Big Tall Direct, one of the largest online web-sellers of clothes for the big and tall man, has experienced a precipitous drop in new customer traffic as a result of what appears to be new methods by Google to determine who appears on the first page of search results important to this big and tall retailer.
Since 1997, Big Tall Direct normally appeared in the organic listings in positions 1, 2 or 3 which are critical to any internet retailer's success. Last year, Big Tall Direct saw a decrease in traffic when it saw its rank moved around to position 6 and position 13, and back again. Most recently, however, the rank has dropped precariously to position 54 without any advanced warning.
"This puts our entire organization at risk", says it's President Rob Schlein. "We have spent over $400,000 in Google Adwords buys in our lifetime and we are very upset that our organic listings do not appear before this upcoming holiday season". He added, "My experience is not unique. Other independent big and tall retailers are sharing the same experiences. I feel like Google has small family businesses under full assault in favor of the large multinational corporations with big advertising budgets, yet who do a poor job of servicing our particular niche."
When a user types "big and tall", or "big and tall clothes" as his search words, Google lists traditional department stores with no independent specialty stores being displayed any longer in the top results. "This new algorithm doesn't serve their (Google's) customer, nor does it serve us. We were coveted in the formative years of the internet as one of its early adopters for retail. Now, that we have built our infrastructure to accommodate a growing business model, they (Google) have changed all of the rules", said Schlein.
Last year, we hired an SEO firm to help restore our ranking, and that helped for a limited amount of time.
In response, Schlein created a tongue-in-cheek YouTube Video asking Google, "What did I ever do to you?".
A number of years ago, Big Tall Direct was secretly shopped by the Wall Street Journal along with other online resellers. Big Tall Direct was awarded "Best Value" by their catalog shopper. The mystery shopper purchased big and tall slacks, big and tall sweaters, big and tall dress shirts, and a big man's blazer.
Based in Dallas, Texas, Big Tall Direct is centrally located so that both coasts enjoy speedy delivery even when using ground services from either FedEx or the Postal Service. It began as their online store backed up by a traditional brick and mortar storefront called Dan's Big & Tall in 1997. An early adopter of online selling, it was one of the first merchants to partner with America Online in the late 1990s.
Big Tall Direct welcomes international big and tall customers and ships worldwide with many of its clients in Western Europe, Canada, and even in the Middle East.
New customers who sign up on the email marketing list receive an additional 10% off their first purchase, and much more savings offers throughout the year.