As I read comments around here, I'm very surprised to see the number of people still on the Google side when clearly:
- Google is increasingly giving unfair advantages to its own properties
- Google is taking away free data and apps (not provided, Google shopping etc)
- Google is killing organic results and putting almost exclusively paid results above the fold on commercial queries
- They're making organic results as shaky as possible to make sure you cannot make a stable income from them and buy ads for stability.
Clearly I understand why they're doing all this and I'd probably do exactly the same if I was in their position. Google is a for profit company and you're taking money away from them when you charge your clients or invest in SEO for your own sites.
But Google is not on your side, so why are you on theirs?
I have asked myself that question quite often lately. There are
many answers. Ignorance is one. Another one is opportunism. A third one
is simply fear. You don't want to bite the hand that feeds you, even if
the fodder gets less and less every day. So people are rather fighting
each other to get something to eat than to demand more from Google. Also
it's powerlessness. Most people have the TINA approach as in There Is
No Alternative. All of these reactions are pretty common in
dictatorships. As Google's monopoly and abuse of power is very similar
it's no wonder most of the SEO industry acts like that.
Don't even get me started re this whole scraping debacle...
I think there is a perception that if you're pro-Google, you will be an insider. It's also a very safe position, and probably much easier to present to clients than, "Google is out to screw you, but I know a better way to do things..."
What most SEOs say here and in public is very different from what I hear at conferences after a beer or two...the reality is no one wants to publicly call out Google. But in private? Very different tune.
In the end of the day Google owns the business, they make the decisions to what they want to do, you can kick and scream and say you want to do things your way, but in the end of the day they will not care, it is all about REVENUE, what ever gets revenue for its investors and partners is what will get priority. That been said Google is getting to a point where they are been greedy and users will revolt if you are greedy and just move to another service. My advice is your business model is wrong if you rely to heavily on SEO to survive on a long term basis, long gone are the days where a start up could rely just on SEO to get the word out. Their are so many other areas of online marketing/ inbound/ growth what ever you want to call it you need to worry about.I personally would rather work on holistic projects where you use large paid search budgets and percentage SEO spends and be statistical and conversion focused about where the spend goes, dealing with these businesses who have the methadology only spend 100% on SEO can be realy night mare cases from my past dealings.
I should first clarify that I am not endorsing white hat only practices with this response.
As I see it, when it comes to search, Google has such a monopoly on organic, that you HAVE to play along and support them. Remember that we are participating in a privacy corporations propriety search results when we try to rank with them. Is it naive to pretend that google is "fair" to us (the SEO's / content producers)? Of course it is, however I think that a lot of the inbond marketing movement is geared towards looking PAST google (and search) as a traffic resource.
It is similar to working in large corporation. If it is one with a culture of brown nosing, then in order to move up... you need to get your nose a little dirty. Those that succeed in climbing the ladder don't ACTUALLY enjoy the act of groveling and playing the corporate game, however the see the benefit of it. I would argue that SEO is similar... and consider that this community (piggy backing off of the SEOmoz SEO mindset) is much more corporate in mindset (what is the ratio of inhouse/corporate/big brand SEO's here? )
All of this said, I am not saying that google is "good" rather that siding with the winning team in this situation is a smart move. Finland sided with Germany in WW2.. I doubt it was for ethical reasons (rather it was the smartest move for them to make at the time)
Sorry about the formatting. In the editor a paragraph return displays a single with a double. So by backspacing (to make editor look like a double return) it saved as a single....
Sorry about that! We're working on this...
No problem, I think a few of us have dealt with this sort of thing before =P. FROM my experience as a user, the confusion was that on the return it gave a break and then a paragraph return. When I backspace once (to make it "look" like a return" it clears the paragraph return and only leaves the linebreak.
Once again, using Google doesn't mean being pro Google. But when I see SEO's pretty much insulting each other when they see each other break some Google TOS I'm like Why? You were not commissioned by Google and don't worry, Google is trying to screw you over too.
I see so many people here trying to be the white knights of Google and pretty much prohibiting some topics in the name of what's good and what's bad. There are different degrees or risk and if you think your myblogguest guest posting is safer than smart link acquisitions you may be wrong even in the long term.
So why is the dialogue so narrow between marketers despite the fact that we all want to use Google for traffic? Why not discuss about everything and let people chose what they'd want to use for their own sites or clients?
PS: This is not an endorsment of black/grey hat. I still believe in bringing value to the end user and your customer base. But why worry about Google?
I have to agree with Julian. It is not about being on Google's side. It is about playing the game in a way that maximizes your chances of winning. Because Google has a monopoly on search, they make the rules. To win, we have to follow those rules.
The way I see it is that marketers have to be on the side of where the market is.
You can be stubborn and quit Google in 'protest' but as a marketer you're shooting yourself in the foot. However, what is most sensible would be to use as many relevant platforms as possible and never be reliant on any one thing.
This is because people here are affraid to think themselves in many cases so they repeat what they favorite Whitheat guru tells - who is atually affraid to say what he really thinks.
I could not agree with you more Gael Breton I was just commenting on another thread (and sorry to double comment):
You do have to marvel at the Google hypocrisy. RankWatch is right, Google are scraping data themselves then telling people not to. Exactly the same sentiment as them condemning peoples so called 'incentive' behind whats commonly labelled grey or black hat SEO and doing it themselves, in taking away Keyword data (not provided) and claiming its for security, when its obviously to hold the monopoly for their ad network.
"Don't be evil" what a farce!
Well this is true, Google will take away keyword data for so called "privacy", but it will more then willingly provide demographic targeting for advertising based off Google profiles.
I'm a marketer and Google is a marketing tool. As long as they are one of the most highly visited website they are a marketing tool. At the end of the day it doesn't matter what any internet marketer on this site or any other site thinks. What matters is that of the average consumer and internet user. If you feel villainizing Google benefits your business in some way then do it.
What a bleak view that is. At the end of the day we shouldn't say anything about anything then... I'd rather not sleepwalk into mediocrity thanks. I'd prefer to discuss things.
I wouldn't necessarily call this viewpoint bleak... it's a tool we all have to acknowledge and use on a daily basis, so I think it's better to understand that and try to work with it instead of just complaining about it. Either way you look at it we'll all be concentrating much of our efforts on ranking well within Google for the foreseeable future, even as they work against us.
I am not defending Google, I am just focusing my time and efforts on being more proactive when it comes to traffic currently obtained and converting this traffic as well utilise the traffic to create more traffic via social media.
There is definitely a big split on this. In my mind, Google is a traffic source. There are many traffic sources. The only thing special about Google is that amount of traffic it can send. Really, depending on your vertical, there can be more profitable traffic sources such as Pinterest, or Reddit, etc.At the end of the day, it depends on your mindset. If you want to rank for a long time, you have to play by Google's rules. If you want to rank and bank for a short amount of time with a throw away site, then you can abuse their system.
It seems I can't share this debate on Twitter. The link leads to the homepage instead.
Check out this article which adds further to this topic area - http://www.searchenginejournal.com/what-is-google/54114/
Finally!! I have been talking about this since the release of Google local in SERPS, I even wrote this last week http://youinc.com/profiles/blogs/is-google-causing-inflation
The day that I went from white hat to blue hat was when I realized that google is a publicly traded company with a legal obligation to maximize profits. They do not have a legal obligation to users, simply to share holders. Same with Apple, Facebook, and many of the "awesome" companies of our day.
100% agree with you. Luckly there are other traffic sources also.
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