiently sent mixed signals about ranking factors over the last 2 years that I’ve been doing this. The least of which is index count. At one point having a larger index count was an indication of having a larger website which means the site must be a more authoritative source of content. Recently with the panda update, they have practically reversed this by saying that smaller focused sites that better target a specific topic will rank better than the larger generalist site. A move that forced many , including myself to unpublish the lower quality pages on our site in order to focus the quality level on a smaller number of more important key word targeted pages.

When google as a company no longer has the tools to empower and grow the internet as it did 5 or 10 years ago, and when it continues to confuse and hurt small and medium sized websites by constantly shifting strategy away from spammers… then google has clearly shown it’s loss of power over the internet.

This company has peaked and it will go away eventually.

Here is a simple example:

It is now more important to have social indicators on your site to help it rank than other traditional factors. Social indicators include facebook likes and twitter tweets. If it is cost effective, people are include to purchase display advertising on Facebook and Twitter to gain visits and tweets and likes. This is google FUNDING the competition … and we’re talking competition on multiple levels here:

  • Share of mind
  • Display advertising (text and image)
  • Social networking and ‘networked contacts’
  • Monetization empowerment

If facebook likes = rankings and rankings = traffic and traffic = sales , then facebook = sales and google has just undermined itself as the company that empowered the growth of the internet and monetization

If all of this sounds far out, then welcome to my job. Every morning I have to deal with what is far out there. I don’t know if what I’m executing today will be a hit or a miss. I don’t know if new distribution channels will pop up in the future for me to take advantage of. I don’t know if existing channels will die out.

It seems like in my life, it’s always raining … and I feel like … recently… I have adapted by constantly walking around in a speedo :)

When life gives you rain, wear a thong

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