About 3 years ago John Chow (from my recollection) was growing at a rapid pace.  He was selling text links,  doing paid posts, and he had this whole thing going where if you liked to him with the words “make money online” then he would link back to you.  He did this for what seemed like months and he quickly moved up to #1 for “make money online”  which of course made google look stupid (receprical links dont work right?) so they nuked his ranking for that.
A Short time later Google took a very hard nosed stance on paid text links and posts and John was pretty much completely nuked from Google.

Many people wrote about the John Chow vs Google thing.  Almost all of them siding on the side of Google saying how John Chow was done.

Here is the interesting thing.  John has only grown in popularity…. and grown HARDCORE.

This is one of my big beefs with SEO.  A great brand does not need Google.
Now to be fair to Google I completely understand why they did took John out of Google.  He clearly violating the policy they put in place.

Sure,  It probably wasnt fair that he was completely nuked out where others got simple warnings.

Barry Schwartz, of seoroundtable.com got his pageranked nuked for selling text link ads but stated publicly that his seo traffic had only increased.   He still continues to sell links. Weird huh?

Ok back to Chow.

So what now does Google do?  They helped create John Chows brand and now when people search for it they cant find his site.  Scraper sites outrank John for his own content.  At what point does this hurt Google and make them look incompetent?

I recently talked to John about seeing if I could play a role between him and Google and try to get him back in.     John could care.  His profits continue to go through the roof… all without needing Google.

Its a interesting case study.

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

176 thoughts on “John Chow (and Googles Dilemma)”
  1. John could care? John could care less? John Couldn’t care? You get me kinda confused there jeremy.

  2. Not many people know how to use that phrase … I always see people saying “could care less”

  3. that’s when you know you made it, when you get paid with or without the juice from the search engines!

  4. does google now have a policy? i spent a while last year looking into the ‘guidelines’ and cornered several googleites at an event they said that its just a guideline, not a hard and fast set of rules (which allows them to break the ‘rules’ as and when they require… how convenient)

    is there anything official about the RULES posted anywhere (other than matt cutts blog?)

  5. Just to play Devils Advocate for a bit (and with $30k+ plus a month why should John care) but just imagine how much he could be making if he was back in with Google?

    He seems to have switched recently from a more direct ad sales orientation to pushing affiliate products. From my own limited experience nailing the organic search for a product guarantees high sales. I had my best day ever last week where I cleared $3k in pure profit from just 1 search ranking. All things being even Johns authority (without a Google penalty) would surely see him right up there for anything he chose to promote. I reckon his increased affiliate earnings would blitz whatever he makes from direct ads in almost no time – without the grief of managing advertisers as well.

    But like I said, if you’re pulling in $30k a month anyway why care?

  6. John does not need to care. He has the following already that blows his income through the roof.
    I think this post belongs in forums so that others that ask “how do I get to the top of Google?” and when I answer, “who cares”, this post can back me up.

  7. Shoe,

    Love reading your blog, man, but DANG(!) did this post need someone to proofread and edit it! LOL!

    Speaking of someone else that could use an proofreader/editor? JOHN CHOW! Hehe…

  8. Now that is the way to give Google the finger. You go, John!

    I look up to John and follow his blog daily, as so many others do and already know his storied saga. Which proves that Google is not as powerful as only they believe.

  9. IMO this is less an indictment of Google’s importance, and more of a compliment to John’s ability to network and build brands. Word of mouth has always been and will always be the most powerful form of advertising. If you can get people excited and talking to others about what you’re doing, you’re going to be successful. Obviously with the continuing emergence of social media sites, this process is accelerated.

  10. Jeremy..nice post you have here…i think everyone in the internet marketing knows about the clas between John and the big G…anyway, i think the link to seoroundtable is broken…mind to look into that ?

  11. Really, I hear about John Chow all the time and figure he is a guru of seo and online marketing stuff. Even though I have never done a Google search on the guy I can easily find him though backlinks from other sites like shoemoney, quicksprout and etc.

  12. After watching too much Deadwood lately “receprical” made me LOL. (In a good way)

  13. What online service would one use today to duplicate the popularity that John got by abusing Google?

  14. Ok Shoe, what’s the bottom line? do we or do we not need Google? it’s interesting though

      1. Are we sure that isn’t someone just messing around? That happened to a friend of mine once. A member of Adwords put his site on there for lord knows what reason.

    1. Wow!!! Didn’t know this about John – the more you know I guess thanks Shoe!

  15. Interesting read, I didn’t realise the background behind John but he is definately doing well and making money online.

