- Jul. 28th, 2006
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Apparently, he entered a deep bout of depression on June 27, and never acted quite the same since then. Matt Cutts stated something extremely vague in response here. "I believe any changes on the 27th were refreshing data used by an existing algorithm." Cryptic indeed. And many screamed expletives as they fell from grace to oblivion. … including me. OK, so I was the guy, and I didn't really contemplate suicide, but I was pretty upset. I got hit on the 27th; and the only thing that cheered me up is that the results were categorically garbage, and they appeared to be in a constant state of flux. Plus everyone else was complaining too. Now things appear to be recovering; but I did reflect upon a few things: 1. Don't depend entirely on Google traffic. In the stock market, common wisdom is to diversify. This is hard, since Google is the vast majority of organic traffic for most everyone. However, nothing stops you from having multiple web sites. You can monetize them all; and as the number of monetized sites increases, the odds of a complete wipeout diminish. Obviously, unless you are a spammer, they also must also contain unique content. Usually, I take a two-pronged approach to that end. I design 1 high-quality large monolithic web site, then I make a few mini-sites that focus on lucrative areas in more detail. This is a good idea even on a good day. 2. Learn more about PPC. I learned the hard way that the key phrase "[legal topic] lawyer" in PPC is predominantly trafficked by other law firms clicking on the ads. Install Google Analytics. That way you can learn what works (and who the bastard competitors are who click your ads). There are still some real opportunities out there in the long tail — you just need to poke around and analyze the data to find them. 3. Use traditional channels too. People got buzz even before the internet existed. Posting something useful (link bait) or interesting and getting people to promote you via blogs, forums, social bookmarking sites, etc. is a great way to get traffic. Do something to make sure your site is "sticky" so that visitors actually revisit. Eventually, this cascades into more links, and potentially more organic traffic in the long run. If you're a link whore, think of it that way. Traditional methods are not always expensive. I guess you could buy ad space on a billboard too, but that does start to get expensive I hope this helps. I don't actually follow all of my own advice of course; but I'm not a total hypocrite. It's hard to do everything right; but following some of this will tend to mitigate the risk of a total wipeout.