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Is Google Soliciting YOUR Clients to Yellowbook?
dan76




msg:4339028
 3:55 pm on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

I joined this forum just so I can vent my frustrations about this atrocity with hopes I'm not alone with my sentiment...

I just learned that Google is sending direct emails to the Client accounts under our MCC. They are blatantly offering $100 vouchers to give clients incentive to move to Yellowbook for PPC management.

As a small business that only manages a few clients, I am blown away by the fact that Google is trying to steal our hard earned business by soliciting our customers for Yellowbook. Yes, some of our Client Adwords accounts are temporary dormant, but that doesn't mean we're not still working with them or actively trying to get them back on Google. To try sending them away from us is a disgrace.

I guess Google believes they can do whatever the heck they want. Partnership with Google? What Partnership? Adwords Certified Company? What does that even mean anymore?

Google's actions are absolutely disgraceful. See for yourself, and you tell me if this email makes us feel like a "Valued" Partner:


Hello from Google!

For a limited time, Yellowbook will set up a new AdWords account just for you and build your online advertising campaigns at no charge.* And even better, you get a $100 Google AdWords credit to get started. This is a great opportunity for you to have Yellowbook professionally manage your AdWords campaigns.

• Professionally managed AdWords campaigns created and built by Yellowbook
• Pay only if you exhaust your $100 credit and choose to continue with Yellowbook*
• No up-front costs and cancel at anytime
• Offer expires July 31, 2011

Just call Yellowbook at 866-306-9060 or visit [webreach....] yellowbook com/tryus to take advantage of this offer right away. Hurry because this offer expires July 31, 2011!

Note: If you prefer managing your AdWords account on your own, you can redeem your $100 credit in your existing AdWords account instead.

Sincerely,

Your Google AdWords Team



Anyone else have any thoughts about this?

 

pageoneresults




msg:4341911
 8:04 pm on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I got this as a reply from a Peer on Twitter when I Tweeted this topic yesterday...

Something similar has been happening here in Australia. Here G is writing to small businesses offering them websites and domain names for free and help with AdWords.


I wonder who is managing those Aussie campaigns?

chewy




msg:4341932
 8:43 pm on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I seem to recall this - anybody remember anything like this about Yellowbook?

I don't want to tar these guys unnecessarily any more than they deserve.

I have a recollection of running into YellowBook as a hidden display advertiser - this was back when I was working in log file analysis... (so it was a while ago)

I dimly recall they were a large source of high cost, low converting traffic that was commonly syndicated out to even more useless advertisers who were obscured unless you were paying very close attention.

I seem to recall also learning first-time about GA filters back then that would enable you to see detail about otherwise obscure referral sources.

mhansen




msg:4341936
 8:56 pm on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Having worked in sales management for a (former) fortune 500 tech company back in the hardware heydays... One of the easiest ways to increase your SMB revenue is to squeeze more from existing accounts.

In the beginning, we gave our top account reps 30 days to close big deals, then management was called in to wine and dine the clients, WITH the account rep, and get the deals closed. When the company needed to generate more revenue, screws were turned tighter, and they had management calling behind account reps within 7 days. Before the end of the company division... I can recall management 2-layers deep calling on accounts the same day reps delivered proposals to them, asking for the sale!

We gave all the tools to manage accounts in the company system. Even though the Reps managed the account, the company owned them! If the account was not "touched" (contact or action of some type) in any consecutive 45 day period, it was handed to the next nearest account rep as a warm prospect. I'm not sure, but I venture to bet if you dig deep into the Goog GCP TOS, you will find something that gives them the right to do anything they want with the info of "Their" client, that you put into "Their" system. We are nothing but middlemen to Google. Period.

If you look at what Goog is doing in many aspects of business, they are squeezing out the middle man completely. (Webmasters, SEO, Code Guru's, Script Kiddies, Marketing Agencies, IM, etc Have you looked at a local result lately? WHY does Joe-The-Local-Plumber need a website anymore? In most cases, they don't... Google gives them a places page and the free tools to manage everything about their company. (BUT, more importantly) Google ALSO assures that their places will outrank almost all other websites in organic search! All we can do is find a way to work within the parameters of the Google system, and add-value to our clients so they keep us on.

