Google changed its search algorithms to hurt my business, as well as other Realtors’ and real estate brokers’ businesses recently. It also hurts other small businesses, as well. I did wonder why my average of four to seven daily leads suddenly disappeared from my website, then I found out why in a recent Inman News article.
Google has chosen to favor big businesses, rather than smaller businesses who don’t have anywhere near the amount of capital that the larger ones do to pay for advertising, but Google’s new algorithms give them better rankings, which is the equivalent to free advertising. Instead of making big business pay, Google wants small businesses, such as real estate brokers and independent contractors to pay, even though they have far less capital to spend.
Google should start paying people to submit to its search engine. After all, it is going to go public soon and without anything to search for a search engine is totally meaningless. Without its search engine, pay per click’s foundation would be shoddy at best.
Google should pay me $1,000 per link with my name in it if it’s going to unethically manipulate its algorithms to purposefully favor big business over my business, and I’m not kidding. You can quote me on that. Send me my check now, Google, for making your money off of my likeness that exists all over your search engine. You can pay me $25,000 for each time my family name, Mudd, exists in your search engine, as well. That includes Mudd Mask, Mudd Jeans or any other prominent Mudd name.
I will gladly stop insisting that Google pay me when Google stops rigging its search algorithm to favor MSN, HomeGain and other big businesses over us small-business, independent contractors. Google should compensate small businesses that it has hurt by rigging its algorithm to favor large business entities who have plenty of capital to pay for their own advertising. After all, without its entries, including small business entries, Google would be nothing. It should, therefore, not favor one over the other.
Here’s the article from Inman News:
- Google frequently changes its formulas for calculating the most relevant results in its Web searches. But recent changes in the rankings have dramatically reorganized the results and knocked some Web sites off the list altogether, Internet search gurus say.
Glenn Weilbacher of GAW Associates, an Internet marketing agency that manages about 150 real estate Web sites, believes Google’s latest changes could have a crippling effect on Realtors who previously ranked on the first page of most real estate searches for their cities.
“My customers are crying,” Weilbacher said. “I have Realtors making $200,000 to $300,000 from the Internet. Now they’ve lost 30 to 40 percent of their traffic.”
Google is the go-to place for Internet search. The company, formed in 1998, quickly established itself as the prominent search engine for consistently relevant results. Eighty percent of Web searches start at Google, Yahoo!, MSN or AOL, according to a U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray study.
Real estate brokers and agents who rely on Web traffic from Google know the search engine’s results vary from day to day. They also know just how vital Google Web site rankings are to scoring realty leads directly off the Web.
Results for Google real estate searches last week showed a noticeable difference in rankings compared with previous results. For example, a search for “Boston homes” now turns up such large Web sites as the city’s newspaper, MSN’s city guide, a find-a-Realtor site powered by Realtor.com and other agent-finding Web sites like HomeGain. The search also returns individual broker and agent Web sites, but those are buried deep into page four of the rankings.
A Google spokesperson declined to comment on the changes.
According to Weilbacher, thousands of individual Realtor and broker Web sites have been knocked off the top pages of Google’s search results, which also power Yahoo! and AOL. The top pages now display mainly very large Web sites that contain hundreds of pages or have links to hundreds of other large Web sites, he said.
“While these sites typically have a real estate section somewhere within their content, they are not the type of site that the home buyers are typically seeking when they search,” he believes.
Weilbacher regularly collects data on his clients’ Google page rankings. His Oct. 21 report on a keyword search for “Colorado Springs real estate” showed the Web site “isellcoloradosprings.com” ranked on the first page. The same search a week later showed no sign of the Web site on the first five pages of results.
Similar searches turn up similar results. For example, a search for “Los Angeles real estate” showed the Los Angeles Times’ real estate classified section and a handful of city guide sites.
“The bottom line for however many thousands of Realtors who have Web sites is that all of a sudden their traffic from Google, Yahoo! and AOL has disappeared,” Weilbacher said.
He speculated that Google changed the algorithm used to rank pages for search results about 10 days ago. The change caused real estate searches to turn up less relevant results in the top rankings, in his opinion.
Weilbacher isn’t alone in noticing stark changes since Google’s latest update to its ranking methods. Search engine gurus have flooded online message boards with discussions about how the changes could affect search engine optimization techniques.
Some critics speculate Google’s changes could signal a split between research and commerce on the Internet, and that businesses will have to use paid search programs like Overture and Google’s AdWords to appear in “sponsored link” search results while organic results will be reserved for non-commerce Web sites.
If Google is going to go public, it really should not rig its search algorithms. Doing so is synonymous with Enron’s cooking its books to rig bigger profits in the 1990s. I do feel that by rigging its algorithms in favor of larger businesses in order to gain a larger profit, Google has violated anti-trust regulations by creating an unfair marketplace via its search engine.
Google’s popularity is based on its purity. Once it sells out, it will begin to lose business like mad to Yahoo!‘s Overture and other Web advertising competitors. Why should I buy from Google if its search algorithms are designed to hurt my business?
That’s a question that Google apparently didn’t consider it would have to answer when rigging its algorithms to favor big business over small businesses all across America.