Kill The Bugs!

Feb 3rd

You can learn a lot more about what Google really thinks by reading what their new hires say. They are not yet skilled in the arts of public relations & make major gaffs like this one:

Instead of being able to SEO the entire Internet, businesses can now only affect the search results for a tiny percentage of users. That's a good thing because SEO can't scale, and SEO isn't good for users or the Internet at large.

If you look at the Google experience from the standpoint of customers, it's pretty good. Users get relevant search results and ads. Advertisers get their content on top of everything else. It's a good compromise between advertising and usability, and it works really well. It's a bug that you could rank highly in Google without buying ads, and Google is trying to fix the bug. Manipulating Google results shouldn't be something you feel entitled to be able to do. If you want to rank highly in Google, be relevant for the user currently searching. Engage him in social media or email, provide relevant information about what you're selling, and, generally, be a "good match" for what the user wants. - Googley Jon Rockway

Would love to hear someone more senior confirm this as the official Google company position, however they are too skilled at public relations to make that blunder (at least outside of foreign AdWords ads that tell you to "forget SEO").

Published: February 3, 2012

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Comments

February 3, 2012 - 3:52pm

When Google does forced promotion of their own properties (even when they are thin scrape jobs of 3rd party content) that is "good for users" even while the field of SEO isn't.

And the idea that search traffic can be sliced and diced until SEO simply goes away is naive. Sure that mindset might destroy small businesses trying to succeed through the bug of not paying Google, but that slicing and dicing actually benefits hardcore spammers. The combination of Bing's approach toward QDF, subdomains & geo-localization makes the Bing search results a bit of a spammer's paradise right now. Google over-promotes YouTube in their search results & YouTube is becoming a spam den. Google over-promotes Google+ and the destination will be the same. Further, if Kim Kardashian is already selling sponsored Tweets do you think she is going to be above selling sponsored Google+ posts? Seriously?

February 3, 2012 - 4:34pm

WOW just wow. is this guy serious?

February 3, 2012 - 4:36pm

Sometimes, if you read something you don't like or disagree with about your employer on the internet, you should just keep your mouth shut and your hands on your lap. Apple employees are great at this, and most Facebook ones are too. Google employees not so much. (This is not their only incident, as Aaron noted above)

February 3, 2012 - 4:54pm

Aaron I appreciate your follow-up comment here. It does seem that Google is engineering an experience heading in the direction of rewarding spam. And although they have teams of manual (human) reviewers, there are still so many hundreds of thousands of queries that these people never see because they are not high priority items in the news or popular media.

In your opinion do you think this will continue to drive additional UI changes to almost inter-splice ads and sponsored content more so into the results? either pushing the left margin further to the right or less organic results per page?

February 3, 2012 - 7:44pm

Like the retraction, I guess he found himself an Senior with some PR experience ;)
http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3535153

Since people are taking what I've said out of context, I thought I'd clarify this statement:

It's a bug that you could rank highly in Google without buying ads

I shouldn't have mentioned ads here. Position on the results page should only depend on the quality of your content; if your site has the best content on the Internet for the user's search terms, you should be the top result. You shouldn't be able to change your position in the organic results any other way, like by exploiting bugs in Google's ranking algorithm. The specifics of the ranking algorithm may change, but if your site is the best, you won't have to worry about it.

February 5, 2012 - 5:10pm

"I shouldn't have mentioned ads here...."

The fact that you actually believe you have a chance to come back and re-state your perspective, after having been schooled (and probably corrected internally) shows you're (incredible) ignorance of seo.

I bet most serious SEOs know more about Google than you or your first few uplines of support at Google. And I bet that your upline would disagree with that idea.

Googlers seem so disconnected with reality sometimes. SEOs work with the businesses and webmaster who publish that stuff you scrape and rank. Googlers consistently assume business webmasters will publish properly, and message adequately to draw and serve customers. Huge mistake.

And when you say stupid things like SEO is not needed you reveal your ignorance. Were you left to try and rank natural content published by businesses without SEO assistance, you'd be hard pressed to achieve anything significant. Yet here you are, insulting the very community that makes your success possible.

Moronic. That's what it is, and no double-talk or "retraction" or "clarification" will change that.

February 6, 2012 - 11:55pm

This can either be a conspiracy theory or just a ridiculous prediction, but why do I see Google inching toward being a "pay to be listed"-only search engine at some point in the future?

As for "manipulating Google results," I suppose that should be reserved only for the highest bidder in AdWord$.

February 7, 2012 - 7:15pm

"This can either be a conspiracy theory or just a ridiculous prediction, but why do I see Google inching toward being a "pay to be listed"-only search engine at some point in the future?"

You're right. This is a ridiculous prediction. Google is doing plenty to poison the well, but pay for to be listed (o hai, Yahoo paid inclusion) is beyond egregious.

February 8, 2012 - 4:25pm

...Google can make far more with vertical solutions like their Flight Search and vertical lead generation ads in big money verticals like credit cards. Mixing in their own verticals wherever and whenever they like gives them more business model flexibility and less scrutiny than a flat across-the-board paid inclusion model would.

February 8, 2012 - 10:47am

It's time like this when I think, the entire SEO population should get together to help Henrik promote this wonderful product.

February 8, 2012 - 4:25pm

...is that many SEOs also derive a significant portion of their incomes from ads. ;)

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