I talked to a search engineer a few months back and he mentioned that he thought one of my sites and one of the promotions associated with it were both spammy. This month I came across a random blog comment where a person talked about how great that search company was for showing them that same site! The only problem was that since that site was new and we still need more links we had to pay Google for those clicks.
Meanwhile a network of older established poorly designed English third language sites dominate Google's organic search results, and keep getting self-reinforcing links that make it virtually impossible to compete with them without buying links. But our AdWords ads and viral marketing we did lead to some exposure where editors from other companies got to evaluate our site.
- A number of mainstream media companies (newspapers and radio shows) mentioned us on their site.
- A leading search company featured a link to our site aggressively in their portal (sorry I can't say more than that or a partner would kill me for doing so).
- Mahalo listed our site with a cool rating and listed many deep links from our site on their overview page.
- The Yahoo! Directory listed our site for free.
Had we not paid Google $1,000's, the organic links we got never would have existed, and our site might never rank. Amongst most other search related companies they generally love our site. But because I am associated with the site and I am an aggressive marketer the site is seen in a different light by search engineers at Google, in spite of providing a better user experience than the outdated garbage Google currently ranks (as indicated by searchers and editorial judgement from human reviewers at other search companies).
I am not complaining here, as we are on page 2 and getting close to page 1, but most content producers are not as aggressive at marketing as we have been, and some of the best content might take many years to rank - if ever. The bigger issues at hand are
- Most English speaking webmasters with trusted sites use Google, thus if something is not in Google it is hard for it to get the quality links needed to rank unless the webmaster buys AdWords or spends a lot on public relations
- many employees of other search companies are likely using Google search
- any warp in Google's view of the web (like SERP staleness & bias toward huge media companies) creates opportunity for another search company to be born, and to some extent validate arbitrage plays by companies like Mahalo.
By relying on old websites to clog up the search results Google virtually guarantees that you need to buy links to rank a new site. The only question is who is getting paid!
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