Google makes moves to protect organic relevancy

TechCrunch is reporting on Google’s moves to protect organic relevancy in its search results. Good for Google.

I’ve gotten attacked by PayPerPosters who don’t understand the difference between sponsorship and paid editorial and Google gaming.

Personally, as long as bloggers disclose ON THE POST that they are getting paid I don’t have a problem with these schemes. Back when I was saying PayPerPost was bad they weren’t requiring disclosure ON THE POST itself. If they do now then I’m OK with it.

Most of my reading now is in a RSS reader. So if the disclosure isn’t PER POST, as in “this post is sponsored by…” then I can’t know, as a reader, that that post is paid for by an advertiser. That’s evil, in my book.

On the other hand I’d rather Google be a bit more granular than just penalizing the entire blog. They should just penalize the posts that are paid for. But it’s hard to do that.

Bloggers beware. If you just write great content and put the ads around the content like everyone else does you won’t be messing with Google and Google won’t mess with you.

UPDATE: Kevin Burton, who runs the site TailRank which tracks millions of blogs, points out that PayPerPost never forced disclosure by its members. That’s why this company has no moral high ground to claim. Go Google Go.

Comments

  1. Robert:

    I think you’ve missed the whole point of this content-based swipe (note that blogs without sponsored posts were impacted). GOOG’s latest move isn’t about disclosure or search relevance. IZEA’s launch of http://www.SocialSpark.com (prior to this GOOG move) with mandatory disclosure, transparent RealRank, no-follow links, and face-based analytics positions IZEA to lead on transparency and convert even more bloggers from AdSense to sponsored social media.

    Make no mistake Robert, this is about GOOGopoly power in search being applied to stifle competition in online advertising. Given your advocacy for transparency, I hope you will join IZEA’s efforts to replace industry reliance upon secret, mysterious PageRank formulas with fully transparent, analytics-based RealRank. RealRank won’t start perfect, but will be transparent and improve with your input and support. More detail here: http://community.izea.com/blog/2007/11/what-is-izea-re.html

    Thanks for the input to date and keep it coming…

  2. Robert:

    I think you’ve missed the whole point of this content-based swipe (note that blogs without sponsored posts were impacted). GOOG’s latest move isn’t about disclosure or search relevance. IZEA’s launch of http://www.SocialSpark.com (prior to this GOOG move) with mandatory disclosure, transparent RealRank, no-follow links, and face-based analytics positions IZEA to lead on transparency and convert even more bloggers from AdSense to sponsored social media.

    Make no mistake Robert, this is about GOOGopoly power in search being applied to stifle competition in online advertising. Given your advocacy for transparency, I hope you will join IZEA’s efforts to replace industry reliance upon secret, mysterious PageRank formulas with fully transparent, analytics-based RealRank. RealRank won’t start perfect, but will be transparent and improve with your input and support. More detail here: http://community.izea.com/blog/2007/11/what-is-izea-re.html

    Thanks for the input to date and keep it coming…

  3. VC Dan: I really could give a crap about Page Rank. I bought into that shit at one time. Now? If you do good content you’ll get rewarded.

    I look at my referer log this morning and see most of my traffic is coming from places that aren’t Google.

    I also see a HIGH correlation between when I bring something of value out here and when I don’t.

    I don’t like PayPerPost cause they tried to game Google and because they support an advertising system that doesn’t force disclosure when content is getting bought off. That’s evil and so, until that evil is gone, I’m not joining forces with you.

  4. VC Dan: I really could give a crap about Page Rank. I bought into that shit at one time. Now? If you do good content you’ll get rewarded.

    I look at my referer log this morning and see most of my traffic is coming from places that aren’t Google.

    I also see a HIGH correlation between when I bring something of value out here and when I don’t.

    I don’t like PayPerPost cause they tried to game Google and because they support an advertising system that doesn’t force disclosure when content is getting bought off. That’s evil and so, until that evil is gone, I’m not joining forces with you.

