Affiliates: Spam is a 4 Letter Word

Oct 27th

Google Hates Affiliates

Years before Google broadly torched affiliates operating inside the AdWords channel I highlighted how much Google hated affiliates in their ecosystem.

How was I aware of that?

2 ways:

  • If you read any of Google's older guidelines that leaked over the years you would see a consistent disdain toward affiliate sites. This was also reflected in official advice at search engine conferences & whatnot.
  • A friend of mine went to Google's campus & Google offered to "optimize" their AdWords account. As soon as the word affiliate came up it was like spoiled meat. Replacing the word "affiliate" with some other idiotic made up phrase (I think it was "regional online distributor") suddenly made everything O.K. again. Other friends had similar stories.

Note that the difference between "affiliate" and "regional online distributor" is for all intents and purposes linguistic crap, however it can be the difference between life and death for an online business.

To be fair, the ready availability of feeds to quickly generate sites means that most affiliate sites will be garbage. At some point Google gets sick of fighting the same battles over and over again. Then again, most websites are garbage & only the top x% of anything is going to be great.

At Affiliate Summit last year Google's Frederick Vallaeys basically stated that they appreciated the work of affiliates, but as the brands have moved in the independent affiliates have largely become unneeded duplication in the AdWords ad system. To quote him verbatim, "just an unnecessary step in the sales funnel."

It is worth noting that Google doesn't consider itself "just an unnecessary step in the sales funnel" when they insert themselves as an affiliate.

Should information empires be allowed to discriminate based on nothing more than the business model of competitors?

Spam vs Not Spam

The most recently leaked Google rater document stated

Spammers create spam pages to make money. Sometimes, they make money directly, by placing moneymaking links on the spam page. Here are two types of moneymaking links:

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads: Spammers get paid each time ads are clicked on their webpages. Another term for PPC ads is “sponsored links”.
  • Thin Affiliates: Spammers make money when a transaction is completed after the user has clicked through to the merchant’s site from their webpages

PPC ads appear on many, many webpages. Some pages with PPC ads are spam, but many pages with PPC ads are not. Pages should not be assigned a Spam flag if they are created to provide information or help to users. Pages are spam if they exist only to make money and not to help users.
Sometimes, spam pages do not have moneymaking links. These spam pages are created to change search engine rankings or even to do harm to users’ computers with sneaky downloads.

So in essence, the difference between spam & not spam is if the page is helpful to users.

The rating document takes 130 pages to clearly articulate the difference between what is spam and what is not spam.

But the core ethos in categorization is if it is original & helpful it is not spam unless it is doing something deceptive.

A Minor Exception*

Google's rater guides also arbitrarily sneaked in the "what the hell, if it is affiliate, it is spam" card:

Note: Major cosmopolitan cities are preferred targets for spammers, especially hotel affiliates. Such results should be flagged as Spam, even if they are related to the query and helpful to users. For example, a hotel affiliate page with a list of Chicago hotels may be assigned a rating Relevant, but also receive a Spam flag.

Google is directly going out of its way to attack competing business models.

Even if the site is quality - any way you slice it - they still tell raters to label it as spam if it is a hotel affiliate.

Once again it is worth pointing out that the label "affiliate" is just an arbitrary label. It could just as well be a "commissioned salesperson."

An Example Market: Books

In our forums one of our members quoted a brilliant book by Karl Polanyi from 1944 which was full of gems like "A so-called self-regulating market economy may evolve into Mafia capitalism — and a Mafia political system"

I searched for that quote & guess what ranked #1?

Google Books of course.

Google's owned & operated affiliate offering in the niche.

The stolen version hosted on Google.com ranks #1...everything else is either spam, unneeded duplication in the marketplace, and/or conjecture that can float up and down as they tweak the algorithms.

To say that the book publishing industry is undergoing pains would be an understatement. But maybe in some weird way Google promoting Google helps the book industry by giving it more avenues to be seen? Maybe they are trying to help out book authors?

The structure of the book industry prevents the book author from getting anything but a small slice of the book's revenues (unless the author is well known and/or they self publish). Markets being what they are, most authors live in obscurity on the long tail. To help supplement their low cut of the revenue pie, some book authors use affiliate links to link to Amazon.com as a purchasing option on their official book websites.

Recently in our forums a member created a thread about a client site being blocked from AdWords because there was an affiliate link on the page for their own book!

