- Posted by Eric Lander
- On September 9, 2008
- 30 Comments
There have been undercurrents in the search industry for years that place Google in the wrong with their hypocritical “do no evil” claims. For many folks (including myself) their goal of “organizing the world’s information” is bullshit.
Google is hurting what they once were. Small businesses and startups alike are being penalized every day because Google cares more about profits than they do relevancy. More about impressions than they do accuracy. And more about stock shares and than they do their legacy.
Google is exactly what they attacked one decade ago with a quality idea – a search engine that gathered the world’s information and presented it to users based on a query. Simple stuff really, but they have strayed from their original passion. And that complicates the issue.
All the Money in the World Can’t Buy Happiness
Umm, wrong. Just ask GOOG shareholders. They have forced the company to forget about quality and focus on profits. It’s not a bad idea, but Googlers are still out there touting their “holier than thou” approach to life. Newsflash Google, you are not who you thought you were.
So now Google has become the search industry’s Microsoft of the 00’s, but worse. Their grip on the search and online advertising industry is easily comparable to Microsoft’s hold on the PC market – except for one problem – there’s no competitors left to stand in their way. I mean, the Yahoo! AdWords agreement is like Sarah Palin sleeping with Barack Obama for some minority votes. It’s just… wrong.
And now the Department of Justice is poised to attack. About time.
Why it Pisses Me Off
As more client emails come across my desktop asking me to evaluate their needs for online reputation management. I can’t help but think of how weird the world we live in is. There are hundreds of thousands of businesses out there who want to do right for their clients. They still have their passion to serve clients. They still understand that morals can be more valuable than coin. Yet, they continue suffer at the hands of Google daily.
And Google turns away seeming to ignore the issue.
Just as Wikipedia dominates general SERPs, RipOffReport, ComplaintsBoard, PissedConsumer and the like continue to litter branded search results for unsuspecting companies. And half the time the “reviews” posted are unfactual claims and speculated rubbish.
I’ve recently been involved in few studies that have proven negative commentary and reviews to be false. In other words, Google is out there promoting inaccurate information distributed with nothing more than commercial or biased intentions.
In one case an ex-employee tried to get payback on his employer, so he played every card he could to attack them. In another case a competitor hired social media personalities to negatively influence rating and review sites before uleashing them on the above mentioned “consumer advocacy sites”.
What About Google’s Reputation?
So I’m curious Google… When are you going to begin to watch your own back? If the Department of Justice lays the hurt down on you, I’d applaud them. And then I’d keep an eye on you like a massive train wreck being played out in slow motion in beautiful high definition right before my eyes.
I don’t want to see you hurt. I just want to see your brand damaged. Tarnished a bit. I want to see your $425 per share stock drop into the $300’s. I want to see people get uncomfortable, uneasy and scared. I want all of this because I believe it is time for you to react.
I love what you’ve done for the search industry. I also love the impact you’ve had on my life both personally and professionally. There are times though when your levels of hypocrisy and inaccuracies ruin it all for me. You’re the hot girl at the high school dance that you somehow score a dance with – only to have her reek like tequila and vomit once up close.
While you’ve been successful, you’re all grown up. It’s time to take some responsibility, don’t you think? An engine that is now more than 10 years old cannot be out there making so many assumptions about the materials you index and provide to unsuspecting or ignorant users.
You’re in a position where you are being trusted to provide *factual* results and information to your users based on their search behaviors. And lately, all you care about is making that click and earning that ad revenue. I find myself going back to read: Google’s riches rely on ads, algorithms, and worldwide confusion; ‘Please ignore the cash machine behind the curtain’ By Cade Metz who quoted my good friend Adam:
“You’re kind of at the mercy of Google,” says Adam Audette, founder of AudetteMedia, a boutique search marketing shop out of Bend, Oregon. “They make everything as intuitive and as easy as possible right out of the gate – and that’s a nice bonus for people who don’t know have a lot of experience with Adwords. But on the flip side, hiding the complexities of AdWords makes Google the most money. There’s at least the potential for a conflict of interest.”
I can’t fault you for making money. I can however ask you to take a step back and look at yourself in the mirror for a change. At what point do you cross the line, create an indelible conflict of interest and eventually implode under the pressures of the investigative eye?
You’re on shaky ground, Google. Billions of dollars won’t change that.
It’s All About the Response
What would happen if we all posted our negative experiences Google on the leading sites for consumers? Well, it seems like people already have done that – and they’re not getting any response from Google.
- Google Adwords – Unauthorized charges – overdraft fees, buyer BEWARE!
- Matt Cutts Rips Off Honest Hardworking Webmasters; does much evil
- BUYER BEWARE of Google Adwords!! Your just a number!
- Google Inc. reviews – GOVERNMENT
- Google Adword Complaint
- Google Adwords @ PissedConsumer
Not exactly surprising, but in a world where your reputation change change in an instant online, you’d think that the folks who took the time to post the above problems would at least get a response from Google. Even if they’re simply ignorant to the advertising systems and TOS.
But really… Who am I kidding? Most Googlers are just filling out more deposit slips and sell orders, right?