The number one search engine in America is broken, and it’s due to search engine optimization.
I’m not an SEO expert. SEO experts probably think Google is fine.
I have a small, one-year-old blog. This is how I know Google is broken.
A little over a year ago, I started a personal blog. The blog URL is my name. The blog title is my name too. When I started my blog, I knew little about blogging and SEO.
Over the last year and half, I’ve written about 50 blog posts. My total site is just under 60 pages.
I’ve also built some links to my blog. Google’s webmaster tool shows links from 388 domains pointed at my site.
Currently if you Google my name, my site appears after my LinkedIn profile. Google thinks that my LinkedIn page is more important than my personal website. That’s because this search engine is broken. (Bing is not by the way).
Recently I’ve read a lot of tips on how to rank better in Google. Things like on-page optimization, keyword density, inbound linking schemes, etc. All these metrics are important in the way Google ranks your website.
There is an entire industry built on how to tailor websites so that they ranked higher in Google. In my opinion, that’s what broke this once great search engine.
Over the years, to combat people from trying to manipulate their search engine rankings, Google has made multiple updates to their search algorithm. It seems like its reached a point where it no longer trusts small sites (like mine). Instead it favors large sites, like LinkedIn, Facebook, Amazon, etc. This sucks for little guy, and we have the SEO experts to blame.
People create websites with the sole goal of ranking well in Google in order to make money. Usually they want to sell you something or generate money though ads. These experts are so good at manipulating Google’s results that the search engine constantly changes its methodology in order to knock these “spam” websites off the first page of their results.
Now I can’t speak for the quality of all Google searches, but when you Google my name, a website I own, run and blog on, is not the first hit. Doesn’t this sound off? Six months ago, my site wasn’t even on the first page of results for my name.
Yet if you Bing my name, my site is right there at the top.
Now it may be easy for others with much more SEO knowledge than me to tell me why my site is not ranked first. That’s not the point.
The point is that when you search for me on Google, LinkedIn is more important than my blog. That’s messed up.
And I’m not trying to hide! The website’s title and URL is my name.
Advice for Small Bloggers
Right now the deck is stacked against small bloggers when it comes to Google. Unless you write fulltime and spend a considerable amount of time and effort on SEO, you’ll probably never rank well in Google.
I know that’s disappointing, but don’t dwelling on it. Instead forget Google completely and focus on traffic from other sources. Bing is still small site friendly, and Facebook can bring you a lot of traffic. Look into those.
Maybe one day Google will figure out how to make small sites rank again, but I’m not counting on it. My advice is that others should not either.