  5. It is wonderful that Techmeme have now picked up a 2 day old story, long live the echo chamber.

    Robert this isn’t a question of disclosure, this is that money changed hands and there are links that impact search engines.

    Just like those on Techcrunch, Podtech and Scobleizer.

    Google doesn’t understand that “Commissioned” on the posts at Podtech

  6. It is wonderful that Techmeme have now picked up a 2 day old story, long live the echo chamber.

    Robert this isn’t a question of disclosure, this is that money changed hands and there are links that impact search engines.

    Just like those on Techcrunch, Podtech and Scobleizer.

    Google doesn’t understand that “Commissioned” on the posts at Podtech

  7. :-(

    The purpose of PayPerPost is to offer bloggers an opportunity to make income from their blogs as well as a chance for small to medium firms to get important backlinks to help them on the organic SERPs.

    Getting pagerank is not the primary goal. Those who want pagerank usually buy links form high PR sites.
    (Google has recently addressed that issue last month)

    In the case of blogs selling links – this is the only strategy that small companies can use to get some rankings on the organics. The other avenue available would be directory links – (and there have been reposts that Google has taken PR away from them too)

    One must remember that there are no options for small firms to promote themselves. They can NOT even try to compete with large firms who’s advertising budgets are in the millions.

    Giant companies can afford to buy a MILLION Adwords – according to a recent video interview on this site a few months ago.

    Giant companies also have dedicated SEO team with massive budgets.

    If that weren’t enough, look at the many PR releases that get distributed and consumed by HUNDREDS of blogs and news sites within hours of release.

    When large advertising deals are consumated – you have better believe there are a lot of off the record perks such as editorial reviews and blog reviews from media websites that have gotten lucrative advertising contracts.

    When Google in the early days created link popularity as a form of ranking, it was very ideological but did not take into consideration how this would completely imbalance the playing field and make the web less competitive and less democratic.

    As Google gets more of a search share and other search engines emulate their algos, this makes the scenario even more precarious.

    We need changes in the playing field – it is not enough to attack the symptons.

    Google may be keeping a database of blogs on the HIT LIST…

    http://blogoscoped.com/forum/110901.html

  8. :-(

    The purpose of PayPerPost is to offer bloggers an opportunity to make income from their blogs as well as a chance for small to medium firms to get important backlinks to help them on the organic SERPs.

    Getting pagerank is not the primary goal. Those who want pagerank usually buy links form high PR sites.
    (Google has recently addressed that issue last month)

    In the case of blogs selling links – this is the only strategy that small companies can use to get some rankings on the organics. The other avenue available would be directory links – (and there have been reposts that Google has taken PR away from them too)

    One must remember that there are no options for small firms to promote themselves. They can NOT even try to compete with large firms who’s advertising budgets are in the millions.

    Giant companies can afford to buy a MILLION Adwords – according to a recent video interview on this site a few months ago.

    Giant companies also have dedicated SEO team with massive budgets.

    If that weren’t enough, look at the many PR releases that get distributed and consumed by HUNDREDS of blogs and news sites within hours of release.

    When large advertising deals are consumated – you have better believe there are a lot of off the record perks such as editorial reviews and blog reviews from media websites that have gotten lucrative advertising contracts.

    When Google in the early days created link popularity as a form of ranking, it was very ideological but did not take into consideration how this would completely imbalance the playing field and make the web less competitive and less democratic.

    As Google gets more of a search share and other search engines emulate their algos, this makes the scenario even more precarious.

    We need changes in the playing field – it is not enough to attack the symptons.

    Google may be keeping a database of blogs on the HIT LIST…

    http://blogoscoped.com/forum/110901.html

  9. Oh, so now Google is going to protect their hedgemony by refusing to call up pages that have competitors’ ads on them?!

    I can’t believe you’re for this, Robert! PPP might not have a lot of moral high ground here, but neither does Google!

