When I write a post like this, I feel like I'm certain to anger the Google Powers-that-be. My blog's ability to be ‘found' is key to its success. In fact, over half of my visitors come from search engines on a daily basis, the majority from Mother Google. I work hard to ensure I lay down a red carpet for Google with all the pomp and circumstance that makes them smile upon me.
Google has laid down the gauntlet on many folks for the penalty of ‘paid links' within their content. Some have even been forced to write and advertise a letter of surrender.
But I'm growing tired of it. Don't get me wrong, I'm still very much in awe of Google and I use their applications every day. They are an incredible company and I'm glad that their presence makes the other big-guys pee their pants. One of the reasons I love the Internet is simply because it's such an equalizer.
How much does Google make from this Blog?
I've written over 1,000 posts on this blog and have about 500 visitors a day from Google. Let's say, just for argument's sake, that Google makes about 10 cents once every 10 searches. So for the 500 searches I came up on, there were 50 searches a paid link was clicked on, equating to $5.00. To be fair to Google, I'm only 1 of 10 results on a page, so let's say I help to attribute 50 cents to Google's daily bottom line. By the end of the year, perhaps I assisted Google in making $100.
I realize this is fuzzy math, but my point is this… we write content that indexes well for Google… and Google is able to sell PAID links based on that content. Google makes money off of OUR ability to write great content and index well, but we are not allowed to leverage that content on behalf of others. What makes my site attractive to advertisers isn't simply the readership, it's also the Search Engine placement. Google is basically stating that they own our rank, not us, even though we're the ones that did all the hard work to get there!
Google Killing Scavenging Companies
Companies like PayPerPost will be driven under, and others like Text Link Ads have been forced to go underground. Google has started a war and is fully prepared to wage it against all of us because we may be affecting their bottom line.
But didn't we help to drive that bottom line? I think we did! 75,000,000 blogs on the Internet are driving a TON of fantastic content to Google's doorstep. Instead of us expecting something in return from Google, we beg and pray that they index us well and often.
The Dewey Decimal System
Google telling bloggers what they can and can't do with their blogs would be like the Dewey Decimal System telling authors what they can and can't write in their books.
Google smacking around a few bloggers who have paid links is a well-known method commonly used by dictators and slave masters. Pull a few dissenters out of the ranks and give them a good whipping… and everyone else will keep working and shut up.
Dewey to Author, “Someone paid for a mention in your book? Sorry Mr. Author, we're pulling you from the index. If those folks wish to be noticed, tell them to pay us and we'll provide them with the placement they need.”
Author, “So how am I supposed to make any money?”
Dewey, “Well, by being in our index you'll be getting a lot more readers.”
Author, “Wait, doesn't that will help you maintain a better classification that will attract more readers and, as a result, sell more of your product placement?”
Dewey laughs, “Sure will! But if you don't listen to us, no one will be reading your book.”
I'm not stating, at all, that Google owes me. I simply believe this is another great example of a company lazily trying to protect a primary revenue source by crapping on the little guy. Rather than developing better means of analyzing contextual data and classifying paid links versus organic links, Google's taking the easy road.
What if Bloggers went on Strike?
Here's the question, what if we went “On Strike”? What if the 75,000,000 blogs decided to throw up a robots file and stop Google from indexing them… all of them! What would Google be left with at that point? They'd be left with press releases and corporate websites. At the end of the day, aren't those paid links? Where would Google be without us?
I know where I'd be without Google, though, so I'll be a good servant and follow the rules.
I don't have to like the rules, though.