On November 16th, 2003, Google commenced an update (the Florida update) which had a catastrophic effect for a very large number of websites and, in the process, turned search engine optimization upside down. It is common to give alphabetical names to Google’s updates in the very same way that names are given to hurricanes, and this one became known as “Florida”.
In a nutshell, a vast number of pages, many of which had ranked at or near the top of the results for a very long time, suddenly disappeared from the results altogether.
To so many on the Internet, Google has become the omnipotent “hand of God” and it’s sickening! Why are so many people falling into the trap of optimizing their website’s to cater to Google’s ever-changing algorithms? I refuse to play that game! I personally could care less about my search engine rankings. I never have. My search engine rankings go up and down like a yo-yo! They have for years. Yet, I’m still able to comfortably support myself and my family.
If you only remember one thing from this article, remember this: DO NOT DEPEND SOLELY ON SEARCH ENGINES FOR YOUR TRAFFIC! Find alternative ways to attract traffic to your website. If you’re fortunate enough to achieve a high search engine ranking, consider it a bonus. But DO NOT MAKE THE SEARCH ENGINES A PRIORITY!
Why? Because when you stop to consider that Google, DMOZ and Yahoo! has millions and millions of pages in their directories, you’d really have a better chance of winning the lottery, than getting high enough in the results pages where it’s going to make a significant difference in your traffic.
In fact, I receive a very tiny percentage of my traffic from the search engines.
So, where’s my traffic coming from? Well, the vast majority of it comes from the dozens of articles I’ve written that have been picked up and published on popular websites. I also get traffic via word of mouth, newsletters that my articles are published in, and a few other secret methods that I use.
Yes, like Colonel Sanders, I too have a secret recipe!
And if all of the search engines disappeared tomorrow, I’d be just fine, because I’m a marketing man. I know how to market myself and my service. I was lucky enough to be born a “baby boomer.” That means I had the honor and privilege of personally seeing first-hand, some of the greatest copywriting in history. I took lots of notes and learned my lessons well.
Back then, mailorder was the Internet of its time, and boy was there marketing talent everywhere! You should really do yourself a favor sometime and go to the library and read the old mailorder books. Some great titles to look for include, “How To Get Rich In Mail Order,” by Melvin Powers, “Money In Your MailBox,” by L. Perry Wilbur, “How To Make A Fortune In Mail Order,” by Al Stern and “Building A Mail Order Business,” by William A. Cohen .
You’ll come away a lot smarter and you’ll discover some ingenious ways to market your website, besides the search engines.
Will somebody wake up DMOZ? I hear they’re sleeping on the job. DMOZ (The Open Directory Project) is another prime example of why you shouldn’t depend on search engines or directories. I’ve heard and read countless horror stories about DMOZ taking 9 months to a year or more to add new sites to their directory, and in many cases not adding perfectly qualified sites at all. I’ve also heard their directory is not kept up to date, because the editors can’t keep up with the workload.
In addition, it’s been widely reported that they don’t respond to e-mails, don’t inform you if and when you’re site is rejected, and that some of the editors are rude and arrogant.
Who cares how much weight Google places on being listed in DMOZ? You don’t have to put up with that nonsense! Find alternative ways to attract traffic to your website.
Yahooooooooooooooooo! I want you to read what it says on the info page for submitting to Yahoo! Express:
“We established Yahoo! Express as part of a suite of services that Yahoo! has created to service small business needs. Through Yahoo! Express, we can ensure that sites suggested by merchants such as yourself are viewed and evaluated in a timely manner by Yahoo!’s editorial staff.
Your payment and participation in Yahoo! Express guarantees that within seven business days a member of Yahoo!’s editorial staff will look at your site and consider it for inclusion in the Yahoo! directory.
Please keep in mind that payment does not automatically guarantee inclusion in the directory, site placement, or site commentary. As with all sites suggested to us, final judgement remains solely with Yahoo! editors.
Yahoo! Express Guarantees All Yahoo! Express submissions will be evaluated within seven business days. You will receive an email response within seven business days, stating whether your entry is accepted or declined. (If your entry is denied, you will be told why.)
The Cost of Yahoo! Express Yahoo! Express requires a US $299.00 non-refundable, recurring annual fee per submission, or US $600.00 non-refundable, recurring annual fee for submissions offering adult content and/or services. Yahoo! Express does not guarantee a listing in the Yahoo! directory, nor does it guarantee the type of placement or description that your site will receive if accepted. Please read our Yahoo! Express Terms of Service to review the terms and conditions of Yahoo! Express.”
Are you kidding me? What a bunch of crap! Why, why, why would anyone want to just hand over their money to Yahoo! that way, without any type of guarantee?
I’ve just given you shining examples of the arrogance and total lack of respect Google, DMOZ and Yahoo! has for the very people they depend on to keep them in business.
I say we show them the same kind of respect they show us. Get out of the Google trap, let DMOZ nap, and don’t accept Yahoo’s crap!
Remember: DO NOT DEPEND SOLELY ON SEARCH ENGINES FOR YOUR TRAFFIC! Find alternative ways to attract traffic to your website. If you’re fortunate enough to achieve a high search engine ranking, consider it a bonus. But DO NOT MAKE THE SEARCH ENGINES A PRIORITY!
by Dean Phillips
Dean Phillips is an Internet marketing expert, writer, publisher and entrepreneur.