Tuesday, February 26, 2013
I will be the first to admit that while you SEO's are buying links, we are buying advertisements disguised as editorials. Advertorials themselves are equivalent to paid links in the news world, since the intent is to deceive users into thinking they are reading a real editorial (regardless of the nearly invisible fine print). We're not proud of it, but it is so much hard to get real coverage for our products these days as you are probably aware.
That said, let me focus on the paid links issue:
1. You know that we no no problems penalizing our properties because our sites never rank in the first place. You see, we're never "keyword targeting" like all those spammers (a.k.a. SEO's). Seriously, do you think we are ranking for words like "search engines" and "online advertising?" Of course not, and even after a penalty, we are going to usually rank for our brand name, which is something we often do to small webmasters. For larger brands, we generally like to just discount those links, because they are a brand, and we know they are honest most of the time.
2. Our teams that bought the links are in direct contact with the reinclusion team, getting out of penalties is easy I must say. I do feel bad that we penalize other sites for years at a time, without really giving them details on specifics.
3. In other cases like BeatThatQuote, it is true that we penalized the site only for a week or so, and then when no one was looking, reincluded when Aaron Wall spotted it ranking a second time http://www.seobook.com/beatthatquote-buythoselinks. True it ranked for a lot of keywords, but it was sort of a brand because think about it, we paid about $60 million for it, it had a lot of users, and bought a lot of advertising from us.
4. P.S. Visible pagerank penalties are usually just that, a visual thing we use to educate people, not a penalty per se.
So at the end of the day, we are doing the right thing. Actually, the opposite is quite true, as we get lots of media coverage and reinforce our stance on paid links. I can also tell you that the number of teachers looking into products like Google Hangouts is increasing.
But Aaron is right in one thing, maybe we should do a full audit, especially on sites that are more keyword driven, as well as be more transparent forgiving to small businesses, like we are to ourselves.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
- Internet use
- Search results: Come on Bing, we need you around to make us look good ;)
- Content: Replace organic search results with our properties like Youtube, Google books, places, Youtube, comparison shopping (e.g. travel, credit cards, mortgage, investments, etc...), Google Products, scraped reviews, Android, Youtube.
- Social networks: Remember our motto - If you cant buy them, scrape 'em!
- PPC, Adwords, display ads (Doubleclick), and affiliate networks as soon as finish reducing sites that use primarily competing networks
- Internet access
- Free Internet Wifi access: Slow start on this one people, but we need to ramp up the free wi-fi we've been planning on for years now
- Chromebook computers: Subsidization will begin after some test runs, which should be fun. Are you paying attention HP and Dell?
- Operating systems: Android (+Motorola) Check and done!
Now, deep thought: Do you think people would have let Google index their sites in the first place, had they know we would simply replace them?
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Looks like some people intends to occupy Google along with wall street. Can somebody get our PR team on this ASAP!? This is not helping our image any
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I'm sure the public realizes that its really always about self-interest on everyone's part (us, the MPAA). If this goes through, we could lose a few percent (3% - 5% sound right?) or more on Adwords/Adsense people. Shut SOPA down!
I guess this means our push for the FTC to require disclosure in sponsored reviews was a bad thing after all. It's something we should have just fixed ourselves, but found it easier to push the govt. to do it for us.
So some of you here are asking, whats the difference between the worlds largest search engine Baidu and us? Simple: we sell are grey goods out of the back of the store instead of the front counter.
For those that dont know the only reason Baidu (China's search engine) is so popular is because to promotes illegal downloads of everything sacred (movies, music, etc) right on its homepage. We are so much better because we dont put these search results as high up, unless of course the user types in something pretty specific that matches what is found on torrent sites like ThePirateBay.org
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
First off, I am only selling 6%, which is a drop in the bucket. It's enough to buy myself a little home upgrade, and a lifetime supply to shop at Woot.com. But, hey, I'm not the only one. Don't forget, Sergey and Larry also recently sold a ton of stock (about 17% over the next 5 years).
But let's be honest, any economist will tell you that Google won't last forever, because no company can. In fact, we may be well at our peak, and here's 8 reasons why:
1. Do No Hardcore Evil: Google is getting a lot of negative feedback which I can't stop; including myself. I am often portrayed as an evil villain, while Larry Page is still a young, suave, vivacious, techno Facebook-hippy. It probably doesn;t help that we are putting newspapers out of business, while they can simply promote negative PR against us. Who would have though? Such negative perceptions of us will hurt the brand over time, and our bottom line; why you ask? Check out point #2.
2. We are a monopoly: Not just in France, but according to countless others (1, 2, 3). With the precedent in France, it's a downhill slide. Sure we push a lot of people around, buy out our competition, promote our sites above other companies in Google to steal their traffic, tell people they cant create empty, value-less sites while doing it ourselves; all while putting countless companies and industries out of business, etc.... Getting broken up would not be a surprise, but we got a lot of backlash when we tried to buy ITA. As a result, all the big travel sites will eventually go out of business, like Kayak, Travelocity, Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, SideStep, Priceline, Orbitz, CheapFlights, CheapTickets, Travelzoo, BookingBuddy, and 1,000's of other travel comparison shopping sites--remember we control the SERPs, and like to push our own sites above the paid listings of businesses; but I got no qualms with that.
3. Market cap reached: Who doesn't use the internet by now, and who doesn't use Google? Right, nobody! And it's not like we can squeeze more money out of users--read on...
4. Users are wising up: They are already starting to realize that the entire top part of the search results are paid ads, and clicking less on them. It's no longer true that 56% of search users do not recognize the difference between a natural and a paid ad. We tried forcing more down their throat with Google Suggest and Google Instant, so that all they see are paid ads, but the effect is already starting to wear off. Additionally, advertisers are starting to get smart and do SEO, cutting out some of their ad spend with us.
4. The middle-man effect: People are increasingly going directly to sites, skipping Google search. Facebook overtook us in being the #1 visited site last year, and Groupon is taking away much of our local advertising revenues. Social websites are taking up people's time. The more time people spend on Google properties, the more money we make, and social sites like Facebook are hogging people's time up. I find myself shopping on Amazon.com almost exclusively since they have everything, at good prices, and good service. Why search for most products on Google anymore? Niche sites are being replace by the big players, due to customer loyalty, and big brand growth online.
5. With the failure to buy Groupons for 6 billion dollars, Travelocity blocking our reviews, I smell the beginning of hard times for us.
7. Mobile phones are not as exciting as we had hoped. It's hard to convince users to click on paid ads on a regular computer, let alone a mobile browser. As you know, mobile was our big investment in recent years.