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Wednesday, December 09 2009

It's funny, some companies come up like a bolt of lightning, emerging through the clouds with all the thunder, lightning, pomp, and circumstance of a newbie to the internet market.  Sometimes they last, sometimes they don't.  Companies like the Microsoft's and Apple's of the world, who steadily build their companies, take over market share, and provide services fall into the category.  You see them coming.  You see their impact.  You see what they can and can't do, and you know their limits.

Then there are the stealth corporations of the world, who grow into the monstrosity almost silently.  One day you awaken, and they are there--  entrenched, and you wonder if that is a good or a bad thing.  For the past 15 years or so, people have been frightened that Microsoft was going to take over the world, elevating Bill Gates to Nerd King of this great land, while Apple bites at their heels, stealing their market share.  Like the cold war between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., we've watched each side duke it out.  All the while, silently, almost imperceivably, Google has been getting entrenched. 

And now, I am truly beginning to wonder if that is a good thing.

Have you ever phoned Google?  You can't.  Tried to get a contact email address where someone will respond?  Not really.  They are not only entrenched, they are unreachable.  If this were ANY OTHER COMPANY in this world, that we spent hard-earned dollars on, we'd not tolerate such a thing.  Yet we do.

And what of personal privacy?  We all know that it's become a serious issue on the 'net, but do you really want EVERY SEARCH YOU EVER DO, for the rest of your life, FOREVER RECORDED by Google?  Every site you ever visit?  I can hear your response already, "Well John, if people aren't searching for inappropriate stuff, they have nothing to hide."  Perhaps, But people have personal and private medical issues they search for information on in the net, there is family research, people do financial things on the 'net and have private conversations.  Do we really  want everything we do recorded by Google, then "anonymized" and sold off to the highest bidder?  I understand the need to chase predators. We all do.  But what about the average personal things in life?  This is now Google's way.  They keep everything on you, and they're proud of it.  At least Yahoo delete's all of your information in 90 days.  If you have a google search bar on your computer (most do, BTW), they have you.  They OWN everything you do.  Sounds a bit like cyber slavery.  Mark my words.  You will see privacy issues come to bear over the next couple of years, and at the center of this controversy will be Google.

On top of that Google is raking in the cash hand over fist on their SEM/Pay Per Click Ads.  Who monitors them?  Who makes sure that they don't have little computer programs out there clicking on all of the ads and raking in the dough for them?  They could do it easily.  If they can have spiders, intelligent programs, that scour the internet, returning information to the mother ship, they are certainly intelligent enough to create a program that will click through on links in order to achieve themselves money.  Am I saying that they are doing this?  No.  Am I saying they are not doing this.  No.  I'm just sayin', they could, and no one would be the wiser.  They could have their little programs go out there, click on your precious pay per click links, and drive up your costs right into their pocket.  There is no accountability for Google, and where there is no accountability, man generally takes advantage.  We know of a friend who has a landscaping business and looks like Santa Claus.  During the winter when landscaping is slow, he IS Santa.  He rents himself out to folks, and he has a website as well that promotes him.  All year long, his website has been in the top 5 of Google.  Then, "mysteriously," in the beginning of November his site vanishes off of Google.  Gone. This would be his busy season, where SEO would be most valuable to him as a Santa, so he could be found.  What's the solution?  Of course, Pay Per Click would solve that right away, wouldn't it.  Meaning, I can spend money with Google to fix the problem.  How convenient for them???  And then, once the Christmas rush was over, his website miraculously reappeared to its original spot, no changes made.  Am I saying that Google did that to make money off my friend?  NO.  I am saying that it is quite a coincidence, however, and awfully convenient for Google. 

As for search relevance, we are convinced, after learning SEO, that Bing and Yahoo deliver FAR MORE RELEVANT results than Google.  How do I know?  We were trying to optimize a site for a client.  For MONTHS, Google kept in the top 10 a website that had been defunct for quite some time, and also, when the search term was put into Google, it pulled up a WhoIs page.  Quite honestly, pulling up a WhoIs page is the most irrelevant result one could possibly find, as it yields no useful information whatsoever, except for a domain owner's personal information. 

So for me, Bing is now King.  I can at least see them coming.


Posted by: John Lehmberg AT 04:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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