Google’s Shake Up: A View From the Beginning - Part One

Written by Jim Hedger

Monday, December 16, 2003

It has been exactly one month since Google introduced its infamous Florida Update. Asrepparttar Florida Update has brought aboutrepparttar 127981 largest and most comprehensive shake-up of Google’s listings ever, it has generated a great deal of interest aroundrepparttar 127982 world and genuine panic forrepparttar 127983 literally millions of webmasters who’s sites have been adversely affected byrepparttar 127984 change. The following article is a compilation of our writings aboutrepparttar 127985 Florida Update since November 17th,repparttar 127986 first Monday afterrepparttar 127987 shift.

Monday November 17, 2003 - Happy Monday Morning Folks... DON'T PANIC!

Have you taken a look at Google today? Yes, what you are seeing is real. Google is showing totally different listings onrepparttar 127988 search engine returns pages today. Actually, this weirdness started sometime on Friday night or Saturday morning. Most of our clients have not been affected andrepparttar 127989 only one we have seen effected has had his rankings rise dramatically. Our site has been affected though, rather badly at that. Fromrepparttar 127990 #6 spot underrepparttar 127991 phrase "Search Engine Placement",repparttar 127992 happy-go-lucky StepForth site has dropped pastrepparttar 127993 fifth page of returns.

I think this is a temporary thing. We last saw such a massive shake-up six months ago andrepparttar 127994 listings went back to normal after a few days. This sort of shake-up generally indicates that Google is re-ordering their entire database of spidered sites. Something big is happening at Google but we're not sure what it is. What we do know is that since a major update of Google's database started on Friday night,repparttar 127995 search returns have been extremely buggy with long-term Top10 pages dropping from existence, recorded back links decreasing or disappearing for many sites, and more thanrepparttar 127996 usual amount of spam appearing inrepparttar 127997 Top10. We have also notedrepparttar 127998 disappearance of one of their major servers (

Google has been delivering questionable returns for several months now with spam and duplicate listings often making it intorepparttar 127999 Top10. The last time their listings have been this upset was in October 2002 when Google tried introducing Blog entries and news releases into its general listings. Within two weeks,repparttar 128000 listings had been restored to a shakey state of "normal" but that markedrepparttar 128001 beginning of strange and often spammy entries intorepparttar 128002 Top10. This month's update is being referred to inrepparttar 128003 SEO community asrepparttar 128004 "Florida Update" and has a lot of SEO practitioners scratching their heads. Our current advice is to wait it out for at least two weeks and see what Google does next.

December 3, 2003 - Google’s Florida Update

The impact of Google's Florida Update has not been fully realized yet, but it appearsrepparttar 128005 damage will be extensive consideringrepparttar 128006 reports we are getting from some clients. Literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of websites have seemingly disappeared from Google's listings, most of whom enjoyed a Top10 placement beforerepparttar 128007 massive update which started on November 16th. Like most retailers, ecommerce sites that have faded fromrepparttar 128008 listings needed a good Christmas season to remain viable intorepparttar 128009 next year and many of them staked their sales plans on a their previously strong placements at Google. The fallout will be noticeable, particularly among small businesses where advertising options are limited by small business budgets. Small businesses, however, will not berepparttar 128010 only companies facing an uncertain future because ofrepparttar 128011 Florida Update. Whenrepparttar 128012 SEO community starts receiving calls fromrepparttar 128013 mainstream media and people who are not clients, asking what is wrong with Google; one knows that Google itself has a problem that goes far beyond their data centers. As one ofrepparttar 128014 pioneers ofrepparttar 128015 web, Lee Roberts of The Web Doctor points out, "It was word-of-mouth that generated their popularity because people could find what they were looking for. Now, we only find sites with less quality content and less sites that offer what we want." The Florida Update encompassesrepparttar 128016 most substantial changes to Google's famed ranking algorithm inrepparttar 128017 young company's history. There are several theories as to why Google forced this update. Some say that Google is trying to force small businesses to join their highly profitable AdWords program by making such a comprehensive update just beforerepparttar 128018 Christmas shopping season. Others say that Google has always usedrepparttar 128019 weeks aroundrepparttar 128020 US Thanksgiving holiday to make changes inrepparttar 128021 hopes thatrepparttar 128022 sudden decrease in traffic over what is often a 4-day weekend will give their engineers enough time to introduce a new algorithm, (and fix any minor errors), without causing massive disruptions to their normal users. A third theory, (the one I lean towards), states that Google was simply tired of being gamed byrepparttar 128023 growing cadre of less ethical players inrepparttar 128024 SEO sector and has simply changedrepparttar 128025 rules overnight by applying this new algorithm. Whateverrepparttar 128026 reason,repparttar 128027 damage is being done and now advertisers and web-users want to know what to expect next. Unfortunately, that is not an easy question to answer as Google does not comment on any changes to their algorithm, thereforerepparttar 128028 only thing we can do is offer experienced and educated guesses.

