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Google is Merciless and Does Not Play


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I told you that Google will exact revenge for some of the things I have been writing about the on the web.  They have pushed AALBC onto page #6 when one runs a search on the term, African American Literature.  This is a virtual death sentence for this particular search term.  No one will find AALBC.com the largest most in-depth website ever built to highlight African American Literature if they search on the term "African American Literature!"


I'd argue that Black webmasters can give Black women a run for their money as the least protected group in America.  At least women have #metoo and #blacklivesmatter. Black webmasters have nothing and  virtually no one they can depend upon other than themselves and that is simply is not enough.


I can't beat Google all I can say to them is, "eat shit and die."  It is so very frustrating with Google running the World Wide Web. 


Do I really think that Google has their eye on me and rewards and punishes me based upon what I write.... yes, I do. If you would have asked me this a few years ago it would have sounded crazy to me but I have a few instances that I can demonstrate with supports my conspiracy theory. 


Back in October I wrote a Blog post explaining about how Google was referencing AALBC content on the their Google Home device, and complaining that they should pay me for this. Shortly after my post someone anonymously wrote, that I should not discount the positive impact of Google driving traffic to my site.  My reaction was essentially "F*ck that."  A day or two later Google stopped referencing my site's content.


More recently I got an intern to write a 2,000 word article on African American Literature the article is planned to be a series of articles covering the subject from various angles.  This would be useful to readers and certainly a bonus to the sites search engine ranking right?  I even posted information about this article and the anticipated impact on search in this discussion forum.Query results on the term African american literature


Google reports the results to me the there has been some improvement in the site's ranking on the term "African American Literature," shown in the report (on the right) Google shows me when I query the term. 


However, when I plow through the actual results.  I don't find a single AALBC.com page until page 6 of the google search results!?  


Would y'all please run this query https://www.google.com/search?q=african+american+literature and let me know if you find any AALBC pages in the top three page of their search results


I need to collect some data,  Thanks!

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@Troy , I did one more test..

I used my firefox browser and looked for my book, David Covin book, Victor LaValle and Toni Morrison's books.  My book, Sleeping with a D-Man and Raisins in the Milk are both on the first google page in the search.  I couldn't find an aalbc page for popular authors Morrison and LaValle nor their books.

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@Mel Hopkins here's the thing: no search result on the 2nd page is "good" anymore. Bottom half of the first page is good.


In fact, the image i posted illustrates this: Google says im averaging 11.9 (top of the 2nd page), that position resulted in zero clicks.


I really should rank #1 on a search for Dave's book, given the content I've produced. Ranking on Morrions or Lavalle are tougher because there is much more competing content for these authors -- much of it coming from the content Google aggregates on the search engine results page.


I have videos of lavalle including him reading at an event i cohosted. I have video of Morrison presenting an award to Maya Angelou and a variety of photos some exclusive....


I rank "good" on a lot of queries, but the geeks at  Google has decided to hit sites that are "affliate sites" hard. In other words, if you create a site the sells products as an affiliate of Amazon, as i do, you are shit out of luck when it comes to ranking in search.


I can almost guarantee the page that im ranking best for on Dave's book is the AALBC Store's page -- even though the regular AALBC page for the book is more comprehensive -- it just has affiliate links to Amazon, indie bound, B&N, etc.


Now Google themselves exploit Amazon with their own affiliate links -- they frown on other sites do it. Why shoukd they bother with competition when they can just bury them.


In order to react, im seriously thinging about dropping my affiliate links. A drastic measure to be sure, but the traffic i would gain by ranking higher would be worrh more than the affiliate commission im earning now from Amazon.


Google sucks.


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I know eyes are glazing over at this point but the following reports illustrate a problem I see.  There may be a few folks who find this interesting or helpful in understanding how Google's search engine adversely impacts book web sites.


The report at the end of this post shows the top twenty pages on AALBC for two different two-year periods.  It is important to note that page views on AALBC are currently at an all-time high (though Google can take this away at anytime).  One of the reasons is that AALBC's traffic has increased is that AALBC web site has dramatically over the last two years.  AALBC has 10's of thousands of dynamically generated web pages that have been indexed by Goggle.  However, AALBC's traffic has not grown at pace with it's size and is much lower than it should be.


One issue is the nature of the pages that are getting Google's attention: in 2010 and 2011, 11 of the top 20 pages were author profile pages.  During this period AALBC ranked well for many author's including popular ones like Maya Angelou and Zora Neale Huston.  The reason for the drop in traffic for the most popular authors' pages is that Google is much more aggressive at putting content  prominently on the search engine results page, often eliminating the need for searchers to visit the underlying websites, as they were in the past.


Google's AALBC ranking on a search on ZaneGoogle copies author information from Wikipedia, and provides lists of books from their own store on the search engine result page (SERP) -- this greatly reduces the traffic to online book sellers. So while AALBC traffic is at an all-time high it is much lower than it would be if Google were not running their own bookstore on their SERP.  The EU penalized Google Billions of Euros, in 2017 for doing this.


Over the past two years only one author page, Octavia Butler's, made the top 20. AALBC's Events pages dominated.  With the exception of my Top 102+ children's book pages and the upcoming books pages the remaining top pages don't feature books -- which is the primary focus of the website! 


in 2010 my Zane pages were viewed 100's of times a day.  Today if you run a query on the author Zane, AALBC ranks on the first page (#9 on average).  However even with over 2,400 impressions that has resulted in zero clicks on the search result -- and it is on the first page!  Today my Zane pages are scores of times a day.  Sure, Zane is not as popular an author as she was in 2010 and that would drive traffic down, but that is not the whole story.


If you look at the screen shot of the Google's SERP; you'll see a photo of Zane (taken from another website--without clear attribution); a bio (taken from Wikipedia); and images of some (not all) of Zane's books with related content copied from Goodreads.  Now if you click any of the book covers, you are prompted to buy the book from Google's Bookstore, and enter a review of the book.  Google is running a complete online bookstore directly on the SERP and using content from other sites to do it!


If this is not enough, Google search algorithm depreciating affiliate sites/pages.  AALBC sells books directly, but I can tell you today people only want to buy from Amazon.  So now the problem is if you want to sell books in a manner that people will actually purchase them, Google will penalize you in search. 


These conditions and others has effectively killed indie online book websites, including the brick and mortar stores that run them.


Now if all the booksellers who wrote reviews of Zane books, published interviews, hosted readings, and promoted her work no longer exist has Google helped or hurt?  Zane of course is just one author but the same is true of countless others.


Of course the media will spin it to indicate there is less interest in reading Black books, but everything we do as a culture conspires to squash interest reading and focus on books -- especially Black ones, because our platforms are so very limited.  Mainstream has not given this problem any attention because they could really care less about Black readership and our books.


If I were not insane I would have given up running AALBC years ago, and while I wrote Black webmasters are an unprotected group there are enough people in my corner, who are supportive of our authors and their books to keep AALBC alive 🙂


But, collectively, we need to do more.


Jan 1, 2010 to Dec 31, 2011    





Jan 1, 2017 to Dec 31, 2018      






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