Google’s ‘Alphabet’ Announcement Leaves Rural Small Business in the Dust

Contrary to widespread belief, Google is not just a search engine. Rather, it is a powerful advertising tool, utilized by millions of businesses across the globe to help increase traffic and awareness, and ultimately, sales.

For small businesses, Google’s belief in web democracy is especially important. There are approximately 27 million small businesses, and they account for up to 80% of all jobs in the United States. Using Adwords and Google analytics, these businesses gain leverage against big competitors, and develop the online visibility and traffic necessary to keep their businesses thriving.

However, despite Google’s insistence on web democracy, their recent announcement regarding “Alphabet,” the new parent company that will oversee not only the search giant but also its experimental projects like Google Glass and self-driving cars, is severely affecting the online traffic for a small business in rural Pennsylvania.

Alphabet Signs is a sign manufacturer and distributor with humble beginnings.

The company began out of the back of owner and operator Daniel Keane’s car. Today, all of the company’s business is achieved through its website.

Since Google’s announcement, the company has seen a 30% decrease in website traffic.

“At this point, our overall search traffic is down around 30 percent total,” Keane told Huffington Post. “We’re a mid-size sign shop in Pennsylvania, and online is our bread and butter.”

Since the announcement, the statistics haven’t seemed to improve in Keane’s favor. He is, however, remaining proactive about the situation.

“Sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it but restrategize,” said Keane.

As part of his new strategy, the sign store owner has started using negative keywords in order to gain web traffic while not having to spend money on keywords that have seen a spike in price such as “Alphabet” (we’re looking at you, Google!).

For small business owners, the fate of Alphabet Signs serves as a cautionary tale. As Google Analytics constantly changes, it’s important to stay on top of Adwords and online traffic.

As for Alphabet Signs? They may have lost their ranking for “Alphabet” but at least this news coverage is making up for it in traffic!

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