Does Your Website Need Search Engine Placement? - Part 1/2

Written by Dave Davies

Does Your Website Need Search Engine Placement? by Dave Davies, Marketing Manager, StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc.

Introduction For many,repparttar value of their websites can be measured in visitors, for others it isrepparttar 127980 amount of revenue thatrepparttar 127981 site generates. Regardless of how you measurerepparttar 127982 success of your website, you are going to have to bring visitors to it that are looking forrepparttar 127983 information, content and/or products that you are providing. So how do you do this?

For many businessesrepparttar 127984 yellow pages is a first choice for promotions and marketing. Generally this is due in large part torepparttar 127985 fact that most of us grew up withrepparttar 127986 yellow pages being where we looked when we needed to find a business and so it is what we think of first. A standard yellow page ad runs for about $1,200+/year for a smaller ad and serves only a local market. You further have to considerrepparttar 127987 cost of ad development, which can often run intorepparttar 127988 thousands of dollars as well.

While this may be an entirely profitable form of advertising for many businesses which serve only local areas, it is certainly notrepparttar 127989 only one.

Onrepparttar 127990 Internet there are many forms of advertising that have and are being used to bring traffic to websites. From banner ads and sp@m email to PPC and natural search engines there are countless methods for promoting your website online. So how do you choose which marketing tactic to utilize?

One thing to consider is that over 80% of all Internet traffic comes from search engines with Google currently responsible forrepparttar 127991 vast majority of that. With such an overwhelming amount of traffic coming from a single identifiable source, it makes sense to put a lot of weight on it; considering what this source can mean for your website, and for your business.

In this article we will explorerepparttar 127992 difference between sites that should consider search engine placement as a viable choice in their marketing strategy, and those that would benefit little from top placements. As well we will look at ways to insure that you are maximizingrepparttar 127993 effect and potential return on investment of your search engine placement campaign, should you choose to go that route.

Who Should Consider Search Engine Placement An ethical search engine placement firm will tell a client honestly if search engine optimization will benefit their website. Of course, not every company is ethical and further, how do you know until you have undergone search engine optimization, whether it will benefit your website? By this point you have paidrepparttar 127994 firm and they have done their job whether it helped you or not.

There are a few things you should consider before you apply search engine placement tactics to your website, or consider hiring a search engine placement firm.

Questions You Should Ask Yourself: What do I stand to gain from higher search engine traffic? Conducting a search engine optimization has a built-in cost of time and resources should you choose to do it yourself, or throughrepparttar 127995 direct cost of money should you hire a search engine placement firm. You have to insure that what you hope to accomplish will be at least equal to and preferably greater thanrepparttar 127996 cost of time and money it will take to do successfully. For more information on this you will want to readrepparttar 127997 section below “So You’re Going To Market Your Website On The Search Engines … Now What?” for tips on establishing whether there is truly enough traffic to be had to make your efforts worthwhile.

Can I compete? The short answer to this question is generally always “yes”, however, there are many factors to consider. While any site, with enough work can rank well, you do have to consider whetherrepparttar 127998 effort will be worth it. For example, if you own a small computer store in Michigan that repairs computers and troubleshoots software issues, it is theoretically possible for you to rank your website well forrepparttar 127999 term “Microsoft Windows”. To do so would require an ENORMOUS amount of both time and money. And so you have to consider, is it really worth investing years of time and money into this one ranking? The answer is “probably not” but that doesn’t mean that search engine placement would not be beneficial for you just that those keywords are not worth targeting. There are suggestions for choosingrepparttar 128000 right keywords below.

Do I make money from my website traffic? This question isn’trepparttar 128001 end-all-be-all, however, it’s certainly relevant if you’re considering hiring a search engine placement firm to optimize your site. If you plan on “going it alone” you may want to put inrepparttar 128002 effort for no money in return simply forrepparttar 128003 “fun” of it, however if you’re planning on spending your hard earned money on a search engine placement firm you have to make sure that it is in your financial best interest to do so. This may be from either direct product/services sales or fromrepparttar 128004 sale of advertising on your site.

If, after answering these questions to yourself you have determined that search engine placement is indeed a good choice for your marketing strategy, you will now haverepparttar 128005 task of determining exactly what tactics will producerepparttar 128006 greatest Return On Investment (ROI) for your efforts.

So You Are Going To Market Your Website On The Search Engines … Now What? Now that you have determined that search engine placement is indeed an avenue of marketing that can produce beneficial results for your site and for your business, you have to decide on a “plan of attack”. Many SEO firms will “help” you determine keywords to target, and some will even build links for you from “valuable” sites. In many case they may be entirely truthful but how do you know?

The choosing ofrepparttar 128007 keywords to target is probablyrepparttar 128008 most crucial step ofrepparttar 128009 entire search engine optimization process. This will determinerepparttar 128010 success and/or failure of your promotions. It is important to keep in mind that top placements are not worthwhile if they produce zero results; either because you targeted placements with little traffic or irrelevant traffic. So how do you determine for yourself which keywords to target?

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