Well with regard to one of my clients whose site has fallen from #1 for many terms to hovering on the fifth and sixth pages, writing enough volume of high quality content to compete with national-level sites simply isn't an option. Its not in the budget as the client is a very small firm. Up through now, good optimization of the sites and a respectable PR with good optimized content (for the little amount there is on the site) has been enough to get us #1 in Google (and consequently very high in other engines) for regionally based search terms. The client is regional so this is fine...
If you've been doing The Right Thing in general (ie. writing solid customer-friendly and appropriately keyphrase-rich content, getting good relevant inbound links, designing a logical site structure with easily followed navigation, etc.) then why would you have to do a major overhaul simply because ONE search engine is broken?
I mentioned a "major overhaul" simply b/c dropping from #1 to #50 in Google is a huge deal for the client, especially b/c the local terms we target are only searched a handful of times each day. Being as he was the one site that actually relates to the terms, his #1 spot drew a very high % of clicks from those searches, and also drew a high % of leads.
I'm not sure the latest stats, but I've heard roughly 1/2 of US searches are Google-fed (either Google or an engine they feed). This is huge to me - way more than enough to make me panic if this remains the case. At #1 we get lots of traffic. #50 will get virtually nothing for this type of site. At 1/2 of the searches, losing our pull in Google knocks out roughly half our online marketing!
I realize I am whining, and that many of you have the same problem. To you, my condolences. I'm thinking the industry my client is in is having some serious filtering going on. Unfortunately searches with the keywords and region used to produce sites of actual companies (in this case law firms in the region), but now the same Google search seems to yield only national-level spammy-type sites that are completely useless.
Here's to hoping the "settling" picks up the pace and returns to normalcy for those of us adversely affected.
Ok I promise I'll stop my complaining now!
Edited by Jill, 05 February 2004 - 08:18 AM.