Don’t Make Google Look Stupid – Period

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168 thoughts on “Don’t Make Google Look Stupid – Period

  1. mike


    I am normally not a fan of yours but I just wanted to say this is the first post I have seen that is SOOO dead on about Google and how they operate. People get so caught up in the Google grandstanding they lose sight of what Google is… just another advertising company. Thanks for breaking it down.

  2. browie

    I subscribe. But you’re like 2nd or 3rd on the list… Brigitte Dale is number #1 and then you and Thor are tied at 2. I don’t watch youtube much for “subscriptions”

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  5. Craig

    You say don’t make google look stupid but recently they have been making themselves look stupid. The rules are enforced to some sites, and then overlooked to others. Many authority sites break the new rules and have seen no affects, but many others have. Also, I agree that search traffic isn’t everything. There are other sites than Google, and it is nice to focus on your users and not the search engine. After all, who is actually using your site?

  6. wethead

    Hey Shoe,

    The whole paid links thing does get weirder by the day, I will agree with that,

    I also agree with what you said about google.

    If you embarrass them, they will make you look just as dumb,

    So, Yea..I just keep telling myself,

    Make the users happy and everyone will be happy :)


  7. Word Hugger

    Yeah, especially since (as far as I know), it wasn’t referenced on the blog. Congrats.

    As for the post, you would think instead of completely removing a site from the index, it would just stop it from ranking for anything other than its own name.

    Anyone that Googles “john chow” has to have a reason to know his name, so I think he should rank #1 for that no matter what.

  8. Gary R. Hess

    So true. Makes you wonder if they edit one by one or do they just click a button that makes all sites terms -30 or whatever (in most cases, since Jeremy obviously was added for that one term). Of course, maybe they meant to do that in this specific case for whatever reason.

  9. Brisbane SEO Guy

    Maybe Google should have a “naughty chair” index where high ranking sites get sent to if they are suspected of naughty activities like link exchanges.

    Rather than having an “I’m feeling lucky” button, replace it with “naughty chair”. Think of the possibilities.

  10. Avromi

    Interesting way of approaching link buys. BTW in regard to link exchanges a few weeks ago Google apparently changed the wording in the link schemes page in the webmasters section of the site to “Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging” See official wording here

  11. Derek

    Hmm. I think that was just about the best boiled down, sensical explanation of the whole subject yet.. Lots of good points in there. Looking at it from that perspective, I wonder if Google really wishes they hadn’t bothered opening up this can of worms in the first place, because with the awareness of certain cases like you mentioned, they’re going to end up looking stupid one way or the other sometimes… Can’t blame them for not wanting to look stupid, no person or company does, but they’re going to end up shooting themselves in the foot from time to time if they’re not a lot more careful.

  12. Hyder

    Right now it’s Google’s game, so we can either play it or be left behind. Tomorrow the whole concept of their “BackRub” aka search algorithm can change and with that so will the entire dynamics of doing business online. But even if they do decide to completely change the way they rank sites, people will still learn how to play the game.

  13. Collin

    Interesting Video Shoe, Makes me think am I wasiteing my time trying to think of ways to increase my search engine ranks if your traffic is only 4% from there.
    Thanks for the great info!

  14. Justin Cook

    For the most part I agree with you. But, a couple things:
    1. I don’t think Google frowns on paid reviews. I’ve talked to a Google rep that said it’s OK.
    2. I think it’s really only the sites that are popular enough (like john Chow), that have to worry about Google getting on their back.

  15. Justin Cook

    That doesn’t even make sense! He didn’t once mention himself, except at the end of the post with the note that this site receives only 4% se traffic…

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  17. Tracy Robinson

    Google people are not all that hard to deal with as long as you get the right one, so sometimes when dealing with a google review you need to try, try again. Paid links aren’t any worse than other things, but Google does need to keep up the pretense that they are not trading links for money or favors.

  18. Joeychgo

    Google is Google. The “do no evil” line is meaningless now since they are a public company. Now its “raise profits” – thats it.

  19. CatherineL

    I just find the whole backlink thing so confusing. I have links from sites with decent PR etc, on some of my sites but many don’t show up on Google. And I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but i check out some of my competitors links, and they count – even the ones from spammy link farms.

    I don’t optimise my personal blog for the search engines, at all. If I did, I wouldn’t enjoy writing, and nobody would enjoy reading it.

    Great video by the way – but it would be good if you could talk a little louder, as I struggled to hear all of it.

  20. CPA Affiliates

    as it is always said… he who has the money controls the game….. and right now google has the money in the online world. so they set the rules. Interesting vid.

