Every time I sit down to write a new blog post it seems I get really angry at Google, then frustrated and I just walk away to do something else that is more productive. For several years we, my husband and I, worked night and day on our website to get to the first page in Google for our keywords. We were proud of all our hard work and the high rankings. In 2012 it all came to naught because of algorithm changes. Our site rankings dropped dramatically and then disappeared in Google. Our good rankings still hold on Bing and Yahoo, unfortunately though no one seems to be looking there. Our traffic has decreased so much so that we are often too disappointed to work on the website anymore.
We instead have focused on creating new designs and techniques for our handmade jewelry. It has been very worthwhile and time well spent. Our new colorful jewelry has kept us working day and night to meet all the deadlines. Now that the wholesale shows are underway we can finally take a well deserved rest from the hectic pace of the last few months. We have been working with renowned artists like Lynn Bean and Nick Gustafson as well as creating our own designs including a new line of dog earrings.
We are one of the lucky businesses though as we do not rely solely on the internet. We have been in business for over 25 years and have a solid customer base throughout Canada and the United States. If anything the Google algorithm changes have given us the freedom to work on new techniques and designs. We have been focusing on the real world instead of the internet. Our business was built before Google took over the world economy but I cannot help but feel sorry for all the people who were wiped out by the changes Google made.
We are just one example of businesses hurt by the changes in Google’s algorithm, and it does not seem to be getting any better. Some people just started new websites instead of trying to fix the old ones. But thousands of small businesses depended on the organic traffic from Google to stay in business and without that traffic they are gone. Meanwhile Google is making more money than ever. So who did these algorithms changes benefit? Just Google and the big brands that have money to put into advertising, not small business owners that is for sure.
So have all these changes and penalties helped make the internet a better place? Are the search results more accurate? Was the damage to small businesses worldwide worth the changes in the search results? Go search for something, anything and see the results. Our keywords are full of Facebook pages, Pinterest accounts, definitions and how-to sites. When you are looking to buy handmade jewelry do you want a Facebook page or would you rather find companies that make unique handcrafted jewelry? Unfortunately, the most established companies have been penalized by Google algorithms and are forced to buy Adwords if they want to be on the first page. We are constantly bombarded through email and regular mail to buy Adwords. Was it all just a ploy to get everyone to pay for Adwords? Honestly speaking we do not have the budget to advertise as we keep our prices reasonable and do not have a huge profit margin.
Could the smart people at Google just not give any credit for bad links pointing at a website? If they wanted a level playing field now they have a non-existent playing field. Good luck with that. For over 6 years, I used to wake up and check the rankings. Now I save a lot of time to do actually useful work. We are not going to give up on the website but what Google does or does not do is no longer a major concern. Hopefully one day the algorithm will take a turn for the better and help the small businesses that it has damaged.