Ter-ror-ist – a person who terrorizes or frightens others.
I’ve been doing a bit of thinking, a bit of reading, and a bit of checking my stats. Google provides me with maybe 30-40 traffic hits a week. That’s not a lot when I look at the big picture – which is between 2,000 to 4,000 unique visits per week. It’s maybe 1% of my traffic.
What’s The Big Deal?
So Google have removed the numerical page rank of some websites. So what, I hear some of you say. Big deal. What does it matter? In the grand scheme of things, it probably doesn’t matter so much. However it seems some blogs and sites got slapped without ever having done anything against Google’s rules. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? In the Google court, you don’t even get to see the judge.
Why Does Anyone Care?
Some bloggers and websites won’t be able to ask as much for their advertising because at this stage the online advertising world uses Page Rank as a way of judging websites. This will change for certain. By their actions Google have shown they aren’t a reliable way of rating anything. Therefore, what Google does with Page Rank doesn’t matter so much. However the problem is, many site owners are concerned that this is not the end of the story. They fear more changes are on the way..
Search Engine Removal?
The biggest fear for most website owners is being removed from the Google search, or having their sites rank in the search engine a lot lower than they had been ranking previously. It has happened before – in the most well known case a blogger named John Chow was severely slapped by Google back in June. He was not even ranking for his own name for several search result pages! Many people thought that the slap was deserved. John has always been a controversial blogger and many did not like him. However what those people did not consider was – who would be next? Could it be them?
Some People Rely On Google
There are many bloggers out there who have Google sending anywhere between 30-90% of their traffic. For them, Google IS the new terrorist. They fear being removed from the search engine entirely and losing all that traffic. These people are frightened. These people are terrorized. These people are under a lot of stress because they don’t know what will happen next.
Do Not Negotiate -
Many of these people are so terrified they have made the decision to negotiate with the terrorist – they are removing paid links then admitting they did things wrong and asking for “re-inclusion”. Any law enforcement official would tell you – never negotiate with a terrorist. You need to look for other ways to solve the problem. If Google is the main source of traffic to your blog, you need to spread your wings and find other options.
How Can I Increase Traffic?
There are plenty of ways to get traffic to your blog – that is another post for another day. In the meantime Tay from Super Blogging Tips has written something to get you started on thinking about ways to increase your traffic.
Guest Blog Here!
Note that one of the ideas in Tay’s post is to guest blog on other blogs – I already have a standing invitation for all bloggers to do that. Get Out Of Your Niche – all bloggers are welcome. Just contact me via the Contact Form.
The Creation Of Fear -
I’m a plane enthusiast. I have been ever since I was a kid. My parents would take me to the airport and I would watch the planes take off. There is something special about that moment a plane leaves the ground. There is something special about how they glide in so gracefully to land.
On 9/11 -
I watched the second plane fly into the World Trade Center live on television on 9/11. My sister had called to tell me the first plane crashed. It was about 10:30 at night here and The Other Half and I sat down and watched the live footage on cable. I was horrified to see that plane fly into the tower right in front of my eyes. I was stunned. So was the rest of the world.
A New Fear Was Born -
A few days later I had volunteered to paint houses for a charity organisation that housed women trying to leave abusive situations. About an hour into the painting I heard a plane approaching and I looked up – not with happiness, not with joy, but in *fear*. The terrorists had achieved what they wanted right there – they wanted to create fear.
Change Can Be Forever
The actions of the terrorists changed things forever – from airport security to the laws of several countries, to creating wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I would suggest some of these changes were not seen in the crystal ball of the terrorists. I’d suggest that the anti-Google feeling and the amount of anger their actions would create was not seen in the crystal ball of Google, either. For some, there will be no going back to how things were.
No Going Back -
I’m one of those people who will never go back to using Google services in the way I used to, ever. I can’t trust them. I can’t believe in them anymore. I can’t support a company that bullies people. A company that takes away the (albeit small in some cases) income of stay at home parents. A company which in my opinion has conflicts of interest when they own a search engine and an advertising company.
Wait A Minute –
Before you misinterpret that to say “Snoskred is suggesting what Google is doing is as bad as 9/11″ please note I did not say that. I said that 9/11 changed things for the world forever – the terrorists used fear to do that. Google are trying to change the blogosphere forever and they are using fear to do it. That is the comparison I am making.
Fear And Uncertainty
My opinion is that Google is doing exactly the same thing as terrorists do – frightening people. The uncertainty about what is going on, nobody coming out to speak and make a statement to say what the situation is or why page ranks have dropped, and worst of all the suspicion that this is not the end of it – the suspicion that people who have sold text link ads or done pay per post before might be dropped out of the search index entirely – all of this is creating fear in the minds of bloggers and webmasters.
