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Has Your Search Position and Website Traffic Disappeared?

Has your Google search results position disappeared and along with it your traffic? When Google first started, it based its search results on the concept that the value of the content on any webpage could be determined by the number of times a key word appeared on that webpage along with the number of Internet links pointing to that webpage.

Webmasters soon learned how to game that concept by swapping links and keyword spamming. To defend the relevance of their search results, Google modified their search algorithm. To combat those changes, search engine optimization (SEO) was created. The word “optimization” is misleading. In reality SEO means to find new methods of gaming Google's search algorithm.

Each time SEO “experts” found a new way to game Google's latest search algorithm, Google changed it to thwart their new game. At the same time Google has been modifying their search algorithm in response to the the growth of local, mobile, and the social Web.

Now Google changes their search algorithm on an almost continuous basis, so SEO experts are trying to game a moving target. The data and the rules Google uses to rank a webpage is now so arbitrary that it's harming innocent websites to whom search engine gaming is the last thing on their mind. What they're doing now is paramount to censorship. Now Google search algorithm programmers spend half their time responding to webmaster complaints.

So why has your webpage lost its search results position and its traffic? It's more than just Google censorship. Today social sites are getting more traffic than Google. Facebook alone gets about the same traffic as Google. Most people log onto their favorite social site and never leave. When they want to search they use Facebook's search box, and Facebook uses Microsoft's Bing search engine. So if you're counting on traffic from Google's search engine, it's not going to be what it's been in the past.

It's not just the social web that's causing your traffic to dwindle. When the great recession hit in 2008, probably several billion desperate people created websites and blogs in an attempt to generate some income. I don't care what kind of website you have, what product your selling, what blog topic your writing about, tens of thousands of other people are doing the exact same thing. You have to share traffic with them. It's just too competitive.

And lastly, Google is a public company. Their revenue and profits are analyzed and scrutinized by stock holders and investment advisers. They need to show continuing growth in their revenue and profit or the value of their stock will go down. They're accomplishing that by taking a large amount of their ad inventory internal. Displaying ads in Gmail, Google+, and other applications. They don't need to share the commission from those ads.

If your Google search position has disappeared and along with your traffic, it's partially because Google's arbitrary search rules and their need to show growth in revenue and profit has squeezed you out. And it's because a huge amount of traffic has left the conventional Internet and now lives on social sites, and because there's just too many people trying to milk money from the Internet.

You can gain back some traffic by paying for advertising, investing time and effort into social media, and by investing time and effort into a newsletter and article marketing, but then your ROI goes down, so you haven't really achieved anything. I'm sorry I don't have any solutions for you. Reality is what it is. If you have any ideas, please contact me.

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