  16. I can undestand why people care about google, but sometimes look likes you can manipulate the google results. How serious is google if you can’t find a website you’re looking for but only scrappers.

  17. Poor Google. They totally got owned. I’m just jealous of John, how he blogs about crap, tweets about his lunch and makes money.

  18. This is a similar story to the Catholic Church vs The Da Vinci Code. I had no intention of reading the book until the church started banishing it and then I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. If you’re smart enough, there is no such thing as bad press. Paris Hilton built her image on bad press, most of us never heard of her before the sex tape came out, so did Kim Kardashian and many more.

    I didn’t hear about John Chow by doing a search on google. I saw a photo of him on a chair in the middle of the street in Entrepreneur’s Magazine which intrigued me a lot. He clearly understands the power of seo, but he understands more the power of diversification. John Chow became a powerful brand over a period of time and whether he cares or not I don’t think he would mind one bit if Google put him back in. After all he put a lot of effort in for ranking and despite what most “seos” say, just because you don’t pay Google to put you in serps, seo is not free. It’s usually a lot of grunt work that takes a lot of time and energy and both cost money. Why put that to waste?

    I don’t blame Google for chucking him because he is breaking the rules however if you’re looking for a brand/person and not finding it …. it kinda does make them look stupid. I don’t know who will budge first, if his profits are increasing I don’t think John will then again will Google bow down to all powerful John Chow?

  19. If it wasn’t for this google fiasco would he have been as well known as he is now though? Sure he is a big name and does great but this may have helped him getting the coverage he has recieve regarding this, although if he could still be on top of google it would give him even greater success.

    1. I think he would have. Google are not the be all/end all of the internet.

  20. Yes. I cannot find John Chow site in google. But all people known John Chow over internet. So i think John Chow must have his strategies to solve this.

  21. Oh man, I’ve searched for John Chow’s blog sooo many times on Google and never found it. Now I know why. Thanks.

  22. A “great brand” does need Google. On the other hand, it does not hurt having Google on your side as well. They keep things balanced. I have to admit that before reading this post, I kinda forgot about John Chow’s blog and limited myself to reading his Tweets:) btw, If I may.. I think you wanted to say (reciprocal links do not work)

    Very interesting case indeed. I for one will follow…

  23. Classics , google penalized him and it ends up helping him brand his business. Another funny thing is that domain notjohnchow.com can’t even sell his domain and he outranks john.

  24. The thing is though that he was already popular when he got banned by Google – it is extremely hard for a new site to survive without Google. All the links he has after getting banned are still driving him traffic. Also I have nothing against John Chow – I read his blog daily, xD.

  25. Google should be in the business of directing users to the most relevant content that they are searching for. So, in this case if the user is searching for “John Chow”, his official blog should most definitely outrank all others. I think Google is shooting itself in the foot on this one.

  26. JohnChow still at the top position at Yahoo,MSN and ASK and i believe also in others search engine. We can learn something here, dont just focused on one but many.Its make your safe or still have backup.

  27. I made the huge mistake of relying on Google for a decent amount of my income and they seemingly have permanently deindexed a ton of my sites due to a one day hack that I FIXED. I tried contacting and asking for help from multiple people and not one person has helped. I have a disease that requires medication and now I am completely broke with no income and cannot pay for my medications that cost around $600 a month.

    And Google says they are not evil? A multi billion dollar company that cannot help someone with a serious need? WTF?!

    Don’t EVER get hooked on Google. They can pull the plug on you at ANY time. If you build your foundation upon their evilness, you will live to regret it. It could even kill you.

  28. Seeing the JohnChow.com now has a pagerank of 3 makes me quite skeptical of Google Facist Regime!

    I’m sure John care’s because look at all the traffic he is missing out on. Not like the dude needs anymore money but I know I would be pissed.

    1. Yeah, i remember reading about that somewhere online how google has decreased his page rank. I don’t know whats up with google. They should know that most top bloggers get paid by doing paid reviews. But, I guess they made an example out of john chow. Jeremy, you better watch out!

  29. […] John Chow (and Googles Dilemma) […]

  30. It actually puts things into perspective, sad, but google for sure did take away some of his traffic, however at the same time giving him more of the spot light as someone has mentioned above.

    1. It would be interesting to see if you could get John Chow back into Google.
      I think this post does put things into perspective for a lot of people because they now realise that SEO is not the be all and end all of building traffic and readership

  31. Got post jeremy.
    Anyhow, what google does was correct in matters of terms and conditions

    but go john. You are still the best 🙂

  32. Yeah, Google make some weird decisions, but a real brand doesn’t care about them. Kind of surprised to hear you talk so kindly about JC the way you were referring to him on the webinar, Jeremy.

