The question burning in a lot of webmaster’s minds is, “What should I do now?” With us being in the position we’re in, I felt the need to give our view and suggestion to all of our customers and readers. Everyone is worried and scared about the recent hit of lowered Google PR across the board. Everyone is pointing the finger at blog networks who cross link and sites that buy and/or sell text link ads. Well here is our thoughts on the whole ordeal.
The big scare in everyone’s mind is that Google is punishing everyone for participating in the buying or selling of text ads. The problem is, people are reporting PR drops on sites that don’t even participate in the act. Maybe this is a move where they’re testing the waters to see if their “reported” information is aligning with their new algorithms, or maybe this has nothing to do with what everyone thinks it is. TechCrunch, for example, openly sells ads and even to one of our own, yet, nothing happened to them. I think if Google was really trying to make a statement, they would hit all obvious blogs that everyone reads, not just a few. Then take notice of YouTube‘s home page being a PR 3, it’s a Google owned company. My suggestion would be not to buy into all the PRopaganda, but most certainly, do NOT stop what you’re doing!
There is no doubt that Google owns the largest share of search queries; however, they are NOT the only search engine. They also do NOT own your website nor can they dictate how you choose to monetize your site. Of course, they’ll tell you they’re not trying to dictate what webmasters participate in, but just look at the ripple they’re causing. I was just reading a post on Johntp.com where he’s pulling his ads from TLA and I just couldn’t help but think how ridiculous it is for anyone to throw easy money away for a complete guess. Does this guy really think anything is going to change by removing ads? All he’s doing is allowing Google to bully him around.
Google’s big issue is the selling of Pagerank, which was something that happened a few years ago. Now people buy text ads on sites related to their own. Sure, some people still go the route of buying higher PR sites, but just like technologies change, so do methodologies in link building campaigns. When we build campaigns for customers, it’s apples to apples and oranges to oranges, the days of insurance ads on programmer sites are pretty much over. But everyone can argue that people on a programming site might be interested in insurance whether they’re on an insurance site or a programmer site.
Let me give you an example, these days, most of the sites participating in buying/selling text ads are personal blogs. These personal blogs cover a little bit of everything, just like a search engine would. At any point you can go to yahoo.com and see a range of advertisers from flowers to insurance to credit reports. The same situation can apply to all sites, any one visitor can be interested in ANY type of ad on the site. I’ve found some pretty interesting sites on sites that had nothing to do with the site I was on, but I was glad to find them. But of course, to really get the eye of the visitor, a text ad about insurance when you’re on a site about insurance will more than likely have a higher CTR, so it’s the optimum choice in our methodologies.
The search reps will completely agree with this theory but tell us that we should somehow tell them it is an ad by adding a “nofollow” or link it with some other form rather than html. But then you read their guidelines and it strictly tells us not to build our sites for search engines, build it for our readers. Nofollow tags means we’re building for the search engines, not for our readers! They’re hypocrites and greedy because those ad dollars are not being put into their own pockets.
Their guidelines also tell you to acquire links from sites and directories like Yahoo, where you actually pay for the link in order to get your site appearing in their search results. Think about it, “Do it!” “Don’t do it!” “Do this!” “Don’t do this!” If they have an issue with how people are monetizing their sites, then they need to do a better job at their own product rather than trying to rip webmasters of their livelihoods. We, as in LinkWorth, would never tell a customer they cannot participate in another program because we want our customers to make as much money as they can, whether it be with us or with some other company. If Google could adopt at least a modified version of this thought, I think the internet world would be a much more peaceful place. If it came down to a fault of our own, we would fix the problem on our end instead of pissing off the same people that helped build them into what they are today.
Let me go ahead and end these words of wisdom, if you can call it that, with a few thoughts to marinate on.
- Unless you’re listed on the first page for your keywords, why would it matter if you were spotted by Google and PR dropped? Money in your pocket is money in your pocket! Don’t give it back because you have less green in your toolbar! Just remove the toolbar and go with the flow, keep the ads, add more ads and continue writing great content on your site.
- If you remove ads or stop buying linkads, do you REALLY think you will be rewarded? Keeping what you have will only help validate that you’re not going to be bullied by Google and also make you appear as you know it is your website and not Google’s site!
- Do you realize that if you pull out and cancel linkads, that money will HAPPILY be diverted to others who would love to have the money? Our advertisers are going nowhere! LinkWorth’s job is to produce results and we will continue to do so with existing products, combinations of existing products and most importantly, our new products. Yes, that means we are always staying ahead of the Goo-ame by developing new products that help our advertisers and disguise them from all this other mess. Our product LinkInTxt is something only LinkWorth employees would be able to detect. So unless they change the way they rank the SERPs, our products will always produce results!
- WHO DO YOU THINK IS ON YOUR SIDE WHEN IT COMES TO LINKWORTH AND GOOGLE? HONESTLY? There is no way Google knows anything about you. LinkWorth knows our customers and will do whatever is necessary to produce results. If the entire ranking system changed tomorrow, LinkWorth would figure out how the new system operates and implement a new process for our customers within a week. What can you honestly do to get a response from Google? A reinclusion request that goes unanswered for months? (Well, unless you’re BMW).
- Your site is your site and you should never change anything for any reason unless it’s illegal. Google tells webmasters to not build pages for search bots, then says to change all ad links for search bots. Google also tells people to get listed in their results they should acquire links and even references Yahoo’s directory, which is buying a link, then says they’ll not count links that are paid. Ask yourself, “who has their heads on straight here?”