    Now we’ve got top Google execs bragging about how they can mine Gmail for consumer data. People throw a fit about the Bush administration monitoring targeted overseas phone calls for terrorist chatter, but a company that earns more money than most countries can mine anybody and everybody’s email exchanges and that’s just dandy?? For that we need to cheer them on???

    I think this move by Google is extremely alarming. Who’s the next competitor they will gun for? What’s the next excuse they will use?

    Did you see the cartoon on my blog about you inside The Google, Robert? You’re being totally naive on this one. You think Google is wonderful. What rot. They would do and ARE doing anything and everything to keep their stock price as high as possible, “Don’t do evil” be damned.

    WHY did they bring OpenSocial? Because they know they are the only ones who have the machine in place that can mine social networks for all the valuable raw consumer data. They literally want to digest every one of us.

    Google already has at least 45% of ALL internet advertising revenue. They want that to be 100%. If that happens they will essentially control free speech. There won’t be any more newspapers, becaue they will no longer have the revenue to support themselves. Any blogger or organization they don’t like can just be removed their search engine.

    You may think I’m exaggerating, but look again at what they’ve done. They’ve used their seach engine to block a competitor! Robert!!! WAKE UP!! THEY’VE USED THEIR SEARCH ENGINE TO BLOCK A COMPETITOR!!

    What are they going to block next? Sites with ads for the Presidential candidate they don’t want to win?

    You’re letting your fondness for Google and your hatred of PPP cloud your thinking here. You of all people should be sounding alarms, Robert, not cheering Google on.

  10. Oh, so now Google is going to protect their hedgemony by refusing to call up pages that have competitors’ ads on them?!

    I can’t believe you’re for this, Robert! PPP might not have a lot of moral high ground here, but neither does Google!

    Now we’ve got top Google execs bragging about how they can mine Gmail for consumer data. People throw a fit about the Bush administration monitoring targeted overseas phone calls for terrorist chatter, but a company that earns more money than most countries can mine anybody and everybody’s email exchanges and that’s just dandy?? For that we need to cheer them on???

    I think this move by Google is extremely alarming. Who’s the next competitor they will gun for? What’s the next excuse they will use?

    Did you see the cartoon on my blog about you inside The Google, Robert? You’re being totally naive on this one. You think Google is wonderful. What rot. They would do and ARE doing anything and everything to keep their stock price as high as possible, “Don’t do evil” be damned.

    WHY did they bring OpenSocial? Because they know they are the only ones who have the machine in place that can mine social networks for all the valuable raw consumer data. They literally want to digest every one of us.

    Google already has at least 45% of ALL internet advertising revenue. They want that to be 100%. If that happens they will essentially control free speech. There won’t be any more newspapers, becaue they will no longer have the revenue to support themselves. Any blogger or organization they don’t like can just be removed their search engine.

    You may think I’m exaggerating, but look again at what they’ve done. They’ve used their seach engine to block a competitor! Robert!!! WAKE UP!! THEY’VE USED THEIR SEARCH ENGINE TO BLOCK A COMPETITOR!!

    What are they going to block next? Sites with ads for the Presidential candidate they don’t want to win?

    You’re letting your fondness for Google and your hatred of PPP cloud your thinking here. You of all people should be sounding alarms, Robert, not cheering Google on.

  11. There is no way to know how strongly Google’s pocket is tied to its search results. I did a GoogleAds campaign recently for a specific product. The results sucked, but all of my web site pages started getting ranked really high in the search results. As a result, all of our products were getting hits (www.telrad.com). This was much cheaper than paying an SEO expert, so I am considering running low-budget GoogleAds campaigns, regardless of results, instead of having an SEO expert.

    OTOH, I don’t want any ads on my blog (http://rebeccarachmany.blogspot.com), thank you very much. I am wondering how that affects my blog ranking in the Google searches, but I am pretty much convinced that there is a connection and that I will never get a good rating for my blog as long as it is hosted on blogspot and refuses to allow ads. (Especially because this is likely to be the topic of my next posting.)

