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Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 190 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 190 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 > >     
Today's Webmaster & Their Relationship with Google
Understanding Where We Are & Where We are Going
The Shower Scene




msg:3334100
 7:55 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm convinced that today's webmaster is under the Google mindshare spell. Most don't even realize it.

  • Google's Guidelines do not define Ethical SEO
    Many webmasters equate Google's guidelines with "ethical seo." Google's guidelines represent rules that are convenient for Google. Ethics has nothing to do with it. Internet ethics define how you interact with other webmasters and websites, whether you choose to link to a partner with a real link or not, sabotage, and other questions of right and wrong that sometimes are so subjective they can have a thousand right answers. Google's Guidelines are not part of the ethical equation. It's time webmasters corrected their lazy habit of referring to ethics and Google's Guidelines as if they were one and the same.

  • Google has gone beyond user mindshare
    In many ways Google has acquired webmaster mindshare. How else to explain a post by a member who details his aggressive site promotion efforts then asks if it's ethical? Google literally has webmasters brainwashed into thinking that their guidelines defines ethics. When a webmaster as a matter of course refers to violating Google's guidelines as pertaining to ethics, what else can you do but call it what it is: a brainwash.

  • The Google Webmaster Spell
    Today's webmasters have become so under the Google spell that all their energy is focused on Google. The mindshare takeover is so complete they even think the Google Directory is an entity in itself.

    [webmasterworld.com...]

    I have my one site listed in google directory and the link information is wrong there. Could anyone tell me how we can contact the editors and change my link information for my website link in google directory....

  • Google Defines Webmaster Dialogue and Thinking
    Today's webmaster so intellectually lazy they actually believe that the best information is going to come from a heavily moderated Google Groups forum. Today's webmaster confuses helpful information with what is essentially Kool-Aid that is being posted on Matt Cutts blog.

    Do you actually believe the dialogue on a Google Group or a Matt Cutts blog is moderated for anything other than to make webmasters conform to Google's corporate will? On WebmasterWorld, and other forums like DP, SEW, TW, and many others, we are free to discuss every aspect of search marketing. On Matt Cutts blog and the official Google forums you are not. Google controls the dialogue and the outcomes of the discussions. Google and Matt Cutts are not concerned with helping you rank better. They are concerned about the integrity of their algorithm, and making webmasters unpaid partners in protecting Google's algorithm through snitch networks and data mining enterprises like Webmaster Central.

  • Thank you for smoking, have some more kool aid.
    Todays webmaster is so compliant, complacent, and utterly sheep-like they are willingly surrendering highly personal data to Google without understanding how it ultimately benefits Google far more than it benefits them. The toolbar was pretty invasive, but webmaster central is a shameless data grab. Old ladies resist when someone snatches their purse. Todays webmaster lacks the will to resist and the intellect to understand what Google is doing to them. Do you understand the irony of a search for "Webmaster Central [google.com]" leading to several web pages that benefits Google instead of websites that benefit webmasters?

  • Google is taking over and moderating the webmaster discussion
    Google endeavours to control the discussion of Google by limiting it to their own network of blogs and discussion forums. How else to explain the absence of AdSense advisor, GoogleGuy, Adam Lasnik, and AdWords Advisor? ASA didn't even bother to announce the last AdSense weekend update. GoogleGuy is absent on Webmaster Forums except to defend Google at TW or promoting their snitch programs.

    When was the last time GoogleGuy or the other representatives did something on the webmaster forums to help or answer questions? Where have they gone? I will tell you where they are. They are hijacking our dialogue and moderating it on the official Matt Cutts blog and their other Kool-Aid forums. I believe it's a conscious effort to control what you think and gain webmaster mindshare for the benefit of Google.

    Google is the Internet
    Am I the only one who feels it's extraordinary how Google is becoming the arbiter of web ethics, coding practices, and the webmaster dialogue? Do webmasters really want an Internet that is defined and dicated according to what is good for Google?

[edited by: The_Shower_Scene at 8:11 pm (utc) on May 8, 2007]

 

annej




msg:3335460
 2:22 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I know, I know. But it still makes me feel very grumpy. I suppose that means I'm under the Google mindshare spell.