    Not that you were harsh exactly, maybe just “willfully diffident”.

    Oh, and is there any reason that the link to seoroundtable.com in this post is broken?

    Take it easy.

  33. Jeremy,

    Just did a Google Search for: John Chow, here is page 1 of results:

    1.Twitter / JohnChow
    Name John Chow; Location Vancouver; Web http://www.johnch… Bio I make money online by telling people how much money I make online. …
    twitter.com/JohnChow – 36k – Cached – Similar pages

    2. Twitter / JohnChowDotCom
    Name John Chow; Location Vancouver; Web http://www.JohnCh… Bio Please follow twitter.com/JohnChow I no longer use this account. …
    twitter.com/JohnChowDotCom – 15k – Cached – Similar pages
    More results from twitter.com »

    3. Suck On This John Chow, My Blog Made $45000 Last Month! | TIM …
    UPDATE: Less than 4 months later, my blog income is up to $83000/month, I love this business! Awwww yeah, that’s right, not only am I gonna report my.
    timothysykes.com/2008/08/06/suck-on-this-john-chow-my-blog-made-45000-last-month/ – 99k – Cached – Similar pages

    4. Not John Chow dot Com · Internet
    Most Commented. Banned by John Chow! First Google and Now This! The Top Commentator Game! … Posted by Not John Chow | March 4, 2009. Yep, I lost my job. …
    http://www.notjohnchow.com/ – 60k – Cached – Similar pages

    5. Why We Rank #1 for ‘John Chow’ and Why You Shouldn’t Mess With Google · Internet – John Chow no longer ranks #1 in Google for his own name. By definition, John Chow … You need to change your site’s name in Why We Rank #2 for ‘John Chow. …
    http://www.pronetadvertising.com/articles/why-we-rank-1-for-john-chow-and-why-you-shouldnt-mess-with-google.html – 92k – Cached – Similar pages

    6. John Chow Review of John Chow dot Com, a website to help you make money online.
    bweaver.net/john-chow – 28k – Cached – Similar pages

    7. Bloggers Face-Off: John Chow vs. Matt Coddington · Weblogs
    The first edition of the Bloggers Face-Off was quite a success, featuring Problogger Darren Rowse against Internet Marketer Jeremy …
    http://www.dailyblogtips.com/bloggers-face-off-john-chow-vs-matt-coddington/ – 41k – Cached – Similar pages

    8. John Chow on Vimeo
    Visit John Chow profile on Vimeo. Use Vimeo to share the videos you make with the people you want. Its free to join and really easy to use.
    http://www.vimeo.com/user779286 – 29k – Cached – Similar pages

    9. John Chow Vs ShoeMoney – ShoeMoney® · Humor
    Blog Entry About John Chow Vs ShoeMoney. … Yes Shoemoney is increasing with a rapid pace than john chow. …
    http://www.shoemoney.com/2008/08/30/john-chow-vs-shoemoney/ – 160k – Cached – Similar pages

    10. John Chow’s Dangerous Advice | Jangro.com · Internet
    John Chow posted today his “evil affiliate marketing trick of the day“, allowing you …. Didn’t John Chow get nuked from Google for giving out such advice? …
    http://www.jangro.com/a/2007/04/04/john-chows-dangerous-advice/ – 60k – Cached – Similar pages

    Searches related to: John Chowjohn chow ebook john chow blog make money online problogger
    seo google adsense technorati


    Nicholas Chase

  34. What about John Chow showing some love to Google by bidding on [John Chow] via Adwords? … Average CPC is just $1.14

  35. do you honestly think ppl are thinking
    “john chow isn’t ranked for his name in google. man, google, is a bad search engine. I’m gonna stop using google”?

    lol this hasn’t hurt google’s rep in the slightest. In fact, they couldn’t give a flying f*** about JC.

    In all fairness, JC has done well for himself. But the quality of his articles has gone down considerably. I still like his lunnch/dinner/dotcome lifestyle posts. But most of the actual ‘make money online’ posts seem to be paid posts for wordpress themes/plugins and shady affiliate programs.

    Definitely nothing like your quality posts 🙂

    1. What rock are you living under? John Chow will be around longer than you will on the net.

      1. Shoe makes an interesting observation, but the issue isn’t relevant to the masses trying to make it because JC is huge, a freak of nature, an anomaly. Different rules always apply to those past the “dip”. Uh, it isn’t about who will live longer.

