Google Is Really Starting To Piss Me Off

Hey Google, you’re really starting to piss me off!

And I’m not just talking as an Internet marketer, but also as a consumer.

Most Internet marketers and the folks that use your products and services are too scared, or fear reprisal, to say anything – so somebody needed to call you out on all the crap you’ve been pulling lately.

I decided to take on that challenge and write this open letter to help you learn from your mistakes and change your ways.

After all, you’re only biting the hand that feeds you.

Let’s get right to it.

Here are just some of the things that are chapping my ass:

Panda:

Google Panda Smackdown

Never has an animal this cute and cuddly stricken such fear into the hearts and minds of legitimate website owners and operators.

We all know the intent of the update(s), why it needed to be done, and that one day the Internet will be a better place because of it.

All that being said, you blew it on this one.

Sure, you gave us some pretty darn useful guidelines as to what constitutes “high quality” websites (thanks for that by the way), but you never told us what to do if we already had a high quality website – by your own standards no less – that received a major smackdown.

What are we supposed to do if our content is already of the highest caliber, but our rankings, traffic and businesses got slaughtered as a result of Mr. Panda?

On top of that, what the hell are we supposed to think when you go against your own quality guidelines and rank a spammy/smutty/scraper website above a REAL, useful website?

I think Rick Santorum might also have a personal bone to pick with you…

As a matter of fact, you’re even asking for OUR help to fix your problem!

I guess you aren’t above acknowledging you didn’t get this right either, so let’s keep this simple.

How 'bout a nice handy set of instructions on how to systematically fix Panda ranking problems instead of some vague, obtuse and somewhat condescending criteria that can be very subjective depending on whom you ask?

Fair enough?

(Not Provided):

Google Keywords Not Provided

Really Google? You’re withholding the very keyword data from me that my customers and their customers are using to search for and find our products and services – for the benefit of consumer protection?

Really…?

So let me get this straight:

If a potential customer is logged into any Google application (Gmail, Analytics, FeedBurner, Google+, etc.), their browsing is anonymous and we CAN’T see what search terms they are using to find our websites using YOUR analytics software.

However, if a potential customer is not logged in (which you have to go out of your way to do), we CAN see what search terms they are using to find and click through to our websites.

Google's #1 Keyword: (Not Provided)

Ok, I can understand that, I’m all for consumer protection and all.

Except for one small problem: We can still see that same referral data (whether the potential customer is logged in or not) from our PAID AdWords accounts!

So which is it: Are you protecting consumers while hurting us as advertisers, or are you helping us as advertisers while hurting consumers?

Or is it merely that so long as we pay you, then you’re perfectly willing to violate your own defined standards for “consumer protection”?

Either way, I just want to say thanks.

Thanks for withholding up to 20% of keyword data - and in some cases much more – that could help me actually make the web a better place.

Google+:

Google Plus Or Else

This is one of my favorites.

Hey we all wish we were as big as Facebook and had over 800 million users spending hours on our websites each and every month.

So as a result of user envy you’ve decided that – in our best interest of course – you’re going to force everyone who cares about their Internet marketing, rankings and social media presence to open up a Google+ account, endorse it on our websites, and make others use it too, so that you can grow your own user base and make a run at Facebook, Twitter, et al.?

Nice.

That should go over well with Mom and Dad – after all, they just opened their Facebook accounts and have been looking for a way to “Circle” little Jonny so he doesn’t see all their private chatter about him.

That’s also really going to go over well with all my clients who have already spent thousands of dollars on their social media presences only to be told – by me no less – that if they don’t get on this Google+ thing their rankings and SEO might suffer because – in your infinite wisdom – you are now promoting Google+ results over other organic and paid results.

Search Plus Your World

Yet another redundant and force fed social network we have to spend time setting up and optimizing? Really?

Oh, and don’t get me started on that whole Search Plus Your World (SPYW) crap where I now have to filter my own search results!

And I’m not the only one pissed off about this whole thing either.

Seems like you’ve once again attracted privacy and antitrust concerns.

Hey it’s better to ask for forgiveness right?

Pharmacy Ads:

Google Illegal Pharmacy Ads

Thanks for helping a convicted con artist set up illegal pharmaceutical and supplement ads!

Much appreciated.

Hey, at least his time was well spent helping you and prosecutors find the cracks in your system, which did get you nailed for doing this across the board to the tune of $500 million.

I know we Americans really like our “pharmaceuticals” and we’ll go to great lengths to get them, but isn’t your mantra “Don’t Be Evil”?

Just sayin’…

“Updated” Privacy Policy:

Google Stalker Privacy Policy

Listen, I really appreciate you for updating your stalker privacy policy and making it just one document.

I mean, before there were just too many disparate documents across multiple platforms to wade through.