I predicted that the old Google would be gone once they became a publicly traded corporation. I guess it's time to adjust to reality.

trinorthlighting




msg:3335468
 2:36 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thats the thing, google as a corporation is ethical, the webmaster rules and policies are ethical, so why would people not want to play by googles rules? Its all fair game out there. Google is 40% of our business, but people have to get it through their heads their are other avenues of making income.

Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. That goes for any business, web based and brick and mortar based as well.

mattg3




msg:3335478
 2:54 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

directly or indirectly -- I'm making the world better in at least some small way.

Google is really like a uni, tech talks, peer pressure to attend, fancy ideas above their status, elitism .. ah how much I don't miss them days. :)

[edited by: mattg3 at 2:59 am (utc) on May 10, 2007]

annej




msg:3335480
 2:57 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Adam, We posted at the same time so I didn't see your message when I wrote the last one.

I honestly believe that I'm doing Good in that -- directly or indirectly -- I'm making the world better in at least some small way.

Yes, and I want that to be true. I think that's why the -950 thing has got to me. I've only lost a few pages so unlike some others it hasn't hurt much financially. It's the principal of the thing, the seemingly lack of concern that there is collateral damage. Good information, far beyond what I have on the web, is being lost to searchers. Content isn't king any more.

I know it's hard to deal with spammy sites. I don't expect perfection. I just expected some concern about the problem.

The originator of the thread has helped it sink in for me that I need to get out from under the "mindshare spell" not because Google is evil or anything. But goals have changed. Google needs to concentrate on their shareholders and I need to concentrate on my visitors.

mattg3




msg:3335482
 3:04 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thats the thing, google as a corporation is ethical, the webmaster rules and policies are ethical

People REALLY need to read the Yahoo directions, Google is comparatively harmless..

undecided




msg:3335496
 3:37 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I recently found a directory that required paid submission for site review. I submitted, suggested a new sub-category and got placement as the only listing in that new category. 60 days later, there are at least 7 others in there. Is that bad, good? Sort of sucks that I don't have an exclusive, but it'll help users find what they want.

I buy links. Not generic "I'll get 10,000 links for $20" type stuff, but appropriate links that will give the selling site's users an option to explore things further.

Does that make link buying bad? Am I defeating the purpose of the Web? Should I be concerned?

I fell into the trap of getting very concerned over whether Google, or any other search engine would find my practices unacceptable. My site isn't about Google, or Yahoo!, or MSN, it's about providing users what they need.

I'm doing the right thing for my users, search engine ethical concepts are, as they should be, a minor concern.

mattg3




msg:3335510
 4:05 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Buying links hits at the very core of Google SE that worked in a mostly still academic web in the beginning (Kinda trivial but important for Google College Plex). Academic aka non commercial ethics are hence the very core the G SE works on. Sadly in a world of commerce that link voting is useless. Buying links with users in mind on the right pages has to be a prime strategy to get alternative traffic, besides doorway pages that exclude the G bot. By buying links also instead of adwords you actually might do the actual socialist thingy and distribute the wealth a bit away from the richer part of the USA ..

So G need to enforce these ethics or their search engines 1999 concept is out of the window ..

But the backlink system which is actually how academia rates importance of papers is also often manipulated.

Outside the ivory tower things get tougher.. as commerce is inheritely unethical imo.

Imagine the complexities of real life in a search engine. Gazzillions of laws and judgements would have to be built in. The SE's need fairytale worlds to get their rankings sorted. AI and real world are far off.

zett




msg:3335517
 4:29 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

So what does all of this have to do with the relationship between search engines and Webmasters? At the core, I think it highlights the problem of assuming monolithic motivations. Assuming, specifically, that money is the driving force of either or both whole party can lead to conclusions and actions that don't effectively fit the real situation.

Google Inc.: Insider Trading [moneycentral.msn.com]

Tell me again, who is motivated by money? Apparently I am missing something here.

* * *

Google is facing the biggest challenge keeping their brand name and brand promise up ("Do no evil" - LOL). They need the webmasters' consent (not by individual webmasters, but indeed the joint consent by the overwhelming majority of webmasters) to actually earn money.

