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|Google Pay for Inclusion - When?|
A previous discussion:
I know GoogleGuy said not long ago they weren't thinking of Pay For Inclusion, but i just think with the situation they have now, PFI doesn't seem to be that far away, PageRank calculation on the fly inclusion in a few hours, all seem to be everyday now anyway.
Watcha all think?
I don't think PFI will happen for Google. The PFI model may be attractive for those engines that don't crawl as much as google or rely on "on page" optimization.
Google is all about making the searchers happy and therefore will continue to crawl the web as they currently do.
Because PR is still a big part of the Google algo there's only so much I can do with on page optimization. I still need links to my page.
I agree. I think they will keep the listings in the center of the page free of corruption (well, that they can controll ;) ) and do all the whoring around the edges.
nicely put jcoronella!
Even once google goes public, i dont think a public Share-holder accountable board would be so silly to secede to the usual Share-holder short-term mindset and get rid of one of their USP's (they could say even now they are the only mainstream Search engine that does not accept cash or patronage for inclusion OR ranking). If they were not making money hand over foot from Adwords and other revenue streams, they may be forced to do this, but ad revenue is quite nice for them i think, and there is less need for them to commercialise their main product which brings in the eyes. They sell "on the side".
Lazurzubb. I cant see what part of the "present situation" suggests to you that PFI is more likely? Are you referring to future competition from a merged Y!/OV and an upcoming MSN? In that case i would think that keeping on their strategy makes a lot of sense. If its only "PR calc on the fly", I cant see that as being too much of a factor given it's other uses.
I do think that a listing in Adwords may provide much better ROI than PFI, as people are being socialised, though perhaps screaming and kicking to look on the right to buy, on the left to browse and go info-hunting. Certainly that is the case wth us where we have good listings on both sides. Adwords converts better than regular listings and no way we PFI with a new site now we know the power and targeting of Adwords.
However other's experience and opinions may differ.
I guess SEO's would love PFI, if not only for the chance to tinker and see results fast as they could with inktomi/PT PFI.. Google probably does not want to make their main index more exposed to smart SEO than it is already!
From Google money sources [webmasterworld.com]
|FreshBot Daily Indexing: Paid inclusion system. Like printing money. I think the back lash ramifications would be fewer than most analysts expect. It's almost expected of Google to do this as a value added service. The cash return on such a service would be phenomenal and would over night make it the largest revenue generating program any search engine has ever offered. |
I think it's important to focus that PFI is no corruption, you wont get a better ranking just because your paying, what the thing is that they wont have any links to messure, so it will be all on on-the-page factors.
|Google is all about making the searchers happy and therefore will continue to crawl the web as they currently do. |
I think the problem is deeper than that. You are absolutely right, Google is about making the searchers happy; but as the Internet becomes an ever more commercial place companies are abusing Google (by spamming their index). This in turn will reduce the quality of their results, resulting in an unhappy searcher.
I think Google are trying hard to avoid it; but I think that basic economics the ability of the human brain to outwit automated techniques will see that they don't.
|I think it's important to focus that PFI is no corruption, you wont get a better ranking just because your paying, what the thing is that they wont have any links to messure, so it will be all on on-the-page factors. |
Lazerbubb - I agree with you, except that I think the other posters are referring to what happens to the index as a whole-- as PFI steams onward, eventually only sites that pay to be included are included! Now even with inktomi there are alot of pages that get indexed without paying somehow-- but IMO the best search engine indexes the entire internet, and *everyone* is included- this way the SERPS do not become "corrupted" with PFI only customers. As the ratio of free inclusions to PFI goes down, so might the relevancy of the SERPS since we begin to exclude the non PFI part of the web simply because they can't afford it.
Unless Google changes hands, I believe they will never do PFI. Atleast, I hope not.
|what the thing is that they wont have any links to messure, so it will be all on on-the-page factors. |
Doesn't this very fact mean that that PFI would be a big waste of money?
If a big part of the algo is related to off page factors, then any domain that was listed by sole virtue of PFI would not rank at all highly.
If you are saying that PFI results would be blended with the existing organic results then this would be a fundamental departure from the existing google SERP which is supposedly based on the most relevant results.
Just a few thoughts.
LZ thanks for the quote.
LZ >>I think it's important to focus that PFI is no corruption, you wont get a better ranking just because your paying, what the thing is that they wont have any links to messure, so it will be all on on-the-page factors.<<
Agree its not corruption. If you say you have PFI and its obvious its not corruption. And yes, as practiced by other PFI models there is not (in theory and "for all we know") a better ranking, however
1. there IS an advantage in faster indexing than non-paid-for content. At any one time therefore there is more commercial paid for content vs info content.
