Are you a blog owner? Are you trying really hard to increase your rankings within Google and Bing but the progress is too slow for your liking?
It is very tempting to use methods like Crowd Searching, isn’t it? Well, I am here to tell you that it may not be such a good idea.
A Quick Word On What Crowd Searching Is
Crowd Searching is basically when you pay a service – such as crowdsearch.me – to imitate real users in the Google search engine. They use proxies to give Google the impression that hundreds or thousands of people are searching for your keywords in Google, then clicking on your link in the SERPS and spending a long time on your page.
I would like to point out that I am NOT an affiliate of www.crowdsearch.me – and I do not recommend using this service.
In theory, this is supposed to improve your CTR (click-through-rate) and lower your bounce rate, which in turn, is supposed to boost your SERP rankings.
Does Crowd Searching Improve SEO?
I suppose there is a genuine and practical aspect behind this and Rand Fishkin from MOZ also did an experiment, where he proved that this method does work.
Rand asked his Twitter followers to Google a particular keyword and click on his link in the SERPS, and over 200 people did exactly that. Within a few hours, the targeted blog post went from No.7 in Google results to No.1!
How could this be? Is it that easy to manipulate Google rankings even after the Panda and Penguin updates?
Well, not long after the initial spike of traffic to this blog post – it dropped in the rankings again, as reported by his followers in the comment section on his blog post for this experiment.
What Did Rand’s Experiment Show Us?
This experiment showed a couple of important things – at least in my mind, with regards to paying for fraudulent SERP clicks.
- The Google rankings WERE altered by the sudden increase in traffic.
- Google does react to “what the searcher wants to read” and so the increase in CTR and low bounce rate helped to improve the rankings.
- Manipulations like this do boost your rankings, temporarily.
You also need to remember that people like Rand Fishkin are giants in their field. They have the power to conduct these kinds of experiments because they have a ton of organic, real and engaging followers. Of course, Google will boost his website because their Domain Authority is epic. Their “Google POWER” is insane and guess what – they are SEO pros.
Rand explains very clearly in his post that “this is not enough evidence to say for certain that Google is definitively using query and click volume to rank webpages.”
Why Would This Method NOT Work Long Term
As soon as your “spike” in traffic has stopped, your ranking is likely to drop to the original position. The chances are that whichever website was ranked higher than you in the first place had better content, value, social shares and user experience than you anyway, otherwise Google would have ranked you higher!
This means that you will have to keep paying for continuous clicks – 24/7 – to keep your spiked post in the No.1 position?
Would that be worth it?
You are much better off saving your money for other things.
Do You Think Google Would Not Notice?
Google is a finely tuned machine, as far as I know.
Don’t you think that their tracking software/algorithms, and only God knows what other super high tech gadgets they have, would notice this random and sudden surge in your incoming traffic?
Don’t you think that they are aware of these kinds of manipulations and therefore have some basic algorithms in place to alert them of misuse?
Think of it this way;
- You have a blog with a relatively low social following, new domain age, only a few dozen blog posts and all your posts are ranking around page 2/3.
- You are not doing too badly, and all you need is patience for your rankings to increase in a natural way.
- But you decide to act and pay for SERP clicks. BAM! You hit one of your articles with hundreds of clicks – even though it is listed No.12 in the SERPS.
At this point in time, your ranking for that keyword increase and you think; “Hey! This works!”
- How long do you imagine you can afford to pay for these clicks and what is your ROI (return on investment) on the article you are boosting?
- How long do you think it would take Google to notice that this spike in traffic seems odd. Why are all these people clicking on a link so far down in the SERPS for a website no one has heard of?
The only websites which would need even to try using this kind of tactic are new websites and underperforming websites.
If you have a large social following, a large readership, large organic traffic volume, and a great YouTube channel – you do not need to use these tactics because you can already do it in an organic and natural way by simply sharing your content with your readership.
Your readers will do the rest by sharing, linking and engaging with your content!
Will Google Penalize You?
Honestly, I have no idea if Google has a way of “slapping” you for this kind of misuse.
These types of methods are unethical, and you can be darn sure Google is aware of it, is working on the issue and WILL punish websites in the future if there is clear misuse going on.
You should be focusing on natural, organic and “white hat” SEO at all time. Don’t waste your time with these kinds of tactics. Spend your time writing great content with an excellent user experience.
Should You Use Crowd Searching?
No, no and no!
I highly recommend you do not taint your domain name with these kinds of tactics. They are dangerous to your long term SEO health because you may be punished down the road – much in the same way that every major Google algorithm update has rocked the Internet.
After every Google update such as Panda, Penguin, and Humminbird there were major changes in the SERP’s because all the older manipulation tricks, such as low-quality backlinks, article submission, and many others, suddenly stopped working.
Instead, you should focus on;
- Creating great content.
- Engage your users and increase the user experience.
- Share you content on social media.
- Do proper keyword research.
- Create an engaging and informative YouTube Channel
Building a website and generating an income stream takes time and patience.
Forget about what tricks you can use to manipulate Google but instead, concentrate on what Google wants to index. Write for the readers and write for Google and everything will fall into place.
I hope you found this article helpful and please leave a comment below if you have anything to add!
Hey, I have never heard of croud searching. It does sounds a little tempting. However, I would not try it. Google is not stupid. They will figure out sooner or later that these are just bots and not real people. It’s not like in the experiment, where it was genuine people. Even then it didn’t work for the long term.
Totally agree. It is tempting indeed! Howevr, it is not a method which I would advise to use. Google will figure it out eventually.
The first time hearing about crowd search, and it is not attractive at all.
Writing content is the most powerful and most cheap way to increase rankings in Google.
Even if such things worked in the past, Google is getting smarter every day.
Your article is a reminder to keep our head straight, do it the right way, and wait patiently until our rankings go up in a result of providing quality content for people.
Thanks for your great work,
Wow, I had no idea these schemes existed. I guess it makes sense though. I suppose there might be some very short term enterprises that could benefit from this. But for building a long lasting site, Crowd Searching seems to be a waste of time and money. Great content is the key to SEO.