Links are "major" only to the people who depend on them.
Hey I Googled -- Ixquiggy Dodah Humdingaleelee -- and there's not a single page that has any one of those word on it, LOL! I wonder how many links it would take to rank for that? Just kidding.......
Seriously, though. Great post!
I agree with you, let's get rid of links tomorrow and replace them with signals that reflect engagement like time on site, pages visited, conversion. Let's reward website owners for working hard on their sites and spending 1,000's of dollars to make people like their site and make them want to go there, spend time there, and vote with their pocket book. Those sites are the ones that do a great job of marketing -- entering the conversation that is already going on in the visitor's head; showing them products, services and ideas that they really care about; and having them leave with a good feeling about that business and Google too, as a result.
Why do you think that Google refuses to turn links off? It's all up to them.
This is my first post here. This particular thread was recommended to me from someone who knows Jill. I don't know how to contribute except by telling my Google horror story ... I'll only speak about one of my sites which were demolished by Google ........ As of yesterday April 24, 2012 all my sites have gone down at least 80% in google traffic. All the dozens of top keywords I was on page one for? All gone. Not ranked at all period.
The first thing all the, it would be perfect world if you just follow everything Google says and they will lead us to the promised land crowd, will say is that you aren't telling the truth. They would say there's a dirty little secret you're hiding which is some spam link program used to benefit yourself and discredit the most honorable, wonderful, upstanding and ethical company in the world -- Google.
What they leave out, and you discuss very well, is --
1) Google's rules are written so they can apply to any situation they want them to
2) Google's rules are much too vague
3) Find an expert and you'll find another opinion
4) Google won't communicate with you after they penalize you, it's a big secret
Why is it such a big secret??? Everyone will figure out what the algorithm does by trial and error anyway.
The experts don't agree so how do they expect someone that is trying to run a web site and has no experience to figure it out? Listen to the experts? Which version? Does Google have a information line you can call to get support?
Just for AdWords and everybody else is on their own -- in the dark, as usual.
Having gotten that off my chest, LOL!, I believe you. I've read too many posts in the forums (there are 1,000's) where a business website owner was trying to figure out what went wrong and Google won't tell them or help them in any way. I'm smart enough to know that those forums aren't filled with 100% of the truth, but if what these people are saying is only half true, it's not acceptable. Google makes Billions of dollars off the hard work of honest, hard working business owners and they can't communicate with them? I'm also smart enough to know -- if Google refuses to communicate, there's something wrong and we're not getting 100% of the truth from them either.
To not communicate -- that's just plain wrong, you could ask an 8 year old and they would tell you so. Why do we adults take so much longer to acknowledge the truth?
I think Google's silence is damning. It tells you all you need to know -- they don't want you to be helped. Why??? -- it would be pure speculation and unfair to Google and ourselves to answer that. We have an obligation to do the opposite. Communicate the truth!
So, I recommend you do the only thing you can -- tell your story to everyone who will listen. Call your congressman, local newspaper, the New York Times, Fox News, the FTC, State AG, Channel 11 To The Rescue, whatever you have to do to get the message out. Go online to the Better Business Bureau and complain. Complain on review sites of all kinds. Call the Washington Post (who recently interviewed Jill) and convince them to tell the story from the website owners' perspective, that story has never been told and the public has a need to know (that's newspaper lingo for - that gives us permission to print this) -- http://www.washingto...ST2011020104985
Contact the journalist that wrote that story here --http://projects.wash...l+s.+rosenwald/
AND call his office!
After all, Google's algorithm is a one size fits all mathematical formula implemented by a bot. What do you think the possiblity of it making an error is? And on the hand audits, no one calls you to get your side of the story. Is it possible they may not have all the information and make a mistake?
Edited by Jill, 26 April 2012 - 11:53 PM.
Merged two posts in a row.