    2. Sarcasm? He has a great consistently great content, and thats what really matters when you get down to it.

  36. I think this is a great post about what you can do with a brand. Google is not as important as people think it is.

    1. Very true for most niches. Although, IMO you really can’t beat targeted traffic from organic search.

  37. John Chow actually built his brand from Agloco and not from blogging itself. He was one of the higest referrers, so that is how he got his name out to thousands of people first.

    The rest was just from the backlink trading and from posts going back to him.


  38. […] outlined in shoemoney’s post John Chow doesn’t even rank for his own name. He is totally blackballed by google. Do I think […]

  39. Didn’t they let BMW get away with a bunch of keyword stuffing, cloaking, etc… because it’s what users *want* to find?

    So, what do users want to find if they search for John Chow?

    Targeting an abused phrase would be one thing, but they shoot themselves in the foot when they go beyond that.

    Regardless of their reasoning, the end result is the same: Every competitor returns much more relevant results, giving their users a superior user experience.

    Maybe the phrase “google it” will be replaced with “google it, then yahoo it to make sure google isn’t messing with you.” 😉

  40. Yeah I don’t think a good brand or trusted source needs Google at all.

    If Play.com were to be suddenly nuked from Google, I highly doubt their sales would go down the drain.

    Because their brand and reliability are already firmly in people’s sub-conscious and conscious minds.

    I don’t go to Google when I wanna buy DVDs or pretty much anything. As I’ve already done my word of mouthing and testing and what not and have chosen my trusted sources.

    So in that instance… Yeah, maybe for the initial recognition Google is needed but once a brand has it’s own legs… Google becomes pretty much irrelevant in my opinion.

    I think the only guys who need Google for continued support at sites that depend on SEO. Large, old HTML / CSS sites packed with useful information.

    Good old tutorial and How To sites. Sites like those get tons of traffic from Google no doubt. But in your case and John’s case and a few other people I think of… The profile is already there, Google and pretty much all Search Engines become little threat in recourse to traffic.

  41. Paid post really beats you off to Google, But who cares Google if you have thousand of loyal visitors?

  42. Whos gonna search ‘John Chow’ on google? If people know his name then they know his blog and domain as well. I dont think this will have any effect on John

  43. I always used to wonder why John Chow has a low PR (4) even though he is so famous online.
    He is a great example showing tht you dont need Google to be successful

  44. Its all about the reputation one builds around him/her. Like i found Shoe’s blog not by searching on google but from comments in other blogs, where it was referenced heavily.

  45. Shoe what is going on whichu tonite…???? I am wondering if you and that cat been hitting that bong….

  46. I think it’s all about “brand building”. John Chow has already established his name as the “Dot Com Mogul”. This is pretty much the same as in the case of Dean Hunt as “Buzz Marketing Expert” and Carl Ocab as “Make Money Online with a 13-year old kid”.

    These people have one thing in common. They no longer run google adsense on their blog sites yet they raked in a lot of cash. It’s all about brand building.

  47. why I still could find Johnchow after use site:johnchow.com on Google search bar,well if it is true that Google only “nuke his PR.I believe Johnchow does not need it,his pass traffic already bring “eternal long tail”that I doubt Google will let them lose from there search result database

  48. […] John Chow (and Googles Dilemma) […]

  49. He is a legend. This is a great lesson for those annoying people who try to tell others how to run their websites. The game plan is to just do as chow and s. money do and everything will be A OK

  50. Not to be picky but there are a ton of mistakes in this article. If someone actually proofread this article before posting they sure did a crappy job.

  51. Well he has build the brand. New bloggers when start to blog hear the name of John chow or Shoe money. This is like a new baby playing football and wanna to be like Maradona or Pele.

    I love his lunch photos

  52. That’s pretty awesome. Good for him, It proves that SEO isn’t everything. While it might make the initial contact you have to go further to really go viral.


  53. The power of word-of-mouth and viral marketing has proven to be more successful then the algorithms that Google has in place. Kudos for the stealth marketing John has put in place to create an unstoppable brand

  54. Google is a very poorly managed company. I have made numerous posts about this at Digital Point and other Webmaster forums. It may seem like Google is a great company to deal with, when in fact they’re nothing but a headache.

    Take Adsense for example, the support is non-existant, and they will pretty much ban you whenever they feel like it, without giving you a fair chance to fix whatever it is they don’t like. Then once you attempt to contact them they will send you a generic computer generated e-mail that pretty much does not explain a thing. It sometimes makes me wonder what the 22,000 employees that Google employs actually do. As far as I can tell they wander around Googleplex and play tic-tac-toe.