As much as I hate that they are abusing their position, and they are, you have to admire them from a capitalist standpoint. They "Own" the Internet, Internet Marketing at the Local Level, and the Biggest advertising network in the world. This is not like the other local companies we strive to outperform for years... this is Google.

walkman




msg:4341953
 9:27 pm on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

It won't change anything, but I will go down making one big effing noise about it.
:)

Have you looked at a local result lately? WHY does Joe-The-Local-Plumber need a website anymore? In most cases, they don't... Google gives them a places page and the free tools to manage everything about their company. (BUT, more importantly) Google ALSO assures that their places will outrank almost all other websites in organic search! All we can do is find a way to work within the parameters of the Google system, and add-value to our clients so they keep us on.
Not just that but they are pandalizing small business sites--among other sites: If you have no how-to-articles you need more content. if you have content it's not unique, as if they are 10 million ways of writing about an ear ache or how to fix your kitchen sink. It's a perfect scam. Sadly, somehow they own the most popular gateway to the internet and they will use it to the max to maximize their earnings. Until someone in the EU or USA does something we are screwed.

As for partners: See Apple, Schmidt was even on their board as Google planned their destruction. Apple can of course fight back, we...?

netmeg




msg:4341980
 10:21 pm on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am suddenly having a Glengarry Glen Ross flashback.

First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired!

moTi




msg:4342015
 1:47 am on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

well said, mhansen.

webmasters know the double-dependency too well. google sends the visitors, google sends the checks. most popular search engine and biggest advertising network in one company is the underlying issue here. they own the gateway and they own the monetization. and naturally they are abusing their monopolistic market position more and more - with tools like dumping and cross-subsidization. the op has mentioned one of the many excesses. with that kind of setup, the potential to squeeze customers and middle men is almost limitless.

for me, there is only one consequence: break up the company into at least two independent businesses - namely search and advertising. but if that's already a solution, i don't know.

Web_speed




msg:4342023
 2:03 am on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Something similar has been happening here in Australia. Here G is writing to small businesses offering them websites and domain names for free and help with AdWords.


I'm in Australia and can confirm the above mentioned. I've seen these emails/offers pop up more then once lately.

walkman




msg:4342033
 3:38 am on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm in Australia and can confirm the above mentioned. I've seen these emails/offers pop up more then once lately.

for me, there is only one consequence: break up the company into at least two independent businesses - namely search and advertising. but if that's already a solution, i don't know.
May I suggest you write and urge others to write as well to your representatives in the government. They will act if enough people care.

FTC, The US Senate and EU are already investigating their monopolist actions. Let's limit the damage, otherwise the beast will eat us all. This is not free market, it's the opposite, IMO. Either way you have the right to express your opinions and the if your government acts, Google has the right to defend their stance.

Web_speed




msg:4342065
 6:49 am on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

FTC, The US Senate and EU are already investigating their monopolist actions. Let's limit the damage, otherwise the beast will eat us all. This is not free market, it's the opposite, IMO. Either way you have the right to express your opinions and the if your government acts, Google has the right to defend their stance.


I 100% agree. I've been watching (with much concern) this monster grow rapidly for more then 10 years now. They have their hands in every one's pockets and the abuse of power is getting absolutely ridiculous nowadays...

I would love to write to my member of parliament and voice my concerns about this octopus. Can someone please post here or PM me a good template...

It is up to us webmasters to warn the rest about the dangerous power Google now holds and the cynical way they've been abusing that power for far too long. Average Joe just thinks Google are cute and fun....they have no idea! ... it is up to us to sound the alarm and about time we DO.

engine




msg:4342083
 8:29 am on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have a friend that runs a small to medium-sized business and he really just does not have time to deal direct with AdWords.

I showed him how to use AdWords when it first came out and he looked at me and said, no, forget it, I don't have time.

His solution was to employ a small agency suited to his business.

I doubt he'd be impressed with Google's approach, never mind his agency.

[edited by: engine at 8:40 am (utc) on Jul 21, 2011]

docbird




msg:4342084
 8:35 am on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'd thought Google cute and fun, but that was sometime back. Nowadays, Do No Evil, hmmm...

Maybe there was a time Rupert Murdoch seemed cute and fun

There's truth in the adage power corrupts; care is clearly needed with Google

leadegroot




msg:4342104
 9:54 am on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Something similar has been happening here in Australia. Here G is writing to small businesses offering them websites and domain names for free and help with AdWords.