  12. There is no way to know how strongly Google’s pocket is tied to its search results. I did a GoogleAds campaign recently for a specific product. The results sucked, but all of my web site pages started getting ranked really high in the search results. As a result, all of our products were getting hits (www.telrad.com). This was much cheaper than paying an SEO expert, so I am considering running low-budget GoogleAds campaigns, regardless of results, instead of having an SEO expert.

    OTOH, I don’t want any ads on my blog (http://rebeccarachmany.blogspot.com), thank you very much. I am wondering how that affects my blog ranking in the Google searches, but I am pretty much convinced that there is a connection and that I will never get a good rating for my blog as long as it is hosted on blogspot and refuses to allow ads. (Especially because this is likely to be the topic of my next posting.)

  13. I’m willing to bet that over time, people might blacklist e-mailing Google addresses. I’ve heard concerns from non-blogospherical-chamber types (run of the mill small business owners who AREN’T in tech) that do not like the simple fact that Google reads the email and displays ads. Why would I ever want to email someone for them to see my competition’s ads IN MY CORRESPONDENCE.

    PPP/IZEA might have the ire of the aging blog purism crowd, that’s fine, get offa my lawn and all that, but let’s not put Google on this clothesless-wearing emperor throne.

    And heh, we’re guilty of the same shit. If I believed for a minute the other side of Mahalo’s hype–do we actually believe that the weight of Jason’s blog has NOTHING to do with the success of Mahalo in Google?

    We aren’t even blogging or twittering shit anymore, we’re just promoting.

    Now, point us to the linkblog or something.

    I challenge because I care.

  14. I’m willing to bet that over time, people might blacklist e-mailing Google addresses. I’ve heard concerns from non-blogospherical-chamber types (run of the mill small business owners who AREN’T in tech) that do not like the simple fact that Google reads the email and displays ads. Why would I ever want to email someone for them to see my competition’s ads IN MY CORRESPONDENCE.

    PPP/IZEA might have the ire of the aging blog purism crowd, that’s fine, get offa my lawn and all that, but let’s not put Google on this clothesless-wearing emperor throne.

    And heh, we’re guilty of the same shit. If I believed for a minute the other side of Mahalo’s hype–do we actually believe that the weight of Jason’s blog has NOTHING to do with the success of Mahalo in Google?

    We aren’t even blogging or twittering shit anymore, we’re just promoting.

    Now, point us to the linkblog or something.

    I challenge because I care.

  15. Robert, I am a google blogger and I am reading about PPP for the very first time. All I can say is that it is a doggy dog world out there and many folks and companies do not like to have it’s competitors in his face. Case and point, is like having Mcdonalds who sales the same type of fast foods that Jack in the Box does but, someone goes and order the happy meal from Mcdonalds and then goes across the street to Jack In The Box to pay for meal there, do you see the analogy here. Unfortanely we were all born with a me, myself, and I nature and the strive for power control and domination is something that will always exist in this world and the saying only the stronges survive lives on.

  16. Robert, I am a google blogger and I am reading about PPP for the very first time. All I can say is that it is a doggy dog world out there and many folks and companies do not like to have it’s competitors in his face. Case and point, is like having Mcdonalds who sales the same type of fast foods that Jack in the Box does but, someone goes and order the happy meal from Mcdonalds and then goes across the street to Jack In The Box to pay for meal there, do you see the analogy here. Unfortanely we were all born with a me, myself, and I nature and the strive for power control and domination is something that will always exist in this world and the saying only the stronges survive lives on.

  17. Eric: of course Jason’s stature in the industry is helping out Mahalo.

    But that Google Juice was earned over years of blogging and running a company of bloggers. And, personally, sometimes Jason’s name hurts, too. There are a LOT of people who don’t like him.

    But are you saying that Mahalo is even close to the same level as PPP? Really? Got it.

