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Google is Beating Me Like A Runaway Slave


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Yes I know many webmasters have plenty of gripes about Google's search results -- all of whom feel their site's should ranks #1 in search results.


Run Away SlaveBack in the spring of this year I noticed AALBC, which always performed very well on these search terms; "African American Books" and "African American Literature" (without the quotes) started to creep down the search engine ranking and is now getting clobbered on these terms.  On a test I ran, just now, using incognito mode on Chrome browser, AALBC was on the third page of search results for African American Books -- effectively undiscoverable for a search on that term!  I have never seen AALBC this far back in the search results for this term.  Relatively speaking AALBC has only improved relative to the sites that are now beating it.


What makes this situation particularly irksome is that AALBC is being beaten by some pretty shitty sites: On a search of the term "African American Books" http://www.aabooks.com/  shows up on page #2. This site has not been updated in over 4 years and is a site generated from an Amazon product feed. This site is beating AALBC?!


My 20+ year old site is updated daily, optimized for mobile, uses SSL a CDN and is protected behind a fire wall. I have pretty much cleared every  hurdle Google has setup.  If someone can explain to me how on Earth a site like aabooks.com is beating mine -- on any search term --  I'd greatly appreciate it. I have at least a dozen pages on my domain that should beat that site.


I could argue against several of the other sites beating mine but aabook.com is particularly egregious example of a poor search result.


I'm tired of Google's monopoly.  This month Google clawed back almost $500 for ads sales they owed me -- more than 20% of my total earnings for the month.  They claimed it was because of "Invalid Traffic?!"  WTF!  There is no recourse.  I can't call anyone for an explanation.  I just have to take it.  This is because Google also has a monopoly in online ad sales.  Google's power is so great they can actually sell ad on my website than I can sell them!


The worst part of it all is that Google can put AALBC -- any site -- out of business in 5 minutes and there ain't shit you or I can do about it.


Google can read this post and say, "Put the little nigger out of business now!" and actually make it happen.  I'm swearing because I'm pissed off and tired.  Goodnight!



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OK I had a good night sleep...


It is not just my imagination regarding Google search results. Here are the results of the same queries on other search engines.  If you click the search engines graphic it will run a query of African American books.  While Google has the largest site dedicated to Black books on the 3rd page of it's search results Duck Duck Go has AALBC #4 and Bing has AALBC #2.  There are other search engines like Yahoo and AOL, but they both use Bing's results.  


Still, relatively speaking very few people use these search engines.  Because Google embeds their search engine in the Android operating system, Google commands and astounding 97%+ share of mobile search.  If you added Bing and DDG's share of desktop search and multiplied it by 10 it would not top Google's share.


I'm going to stop using Google as my default search engine. Bing offers reward points for using it.  Duck Duck Go does not bombard you with advertising, insert their products in front of search results, plus they maintain your privacy. 


@Delano you'll be happy to read I will substitue the searchings below for Google's search engine.  Now I just need to find a viable alternative for search on my website.


Duck Duck Go Search on African American Literature                        Bing Search  on african american books


A lutu continua

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I posted on the google webmaster central help forum with this issue: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/webmasters/QYFZLPIctE0;context-place=forum/webmasters


I really went there to vent not because someone from Google would give me answer (they won't), but because I knew there would be people who could understood and relate to the Google issues I'm always complaining about. 


I got some interesting feedback a couple of really good suggestions and couple of condescending one too --  but t was all good.  Probably a bit too wonky a conversation to interest most of you, but worth checking out if you are running a website for "fun and money."


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@zaji which search engine do you use?


I think I'm going to start using Bing.  I also need to find an alternative search solution for this website.


The unfortunate thing for me is that I can't ignore Google. I have to monitor how the site perform there.  Sure, I check other search engines, but since they get so little use, the impact of my ranking on those search engines don't matter very much -- at least for now. 


AALBC performs well on Bing, but Bing  -- despite having superior search results compared to Google -- has a relatively tiny share of search compared to Google.





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Here is  summary of resources some posted to those interested in SEO:


Google Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184
And this handy checklist for underperforming sites:
Check your site's search performance: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/34444
While these sites can help, at the end of the day they don't explain Google's funky (not in the James Brown sense) search results. 
I just now reran the query that I ran on Monday for "African American Books."  Today that bullshit site aabooks.com does not appear in the search results at all. I went 10 pages deep (top 100 search results) and it simply was not there!  AALBC is up to page two, not great but better.  Even more importantly there are now 3 Black owned sites in the top 20 BlackAmericaWeb, MahognayBooks, and AALBC.  I  have not seen those kinds of results in a long time.   I have already noticed an increase difference in traffic, but there has not been enough time to attribute this to a change in the google algorithm.
Bing https://www.bing.com/search?q=african+american+books Has AALBc.com and Mahognay book in the top 3, but they have aabooks.com listed twice in the top 20.  Bing also have more Black owned site in the top 20. 
Because Bing includes aabooks.com (twice in the top 20) I would have to say, today July 26, 2018 Google has better "overall" results  on a query of "African American Books," (even though Bing is ranking AALBC higher).
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On 7/24/2018 at 10:18 AM, Troy said:

Still, relatively speaking very few people use these search engines. 


@Troy Yeah, well, after reading this post, I used BING search engine today and all day and was well rewarded. I found video documentaries that did not show up on Google and was incredibly pleased! 

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I guess the real answer as @Chevdove has revealed is that we simply can't rely on one browser if we are serious about discovering all the web has to offer. 


Due to Google's de facto monopoly, our laziness and convenience, or plain ignorance, most of us are happy to use Google as our default search engine for all the reason described and more.  This is a mistake.  I'm guilty of this myself.


If more web users used other search engines, more sites would be discovered, those site would be in a better position to grow and the web would be a better place.


Thanks for helping me to see that it does not have to be about using just one search engine over another but taking advantage of the uniqueness that they all provide.

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