I wonder who is managing those Aussie campaigns?


Google and MYOB have teamed up together down here. Search for the appropriate keywords and you'll find the press releases.
Bear in mind that here they are offering *hosting*, with a $100 adwords voucher (IIRC)
It doesn't have anywhere near the impingment that the OPs problem does (and it seems to be only a medium quality service, judging by complaints in the relevant forum)

mhansen




msg:4342144
 12:03 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google now giving away free websites and Adwords vouchers to Texas businesses. [searchengineland.com...]

and from the about us page: [texasgetonline.com...]


Texas Get Your Business Online is a Google-led program dedicated to driving economic growth by providing Texas businesses the tools and resources to get online and succeed.


Feel that knife twisting in your backs yet? I'm starting to envision Larry and Sergey sitting in a large space capsule looking thing... rubbing their hands together and sneering... "Ours... OURS... it will All Be Ours!"

The implied benefits of Joe the Plumber being able to partner with Google to get listed and found in search, is enough to cause most small business owners to second-guess local support.

oddsod




msg:4342166
 1:23 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm surprised that anyone's surprised.

Google has form in this. They took our content and reproduced it in their cache without permission (using that famous get-out clause of "you can opt out"). They've helped themselves to snippets, definitions, images and serve that directly in the SERPS to bypass our sites. Remember all your books are belong to us? How many more examples do people need before realising you just can't trust the Gorg?

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4342182
 1:57 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing Google adwords ads offering $75 in free startup everywhere adsense units are placed. I have interested based ads disabled on my site, and in my personal settings, and I still see them.

wwconnect




msg:4342200
 2:17 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Interesting, especially when you consider almost all of Google's engineers have their own side businesses/hobbies. Are you suggesting they could do something like influence search results in their favor?

@stoutfiles

No, I don't think engineers would be influencing results towards their own projects. It just seems from Matt's comments that the whole company is like a 20 headed beast where some directive gets sent out like "increase adwords revenue for the company" and then everyone runs off in different directions and starts implementing but no one has discussed the consequences or implications.

It seems odd that a bunch of people at Google that have an overview of the company would come together and be ok with the idea of soliciting clients whose AdWords accounts are already being managed under someone else's MCC(And as far ws we know are happy there).


Something this stupid and idiotic could only come from someone isolated from Google's relationship with the webmaster community like someone low on the todem pole in sales or some other hidden appendage at the company. If it's anything else then the people over there really are idiots.

I agree with mhansen and there's nothing wrong with them wanting to grow adwords. There are still lots of businesses that don't use adwords and maybe they could help us reach more of them.

The MAJOR issue I have with this is that they are soliciting clients whose AdWords accounts are already being managed under someone else's MCC. It's disgusting and they should be ashamed of themselves for completely disregarding their current "partners." It just breads extreme distrust and ill will.

wwconnect




msg:4342202
 2:18 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Sgt_Kickaxe
I see the same thing. I'm was thinking I might be on a remarketing list and that anyone who goes to the adwords homepage gets put on it.

Panthro




msg:4342203
 2:22 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is nothing (although pretty tacky). They are giving free websites, hosting, etc for a year to certain cities while pushing their Super Places, or whatever it's called. All local will belong to Google.

J_RaD




msg:4342216
 2:47 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

move to adcenter/yahoo
find other local ad offerings, ASAP.

at 1st this kind of shocked me, but then it really didn't...its goog, nothing they do surprises me anymore, and after having the knife stabbed in my back already i am 100000% against giving them ANY money.

you might not get as much traffic from adcenter/yahoo ( depends on your market ) but i can tell you it will be cheaper then adwords and for the time being they adcenter team isn't waiting till you aren't looking to steal your clients. They also won't blindly ban your account.


you also don't see goog waving that "don't be evil" b/s line around anymore either.

spadilla




msg:4342262
 4:09 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm not surprised at all. They are giving away free small business websites to everyone in the state of Texas via Intuit: [texasgetonline.com...] Cutting out the middle man seems to make sense to them.

walkman




msg:4342353
 5:46 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I showed him how to use AdWords when it first came out and he looked at me and said, no, forget it, I don't have time.

His solution was to employ a small agency suited to his business.

