When most people think about how the changes Google makes to its algorithm will impact websites, the focus is often on the little guy, or those who are trying to game the system. However, recent changes by Google have had a large impact on at least one well-known large company – Overstock.
In their Q3 earnings report, Overstock stated that they had a drop of 11 percent in their earnings. This drop in earnings then led to a decrease in their stock price. The problem? According to Overstock, it was changes that Google made to their algorithm, which resulted in less organic traffic reaching Overstock’s website, and thus less business.
Keeping Up with Google’s Changing Guidelines
According to Overstock’s CEO, “We are experiencing some slowing of our overall revenue growth which we believe is due in part to changes that Google made in its natural search engine algorithms, to which we are responding… There was as always, a Google search change. Well, we slipped a stitch on a couple of initiatives. And we’ve gotten them straightened out. But that was – I’d say that was a third of the problem.”
For a long time, many complained that Google favored large corporate websites over smaller competitors. This shows, however, that no matter your size, Google can still have a large impact on your business if you do not meet their standards.
Since Google is the largest search engine on the Internet by far, businesses will continue to remain at their mercy when it comes to generating web traffic. There is not much business owners can do, other than ensuring that their website and marketing practices meet Google’s ever changing guidelines, and to make sure that they have other forms of marketing in place. By not solely relying on Google for website traffic, companies will be better protected should Google decide to update their algorithm in a way that harms their business.