After a long drawn out battle between google and the EU that could have left google with a huge dent in their pockets their has been a recent final settlement agreement between google and the EU that will show more prominence to competitors. However this final agreement is proving very controversial and despite the fact that through out the anti trust investigation the EU maintained that they were trying to protect the consumers it is far from the case in the final settlement and actually makes things a lot harder for consumers and searchers. The final settlement in fact pushes for competitor results to be pushed into ad space on the search results it will be that if google decides to show a searcher a set of results with ads for example google shopping google must then display a set of other competitor results in similar fashion to their own with the same level of prominence and if for examples images are used google must also provide images as well for the competitor results to improve CTR of the competitor results. But all of this just pushes down the real organic search results further down the page even out of sight… This means the search results are further filled with “ads”! Organic search results are determined by ranking factors based upon popularity and trust. Organic search results are the best option for consumers and because competitors must go into auction to pay google to display their competitor ads in the search results in some cases it is only google that benefits from this new settlement and other BIG businesses. It is a sickening and bad decision from the EU which does not protect consumers and gives them the best possible results. There will be no final market tests to see the actual impact this settlement will have but for small business that rely on organic listings and for the consumer this is the wrong decision by the EU.
Bing calls what google is doing to consumers as being “scroogled” even though Bing’s motives behind their campaign against google shopping is really so they can help boost their on paid shopping results feature on bing but you cannot argue that Google is “scroogling consumers”..
Searchers looking to buy items are often “fooled” into going with google shopping results that more often than not are displayed on product searches… as a recent FT study points out, 80% of the products listed in gogole product showcase are on average 30% more expensive than shopping results hidden further down in the organic search results and even in the google shopping results. This clearly shows that the business that can “afford” rank high to use google shopping results tend to be the ones that reflect the extra cost of using google shopping results in their prices and are much more expensive than others… that is because to rank highly in google shopping you must be willing to throw more money at google. Consumers are found to get much better bargains by shopping and price comparison websites such as shopzilla and nextag.
With some search queries displaying more ads than actual organic listings that often cost a premium due to price gouging that occurs to cover the extra cost of ranking on google it puts questionable doubt google intentions to displaying unbiased search results…. with many claiming google is deliberately making the organic search results full of well known and obvious choices such as amazon and ebay and penalizing all others “for spamming” making google shopping results the next stop for searchers to go further increasing ctr and googles revenue. Google’s intention is not to help consumers find the best deal but to get searchers clicking ads as after all this is how google makes it money…
With more small businesses being pushed out of the organic search results and the organic search results being pushed below the fold means that many small businesses only option is to buy into adwords further pushing up competition and bidding prices for ad space with the increased PPC prices means prices continue to rise and only the ones that can afford to take the hit will survive.
Here at MediaWatchGlobal we like to be a soapbox for people to raise their concerns about the media and recently a concerned person from the Uk has emailed me his concerns about the way the media is effecting society, here is what he has got to say….
“Over the last couple of years the media has changed so much and not for the better. You only have to look at the music industry or turn on your tv to see what I mean. What we see on the media no doubt has a huge implications to our society as people grow up with and mimic what they see “stars” do in the media and tries to be just like them as it is the latest trend.
This is quite dangerous and has contributed to the moral decline of society… as people idealize false and superficial role models and with the medias constant promotion of immorality which usually has the biggest potential and easiest to create and sell to people means that society now looks at immorality as the norm and those that go against what the media are doing are just not “cool”. Evolution has created the trait in humans to feel safer in numbers and this has led the rise of them following like sheep what they see on the media as it is what everyone else is doing even if it is immoral… the media knows this and is exploiting this.”
Do you think that the moral decline of the media is effecting society and morals?
Youtube is a prime example of how a internet giant can simply ignore the law and make billions from other peoples work. YouTube gets its revenue from ads… but a lot less people would be watching YouTube or the ads if it did not have all of the illegally uploaded content on it. YouTube came to power as people realized it was the best place to watch music videos and films for free whenever they want and then google quickly acquired YouTube and monetized the vast amount of traffic YouTube had by adding adwords ads to it. Despite YouTube still being used as a place to upload and watch illegally uploaded media it still generates Google’s a huge amount of revenue that has been effectively stolen of the rightful creators of the media maybe it is because so many people use YouTube so it is fine.
Google are simply hyper-critics reason being is that google will deindex any site that breaks there webmasters guidelines yet google itself goes against just about every guideline in their book. Google will take manual action and will deindex website that scrape from other websites and republish content (much of the internet about 30% is duplicate content) even if you have permission to do so. Google is just one big scraper site though scraping and publishing under the doctrine of fair use other people content and making money from off the back of other content creators. The hypocrisy doesn’t just stop there though, google also will penalize website that show too many ads or ads that are showing above the fold (above the content) and also website that are designed just to create ad clicks, however one could easily argue that google is doing just that and the vast majority of search results excluding (search results that have no competition and thus are not sought after by advertisers) are mostly ads with 10 organic listings and upto 20 ads showing in some results.
But when a business has so much control it is easy to dictate to other websites what to do and what not to do.
Google is a parasite and a rich one at that.
More and more websites are being penalized and are being taken entirely off the search engines because these sites violate search engines guidelines. This is especially the case with google who have taken it upon themselves to get rid of any websites off their search engine which they do not like the look of either manually or using algos to do so. Google uses the guise of spam to demote websites that it disagrees with. This maybe a very bold claim but it is very true and has given rise to many webmaster concerned that google is doing this for monetary gain as websites that have been removed from the organic listings will even though the websites look like “spam” and according to google are not good enough to be listed on organic listings can be accepted to be a part of adwords and get their listings added above the organic listings if they pay enough.