I doubt he'd be impressed with Google's approach, never mind his agency.
Engine, IMO (have to say that when I 'bash' Google ;)) this is done so it drives the middleman out of business for that field. Once you stop offering that, then Goog will be the only one left. The same way Goog is doing to local directories, shopping comparison sites, soon 'offers,' credit cards...travel..etc etc.

Microsoft - Netscape.

justawriter




msg:4342427
 7:58 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

May I suggest you write and urge others to write as well to your representatives in the government. They will act if enough people care.


Unfortunately that seems a bit pointless ... back in early June or late May the Australian Prime Minister in a speech in Perth spoke very warmly of Google's offer to small businesses here in Australia.

My partner ... who is a bit like an Australian stealth version of Netmeg ... immediately wrote to the PM. The response was to say that my partner's complaint had been passed to the Communications Minister ... a bit like saying we'll get the village idiot to reply to you the next time he can find a pen and paper.

mhansen




msg:4342444
 8:28 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

We're already looking for ways to play WITH Google in this... not against them. The Web and Business Developer inside of me is IRATE and prefers to jump into their faces and give them a good Texas Mule-Kicking for underhanded business practices, and block them from indexing EVERY WEBSITE I have ever built! Obviously, I would feel better for the moment... but my business would fail.

The calmer, smarter business owner inside of me realizes this is "Google"... and what they are doing IS actually helping the local business owners, so if I want to have a plate at the table in 12 months, I need to find a way to suck up my pride... grab a straw and sucking off the Google kool-aid tank on this one.

Kinda funny they chose TX first (In the US), since the AG is aggressively investigating Google for Antitrust (http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/09/04/legal-briefing-texas-investigating-google-antitrust-violations/)

Disclaimer: I DO NOT own Goog stock, and I am NOT a supporter. This is one of these things that we feel is going to impact us, and we need to adjust. I think they call it pressure...

wwconnect




msg:4342475
 9:23 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google is an 800lb gorilla and any battle with them has to be carefully chosen AND well planned/coordinated otherwise its a certain death wish. I've been having similar thoughts as mhansen on doing business with Google and I'm reminded of, don't cut your nose off to spite your face when Google is careless.

As far as writing to my representative, having the government interfere can easily give a much worse outcome for everyone and easily backfire.

My personal opinion(I should put that up front—and disclose I own no Google stock etc, etc) is that in large part the Panda update was Google's response to the webmaster/seo community complaining about content farms and poor quality.
If you think about it the ones who were whining the loudest about Mahalo, ehow and similar farms over the last 1-1.5 years and how they polluted the SERPs were in the webmaster/SEO community. Now Google took action and everyone is crying a river.

Did people expect that Google would roll out a massive update that would fix all the poor content but no one here would be affected and no collateral damage?
I'm just saying that b/c I don't want any large unpredictable potentially damaging reactions from Google or the gov in response to a campaign to the gov to investigate google.

walkman




msg:4342480
 9:33 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

mhansen and wwconnect,
no one said to block Google or starve because you refuse to do business with them :) . It has to do with the larger picture, what their strategy is leading to, maybe not today but 1-2-3 years from now. You can make money (while and how they let you) and still push for changes at the same, albeit secretly. I wouldn't have a /google-sucks/ section on my biz site of course, but they are other ways.

So you can hope Google puts you on #1, optimize for them, use and or like adsense, gmail...youtube and STILL hate the direction they are taking. If that's the case of course, everyone sees it differently.

spadilla




msg:4342485
 9:57 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

@mhansen the fact that they teamed up with intuit's non-intuitive website product is actually a good thing if you are a web developer. They are selling the importance of having a website (which I haven't the time or patience to do much anymore), once they have a website and realize it's a piece of crap - they will look to someone with experience. Let Google take the "I want a handout" customers - they are actually saving us a headache.

J_RaD




msg:4342751
 4:18 pm on Jul 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

^ thats a good way to look at it, but its still a trojan horse. How long till it gains more ground until that becomes some kind of standard for local business? They've started tapping on the chisel, and its no secret they want to own every corner of the web.

Leosghost




msg:4342776
 5:00 pm on Jul 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

The "free website" with Google and chosen partners ( in this case a major telecom/ISP ) is also running in France..

Free for 1 year , includes free domain name ..plus ..€100.oo euro adwords voucher included ..and a toll free support number if called from a fixed line.

