Another friend sent me a message today: "just got a whole swathe of non-interlinked microsites torched today. Bastard! Just watching the rank reports coming in..."
I haven't seen his sites, but based on how he described them "whole swathe" I wouldn't guess the quality to be super high. One thing you could say for them was that they were unique.
Where putting in the effort to create original content falls flat on its face is when search engines chose to outrank aggregators (or later copies) over the original source. The issue has got so out of hand that Google has come right out & asked for help with it.
When Google launched Knol I was quick to flame them after I saw them ranking recycled content on Knol ahead of the original source. The Knol even highlighted similar works, showing that Google allowed Knol to outrank earlier sources of the same work.
In a recent WebmasterWorld thread Brett Tabke stated that Google is putting serious weight on Google+:
Some Google+ SEO factors now trump linking as prime algo ingredient. Google+ is already and clearly influencing rankings. I watched a presentation last night that definitely showed that rankings can occur from Google+ postings and photo's with no other means of support.
As Google+ grows - so will Google's understanding of how to use it as rankings signals.
We are not playing Google+ because we want too - we are playing Google+ because we have to.
I read that sorta half hoping he was wrong, but know he rarely is.
And then today Google hit me across the head with a 2x4, proving he was right again.
Business Insider is not some small niche site that Google can justify accidentally deleting from the web with 2 clicks of a mouse, yet when I was doing a *navigational* search, trying to find a piece of their content I had already read, guess what popped up in the search results.
What's worse is that isn't from a friend, isn't from the original source, is the full article wholesale, from Google Reader, and the source URL has Google's feedproxy in it.
If Google wants to add value to the ecosystem & insert themselves as a new layer of value then how can we do anything but welcome it. However, when they want to take 3rd party content & "wrap it in Google" it is absolutely unacceptable for them to outrank the original source with their copy of it, even if they feel the deserve to outrank it & have made multiple copies of it.
But Google's dominance in search coupled with their dominance in display (from owning DoubleClick & YouTube) has led competing portals to team up to try to compete against Google with display ads.
And, if the big portals are struggling that much, then at the individual publisher level, how do you profitably produce content when Google takes your content & ranks their copy ahead of yours?
Gain a Competitive Advantage Today
Your top competitors have been investing into their marketing strategy for years.
Now you can know exactly where they rank, pick off their best keywords, and track new opportunities as they emerge.
Explore the ranking profile of your competitors in Google and Bing today using SEMrush.
Enter a competing URL below to quickly gain access to their organic & paid search performance history - for free.
See where they rank & beat them!
- Comprehensive competitive data: research performance across organic search, AdWords, Bing ads, video, display ads, and more.
- Compare Across Channels: use someone's AdWords strategy to drive your SEO growth, or use their SEO strategy to invest in paid search.
- Global footprint: Tracks Google results for 120+ million keywords in many languages across 28 markets
- Historical data: since 2009, before Panda and Penguin existed, so you can look for historical penalties and other potential ranking issues.
- Risk-free: Free trial & low price.