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By using Google's search engine or other Google services ("Google Services"), you agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions (the "Terms of Service"). As used in this agreement, "Google Services" does not include the Adwords or Adsense programs.
The Google Services are made available for your personal, non-commercial use only. You may not use the Google Services to sell a product or service, or to increase traffic to your Web site for commercial reasons, such as advertising sales.
Doesn't this mean that, according to Google's own Terms of Service, that we are not allowed to use the "Google Services" (which includes the search engine itself) to increase traffic to your Web site for commercial reasons?
That pretty much nullifies targeting Google ranking :)
Not that Google is likely to enforce it, but technically SEO is violating their TOS.
Or, perhaps they just need to update their TOS ;)
It's clumsily, or maybe intentionally loosely worded:
...to increase traffic to your Web site for commercial reasons, such as advertising sales.
Does that mean you can cut and paste the serps into your own website, or cloak the first ten positions in the serps, as long as you're doing it for non-commercial reasons?
[edited by: martinibuster at 8:39 pm (utc) on Feb. 19, 2006]
Can we say "hint hint -- use AdWords and AdSense if you want to draw traffic to your site, but do not employ SEO methods, as these give us no money" :)
Feels like ulterior motive. ;)
[edited by: DrDoc at 8:48 pm (utc) on Feb. 19, 2006]
I think martinibuster said it well:
I see it as applying to SEO. However, I could believe that SEO may not have been their original intention for that sentence.
They certainly do not want to be exploited or targeted through SEO. They want their own nifty index to figure out which sites are most authoritative for any given topic. It's a given that Google is against SEO itself (beyond making a site spiderable), since it will skew the index. It's like doping in sports.
Hope that is what they are referring to by referring to using Google SEO to get traffic and making money from it! It's very serious and needs to be stopped, since its basically fraud and theft of my potential traffic and adsense income.
We are heavily using G's inanchor: or inurl:domainnamedotcom search to find the scammers and reporting them all to G, Adsense-Abuse, their domain registars and ISP's as fast as possible. We all need to do that.
[edited by: trader at 9:57 pm (utc) on Feb. 19, 2006]
What some would call SEO, I call proper use of attributes, elements, page structure, navigation and overall site architecture. I can justify everything under W3C recommendations, peer to peer networking and marketing.
Take away search engines and these things dont change much.
Especially because, interpreted loosely, even checking the rank of our corporate site could be considered a violation of the part about "personal, non-commercial use only." Even more so if I use my free non-commercial API key.
Not sure what the answer is. I just say as little as possible when interacting with the corporate lawyers. And I continue to check our site's rank.