An interesting post was written by a small business owner, sharing his experience about being crushed by Google. In the article, he claims that after working hard for 12 years building his online business, Google reduced the site’s traffic from 2000 visitors a day to a few hundred a day: all without warning.
The small business owner claims that Google hasn’t, and apparently won’t tell him what he did wrong. I contacted this small business owner, and he confidentially told me about his website, and shared the Google Analytics data with me. From what I can tell, the site has not been hit by any of the major Google updates that have occurred in the past few years. Specifically, the site doesn’t appear to have been hit but Google Penguin or Google Panda.
Take a look at the SEMRush data, which seems to support his story:
When I reached out, the small business owner (who wishes to remain anonymous right now) had this to say:
“This has been an experience I never could have imagined I would ever have. After a decade of running my site very successfully, honestly and building a very solid brand only too have it just trashed by Google as “low quality”. Google has/had 10 years of Analytics and Adwords data that clearly showed I was a legitimate, trusted, profitable business … yet that apparently didn’t count for anything.
It’s interesting that during the decade before the drop off … we never got any penalties or warnings. We spent just under 7 figures on Adwords that Google apparently thought my site was a legitimate, quality enough business to place ads. Money on ads I could have spent elsewhere with better results since Google allowed a gigantic competitor to bid me into oblivion on my exact match TM and remain at the top of the search for approximately 96% of the time.
The only thing I think Google “owes” me is solid information on why they crushed me after a decade of honest, hard work which was supported by Google’s own Analytics. At least that would have given me the chance to regain what I lost instead of beating my head against the wall . At this point as I said I’ve managed to stop the bleeding. But in order to move forward and “maybe” regain some of what was wiped out it’s going to cost a small fortune that I don’t have to spend.
No longer can an individual run a small business site without being an SEO and coding expert. Or being able to afford to hire SEO and coding expert. Who can only hope to be good enough to keep up with Googles in flux guideline changes they until recently never announced.
I honestly don’t know how any small online business that sells products or god forbid is an “affiliate” can survive with Google telling us along a single guideline what our businesses “must have to be a quality site and experience” for our customers or get bounced. Every business vertical requires different things and having things that it doesn’t require hurts those businesses … as it has mine. For a decade I learned and knew what my customers wanted when they visited and spent significant amounts of money on my site that could be demonstrated tangibly.
Then Google comes along and without bothering or caring to even provide us with a way of knowing what to fix before their “quality” updates just “erases” us. Of course in the process making those giant corps who have on staff SEO and spent more money than most small countries see in a year should up on the top of the searches … all the while allowing them to infringe on competitors TMs in Adwords to further crush them … which Google calls “competitive”. Not sure how it’s competitive to allow giant companies to make small businesses burn through their MUCH lower ad budgets just trying to stay close on their own exact TM’s. Maybe I’m missing something?”
He told me about having issues with organic rankings, but also with Google AdWords, regarding trademark issues: other companies bidding on his trademark, which Google allows.
I know this is frustrating, and Google won’t give you specific advice regarding a particular site. The only help they give is access to the Google Product Forums, which may or may not be helpful. Google Webmaster Tools isn’t very helpful, although it does give data and will notify you of a manual penalty.