In an effort to clean up it’s search listings after being criticized for too much crap being presented to users, it appears that the best efforts by Google have significantly impacted many good web based companies in a negative way.
Not only have the sites lost a significant amount of traffic and revenue but after only a week since the major change, it is already resulting in lost jobs and layoffs.
Mac360.com a very robust website with a tremendous amount of good content just said a few minutes ago they announced layoffs to seven of their nine writers.
Traffic to our site Mac360 is down 70-percent since the Panda update. Today we notified our writers. Seven of nine writers have been laid off effective immediately.
Seven jobs lost thanks to Google’s inability to know original content from aggregators and scrapers. Seven years of 100-percent original content (reviews of Mac apps), over 2,700 articles, and steady growth wiped out because Google’s algorithm cannot determine high quality content vs. low quality content (has anyone see a definition of either)?
Other sites are reporting a significant negative impact as well after the last big April 11th algorithm change by Google. Eartheasy.com says they’ve lost “30%-40% of their traffic overnight.”
Sites like R/C Airplane World that used to occupy a very high ranking for radio controlled model airplane information are now reporting they have been suddenly replaced with ecommerce sites, rather than quality content sites.
This sudden and significant negative impact that came unannounced has led to the destruction of many web based businesses after having spent a decade or more in building their web presence. While it may be argued it is not fair, it’s just another one of those unpleasant reminders that misfortune can strike when you least expect it to.
Even sites Google loved have been slapped hard out of the blue by Google. “It’s quality was good enough to attract over 6 million visitors a year and to have Google do two case studies on us.”
If there is a light at the end of the tunnel for some it is that the Bing search engine has been on the rise since it launched a couple of years ago. Bing now accounts for 30% of all web searches and both Bing and Yahoo result in results users say are much more accurate. Well accurate enough to at least click on them and visit the sites.
In September, 2010 Google controlled 72 percent of the U.S. search market but as of March, 2011 it had dropped to 64 percent. – Source
Mashable decided it would be interesting to plot the search activity trends between Google and Bing into the future and came up with this theoretical chart.
If current trends continue then in the not too distant future Bing and Google may be neck in neck for activity and shortly thereafter become a minority player.
What Google taketh away, Bing shall deliver and that will probably result in new digitally based businesses being created in the future and finding success while the sites pounded by Google now may wilt and die long before then.
One aside, I was not aware of the higher satisfaction ratings among searches with Bing results. I think I’ll switch to Bing as my primary search engine and give them a chance.
If you are interested in more information how an action by Google has created havoc for business, read Wireless and Mobile News Google Panda Problems. It’s an excellent case study into why, for now, Google seems to have violated their core mission of doing no harm.
And like a tsunami, that sudden wall of water that water that can strike without much warning and cause massive destruction, in a way that’s exactly what Google has just done with their search engine algorithm change.
If hearings needed to be called for banks and financial institutions that acted carelessly and created a financial meltdown that harmed the economy, maybe hearings should be held into the recent search massacre by Google and what can be done in the future to prevent such harm from happening so totally unannounced.