Thursday, April 26, 2012

Google Web Spam Update : Penguin Algo Robs Amazon Of Millions

Let's be clear: I'm an Affiliate Marketer. I own multiple websites, often interlinked like many corporations and media companies routinely do. I'm an active link builder. I'm an SEO whore. And I've been whacked by Google's Panda - and then Penguin Webspam Updates - to the point of nearly destroying my business. But it isn't just me that got hurt. The implications are far, far greater. Ponder this:

In 2011 - I sent nearly TWO MILLION DOLLARS in gross sales towards affiliates. And was on-track to exceed that in 2012. Until 48 hours ago. Until Google's latest update.

Prior to Google's Panda and now the catastrophic Penguin Webspam Update, I was an American success story in a difficult time in our nation's economic history:

I worked hard and achieved a 6-Figure income from my affiliate earnings in 2012.
I created my own job in a struggling US economy.
I sent nearly $24,000 to the US Treasury, paying record taxes to fund our nation.
I sent nearly $4000 to my State's Treasury to fund my local government as well.
I bought a new truck, helping the recovery of the US auto industry.
I could finally afford - and purchased my own Health Insurance - and Dental too.
I established a HSA - Health Savings Account, ready for a medical crisis.
I contributed heavily to my IRA insuring I won't be a burden on society in retirement.
And unlike most Americans, I had money to put into savings at my local bank.

Google helped me do that - And then aggressively destroyed my American Dream in stages with Panda... and then in a single day this week - with the Penguin Webspam Update. And all the items listed above are now jeopardized.

I'd succeeded where so many other's failed. I did it by ADDING VALUE to help consumers make better purchase decisions, and identify the best products for their needs. They clicked through. And they bought with better than average conversion click-rates. Visitors didn't care about SEO and 'Low Bounce Rates' or long 'On-Page, Multi-Page Site Engagement', or felt an overwhelming need to 'Socially Share' my content. They quickly and simply got good answers to their buying needs and clearly purchased with comfort. The sales and conversions PROVED my site absolutely delivered on the Google Search Query's intent. 

But today - Post update, Google now apparently thinks otherwise.

Garbage Websites? Spammer? Thin Affiliate? Bad-Guy? Link-Graph Manipulator? "Over-Optimizer"? Garbage Content Spinner? Evil Black-Hat SEO Conspirator?

No, I wrote every-single word of page content myself - and advertised it with any free or low-cost link building method that seemed to help. And Google did love me, it loved the clean site structure, on-page use of RELEVANT keywords - on very tightly-themed sites that focused with absolute, on-topic information that few others devoted an entire site to: Not some one-off blog post that seems to rank so well these days. I groomed, preened, refined and improved these sites constantly, keeping them fresh and relevant to today's consumer and researcher. I deserved those keywords that made it to Page 1.

But that's all over now. My babies got thrown out with the bathwater in this week's Google's Penguin webspam update. Since it's peak, I've now lost 80% of my total traffic in < 9 months. And I don't know that I can continue to afford Health Insurance, invest in my retirement years, or buy that foreclosure house or short-sale condo I thought was on-track to purchase - Next Year.

Ironic, isn't it? The 'BEST' search engine that was delivering the 'best' results suddenly decides it really was serving up CRAP on Page 1 of SERPs all along? That my 'good' sites turned 'bad' with a flip of Google's switch? That my deep and highly-aligned semantic search relevance was over-shadowed by ridiculously easy to acquire low-PR links that it could simply ignore? I'm not even Black Hat: I've never stooped to the dirty, dirty tricks the real sharks use to manipulate rankings. But I guess my amateur SEO skills might as well be. And that's what makes me think a million other websites are also probably suffering far more than they deserve.

The true fallout and broader economic consequences from Google's aggressive new algo have only begun to reveal itself. Multiply that 2 million dollars by all the other affiliate marketer's like me who, in total, drive BILLIONS in revenues of online business across a wide array of affiliate partners - from eBay to Commission Junction, LinkShare, ClickBank, Amazon and countless others. Don't think Penguin's SEO punishment isn't going to directly impact these corporation's and their sponsoring partner's bottom-line? Think again. My pain is their pain now, too. And my pain will ripple through my Local and National Economy as well.

The monetary implications and fallout from Google's heavy-handed algorithmic knob-twiddling may have far more economic consequences than they ever imagined. And much of it won't be positive. I dare say some of the other big-boys in online retailing ain't gonna be happy about it either. Stay tuned... Oh - And do hit that Social Sharing Buttons below would'ja? Cuz that's the 'New-SEO Signal-2-Die-4' - Thanks!