Every time I read about or listen to a Google horror story, I thank God I don’t rely on Google as my sole source of income. For those of you that do, it’s time to quit riding the coattails of a tyrant. Now, I’ve been on the web for a long time, in one way or another, and I remember how it all started. I can also see where it’s headed.
The Early Days and Google
Back in the early days, the days of Netscape version 1.0 (circa 1995), the only search engine player was Yahoo. If you’re not old enough to remember how Yahoo search looked in those days, take at look at the Open Directory Project. Yeah, it looked a lot like that.
Google came onto the scene as a search engine around 1996, but most people ignored it until it eventually became the best search engine in the world. I’m summarizing because the steps along the way aren’t important.
Google AdSense wasn’t invented by Google. Google bought Applied Semantics in 2001 and built AdSense from that. Google AdWords, on the other hand, was wholly invented by Google the previous year.
The AdSense Business Model
From 2001 until just recently, building your business model using AdSense as your advertiser publishing service was a good deal. While I won’t go into the details, you could earn a lot of money if you paid attention to how the Google search engine worked and how to build websites that capitalized on how the search engine worked. You could even earn your living on it.
All that has changed with the Panda and the Penguin algorithm updates. Before those updates, Google was simply making adjustments to weed out the web spammers and black hatters. Those updates turned the knob to a different channel, so to speak.
For years, Google has been harping on organic links and good content. Well, it’s time to ignore the harping because it’s a big lie. It might have been true in the past, but it isn’t now and if you’re relying on Google for income, you’re going to be in for rough ride.
The White Hat Way
Tim has been doing everything the white hat way since 1995. He was even used as a Google poster child for the right way to build organic links for the last few years. Well, Tim lost most of his web traffic with the Panda updates and even more with the Penguin update. I guess doing things the right way doesn’t really work anymore, does it?
The white hat way, according to Google’s guidelines, is really a “build it and they will come” kind of thing. It’s bullshit and they know it. That’s why they built Google+ to compete with Facebook. Facebook was “stealing” Google’s thunder, if you know what I mean.
The Future of Search and the Web
I’ve seen the past and I see the present. I can almost see the future. The search results you see today favor the big brands and Google’s web properties. The days of the little guy or the small business getting ahead on the shoulder’s of Google are over.
Google is a corporation and I could almost see this coming when they announced their IPO. Corporate charters shift the responsibilities of the businesses they cover and Google is no different. They are owned by stockholders and their primary responsibility is to them and to make profits for them. When Google was just an independent company, the consumers (translated to searchers) were their primary responsibility.
Google is now a brand name and in the future, you will have to buy your way into the top rankings for search or you will be destined to be on any page but page one for any of your search terms.
Rely on Something Else
We can all still do the things we love to do, like producing awesome content (or publishing it for someone else). We just need to rely on something other than Google and its AdSense-related products.
Regardless of all the brainwashing, there are other search engines, other advertisers and other ways of making money that are directly related to building awesome content. You mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find those other ways.