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Google Under Siege - Fair or Unfair?

   
8:33 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



The Gmail outcry is huge. The Local search outcry is growing. The number of negative Google stories out there is a surprise.

It seems Google can't please anyone these days.

What is the root of it all?

a) The Florida update?
b) Big - just plain bigness (everyone loves to pick on the big guy)?
c) Poor management?
d) Public relations dept screw up?
e) Competitors planting seeds of division?
f) All of the above?

10:17 am on Apr 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



HarryM

I see no evidence for that. If you don't change with the times, you're dead. Think IBM and the opportunities lost to MS. Think shipyards. Think rust belts.

It's not about not changing with the times, it's about making sure that your number one product is the best on the net. For Google, the number one product is the results for the searches that 99% of users are doing and that's not advanced search features.

11:23 am on Apr 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Wait until, the Xmas buying season and knock down all those at the top.

I must admit, the timing for that particular algo change was catastrophic for a huge number of businesses, big and small. The Florida update nearly put me under as it was the beginning of my big selling season.

If it happened again, Google staffers would have to don disguises before leaving their homes! :)

I can imagine what Sergey might select as his favourite disguise ;) ... but how about GG?

2:55 pm on Apr 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I hope Googleguy shows senior management at G this thread. It's a pretty good summary of the mistakes Google has made over the past few months.

I believe their problems stem from not being able to respond quickly enough to mistakes, unintended consequences of Algo changes, or whatever you would call their actions starting with Florida. This is typical of businesses who grow too fast. As they place more people and policies in place to keep up, these slow down the process.

There's nothing in this thread that those in charge at G don't already know, but being able to see it all in one read may show them the extent of the damage done to their reputation, quality of searches and the loyalty of webmasters and searchers by recent actions.

I don't believe there is any conspiracy or intent involved here, just bad business decisions and the inability to correct them. The Brandy update was an honest attempt to correct problems with Florida and Austin, but there was too much damage and it came too late for many sites who had come to rely on Google over the past two years for revenue generating traffic.

I've read the "don't rely on only one SE" and other such advice, but many businesses came to depend on Google's traffic for their existance and did so by writng good, relevant pages for searchers not SEs. All the good advice out there on what we should have done doesn't change the outcome or the ill feelings in the webmaster community toward Google. Right or wrong, many saw Google as the only game in town.

Even though Brandy was a step back in the right direction, the days of just producing a good web site and being seen are coming to an end. If you don't understand SEO or can't afford to hire someone to do it for you, better find another way to sell your product or service.

I hope Google has learned from the experience and will slow the pace of future Algo changes and improve communications with webmasters. At present, Googleguy seems to be their only voice, although a good one.

7:35 pm on Apr 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Hi,

When Google decided to start to accept ads it was very aware of the potential problems that this could bring in terms of its brand image. So those who make the decissions decided to make it abundently clear what were adverts and what were "real results".

I think that over time a couple of things have dawned on the guys at Google. First, most folks retained the Utopian image of Google and still loved the results and so accepted the commercialism. Second they realised that there's no point in being a little bit commercial. If you are going to be commercial you might as well go the whole hog.

So Google Inc may as well look for every opportunity it can to maximise the potential of its brand. Whilst there is a danger in doing this because it gives amunition to your enemies and your friends MAY turn away. At the end of the day if Google had half its current market share and maximised the potential of commercial opportunities available then it would be several orders more profitable than a search engine with 90% market share that dabbled a bit in advertising. Very tempting.

I fully support the Popes right to install condom machines in the Vatican. I just think that those folks who believed rational behind the edict not to use rubbers might feel a tad betrayed when they find out just how total the U turns is. This is the biggest threat to Google. I guess however that they have carefully researched this and beleive that they can stand the possible loss in market share because of the strength of the up side.

I wish I had Googles problems!

Best wishes

Sid

12:58 am on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



"Googleguy, this is OT, but why oh why don't you let us get to your history of messages?"

blaze, twasn't me. I think Brett did that to keep that annoying scraper from copying my comments into his own little site/RSS feed. By the way, to the dude who does that: please stop. When I want to start my own blog, I'll do it. In the mean time, taking all my posts without asking me or asking Brett, then posting them with your own spin on it (which can be way off the mark)--it's just rude. And selling those text links for "search engine marketing" when you're copying my posts, well, that's just classy. So not that you've ever asked, but I'd like you to stop copying my posts.

1:13 am on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



So not that you've ever asked, but I'd like you to stop copying my posts.

Wow - I always thought he had the OK. The TOS are pretty clear about that sort of stuff.

1:31 am on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



When I want to start my own blog, I'll do it.

GG, you should start your own blog.

Psst, want to trade links?

Sorry couldn't resist :D

3:49 am on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



At our annual Easter family gathering I saw my brother in-law searching with Google for Marvel Comic related content. He is a big Google fan and has no idea what SEO is. I asked him candidly "Over the last 6 months would you say that the quailty of Google is better or worse?"

His answer: "Definately worse ... interesting you should ask ... I was just thinking that as I was doing some searches today, were your reading my mind or something?"

The moral of the story: The big non-SEO non-Webmaster fans of Google are taking notice of the bad SERPS.

The big G is in Big trouble....

4:17 am on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)



>The moral of the story: The big non-SEO non-Webmaster fans of Google are taking notice of the bad SERPS.

That canít be. The Google cheerleaders have made it quite clear that G users are all idiots and won't notice the search result difference. G users are so stupid you could return results of the local zoo for every search and they would never even figure out there was an issue. They would gladly click on adwords after getting poor results like the idiot little mice that they are and be happy little campers, and they would never move to Yahoo or MSN search. Why? Because they are idiots and the only thing an idiot can type is the word Google into the search bar. Therefore you must have hallucinated this story. Google is fine, growing in leaps and bounds, best they have ever been. Rah! Rah! Rah! ;-)

4:39 am on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



A major trend I have seen in SERPs is when searching for information i have no problems, when searching for commercial items or brands I find it harder and it requires more / different phrasing.
Maybe google is trying to niche itself. for example use google for information / research, use froogle for shopping.
Whatever googles strategy, I still use google and find what I want. I will consider changing engines when I dont find answers to my query on google and do find them on another engine. This is yet to happen, so I will stay with google.
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