I am currently having a nervous breakdown as we have dropped a long way down the first page of Google for our main keyword. The problem for us is links, we have a good number of quality links, but it would seem our new competitors have a considerable amount more. Having been number 1 for a over a year we were ousted by another competitor who had a different product catalogue to us and so they had a broader range of people linking to them for these different types of products as well as the one that we were competing on. Whilst I was a bit annoyed to give up that number one spot it never really affected sales. I don’t think we even noticed when we went to number three, when another competitor had a lot of SEO work done on their site.
However within the space of two or three months all three of us at the top of Google were jumped by a gaggle of new companies that had come from nowhere. After some digging it would seem that these new sites had a lot more links than us. Thousands more in fact. The links seem to be coming from sponsored themes or comment spamming and we have lost out, big time. When I look at our online figures we are down at least 20% on last year and this has to be due to our positioning on Google as we are now ‘below the fold’ at number 7
I have a bit of an issue with all this. I had set my business up knowing this could happen and in a sense when I got to number one I was trampling over the last person who was at number one, so it is hard to be to overly critical of these new companies, business is business as they say. But what does really annoy me, and the other competitor who had the SEO done, is that Google seems to be allowing these companies to have un-relevant links. I looked at one of the many sponsored theme links and it was about the Gospel of ST. Thomas which is a completely unrelated subject, if ever there was one. In a sense its a bit like in a shopping-mal where the big brand stores get to take prime spots, as they are the big draw for people. However in this case someone is advertising that they sell the big brand stuff only for the customers to walk in and find a sign saying “go through this ting corridor and we’ll sell you something totally different for what you came in for”. On Goggle it clearly isn’t illegal to do these things, and I hear talk of people being band, but when they allow this kind of thing they are affecting other businesses that are not doing the “dodgy” practices.
So what do you say Google? Are spammy links allowed or not?
Getting links is not illegal, so if Google is not penalising others for doing such things should we? As that is exactly what we will have to do to beat these guys back to the top. Then what if Google moves the goal posts yet again….there has to be a better way of doing businesses…maybe!?