Google is The Biggest Online Affiliate

So the author is not allowed to advertise his own work to give you multiple buying options & highlight options which offer her additional compensation, however...

  • Google is free to steal the copyright work & promote their looted version first
  • Google can run an affiliate network
  • Google can double dip in the AdWords auction
  • Google can give itself affiliate ad units in the SERPs (all their lead generation offers & the CPA-based product ads)
  • Google can invest in start up affiliate networks (like VigLink) that automatically inserts affiliate links without any editorial discretion from the publisher
  • Google can invest in networks of similar sites (like Whaleshark Media) that are primarily driven by affiliate links
  • Google can create paid placement affiliate-driven sites like Boutiques.com & then fold them into Google Product Search without disclosing what is happening to those affiliate placements
  • Google can become the ultimate online affiliate

And yet the word "affiliate" is a bad word.

The word affiliate is arbitrarily tarnished in the same way that SEO is.

Use another label & if you do the exact same thing it is clean. Craigslist or eBay are not affiliates as they are marketplaces. Wal-Mart & Amazon.com might do drop shipping & have some affiliate promotions on their sites, but they are retailers.

These arbitrary label differences make a big difference to the stability of an online business.

Machine Learning vs a Small Business Killing Machine

Google can claim that they use artificial intelligence and machine learning and are unbiased, but their ranking systems need training sets. And if upon this alleged independent rating affiliates come up as "spam" then how can an affiliate build a sustainable business model?

I know what you are thinking: "Well, Aaron, they can stop being affiliates and move up the value chain."

The problem with that is that as an affiliate I can compare a lot of products in a condensed space, but if I accept payments for products then I likely need to have a page for each product. The issue there is that if you do not have a strong brand and you have lots of pages on your site there is a great chance that the Panda algorithm will torch your website.

At the same time, if you try to go big & thick you have to worry about competing against Google as they buy out vital pieces of the supply chain, create their own affiliate partnerships, steal your content & outrank you with their copy of it, and launch their own affiliate channels & affiliate stores on their websites.

Brand Sites Become Affiliates

One of the things Google mentioned to identify thin affiliates from other merchants is this:

Check to see if the address of the image is the same as the address of the page or if it is the address of a “real” merchant?

Small businesses are getting squeezed out of the search results by Panda. Affiliates are getting torched for not being a "real" merchant.

What is "real"?

At the same time, some of the biggest branded websites that Google promotes are now BECOMING AFFILIATES:

The new items on the website will mostly get to consumers through third-party sellers, which means B&N won’t have to carry the expense of inventory. The bookseller will just take a sales commission of 8% to 15% on each item.

What's worse, when brands come under review for spamming, Google says that they already ranked #1 so there is no reason to penalize them. Which is precisely why you can now buy rugs on Barnes & Noble. And it is precisely why you can find dating offers, education offers, jobs, and automotive sections on Excite.com. There is no SEO risk in brand extension for large brands that can do no wrong.

Google puts weight on domain names then suggests that domains can be a spam tool. So in a sense, if you invest in whatever Google trusts and are small you are a spammer. Whereas if you invest in whatever Google trusts and are large you deserve the benefit of the doubt & further promotion.

Sometimes the only difference between the brand and spammer labels is that the brands spam harder.

Brand + Money = Not Spam

For those with money, brand is another SEO tool to buy, and Google will proudly run the affiliate program for your duplicated site if you buy a bankrupt brand & slap a product feed on it.

Google literally ties their relevancy signals to their ad units. Recall that:

So if you have brand & money you can just flat out buy the "relevancy" signals. Yet if you try to create similar signals without paying Google & without owning a billion Dollar brand you are shunned & labeled as a spammer.

This subjective circular nonsense is getting a bit out of hand.

In summary, we are not SEOs and we are not affiliates.

We are a brand & we will buy retargeting AdWords ads + up our AdWords budget appropriately.

If we rebrand to remove "SEO" from the domain name can we please be added to Google's whitelist? ;)

Published: October 27, 2011

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Comments

October 27, 2011 - 8:47pm

I highly recommend anyone who has not found a copy of the leaked Google raters document go and find one ASAP.

Google's double standards with affiliates just make me sick to the pit of my stomach.

On page 100 they talk about "Sneaky Redirects, and give an example of what a sneaky redirect is. The example URL is a CJ link that starts with www.kqzyfj.com.

