Publishers vs Google - Backlash Brewing

40 comments
Story Text:

Although there is little chance at this stage that either of the initiatives being undertaken and discussed by some publishers would make much of a difference to the GOOG jugernaut, there are nevertheless, some indications that dissatisfied publishers are are getting a little more action oriented...

Firstly, Ralph spots this wmw Adsense thread where Adsense publishers are debating the pros and cons of a boycott on Google's contextual ads.

Secondly, Nathan tells us about one prolific blogger who's banned all traffic generated by Google in protest over Autoltink and Web Accelerator....

it is absolutely unacceptable to try building the world's largest Internet traffic data collection under the misleading excuse of speeding up web surfing. This calls for active resistance to Google, which deserves to be put completely out of business for this move.

A little dramatic sure, but interesting and perhaps indicative of feelings toward Google from some groups of publishers. He's also specifically stated his objections in the licensing on his site:

Permission for such commercial use is expressly denied to Google. I object specifically to inclusion in their cache and access to my pages with the "Google Web Accelerator".

Nathans post has all the gory details...

Comments

Good to make a stand

but amounts to an ant farting in a giants general direction ;O)

 

... but it only takes one grain of rice to tip the scales

Hmmm...

It just occurred to me that I am being hypocritical on this issue.
For instance - when we see sites with a 'do not link to our internal pages' policy, we say 'you dickhead, don't waste everyones time and money suing, just set up your .htaccess (or equivalent) to reject them'.
But.
when Google's accelerator can be rejected (moderately) easily by blocking them at the server we say 'opt out?? appalling! it shouldn't be allowed!'

Have to muse on this some more... Is the difference the size of the juggernaut? the inherentness of the concept in the nature of the internet, vs the newness of the accelerator? Hmmm...

google

Things have sure changed, back in 2000 when I first started posting about big bad google and how they really were not the “good guys” they pretend to be, I was attacked at every turn by the uninformed, uneducated google loyalists.

However, it has become rather difficult to defend the tactics of google. I notice most of the pro-google voices have become quiet as the megalomanic google corporation continues to expand and to make new forays into personal privacy and invasive data gathering.

Google’s Cache of your property - Well some of us think they are stealing. They are using your and my property to make money and they don’t even offer the true property owner a cut of the fantastic profits they generate by using our property.

Google’s 38 year Cookie - No one talks about the google forever cookie anymore, I guess it has become accepted. (not by me - I enjoy deleting the google forever cookie every chance I get.) At first a few voices were raised in alarm, but they were the “conspiracy theory” nuts and were dismissed as such by google and it’s googlites supporters. I have yet to see any other reason to have a 38 year cookie other than to gather personal information.

Google’s Tool Bar - Well here is a real winner. A program that tracks every click you make and phones this information home to google. You can debate it all you want but the bottom line is that the google toolbar tracks what you do on the web and sends the info home to the “Google Plex”. Oh yes, let us not forget that the toolbar (and most other google apps) automatically update its software whenever google wants with whatever google wants (no matter if you want it to or not - Google knows best)

Google’s Autolink - According to google “...the Toolbar's AutoLink button will automatically create a link... AutoLink can also link package tracking numbers to delivery status, VIN numbers (US) to vehicle history, and publication ISBN numbers to Amazon.com listings.”
source:http://www.google.com/support/toolbar/bin/static.py?page=features.html

Ok so google will generate a link or two. So what if google generates the link on someone else’s property and then uses that link to generate a profit for themselves that they don’t even offer to share with the property owner, who cares (certainly not google).

Google’s Web Accelerator - Designed to make DSL and Cable Internet surfing faster (what no dialup?) So in the name of making your Internet surfing faster (by a millisecond or so) you will give google complete access to your hard drive, what an exchange... for google.

I think anyone that takes an open minded look at what google has been doing over the last few years would be aghast at google’s lack of respect of personal property, personal privacy and the laws of copyright.

I think that it is important to point out that website owners and webmasters DO NOT need google, there are MANY other search engines that would be happy to take up the slack if google went away today. But google NEEDS OUR WEBSITES, google has to index website content or they don’t survive. Lets all remember just who has the upper hand here and it aint google.

Pretty Big Grain of Rice

amounts to an ant farting in a giants general direction ... but it only takes one grain of rice to tip the scales

I think the original was when the scales are equally balanced, it only takes one grain of rice.

In this case, in the blue corner, we have Google and a few hundred thousand very happy clients. In the red corner, a handful of wankers. Run that rice grain past me again.....

erm, yes

thanks for that seo2seo. Lets hope you never care enough about anything to try and make a difference huh?

