Over the past year we have seen Google update its algorithm many times. There have been several Panda updates, and now more recently a Penguin update. In a few years, Google may run out of names from the animal kingdom if it continues to push out so many updates. The one thing that I do notice after each update is the amount of backlash from webmasters that were affected.
So far I haven’t been really affected by the Google algorithm updates, at least not to such an extent where it is noticeable on my traffic numbers. If you have been following my traffic stats for this year, you will notice that my numbers have dropped off since the end of last year. While it is frustrating, I won’t get mad at Google for the drop in traffic, and here is why.
I am Owed Nothing
I admit that I do get frustrated when I see a drop in traffic. It is human nature to always expect to improve over time, so a decrease in traffic is always hard to swallow. Seeing my search engine traffic – the bread and butter of my traffic over the past few years – drop is always disappointing.
While I could yell and scream, and swear off Google, I realize that I am owed nothing from the search giant. Any traffic that is sent my way from Google really doesn’t belong to me, that traffic belongs to Google.
It was Google that attracts visitors, and through their searches they send the visitors my way. Google developed an algorithm that can catalog and rank billions upon billions of pages and then display those pages in a list to their visitors.
If I publish good, unique content that people will find interesting, and people happen to link to such content, then Google will acknowledge that and rank my content higher. I have had pages that rank well, and other pages that rank poorly. I realize that I can’t rank well for all pages, but I can still try.
I don’t pay Google for any ranking, nor have I performed a service for Google that makes me think that Google should rank my pages high. Google provides their traffic for free, as with many of their services that I use. I find complaining about such services to be ridiculous.
Relying on One Income Source
The one area that I have been trying to expand is that of diversifying my income. As with investing you hard-earned cash, it is also important to expand your sources of income online. This way if one of your income sources has a bad month, you may be able to offset that source with another income source.
Right now most of my income comes from Google’s AdSense.
I have heard many people complain about their AdSense tanking once they stop receiving favourable rankings in the search results pages (SERP). This is understandable as lower rankings in search results equals less traffic, which equals less income.
The problem with complaining about AdSense income: Google is paying you to display ads on your site for free.
So far I have been lucky. While my traffic dropped at the beginning of this year, by AdSense earnings have been going up. Earnings were slow at the beginning of the year, as I was expecting, but I also realize that displaying and making any amount of money from AdSense cost me nothing. That means 100% pure profit regardless of what I made.
Sure I had to pay for hosting fees and a domain name, but I consider that the cost of going online rather than the cost associated with using AdSense.
I also know that if my traffic was to completely disappear, my main source of income would obviously suffer. Is that Google’s fault?
No it’s mine because I didn’t diversify my income.
While my traffic hasn’t recovered to the end-2011 levels, I am still plugging away at my blog to try and increase my traffic. Whether Google continues to send me good traffic each month or not remains to be seen as I have no control over that aspect.
If something were to happen to my traffic or AdSense income, I can’t really get mad at Google. I am owed nothing, as any success I achieve online can only be gained through my own hardwork.