Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Report: Google’s March Core Update to Algo Finished After 52 Days, More Destruction Coming to Website Owners


I never write about this stuff, but it’s time to drag it into the open.

All of the traffic on the internet is run by Google. In turn, ad revenue comes from that traffic. Every month Google updates its algorithms. Last September the update nearly destroyed web traffic for sites big and small.

Dealing with Google to “distribute” a website is like putting your magazine at a newsstand, and then seeing the stand burned down by the owner the next day.

Today, the Google “March core update” finally ended after 52 days. A new update is coming May 5th. According to the Search Engine Optimization experts — the good ones, not the bottom feeders — no site has recovered its traffic from last September. The changes made on March 5th are just as destructive.

There is no federal oversight of the web or of Google. You can’t reach anyone who works at the company, either. They hide in the shadows. So we depend on these SEO experts– I read Barry Schwartz, Glenn Gabe, and a few others — who are in touch with people at Google. Those people either don’t have answers or don’t tell the truth.

For a lay person, to read this stuff is absolutely Kafkaesque. It’s all doublespeak, a corporate language that makes no sense. There are plenty of dance lessons on line for website owners, lots of so called Life Insurance policies. Almost everything suggested is immediately contradicted or a total fraud.

Google is a nightmare. I wish the FTC or Congress would get involved. They seem confused, too, however. No one knows how the internet works in the first place. Are there little people behind the screens? Are there people in a room somewhere turning knobs? Who the f knows?

Barry Schwartz runs a website called He tries to make sense of all this, although you might as well be in the middle of “Catch 22.” He just posted a story that everyone should read. The link is here. It’s called “How Prabhakar Raghavan Killed Google Search.” I don’t who that is, but maybe the FTC or Congress should look into it.

When I ran magazines and wrote for newspapers we had no idea how many people read our stories. You could sort of tell from circulation figures. But you really had to see someone on the subway looking at your article — it was always a thrill. The internet has made it almost impossible to deliver real news and actual articles, and “monetize” them. But we keep trying. Don’t give up!

As a PS — allow me to vent for a minute — a company called Smart News, which aggregates stories from various websites, stopped carrying Showbiz411 last fall. They used to include it, but when the Hollywood strikes were on, I started reporting more on Donald Trump’s social media. I guess Smart News didn’t like my criticism of him. They don’t mind publishing fake news in entertainment, but Trump scared them. David Pedersen runs that company, but it’s impossible to get to him, just like every other tech company.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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