Quote:
to believe in the heroic makes heroes

Benjamin Disraeli

 

Good thing the man who stood against a group of tanks in Tian'anmen Square China, didn't agree with you.

Barrel of laughs was Disraeli

From the same source

Quote:
My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me.
Quote:
Great services are not canceled by one act or by one single error.
Quote:
Ignorance never settles a question.

Those were the days when

politicians wrote their own speeches

Sooo...

No one remembers Alta Vista? Stuff happens.

 

People who think it is even appropriate to mention this issue in the same context as the tank guy need to take a lie down. Seriously.

Heroes? I see no heroes.

thanks for that seo2seo. Lets hope you never care enough about anything to try and make a difference huh?

And there are ways of making your grain of rice count.

Talking bollocks, however, was never an effective way to revolution.

If these wankers cannot make a decent case, but choose to pretend there's a massive 'anti-google' movement, they won't get very far, will they?

The slogan for this forum is one they might well learn; simply whining loudly never changed a thing. And never will.

To compare these ants with historical heroes makes me vomit. But the world can always do with effective emetics.

Ahem...I cannot help noticing..

Threadwatch is still running AdSense ads!

Google Wanker Accelerator (BETA)

>>wankers

So they failed to convince you so they are wankers?

ah lets not get into this

If you don't consider that a discussion is worthwhile then fine, you don't need to be involved. Without discussions initially then those things that do make a difference don't get started.

Personally I think that there's been some hysteria on both sides but if individuals don't stand up and give their views (right or wrong) then this world will be a much poorer place.

"...a handful of wankers."

?Why not attack the message instead of the messenger?

This is a very old tactic, attack the messenger, it moves the discussion away from the message.

 

Well said Gurtie. Communication is what this place is about.

 

The point here really is "do you think Google is trying to rule the internet", and not just from a market share standpoint. Do you feel or believe that they are making internal corporate decisions with nothing more than their corporate goals in mind. Does their leading market share give these decisions or policies ramifications that will affect the landscape of search and the internet as whole? Are you comfortable with one company having that much power?

If like many you feel they have abused the power which we gave to them, what are you going to do about it? We tried to speak to them and they aren't interested in a discussion. So do you sit by and hope things get better? Do you refuse to stand up for what you believe in, because they are a "superior adversary"? Or do you raise your voice in opposition, knowing you may not win the fight, but seek to draw more to your cause and win the war?

Why not attack the message instead of the messenger?

That's the whole point, as I've said about three times.

There is no message; there's nothing to discuss.

This kind of hysteria is little more than group trolling, and I cannot respond to their "point" until they are able to articulate it.

That's what makes them wankers; I probably do disagree with them, if the history of previous anti-Google rants is any guide.

As for the messengers; same old, same old.

Pass my violin Dr Watson ... no, hang that, I think I need the opium.

Want to win the argument...

38 ways to win an argument has a wealth of ideas, including

Quote:
38 Become personal, insulting and rude as soon as you perceive that your opponent has the upper hand.
In becoming personal you leave the subject altogether, and turn your attack on the person by remarks of an offensive and spiteful character.
This is a very popular technique, because it takes so little skill to put it into effect.

they missed one off

Should be 39 ways

use the words "wanker" and "bollocks" to make yourself sound like a prick

 

would you like a recap of several of the threads where some of these issues have been discussed seo2seo? I;m sure you must have noticed just a couple of them?

Clearly lots of people think there is something to discuss. You're welcome not to discuss it - or you're welcome to hold an opposing viewpoint (which I'm sure you'll enjoy) but surely you can appreciate that sometimes people feel they have to make a stand for what they think is right even if (and I don't believe it's the case in this instance) nearly every one else disagrees with them?

Or can you really not understand that?

 

The message is there if one can read and comprehend, so are the "points".

BTW those "few hundred thousand clients" don't really seem all that happy since a bunch of them are taking google to court...

I don’t think google is trying to rule the Internet, but I do think that the people making decisions for google are not making those decisions with the interest of the web, website owner or general web user in mind. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that google has to put anyone or anything before its own interests, but I am saying that google should keep us all in mind and not act like we don’t exist, don’t matter and our property and privacy is theirs for the taking.

Everyday I see the negative change in the attitude about google across the web. The attitude is very negative and it is growing fast.

How many internet professionals no longer recomend google to their clients? A few years ago (almost)every web pro was recomending google and talking about how great google was, I don't hear that anymore. What I hear are things like, "google is not the only search engine... let me show you this other one"... or "I like Yahoo better."

Every action google takes that slaps web site owners in face is another step down that road to being history (Remember Snap?).

