Understanding the Psychology of the Google User (Through the Actions of an Engineer)

Oct 7th

Frank Schilling and Shoemoney recently had two great posts about Google. When combined I think they paint a picture of Google that skips past the rhetoric and double talk. Frank said:

As a publisher, I've always viewed Google as a bit of a predator in this context.. taking publishers in, convincing them to serve Google ads, and then allowing those publishers to toil for Google, working sites into their algo to serve the beast, all for increasing revenues, finally to have Google's algorithm scrub you from the index if you become too successful at punching ad converting pages to the top.. Good publishers take on the role of sacrificial lamb to show the algo guys where the holes are and they get to ride the express elevator to the street as a reward.

Shoemoney's video about avoiding getting hit by Google stated that the key is just don't do things that make Google look stupid or undermine the perceived magic that occurs at Google.

My site that Matt Cutts hand removed from Google's search results got too much exposure and Matt killed it not because the site was spammy, but because it was mine and it was getting too much mainstream traction and exposure. My marketing was too appealing, aggressive, and effective. In another year that site would have been untouchable, and that thought made Matt Cutts feel uncomfortable.

The Changing Desires of the Magical Fictitious Average User

How Relevancy is Defined

With Google, the whole concept of relevancy is a shifting mind control game. As long as you do not get the wrong types of exposure you can make a lot of money without them doing anything about it. Go too mainstream with something a little sketchy or something with the scent of smart SEO to it and they will try to kill you out of resentment, jealousy, and to try to protect the lies that their business model are based on.

Published: October 7, 2007

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Comments

October 7, 2007 - 3:32pm

My site that Matt Cutts hand removed from Google's search results got too much exposure and Matt killed it not because the site was spammy, but because it was mine and it was getting too much mainstream traction and exposure. My marketing was too appealing, aggressive, and effective. In another year that site would have been untouchable, and that thought made Matt Cutts feel uncomfortable.

Aaron,

Don't you think hand editing results by search engines is a shame? Shouldn't they fire all those mad scientists working on their fucking algos and hire an army of people manually assigning rankings and handling spam instead? ;-)

October 7, 2007 - 11:45pm

I am not totally against hand editing.

What I do think is bogus is that they can hand edit as they see fit, but even when content theft is blatant and they pay the thief, you still have to go through DMCA to get it sorted out.

October 8, 2007 - 2:26pm

Aaron, I wonder if it's more a case of different groups at Google having different values. It seems like the organic search staff like Matt Cutts and Adam Lasnik (and previously Vanessa Fox) act like they're working on an academic project that's not a business. They seem naive but genuinely interested in limiting search engine spam.

OTOH, the people on the paid ads side seem to be going after revenue at all costs. That's actually what they're supposed to do. However, that's sometimes at odds with Google's stated values. When looking at Google, I think it's useful to think of it as separate companies - the organic search company and the paid ads company. They need to work together better and share the same set of corporate values.

For example, I find this quite amusing. Try either of these Google searches:

info:domainsponsor.com
site:domainsponsor.com

What do you make of that? Anyone using AdWords and opted into *either* the search network or content network is going to see traffic from searchportal.information.com which is powered by DomainSponsor. DomainSponsor (part of Oversee.net) is clearly a major partner in the AdSense for Domains program. However, the organic search people are blocking DomainSponsor.com.

Any idea what's going on? Somebody's not on the same page.

October 9, 2007 - 3:07pm

Great post Aaron; far too many people buy into lovable concept of happy geeks that can "do no evil" who are just trying to make the internet world a better place. Google is as cut-throat and sharp a business for profit as any. Matt Cutts is quite the politician too, never quite answering anything directly that could potentially make the big G look bad (such as his recent reply to comments by the ever-complaining Mikey Grey http://www.wolf-howl.com/google/more-paid-links-double-talk/).

October 9, 2007 - 7:18pm

I think Yahoo and MSN are great search engines, and I think they will start to beat Google. No one on the web can be the policeman. Google has tried to tell people what they can and cant do, and that is simply rediculous. Google needs to focus on serving their customer (the end users and webmasters) and leave the policing to the algorithem. If people are exploting weaknesses in Google, then they need to fix their search - not penalize people for doing things a certian way. If they did this, there would be no problems.

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