Second year is €5.oo plus VAT/TVA per month ..but there is no obligation to sign any contract ..so no obligation to continue into the second year ..or if you do ..you can run it month by month..

Been seeing these ads ( as adsense/DC ) sporadically for the last 3 or 4 weeks now..another just caught my eye ..they even have a video on youtube in French to walk prospects through how easy it is to set up ..

This is going to hurt the small webdesign shops here ..the ISP has farmed out the work to a template franchise company whose main business was in accounting software ..their websites ( I've seen a few over the last two years, that friends bought for their local businesses from the local franchisees* ) are a really awful mess of special markup and editable fields etc ..makes frontpages worst excesses before it was taken out back and shot, look limpidly clear by comparison ..

The interface is all PACWYSITVOACCS ( point and click what you see is the veneer on awful convoluted code soup ) ..sites made with it used to blink a lot and jigger about as they painted ..definitely were not cross browser..not even cross IE iterations..so heaven knows what sites made with it nowadays will do.

*Franchisees are going to be unhappy ..they used to sell sites that they made using this PACWYSITVOACCS for €600.oo for a 5 page site ..and €900.oo for 10 pages and so on ..they won't sell many now ..and just as they built up their business and started paying off their loans to buy into the franchise and buy the "software" and the POS merchandising ..

The software leaves ( or used to leave ) its name in the code ( I was surprised that they were not too ashamed to when I saw the code ;-)..that's how I know it is the same company that Google is tied up with in France for this.

I can't see any small webdesign company being able to compete with "free for 12 months with toll free support and domain name an then €5.oo per month with no obligation and €100.oo adwords thrown in"..

Free crack and crystal ..and discounted prices with no obligation to consume on your second years supply ..straight from the Googly chemical man ..

Now wonder they closed "labs" ..now they are driving down all the streets and setting up shop on every corner..

btw ..I don't beleive anyone could do any opage SEO for the sites that this stuff makes ..and mom and pop ( maman et papa en Français, pour toi ) French local businesses are not going to be able to do or afford SEO advice ..so it'll be adwords ..and when the first €100.oo is gone ..it'll just roll over ..and over ..and over ..

It is likely to boost the incomes of locally oriented sites that run adsense though, as "mom and pops" ..will let their ads run on the content network in fact , especially the locally targeted ( to them ) content network ..even if it is just so as to be able to say "seen our ad on Google?"..

justawriter




msg:4342814
 5:50 pm on Jul 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

ow long till it gains more ground until that becomes some kind of standard for local business? They've started tapping on the chisel, and its no secret they want to own every corner of the web.


When they buy a company like BigCommerce you'll know that they have the game sewn up as far as small web designers who have no alternative product are concerned.

If you're in a position to diversify now would be a good time to do it. My partner and I have other projects that we've been slowly developing over the years and now we're starting to spend more time on them.

mhansen




msg:4342820
 5:59 pm on Jul 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just do a search for all kinds of local services that are listed in your area.

- Computer repair = local results 7-pack.
- Exterminator = local results 7-pack
- Auto repair = local results 7-pack
- Wedding photography = local 7
- website design = ? Hmmmm
- internet marketing = ? Hmmmm
- [city] website design = Not even a 7-Pack for this?!
- [city] search engine marketing = nope.
- [city] database programming

If you find a 7-pack in the web-services industry, PLEASE post the generic query! Its a no-go for me.

You can see where I'm going.... They are providing the "Local 7-Pack" for hundreds of local service companies, but making a point to EXCLUDE the web designer, search marketing profession, and type of technology development.

Even the Yellowbook and Phone Company has a section for Website Services... Not the new Google.

freejung




msg:4342852
 7:09 pm on Jul 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

for me, there is only one consequence: break up the company into at least two independent businesses - namely search and advertising

That makes a lot of sense from an antitrust perspective, but from a business perspective -- how does the search-only company support itself? There's not actually any money in search alone. Well... OK, maybe a tiny trickle from white-label site search, but not much.

Maybe it would make more sense to split them into two search+ads companies and make them compete against each other. Then nobody would have a majority share of either market.

The problem with that is that whichever one gets the domain google.com will win. So maybe you take it away from both and install a redirect script to split the type-in traffic down the middle.

Or maybe there's just no simple solution. It's a complex problem. We need to find some way to solve it though. Monopoly leads to stagnation.

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