What Do You Do When Google Cuts Your Traffic In Half?

pierre chappaz wikio
Wikio Group co-founder and CEO Pierre Chappaz

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Many people are speculating about what Google’s algorithm change, designed to weed out low quality sites, will do to “content farms” like Demand Media in the US. But the stakes are even higher in Europe, where Google has marketshare closer to 90% than 60%.Pierre Chappaz, who’s the founder and CEO of Wikio Group, writes in a blog post in French that he’s “not afraid of Google,” despite the fact that Google’s new algorithm, which just went live in Europe, cut traffic to some of his properties by 50%.

Wikio is a growing European social media juggernaut, with a popular Digg-like news aggregator, Wikio News, one of the biggest blogging platforms in Europe, a social media ad network, and which is building a European version of eHow.

Chappaz knows what he’s talking about: he led shopping search engine Kelkoo through the dotcom bust to a $400 million sale to Yahoo. So he’s been working around search for 10 years now.

His advice to people like him who depend on Google?

He’s got basically two pieces of advice for “an ecology Made in Mountain View”:

  • Diversify. Wikio Group expects to double revenues this year to $25 million thanks in part to the social media advertising company it acquired. This B2B business spares him the sleepless nights of worrying too much about Google. Or, as Fred Wilson put it, “Don’t be a Google bitch.”
  • “Have an obsessive focus on quality.” Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Trust that if you make great content, it’ll surface one way or another.

Good advice whether or not you live in Google’s world.

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