Google Can Seriously Damage Your Website
Jazz Clubs Worldwide http://jazz-clubs-worldwide was created in 1997 and in time became the key resource for jazz musicians, jazz lovers, agents, groups, bands et al.
Eventually it was ranked within the top million websites on the Internet. Hits and pages views showing an exceptionally high volume. Then in March two thousand and eleven there was a dramatic change in the Google rankings of the website. Up until that date Jazz Clubs Worldwide had occupied Page One, Number One, for virtually every page on the site. Google down graded the rankings, slashing the viability to a point where the only result could be a dramatic decline in page views and visits.
Then what do we see? Google started to do its one jazz clubs listings, Page One, Top of the page. I might add a cherry-picked listing displaying only twenty jazz clubs. Some pages on Jazz Clubs Worldwide displayed more than one hundred.
I made attempts, what became obviously futile, strategies to regain what had been taken away.
In December two thousand and sixteen I announced I was closing down the website. The traffic was no more than twenty percent of what it had been prior to Google slashing my rankings. I sent out a newsletter to my very substantial mailing list announcing that Jazz Clubs Worldwide was reluctantly closing its doors. The response was global and immediate. Messages of support for what had for many had become a key tool in their jazz activities.
Rather than closing the site I decided to recompile the data, this a major operation, and convert Jazz Clubs Worldwide into database format. This has been well-received and has gained much support. However, the fact remains that the global jazz scene has been deprived of the most comprehensive resource on the Internet.
We hear quite a lot about Google bending its preferences to suit its own interests. It is a reality. The European Union investigating unit has revealed very serious instances.
As a footnote I have in fact lodged a complaint with the European Union's Competition Bureau. Though I am not optimistic. Jazz Clubs Worldwide's case is just a minor infringement. Or is it?