Consenting webmasters = Access to quality content = Users flocking to find that content = More advertising = More money = More consenting webmasters

This devils' circle needs to be broken if we want to end this discussion. It is pointless to complain as long as Google has a seemingly endless supply of consenting webmasters who offer their quality sites in return for some visitors.

A disruption can basically happen at any point in the chain, butmost likely at:

1- Webmasters. May be caring less and less for Google and their bizarre demands to access and organize content. Should there be a mass revolt, e.g. many quality sites blocking actively Google and their bots, this will affect the quality of service.

2- Users. May start caring less about Google as a search engine, just because the results are getting worse and worse and are filled with advertising and spam. Should this happen, Google is toast. Very simple. Users are looking for quality content, and if they do not find it through Google, they will find through other services.

3- Advertisers. May start withdrawing funds as lead quality decreases and price goes up. This is strongly interlinked to 1 and 2 above, but most likely the last possible breaking point. As advertisers are the only revenue source of Google, this is critical to company success.

I agree with several other posters in this thread who basically said - "it's not a Google problem, it's a problem of competition". The competitors are so weak that they can not capture enough eyeballs to get the viral marketing thing started. Not even Yahoo!, who is king in community. And where is Microsoft? They have the cash to BUY their way into users' brains through TV and print ads. Yet, their efforts seem to be lame.

Clearly, the starting point to get rid of Google (and their shady ethics) is to use other ways to search for content. The next time you type in www.google.com, think again, then delete the URL and replace it with an alternative. Lately, I did this with some success, and I am actively explaining to friends and family why I stopped using Google as search engine. Spread the word.

The reason for this mess can be found on the Insider Trading sheet.

willybfriendly




msg:3335567
 5:44 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

They simply are what they are. A company that seeks to control access to the world's information.

There is the gem hidden in the weeds.

Yes, the goal seems to have changed from "organizing" the world's information to "controlling" it. A natural evolution, I suppose, given the needs for profit.

WBF

itloc




msg:3335607
 7:28 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hello The Shower Scene

I do have to agree - great first posting. Welcome!

If one is seeing the web from a search engine's perspective (not only Google) the guidelines make definitely sense. If your main asset is the quality of your search results you're in a constant fight with those who want to "abuse" your service. I am talking of people that focus primarly on creating scraped pages, meshing up existing content etc etc. to get high rankings, lots of visitors and high (yes!) Adsense earnings...basically the dark side of the web. Cheaters, spammers and the like...

The Webmaster tools, Adsense, Analytics and others are great for Google to get "off site" information that can be used to verify the source (neighborhood etc.) of information. Remember "Trustrank"? I do believe (and most will agree) that these factors are very, very important these days. Using off site factors and performance data is a great way to rank a website. Or even several websites...from the same person (company. eg.)

I do strongly believe Google updates would be less hard for honest webmasters and take less collateral damage without all the cheaters, crap guys and spammers out there...

On the other hand:

Google is not only the world's number one search engine - they have a tremendeous level of trust from their users. No other company in the world would be able to collect such a huge amount of user related data - without raising up global protests. Just imagine Microsoft would like to track the websites you're acessing with your windows computer - wow, can you hear the cries?

Years ago there was something from Microsoft called bcentral. It had another name before (cant remember) - and some other solutions. Also some kind of a central registration, affiliate programs, banner exchange and the like. Many sites have used these scripts on their pages. I thought then - wow, this is dangerous ... they are able to collect so much sensitive data from it. Well, Microsoft had a lake of information then .. today, Google has an ocean.

I do believe that Google has to interlink the different information sources they have – in order to use that data in a productive way. That means they started to connect their index with the webmaster tools, adsense performance information, analytics performance information, toolbar performance information, adwords spendings etc. etc. Nothing wrong with that. We still partially decide what we give away here…

B U T :

As an example: All over the world there is extensive data collecting from different authorities. Police, secret service, echelon whoever … they collect data about what we do, which emails we send, credit card spendings, our calls etc. This is not kind of a funky conspiracy theory – that’s a fact. I don’t want to get deeper into this – just to mention that the INTERLINKING of these informations and LONG TIME STORAGE is forbidden (for authorities) in most modern democracies. It’s called privacy protection and understood as a human right.