We know this is NOT a sneaky redirect, it's a redirect that goes through CJ's system so that the click can be tracked. It's blatant misinformation from Google. Lies.

I cringe to think what the average Google rater makes of this, anyone who has not had experience with CJ links will have no idea that Google is lying. That's probably 99.9999% of the world.

Any CJ link anywhere on a site is now cause for the whole site to be rated as spam if it is spotted by a rating pleb.

I sure hope CJ has something to say about this.

PS: If you can't find the raters doc, flick me an email; hunter at freshniche dot com, and I will happily oblige.

October 28, 2011 - 1:07am

Brandbook.com seems like it is not being used much Aaron. You might want to buy it :-) You will definitely be safe from Google then. :-)

P.S. Regional Online Distributor - Classic :-) I think I will suggest creating that as an online partner program to my company :-p kidding.

October 28, 2011 - 11:57am

Hi Aaron,

Seems like a lot of doom and gloom from Google lately. In your opinion is Affiliate Marketing still a viable business strategy?

Bill

October 28, 2011 - 1:22pm

...but a lot of that comes down to vertical. If we were heavily invested in travel then a world of hurt could be quickly approaching.

October 28, 2011 - 1:45pm

Aaron, Bill,
I agree, the niche you are in can make a big difference, I think affiliate marketing is obviously getting more difficult, but I think the leaked raters doc actually gives some useful insights into this, if you look closely at the specific criteria they are using to torch sites it is somewhat enlightening.

@Aaron Unrelated to this - I noticed on your twitter bio a few weeks ago something about New Zealand? I'm a Kiwi, are you spending time in our sunny part of the world?

October 28, 2011 - 5:30pm

...but PeterD. Peter DaVanzo is from New Zealand.

October 28, 2011 - 2:51pm

Just wanted to add that sites which earn monay as affliates also have a tougher time getting their site reconsidered by Google. Go check out the reconsideration form.

Quote - "In general, sites that directly profit from traffic (e.g. search engine optimizers, affiliate programs, etc.) may need to provide more evidence of good faith before a site will be reconsidered."

Nice.

October 28, 2011 - 3:47pm

...about that type of discrimination (outside of Google itself being an affiliate in many of the markets it polices) is that the whole theory on why they needed to do the Panda update & make things "algorithmic" was because sites like eHow or Mahalo (and Mahalo was nothing more than a glorified scraper website) were in the gray area & were (allegedly) not totally spam, so they couldn't just discriminate against them. They had to do this big elaborate update that came with thousands of false positives & tons of collateral damage so that things were "algorithmic."

Yet they train that same algorithm to discriminate against competing business models based on no factor outside of the actual business model.

  • If you create a great site but it is monetized with affiliates you may be labeled as spam no matter what.
  • If you create a crappy content farm it takes them years to address the issue & even then when they do so it has to be a partial hit rather than the complete torch job affiliates could expect.

And then if you get torched based on that type of discrimination, they claim that you need to be held to a higher standard than the rest of the web, due to no reason other than your business model.

I am waiting for the day they torch some of Quinstreet's sites or some other large affiliate network's sites & a lawsuit appears. This leaked public information is clearly anti-competitive behavior...and it is only that much more extreme when you consider that Google runs an affiliate network, invests in affiliate websites, and puts affiliate links directly in the search results.

November 4, 2011 - 12:02pm

"evidence of good faith"? What does that even mean? haha. I seriously doubt they would be able to come up with something good enough for Google. I've never seen that form before but thanks for bring it up. I needed a good laugh.

October 28, 2011 - 3:07pm

Daniel,
Yes I've noticed the statement you quote, too.
In the past 12 months I have had the unfortunate experience of trying to get a site which profits from an affiliate program reconsidered, with no luck at all.
The site is 100% original content, written by myself with real, objective reviews of the products in question. All to no avail, unfortunately. The reconsideration team is not interested at all. The site took at least 200 hours of my time to build.
Despite this grim experience, I've come out the other side with some optimism, I've learned a few things.
I think the key is you need to be able to pass the G raters tests easily, so you don't end up penalised in the first place. The key is knowing what they are looking for.
The alternative solution to all of this is a new, better, more honest search engine that takes the world by storm and leaves Google looking greedy and stupid. I dream about this every night...

