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August 19, 2008

Google Is Everything! Or Is It?

As an article marketer, I say things that I believe will help other people accomplish their goals. As a widely published article writer, I am often criticized for the words I write. 😉

In July of 2008, I wrote an article about meta-search engines called, “Look Beyond Google: Meta-Search Engines Can Help Online Marketers” (http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2008/jul/23.html) In this article, the basic concept I was trying to share was that Internet Marketers should look beyond the presence of Google, to find more ways to drive traffic to their websites.

The Google Religion

This article apparently struck a chord of truth with a lot of people, as its reprint results are much larger than even I expected.

The article was also reprinted on the Link Referral website by someone who seems to have appreciated the article.

The first response to the post at the Link Referral website read as follows: “Thanks for the useless post. Google is everything. If you cannot be found on Google, pray for MSN and Yahoo. Anything else will give you 1 hit in 100 years. Link exchanging and buying ads would be so much more effective than buying into that article.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not the least bit annoyed that someone criticized my article. The fact that someone criticized the article is only a testimony to the fact that my words touched the nerve of someone who worships the Google religion. I don’t want to offend anyone’s religion… That would be wrong…
Of course, this is not the first time I have offended those who preach the tenets of the Google religion. I also wrote about this subject in an article about Creating Page Rank, which can be read at:

http://www.keywordtext.com/pudding/28.html This article also drew criticism by those who mocked my assertion that people can truly generate substantial traffic from sources other than Google and that Google PageRank is not as important as many claim.

Answering My Critics

I will admit that if a website is not listed in Google, the task of trying to make money online is made more difficult.

But if a website is not ranked in Google, and it is does not possess links to it from anywhere else either, then you might as well be working at McDonald’s for extra money, as opposed to trying to make money online.
Honestly, Google is only “everything” when you have “nothing but Google” on the table.

The Proof Is In The Pudding

This is not just an opinion I hold. I can back up what I am saying with real data, from a real website that does not rely upon Google for its salvation… The statistics shown here are from my primary website: http://thephantomwriters.com

Even though I do not rely on Google for traffic, Google delivers a great deal of traffic to my website. I actually do quite well in the Google game. I get lots of Google Love for my website, which is described on my blog.

Nothing But The Facts

The following data reflects the traffic for The Phantom Writers for both 2007 and 2008 (through Aug 15th):
Total Unique Visitors

  • 2007: 244,000+
  • 2008: 169,000+
  • Total Page Views

  • 2007: 1.2+ million
  • 2008: 1.0+ million+
  • Unique Clicks from All Search Engines (59 in 2007; 58 in 2008)

  • 2007: 119,309
  • 2008: 129,749
  • Unique Clicks from Google

  • 2007: 61,923
  • 2008: 75,750
  • Unique Clicks from Yahoo, Windows Live, Ask, and MSN Search

  • 2007: 49,291
  • 2008: 50,148
  • Unique Clicks from Other 54/53 Search Engines

  • 2007: 8,095
  • 2008: 3,851
  • Important Data Analysis

    In 2007, with 244,000+ total visitors and 61,923 visitors from Google, I would have had to turn away 182,077 visitors or 74.6% of my traffic in 2007, if I had relied solely upon Google to drive traffic to my website.

    In 2008, with 169,000+ total visitors and only 75,750 of those visitors coming from Google, I would have had to turn away 93,250 visitors or 55% of my traffic, if I relied solely upon Google to deliver visitors to my website.

    With 61,923 visitors from Google in 2007 and 93,250 visitors from Google so far in 2008, it is sure that Google is important.

    I wonder how many of my critics are actually seeing 61,923 visitors per year? I suspect that many of those who claim that my advice is bad would be tickled pink to see my Google traffic to their websites. And I bet they would be shocked to realize that non-Google sources account for more traffic for my website than their Google God does.

    Beyond Google

    In 2007, my website received 119,309 total visitors from all of the search engines combined, but only 61,923 of those people came from Google. That leaves 57,386 people who arrived on my website from the 58 search engines that are not Google. In the search category, Google accounted for only 51.9% of my total search traffic.

    The top five search engines accounted for 93.2% of my search traffic.
    Had I ignored the those unknown search engines, as my critics suggest others should, I would have been forced to turn away a full 8,095 people or 3% of all of my visitors in 2007. That is a far cry from “one hit in 100 years”.

    So far in 2008, Google has accounted for 58% of my total search traffic and only 45% of my global traffic.
    The top five search engines have accounted for 95% of my search traffic. Those itty-bitty search engines have delivered 3,851 visitors to my website so far this year, accounting for 2.96% of all of my gross traffic in ’08.