[un.org...] / Article 12

Now don’t misunderstand me. Google has the great intention of “making the worlds information available”. They do that – and they do that very well in my opinion. But the way they do it today is risky (IMHO). Probably it’s the only way…but let me raise some questions:

- Is Google giving away any of the information they collect? We’re talking of the biggest and largest global data collection here.

- What if someone is abusing that data? Happened before with other data collectors…

- Is there a non profit organization that is watching and controlling what they do do with these tremendous amounts of information?

As mentioned before – Google has a tremendous level of trust. I do believe they deserve it. Still, there is no control and Google is not only a market leader – they are nearly having a monopoly for search.

I would call it a very dangerous concentration of power…in a way…

Regards

itloc

martinibuster




msg:3335665
 8:44 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

This devils' circle needs to be broken if we want to end this discussion. It is pointless to complain as long as Google has a seemingly endless supply of consenting webmasters who offer their quality sites in return for some visitors.

I don't think it's a "devil's circle" but a relationship and dialogue between two parties with simultaneously similar and opposed goals, as tedster notes. Matt and Adam are super people and Google is lucky to have them on their team. I can't imagine either of them working for any other company as they are representative of the best of what Google aspires to be.

Many webmasters came onto the scene while Google is the largest traffic source on the internet and it's understandable why they would put so much importance on Google guidelines etc. Google is the internet in terms of traffic. Yet the picture, the big picture, is bigger than Google.

I've long shunned shortcuts and have seen promotional trends come and go like fads. I have had good experience algo-proofing websites and am satisfied with my way of doing things. It's not the only way of doing things, either.

I don't buy into what some people are doing to promote their sites. Not to put words into pageoneresults' mouth, but I've always agreed with him about the efficacy of doing it the hard but lasting way. And I don't do it because I'm trying to please Google. It's because I understand what is going to work long term for my goals and I'm adapting to that and feel comfortable doing it in that manner.

Is it the expedient thing to do? Probably. Is it the ethical way to do it? Depends on whose definition of ethics you are using. It's not the only way, and probably not the most lucrative way either. Spamming lucratively, as I understand it, takes a lot of hard work.

As far as the dialogue between Google and Webmasters is concerned, I think it's healthy to remember there's a push-pull dynamic keeping things in balance. In balance. Google has as much reason to be suspicious of webmasters as webmasters have to be suspicious of Google. Push-pull, it evens out. Relying too much on one side or the other might be depriving a webmaster of being able to see the big picture.

penfold25




msg:3335682
 9:18 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

excellent answer as always martinibuster, i totally agree with you.

arubicus




msg:3335748
 10:51 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

As far as the brainwashing goes...

I do think that webmasters are left with little choice but to consider and somehow dissect the little information that does pass our way. The only real information we do have is the guidelines that Google has set. Of course even those guidelines are so vague that even if they were followed to a "T" there are an unbelievable amount of possibilities to fall prey to a penalty of sorts.

There isn't a magic brainwashing spell cast by Google. Even with the lack of choices, hard information, and support from Google, I believe that many webmasters are brainwashing themselves simply by focusing on the fear of loosing the privilege of tapping into such a HUGE traffic resource. This fear is clearly evident from webmasters who lack business sense, lack internet knowledge, marketing skills, creativity, etc. They leave themselves with very few choices forcing and referencing a belief that there is just one "real" way to generate traffic/revenue...Google.

This is coming from a webmaster who has had troubles for the last 2 years (and counting) loosing mid 6 figures in income on a mature 6-7 year old white hat site. No support, no real guide, no choice but to keep on doing business the best I know how. I know what can be lost. I know how to keep going without. I don't need to fear Google and I will never brainwashed myself into thinking that Google is the ONLY way.

Just my psycho babble...

zett




msg:3335786
 12:03 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

MB,

this thread is about the relationship between Google, Inc., and the webmaster community. You as moderator of the Adsense forum must have noticed that Adsense Advisor (ASA) seems to have left the forum. Like he is on a sabbatical leave. He rarely comments on anything, and only now and then announces upcoming maintenances. Now, what kind of communication style is that?