 

I agree lots0

Its all about communication strategy for one thing - Google, in fact anyone/thing can get away with pretty much what they like as long as they communicate...

Ivana and I have long talked about this: If there's a problem, we're not only satisfied, but happy to evangelize about a product/service if our concerns are dealt with - even to our dissatisfaction - we just want to be taken seriously and paid some respect as consumers right?

If google want to do x, y or z, and i dont like it, im going to be far quieter about it if they address my concerns in an adult manner - if they ignore me, im going to cause a right royal fucking fuss...

Quote:
Everyday I see the negative change in the attitude about google across the web. The attitude is very negative and it is growing fast.

Yes, and it's accelerating...

Im wondering how long it will be before we see similar monopoly suits and anti-trust stuff we've seen with MS...

 

"?Why not attack the message instead of the messenger?"

Exactly why worthless statements like "megalomanic google corporation" make these hysteric rants so useless when people try to discuss these issues. meglomaniacs, wankers, its all the same stupidly useless waste of typing. Why not just address the issues instead.

meglomaniac

2. An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions.
source: dictonary.com

?I do believe that google is a megalomaniac corporation, as per the definition. As far as I am concerned that is part of the problem.

So, why not address the issue of say the 38 year cookie? Or how about the issue of Autolink? Or any of the other important issues...

I would much rather discuss any of those rather than your OPINION of my use of the English language or if you thought I was "ranting" or not.

And yes, why not just address the issues. Although, I noticed you did not bother too.

On with the show...

I've thought about stepping in here a few times, and have thus far avoided it on the basis that if one member wants to troll, then the others, as grownups will sort him out.

And it's gone ok i think.

We are however in danger of missing out on a great debate by being derailed by personal bickering - and i think that should end now.

seo2seo, if you want to continue, do so with me im pm - as for those engaged, likewise for now please.

Let's get back to the important stuff in this thread and leave the rest behind eh?

Thanks everyone.

 

I agree with all of lots0's points. Most of these are to support Google's revenue streams. However I don't think most are a sign of strength, I think they show an underlying fear, probably of Microsoft and of competition in general. I think they fear backsliding back with the pack.

With that said: Google is only going to understand 2 points: 1. loss of revenues; 2. loss of user market share.

Life is hard enough

I've got enough to do without having to worry about the following, thank you very much...

  • blocking autolink
  • blocking accelerator
  • redoing my code if accelerator is logging my members in under the wrong user names
  • redoing my code if I live in Australia and Goog thinks I'm in Washington State
  • blocking the next wonderful goog tool to come out

I barely make hosting costs, so in the grand scheme, should I really care about any of it. However, excessive arrogance has always been a pet peeve of mine. The non-response to the autolink outcries smacked of the kind of arrogance that makes me want to root against an otherwise great boxer.

In the long run I think they are gonna regret pissing so many people off.

I think they are gonna regret pissing so many people off

Only if these people actually stand up and do something about it rather than simply whine and hope for the best.

If someone should organize a protest, a boycot, a pressure group to effectively confront these issues (including PR - lots of us are bloggers, most all are webmasters, and the general media environment is currently pretty positively minded regarding such a "grassroots" rebellion, more than it ever was before in Goo's short history), who would actually support it and how?

graywolf's already called for a boycot end of June - that's certainly not enough but at least it's a start and it's definitely better than conducting debates that are doomed to remain merely academic and ineffective otherwise.

Stand up and be counted, heh.

 

I think any kind of boycott would be hard to pull of because there are not many "UPS Club" level publishers who are willing to pull AdSense, just to make a stand. It is hard to find the desire to boycott the program responsible for bringing in $10k+ a month. And at this time, there isn't yet a viable competitor a publisher could simply swap ad code for, meaning publishers would be out most - if not all - of their AdSense revenue to make a stand.

But IMO, if publishers are going to boycott AdSense, it should be for AdSense-specific reasons, not for something (such as AutoLink) that an entirely different team within Google is responsible for.

organize a protest, a boycot, a pressure group

I think Jenstar is right, no one in their right mind is gonna cut off their own nose to spite their face, so I think a boycot would be a hard sell.

Maybe a protest of some kind would be a more effective way to go.

boycott? nah

Its simpler than that.
Google is demonstrating the size of the market.
That means other people will get into it.
What Google will then find is we have no loyalty to them.
Then they will see their business trickle away, then flood away.
Its monopoly nature of all this that is the problem, and, with no state control enforcing it, that cannot last.

 

But IMO, if publishers are going to boycott AdSense, it should be for AdSense-specific reasons, not for something (such as AutoLink) that an entirely different team within Google is responsible for.

