I normally won’t make a habit of creating an entire post about someone else’s post, but when someone who is very well known and has been around as long as I have writes something from this kind of perspective, I’ll make an exception.
Yesterday I tweeted a post by Ed Dale about what he is calling the “search winter”. His perspective (and one I completely agree with) is that internet marketers have gone through “summers and winters” as far as Google’s attention goes.
In the early days, internet marketers were left almost entirely alone as Google worked to build the best search engine on the planet. It didn’t take long though, for marketers to start gumming up the works of Google’s pristine new product, and the cat and mouse game begam.
Ed talks about the last “search winter” that hit in the summer of 2006, but that wasn’t the first one. The first one occurred in November 2003, when Google first implemented linking and Page Rank into their algorithms. Marketers who had been using keyword stuffing to push their pages to the top of the rankings, lost most of their income overnight.
It was nearly a year before marketers found an ingenious way to manipulate linking and Page Rank. The next search summer began in mid-2004 and ran until early 2006 (Ed says summer 2006. My sliding income at the time disagrees with him slightly.)
At that point, Google figured out how to weed out much of the auto generating software sites, and once again, endless marketers lost their businesses.
All was quiet for awhile, then the rise of private blog networks created a new search summer in 2009. This lasted nearly 3 years – until last week.
The cycle is now repeating itself for the 3rd time in the past 9 years.
So it begs a question:
Can you still “game” Google?
The answer is “oh yes….absolutely!”
However, the question I’m asking myself (and you should be as well), is this one:
But, do you want to?
As someone who has twice lost his business to the never ending cat and mouse game, it’s time for a re-think.
To put it simply – I’m not comfortable with one part of my business plan any longer. The rest of it I believe to be spot on:
- You want to build sites with amazing content
- You want to create content that helps people
- You want to vary your monetization methods
- You want to be the “go to” resource in your niche
The portion that I’m no longer comfortable with is simply the volume of sites. Even with the massive upheaval that came along last week, the business plan I’ve presented here and here is still sound. The plan involves constantly building small sites and rotating them out of your collection to “stay ahead” of any potential changes Google might make.
I had written out more detailed plans that discussed moving to a different private blog network every 6 months to stay ahead of the ban hammer. I had originally planned to publish them in the weeks ahead.
But two questions came to mind as I continued to think about this over the past week.
- Is this how I want to run my business?
- More importantly, is this what I want to teach others?
The answer to both questions is “absolutely not”.
The method is out there. People teach it, and teach it well. I’ll pass no negative judgment on it, because it is still a viable plan that can earn you a lot of money, despite the recent changes.
But I don’t want to play cat and mouse with Google any longer.
I’m going to build the same kind of sites I’d planned on. But I’m going to make a slight adjustment to follow two basic principles I’ve read elsewhere:
Less is More - I will be building the same kinds of sites with high quality material, but I’ll be building less of them.
More is Less - Those fewer sites will have FAR more content that I’d previously planned. In doing so, I’ll have less headaches and worries with rotating sites and staying ahead of Google.
In essence, I’m going to build Authority Sites:
- sites that will withstand the test of time
- sites that will become a leading voice in their niche
- sites that will NOT depend solely on Google for traffic
- sites that I would be proud to show my friends and family
Though it came too late to save my business, I was on the right track when I wrote Article Bully in 2009. This is the way forward for the long term.
It’s rather embarrassing to make a shift like this in public, in front of everyone, especially since this blog is so young. But part of being transparent is allowing everyone who reads this to see what goes on behind the scenes, behind the planning, and behind the building.
Real life often gets in the way, be it our own life, or outside events that have a profound effect on us.
I started this blog on a lark. I didn’t expect anyone to ever find it or read it for the first several months. I was blessed to have good people get the word out, and I ended up with far more readers than I could have possibly expected for a 1 month old blog that I’d barely promoted.
I considered continuing to teach the method I’d outlined here (once again for emphasis…it will still work) while moving my own business further toward the authority site side of the scale.
I quickly realized how disingenuous that was.
I owe it to those who have chosen to follow along to give you my best, to show you what I’m doing as I’m doing it. If I’m going to put myself out in public and publish a blog (which goes against my private, introverted nature), I need it to be fully aligned not only with my own business, but with my personal philosophy as well.
With that in mind, I’m moving the blog to a new domain name effective April 1st. The new name better reflects my personal philosophy, as well as being a better reflection on how I will build my business as a whole. Now that I’m committed to this blogging process, I want it to be the best it can possibly be.
I realize I will probably take some heat for this change. I understand it, and I can handle it. I’ll gladly publish those kinds of comments as long as they stay respectful and don’t become personal. I’m happy to discuss this at length, and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.
In the end, I have to do what I believe is best not only for myself, but for those who have joined in to listen. I believe the long term benefit for everyone will be huge.
If you would like to read more about the Ed Dale article that was my final push in this direction, you can check it out here.