The Question Is -
If Google want to solve the problem there is an easy and simple solution. Google could just stop telling people what their page rank is. It is dead simple. So why haven’t they done that – why have they chosen to take this path? Why would any company who had a good reputation and was as respected as Google was take the risk of becoming the next most hated by alienating webmasters and bloggers in this manner?
The Unofficial Spokesman?
Matt Cutts, self proclaimed unofficial spokesman for Google, we’d like an answer to that question. Why don’t you take a moment to give us one? Perhaps you can explain why a company with a motto of “Do No Evil” is taking lessons in how to create fear and influence people from terrorists?
I’m Sorry Google -
Your campaign of fear is not going to work on me. You give me 1% of my traffic and you want to try and scare me into behaving the way you want? Ever since I moved to WordPress I have had a note on my advertise page that links to advertisers would be no follow, and if advertisers were ok with that then they could feel free to contact me and advertise here. On the old blog they were do follow.
Bullying Doesn’t Work -
By the time this post is posted, I will have removed that note from the advertise page. If I want to link to any site on the internet at any time regardless of whether they have paid me for a review or not I will do so, even if it loses me my paltry 1% of traffic from Google.
What Will Change Here?
The disclosure policy on this blog has now changed – I rewrote it. I used to always let ya’all know when I’d been paid to do a review. Unfortunately that could now cause an advertiser to lose their page rank. I don’t want to see advertisers and sponsors punished for supporting my blog and supporting my right to stay at home and earn money. If you wonder if a post has been paid for you can always contact me and ask.
But remember -
I won’t review a product at all – with or without being paid – unless I have used it myself, I like it, and I think it will benefit my readers to know about it. I will review blogs and websites for payment whether I like them or not because the blogger or site owner is paying for my honest opinion – not for a link. And they will get my honest opinion. I’m not shy to say what I think, as regular readers already know.
Celebrate My Page Rank Drop -
Now don’t forget, I have A Little Competition To Celebrate My Page Rank Drop going on, so leave a comment and be in it to win it!
What Did Snoskred Do To Deserve That Drop?
It seems that if you mentioned certain words on your website you lost your page rank. Again I am only guessing because there is dead silence from Google on this topic – however this blog post from Ted Murphy who owns PayPerPost – Google Goes after the Everyday Blogger claims that someone on the inside of Google has told him that Google are looking for certain words. I mentioned Pay Per Post and Text Link Ads in this post ONLY. I believe that is what has caused my penalty. But who can say for sure? Nobody from Google will tell anyone what they did wrong. Nobody from Google is saying what is going on. We’re all in the dark and forced to make assumptions and guess.
What About Text Link Ads?
I did run Text Link Ads on the old blogger blog until early September when I noticed that they were paying me for one link but displaying three links. I tried to speak to their service department but they couldn’t even find my blog in the system. I was so dismayed by the lack of customer service I decided to resign effective the end of September. But it seemed I couldn’t even do that, because they could not find my blog in their system! I personally contacted the advertiser to let them know I had resigned and they should not pay for the link from then on, and left it at that.
But That Was Not All.
A few weeks later I got an email from some customer service drone to say that they could not find the links on my blog and that I would not be paid. I replied saying that was fine, I didn’t want to be paid because I had in fact resigned but they kept telling me they could not find my blog in the system. I said that seeing as he found my blog in the system could he please remove it immediately. But it seemed this was not a real person – I got the same computer generated email telling me I would not be paid three more times. Each time I responded saying I had resigned and to please remove me. I still don’t know if they did, but I do know I removed their links from my old blog on the last day of September. They did not get moved over here to the new blog.
Final Thought -
They came first for the text link sellers, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a seller of text links;
And then they came for the blog networks, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t in a blog network;
And then they came for the Posties, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Postie;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.
Further Reading – The Wrap Up
Below you will find links to *all* the blog posts I have collected on this topic. I’m sorry, it will make this post a little long, but I want to support those who have blogged about it with linkage. I have also tried to stumble each and every one of the links – if I missed stumbling yours let me know.
Google Makes More Enemies With the modified version of Niemoller’s poem posted above.
When Google got rid of the Spammers, I remained silent… – A different version of the modified poem.
I don’t love you anymore, Google
Breaking: Google Drops EVERYONE’S PageRank To ZERO?
Google and Their Power Soon to be Left Behind?
NoFollow is for Blog Spam…no Paid Text Links, wait…Paid Ads…Aww Heck, Just Stop Linking and Let Calacanis Decide the Rankings – Part One – Part Two – Part Three – Part Four – Part Five
Google Page Rank Rage May Lead to Goo Gone
Show Your Page’s Popularity
Rise up, bloggers
Hi everyone! I’m a big fat ZERO!
My Google Goose Egg
Project “Goo Gone”
Advertorials Gut, Paid Reviews Nicht So Gut
Just Kill The PayPerPost Brand & Focus On SocialSpark
Google Selling Links For $1995?