It is exactly this unwilligness/unability to communicate that makes webmasters mad about Google, who seem to hide behind useless auto-responders, useless auto-optimization tips in your Adsense mailbox, and FAQs and guidelines that are soft as butter and only remotely helpful.

As was pointed out already, it is probably all eyecandy. Of course does Google collect enormous amounts of data. Data that is used ONLY to improve their own business. (One might argue that this is the whole reason, that this is their full right to do so, and so on. Yes, that's true. But it is our right to complain/whine about this and make people reflect their relationship with Google.) Does Google share any relevant, useful data with their "partners", the beloved webmasters? I do not see that.

I am all for the breaking of the vicious circle, but it needs stronger competitors to do that. As long as Y! and MSN can't get their act together, there is little hope for a change.

My prediction: The problems webmasters have when interacting with Google will get even worse in the coming months, and threads like this one will pop up more frequently.

Halfdeck




msg:3335850
 1:05 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

On Matt Cutts blog and the official Google forums you are not. Google controls the dialogue and the outcomes of the discussions.

Utterly false. Racist comments are left untouched on Google Groups Webmaster Help not to mention million mile threads filled to the rim with Google bashing and crybaby whines posted by webmasters who prefer to sit on their behinds instead of taking matters into their own hands.

Stricter moderation have been requested by many (include me) but never granted, because Google prefers not to ban posters unless absolutely necessary. Some personal attacks have been removed, but that's the extent of "Google control" on webmaster discussions.

When it comes to Google Groups Webmasters Help, you are way off base.

As for Google scraping content - yeah, Google absolutely scrapes content. If you don't like it, there's a thing called robots.txt disallow.

[edited by: Halfdeck at 1:06 pm (utc) on May 10, 2007]

SuzyUK




msg:3335889
 1:34 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Excellent thread!

- it dragged me out of "GTB" [Google Thread Blindness] ;) -
'Heavyweights' from both sides appearing back with well spoken responses and the discussion is once again interesting and thought provoking.

tedster:
It seems to me that in many ways, this thread does not actually discuss the points made by The_Shower_Scene, but instead many posts here merely illustrate the point. Google is the pole around which so many measure everything online.

I agree - seeing the same old petty nit-picking arguments heavily illustrates the 'mindshare' theory and is possibly why the respected stalwarts from both sides have been less visible from having Google discussions - for a while. Emphasising the OP point that it is the relationship with Todays Webmaster that needs to be checked.

The green-eyed flavour of some of the posts is out and out normal in ANY business. As soon as anyone makes a success of their business, large or small, they are going to have to make some choices and will have to step on a few toes in order to get further. If the choice is to continue developing and growing then some cards will obviously have to be held closer to the chest in order to keep the edge. - To me that is no more that what Google have spent the last few years doing.

this thread is about the relationship between Google, Inc., and the webmaster community.

Yes and that has changed, but who caused it? I don't think Google should shoulder all the responsibility. I notice that [in this thread and other places I read] Adam, Matt, Vanessa, Ted, MB, caveman, graywolf et al.. are still having their give/take conversations, respecting each others points, having a laugh and I'm sure both sides are still growing/learning and yet they can still have a beer or two, WITHOUT talking 'my site and penalties' all the time, when they meet up..

ASA, AWA and GG on the other hand are coming here less and less, maybe they no longer get decent give/take conversation? - maybe they are being expected to give, give, give, or have to put up with a lot of whining?

Do you actually believe the dialogue on a Google Group or a Matt Cutts blog is moderated for anything other than to make webmasters conform to Google's corporate will? On WebmasterWorld, and other forums like DP, SEW, TW, and many others, we are free to discuss every aspect of search marketing.

The objective word there is discuss, I do not believe you can get fair discussion except on Search/Marketing Forums, such as used to happen - Why doesn't this happen anymore? - As far as I know relationships of any kind never work when one party is doing all the giving or taking

If you think Google are being two-faced or are wary about giving away too much information, look in the mirror!

