londrum - 9:57 am on Jul 16, 2010 (gmt 0)
people talk like google is just a search engine like any other. they are not. people say you shouldn't depend on them and if you do, then that's tough luck on you. because you should have had more sense.
but the fact is this: the vast vast majority of people find websites through google. and if google doesn't list you for some keyword or another then the chances are you won't be found. it's alright the big boys saying pay for some ads or something, but not every new business is in a position to do that.
in any another business, you have options. if you start up a shop, then you can rely on people walking past. but in the world of the web, google owns the highstreet, and directs people where to go (which increasingly means straight into their own premises, by listing their sites and ads above the serps)
if you start up a local business, you can leaflet the neighbourhood for free. but in the world of the web, leafleting, or cold-calling (spamming) will get you banned from google.
if you start up a local service, then you can put ads in other businesses windows, but in the world of the web, buying text links on other sites will get you banned from google.
a lot of the rules that google enforce, like penalising paid links, have spread across the entire web, so its no longer perculiar to their own search engine. but who gave google the power to 'criminalise' millions of pounds worth of perfectly legitimate advertising dollars like that? because that is in effect what they have done. companies have spent millions of pounds worth of advertising dollars over the years on perfectly normal plugs on other sites, just like in any other media field, and google comes along and pretty much makes it 'illegal'.
why should a single company be allowed to dictate the rules of the web in this way?
what is the difference, really, in spending £100 on a text link on a popular site, and spending £100 on Google ads. there is no difference. penalising the first simply means that sites have to get the traffic from elsewhere. and guess where google wants them to come. it's a racket. it's like protection money -- they are saying "dont spend money in their shop, or i will bust your site back to position one million".
all the laws on the SEO statute book have google's rubber stamp.