  21. Tod Kilgore

    I totally agree and suffered the same fate with my “mass” site posting. I also noticed they will give you a second chance if you play there way. I went from top to bottom in an eye blink and they made me look stupid. lol .. If you mess with the big “G” you better be a chess master and in it for the long term. Tk

  22. CFernandes

    I also think it is ridiculous that Text Link Ads and John Chow don´t rank #1 for there own names. For a search engine it doesn´t get any more IRRELEVANT than that!

  23. Justin

    That was the best summation of why people get penalized in Google that I have ever heard. It’s one of those observations where once you hear it it seems so obvious.

  24. Mubin

    Actually your wrong there mate. Text Link Ads and Link Buyers have the money, whereas Google has the authority to nuke your site. You sell links your site gets nuked, you dont and you have a very high ranking site that is worth nothing cuz you can’t sell the links. Your post doesn’t really make much sense and I think you just wrote it cuz your were itching to use that cliche ever since you heard it around the water cooler at the office.

  25. Mubin

    Shoe, first things first, you gotta do something about the quality of the comments on your posts, I think either people are just replying to get their name in the top commenter’s side bar, or they reply because they think that it will lead more traffic coming to their site. Some of the more retarded comments that I have come across.

    as it is always said… he who has the money controls the game….. and right now google has the money in the online world. so they set the rules. Interesting vid.

    That post makes no sense.

    Shoe, you must be smiling on the inside, Chow being dropped is beneficial for you in your little RSS contest ?

    This guy I guess only found out now about Mr. Chow being dropped from the rankings, when it happened about two months ago.

    Google is the industry leader so the expect us mortals to follow them. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. What more can I say.

    Oh great another comment that can be left open to about 10 different interpetaitons

    Sorry for all the ranting shoe.

  26. mubin

    which one? give me a better forum where to rant and I wil, the reason for posting in the comments was to make sure some of the readers knew what they were doing was make them look like idiots, much like what my impression of you is now. way. to. go. idiot.

  27. ShoeMoney

    mubin have you seen how hard i have been trying in this rss contest? have i done anything but announce it was taken place a week ago? Have you noticed how the footer of this site has been broken for like a month?

    Im frickin busy man and this blog is about my 7th priority

  28. Web Hosting Reviews

    Google has some major problems with their stance on paid links – namely:

    1 – They can’t possibly enforce their ban on paid links with an algorithm, as it will clearly weed out lots of valid links, undermining the whole basis for their SERP results (trust based on links).

    2 – The result of number 1 – they have to enforce these bans on an individual basis, which creates inequity in treatment. What gets site A first page SERPs gets site B thrown out of the index. Google might say that this is great, as it forces design for humans rather than search engines, but that’s not the real world. People have to be able to optimize their site to be found reliably.

    Their outrage over paid linking is a bit much for me. Shoe points out 1 of the 2 big reasons why Google takes this stance – they don’t want to be gamed, because they lose credibility. The other half of the story, I believe, is that Google knows organic SERP manipulation through link buying could cut significantly into their AdWords revenue.

  29. Nick Sullivan

    I just think it’s better to try and make quality sites and services and really… not focus that much on SEO at all. I mean, apply basic elements etc etc but obsessing on it is really not a good thing, I think it’s better to obsess on viral entity, branding and quality. I get a very very small amount of search engine traffic, most are backlinks and other stuff. I just wouldn’t fuck with Google also. Why bother, you may be able to fool them for a little while, but look at their resources, money, team and all that. You put that all into account and it’s obviously only a matter of time before they figure things out, it’s a game of technical and intellectual catch up between SEO freaks and Google but fucking with them I think will ultimately lead to you getting kicked out of their engine, end of. But It’s definitely wrong that they punish John Chow and not BMW and big companies. It makes them look worse to me, if they did nothing, they would look complacent but the fact they punished… I guess, a ‘litte guy’ in comparison to BMW, it makes them look unfair, favorable of popularity and wealth and ignore their own rules for their own wealth.

  30. Garry Conn

    The John Chow story is such a prime example. Fortunately for him he can hold his own without Google…. and also even though he has been removed or manually adjusted down, what is left are thousands of bloggers posts that talk about him and provide direct links to his blog. So, all in all… its really not that huge of a loss for him.

    The video was great man… I too am breaking free a lot and worrying less about what Google thinks of my blog and more about what my readers think. Thanks for the video man.

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  33. lyricsreg

    In order to be able to make google look stupid, you must have a high-impact website. It cannot be accomplished with a website that gets an insignificant amount of visitors. If you are at the point where you CAN make google look stupid, you should … just to prove a point :)

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  36. LeGo

    There is either a comment missing or the reply to comment was not handled properly… It makes the internet ranting hard to follow.

  37. Gecko Tales

    The paid links issue really ticks me off. Google tells Webmasters that if they want to be listed in the SERPS to get similar sites to link to you. Then they ban sites that do what they suggest.

