Recent Google Changes – Were You Affected?

In our attempt to stay focused we have been avoiding hanging out at forums, blogs and the like because it is so easy to get sidetracked. However, it can mean that we might miss things and one of these was the recent Google changes. We had no idea it even happened until someone emailed us about it. As it is it didn’t affect us – we haven’t noticed any decrease in traffic and our rankings seem to be in place….that assumes that Google is finished with their little dance of course.

The whole point of this change according to Google was:

“designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on”.

Matt Cutt’s (Google Engineer) has gone on to add that:

“The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content.”

I would love to see the end of scraper sites but my concern here is how does Google know who wrote the original piece of work? I know that in some cases we can write a blog post and within minutes of publishing it another blogger has the entire article posted on their blog word for word.

It’s a shame really that Google has become as big as it has and that we rely on it so much in this industry. When Google makes a change like this to their search engine algorithm big things can happen and it can affect a lot of people and businesses.  In this case, it has hit a lot of the big boys really hard – sites like EzineArticles for instance were one of the hardest hit. And as most of us know, EzineArticles is a site that is relied on heavily by many internet marketers for traffic. So hitting EzineArticles also hits a lot of the smaller guys who are just trying to make a buck.

The flow on effect can be devastating resulting in businesses crashing, people out of work and families struggling to make ends meet. And it might sound like I am over-exaggerating things just a little here but you only have to look at EzineArticles who have lost over 130,000 rankings (according to some sources) to see the massive loss of income that would result from that. Lost income means they may have to cut back and I can’t speak for EzineArticles but generally one of the first things to go in any cutback is staff.

On a personal level, I can see why Google has done this. I know that when I go searching for anything in Google I will ignore sites like EzineArticles, eHow, and Suite101 and similar because I know that it will be rare to find a good quality article from any of those sites. More often than not,  my search results come back with short poorly written articles or articles that really only provide the absolute basics so I don’t even bother clicking on those sites anymore.

Sometimes these sorts of shake-ups can be a good thing, despite the impact it can have. In this case, I think it has been a positive move because it is forcing site owners to clean up their act. There are too many poorly created sites with little valuable content…hey we still have a few of those ourselves but we realized sometime back that they don’t work and we are working to revamp those sites so that they have more value and quality content.

In these sorts of situations, survival of the fittest comes into play. Those who have been hit the hardest will be making the big decisions now whether they need to adjust to meet the changes or whether it is all too hard and give up. EzineArticles has already gone into overdrive by making changes to their submission guidelines .  I can only think that it may take some time for them to bounce back.

What Can We Learn from This?

I think the main thing to take from all of this is that Google is trying to focus on providing high quality search results. That  means that as website owners we have a responsibility to our readers and we need to focus on providing high quality content.

This is something we have been harping on about for months now. We keep trying to instill the importance of providing quality and value to your readers and with these Google changes now in place it is now more important than ever.

It also reinforces why you shouldn’t focus on just one source for backlinks. For those that relied only on EzineArticles for traffic they may be suffering right now. This is why guest blogging is one of the best forms of backlinking. You are not relying on only one website – your links are spread out over many different websites and blogs. Just throw in some commenting, social bookmarking/networking, a press release here and there and you have a nice varied mix of backlinks that Google would be happy with.

Were You Affected by the Google Changes?

Were you affected by the latest Google changes? Please let us know in the comments below.

Google Pagerank Update for January 2010 – How did you go?

I just noticed that Google has given us a little New Year surprise with the update of their pagerank. We have done quite well out of it with a good majority of our blogs moving up in the ranks. This blog went from a 1 to a 2…can’t really expect much more than that since I am still yet to promote it in a big way.

Some of the blogs we haven’t been working on at all have gone up to pageranks of 3 and 4….go figure! And most of the ones we are working on remained static. I don’t get it anymore and have given up trying. Pagerank really doesn’t reflect a websites worth like it once did. It really is more of a gauge to get a basic idea of how a website is going…but it’s still a bit of fun to see the changes.

So how did you go with the pagerank update?

7 Super Powerful Methods for Increasing Traffic to Your Blog

Today I finally got around to uploading a traffic generating ebook that I have been wanting to finish for a while now. It wasn’t that I was procrastinating…well maybe I was a little…but my main reason for not getting this finished earlier was that I was starting to think that I was really putting too much into it. 

I wanted this to be an ebook with solid content on how to generate traffic to your blog or website.  My only problem was that I was getting up to around 50 different methods and although they were workable I really felt that in the long run you really only need a little more than a handful of methods to really get good solid traffic.

We only use a few traffic generating techniques ourselves so I wasn’t really sure why I was recommending that many methods to others.

So as you can see from the title, the ebook got whittled away to only 7 methods…but don’t be fooled by this small amount – these are truly some of the best methods for getting traffic quickly.

Of course there is a catch…don’t you hate that? To get this ebook you need to sign up for our newsletter. The sign -up is in the sidebar to the right – you can’t miss it. And we suggest that you stay signed up once you download your ebook as we have a lot of other goodies to giveaway plus plenty of tips and helpful advice.

We hope you enjoy the ebook and we would love to hear your comments on this blog post.

Another Google Pagerank Update – May 2009

Are we in the process of yet another Google pagerank update?  The last one was April 1 but I seem to be seeing updates on some of my websites.

Two of my sites that had a zero pagerank are now showing a pagerank of 1 – this site included. Another brand new site is now showing a pagerank of 3. The rest have remained static.

Could be just a glitch on my Google toolbar but I have tried it in a different browser and it is still showing the changes.

Fortunately, Google pagerank is not seen to be as important as it once was. It is a useful tool for gauging the importance of a website but it really shouldn’t be taken too seriously.  But I am so used to looking at that little green toolbar when I enter a site…it’s become a habit.

Has anyone else noticed the update??