October 28, 2011 - 5:16pm

...but isn't it a bit crazy that you have to get your hands on Google's confidential internal documents in order to build something they won't hit? What's worse is that these documents change arbitrarily over time.

  • Common CJ links are considered "sneaky redirects" yet Google runs an affiliate network
  • One of the earliest documents highlighted that JoeAnt was an example of a quality web directory & Google later hit them
  • just recently they suggested that any affiliate site in the hotel niche is spam (well aren't a lot of the big aggregators in the travel niche little more than glorified affiliates at scale? Google has also suggested that they were thinking of testing a price per booking model with hotels)
December 14, 2011 - 11:56am

1. Microsoft Style Anti-Compete: This is basically the same as Microsoft taking control of the desktop and killing Wordperfect, Netscape, etc... A search engine is a SAAS operating system, and figuratively speaking, Google is making their Internet Explorer shortcut icon fill up the entire screen, while pushing equally useful affiliate sites down to single pixel-sized desktop icon where no one can see. Why arent there a bunch of powerful people fighting this? Oh wait, we never have the billions to fight it--class action?

Yes, I read the whole doc, and saw that line about hotels, and said, WHAT THE HE**! No rhyme or reason, even if the site has unique content they recommend that it shouldnt be labeled as spam (but they suggest that it is still spam).

BTW, someone should upload the guide on TPB and wikileaks. That'll make google think twice about their covert pirating business: http://ericschmidtgoogle.blogspot.com/2011/12/we-were-recently-quoted-in...

October 28, 2011 - 5:06pm

It's just like how Google says that Adwords is great for "lead gen" but that is one of the toughest things in the world to advertise with them. If you have an optin form on your website you have to make it so thick with superfluous information or Google will call it a scam. Yet, click on any Groupon ad on Adwords and you will land on a page that asks for your email address and nothing else! Just like arbitrage is banned but Ask.com still has Adwords ads all over.

The anti-competitive nature of this stuff is so flagrant. Why is the government not subpoenaing programmers from Google instead of just sitting there while Schmidt makes sad puppy dog faces and rolls around in his billions.

October 28, 2011 - 5:28pm

...we have highlighted Ask's arbitrage & the Groupon squeeze pages. I think the key is scale creates opportunities. Without scale your risk of arbitrarily being tossed in the drink are much higher.

Then again, even if you get great scale, you still risk getting hosed by Google (especially if you reject Google's take over offers). Talk to book publishers, yellow page publishers, web portals, review sites like Yelp, travel sites like TripAdvisor or Expedia, mobile data services Skyhook Wireless, device & software creators like Microsoft and Apple, deals sites like LivingSocial and Groupon, & the various other large players Google has come after.

Though in those cases the "getting hosed" is mostly through Google undermining copyright, destroying IP value & directly competing against those businesses (rather than by discriminating generally against their business models they are trying to clone them).

October 28, 2011 - 6:20pm

You guys are always two steps ahead with this stuff, I hadn't seen the Groupon post before.

Every week I get in touch with someone else who has been banned from Adwords for violating some imaginary fine print. If you go to the official Adwords support forum you see posts from people groveling over the destruction of their business. No platform should wield such power over small business.

October 28, 2011 - 7:16pm

Aaron,
I agree absolutely with all your points, it's more than a little crazy... sometimes I feel like I'm going stark raving mad dealing with G.
I guess I was just chiming in with my thoughts on Bill's question to you, "is aff marketing still a viable business model", And the answer for me is that despite being almost squeezed to death by the Panda, I can still wriggle a little bit if I use every piece of information available to me, including leaked G docs I'm not really supposed to have,..
Am I happy about this? Is it fair? Absolutely not, on both counts.

October 28, 2011 - 7:40pm

It seems strange that you solicit seo consulting business (likely from corporations) and then support the anti capitalist occupy movement. Brilliant marketing strat there Aaron.

