About a month ago, I was checking my stats for my website through Google Analytics and everything had been going just fine over the past couple of months, but one day my site visitors and pageviews took a dive, like a 60% dive in visitors.
I realize that from day to day things can change on the Internet, so I didn’t think too much about it on the first couple of days; I wanted to wait to see if things were going bounce. Well, they didn’t matter of fact it seemed like it was just getting worse. And getting traffic to your site is the life blood of the site; it’s what keeps my site alive, it allows me to offer my services, keep my hosting and pay for products to review. Having traffic drop-off like that— you need to be watching it; and I was…
So, I got to investigating, Google searching, checking things on my site, like performance and posts and ad placements; all kind of things. Well, after about two weeks of really nothing I went back to my analytics, did some comparisons and found that Google seems to be the one with not giving me my normal traffic. Normally, Google was my highest referring site… not as much anymore.
Dashing over to the Google help forums, I did a quick search but didn’t find anything that matched my exact issue. But after submitting a case, I found that Google had updated their algorithm in January. Here’s the update posted by Matt Cutts.
|…As we’ve mentioned previously, we’ve heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away. So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience. Such sites may not rank as highly going forward…|
The gist of this update is that Google wants the meat and potatoes of the information. They don’t want publishers making the readers scroll to see information about what the reader was searching for. Google doesn’t want to have publishers having ads in the top of the website or anywhere the person doing the search has to see the advertisements before the content…
This is funny because if you follow the Google adsense recommendations on advertisement placement; it tells you to place the advertisements on the top of the page and on the right, or above the content. What I take away from this is that every website that did what Google said to do is being punished now.
They refer to making sure the advertisements the person doing the searching doesn’t see ads in the top ‘fold’ of the website… and what exactly the dimensions of this ‘fold’ is, I don’t know; apparently no one else knows either.
It has a lot of users upset with Google for being hypocritical on how they setup the rules… It seems that Google can place their ads anywhere, but now websites and bloggers are now being held to a higher standard. And there’s not really a lot of people happy with Matt…
And Matt was also a bit of a shining star hero when he stepped in to help an adsense user, he knew, to help him get his AdSense account reinstated after it had been banned; which is almost impossible to do. Reading this thread you would have to say a lot of people displeased about that because of Adsense’s controversial ‘click fraud‘ detection… Pointing out the amount of complaints against Google and their complaints handling process; essentially there’s not one that has any respect for the publisher. Or does everyone need to file a lawsuit against Google to change their procedures on how they handle ad publishers?
Basically, it seems Google changes the rule to the game and people who are trying to play the game right; writing all their own articles, doing the best they can are being punished. There’s got to be a better way to deal with the people who work with Google. Making these kinds of changes can literally break the back of a struggling website or blog.
Larry Henry Jr.
…via Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11