GROWING PUBLIC AND BUSINESS DISTRUST FOR INTERNET GIANT GOOGLE – Mention the word ‘Google’ to anyone and you are likely to be sneered at.
Gone are the days that people view Google as a ‘friendly’ tech company that simply wanted to make searching the web easier, faster and with better results.
Google’s unofficial company motto ‘don’t do evil’ appears to have backfired as many now see the goliath as a manipulative and corrupt corporation that will do anything necessary to make money.
Google in Government
Google has long had high-profile associations with powerful government figures around the world and it appears as if their infiltration, into all aspects of government around the world, is increasing by the day.
Last year an investigation by the U.S Justice Department concluded that Google was not guilty of manipulating its search engine for its own commercial gain and yet a year later the EC Trade Commission, with identical parameters, uncovered disturbing evidence that Google was in fact manipulating its search results in order to sink its competitors.
Was the U.S Justice Department infiltrated by Google executives that persuaded the U.S Government to turn a blind eye to its ever increasing manipulative practices? That is one conspiracy theory many in the tech world believe to be the case.
Look carefully at how Google has successfully maneuvered itself into all quarters of Government with access to high ranking Ministers and even the Prime Minister in the UK. There are dozens of ex-Google employees working inside the British Government and the view is that these are placed in order to manipulate Ministers and even the Prime Minister to further Google’s corporate dominance.
Recently Google was accused of unethical business practices within its UK operations where it managed to avoid paying taxes on its vast profits. Whilst Google hasn’t technically broken any laws it is seen by the British public as highly unethical and with the recent EC Trade Commission ruling it appears Google will do everything and anything to fuel its growth and greed.
While Google, after the EC Trade Commission’s ruling, has admitted its manipulative practices for its own commercial gain and to squeeze out the competition, nothing has get been change to avoid the huge financial penalties that the EC Trade Commission can levy.
Speaking to a few tech people they view this as simply ‘smoke and mirrors’ and that the EC Trade Commission has already likely been told to ‘back-off’ by many high-powered politicians. This, albeit another conspiracy theory, carries some weight when you look carefully at Google’s internal practices for delivering search results and the fact that nothing has changed since the January 2013 ruling.
Web Owners and Google
Long has Google been the bane of existence for many website owners. It appears to be a constant battle to remain in Google’s good books as it continues to update and tweak over 200 algorithms that each web page passes through (unless they belong to Google) in order to be ranked.
Since 2011 Google appears to have stepped up its efforts to sink websites it feels has no place on the internet and while it continues police the web to its own ideology it refuses to remove or block vile content such as child pornography.
Image Above – Google’s Tube Services suspiciously out ranks any other website covering two, three or four of the top positions in Google search.
Many website owners have been forced to allocate vast amounts of time, effort and money in order to comply with Google’s algorithms and yet just as they recover from one penalty Google steps in and updates or releases a new algorithm that pushes them back to the depths of the search results.
Millions of website owners rely on the traffic that Google delivers through search but as Google continues to manipulate its search engine results for its own noncompetitive commercial gain what chances does the average website owner have?
Google, as per its guidelines, insists that any website will get traffic providing the rules are followed; unfortunately the only ones who know what the rules are is Google and they guard the secrets of their algorithms carefully so that on one, as Google states, can game the search system.
According to Google the guidelines are simple, just create content that is:
3. Does not violate any laws
This would seem simple enough but let’s take a look inside the box. As I write this article I know it’s unique. Is it quality content? Well that’s really up to my readers to decide and certainly not for some algorithmic computer program to determine. This now leaves anything I write in a precarious position because my articles, according to Google, should not be judged by readers but rather by their algorithms.
The final stage is making sure that what is produced doesn’t violate any laws. This has to be one of the biggest contradictions Google has ever insisted on as it allows, through various services it owns, such as YouTube, to index and display some of the most vile content available on the internet, including child pornography, terrorist information and acts of violent crime and yet none of it is block due to the amount of money Google make on the back of advertising from the content.
MPs Demand Google Remove Islamic Hate Preaching Videos in Wake of Woolwich Murder - Google has refused
Last week I spoke to six website owners. Collectively their content runs from Wildlife Photography, Video Games and General Articles and all have experienced a sharp downturn in traffic from Google in May 2013.
Not one of them violates any of Google’s guidelines or terms and yet they witnessed their search rankings drop by as much as 80%.
At Meebal.com we experience a 35.96% drop in traffic from Google yet despite this Page Views increased by 4.02%, Time On Site increased by 8.68% and our Bounce Rate (people only visiting one page) decreased by 2.7% to just 8.08% of all our visitors.
The stats above are pretty impressive and therefore provide no justification as to why Google would reduce our ranking and traffic by nearly 36%.
So why the downturn in traffic? It could be that Google view us as a ‘competitor’ for its own news service ‘Google News’ or that we are simply too young to be ranked any higher. Whichever the case may be it appears that Google is arbitrarily penalizing websites and not taking into full account of the content as it reports to do.
Whilst Meebal.com wasn’t hit as bad as some of my friends I was asked what actions I would be taking to recover from such an algorithmic penalty; if in fact that is the case because nobody, apart from Google, is really able to provide a clear answer.
My response what ‘nothing’. I have no intention to play along with a corporation that can arbitrarily manipulate the search results for their own commercial gain. Whilst at this juncture I don’t intend to block Google from indexing Meebal.com this may come in the future; and I am not alone in this view.
It appears that Google has become almost untouchable. The U.S Justice Department reported no evidence of search result manipulation and while the EC Trade Commission did uncover the abuse it has not had any tangible effect on the way Google continues to do business.
With Google’s increasing reach into Government’s and its march in policing and dominating the internet for its own commercial gain, many people are beginning to think that the only presences on the internet Google wants is its own and the only way to stop this is for website owners to block Google from indexing their content which would effectively shut the system down as it would therefore no longer have anything to deliver other than its own, shallow, illegal and copied content.
Are you a website owner? Do you have a story to tell about Google? Have your say… leave your comments below or submit your story.