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Google Is Evil. Get Over It.

May 11th, 2007 · 11 Comments

A lot has been written over the last few months about the amount of data that Google could collect from you. This has has led to extended conversation about Google’s motives and questions asked about whether Big G are really living by their no evil philosophy.

Rand published an article back in November about the amount of data Google could collect from users of their tools. When you look at it this way, it’s pretty frightening what Google could know about you. I highlight the word could because the official Google line is that they’re not using it for ulterior motives.

Crap.

Of course they are. They’re building an empire over at the Googleplex and they’re capturing every movement you make in order to add another product to their toolset and, therefore, another zero to the end of their share price.

A lot of webmasters and SEO’s are kicking up about this. A good example of the discussion can be seen over at Threadwatch where Graywolf looks at how to “undo the Google FUD and brainwashing”. Valid points are made by a number of contributors including the salient fact that Big G are not a charity case – they answer to share holders.

Now we could all cancel our AdSense accounts, remove our sites from Webmaster Central, pull the plug on our Analytics account and uninstall the toolbar but what would it achieve? Nothing. Would Google feel the pain? Nope. Would we as webmasters? Uh huh. And here’s the reason why.

I was speaking with a couple of folks over the weekend. I wouldn’t call them particularly web savvy but they’re not idiots either. They are, effectively, typical of your web customers. Well neither of them knew about Live Search. Both of them knew about Yahoo! but never used them for searching and neither of them were aware that Ask Jeeves had rebranded despite the current ad campaign in the UK.

Google own search. Fact.

Do I like it? Nope.

Can I do anything about it? Nope.

Will I continue to use Googles tools and build sites to their specifications? Hell, yeah!

For the forseeable future, there is no viable alternative. The vast majority of web users perform searches using Google and until that changes I’m going to take advantage. If that means that they collect a shed load of data from me, so be it. Whether I think it’s right what they’re doing – data mining, as pointed out on the Threadwatch article – is irrelevant. Whilst they’re at the top of the tree, I’ll bow and scrape and play by their rules and will continue to do so until the new kid pushes them off.

I’m not holding by breath.

Tech Tags: , , , ,


Tags: Search Marketing

11 responses so far ↓

  • Peter // May 17, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    It’s certainly an interesting situation – especially because, as you alluded to, they don’t JUST own search – with adsense, analytics, the google toolbar, and google checkout, they own a huge portion of the internet.

    I was booted from Adsense roughly a year ago (with the same vague reasoning everyone else gets) and it has since occurred to me that if Google wanted, they could do a really great job of squashing a young company to leave room for another. Think – blacklisted from google search results, unable to monetize with adsense, unable to use analytics or other tools, where would they be? It’s not to the point yet where success without google’s approval is impossible, but how long until it is?

  • Mike // May 17, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    Well therein lies the problem, Peter. The bigger G get, the more reliant people are on them, the harder it is for the other guys to get a look in.

    The latest figures I saw suggest that Google made $1 billion in the last quarter. Yahoo made somewhere around $150 million.

    Being in bed with Google is an essential part of your online business whether we like it or not. Personally I feel cheap and used as a result.

  • Ray Leigh // May 31, 2007 at 2:13 am

    What i find interesting and I’m not realy interested in making money from ads, is that adsense deems it responsible to deduct one dollar a week when I dont get any “clicks” for ads that they put on our sites. Now for the past year i have had about 10,000 visitors to my well written blogs I have accumalated the massive total of 29,90 USD from click throughs!
    BUT i have to make 100 dollars first!
    Click bank kindly sent acheque for 20 dollars! Quite a suprise, I had no idea. So we put it in the bank and the bank wanted 25 dollars to put it into our account! The result being that we are of course not putting the money in the bank and google keep ALL of the money.
    I have had friends go into our blogs and click, just to check how many visitors we have had. One day ten of my friends visited. Adsense recorded no visitors!
    Thank God we have a very lucrative media business and are not reliant on adsense or clickbank as many work at home people must be doing.
    Other than that I like google. Its only a different version of Gates’ monopoly.
    what i do find a little worrying is when I send confidential emails to my clients and find google ads pertaining to the confidential information in the correspondance.
    That google are smart enough to capture our imaginations so well, I applaude them.
    The only comment I would make is that if I conducted our business in the same way we would be “done” by the consumer protection for false advertising. The results and remuneration promised are no where near what is alluded to.
    Thanks for your article.
    The Baldchemist

  • Mike // May 31, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Ray – Thanks for stopping by and leaving such an interesting response. I’m a little confused, though, where you refer to Google deducting money from you. Can you elaborate?

    You’re right in what you say about them being Microsoft-like in their ways of working and I totally agree with you when you say that they were smart enough to capture our imaginations.

    Despite what some people think, I actually quite like Google. They’ve got some great products and they’ve made a real difference to the way people use the internet which they should be applauded for. However they’ve gone from being the kid being bullied to being the bully themselves and this is where I have a problem.

    Thanks again for stopping by.

  • MEET YOUR ASIAN SOULMATE // Jun 8, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Thank you very much for all your advices. I was looking around your archive and found some useful tips and articles I can do for my blog. Thanks a lot and expect me to visit your blog for updates.
    Just a suggestion, I think it will be convenient for your readers if you place a feedburner where we can subscribe to your post.
    Kudos.

  • Mike // Jun 8, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    I’ve removed the link from your comment. I suggest you have a read of the comment policy.

  • Mademind // Apr 9, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    i totally agree with your post.

  • kyrious // Mar 19, 2009 at 1:37 am

    i’m only blogging for 6 months but each passing days all i could found out is how powerful GOOGLE is in the eyes of webmaster but what the heck goole is one great site to hook up with hey this blog is great i’m bookmarking your site i need some good tips i’m just a newbie blogger

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