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Google Makes More Enemies

by Robyn Tippins on November 17, 2007

I can never understand what it is that makes a large company think that they are indestructible, but apparently Google continues to believe that because they are the god of search that this will always remain the case. (Disclosure, I work for a search company that was once doing really, really well in search, ahem)

Most recently they decided to penalize bloggers who were selling text links, including this blog. Page rank, which now is apparently completely devalued, went from 5 to 3. I’m in good company here however, some of the best blogs on the net also lost 2-4 points of page rank. The points lost were not relative, but arbitrary, from what I can tell, with some blogs who sold text links only losing one point and others that did the same losing three. Again, they were secretive about the why, with the blogosphere having to determine that it was text link sales and interlinked blogs from blog networks. They have more secrets than the CIA…

Today it seems they have attempted to force morality, or their definition of it, by completely wiping out the page rank of PayPerPost blogs. Now, you know I am not a fan of PPP, having had more than one comment argument about it. However, who am I to say what someone can or can’t do on their own blog. I mean, it would be different if they were using Blogger blogs and only Blogger blogs were penalized, at least then they’d have an alternative to go about writing their blog the way they see fit (ie move to Vox or something like that). But, as you can see, the company that owns search has decided to single-handedly remove page rank from these blogs.

What alternative do these blogs have? Google has around 65% of the search market firmly in hand.

The saddest part is that many of the blogs in PayPerPost are not bloggers that have been doing this for very long, and they are not A-listers either. These bloggers are part of the blogosphere, but because they don’t pull in massive traffic (IMO, likely because they refuse to resort to linkbait day after day), they are evil to sell advertising space within the post. A-listers are ‘above’ selling posts, I mean unless the pay is substantial. Advertising is far different from posts that advertise, with disclosure.

Erm, you don’t see the difference? Well, there really is one, but it’s subtle. The real difference is that PayPerPost doesn’t pay very much for their posts and the ads on A-list blogs go for hundreds, and in some cases thousands of dollars, per month. See that difference now? It boils down to the have-nots getting punished and the haves all shaking their finger in an “I told you so” fashion.

I have no worries today. I am not a PPP user and I’ve already been penalized for selling links (with no traffic loss, by the way), but I can’t help but bastardize Niemoller’s poem:

They came first for the text link sellers, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a seller of text links;

And then they came for the blog networks, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t in a blog network;

And then they came for the Posties, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Postie;

And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.”

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Kyle Palmer November 17, 2007 at 3:25 pm

Google is only one company. They can make changes to their product that they believe the marketplace demands. In this case, the marketplace demanded that fake PPP bloggers not show up in search results, so Google changed their product to provide that feature to their customers.

I certainly don’t see a problem here.

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Snoskred November 18, 2007 at 5:42 am

Hi Robyn,

I’ve been linking to as many posts on this topic as possible over the last few days and I’d like to link to this one tomorrow – would it be ok if I quoted that version of the poem in my post? I’ll put any credit you want on it and of course I’ll link to this post even if you say no, but I think that modified poem really says it all.

Shoot me an email if that would be ok with you. I won’t be posting the post for at least 12 hours.. ;)

Cheers!
Snoskred

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Robyn Tippins November 18, 2007 at 10:56 pm

@Snoskerd: Of course, any links are appreciated :)

@Kyle Palmer: I have no problem with their keeping their search results clean, but removing entire blogs due to advertising related posts that required disclosure isn’t what they were doing. They’ve chosen to ONLY ‘clean up’ for advertising that is related to PPP and that’s not fair and is in fact, particularly unfair. Tell me about this blog (my own), techcrunch, aol’s blogs, and any other blogs that advertise. How do we not also deserve 0 page rank?

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Jamie Finch November 19, 2007 at 3:29 pm

It seems everone have a different view on google handing out penalties. When it was just directories everyone was like oh thats ok (those who obviously don’t run directories). But now they are showing that they will go after just about any kind of site and its looking quite serious for everyone involved.

BTW the Read more link in the email goes to a dead link http://www.searchnewz.com/topstory/news/sn-2-20071119GoogleMakesMoreEnemies.htmll

theres an extra l in the url..