2. PFI, as far as i know, does not indicate next to the listing whether it is paid-for or has been included on its own "non-commercial" efforts. At the moment the user knows that the main SERPS are all there without commercial influence but by some other ranking methodology (however imperfect) that they trust Google to provide.
3. as you say its all about on page content. Google would no longer be able to say their index is driven by page rank or popularity or citation frequency, and its back to the old AV/LS on-page spamming game. One strength of google now is its less exposed to SEO and spam, simply because so many factors, off and on page, impinge, and off the page factors are harder (though not impossible) to control for the webmaster/SEO/spammer. (please note these three categories are independent thought not mutually exclusive!)
It may be like printing money, short term. But they lose some key USP's and brand equity compared to their competitors. Long term, it brings them back to the pack, and google wont feel comfortable there...
From all the griping around here about not being indexed in a timely enough manner, I have a strong suspicion that there are many, many people who would gladly pay to be instantly included and deep-spidered on a 24 hour basis.
Regardless of how GoogleGuy, Sergei and Larry feel, they have investors to answer to. Money is the puppetmaster pulling the strings that makes the whole world dance. When money talks "ideals" usually take a very long walk.
A Google PFI is not so far fetched. When? I would reckon after they go public and they're feeling the heat from Investors, MSN-Longhorn and Yahoo.
|I think it's important to focus that PFI is no corruption, you wont get a better ranking just because your paying, what the thing is that they wont have any links to messure, so it will be all on on-the-page factors. |
PFI is corruption if any percentage of their users think it is corruption. Google has its root in hype, and knows how to play its own game.
>>From all the griping around here about not being indexed in a timely enough manner, I have a strong suspicion that there are many, many people who would gladly pay to be instantly included and deep-spidered on a 24 hour basis.<<
I agree 100%.. but will this decrease the value of the index to the user, especially longterm? ..and will they vote with their mouses?
>>Regardless of how GoogleGuy, Sergei and Larry feel, they have investors to answer to, and money pulls the strings that makes the world dance.<<
Well as i hinted before, investors are usually pretty short term visioned. Theres always other companies to invest in when the long term effects of over monetizing sink in...
>>When money talks "ideals" usually take a very long walk. <<
This talk of google being driven by "ideals" is overstated and partly a result of some pretty smart google publicity/brand machine. Point is that the more virginal the SERPS, the more people use it. Apart from organizations that are founded for a specific charitable or moral purpose (e,g. religions, greenpeace), belive me, the espoused values of commercial entities are 99.9% driven by pragmatism. Having virginal SERPS may well SEEM high-moral-ground stuff, but they also bring in the bucks even if indirectly, and to my mind more substantively than PFI.
Let's also not forget that PFI as a system has has had a chequered history in terms of it's returns to SEs. It caused major problems with Ink, most resolved, and if we can count the PFR Y! model, it almost killed Y! search.
[quote]If you say you have PFI and its obvious its not corruption.[/i]
That depends on how you define "corruption." PFI may not be corrupt in the sense of being dishonest, but it does corrupt the quality of the search results. Why? Because commercial sites can justify the expense of PFI, while noncommercial publishers either can't afford PFI or don't even know it exists. (And let's face it: There are many excellent noncommercial sites for which traffic represents an expense, not a source of revenue. The scientist who publishes a paper on quarks or the parent of an autistic child who creates a directory of resources on autism isn't likely to spend money on PFI.)
It would be foolish for Google to implement PFI, because PFI would skew the index toward commercial search results. Ultimately, the lower quality of search results would drive users to try other search engines, and the resulting loss of traffic would mean fewer prospects to click on the AdWords that generate revenue for Google.
If anything, it would make sense for Google to give less weight to commercial sites rather than more, because that would give commercial sites a greater incentive to buy AdWords. To put it another way, why should Google continue to let SEOs profit from its index at the expense of AdWords sales?
Let's try some lateral thinking here.
To counterbalance any advantage from PFI and sites being spidered more often, why shouldn't Google make it plain that any PFI site will probably be displayed at least 5 places lower on the SERPS?
In highly commercial commercial SERPS, everyone pays, everyone gets faster spidering, the positions are hardly affected. Everyone wins.
In less commercial SERPS, you have a choice: faster spidering, or a chance at the No 1 spot. Choice is always meant to be good for the consumer, and webmasters are consumers too.
And then we'd open a world to some new underhand tactics. There are some sites I'd love to pay their PFI fee just to see them drop a few spots!
When they can't make a profit from sponsored listings, perhaps?