  38. Googlelady

    The best way to “Play their game” is to write to your users and not trying to get higher ranks. If you have a blog just write to your readers and forget about rankings (if it is new) for awhile.

  39. Googlelady

    For my point of view, Google will not care about reviews but “trying to manipulate their ranks” and that is difficult to Google knows 100% about Mr Chow is because he mentioned and if he was doing what he did slowly I am sure this will not happened. But he got tons of links every week and I mean TONS.

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  41. Beauty Girl

    People have started thinking of google as god .. the sole reason of this being their kind of monopoly in the internet arena.
    Let us find a way to break this monopoly and make internet better for us.

  42. John Loch

    You made a few valid points, you speculated, you made a few valid points. Didn’t look all that great (you’ve done better vids :) ) but that’s life.

    In the end Google does as Google wants. Kinda like your blog. If it serves your purpose to post about xyz, you’ll do so. They have the same disclaimer as you, just a little more convoluted ;)

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  44. Wendy Piersall

    Hey – can you turn up your mike next time you put up a great video like this? Even with my speakers turned up all the way, I only caught about 75% of what you said. ;)

  45. Carsten Cumbrowski

    RIght, and that’s why did I titled my post about the paid links debate with Google at SEJ “Reign of Bread and Whip. The New Google Aristocracy”. Don’t make the “king” look stupid, if it is your “king” or zack.. and you will be about 12 inches shorter. :)

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  51. MR Butts

    Google is a joke… and matt cutts an even bigger one to think he and google will be stopping anything any time soon. Build backlinks and reach the top of googles great ego…. sorry ALGO

  52. Web Hosting Reviews

    The problem is the penalties for sites that aren’t trying to make Google looks stupid, but are honestly trying to improve their rankings. Google has this ill-conceived view of the internet – they think it exists solely for the purpose of being indexed by Google and that its rankings have some inherent goodness to them. Not the case. Google needs to realize that the internet exists in large part for commerce. It’s not an evolving encyclopedia that should be advertisement free.

  53. Web Hosting Reviews

    This comment doesn’t even make any sense. It’s like you take completely random words from your head and slam them together to make spam comments. Are you a native English speaker?

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  64. uttoransen

    you know what, my spellings are bad! when i need to go to MR craw’s page! i type in jhon more often, and ends up reaching nowhere! so for most sites i usually go to google and type in and search and reach the sites!

    But now since google was not taking me to john craw’s site so i used yahoo, and reached that site! now, for a lot of sites i use to search. i mean i always type textlinkads, instead of text-link-ads, i can’t make bookmarks for all the sites!

    So, at the end of the day, google will sure lose, if they keep nuking the big guys!

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  68. Labrocca

    Personally I think all these responses are just kissing your arse. I think you come off as just guessing and there isn’t much you really know. “don’t make google look dumb”…boy that’s not obscure!

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    I am very new to blogging and while I do want to be ranked well with Google I am with you that I am creating content for readers and not just for search. For me it goes back to what you say about being passionate for what you do.

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  76. Chip

    I’m looking forward to the day you will be able to advertise and monetize your YouTube account. Richness will come in waves.

  77. Web Marketeer

    Big Bad Google seems to be following the same path as Microsoft. The honeymoon period is over and more and more individuals are starting to be concerned about their overwhelming monopoly of the search market and their bully-boy tactics in enforcing their
    agenda. No wonder so many of their whizz kids are leaving to go play with Facebook, inter alia.

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  81. Bispo

    As far as I Know, and I was penalized very recently by google, it´s a matter of time for those who doesn´t follow goole terms to be penalized…

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  91. seo specialist

    thanks for sharing this video, i just love it. Now days other search engines (like Bing or Yahoo) also improving their search algorithm and therefore it would be tough for Google to retain there visitors.

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  97. Chappie

    This is absolutely bang on. Google is, ultimately, an advertising company, a business. It’s their house and they run it how they like. Too many people seem to have the wrong impression of what Google actually is.

  98. Stephaine Lavesque

    I’ve been reading the information on your site for quite some time now, just wanted to do a quick post and say thank you for all of the useful information you have been providing your readers all this time.

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  102. Tactical SEM

    When we have something as open sourced as the internet it’s nearly impossible to employ a perfect algorithm. There’s very little google can do for paid links, but in the end, only the naturally content rich sites are the ones who hold long term success.

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  104. Tim Miller

    Thanks for your video Jeremy, totally liked it. I don’t know if Paid links through paid articles do really have huge impact to our blog negatively.

    But i think we always need to be picky when it comes to choosing what websites that we should recommend on our blog. Linking to low quality SPAM blogs, say, with duplicate contents, then it’s definitely will be dangerous.

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