The Google Pagerank Saga
EatonWeb to Phase Out PageRank in its Metrics Computation
Is Google Making An Example Out Of PayPerPost (… er, Izea)?
Does Google hate PayPerPost?
Is Google Taking A Dive?
What Might Happen when Hundreds of Thousands of Website Owners Are Attacked by Google?
Adsense Isn’t Enough To Make Money Online – An oldie but a goodie.
No paid ads, no paid links, just blog monetisation
Zerofied blogs – What to do?
Google targeting PayPerPost blogs
Google makes moves to protect organic relevancy
Selling Links In A Google Controlled Internet
Yahoo Search – Lisa talks about how much better Yahoo Search is than Google.
More on the Google PageRank Brouhaha
How-to: Move from Google Reader to Bloglines
Sorry, Y’all, I’m not doing a Full Boycott
Links Posted 18/11/07
On the post Report Adsense Text Links?
My One-Woman, Ban Google Crusade – Beth was ahead of her time on this one, she posted it on October the 24th. It’s not just one woman anymore Beth, because I’m right there with you.
Google Boycott – This from the PayPerPost forums where a Google Boycott is being planned.
Is Google Treating All Bloggers Equally… Oh, really?
Forget PageRank, show off your Link Wealth
Wrong Reaction From Techcrunch On Paid Links?
PageRank Becomes Worthless
Google Shooting Itself in The Foot
Another Round of ‘Google Spankings’?!?
A Wordless Wednesday that really says it all
Chuck Norris Wants His Green Bar Back
The Great Google Bitch Slap
PR Going, going, gone: What now?
Worried about Google PR drop? Don’t be!
Google Gone Ga Ga
Links Posted 17/11/07
On the post More Bad Press For Google.
Anti Vote Baiting (Beta) – make sure to read the first comment left by Aaron Wall – “As the weak and poor are kicked and beaten down they have no voice or energy left to speak.” – We need to keep speaking!
Google vs. Innovation – “In trying to understand Google’s business practices, I’m now leaning towards the word slimy. hard to believe that has happened.” – Slimy is right!
My Google Drop… – Jennifer mentions another search alternative – Live Search – might be worth checking out.
Webfetch – Another search engine option mentioned by Diddums in the comments on the previous post.
ASK Away – Ask is another option for searching.
The Next Microsoft: Google is learning too well from the master.
What is IZEA RealRank™?
The Thing About That Thing
Introducing The Google Condom
Google Spam Cop Opens Can Marked Whoop Ass
GOOGLE Equals HYPOCRITE! Google Stock Drops Sharply
PageTank – Have you been hit by the PageRank hatey stick?
Official: Selling Paid Links Can Hurt Your PageRank Or Rankings On Google
Google, Paid Links and White Fuzzy Bunnies
Why Googles Link Crackdown Is Just Designed To Create Panic
Is Google Going to Expand its Punishments of Paid Links?
Act out your sophisticated affiliate link paranoia
A Slippery Slope: Google Owns
a Search Engine Optimization Company
Penalized for selling text links?
Google, What Do You Want Me To Do?
Why The Debate About Paid Links Was Over Before You Knew What PageRank Was
Sweeping Everything Under the Rug
Alternatives To Google
Staying Alive In The Google Game.
How To Beat Google At Its Own Game?
Google Pagerank Again
Hit By the Big Handed Google?
If Your PR Has Not Been Demoted, You Are Square.
Dumping Google Adsense Seems Inevitable
Is Yahoo Becoming a Better Source of Search Engine Traffic?
Is Google Now The Big Ugly?
Google- YOU’RE not Transparent…You Hypocrites.
Links Posted 16/11/07 -
On the post Say Goodbye To Google Today which gives you alternatives to using Google services.
Google Goes after the Everyday Blogger
ZeroRank – More PageRank Carnage (Round 5)
ACCC alleges misleading and deceptive conduct by Trading Post and Google
PayPerPost Scrambling – Trying to Implement “RealRank” After Their Bloggers Page Rank Disappears
Selling Text Links Without Getting Into Trouble
OK, Google… They Surrender
Page Rank is now Pointless
Stock Tip of the day – sell Google!
So The G-Gods Are Smiting Bloggers Again
My De Riguer Nod to Google
Your Tip For The Day.
Dear Google…..(I surrender)
Spank – Part 2
Stock Tip Alert! SELL GOOGLE NOW
What the heck is going on with pagerank?
Anti-Google Claims: To Reply Or Not?
How To (Kind Of) Buy A #1 Organic Search Ranking On Google
The US Search Engine Optimization Market
Google’s Page Rank Update Increases Profitability of Selling Text Links
Google’s PageRank: A Double Edged Sword
- More Bad Press For Google.
- Report Adsense Paid Links?
- A Little Competition To Celebrate My Page Rank Drop
- Say Goodbye To Google Today.
- Blogger Template Editing