I think Google works just fine. Many people use Google because they like it; many people would like to buy into Google because they like the profit it generated.
If Google wanted better monetisation, they could use just 8 results as default in the SERPs and add a couple of sponsored listings as the top two spots with a subtle 'sponsored listing' notice adjacent. I don't think that's likely in the near future; after all plenty of people click the AdWords as it is.
> ...you wont get a better ranking just because your paying...
But would that be the perception?
Maybe I'm being purist, but I think PFI makes undermines indexes, as being representative of the web.
As soon as you put the onus of inlcusion squarely on the publisher, you immediately reduce your access to the web, as there will be many people who will just not co-operate or be proactive enough get round to seeing themselves included. Now add a financial element to that, and you almost kill it off completely. It doesn't become viable for anyone unless its commercial.
I also think PFI is a double standard, that perhaps Google wants to avoid.
Anyway, lets face it PFI has been the way that SE's have found to finance their crawlers ability, to bother about including pages where they wouldn't normally go, or could not afford to make such a special trip.
But as we know, there are few places left where Google won't go or isn't planning a jaunt, so the need for PFI doesn't seem to be there, at least yet.
Maybe an upward limit of pages you could ahve included per domain perhaps, over and above which you have to pay. With the limit being determined by your page rank perhaps. Oooh now there's a possibility.
Who knows. Still, Google rocks, and will likely charge for subscription, before it charges for inclusion.
I think Google will go PFI when it makes good economic sense from their point of view. This will probably never happen.
There just isn't that much money in it compared to what they *might* lose.
They don't know how much their crdibility might be hurt by this, and how that might affect their ad revenue. What they can come up with is how much money they are currently making, and a reasonable estimate on how much they will make from PFI.
So they are earning about $750M this year. At most they will make a few 10s of millions of dollars on PFI unless they sabotage their free crawl.
This will taint their image at least a little bit. Far more than any problems with dominic or esmaralda. How much can they damage their image before the decrease in ad revenue overtakes their PFI revenue? Is it worth the risk for them?
I just don't see an upside for them.
Bigdave my thoughts Exactly. It sort of dilutes their mission statement of being able to index the whole web :)
Google is already offering a free feed through its Froogle service. Watch to see when Google starts charging for Froogle feeds.
For now, I don't think that anyone can say for certain that Google doesn't have indexing agreements with any very large publishers. We've all heard that every once in a while Google will work directly with a large publisher to help them get their sites indexed, especially when the reason for non-inclusion is largely technical. Perhaps they're offering that help for free, or perhaps they're charging a consulting fee, or perhaps it's just another rumor among the thousands and thousands that we see on WebmasterWorld.
The model they have works......everyone else who went pfi is flaundering.
If I was Lary etc I wouldn't change after seeing what has happened to the rest.
This is their unique selling point...the rest will move closer to the google model, not google moving closer to theirs.
|A Google PFI is not so far fetched. When? I would reckon after they go public and they're feeling the heat from Investors, MSN-Longhorn and Yahoo. |
I don't understand this. Why would pressure from competitors do anything but make them want to build a better search engine.
MSN comes along and grabs up the search market. Google says "I know, we'll start charging people to be in our index so we can have better serps than them." How does that work.
Maybe now that netscape has gone the way of the dodo, if Google decides to go PFI maybe they can seize the opportunity to have lots of pop ups too.
|I don't understand this. Why would pressure from competitors do anything but make them want to build a better search engine. |
Long term view? Investors? Nah. If profits are dwindling because of an encroach by Y! or MSN investors will demand immediate action. Google/PFI could overnight create the most amount of money ever created overnight. Long term doesn't matter with tech investors.
[edited by: dmorison at 6:58 am (utc) on July 22, 2003]
MrSpeed, im sorry that you are dissilusioned...
google is about making the searchers happy? sorry but you are forgetting that we do not live in a peaceful happy perfect world..
money is the root of all evil, people always change when they see the 000,000,000's on the end of that cheque...
anyway thats just my 2 000,000,000 c
|Google/PFI could overnight create the most amount of money ever created overnight. |
A Google PFI could overnight redefine how to alienate your user base as well as client base simultaneously and instantaneously*. It could make alta vista's fall look more like a period of stagnant growth.
From now on I'll call this -instimultaneously.:)
In my honest opinion.
Q. What do you call a PFI search engine?
A. A directory
Google has a directory. Should they monetize it. Absolutely! Get rid of DMOZ before AOL does. Should it affect the serps? Only in as much as the Google directory would no longer be a dmoz mirror. DMOZ would still count, just not twice (or more).
|money is the root of all evil |
Not quite. It's "The love of money is the root of all evil."