    I’m not really sure what the hell a big player like Google is doing, but as far as I’m concerned they’re not doing a single thing right as far as customer service goes.

    Google grew too big too quickly, and it just seems like they’re abusing their power, which is a shame because they have quite a few examples of companies that refused to listen to their companies and failed or int he process of failing.

    Take a look at Microsoft and GM for example. I don’t think it will take more than 5 years before somebody competent comes into the industry and brings Google to its knees, just like Google did to Yahoo.

    1. hahahahah….yes some time its nothing just headache…very well said ..

  55. What about John Chow showing some love to Google by bidding on “John Chow” via Adwords. Average CPC is only $1.14 🙂

  56. John Chow has a nice list of advertisement networks that I love to use ads network you can register and make money.

  57. I would die if google took my sites out of their ranking..most of my sites are affiliate based and they depend on Google and other search engines for their converting keywords…more power to you John

  58. John, blogs about his lunch and takes pictures of his sushi tweets the incident and banks 30k a month all without google. I would like to see what he could do if he were back in the good graces of google.

    1. Wow, that’s a strong statement to make – you would die without google???!!! I think you should begin rethinking your wealth strategy because no one knows what tomorrow brings. What if Google dies, itself??!!

    1. no, you can’t say for all stuff. Google is presenting best relevant search results among other search engines.i like its way..but some time i irritated because of its SERP dance.

  59. Well, Google did have a search engine based around the amount of links you had so it’s understandable why people would go after links the way they do. I am not sure if Google changed how much authority a site has based on links yet or not but it would be nice to see.

    Personally I hate link building and it is a part of my job I could honestly do with out.

    1. Personally I hate link building and it is a part of my job I could honestly do with out….i m alike u in job 🙁

  60. John Chow is my hero the coolest man on blogsphere, really knows what to do and exactly knows how to swallow money as much as his stomach able to accommodate.

  61. I agreed that John was clearly violating Google policy on paid links. However, John did not have choice when choosing paid posts as one of his revenue and advertiser uasually asked him to write positively on their services and products that can be something harmful to his readers.

    If Google stay at the top 1 forever, just assume that, they can punish anyone violating their rules to keep internet community clean and clear. Just my opinion

  62. thanks for sharing this information I like it and I gain some knowledge about your topic..

    thanks you very much,,

  63. Not that you were harsh exactly, maybe just “willfully diffident”.

    Oh, and is there any reason that the link to seoroundtable.com in this post is broken?

  64. What I’d like about John Chow when I read his e-books , he advice to write article that people based upon to not for the sake of search engine.If he got deindexed from Google, to be honest it doesn’t bother much to his traffic, since he has branded all over the place.I think Google is to dominating, he should be penalized by user like us.

  65. Google has a virtual monopoly position because of what its users do, not because of anything else.

    They have figured out that that’s what they need to do to serve users. But each and every time they take a site out of the rankings or interfere with the results, Google risk the integrity of the index.

    So the equation that G. has to balance: is it messing with the index or simply fixing the problem? As a blogger who spat in the face of G, on more than one occasion, saw my own PR drop to 0, … it hasn’t hurt me being penalized but on the other hand it hasn’t helped either.

    Has it hurt me? probably? Have I been able to sell links despite that. Sure. No problem. Until Google fixes the problems with Pagerank by adding not just volume of backlinks, but also some notion of the amount of legitimate traffic to a site, then PR will continue to be hobbled by its nature: it’s only one side of a coin.

    You need to view both sides: SEO and Traffic before you can understand the real value of a site.

    Perhaps a true PR would be a combination of what users think, what backlinks sites have, and the amount of real traffic it gets. Realranks tried this but erred too much on the traffic side. PR could still end up being a valuable thing if Google admitted that PR was flawed and actually didn’t mean a lot.

    Why? If you can game the system, it’s flawed.If you achieve a high PR through gaming the system, it’s flawed. If G. then adds a manual penalty, it’s still flawed because you’ve not fixed the problem.

    If you try to game this system, G. penalizes you. It’s still flawed: gaming the system should NOT work at all. If it was impossible to game this system, G. wouldn’t worry about it. And wouldn’t bother penalizing people. Ergo: the system is fundamentally weak no matter what Google does to fix it. Why? Google cannot tell accurately what site is a real vote, and what site is a bought vote.

    Sorry for the ramble, it’s late here.

