"If you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas."For the last year I have been preoccupied with the word obvious, I want:
Andy, quit blaming the Big G. You live in their world , so you gotta play by their rules. Gone are the days where blogging is going to bring in search traffic. Just like any other business, we must adapt to change. Nothing never stays the same. There is still plenty of money to be made from the big G, maybe you just need to reevaluate your strategies.
What, think outside the box?
Good golly Miss Molly, why didn't I think of that.
For a "free" spirit, Andy does have a difficult time with changes.
Andy is a PT, many ex pats come to DR and other locations in the tropics for six months or so, called semi ex pats or 'snowbirds', travellers, PTs, semi ex pats and ex pats come and go, the only ones who stay are the locals and the more or less permanent long term ex pats, some of whom run businesses such as tour operations, bar/restaurants, in the cities English language academies, I have found these people to be the most dependable, especially those who have married natives and gone local, I am expanding my horizons online, as I am able to live just about anywhere in Latin America, hoping soon to find a small hotel or hostal to manage and promote, again thinking out of the box, for room, board and commissions, when you build a better mousetrap, word spreads like wildfire, in Antigua in the early 1990s we took the time to give detailed travel information to guests and other visitors, provided transport, or outsourced to native drivers if we were full up, bueno voluntad, good will, if everyone is travelling and writing journals and bloqs, who is running the hotels, hostals, b and bs, watering holes and restaurants, Latinos do not do it well, they put up a hotel or open up a bar and hire young people at minimum wage or below, not properly trained, not their fault, in general they are not treated well by the owner, in the early 80s one of our waitresses quit in Panajachel, Guatemala, went to work for a Latino, pregnant in 3 months, 9 months later a single mother, she came back for a job, too late.One of the best jobs in a local economy that is dependent on tourism is a bi lingual guide and "Americans" tip for good services, offer services free of charge when possible watch your competition, if there are no ladies nights start one, if local hostals are dumps buy a place, keep it clean, give out free travel information, allow paying guests without laptops to use computer an hour or so a day, offer wi fi and secure lockers and lockboxes, people want to be in touch and feel safe, in low season, raffle off a free half day trip with a guide around your area or whatever. Hang up a sign "Come as a guest (or customer) and leave as a friend" Word of mouth'll then bring you more and more business, finally support a local charity or two, sponsor a disadvantaged local for a scholarship and invite volunteer groups, 'travel writers' and the like to stay in your place, make a zany You Tube about your hotel or business, hire good locals who want to learn, get rid of slackers and make up a good website with more than photos of rooms, if the owner or manager has an unusual biography add that..be bigger than life!!!!!!! When I had my car at the hotel in Guatemala offered emergency services for guests if required. All adds up.
The Big G has made every webmaster I know angry, they have alienated their the people who host their advertising. They will be involved in anti-Monopoly law suit in the next two years.
Bing.com went from 25 percent up to 30 percent of market share, time to short Google, and long Bing.