Everyone who is in business, with competitors - has to be duplicitous to a certain extent, be wary of information they give/receive. It's up to everyone to realise
a) it's happening
b) no one person/company has the monopoly on it
c) no one entity is always right unless you let them be!

.. both sides however can take away snippets and can learn from business discussions in general, forums such as this, conferences, etc..

So if you ask me that's where we're at, where we are going will depend on whether all you fine folks can keep it civil ;) and also whether you can recognise that our (both Googles and the Webmasters) business landscapes are constantly changing and that we can have some fun growing and learning together, perhaps then The G reps will be more open to discussion outside of their moderated channels again.

oneguy




msg:3335901
 1:51 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google is amassing an enormous amount of information on surfers. For a while it was anonymous surfing information. Indeed, your ISP knew more, as MC recently pointed out, because they can associate your name and account with your surfing habits...

Webmaster Central is like an ISP in terms of what they know about those who sign on to WCentral, only worse, because they have access to: Your your G checkout and banking information, your WHOIS historical data, your registered sites, your Adwords sites, your tactics, your searches and Web behaviour, your domain registrations, your non-adwords ad buying, your Performics affiliate account, your affiliate sites...

Man, you aren't kidding. If people are concerned about privacy, webmastering is not a good job. But hey, they have a privacy policy.

Increasingly, G is not just my business partner and enabler, they are my competitor. Everything that G does and says must be viewed, IMHO, as I would view the comments of a competitors. Not necessarily evil. But certainly not my friend. They simply are what they are. A company that seeks to control access to the world's information.

That's a good way of looking at it. If you're going to be a webmaster, you have to have to make a choice. Seems like the choices are "deal with google" or "stop webmastering." There's little else that would make financial sense.

Google literally has webmasters brainwashed into thinking that their guidelines defines ethics.

Not just guidelines, but public statements from employees. Let's suppose that someone makes some rather vague statements about paid links. There are only a few people who could make such statements and have webmasters falling all over themselves to go hunt information for them. Anyone think MSN, Yahoo, or other heavyweights could do that? I doubt it. That's what I would call "mindshare."

europeforvisitors




msg:3335904
 1:55 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google has as much reason to be suspicious of webmasters as webmasters have to be suspicious of Google.

I'd say that Google has more reason to be suspicious than Webmasters do, because Google, like other search engines, is giving away a valuable commodity--free traffic--in return for indexing Webmasters' sites. Many Webmasters, on the other hand, are interested only in taking. (What public good is served by click arbitrageurs' sites, made-for-AdSense sites with scraped search results or borrowed Wikipedia and DMOZ content, boilerplate affiliate sites, and other sites that have no intrinsic value for users?)

It's important to remember, too, that complaints about the dominance of Google (or any other search engine) are most likely to come from those who aren't happy with their search rankings. Misery loves company, and in some cases misery demands company. We wouldn't have threads like these if everyone got to be in the top 10 search results for "widgets" or "whatsits" or "elbonia hotel bookings."

mattg3




msg:3335933
 2:23 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

is giving away a valuable commodity--free traffic

And webmasters are giving away a free commodity free content free work free ideas ... :)

Misery loves company, and in some cases misery demands company. We wouldn't have threads like these if everyone got to be in the top 10 search results for "widgets" or "whatsits" or "elbonia hotel bookings."

Sorry this is just the opposite of only negative. Anybodies Internet business is affected by Google. So its your decision if you just want to be a Google outpost forever Good luck .. it's not called independence though. It's just a bad employment contract .. somewhere settled in 18th century .. Only loosers follow the winner..

trinorthlighting




msg:3335945
 2:42 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think it’s funny, what did all these people do before the web? Do they really expect everything to come for free? If Google gives you free traffic you should appreciate it. If you do not get free traffic, there is always advertising. That means spending money. Case in point, one of the businesses I manage my great grandfather started. It is a concrete sidewalk business. Has a little site, gets some traffic and ranks good locally, but we know that it is not going to bring us great business there online. So, if we want to keep in business, what do we do? Advertise in local papers, magazines; go to local home and garden shows, etc.... That all costs money. We plan for it and we get a return.

