Here’s a very interesting take on the way Google is set up to do business. It makes some interesting points and asks a VERY telling question:

What business is Google in?

Search right?

Er… Isn’t it the ads business?

Nothing wrong with that per say, but when viewed through the particular lens of this particular article by the always brilliant Dino Dogan, it does seem as if perhaps the interests of the paying customer ie the big brands are being put first – as opposed to the interests of the ‘public’ using the search service.

The main contention of the article is that Google are actively shoving the ‘crap’, little blogs like mine and yours out of the way – to allow room for the ‘reliable’ sites of big brands. In other words, the paying customers.

They appear to be assessing pages for sensible reasons like making sure your results are relevant and valid and reliable.

Here’s what Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, had to say about it.

Internet is a “cesspool,” a festering sea of bad information. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool. Brand affinity is clearly hard wired. It is so fundamental to human existence that it’s not going away. –Source

And here’s what Google Oracle, Matt Cuts said about it:

…we actually came up with a classifier to say, okay, IRS or Wikipedia or New York Times is over on this side, and the low-quality sites are over on this side. –Source.

The point being that the ‘cesspool’ is full of sites like mine. The inference that the low quality sites are the non brand / non paying customers.

Obviously, this is the sort of criticism that most ad funded media, commercial media if you like, has faced over the years. It’s very interesting to see it levelled at a thoroughly modern brand like Google.

Its taken from the website, and you can click here for the full article. 

Always challenging, I find Dino’s style and thinking absolutely invigorating – why not stop over there and check out his other stuff too.

As ever, let me know what you think, leave a comment below, email me directly on [email protected] or tweet me on @radiojaja 

  1. Mary
    Mary says:

    That’s really interesting, and I’ve never taken the time to think about Google like that. I’ll definitely check out that article. Thanks for the tip!

  2. James Thomas (@RightSaidJames)
    James Thomas (@RightSaidJames) says:

    Hmm, I’m not quite sure I buy the argument that Google is biased towards big brands; it’s somewhat inevitable that companies with high real-world presence (or large marketing budgets) will rank higher in Search because more people are talking about them on social media, linking to them, visiting their sites in the first place etc. But that’s not to say that the little guys are screwed; in reality, it’s all about how you tap into your own specific niche, and it’s also worth remembering that people who want to look past the big brands will usually know to go beyond the first page of Google or, better yet, change their search terms to be more focused.

  3. Tony Dowling
    Tony Dowling says:

    I think anyone with any sense is starting to totally reconsider their SEO approach and bias it heavily towards content
    its also the case that the new updates have had a negative effect on a lot of people, including those with ‘white hat’ approaches, and that Google themselves recommend an SEO AND an ad word sort of approach
    I dont think the little guys are screwed either James, but there is no doubt successful business ‘look after’ their best clients!
    thanks as always for a brilliant comment

    • James Thomas (@RightSaidJames)
      James Thomas (@RightSaidJames) says:

      I’m fairly lucky in that my company’s product is almost unique, which means we have top Google rankings not only for our brands but also our most relevant search terms. But it’s the related search terms where more effort is needed, and I must admit that I have started to use AdWords to give us a helping hand on that front; a worthwhile investment in the long run perhaps, but clearly I need to work harder to get us up there organically!