  66. Google did what they seemed right. But this will not affect JohnChow for sure. He is a brand in himself.

    I must say though a blogger should promote the products that they beleive in not what gives them more revenue. Just a thought, I am in no way suggesting John Chow was doing this.

  67. “This is one of my big beefs with SEO. A great brand does not need Google.”

    Not this vacuous argument again, Shoe. I imagine people don’t NEED a lot of things. You don’t really need to order pizza; you can eat a disgusting salad instead. How many fewer uniques would sites like Techcrunch get if they didn’t rank amazingly well in the SERPs? What’s your ballpark estimate? My guess is that if their search engine traffic was suddenly reduced by 50%, the value of Techcrunch would be reduced by over $10 million, easily.

    1. LOL, how true, there is nothing for MMO like SE traffic, that is a tried and true fact, and why bag on Google? They did their work and made it to the top, so they should reap the benefits, all smart MMO’ers target Google traffic and elitist or not, they rule the net in many ways. Yahoo, Live and the rest are free to compete…that is the basis of a capitalism.

  68. John Chow is not welcome back in Google, he broke the rules and can live with the consequences.

    It’s very nice of you Jeremy to start the wheels turning on getting him back into Google. Request denied.

    1. The problem is that Google makes these rules for the whole planet without any input from third parties, without any transparent and fair process.

      Google now represents a monopoly on search, which gives them enormous power, and in my opinion, they ought to use that power responsibly to benefit all users.

      This is why many nations, outside of the United States, want the ITU to take over from ICANN.

      I don’t think Google should be allowed to make rules that affect the whole planet. An independent neutral body should make rules and ensure that all parties on the Internet abide by them.

  69. The link in the post for http://www.seoroundtable.com is broken

    Excellent post!

    I do side with Google as John violated their clearly stated policies, however, Google does state they work hard to fully discount links intended to manipulate search engine results. In John’s case, they didn’t work hard enough so nuking him makes sense.

    Not all paid links violate Google’s guidelines. They even go as far to inform us that buying and selling links is part of the economy of the web. Of course they are referring to advertising purposes, and not for manipulation of search results.

    The major problem I have found with their solution of “rel=nofollow” for indicating paid links is natural SEO is that much harder, every website you go to now is using “nofollow” as a regular link! Seems almost every blogger, new webmasters, and other newbies to the world of the internet took this Google solution as a way to enhance themselves by using nofollow in links that should be providing the “respect” factor. If I got something from you, and use your words, providing a source link “natural SEO” does that not mean, give them page rank because they deserve it.

  70. Domainers have been saying something like this for years. If you own Names, you don’t need Google. John Chow owns a name. It’s not a typical generic type-in domain, but he has branded it as such. When it comes down to it Google is just another domain. Why type in google.com to find something when you can get there in 1 step. John Chow is known as johnchow.com. When I want to go there I don’t search google. I go to Johnchow.com. When I want to read Shoemoney, I dont Google. I got to shoemoney.com. Then of course you have bookmarks, feeds,etc. Certain names buildup their readership enough, keep readers coming back, and the names spread through social traffic, word of mouth,etc. If I wanted to tell my friends to check out Shoemoney.com- I wouldn’t say ” Yeah, just Google “Shoe money.” I would tell them shoemoney.com.

    And I never understood marketing that relied on building the brands of search engines at the expense of your own. For example, there are commercials on tv ( probably less common these days but I still see them) that say something like “Search for Keyword “Widget” on Yahoo.com.” Why not just own widget.com? During the last Presidential election a lot of Ron Paul supporters had banners that said “Google Ron Paul.” I thought it was stupid. Because ( as the John Chow story illustrates) you can’t control what actually shows up in Google. You can engage in reputation management SEO and TRY to make sure the top results are positive, but it’s not certain. What if I googled “Ron Paul” and the first result was about Racist Newsletters or something that said Ron Paul eats babies? I wouldve just bought ronpaul.com and put that on the sign. Not picking on them in particular. I notice political campaigns tend to have terrible domain names.-like JohnDoeSmith4ussenate2008.us

    I would prefer to have Google on my side. In my experience search traffic converts better for what I do. However, I would definitely have a plan to prepare to live without Google if I needed. When you OWN your traffic, you don’t have the worry about 3rd parties you can’t control.

  71. John is a true Enigma, and I that whole controversy was a great link bait that just soared his popularity, all in all the guy;s been on the nest since the beginning, he knows what he;s doing.

