Will The Google Bashers Please Shut Up?

You can’t pass a day in the blogging / SEO / make money online niche without hearing someone complain about Google. For some it’s about getting shafted by the search ranking algorithm, for others it’s a tiff over things such as the no-follow debate and paid links mess, and still others who have a deep-rooted mistrust for all things Google because of Google’s increasing influence over the web.

Here’s the hard reality – at least ONE of your top-ranked sites will eventually suffer either through a hand-job or because of some quirk in the algorithm. You WILL get screwed over by Google and your rankings WILL drop. It’s how the game goes – if you cannot control 100% of your ranking factors (and you cannot), then you are not 100% safe. There is ALWAYS a risk with Google or with any other vehicle that you depend on to earn your livelihood.

There are only two ways out of this:

Remove Dependence

Develop a system that allows you to earn money even if Google disappears tomorrow morning. Develop a system that survives even if PayPal shuts down in the next 24 hours. This is by no means an easy task, but it’s definitely achievable, as long as you know your end game (what you need, as a bare minimum, to live comfortably) and work towards securing that first.

In theory you can have a system that transcends mediums and will survive everything but the absolute breakdown of human economic relations (and even then you should have a backup plan).
It’s not going to go doomsday and not everyone is that fanatic about preparation, but at the very least you should have the following:

  • A minimum of 3 different (and non-related) revenue streams.
  • At least 2-3 different backup plans for generating income in the short and long run if one or more of your revenue streams collapses

I’m by no means what I would call a successful blogger or internet marketer, but I do have one thing at my side which few people have – the ability to have ‘backups’ ready at all times. If today I was to lose all my current income sources I could, with some (but not too much) trouble, switch to alternative ways of generating income. It would take the collapse of the Internet to push me into serious problems, and even then I’ve got things covered.

I’m saying this because to achieve financial independence it’s not merely enough to make enough money, it is to create a system that is (as much as possible) disaster-proof and not dependent on anyone or anything.

Stop Whining & Find A Solution

John Andrews (the Aaron Wall interview over at ProBlogger led me to his blog, and I’ve been devouring his blog since) says it best:

I say it over and over. Stop projecting your own beliefs onto Google, and start listening. Google is practically shouting at you, telling you how to rank well.

I suggest you go ahead and read the whole article. Sure, he broadsides the whole panel on the buying links session at last month’s SES and sure, you will probably roll your eyes when you read about ‘listening to Google and playing by their rule-book’, but there is plenty of wisdom in those words.

Listen, there are only three ways you can beat a system:

  1. You can build a rival system that’s better and more popular. Even if you have the resources and the manpower, first-mover’s advantage and Google’s huge lead is one big monster to overtake. You are better off cutting the competition up (going after vertical search) or trying something else.
  2. You can find loopholes in it and exploit them – good for you if you do so, but this is a short-term, risky strategy.
  3. You stop fighting and bitching about it, learn how it works and then use that knowledge to your advantage. That means figuring out what works today and what’s going to work 5 years down the line.

It’s not rocket science, just blood, sweat and time. Pay someone to do it for you if you have to, but there’s only one approach to long-term success with Google and it doesn’t involve bashing Google for it.

If your business does not rely on Google, more power to you. If it does rely on search results though, what exactly are you gaining by complaining?

As John says:

You need to get to know Google, and listen to what Google says. You don’t need to agree, and please, stop whining.

16 thoughts on “Will The Google Bashers Please Shut Up?

  1. My advice is to read everything and ignore all advice, hopefully it (advice) will go away 😉

    I think it was Brian Eno who said, and I paraphrase: when everybody is chasing the same dream, shooting for the same target, it becomes increasingly more difficult to hit. What I prefer to do is shoot first and then draw my target afterwards.

  2. *Any* traffic is welcome but with regard to Google, we didn’t get fixated on any SEO stuff at all. Basic rule of thumb was: just do what comes naturally. I know there’s some technical mistakes here and there but our site wasn’t *designed* for Google, or any other search engine.

    It was designed for people to browse possibilities for the next holiday/vacation but free from all the usual toss you see on most travel orientated sites.

  3. We didn’t want to rely on Google when we started our project because we didn’t want their ads on our site: simple as that, nothing political. Although with the amount of monthly page views we’re now getting it may have been wise to have included Adsense!

    But, principles are principles and Google was never in our sights as a revenue stream, still isn’t.

    Instead we developed our own ad system which feeds ads into various spots on our site using RSS. We’re making some changes to it soon and working on another revenue idea which is totally fresh in our field.

    We could probably make more money running Adsense but like I said, it Google wasn’t in our game plan, never was.

  4. I just realized if PayPal ever went down I’d be royally SCREWED. Quick, what’s a good alternative to PayPal should that ever happen??? I need to sleep tonight!

  5. What about the Google bashers who say that pMetrics is a better overall analytics program than Google Analytics;-)

  6. you might be missing the larger opportunity. Bashing Google is the best marketing strategy for the next 5 years (at least).

    Get over your authenticity and start thinking strategically.

  7. Thats the reason I had to unsubscribe from DaveN’s Blog. I just couldn’t hear all his whining about Google anymore. And launching his social search engine made me think of strategic whining…

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