Great Communities Don't Need Google


As any REW community member knows, a few days ago we took a hit in our Google rankings. I am still working on getting these issues figured out and it will likely be a timely process as Matt Cutts and the rest of great folks of Google have their hands full as you can well imagine with webmasters contacting them with "My site has dropped in the rankings, can you look into it" type inquiries.

I am of course concerned with getting my rankings back up to their former glory. But it has actually been really nice having a chance to turn some of my focus inward towards the REW site as a whole trying to figure this whole mess out and while I'm in here - I might as well make even more improvements to our great community right?

Speaking of our great community and Google

I was going through my analytics (Google analytics) this evening assessing the damage, and naturally we have seen a drop in traffic from Google due to a drop in rankings, however I also noticed something quite amazing, something that makes me very proud in fact - Even though Google is not sending us much traffic our community is as active and vibrant as ever.

Here are some screenshots:

This screenshot is of our forum traffic comparing January 29th (With Google issue) to December 29th (No Google issues)

As you can see visits are down 22% and new visitors are down 19% but overall the stats are quite remarkable - Pageviews, and time on site are up and our bounce rate is way down (25% to the good in fact)

Now of course the arguement could be made that these stats are only so comparable because December (No google issues) was close to the holidays, so maybe less people were visiting - So I did another comparison - January 29th 08 (Google issues) vs January 29th 07 (No Google issues)

Here are those stats

Once again, amazing stats - Time on site is better, bounce rate is better, even visits are better! The only thing that is down a bit is new visits, but even then it is the difference between 66% and 59%

I can't tell you how good it makes me feel to see these kinds of numbers

What this tells me (Or just reminds me of I guess) is that our community truly is a great resource and appreciated and used by it's membership for qualities in of itself - Our great members, the great content and information, all of it! I am so very proud of all of you (Our members, our friends, our family) for making the REW community what it is and it is truly my pleasure to be your facilitator and learn and share with you every day.

Do I want to get my Google issues fixed? Of course! I like search engine traffic just like the next guy - but guess what I will be doing tomorrow? The same thing I do every day - worrying about Google very little, and focusing on building even stronger relationships with our members so that together we may all succeed.

Thanks guys and gals for making this such a great place to be a part of - I feel truly blessed.



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Matt Scoggins

Morgan, REW is a great community - the best one out there for real estate webmasters by far! You will come back from this penalty stronger than ever!


I see the same thing for my stats when I lose top positioning for keywords... bounces fall, average time on site climbs, average pageviews climb. At the end of the day we all want to see growth in our sites but like you said, it is nice to see that the search engine isn't the only reason for success.

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