Friday, 2 November 2012

Google is a terrible dancer!

So this past couple of weeks, Google has pissed me off, alot!

My own
websites logo for
First some background; I run a website dedicated to giving out the answers to the Logos Quiz app on iPhones and Android devices. You can check out that website here Logo Quiz Answers.

I was the first answers site EVER for this game, beginning with the answers for the  popular Logos Quiz Game on iPhone and then expanding to include some of the more popular Android Logo Quizzes.

When I started I had not a single clue about websites, how they run, how they're made, I had never even heard of SEO (I thought it might be some kind of new high school exam). But I learnt as I went along and created what I thought was an informative site that served a purpose and did it's job well. I have encountered some webmaster snobs on various forums who thought otherwise and told me that my site is 'to simple and thinly spread', my reply to them; yes, it is simple, however it's serving a simple purpose, it's there purely as a reference for people who want the answers to their Logos Quiz. [on a side note these snobs also bug me alot! I go on these forums looking for help, trying to learn and better myself, just to get told I'm no good, come on guys, get some soul!]

Ok, rant over for now and back to the story;
For 6 months I kept the site up to date, and kept doing everything I could to improve the experience for the end user - the player of Logos Quiz who was stuck and needed the answer before the game drove them mad!
For a while enjoyed a nice run at the top of the Google search when people were looking for 'logos quiz answers' and had a nice load of traffic. I placed a few adds on the site to cover costs of the hosting fee that I now needed as my traffic was through the roof, it was also a nice bit of pocket money. I was enjoying learning this new web world of technical who-ha that I'd never encountered and that was actually helping me understand the world we are living in, and the world me will most likely will be living in in the future.

At first I went up and down slightly in the Google page rankings, but after a couple of months settled nicely into 1st, sometimes 2nd place, and maybe 3rd place and life was comfortable there. I carried on following the rules and guidelines on how to make a website and keep it running the proper way, didn't do anything naughty that Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine wouldn't like me doing, then suddenly CRASH, BANG, WALLOP! What the hell happened to my site!! Google decided to stop playing fair, have one rule for us and one rule for them, this is why I am angry with Google!

There are strict guidelines (apparently) that websites are supposed to adhere to if they want to be top in the Google search for their specific keywords, for example my keywords that earnt me the most traffic was 'logo quiz answers'. [The reason you want to be first is so that more people find you, after first place the likelihood of someone clicking through to your page is less than 10%!]. You can find some of these guidelines here, 'Google Guidleines', they include things like 'Monitor your site's performance and optimize load times' and 'offer a sitemap to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site', these things make sense, of course you should do them and even without any website developing experience I managed to figure this out. you should do these things anyway to ensure you will get returning visitors, as they won't come back if, for example, the site is not optimised and it takes them an hour to see an image.

Ok that's all well and good, so 'what's your problem' I hear you say, well again you will need some background. About 4 weeks ago my site suddenly started dropping like a lead balloon down the Google search rankings, it was fine at first, just losing a couple of spots, then suddenly on page 2, followed by page 3 and then disappearing completely! How did this happen? What changed? Well it wasn't me, I was plodding along playing nicely by all the rules. Google changed, or to be precise changed its algorithms.

Panda and Penguin, two
Google updates that ruined
many small businesses. 
Googles algorithms decide which websites are placed where in their search, no-one really knows how they do it or how it works, but lots of people like to take a lucky guess, for example one update had to do with how many quality links you have to your website, or so the webbos said.
After many (many, many, many) hours of research, I thought I had discovered what had happened, the latest algorithm change had to do with END's, or Exact Name Domains.

I have an END, my domain matches my keywords exactly, so this must be the problem I thought to myself. I have been penalised for my name! Ridiculas!

Anyway, the research suggested hanging in there, as when Google updates it usually does what's called the 'Google Dance'. The Google Dance is when it is settling and readjusting its update, so your site will move up and down the search rankings for a week or so until it is settled. Ok Google, you want to dance, lets dance! So i waited......

... and things got worse! Google did not lead, they didn't even dance properly, they were your drunk uncle at a wedding on the dance-floor on his own thinking he's dancing when in fact he's just flying his arms around and being embarrassing.

My site kept losing ranking and traffic. The site I'd worked so hard on to get to a good place, that I updated and tried to make better daily. It was upsetting.

I decided to change strategy, maybe I had done something wrong, or missed out some vital something on my site that everyone but me knew about. So I began investigating my competitors site, and this is when I become really angry and the reason I am really pissed off with Google.

The new top 5 search engine results for my keywords 'logo quiz answers' are rubbish!! but seriously my site is better than theres! You can check if you want!
How were they doing so well? They were completely SEO unfriendly I started searching and came up with a common theme among them, thousands upon thousands of backlinks! [A backlink is when another site separate from your own links to your site].

So back to the SEO guideline stuff from before, and here is my problem,  it comes under the 'Quality guidelines' segment which talks about things you should avoid doing, these include, participating in link schemes. These sites that are now higher than me in the rankings have so very obviously participated in a link scheme in order to achieve this number of links. One site for example had only been around 5 weeks and had 57000 backlinks, this is not in any way shape or form humanly or technologically possible without participating in a link scheme.

Come on Google, if even I can pick this up than surely you can to, except your not, your stuck in your little drunken updated algorithm dance. This is not only bad for me, but also for Google users everywhere, as it means the results we are getting are not the best for the information we're looking for, but instead the best cheats.

So this is a plea to Google, from one of the little people that you don't really care about. Admit your wrong, and put my website and all the other good little websites that have done nothing wrong back in their rightful place and stop dancing, your rubbish at it!

1 comment:

  1. By the way if you're interested in my work please take a look and let me know what you think
    Any advice on improvements will be taken on board!:)