Bottom line is if Google suddenly dumps your site, have a back up plan.

BTW, we have actually made more money from Google this year than they have made from us. We spend money for ad words, we make money from ad sense, and we save in credit card processing fees from Google check out.

Did it cost us to get there? You bet, we had to pay thousands to write content and set up all of our business on ecommerce and expand and grow. Was it worth it? Yes, Google has given a local company the ability to sell world wide now and expand to other business. BTW, thank you Matt, Adam and Vanessa for what you are sharing. We read it and it helps. Adam, thanks for the + factors we have been seeing in serps this past year. The guys we have replaced were all very shady businesses who did things very unethical. Why do we know this, we get calls from their past customers.

For all the whiners and complainers who are talking about revolt. Go ahead, opt out on your robots.txt and feel free to sticky me your niche and we will gladly take it over and expand our business. Put your money where your mouth is and take the plunge. Talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words.

europeforvisitors




msg:3335955
 2:54 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Mattg3 wrote:

And webmasters are giving away a free commodity free content free work free ideas ... :)

Let's be realistic: How many pages on the Web are even worth indexing? How many of those pages have intrinsic value for a search engine's audience? Google could discard 90% of its index, and most users wouldn't notice or care.

Anybodies Internet business is affected by Google. So its your decision if you just want to be a Google outpost forever Good luck ...

The "Google outposts" are the SEO-driven sites that have little of intrinsic value to offer the reader, and which depend solely on Google and other search engines for traffic because they can't attract traffic from other sites, repeat readers, or repeat customers.

Trinorthlighting wrote:

I think it’s funny, what did all these people do before the web? Do they really expect everything to come for free? If Google gives you free traffic you should appreciate it. If you do not get free traffic, there is always advertising.

There's also word-of-mouth and repeat business. I regularly order a hard-to-get Belgian chocolate product for my wife through a small business that handles its transactions via Yahoo. The business ships orders quickly and goes out of its way to satisfy the customer . (For example, when a five-pack wasn't available, it shipped five single packs at the five-pack price.) I buy from this small company several times a year. I don't know if the business needs Google to survive, but it certainly doesn't need Google as much as, say, a pure-play chocolate affiliate site that brings nothing but SEO skills to the party.

aleksl




msg:3335968
 3:05 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

With all due respect to Adam, his legalese speach only addressed people who are on his and Google's side. See, Adam, we are trying to have a dialog here, not PRETEND TO HAVE ONE.

martinibuster: I think it's healthy to remember there's a push-pull dynamic keeping things in balance

absolutely, except that Google is pushing for being The Tollbooth of The Internet, and webmaster community is like in that old russian story about Swan, Crawfish and Pike - pulling in different directions.

[edited by: tedster at 5:22 pm (utc) on May 10, 2007]

Martin40




msg:3336012
 3:43 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Completely depending on Google (or ANY limited set of sources) for your traffic is a recipe for unhappiness

Sounds a bit like OPEC saying: "Don't completely depend on us for oil". Yet, the world does. But that's the real world.

But then you got your professional nay-sayers saying: "A real webmaster would squeeze his oil from an olive tree".

Adam, we may sound a bit harsh at time, but please understand that we're just the bearers of bad tidings. Beneath our whining there are multiple layers of discontentment of users (and even non-users) that don't post to SEO forums. It has become clear, and Mr Schmidt has confirmed this, that Google disagrees.

Of course you can't blame Google for wanting a monopoly, and as someone said: "It isn't about Google, it's about competition". If it's a competition problem, then it's a Yahoo problem and MSN problem as much (or more) as it's a Google problem.

Let Google's history take it's course and then we'll see...

stakaman




msg:3336015
 3:47 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

There is a real simple solution to all of this.

Webmasters want to have:

- Detail information about use of the data across the board (spare us the jargon)
- Privacy policies that guard the user and the webmaster (not Google)
- More transparency regarding AdSense revenue sharing, AdWords bidding, SEO guidelines

By doing these you put people's mind at ease and we can all enjoy the technology without concerns.

