ARE WEBMASTERS ABANDONING GOOGLE DUE TO ITS EXCESSIVE CONTROL OF THE INTERNET? – – Most web owners strive to rank well within Google Search. For many webmasters the importance of Search Engine Optimization in order to rank well in search results and drive has been all consuming with webmasters continuously tweaking pages in order to rise up the Google search results in the quest for more organic traffic.
Considering the plethora of algorithms that web pages are subjected to and the fact that Google is forever tweaking or developing new algorithms the playing field, especially for small website owners, has become a minefield of obstacles and many feel that they have a choice; stop their SEO pursuit or stop producing content because rarely do web owners have the time to do both.
From the conversations I’ve had with many webmasters they feel that Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and Terms are little more than Google dictating what webmasters should produce in terms of content and its quality and that nearly all of Google’s services fail to comply with its own Guidelines and Terms.
Take Google’s Panda Algorithm which was designed to eradicate ‘duplicate’ content on the web. If any webmaster submits a page that is copied from another website Google will likely penalize your own website. However take a close look at Google News as none of its content is original, it is all copied, farmed and scraped from the world’s top news websites. Google has been in hot water over this issue on more than one occasion with large news corporations suing Google over ‘copyright theft’.
Google has announced on many occasions that it wants webmasters to produce unique and quality content and that’s pretty good advice as this is exactly what your visitors want. However, when webmasters work hard to produce such content they are often demoted in the rankings in favour of YouTube, which is owned by Google. Try a simple search on Google, for almost anything you like, and the chances are that one or more YouTube listings will appear at the very top.
It should be noted that to a degree YouTube has some very unique content and content that is of a high quality but Google’s algorithms cannot determine the actual content of a video, any more than it can with an image; it relies on the webmasters ‘description’ in order to rank it.
As an experiment try placing a video of your own on your website just a description or if you don’t have a video try it with an image. The chances are that webpage will not rank anywhere in Google because it violates Google’s Guidelines regarding weak content on a page. What Google wants is ‘text’ and lots of it because that’s the only thing that Google’s algorithms are capable of indexing properly.
So why does Google’s YouTube service achieve such high rankings consistently? Google manipulates it own algorithms or better still simply by-passes them for its own commercial gain. This practice was first investigated by the Federal Department of Justice and then the European Trade Commission. The FDJ, after a lengthy investigation, found no evidence to support this claim and yet just last week the EUTC contradicted the FDJ which revealed Google is in fact manipulating its search results in order to suppress the competition and for its own commercial gain – the playing field is certainly not level, not by any stretch of the imagination.
As Google continues to tighten its grip on the internet by utilizing its algorithms to suppress the competition what chance do small businesses have against the internet Giant? Google, soon after it released its Panda Algorithm in 2011, made a statement that advised webmasters not to worry about Search Engine Optimization in order to ‘game’ Google’s search results, but rather concentrate on producing unique and quality content. What did this statement really say? Well some webmasters feel that Google was actually saying; “We have full control of whether your business is successful or not. We will suppress your website if you try to compete with our services. We will only provide you with a manual penalty if you do succeed in ranking higher than where we want you to rank.”
True or not it appears, from what I have heard on the ground, this is how webmasters now feel and many are now resigned to the fact that spending hundreds of hours a month trying to optimize their web pages is simply fruitless. Some are even suggesting that webmasters around the world should protest and demand that Google remove their content from its search index. The idea that if enough of the world’s websites pulled out of Google Search then Google’s system would simply become useless to search users and therefore quickly put Google in a very precarious situation; regarding the viability of its business model.
I personally gave up trying to rank anywhere in Google long ago. As a news and topical article website I am fully aware that Google is not going to allow me to compete with them on a level playing field.
I work very hard to produce the content for meebal.com but I know that the content that Google carries in its Google News service is simply scraped and farmed from thousands of news websites and this point alone sticks in my caw. While Google demands I produce unique and quality content it freely goes about copying everyone else’s, without their permission and without being subjected to their own algorithmic penalties.
Yesterday I read an article on how Google has been avoiding its tax liability (legally) from its UK operations. While I wasn’t overly offended that Google is not paying the tax it should due to clever accountancy practices I did take offense to a few of Google’s assumptions. One such assumption was that websites, like mine, should be grateful to be able to earn money through its Advertising Network, AdSense. Google feels we should all be grateful that it allows us to earn a pittance from its AdSense Network and the fact that Google generates billions of dollars in revenue each year through our displaying these Ads is inconsequential – now if that’s not a blatant kick in the teeth I don’t know what is.
So back to the question… Are Webmasters Abandoning Google Due to its Excessive Control of the Internet?
Many webmasters I have spoken to have given up trying to rank in Google, it is simply far too time consuming and frankly while Google is able to continuously manipulate its ranking for its own commercial gain there is no point in spending time and effort with SEO.
Many webmasters now are concentrating more effort on their Bing / Yahoo rankings and furthermore producing content that people will share through their social networks.
Since I started Meebal.com in November 2012 the only thing I have done is to submit meebal.com’s sitemap to Google but apart from that I have done nothing else. Personally I couldn’t care less if Google ranks meebal.com or not as I utilize the power of the social networks in order to generate an interest in the content I produce.
The social network, unlike Google, is a level playing field and it is real people who determine whether what I produce is worthy of sharing. While I will admit that social networking is a fair amount of work I would rather spend time doing that than submitting myself to the will of Google who will only suppress my content in favour of its own.
As the web continues to develop and Google becomes more powerful it will inevitably exert more pressure on webmasters and the result, if a webmaster wants to rank, will be to work continuously at its SEO which will inevitably destroy the one thing that visitors come for in the first place – good quality content that is determined by real people, not a bunch of computer algorithms.
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