Monthly Archives: February 2009

Needle in the Hay – Anyone else sick of Google?

Lost

I’m getting very tired of Google.

More and more they control the way we find things on the vast electronic anorak that is the interweb.

The key problem is that they are also marketing how we will eventually find that information.  With their presence becoming a virtual monopoly on how information is distributed, we seem to foolishly accept that fact and ignore alternative search engine options.

I’m not wearing a tinfoil helmet and I’m not any kind of crank, however I know from experience of marketing my own humble video/audio production business that I used to be on top of the Google game, as I put in more time than most of my competitors to rigging search results, by going crazy with meta tags, related search strings, and accumulating as many non-reciproical links as I could, to appear on page 1 of a Google search for words related, or nearly related, to my core business services.

Now, I can’t really be bothered, as I’ve found that it takes my competitors about 2 weeks to figure out my system for achieving the same ranking.  This then becomes a battle of attrition as we all become involved in the SEO or Optimization war, that in turn becomes a full time job, just to remain top of the pops in our respective fields in Google results.

Google and its holy grail of a ‘search algorithm’ that is as secret as the secret sauce in a big mac or ingredient ‘x’ in Coca Cola,effectively manages to keep the people who rely on its impartiality, namely you and I, firmly on the outside of the search process.  The only way to ensure that you stay on page one of the results where people are likely to find you are to either make this your full time job (…”I’m an SEO expert…”- sexy…) or else buy the result from Google themselves – Extortion, in layman’s terms.

Now, a small note on the business model of how this works:

Google will sell you keywords, or prime search strings, in your business area, for whatever fee.  They will then place these results in all the places you don’t want to see them on your daily surfing, normally where people are looking for OTHER providers of same.  What happens when they run out of words? I don’t know.

How many ways can I say I’m in video/audio production? I presume “Video/Audio Production” as a search string is in fairly high demand.

Do I want “moving picture with words and talk” as my keywords? Not really.  What moron will type that into Google?

Now, let us look at it from the other side.  I’ve another blog, more related to my video/audio production business generally.

I’ve signed up to allow Google to place banner ads on MY blog, that is there to primarily promote MY business.

What does Google think is a good idea to push here?

Lets take a look:

ad-1

So I scroll through these ads, and also get this:

ad-2

So the wonderous electronic Ape, that is Google Adsense, determines that what I want most on my page is ads leading potential clients to a competitor’s studio.  GREAT F**KING IDEA.  When you contact Google about this, after about 3 full moons and some sort of Martian eclipse they (auto)reply that if you don’t like what is being pushed in this space you can ‘block’ up to 50 URL’s or something.  Great. Until I just get tired of looking, (again a full time job…) and give up.

On the plus side, I get a fraction of a cent for every time I lose a potential customer, which is all adding up to about $8 now after 2 years, which more than offsets the $600 or so a day I’d be making if even one of those people clicked through to my own site and wanted to work with us.

There are many, many more things I could say about the insidious corporate slime that is Google, but you’ll all work them out for yourselves in due course.

Google – what do you NOT want to find today?

alternatives

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