When Google takes your visitors

I hope at this point it’s abundantly clear Google doesn’t care about increasing your site traffic. They care about answering a query, and doing it as accurately and as fast as possible.

I remember back when Google started indexing interior pages, and users began experiencing your site without ever seeing your homepage. Then indexed pages started showing up in the SERP:


I bet you remember the first time Google answered a question for you in the SERP and you never even had to click a link. Searchers get the answers they want even faster than before, and in cases like currency conversion or the price of gold, quick answers in the SERP make a lot of sense.


price of gold


The data presented above are facts, and related to specific statistical analysis of the market. In most cases you’re looking for a quick answer so avoiding a click through gets you a quick answer. What about the sites that provide this information? They need your traffic, and specifically your eyes on their site to survive.

So what do you do when you’re providing content for Google to essentially scrape to provide a better experience to searchers, and you get nothing out of it? At this point the better your content is written, the clearer the answer, the faster your site loads, the more likely Google is to take it for themselves.


I don’t otherwise read MTV blogs or content. This was MTV’s chance to provide me with an experience to turn me into a loyal reader. Google essentially stole that from MTV because I have the exact answer I was looking for and I never need to leave the comfort of a Google SERP.

In my talk Getting them from A to B I deliver practical and specific advice on how you can improve your site and your visitors experience to help overcome these problems. Google will always provide visitors with the fastest means of getting to your content. Personalization is key for Google and for your site.

Your content is never going to be your content when it’s on the web. It’s hilarious when website administrators try to prevent content from being copied, downloaded or otherwise shared. If you want to be apart of the Internet you’re going to have to realize that you’re not in control. Users dictate how they want their content, and that includes the “when” and more recently the “where”.

My advice on the this matter hasn’t changed since 1999 when I started building websites. Focus all of your efforts on creating genuine, creative, and powerful content. Sure some of it my be used without awarding you the credit you deserve. Just remember, the only thing the Internet rewards time and time again is authentic content written with the goal of helping users. Gimmicks, click bait, ad copy, SEO’d content, are all just fads with short term gains.


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