I disagree. Provided it was feasible to do, IMO publishers should boycott adsense, regardless of which team is responsible for what. What other kind of leverage would they have besides hitting goog right in the wallet?

 

hmmm...That didn't work. How do you make those nifty boxes to put quotes in?

Who makes the stand?

Quote:
I think any kind of boycott would be hard to pull of because there are not many "UPS Club" level publishers who are willing to pull AdSense, just to make a stand.

Its even deeper than that. Extraordinarily difficult to know the distribution in size of AdSense publishers, but I don't think I would be too far out in applying an 90/10 sort of rule, with 10% of the publishers getting 90% of the income.

With due respect to the principles of the guys on the WMW thread referred to originally, nobody in Google is going to even notice if they drop AdSense. And the corporate publishers will continue with AdSense as long as it is the most profitable game in town.

We are all like Pavlovs dogs and react to stimuli, in this case money. It usually is money. As individual we may not like what the USA is doing in Iraq, what China does with its factory workers, the power of M$ or G$, but when the chips are down, we will invariably go with the option that is most economically beneficial to ourself.

Personally I shall continue to run (extremely profitable) Adsense ads on my own web sites unless and until there is a more profitable alternative. That does not mean that I agree with the way Google gathers information on me or you.

It may not uphold great moral principles, but that is the way life operates. If I can make a stand and it could have an effect I do it, if my stand would be pointless, I do not

 

I agree that at the moment there wont be any 'mass action' which will make Google sit up and take notice - however strongly I feel about it I couldn't currently justify to my clients (in the UK, not in publishing, half of them in peak selling period) taking their Adwords down even for a day (and none of them use adsense so I can't boycott that :) )

The mass action will come when Google continue to do things which cause ripples of unease and someone comes along with a viable alternative. As soon as Yahoo/MSN gets their own Adsense going a lot more people will be testing it out.

In fact a part of the reason that I feel so strongly about this is because I still quite like Google, they happen to have a high % of the target market for most of my sites nicely in one place and I find some brand marketing combined with whatever SEO clients do tends to work nicely. I don't want to have to cater to a fragmented marketplace really (although I'd like to see a bit more equality for other reasons). I want Google to sit at the top for a while yet thanks.

But I'm right there with Nick & Ivana

Quote:
Ivana and I have long talked about this: If there's a problem, we're not only satisfied, but happy to evangelize about a product/service if our concerns are dealt with - even to our dissatisfaction - we just want to be taken seriously and paid some respect as consumers right?

If google want to do x, y or z, and i dont like it, im going to be far quieter about it if they address my concerns in an adult manner - if they ignore me, im going to cause a right royal fucking fuss...

Google can do what they like but I'd appreciate being acknowledged. A simple "well we hear what you're saying about AutoLink but...." would have worked wonders with me 3 months ago. but even if the unhappy people are in the minority and even if Google think they're totally in the right to ignore some people who help provide a major source of income to you is arrogant, and given a choice many people would rather not do business with arrogant companies.

So Google can continue to pretend no one ever raised a problem with AutoLink or any other issue if it wants, after all there is code which we can use if we want to on our sites and if Google would rather that were unofficial then that's fine. We'll do whatever we're planning on doing and we'll actually probably be less directly annoying to Google than Daniel Brandt.

But every single person who reads this thread will know Google have never responded to the concerns of business owners directly effected by their actions. And every person who's unhappy about it will look more seriously at the alternatives in future. And eventually, after the next 20 or 30 incidents, Google will realise that a simple opt-out option when the issue was first raised would have prevented all this discussion and probably fewer people would have implimented that than have implimented autoblink.

It will be the money not the principle..

..that would make people switch from AdSense, if and when a "viable alternative" comes along.

Yes, that's why it's quite futile to

make this a tenet of resistance to Goo's policy. Based on this consideration alone, it may or may not happen, depending on what the competition has to offer. That's not “taking a stand”, that's simple marketing strategy. And all it will ever achieve is reassert the status quo.

So can we take it as a given that no one here is prepared to actually do something meaningful about it?

I'm open to suggestions

and there's some little grains of rice being thrown around.

pm me if you like.

do

I've banned the prefetch as well as the web accelerator from my pages to the best of my knowledge. I have also implemented scripts to kill autolink. And, just for good measure I've started to make some of my pages "nocache/noarchive".

So, somebody does do something.

I have not yet changed all my web search forms to point to another engine, but some were never changed from alltheweb to Google anyway, the rest will be changed, probably to yahoo.

Also, I would like to start really useful sites that ban Google from access (but allows MSN or Yahoo) just in order to encourage competition. But, this moment I have no new sites in the pipeline, so archive that under "pipe dream"

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.