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Bill Austin November 19, 2007 at 4:30 pm

Hi Robyn,

It’s kind of funny, but, even if we did speak up, our voices would not be heard because Google controls what gets seen and found and read and they will not tolerate pages that rank well and are critical of their continued turn towards evil.

wba

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Joseph Wehner November 19, 2007 at 5:52 pm

I agree Google needs to loose a lot of chips off their shoulder. I am bitter because they recently suspended my adsense without warning claiming something about illegal clicks. Nobody knows me but I give my word, they are wrong. For beginners, I have had adsense for approximately 4 months now and never received a dime. In fact, I just got word that my account for direct deposit was just confirmed the day prior to this absurdness. The largest day I had was $19.23 and happened to be the day they suspended me. All other days were just a buck here and there. I believe my total balance over the course of 4 months is something in the range of $80.00 which they now claim that I don’t receive.

Look, I would hand my computer over to prove that I did not cheat. In fact, I intend on suing Google. That’s right. I have never sued anyone in my life but hey, they should not be able to control the way they do. Without proof, they are able to just suspend me and I know they do not have proof because I know I did not cheat. I put a lot of time in to adsense. Not to mention, adwords which I pay $50.00 monthly and they don’t have a problem taking that.

I am not just a struggling “hope to get rich” person on the internet. I own an offline company in Pittsburgh, PA. called TNT Commercial Cleaning Services. We perform services on over 500,000 square feet daily. I have been in business over 20 years. I do intend on pursuing an online company as well but I am marching slowly while I learn.

Online marketing is much different than offline. Nevertheless, I am adamant with Google and can’t fathom how they can play judge and jury with the internet. If I fired someone offline without cause, my “but” would be in court. How can they do it? I will be putting petitions together as my attorney wants me to get some support before filing.

I am sure there are others out there that have been unjustly treated by Google. If you were cheating and got caught, I am not interested in hearing from you. But, like me, If you were singled out and truly innocent, I would love to hear from you. Thank you. I really love this website and the articles. This is America. No company should be able to monopolize power and control us like Google is. Unless they apologize and reinstate me, I will pursue this diligently. Maybe my voice won’t make a dent but I will have fun trying.
Respectfully,
Joseph Wehner

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Norbert Harms November 19, 2007 at 6:19 pm

Yes we use Google, too, but as little as we need, indeed. Are we interested in competing with all that “website ranking” stuff …? NOT AT ALL

Reasons? People just like in this blog give us reasons every day, plentyful. Yet, crying doesn’t help. Why do you keep feeding the animal that keeps biting you? They deserve to be torn apart then.

remember the old saying? (and they are still the best) … “What would be the sense behind asking to go to war if every soldier would refuse going?”

Use your brain and take action, best solution.

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rmccarley November 20, 2007 at 3:01 pm

Was about to post a meaningful comment about how Google is taking a technology commonly in use that they twisted to their ends but isn’t letting other people do the same… and maybe roll something about how Adwords is *not* a separate company… but I’m already getting worked up.

Great post. Very good insight.

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Robyn Tippins November 20, 2007 at 3:03 pm

I got a little worked up too. It really ticks me off.

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Downstrike November 20, 2007 at 3:35 pm

Self-appointed censors, such as Google, need censoring worse than anyone they censor, (except perhaps child pornography and erotica, most of which Google doesn’t censor).

Most censorship is driven by bigotry. Personally, I’m bigoted against bigots, so I think censorship should be censored.

In Google’s censorship, the bigotry is against certain business models. For example, Google and other search sites have been censoring affiliate sales sites for years. PayPerPost, Adsense, and other blog-monetizing models are simply newer forms of the affiliate sales business model, so what Google is doing now is no different from it’s been doing for years.

As the poem illustrates, only a few people squawk each time Google selects yet another business model niche to censor, and the result is that there are no longer enough of us left to make enough of a squawk that Google would hear us. The time to squawk was about 1999. If all of us who have squawked since then had all squawked at the same time, Google would have heard us.

Most search sites have gotten away with Business Model Bigotry for several years already, so they know that no one is going to stop them now.

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Melissa J Mullen November 21, 2007 at 4:17 am

Google SUCKS !!!!!!!

And they are theives as well . I dont suggest anyone sign up for any of their services and for goodness sake DO NOT GIVE THEM ACCESS TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT!!!!!!!!
I will be taking every Google application of my site….you would think a company so large would have at least 1 customer support line that a real person can assist in setting up their very confusing offers.

siliconesock.com

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Humorous Verse August 18, 2008 at 9:09 am

Can I just say….Wow! Good stuff.

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