When The Google shifts its algorithm, money changes hands. Big money. As in billions of U.S. dollars.
According to CNNMoney.com, the search giant’s recent the algorithm change shifted $1 billion in annual revenue.
Some of the losers felt the hit immediately. Mahalo.com laid off 10% of its workforce last week thanks to what CEO Jason Calacanis called “a significant dip in our traffic and revenue.”
Google’s change appears to have most harmed so-called “content farms” like Mahalo, which critics say amass content for the sole purpose of luring in search-engine traffic. Sites like Mahalo.com, Wisegeek.com, Ezinearticles.com and Yahoo’s (YHOO, Fortune 500) Associated Content were among the biggest losers in the algorithm tweak. Google-generated traffic to each dropped more than 75%, according to software firm Sistrix.
This is good news for producers of high quality content, but The Google isn’t perfect and some high quality content producers are unjustly feeling the pinch. Max Spankie, who operates customer review website My3cents.com, said his site lost a significant portion of its traffic and revenues overnight following Google’s algorithm change. That came as quite a surprise to Spankie, since My3cents.com was recently recognized as the top consumer complaint site by the non-profit Consumer Federation of America.
“It’s a system of guilty until proven innocent, and I’ve read about a lot of mom-n-pop sites reworking their sites and examining their souls, trying to figure out if they offended Google in some way,” said Morris Rosenthal, a publisher of laptop repair how-to books and owner of the site FonerBooks.com. Traffic to his site tumbled 30%. “With Google it’s just, ‘Talk to the hand.’ They have no genuine two-way communication.”
On this last point, I will once again state that The Google trampled on me when they removed my YouTube account for alleged copyright violations. I found out quickly that there is no means of recourse. What The Google wants, The Google gets.
Previously on AdPulp: You Can’t Fool Mother Google. Can You?