October 28, 2011 - 8:16pm
  • There is a difference between capitalism and fascism.
  • In spite of what you might hear or read in the bank-sponsored mainstream media, Occupy Wall Street isn't about being "anti-capitalist" it is about being "anti-fascist."
  • There is NOTHING capitalistic about socialism for the ultra rich. That is fascism.
  • If the banks were allowed to fail (rather than being given free taxpayer money for being BOTH incompetent AND criminal) then the movement wouldn't exist.
  • Many of the Occupy Wall Street people believe in actual capitalism and are disgusted by the state-sponsored banking fraud.
  • While many of our customers are large corporations, few of them are huge too-big-to-fail banks (there are about 10 banks that did trillions of Dollars of damage to society). Most of our customers are the types of small to medium sized independent business owners who hate the banking fraud.
  • Do I lose business by speaking out against the banking criminals? Probably, as there are a lot of ignorant people in the world. Do I care about losing that business? Not really. The people who still support the banking criminals at this point are not people I would want to help anyhow, and they generally lack the critical thinking skills found in our customers.

A couple quotes about the combination of financial anarchism & state-sponsored fraud built off blowing destructive bubbles using ponzi schemes:

  • "Fascism should be more appropriately be called corporatism, for it is the merger of the corporations and the state." - Benito Mussolini
  • "Between fascists who claim to be capitalists, and marxists who claim that fascism is capitalism (with the former facilitating the latter) it gets very difficult to have an honest discussion about our economic systems." - Badgermaster
  • "Your average chimpanzee couldn't f*ck up that business plan, which makes it all the more incredible that most of the too-big-to-fail banks are nonetheless still functionally insolvent, and dependent upon bailouts and phony accounting to stay above water. Where do the protesters go to sign up for their interest-free billion-dollar loans?" - Matt Taibbi
  • we refuse to control real criminals (that's the anarchy) so we control the innocent (that's the tyranny) - Samuel Francis
  • "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair
  • "Financial elites own and control the government, so it's not surprising that the government they own and control failed to hold them accountable for their crimes. As I say in the book, expecting the government to prosecute their Wall-Street-owners is like expecting a tenant to evict his landlord." - Glenn Greenwald
  • "The exponential phase of the industrial growth which has dominated human activities during the last couple of centuries is now drawing to a close. Yet during the last two centuries of unbroken industrial growth we evolved what amounts to an exponential-growth culture" - M. King Hubbart, June 4, 1974
  • “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.” ― Albert Einstein
  • "A so-called self-regulating market economy may evolve into Mafia capitalism — and a Mafia political system" - Karl Polanyi
  • "When you change the laws so that the other guy goes bankrupt and you get to keep the loot the word for that is not capitalism, it is THEFT." - Karl Denninger
October 28, 2011 - 10:00pm

Aaron, You are the man. I am totally, 100% with you.
With everything I have read on your site this year you have gained in me a lifelong potential customer.
And I would happily refer any of the 1000+ webmasters who come through my main site every day to your services.
I'm envious though, I wish I could verbalise my thoughts and opinions the way you do.

October 29, 2011 - 12:38am

...that I am great at that. Maybe ok to slightly above average, but there are people far more knowledgeable and clear than I am. If you want to see people who are great at that stuff then I recommend listing to Chris Martenson, Eric Janszen, Barry Ritholtz, and Karl Denninger.

October 30, 2011 - 4:05am

A little research on the rater program shows that it is a popular job for stay-at-home moms who don't want their children in daycare but can't afford not to make some money. Many of the raters are clearly fairly tech ignorant. On the one hand, this means they reflect the general internet population well. On the other, it means that they can't tell the difference between a 'thin' affiliate and any other affiliate, and obvously (to us) not all affiliates are thin, or add no value.

Interestingly, the same population represent a pretty strong core of the people who work for places like Demand Media for $7/article creating content farms.

October 30, 2011 - 9:24am

...on that front which are somewhat scary are:

  • Google highlights how some sites should be trusted because they are large and official and so on
  • companies like Demand Media have partnered with newspapers like the USA Today & the San Francisco Chronicle to syndicate the MFA-styled content
October 31, 2011 - 1:46pm

I believe their Rater Document says that a site can be Official but not very good, or something like that.

Those Guidelines are only one of about 30 sets used by Google Raters. A far more interesting set is the set that they have used to test the Panda algorithm, although the Raters themselves really don't know that to be what they were testing. The copy of what the raters call Page Quality Guidelines I have is extremely interesting.

October 31, 2011 - 2:08pm

care to share? seo @ our domain name :)

October 30, 2011 - 8:37pm

My thoughts and frustrations, exactly. I agree with Big Bear you do a brilliant job articulating this situation.

If a Google rater was to review this little site: Google.com , what would they find? Incredibly thin website, with masses of duplicate content, PPC spam affiliate links and embedded “shopping” affiliate links masquerading as organic links.

