I hate Google because they lie.
Let me explain.
I’ve been an Internet publisher since 1998, back in the day when people were using AltaVista as their main search engine, Netscape navigator was main browser, Yahoo was a new invention and Usenet was the in-thing (social networking hadn’t been invented then).
I was a publisher when Google bought the trust of the internet community with a repository of old musings in something called the Déjà-News archives.
Even the spammers thought Google was alright.
Florida Update (Feb 2005)
Spammers spammed, hoaxers hoaxed, phishers phished, the good generally mixed with the bad and the Ugly.
Google said, this is a bad thing.
“Why do we need all these spammy sites all mixed in with the good people trying to make honest money, Serg?”
In 2005, Gooogle rolled out a massive update. Called it Florida, it took a chunk of sites and cut their traffic by half.
Of course, everyone in the industry panicked.
But there was method in this madness
Google were clever. Those sites which were spammers, made busy changing everything, changing:
- their page names
- their page’s content
- keywords densities, descriptions
- changing backlink text
- getting more links through publishing more spam
Just about anything anyone could suggest that would improve their rankings again.
They made a lot of changes.
By calculating changes and comparing it with how willing webmasters were to change their site over this period, (about 4 months), Google could make a guess as to that sites actual worth. Legitimate sites might see the ability to adjust perhaps 10% content for the sake of a better ranking, whereas a site with useless content would change anything.
Those who adjusted little, (there was really little to change, believe me), stayed in. Those who adjusted a lot, went out.
Penalty Update (October 2007)
In October 2007, another update took place. Again, my site took a massive hit.
Google vaulted it as a punishing paid links** update.
My site has never accepted paid links. Nor ever paid for links.
I said nothing, my site doesn’t publish spam, nor does it undertake practices not sanctioned in the ‘Google official Webmaster Guidlines’. It’s taken me from then until now to put 2+2 together and figure out exactly what’s happened.
Manually altering results
Google in the October 2007 began manually altering search results to generate more income in line with the forthcoming changes in it’s ‘Adwords’ policy released this May.
Previous to May 2008, Google wouldn’t allow bidding on trademarked terms.
For example: If you wanted to buy a climacool Adidas jacket you would type that into your search engine, chances are you’d come up with the manufacturers site first, then a number of other sites, also selling that particular product.
That’s where my site lived for a long time.
I sold budget flights both on a commissioned and non-commissioned basis and was the first site in the UK to do so.
My rankings were up until October 2007.
I directly attribute the May 2008 changes with the October 2007 update.
Here’s the stats.
I’ve sat back. Because, I’m fairly sure my site’s as good as it can be. It’s never broken the rules and as such, there’s nothing I can do.
Net effect of changes to Google Adword policy
Reduce the Diversity of the ‘net: Mom & Pop sites that have traditionally employed SEO techniques to differentiate themselves from the crowd are going to find their business reduced, why would Google send visitors to a site where it can find all the best goods when it can take $1.80 per Adwords click from someone who can afford to pay?
This will reduce the diversity of the ‘net, putting smaller, more efficient operators out of business and handing more money to corporations who take their place.
Channel more money to corporations: Google is currently straddling between freedom of information, (the spirit of the net), and corporatism. Freedom of information means exactly that, free.
Organic listings* represent free information.
Through manipulating and removing sites with high quality, focused information and allowing trademark orientated Adword adverts to appear alongside poorer results instead, Google is skewing the pitch toward corporatism.
Those with advertising budgets and skilled staff to administrate complex Adwords campaigns in a meaningful fashion.
Google likes to hide behind the veil of ‘freedom of information’ whilst reaping the profits of corporatism.
Stymie new development: I’ve developed a substantial number of pages, and Google refused to list them. (See thread).
Don’t assume, if you’re a developer and develop a top new app or service it’ll get listed. If it interferes with Google’s business interests, Google either pull it when it realises it’s making money, or not list it in the first place.
This stymies bedroom developers who depend on a traffic flow to promote their product or service.
In the past Google could be relied on to provide that relationship. That isn’t the case anymore.
Reduce search quality: If Google is prepared to sacrifice search quality in the name of ‘Adwords’, this signals to Engineers to have their own ideas.
Google have moved away from the purity of information weighted results making this a breeding ground for opportunist Engineers who stand to politicise search on whoever pays them to present in a positive light.
Search results of the future could be ruled by a cabal of powerful search engine engineers wearing funny hats, (much like Google Webmaster forums are now), thrashing out each others ego’s on innocent webmasters below ‘lawnmower man’ style whilst handing the best listings to those who pay them to speak up in their favour.
- Google manually manipulate SERP’s in the name of business interests.
- Google pretends, through it’s Webmasters Guidlines, you will get high rankings if you do the right things.
- Google’s Déjà-News, freedom of information, spirit of the ‘net days are dead.
If you want an impartial search engine, build your own.
* Organic listing is a listing that appears on merit.
** Link are a means of valuing a site’s worth in internet terms. The more people link to your site, the more respect you get in the community, the more your site is worth.