    Itty-bitty is historically worth at least 3% of my yearly traffic. If you want to ignore that 3%, then that is your business. But myself, I am happy to receive traffic from anywhere that I can gain that traffic.

    Beyond The Search Engines

    As the owner of a professional article marketing company, who practices what he preaches, 90% of my advertising budget is spent on article marketing alone.

    This is where the following two pieces of data comes into play:
    Unique Non-Search URL’s Sending Traffic

  • 2007: 9,036
  • 2008: 5,811
  • Unique Visitors from Non-Search URL’s

  • 2007: 27,397
  • 2008: 23,907
  • The remainder of my website’s traffic comes from articles published in newsletters and on other websites, recommendations by other websites, bookmarks and name recognition.

    In 2007, my website received 27,397 visitors from 9,036 verifiable links to my website from articles that we wrote or from recommendations people made for my website. Of course, I am willing to bet that many of the 97,294 visitors who were untrackable in 2007 were the result of the many articles of mine that were published in newsletters.

    In 2008, my website has so far pulled 23,907 visitors from 5,811 verifiable external URLs. There have so far been another 15,344 visitors that I received from untrackable sources, many of which were probably from the articles that we have successfully had published in newsletters.

    The article marketing that we do provides a lot of verifiable traffic to our website, and potentially a lot of our untrackable traffic was also derived from the article marketing we do.

    In the end, we credit article marketing for our great search engine placement, for hundreds of keywords, and our substantial search traffic as well.

    One Quarter Million Reasons Why Google Is Not God

    If I believed the poster who said that “Google is everything”, and I had followed his advice for the last several years, then I would have had to turn away 275,327 additional visitors to my website in the past 20 months!
    OMG!!! To think that I could have turned away a quarter million visitors or 67% of all of my websites’ traffic, if I had simply followed the advice of my critics.

    Wow! Some of my critics are absolute idiots!

    Yes, Google is important. But, is Google really “everything”? Only if you want to fail…

    As the owner of http://www.thephantomwriters.com, Bill Platt has been providing article ghost writing and article distribution services since 2001. In recent weeks, Bill overhauled his website format, in a way that improved navigation and simplified the process of finding the highest ranked authors and most popular articles on his website. You will also find a lot of great information in Bill’s article marketing blog, which can be seen at: http://article-blog.thephantomwriters.com

    5 Responses to “Google Is Everything! Or Is It?

      avatar Robert says:

      Agreed, while Google does indeed generate much traffic you can generate plenty through other avenues.

      From a search engine view however, from 75,000 visits I had on one site last month, Google made up 95% of all search traffic. It’s not due to poor placement on the other engines, but rather that here in South Africa people don’t even know that Ask.com exists, Yahoo! doesn’t return decent local searches not to mention it’s response speed is terrible and MSN… well it is only used on the odd occasion as it is the default on many people’s IE (which is what 90+% are using).

      I must however point out that in many cases we have managed to generate much traffic through link placement on other popular websites.

      While I agree that your points and summary, I would also have to point out that it also depends heavily on your market.

      avatar Robert says:

      Interesting question. However I don’t think it would make any difference to my market. At this point my market is pretty much 100% local so Google is pretty much all the traffic. In my case the sheer volume of Google traffic even with a low conversion rate would still be more profitable than any of the others. However I am sure that a vertical search option would provide a better conversion rate.

      I would like to know if anyone has any real data on this one.

      avatar Mike says:

      I’m with you 100% on this one. I do website hosting and design and have spent much time doing log file analysis on my sites. In my case about 60% of visitors from searches are from Google, but 1/2 of my visitors are from other links, so it’s only 30% of all visits from Google.

      As far as conversions, at last calculation, about 60% of orders were from searches and the rest were 1/2 and 1/2 between links and direct referrals.

      About 1/2 of orders through searches were from Google, so that means the percentage of paying conversions was a bit lower with Google than the others.

      avatar Catskill Designer says:

      Traffic is good. Are there stats on which search engine is more likely to produce paying conversions? I.E., Google vs. ???. I understand the G drives a lot of traffic to sites but do their demographics support the highest percent of paying conversions? Any data?

      avatar Dallas SEO says:

      I think who delivers the most conversions is going to depend on your particular market. Granted, Google has the lions-share of the search market, but from my stats on numerous sites, other areas such as MSN, and AOL (yeah, their still around) have significantly higher conversions, likely due to the demographic of the people who use those services.

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