Where does Google draw the line? They’ve entered the affiliate space and squeezing out competition. I would not be one bit surprised if they succeed on this front there will be a day that they will continue to move higher up the supply line, even manufacture their own products. Then we all live in a Google world. Yay.
In an economic time when small business needs to be fostered and encouraged as much to grow and prosper, Google are increasingly creating and elitist SERP that probably has more to do with how much you spend on Adwords than what actually benefits the user.

Google has an immense responsibility to the world, Information is everything in this Digital Age and like it or not, rightly or wrongly Google has become the gateway for this. But if they exploit this monopolistic position based on their own greed then action needs to be taken.
I find it hard to sit back and just watch this, I’ve contacted AVAAZ.org and asked them to do a campaign on Google’s antitrust (they’ve done one on Murdoch’s monopoly, why not Google). Google obviously doesn’t really care what the SEOs, Affiliates etc think of what they do, but perhaps if the bigger global community were aware of Google’s antitrust and support a campaign against Google based on principle there could be some hope. In numbers maybe we can do something.

October 31, 2011 - 3:05am

to me this hits the nail square on the head.

If a Google rater was to review this little site: Google.com , what would they find? Incredibly thin website, with masses of duplicate content, PPC spam affiliate links and embedded “shopping” affiliate links masquerading as organic links.

The more your website looks/smells/acts like Google the more likely it is to be considered spam.

November 1, 2011 - 7:12am

Hi,

I have just joined so that can post on the blog and get the SEO tools.

Your welcome email says to fill out my profile but where do I do that?

Thanks for the email offer on the raters doc - I have emailed you,

Dale.

November 2, 2011 - 8:19pm

We are better off if we ignore what Google is saying and follow one thing: Google wants more money for Google. When we make this assumption, everything Google does makes sense. Deception and doublespeak are logical and expected rather than shocking and upsetting.

When it comes to scale, as pointed out with Groupon, all of these rules go out the window. If you look at the biggest advertisers, replace their account with one with no history and the brand "Geico" with "SEOBook auto insurance" and the campaign will simply not run. You are spam. In some cases larger advertisers are able to run ads which are clearly deceptive and go against guidelines which they actively enforce on smaller advertisers. I have a strong suspicion now that this is in fact institutionalized in Google's rating process rather than any employee going out of their way to overturn some sort of penalty.

Google will not disrupt a site or advertiser that will negatively impact their own quarterly earnings. When Google does disrupt one, it is because they have a backup in place. That backup may be their own internal project or a competitor of yours who sends 95% of their advertising through Google's ad platforms. When Google claimed they were going after content farms, and Demand Media's properties (which are explicitly spam) were spared, the reason was obvious, because it would have visibly impacted their bottom line.

Brand is a deceptive concept. A hairy, smelly drug addict that compulsively molests women is not a sex offender but rather a globally famous rock star. Much the same holds true to many of the biggest brands. As long as a brand spams, that spam is opaque to Google's customer base and their customers do not bring a negative association with Google's brand. However, when that same hairy, smelly drug addict is anonymous he is a nuisance which destroys your reputation when you publicly associate yourself with him.

Google is like an oil company which not only dictates the price of oil but also chooses where an oil field will exist. Google is now "too big to fail" as indicated by the recent DOJ investigation which could have resulted in a felony charge for their co-founder, and most certainly would have for a smaller firm without $500m of liquid cash. We should be thankful that visitors are still directed to our websites when they could simply receive excerpts of what they are searching for.

My conclusion: first, I monetize my existing sites with Google's own products as much as possible. Second: I no longer invest my time or money in new businesses that require Google's traffic. Google should expect more walled content gardens in their future. Google's biggest challengers such as Facebook and Apple recognize this, and their platforms are very much walled gardens. That is too bad for the web as we know it today.

As a consumer I want Google to have the best, most trustworthy experience possible. They can fight SEOs and affiliates all day long and it doesn't bother me. I fully expected the innovative waves that helped the web destroy old media do the same again to itself. But, when Google lies, and do things that in fact damage that consumers experience no longer can I defend Google (when eHow first started popping up in 50% of the searches I did I was shocked; I am absolutely appalled they still show up on page 1 for anything, the articles are obviously written by authors that re-hashed another article in 10 minutes and often factually incorrect on top of it.)

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