But now…

Heck, I might even pour myself a cold one, maximize my computer screen and actually sit through this baby, ‘cause I know you would never make the same mistake that you did with that whole Google Buzz fiasco – Right?

Fortunately, there are others who have our back, and tell us that all this new policy does is reinforce the old one(s) – you know, where you told us in not-so-uncertain terms that we can’t opt out if we want to actually use Gmail, Google Analytics or other cool stuff that might prove useful every once in awhile.

I know some are pretty upset about this policy as well as your latest breach overriding privacy controls for iPhone and Mac users – but not me.

I’m stoked that I don’t have to read over 60 different documents now.

And, from watching your nifty little video (below), I’ve come to really respect and admire these changes, because now you will be able to provide me with a “better, more intuitive experience” as you track my search history.

Thanks for thinking of me.

Overall Hypocritical & Bullying Behavior:

Google Is a Hypocrite and Bully

Geez, I feel like this list could go on forever.

But, since I know you you’ve got plenty more disruptive behavior to get to, I’ll just focus on some of the latest hits of your hypocritical and bullying ways:

  •  Paid Links: It’s wrong to buy links – Right?

In fact, if I do it, you’ve made it very clear that I’ll get spanked on my backside.

Great, got it.

So why the hell are you purchasing links for Google Chrome?

  •  Page Layout Penalty: According to your new guidelines on page layouts, websites with too many ads on them, specifically “above the fold” – those at the top of a webpage – will be penalized.

Ok, I can see that.

Nobody likes clicking on a site expecting content and then having to wade through gobs of advertising.

I think we’re in agreement on this one.

Except for one small problem: Your entire search engine is TOP HEAVY with ads!                                                  

Google Has Too Many Ads

(Image taken by Daniel Weadley)

Google's Instructions For AdWords Placement

And to top it all off, you recommend websites squash the crap out of their own content by surrounding it on all sides with ads from your advertising network.

From your own guidelines:

“All other things being equal, ads located above the fold tend to perform better than those below the fold. Ads placed near rich content and navigational aids usually do well because users are focused on those areas of a page.”

Umm…yeahhh…

  •  Google Affiliate Network: I just caught wind of this one via a great article.

Essentially you don’t allow the promotion of “weapons related merchandise” on your affiliate network.

Sounds fair, after all you don’t want to actively promote violence and stuff.

Google's Confusing Weapons Policy

But what about hunting or fishing blogs?

How is a knife used for cleaning and gutting a fish different from the one you use in your kitchen to chop up tonight’s meal?

In fact, your own detailed weapons policy prohibits promoting guns, ammunition and knives "such as butterfly knives, switchblades (and) disguised knives," but specifically allows promoting kitchen knives and swords!

Swords? Say what?

  •  Censored Results: Remember that whole “Don’t Be Evil” thing?

Well, it looks like you caved in to a communist government by specifically censoring search results for users in China.

I don’t have to tell you how this looks, do I?

Thankfully you’ve already reversed course on this.

  •  Being a Bully: You’ve been accused of many things Google, and being a bully is high on that list.

I could go on for days about the things you’ve done to others, but for me personally, I’m not happy with:

--> Slowing down or throttling applications that frequently use your search results for their software, API or tools.

Once again, you’re in effect biting the hand that feeds you.

Our applications and searches power an entire industry that is bringing you lots of money – billions, in fact.

So stop messing with us.

--> Not showing links or anchor text to a page for “competitive reasons.”

You claim that showing this data will help fight spam, but come on – you know that every other app/program for SEO does this already, so what’s the difference?

Your data could help alleviate a lot of confusion and bring some sort of standard to the industry as we attempt to help our clients.

Again, you’re just biting the hand that feeds you – namely SEO’s and Internet marketers trying to help your users find great websites and content.

I could go on, but I don’t have all day.

In fact a client just left me a message asking why they are being outranked on Google “by someone with this Google+ thing”…sigh…

In Conclusion:

Don’t forget Google, that when you were in your infancy, it was companies like mine that brought you to prominence – and we keep you there to this day.

You’re riding on the backs of millions of businesses and users that advertise on your networks, use your products and spend countless hours with you every single day.

When you first started out, you were a speck on the horizon – an upstart with a funny name.

If you keep this disruptive, manipulative and oppressive shit up, we’ll have no choice but to move on, leave you behind and find – or create – something else

A useful entity that appreciates us, is transparent and honest, eats their own cooking and actually understands that we have a choice.

And while you’re really starting to piss me off, I’m making this effort to reach out to you in the hopes that you will see the light, get off your high horse and do right by the community that brought you to where you are now.

One can only hope that “Don’t Be Evil” also extends to being wise enough to listen to those you serve.

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