Thursday, 3rd January 2013
THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION CLOSES ITS UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES ON GOOGLE – Is anyone actually surprised that the FTC found no impropriety into the allegations of Google tweaking the search results for its own competitive advantage?
When Google started out all those years ago it was like a breath of fresh air, in terms of searching for content on the web. Yahoo.com, the then dominant force has turned from a company of innovation into a monster with little on its mind other that greed. Today Google and its subsidiaries have turned the web into little more than a Google platform, where Google rules supreme without control or intervention. Seriously, who honestly thinks Google exists just for the sole purpose of delivering search results and driving traffic to the millions of websites available on the internet?
The FTC did garner a promise from Google that it would end the practice of ‘scraping’ data from other rival websites for its own products and therefore financial gain. I have to say that this statement alone was enough to have me in a fit of uncontrollable laughter. If Google was to stick to this promise then it would go out of business instantly. Where does the FTC think Google gets its search results data from? The clear truth is that Google Search exists on the basis that it crawls and scrapes information from billions of web pages in order to deliver results. Of this a massive amount of advertising is displayed to the top, bottom and right of the screen – a practice that Google clearly penalizes other websites for under its ‘Page Layout Algorithm’. So take away the scraped content from Google’s servers and what do you have? The answer is clear – nothing at all.
When it comes to violating Google Policies on content Google breaks its own policies and bypasses its own algorithms each and every day – if it didn’t Google would go out of business in an instant. When it comes to farmed, duplicated and scraped content Google is clearly the biggest abuses of copyright theft on the planet.
One thing I like about the U.S Government is the ease in which it employs incompetent people, but that doesn’t matter because these are not the decision makers, the puppet masters are the lobbyists and I guarantee you Google pays heavily into the lobbying firms in order to force its ever growing position upon the web user and other web businesses.
‘I have no reason to think that Google won’t honor their commitment; I think they will,’ said FTC Chairman JonLeibowitz, noting financial penalties if Google failed to do so.
The question has to be asked, considering the statement above, ‘Is Jon Leibowitz really that naive or is there something more sinister going on?” In fact let’s ask another question; “How many shares does Jon Leibowitz hold in Google?”
In my mind Jon Leibowitz is either completely naïve, stupid or holds a large amount of Google stock in order to make such a preposterous statement.
And so the wheels of corporate America continue to turn without any justice for the little guy. If Google has an ounce of compassion, and that it wasn’t manipulating the search results for its own financial gain, for the millions of small, medium and large websites in its index it would seriously look at the flawed way in which it produces and implements its search algorithms.
I am, fortunately, a realist and this is never going to happen. Google, for all its promises of ‘making it better’ will continue with its onslaught of algorithmic developments and updates, all the while knowing it is impervious to any such restrictions, while the rest of us continue to be squeezed until our websites are simply starved of any traffic and go out of business – leaving Google to rape the web for all its worth.
It is apparent to me that Google has gone the same way as Yahoo but unfortunately there is nothing to rival it and even if there were it is unlikely that Google would allow them a foothold.
Personally, I have gone beyond Google. While I don’t restrict Google from crawling and scraping my content I do not spend a single dime on SEO – for me it’s just such a waste of time and money, because you know as soon as you get one thing right Google will simply move the goal post in order to squeeze you out.
If a website is to survive then it must turn towards the social networks. While many of us may not be overly keen on the likes of Facebook and Twitter, they can be an effective way to drive traffic to a website. On Meebal.com over 90% of our traffic comes from Partners Sites, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and LinkedIn combined. We do not rely on Google driving traffic and when the day comes that we are able to sustain a healthy level of traffic from our Partners and Social Network we will take measures to block Google from scraping our content.
I do foresee a future where web owners around the globe will either have to unite against Google, by stopping it from crawling sites, and forcing Google to end its practices of tweaking and bypassing its own algorithms in order to jump ahead of the competition and putting them out of business.
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