Download SEO Book Torrent: Should Google Recommend That?

In the following video Matt Cutts highlighted that he did not feel that the update was driven by brand, but more in concepts of trust, PageRank, and authority:

RankPulse, a tool I used in my analysis of the algorithm change, is powered by the Google SOAP API, which Google will soon stop supporting. Matt played down the size of the algorithm update made by a Googler named Vince. But John Andrews takes a contrarian view, looking at Google's behavior after the algorithm update was analyzed:

You might say that Google’s API,via custom third-party innovations like, enabled us to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” (which is Google’s corporate mission statement, by the way).

It sure seems contradictory for Google, a company based on the collection and permanent storage of others’ web page content, to forbid others from doing the same. It is also quite egregious for Google to expect to operate secretly, with no accountability (such as might be obtained through archiving of Google results), when Google exerts so much influence over Internet commerce.

One of Google's initial complaints, as mentioned by Joshua Sciarrino, was that search information was too secretive:

At the same time, search engines have migrated from the academic domain to the commercial. Up until now most search engine development has gone on at companies with little publication of technical details. This causes search engine technology to remain largely a black art and to be advertising oriented (see Appendix A). With Google, we have a strong goal to push more development and understanding into the academic realm.......However, it is very difficult to get this (academic) data, mainly because it is considered commercially valuable.

As Google gobbles up your content while shielding its results from unauthorized access, it creates a weakness which a new search service could being far more open.

While Google doesn't want anyone to access their proprietary business secrets, if you search for my brand they recommend you look for a torrent to go download an old copy of my ebook.

sounds like a fair trade, eh? No big deal. Google is a common carrier, and intends to use that to their business advantage whenever and wherever possible.

I hope you (and your business model) are not allergic to peanuts!

Published: March 5, 2009 by Aaron Wall in google


March 5, 2009 - 5:00am

1) John has a good point re: G corp social responsibility/accountability. But he doesn't seem to contradict Matt as to the scope of the algo update, as much as say that the SOAP API's end is a big, negative change.

2) You linked the update to your blog; methinks you meant to link to your update post.

3) My brand-building guide comments seem to be validated about the brand shift relating to correlated factors, and not necessarily brand per se. (If you want to take Matt's word at face value.)

March 5, 2009 - 5:19am

Well now this page ranks first for "seobook torrent". People are going to be disappointed :)

Maybe take the time and add some information about the now defunct SEO Book, and point out where people should go next.

NOTE: The "Don't ask me again" in the JS popup doesn't work (still)

March 5, 2009 - 5:38am

Thanks for the mention. I sent you a FB message about it. :)

Google's attempts to be 'innovative' and keep investors happy is clouding their minds. They don't realize that the technology is just not there yet.

Maybe in a few extra months or years we will be able to upload a photo and see if there are any copies around (Image Search), or type in a sentence and see the exact clip we were looking for (Video search), or for answers to questions not yet asked. But the technology isn't fully there yet.

I do think, in many years (maybe when I have a kid), that SEO will fade as a career. But maybe even my thoughts are ahead of the technology.

Either way. Preparing for the future is an interesting game. But I think Google is over stepping it's bounds (maybe even my prediction/guess), and hopefully they will see the truth but I doubt it because Google is only concerned with only Google, not x site, nor y site, nor z site.

For example, the torrent that you showed, it may make the users happy (stealing from you; getting your book for free) but it's not good for your business. It's money you could've made.

Perfect example on how Google should take a few steps back and listen to webmasters, not just the users. The day Google directly or indirectly screws over organic search, is the day Google will go down. That's by costing people big $$, someone like SEObook might not win a court case but with enough mistakes, Google *hopefully* will come tumbling down.

March 5, 2009 - 3:24pm

That is your best graphic yet!

Chris Gauron

March 5, 2009 - 4:21pm

That graphic was from Matt Cutts. :)

March 5, 2009 - 3:56pm

Every dog has its day, google is too powerful today with their fingers in everything. What will be the next big thing ?

March 5, 2009 - 9:38pm

Maybe Google doesn't want to say the B word, but it helps us think about it in that content, so am glad Aaron is doing a GREAT OB being a job between from Google to us!

March 6, 2009 - 5:50pm

What's a torrent?



March 9, 2009 - 8:33pm

I'll bite: a torrent is like a cross between a file type, and a downloading process. It may be easy to think of it like Napster, or like share-ware, where people who have torrent files share them with each other. You need special software (I think), like a torrent reader to use a torrent file, because unlike Napster, you don't have to have complete files to share them - the torrent software breaks the large files down into component parts, and if you have a few of these components, you can gather the rest or share what you have from the torrent networks.
Though a torrent file doen't necessarily mean that it will be used for pirating stuff, this is how most people see it.

At least that is what I believe them to be....

March 8, 2009 - 7:37am

Peanuts...? Nice one!

I believe Matt on this one, I think branding really goes not have as much to do with ranking as we might be lead to believe.

But nice post Aaron, thanks!

March 8, 2009 - 7:55am

Matt Cutts didn't disagree with me. He was arguing this if you think otherwise

March 10, 2009 - 2:37pm

For one of the websites (an official online merchandise store) we run for a client (an A-brand), the keyword that used to bring us the most amount of visitors (the brand name) has dropped in performance dramatically, as can be seen in this Analytics graph:

I couldn't figure out what caused this, until I read Aaron's post.

The brand has an official website, which still ranks #1 in the keyword, but official dealers of the brand name throughout the world have now outranked us it seems, causing 'our' website to drop to the bottom of the first page of search results. This has to be the cause of the dramatic drop in visitors for the brand name keyword, although I am now not 100% sure how the ranking was before this change.

Since the keyword is not as valuable for us in terms of revenue as other keywords it's not causing as big a decrease in revenue as a decrease in visitors for this keyword, but I have to say I'm at least a little anxious to find out how this change 'works'.

Because of the way 'our' site is linked to/from the official brand site, I have to say I didn't expect such a dramatic effect, so I'll continue to do some research and try to find out more about "the change".

(Sorry about all the ' and ", don't know what's up with those today)

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