  72. Things4share.com - Everything I want to share » BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT JOHN CHOW DOT COM says:

    […] 2006 to $12,569.61 in June, 2007, an increase in revenue of $9,779.56. Last night I visited shoemoney.com just to find out a shocking fact about john chow and google. Google considered him violating their […]

  73. A great article, and clearly goes to show that while Google can flex it’s muscles, it can’t stop succes!

  74. After reading several posts on shoemoney I am convinced you need a good proofreader. Email me if you’re interested – I’m good.


  75. There is more to life than Google. What is Chow’s ranking with Technorati, AOL, Yahoo, Twitter, Spurl, Digg ETC.

    You can build your brand without the almighty Google.

    Yeah, it is easier WITH Google but not impossible without them.

  76. This can happen only in such a field where you meet webmasters, or smart people or geeks. When it comes to a website where you have someone like teens who only knows google and nothing else, you cant fight google, you will fail real bad!

    But whatever John is really a great guy! His traffic doesnt decrease, nor his subcribers, it always goes up!

  77. I don’t blame him. I always found it funny how some people act like Google are God. What’s more important? Worrying about what they think or making sure that you’re making enough money online so that you can live your life the way you want to & not have to go back to a typical 9-5 job?

    1. Google is not God but now a days google is one of the best search engine and every one want to get good ranking and want to come at first one in google searches.

      1. And that’s my point. John didn’t give a crap about that. If Google were really THAT important, he wouldn’t be making all that money.

      2. And that’s my point. John didn’t give a crap about that. I think if some people worked harder on their content rather than worry about being first in Google, they’d probably see some differences.

  78. John has been growing viral, all he’s done over the few couple of years was to buy links, stay listed on adwords, buy cheap traffic and market his blog.

    His ebook has made some buzz and it’s actually what brought his blog another 100K monthly visitors.

    As far as I can see he has some success so all I can say is Kudos.

    Keep it up Shoe !

    Hope you enjoy it Portland 🙂

  79. I think there will be even more John Chows and Google will have to listen to their market…

    We have seen Internet Giants fall and Google is no exception…once they stop performing their promise their will be a need for new platform.

    But i think we would all love to see John back…

  80. This goes on to say that although google traffic is important, it is not the only game in town. I do believe however that most bloggers should continue providing the best content possible. People read blogs to get information, and if you are the best, then they are going to read your stuff no matter what.

  81. hmm…. before I read this, I think google is everything.
    but I have to think again.

  82. This is a very interesting case study regarding John Chow’s website/brand. It really does show us that not all the eggs should be in one basket.

  83. indeed, google had helped john chow to build his online brand, john chow vs google ? that’s great for a man, desering our honor.

  84. Because of John Chow’s popularity, he don’t need anyone (not even Yahoo or MSN). I think he can be his own search engine and rank himself to the top. 🙂

    And oh, this is a very interesting case study Jeremy. 🙂

  85. john chow is going to always do fine with or without google. for some of us we need both (and shoemoney.com too).

  86. “It’s a interesting case study.”

    It’s a case study in stupidity. He has over 45,000 pages of content (probably more now, I’m too lazy to check), and could be getting shitloads of organic traffic, but instead he ruined his organic traffic because of a single keyword that gets about 120 searches a day. I think that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. If he had played the reciprocal linking game without targeted anchor text, it’s possible he would have never been penalized….

    If you buy a do-follow link on John Chow because you think you are getting link juice, you need to get your head examined. Links from that manually destroyed site aren’t helping you. Chow should surrender to Google and put no-follow tags on paid links. Then he should ask for a reconsideration request. If he gets listed again, he could easily be looking at an extra 2,000 to 3,000 visits a day at the VERY low end. Remember….45,000 pages of content, 222,000 backlinks. If his site was “normal,” he would be tearing up the SERPS.

    Yea, I imagine he doesn’t “need” Google traffic. I know, who wants an extra 10,000 free visits from Google daily….

    1. Hear, hear. Is his brand that strong people will search out his blog to read about what he had for dinner?

  87. I think he is doing just fine, without G, but with the number of page views he is definately losing some big dough.

  88. John is now back in business. He just bought a .ca domain and mirror his blog. Voila he claimed Johnchow search term once again.

  89. I love these scrappy dog fights and power plays. The big corporate v’s the little guy.

    There’s just way too much power in googles hands to be able to punish someone like this, whether he cares or not.

  90. A Different Perspective On John Chow Getting Banned From Google | Internet Business And Lifestyle Design says:

    […] in a review of Nomadic Matt’s ebook, I disagree that everyone should ignore John Chow. The John Chow brand is one of the most powerful in the “make money online” niche. Seriously, how many […]

  91. Nobody should totally rely on one source of traffic like the Big G for example. Diversify is the key though the proportion of the incoming traffic might not be as big as what the Big G can bring but at least it will cushion the impart if one day the Big G decided to drop a bomb on you.