If Google has an IPO it will make a lot of wealthy people wealthier. But it will also put the pressure on to not only turn a buck but to meet Wall Street's expectations. It's not enough to make a profit. The profit must match or exceed expectations. If not, the stock gets taken down- Wealthy owners not happy.
The performance of the stock is the gauge of what is or is not good for the company- User happiness is trumped by Investor happiness in every case.
Look at AskJeeves, they're doing everything they can to please investors, but where's the traffic? Investors don't seem to care, as long as AskJeeves sells off non-core assets and looks like an attractive takeover target. But what about the user? Investors don't care. They care about how much money is coming in. Investors call the shots.
This desire to satisfy investors has led many American companies to extreme measures such as incorporating in the Cayman Islands in order to avoid paying American taxes. IBM executives are so desperate to please investors that they were planning to move American white collar positions overseas to India.
From the IHT [iht.com]
|With American corporations under increasing pressure to cut costs and build global supply networks, two senior executives of International Business Machines have told their corporate colleagues around the world in a recorded conference call that IBM needs to accelerate its efforts to move white-collar, often high-paying, jobs overseas even though that might create a backlash among U.S. politicians and its own employees. |
If they have an IPO it's going to be a shock for a whole lot of people because the old way of doing business is going to have to make way for an even older way of doing business.
I think the most likely thing Google will do is differentiate the product, by introducing another one or more independently branded search engines to protect market share.
The flagship Google will stay PFI free - it's too much of a commercial risk to change.
The new one(s)would take advantage of the Google engine, with the appropriate feeds, meaning low capital costs. The new engines would be able to massage the serps feeds to include PFI, deeplink payments, directory advertising, etc ...
I think this is a more commercially sound way to move forward.
For those of you that think PFI will create money for for Google, I invite you to do a little guessing and some simple arithmatic.
How many domains are out there? How many of them would be willing to pay $300 (the amount Yahoo charges for their directory) to get crawled and added NOW instead of waiting one month for the normal crawl?
If they are already in they will not pay.
My guess is that it would only make Google between one and ten million dollars a year.
Now if they were to go with individual pages instead of domains, and they were to charge $25 per page, they would need 400,000 people that want their page in the index right now and are willing to pay for it to make their $10,000,000.
Remember that paying does not necessarily get you good placement, it just means that freshbot will hit that page today.
Are you ready to pay that price each time you add a page? You might want to do it for important pages, but I doubt that you will do it for all your pages.
Now if Google is going to make $750 million this year from ads, and their number of views drops by 1% that is $7.5 million. What if it drops by 3% because people don't trust their results as much because they went PFI. That's $22.5 million, or almost a million pages that someone was willing to pay $25 for.
I personally think that the usage would drop much more than that. PFI kills search engine popularity.
There are also additional expenses involved in running PFI. They might lose partners that only want to by the results of unbiased engines, or at least do some profit sharing. You need to ad tech support people to deal with all the complaints by people that pay yet do not rank well.
Before you decide that this will create the huge amount of wealth for the shareholders of google, do some math.
PPC and PFI search engines in the end are user unfriendly in different ways, but they both have the fatal flaw of limiting the view of the net that end users see.
PFI says that unless you are willing to pay money to get your website indexed, you will never been seen. That means that many personal web pages, blogs, hobby pages, etc won't get indexed. 99% of people setting up a geocites page (example) will not pay to get it included for listing. Anyone want to guess how many pages geocities has in google?
You end up with SERPs that are skewed because only people who pay are listed.
PPC is even worse, as this means that sites willing to pay the most are seen the most and get the most traffic. Free info sites, guides, review sites, etc are unlikely to pay very much (or at all) to get traffic in this manner, and as a result, SERPs would be skewed toward commercial "pay for access" style sites. Most surfers looking for information will not be happy with the results, because they are not looking to SPEND money, just to be informed.
In the end spamming the SERPs to get results isn't anywhere near as bad as PPC, and isn't really any worse in my mind that PFI models. You can filter spam and make the results better over time... PFI skews results and that isn't user friendly.
cjtripnewton is right on the money. Google's first venture into PFI will be through Froogle. they will be able to avoid much of the backlash for adding paid inclusion because Froogle is a 100% commercial shopping engine.
With engines like Ink, the commercial ppc products are mixed in the main database. This is a huge disadvantage to the non-commercial webmaster competing for the same terms because the paid content is always served first.
By moving commercial products to their own engine, the conflict of interest that upsets so many people is largely removed. People looking to purchase products will use Froogle. People selling products will pay to be in Froogle.
All the rest will continue to use Google.
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