Now the parallel to Google.
Google audits sites and penalizes them just as the IRS does to taxpayers.
Neither will Google be clear as to what their rules are. To make matters worse, they may decide tomorrow that they won't allow a practice that has existed for many years and they have commented that it's O.K. Because their Quality Guidelines are so vague, they can change direction to meet their business objectives at any time and the path to their increased revenues is to penalize perfectly honest businesses in order to achieve their success -- to hell with the collateral damage. Google will not establish specific rules because it would prevent them from sacrificing users in order to make money -- they would have to care about their customers (the searcher), publishers (mostly information sites) and users (businesses that offer products that people want and need and that attract people to Google so Google can sell their products).
Actually, the IRS is more honest. At least they have an appeals process and, if they won't tell you how you violate the law, the appeals officer will dismiss the claim, as will the courts.
There is no appeals process with Google and most of the time they won't even tell you when or what -- shoot first and refuse to answer questions later. They have a "sue me if you don't like it" attitude.
So Google is building their brand and the way that I and 1,000's of others see it, the IRS has a better Brand image than Google. Sad state of affairs Google.
One day Google won't control the whole game and there will be a backlash. They will wish that they had taken some of the Billions! of dollars they earned and invested them in customer service to clearly disseminate the rules and assist users in meeting them.
And remember, all the while, Google regularly violates their own rules.
I'm reminded of Blockbuster Video. You could take back a video late and the late fees might be 3 x the cost to purchase it. Their attitude was, "Well, you should have bought it." Now they're bankrupt, even after they undercut Netfilx. I'd rather pay Netflix 3 x the Blockbuster fee than give Blockbuster the money. One day this will be Google's fate.
Here's a good example of Google's handy work -- http://groups.google...ers/NJgHT_GPMMQ
Out of the millions of dollars Google makes every year, they can't even tell the poor guy what their position is? Tell me where in the Quality Guidelines his question is answered. It's not, except in vaguaries that could be interpreted many different ways.
It's hard to give Google what it wants when they won't tell you what their rules are. Worse yet, they won't do it out of greed -- they want to be able to change the rules whenever a profit opportunity presents itself, without having to deal with a backlash from users pointing to the rules.
Google wants people to publish relevant content that will be of high appeal. Aaron Wall at SEOBook said it best -- the error in Google's business model is most smalll businesses aren't relevant. However, they do provide products and services that people want and/or need. If I sell washers for faucets, it's not excting -- nothing to write home about -- but, people go on the internet to buy them when their faucet leaks which creates an opportunity for Google. It's in Google's best interest to help the small mom and pop business succeed. Or do you think they want them to crash and burn so they can't rank Organically and they have to buy Google's AdWords Express product? Hmmmmmmmmm.......
For years Google has been trying to sell PPC to small business owners -- the market is huge! They have failed miserably and sometimes have used very sleazy methods to try to succeed.
They want these Local products to move and they are willing to do anything to anybody to get them to move.
Wait until one day your site is collateral damage in Google's war on "Affiliates and SEO's" and Google won't even communicate with you as to why they think you're outside their Quality Guidlines. You won't be so quick to say you just have to give Google what it wants then.
Many of these people are just honest, small businesses trying to make a living. They get nothing but threats and uncertainty from Google. Google will turn on them in a minute if Google can make a buck. Google needs to get out of the way and let them market their businesses. Marketing should be the order of the day, not publishing for Google. Let small businesses go to work marketing themselves and the publishing will take care of itself.
That is, if Google will stop running PPC ads for Viagra, Porn and Get Rich Quick Scams to pad their profits.
I'm not using Google's products any more and I'd rather sell door to door than pay them one penny in PPC or AdWords Express fees.
I and 1,000's of others are "Mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore." I recommend people boycott Google. There are plenty of opportunities to advertise on other Media Networks that care about your business. Don't buy any products from Google and focus only on Organic. After all, back in 2008, Jupiter Research said -- 87% of all search clicks come from Organic Search, not pay per click ads. That means that 7 x more clicks come from Organic. Boycott Google -- The only power we have is the power of the purse, use it!
Without the website owners, the searchers have no reason to come and Google has no business. Alienate enough website owners for long enough and they will take the first viable option that comes along, much like my Blockbuster Video example above.
Google is evil!
If Google wants to do this kind of thing (mass penalties), they should publish their intent to take action for, say, 6 months in advance. They should explain what their rules are and how they apply during that 6 month period. Then if people don't change, at least they went a long way to help them. It wouldn't take more than .00000000000001% of their earnings to do it. It would take planning and patience though -- I may have found the drawback, Google may not be capable of that.
They act like they enjoy getting even with people. If everyone was a software engineer, it would be different, but they're not. Many mom and pop businesses are trying the best they can and rely on so called professionals for advice. Those mom and pop businesses attract a lot of business to the internet for Google. Google should appreciate that and help to develop it.
I also have to file my taxes this weekend, which I really hate to do. Can we please have a flat tax or fair tax and get rid of the IRS and all those lobbyists on K Street in Washington DC?
As a result, I don't know who I hate more -- Google or the IRS. Today I think it's Google -- the IRS is more ethical.
There, I feel better now.
Edited by chuckfinley, 16 April 2012 - 04:17 AM.