Spam links poitning to a website can be one of the reasons why google may choice to “penalize” your website and make it vanish form the listings this has given rise to negative seo whereby seo will deliberately spam links of the competitors everywhere in a effort to get that website penalized. As you can see form this what links are pointing to your site is out of your control and tactics like this are being used to get your site removed yet google are still persisting to penalize websites based on the links pointing to a site even though links do not change the actual quality of content on a website. Negative seo actually is good for google and the fact that many small business are being penalized or cannot compete with the apparent biased google has towards huge websites like ebay and amazon as these small business will then have to (for survival) move to adwords just to be listed thus increasing the price of the listings equaling more profits for the greedy folks at google.
What google is doing is truly morally wrong and evil(ironic that googles motto is dont be evil, maybe this is a ironic joke?)
Google censoring listings also can have political and social implications as search results are for most the way of finding information about the world.. as the internet tops the number 1 media and information source used by people in the world. If google choices not to show a particular website under the guise of spam a objective opinion in itself then it could be seen in the future however this may already be the case (more research must be done) that google could start censoring opinions that it disagrees with or ones that could be detrimental to google for example this article.
Most people assume that if something doesn’t pop up on the search results then it must not exist and do not realize that there are a whole millions of websites which are not spam that will simply not appear in the search results of google because google does not want to show these websites to the searchers for whatever reason.
Google have recently been for some searchers displaying ads at the top of the search results that are really quite hard to tell that these listing are actually ads at all.
It is really important that any search engines especially one that dominates such a large amount of the search engine market share is responsible and does not try to exploit it dominance after all the internet is now such a integral part of communication and thus society in the modern technology age. Showing ads at the top of the search results in such a deceiving way as google is doing that fools people into believing that they are not ads is illegal. Google is now using small “Ad” labels and a small line below the ads to distinguish them from the other search results however this is insufficient labeling especially when on the internet you just about have small labels labeling everything and a non tech savvy users may simply dismiss these “ad” labels as a simple button or something else and not a indication that the listings are sponsored.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has said how Ryanair is teaming up with Google to create a online flight comparison search tool for flyers to use to find the best and the cheapest flights available in a interview with the Irish independent newspaper recently. It is also worth pointing out that there could be a considerable bias towards Ryanair on this flight search engine because of the partnership. Will google succeed in this new venture here at mediawatchglobal we hope not as it means another industry becomes manipulated and the general public tricked and deceived. There are many independent flight search and comparison websites out there that have not teamed up with airline company so you know what they are offering you is not biased towards one particular company. This new google flight comparison engine will be launched in march. Many existing flight comparison websites are also concerned that there search results will now be effected on the leading search engine and pushed down (With the usual excuse of the panda algorithm presumably, that the websites have all a sudden been detected as low value to searchers) in order to promote use of Google’s own flight comparison tool instead.
This goes to show googles persistence and also greed in dominating every avenue on the internet.Is there no online niche Google will not try to dominate in?
Yelp is a online review website that allows people to post online reviews about different things and places that they have tried. However some business owners are against yelp and the fact that anyone even a competitors has the power to slate their business. As yelp has grown and became one of the first point of calls for many now to find out about a business and how other peoples reviews this fear has grown.
A court of appeal in Virginia has backed a previous ruling that told yelp to give the identities of 7 reviewer who posted negative reviews about a business online. The Virginia state court of appeals decision can be disputed further and there is no doubt Yelp will do so. There really is a lot of mixed feelings about this ruling in Virginia. Even though this ruling has no effect of laws in other American states it may influence other state courts.
Users of Yelp are up in arms about the decision that could mean yelp will have to remove anomity from reviewers. Some yelpers as they are called have said that it is unsafe and destroys freedom of speech one yelper I spoke to raised concerns that it ould put some reviewers in danager and said that even he once posted a honest negative review with their real name about a restaurant and later the restaurant owner contacted him threatening his life.
But it is easy to see the other side of the story as businesses complain of competitors flasy creating negative reviews in a attempt to wreck the competition, plus there is a now a growing market in buying fake yelp reviews to trick people. It can really damage the creditability of Yelp if word gets out that too many reviews are fake on yelp so this could be a reason why yelp is trying stop this ruling otherwise it could sabotage their business model.
You can see that there are two very strong cases on both sides of the story.. what do you think do you think that reviewers should be anonymous or not?
Links will always be a important part of the internet. Google first introduced the idea of using links as a metric of measuring quality of a webpage. This concept changed the internet forever as before search engines would only be able to give results based on on page seo factors that could easily be cheated.
Recently webmasters thanks to so many updates by google that has seen many good quality websites drop form the search engines are demanding that links should not be used by search engines to rank sites anymore. However it is important to point out that this will never be the case as it is no longer the 90’s even though search engines and technology has improved dramatically since. If search engines did drop links to rank sites you would see a lot lot more spammy website filling up the search results as people would not be building content for users anymore to gain natural links from other websites but they would be filling it up with content that will be more likely to gain higher rankings for example trying to write articles that contain just the right amount of keyword in it or just making pointlessly long content in order just to rank higher.
No computer can read context and this is why search engines quickly dropped using just on page seo factors to rank websites and quickly followed google in using off page links to judge quality of a website.
Some webmasters may argue that links are easily manipulated from spam links and bought paid links that pass link juice but if google and other search engines forget about links you would see a lot more manipulating and no algorithm would be able to properly and accurately pick up this manipulation. It would deeply upset the online world and media as the only results you would be able to find on search engines would be that of websites that have manipulated the search engine the best by using the right amount of keyword density, the right word count, the right semantics and such.
This is why link building and links will always be a integral part of the internet and search engines will never be “dead”!