Danger Ahead: Google Will Burn You

It takes a lot for me to blog nowadays. To say my plate is full is an understatement when combining the lead gen projects I have going on and the Agency job at Ignite. One such article that appeared a few days ago, however, seems to have caused me to break my silence. In fact it’s not even the article that makes my blood boil, its one comment that was shared by the owner of Blogcatalog.com (h/t  @johnandrews)


This is a pretty tough subject to stomach when you see webmasters getting decimated by Google. I have seen this same experience firsthand when I worked in the Ticket industry. In fact, in 2008, Googles spam team made a point to show the world that they were serious about enforcing there massive PR campaign that launched in late 2007 about paid links. Since that time there have been many websites ‘dinged’ ‘removed’ ‘penalized’ etc from the SERPS that once filled their pockets with cash.

What happened to Blog Catalog is case in point in why it is so critical when dealing with Google to stay lightweight.  Here are a few tips I want to share, to help avoid these types of scenarios.

    1. Don’t let Google Organic be > 75% of your revenue stream. Period. Just don’t do it.
    2. Don’t build giant enterprise level sites and utilize tactics that work extremely well, so well that you literally own the SERPS. Google doesn’t like this even if you are white hat. You don’t have the golden ticket like Mahalo, Wikipedia, Demand media etc. so get over it. Google doesn’t care about you, as you are not helping them make any money.
    3. If the above statement is true, you are relying on Google for a lot of your income, then it would be wise to actually give some of it back through Google Adwords. Figure out how to make ROI on Adwords. Google is going to be much less likely to kick you completely out of the SERPS if they see you are spending a million dollars /year with them. Trust me whoever is making that call to remove you from the SERPS will check to see if you are a paying customer.

A Google representative has since clarified they do would never do this. 😉

  1. Build multiple sites in the same niche, expand into different niches and continue to build, build, and build. I for one will never ever rely on one site to pay my bills. It’s just nonsense, there is no need. The internet is not a traditional brick and mortar, it’s very easy to start a new venture. Buy a new domain name, host the content and get it rolling in a week vs. 9 months it takes to build a new brick and mortar location.
  2. Bottom line is don’t be too aggressive, don’t be too successful. It’s much easier to be the #3 guy in your vertical than be the lone wolf sitting at the top, pushing the limits of what is possible and ranking across the board for mid-tail competitive terms.

Every webmaster has a different moto, has a different purpose. There is no cookie cutter formula to making money through Google.  If you want to make money through Google, unfortunately, you have to play by their rules. Trust me I am not any more excited to have to say that than the next person. Building a wall of defensible traffic is one of the smartest moves any online marketer can make in todays game.

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