If Google Kicked You Out Would You Survive?

Google-EvictionI write a lot about the importance of search engine optimization for the success of your website.  That’s because traffic from search engines is typically the largest source of traffic a website has.  But it’s not the only source and it really shouldn’t be.

Google Changes
If there’s one thing that is constant about Google, it’s that Google is not constant.  They are constantly changing.  One month they change their layout, the next month their change their algorithm, the next month they’ll launch some crazy new add-on algorithm like Penguin, Panda, or whatever other animal they can think of.  These cause frequent fluctuations in the search results and click-through rates.

Now, add to it things like Google penalties and negative SEO (people intentionally building links to your site which violate Google’s guidelines in an attempt to get your site penalized) and you can see that there is a great deal of risk there, especially if that’s your primary source of website traffic.

Now, much can be done to make that risk as little as possible, such as monitoring the search trends, regularly checking your link profile, monitoring the optimization of your website, etc. (all things we offer with our SEO services, BTW), but even still, it’s good to have other sources of traffic.

What if Google Kicked You Out Tomorrow?
So, the question is…

“Can your website (and organization) survive without Google?”

Stop and think about that for a minute.  If you have Google Analytics, try filtering out the traffic from Google and see what it looks like.  If most of you traffic disappears, then you are heavily invested in Google…and you know what they say about putting your eggs in one basket.

So, What Should You Do?The first thing you need to do is think about what other sources of website traffic you could be trying to get.  Some of the more common sources are:

  • Social Networking Sites - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.  These can be great sources of traffic.  They can also be places where you can facilitate deeper relationships and stay engaged with existing customers/members.
  • Blogging - By producing remarkable, original content for a blog on a regular basis you can create a loyal audience that will find you even if they can’t find you in Google.
  • Video - Creating videos for Youtube, Vimeo, and others can have a lot of benefits.  Obviously, it can send you traffic to your site, but if the video is of your organization’s staff, the videos can help to form deeper connections with people even before they contact your organization.
  • Referrals - This is getting traffic from other people’s sites.  You may get referrals from blogs that write about you, ads you purchase, partnerships, etc.
  • Local Listings - If you are a local organization, you can create listings in sites like YP.com, Yelp, SuperPages, Insider Pages, and others.

Do a Little Research
Once you’ve come up with a list that is appropriate for your organization, start figuring out how to best engage those sources.  Do some research on best practices and what tends to drive the most traffic.  Then create a plan an execute it.

The Best of Both Worlds
Ok.  So, here’s the best part of all this.  Not only can engaging other sources bring in more traffic and provide a safety net in case Google gets mad at you, it will also help you in Google!  Social shares, links from referrals and to your blog, local listings, etc.  They can all help to boost your rankings in Google naturally.  That’s why we include most of these in our “SEO” services.

Start Planning
A lot of people I talk to hear me talk about getting other sources of traffic and they think it sounds good, but then they don’t really do anything about it…at least not until they HAVE to.  The key here, though, is to start this now so if anything does happen with Google, it won’t break you.  Also, it will help you with Google, too, so why not increase your traffic and your rankings.  So, get to it.

Image by Aazam Yaqoob.

Share Your Thoughts:

  • What sources of website traffic other than Google have you found to be best for you?

Kurt Steinbrueck is the Director of Marketing Services with OurChurch.Com. He also serves on the leadership of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Tampa, FL. You can find him on Google+ as .

6 Responses to “If Google Kicked You Out Would You Survive?”

  1. Excellent post, Kurt! I think it's also good to distinguish between first-time visitors and returning visitors. Both are important, and so its important to have a strategy for turning first-time visitors into returning visitors – encouraging first-time visitors to connect on social media, or even better to subscribe to your email list.

  2. becoming more difficult to keep up with the google dance, they moved from the waltz to the quick step within a blink of an eye

  3. scottybarker May 8, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Great article, enjoyed and learned a lot, thanks