A quick update on BTTR

A quick update on BTTR

The past 17 months have been some of the hardest, most rewarding months of my career. I launched BTTR as an experiment to see if I could build a reviews brand for Australians.

I’m so proud of what I achieved. Using off the shelf products I managed to build a massive price comparison service that integrated tightly with my editorial approach to reviews and best guides.

I was the only Australian site (to my knowledge) that let users read about new products, research the best option available and read reviews before finding the best price for that product.

While there have been a lot of ups and downs, Google’s most recent algorithm update has effectively decided BTTR’s fate. While I could spend the next hour ranting about how bad Google’s search product has become, I instead point you towards this HouseFresh article and its followup which much more eloquently.

(Also this post from Ed Zitron’s newsletter is essential reading)

BTTR has effectively been removed from Google Search

If you search for “Worx Landroid Vision review BTTR”, you will not see my review, despite the brand qualifier. For reasons that aren’t clear, Google will almost never show you a BTTR result in search results.

If you search “oppo a18 review bttr”, position 2 is a LinkedIn post sharing my review.

(Honest to goodness tell me how that is helpful, Google?)

Google does show links to my “critic review” on a handful of searches though, like “samsung galaxy watch 6”. The problem is that nobody really clicks those links.

There are theories on why Google has penalised BTTR. The biggest being the price comparison service I offered (using a product database through WooCommerce) was “thin” content, which could be construed unhelpful.

Which brings me to the point of this article. Things have changed around here, so I need to change as well.

The next steps for BTTR

As of today, I have removed the price comparison pages from the site. Some reviews and best guides may still offer price comparison, but as a component of a larger page.

A knock on effect of that is that I have had to remove my monthly mobile plans best guides.

But the bigger change will be the focus of the site moving forward. With no potential for organic traffic from Google, there’s no way I can justify the same level of commitment to the site.

I had been building BTTR with a mindset that it would one day become a local media brand, with a team of staff.

But for now, I have to accept that’s not going to be achievable in this climate, so long as Google continues to obliterate independent publishers.

So BTTR will continue, but it will be much more of a personal blog. I’ll still do reviews, but less frequently.

If you read this, or any page on BTTR over the past year and a half, let me offer you a big thankyou for your support. It has meant a lot that I could do this for as long as I have.

And if you’re looking for ways to help – stop using Google search. DuckDuckGo offers much better results these days.