    Mari: I really don’t care about the competitive issues here because there’s a bigger elephant in this room. What PPP is doing is evil. Turning blogs into advertisements without disclosing (and many PPP blogs DO NOT disclose and even if they do they disclose at the blog level, not the post level, which makes such disclosure impossible to see because I read blogs in an RSS Reader where such disclosure doesn’t follow along with the posts) is evil.

    If Google is penalizing that and getting a competitive advantage I say tough.

    Clean up your house so you have a moral high ground and then maybe I’ll join your cause.

  18. Eric: of course Jason’s stature in the industry is helping out Mahalo.

    But that Google Juice was earned over years of blogging and running a company of bloggers. And, personally, sometimes Jason’s name hurts, too. There are a LOT of people who don’t like him.

    But are you saying that Mahalo is even close to the same level as PPP? Really? Got it.

    Mari: I really don’t care about the competitive issues here because there’s a bigger elephant in this room. What PPP is doing is evil. Turning blogs into advertisements without disclosing (and many PPP blogs DO NOT disclose and even if they do they disclose at the blog level, not the post level, which makes such disclosure impossible to see because I read blogs in an RSS Reader where such disclosure doesn’t follow along with the posts) is evil.

    If Google is penalizing that and getting a competitive advantage I say tough.

    Clean up your house so you have a moral high ground and then maybe I’ll join your cause.

  19. Rebecca: your blog won’t get high page rank because you don’t focus on one niche. Even if you had Google ads on your blog that wouldn’t change at all. Your title tag, also, is something that’s hurting you if you want to be found for a specific search term.

  20. Rebecca: your blog won’t get high page rank because you don’t focus on one niche. Even if you had Google ads on your blog that wouldn’t change at all. Your title tag, also, is something that’s hurting you if you want to be found for a specific search term.

  21. I’m saying that we need to put it all on the table, PPP, Google, Jason, et al. We can split hairs on who is what micron of detail more bad than the other. This is more a comment on Google.

    No one in our ghetto is gonna pay attention to those in the other ghetto who really could care less about the ethics as long as they are getting paid (heh, like PPP pays anything worthwhile anyway, but still).

    Besides, I’m willing to bet that being ‘notorious’ or questionably evil is just another PR slant. Look at how much juice everyone gives PPP. What IF someone knew what buttons to push and designed the strategy around it? Kinda funny. Guarantee there are people going ‘oh hm, well that’s not too terribly world-ending’.

    Google being a big dog and doing something against a criticized little guy is probably the best thing to happen to PPP right now. Ironic, actually.

  22. I’m saying that we need to put it all on the table, PPP, Google, Jason, et al. We can split hairs on who is what micron of detail more bad than the other. This is more a comment on Google.

    No one in our ghetto is gonna pay attention to those in the other ghetto who really could care less about the ethics as long as they are getting paid (heh, like PPP pays anything worthwhile anyway, but still).

    Besides, I’m willing to bet that being ‘notorious’ or questionably evil is just another PR slant. Look at how much juice everyone gives PPP. What IF someone knew what buttons to push and designed the strategy around it? Kinda funny. Guarantee there are people going ‘oh hm, well that’s not too terribly world-ending’.

    Google being a big dog and doing something against a criticized little guy is probably the best thing to happen to PPP right now. Ironic, actually.

  23. Could we get a little perspective on the use of the word “evil”; it’s just blogging for money – which you may or may not approve of and you’re entitled to your opinion – but evil it ain’t.

    Take a look around the outside world and see people going hungry when the rest of the world gets fat; human rights abuses in as many countries as you care to name; a hundred other things. Then talk about blogging for money being evil.

    Sermon over, thanks for listening. I’m here all week; try the fish.

  24. Could we get a little perspective on the use of the word “evil”; it’s just blogging for money – which you may or may not approve of and you’re entitled to your opinion – but evil it ain’t.

    Take a look around the outside world and see people going hungry when the rest of the world gets fat; human rights abuses in as many countries as you care to name; a hundred other things. Then talk about blogging for money being evil.

    Sermon over, thanks for listening. I’m here all week; try the fish.