Failing to do that will create another Microsoft, so get donating ;)

johnhh




msg:3336030
 4:08 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

"What public good is served by click arbitrageurs' sites, made-for-AdSense sites with scraped search results or borrowed Wikipedia and DMOZ content"

May I take this chance to point out that most of these problems where actually created by Google by..
1. creating the Adwords/Adsense programs
and - more importantly
2. failing to set up an approval program which means they went for the easy money - no ethics here then

They let the cat out of the bag and are now they are asking webmasters for spam reports - probably for "test" purposes.

If there's a buck to made and the opportunity is given..

europeforvisitors




msg:3336041
 4:20 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Adam, we may sound a bit harsh at time, but please understand that we're just the bearers of bad tidings. Beneath our whining there are multiple layers of discontentment of users (and even non-users) that don't post to SEO forums.

Really? According to HitWise, Google Search's market share grew from 58.33% in March, 2006 to 64.13% in March, 2007. That suggests that any "discontentment of users" with Google is decreasing not growing.

May I take this chance to point out that most of these problems where actually created by Google

Junk sites were around before Google existed. Anyone who was using the Web in the late 1990s can remember when AltaVista, InfoSeek, etc. were overrun by crappy boilerplate affiliate pages. In any case, it's naive to blame Google for for the greed of short-term opportunists who think the Web was invented to help them get rich with a minimum of effort.

Webmasters want to have: [snip]

Webmasters want to have referrals and free traffic. No matter what Google does or doesn't do, a vocal group of Webmasters who aren't happy with their search rankings will accuse Google of being a cruel, unfeeling, greedy, corrupt monopoly. That's just human nature.

callivert




msg:3336060
 4:38 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Completely depending on Google (or ANY limited set of sources) for your traffic is a recipe for unhappiness

Sounds a bit like OPEC saying: "Don't completely depend on us for oil". Yet, the world does. But that's the real world.
But then you got your professional nay-sayers saying: "A real webmaster would squeeze his oil from an olive tree".

brilliantly put. I'd like to paste this into all future discussions on this topic.

willybfriendly




msg:3336103
 5:25 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Really? According to HitWise, Google Search's market share grew from 58.33% in March, 2006 to 64.13% in March, 2007. That suggests that any "discontentment of users" with Google is decreasing not growing.

Bad logic, EFV.

Increase in market share does not necessarily mean approval of G. It could just as reasonably reflect an even greater discontment with other SE's.

I did a G search a few days ago trying to get the local # of the Social Security office. How many pages deep should a person have to go to find a .gov site? I really had no interest in a disability attorney.

Finally got something with the query "city state social security .gov" at #5. Certainly less than satisfying. But, MSN and Y were worse.

I think though, and more related to the point, what we are seeing is a shift in the relationship between the webmaster community and G from one based on trust to one based on suspicion, if not distrust. That will not be a good thing in the long run - just ask MS.

WBF

menial




msg:3336112
 5:34 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

The only entity (other than the Yahoo/MSN competition) that is able to stop Google from their ultimate goal (to gather and organize the world's information) is the European Union. I personally hope that will be the case.

Obviously, Google Inc. is an American company and I don't see how the EU officials would allow one outside company to dominate its market and cross the privacy line of its members. I predict the major legislation blows against Google will come from one of the EU country. The Belgian copyright ruling against Google News was just a start.

[edited by: menial at 5:57 pm (utc) on May 10, 2007]

tedster




msg:3336118
 5:42 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Looks to me like the Belgian copyright saga is still playing out. The papers are back in Google [msnbc.msn.com] [MSNBC story, 3 May 2007].

As the article says, even as their non-paid content reappears in Google "they are still in talks". The paradoxical quality of their relationship to Google is becoming clearer to those website owners, I think.

Martin40




msg:3336134
 6:12 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

willybfriendly:

Increase in market share does not necessarily mean approval of G. It could just as reasonably reflect an even greater discontment with other SE's.

I would even suggest that beyond some point there is an inverse relationship between market share and goodwill. I think things will really start to get hairy when that point is reached in the US.

Another question is whether or not search engines own organic traffic. Some posters make it seem as if search engines create traffic and then kindly donate it to webmasters.

If you do a search, do you have the feeling the search engine owns your behaviour?

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