  92. I don’t know why Google cares so much. JOhn has had his DIgg account nuked for “spam” and is now out of Google, which makes no sense because he is essentially doing what other sites are doing. Well, at least he was already established before he got taken out. For the smaller guys, being taken out of Google could really hurt….

  93. […] Google was in a dilemma. Search traffic for john chow was growing but nobody could find him on Google. What people were […]

  94. […] Google was in a dilemma. Search traffic for john chow was growing but nobody could find him on Google. What people were […]

  95. […] Google was in a dilemma. Search traffic for john chow was growing but nobody could find him on Google. What people were […]

  96. I love checking out your site as there is always useful and timely information that you are so willing to share with others.

    It’s much appreciated!

  97. I think that John only tells what he wants you to know. I think he pads things alot. Google just wouldn’t nuke him for no reason. He has always done alot of things under handed, but he wouldn’t tell you that. He is out to make a dollar and doen’t care who he steps on to get it. I wonder if he still selling email addy’s?

  98. Good post I don’t think it was necessarily un-ethical, although Google may frown upon it for artificially boosting his popularity. Much as I love reading his blog, I think some of John’s techniques are borderline Black Hat.

    Your key point is that it looks like a manual ban from Google – perhaps if John persued this strategy on a low-key basis he’d avoid penalties. However, by sharing the information on his blog and potentially engouraging others to do the same, maybe Google had to make an example of him.

  99. Why Google don’t like if someone sell text links ads?
    i don’t understand because i think Google won’t loose anything if some one sell link ads.

  100. John’s case is very interesting indeed. I guess he got free publicity from google!

  101. Old Saying: any publicity is good publicity.
    Google has about 100 mediocre products nothing that really innovates. The only innovative thing they have produced is the search engine, based of of DMOZ. IMO google should get back to their roots instead of trying to corner every market on every level.

  102. John Chow is back on Google, just search “John Chow” and you’ll see, his on the first and the second place.

    John Chow as won the battle.

  103. Why I stopped reading John Chow’s Blog? | Learn how to earn money online blogging | Tips to help make money working online says:

    […] John Chow (and Googles Dilemma) – ShoeMoney® […]

  104. Well all this mentioning of “John Chow” for over a year must be driving Google crazy. I’m going to trot on over to John Chow and learn a thing or two.

  105. Tons of Great information in your post, I bookmarked your site so I can visit again in the future, All the Best

  106. Web search is critical to our ability to use the Internet. Whoever controls search engines has enormous influence on all of us; whoever controls the search engines, perhaps, controls the Internet itself. This short essay (based on talks given in January and April 2008) uses the stories of five famous search queries to illustrate the conflicts over search and the enormous power Google wields in choosing whose voices are heard on the Internet.

  107. […] John Chow (and Googles Dilemma) […]

  108. […] John Chow (and Googles Dilemma) […]

  109. Regardless if John Chow’s blog is in the sandbox by Google, his backlinks are still there and permanent and the thousands of readers visiting his blog daily.

    Now he is quite popular offline aswell where he is invited to talk about his success on shows and recently, helped launch the Apple Ipad in Canada.
    Besides, his name still pops up in the search engine anyways.

  110. […] John Chow (and Googles Dilemma) […]

  111. The Link Target.

    You can set whether a link should open in the same browser window where the link is displayed, or to have the browser open a whole new window for the linked-to page. The general best practice is to always to use the same window for any page own your own website and to use a new window for any page that goes outside your website. This way you aren’t opening new windows needlessly and you make sure your site stays up after the person clicked on the link. You don’t want them accidently closing your website thinking they were just closing the page you linked to!

    The Link Title.

    This text you use as the Link Title will display when a user hovers over your link. This attribute is useful if the Link Text doesn’t give much specific information about what you are linking too, “click here” for instance. In general, it’s better to use more descriptive terms in your links but there are times when you may not want to.

    Absolute or Relative Path.

    There are two kinds of links that you can use. An “Absolute” link includes the full URL of the page you are linking to, including the http:// and domain name. It is necessary to use Absolute links where you are linking to someone else’s website, which you probably already knew.

    You can also use “Relative” links to pages on your own site. These links let you create your link relative to the location of the current page. For instance, if you had a page at “www.mydomain.com/my-pages/this-is-my-page/ and were linking to a page at http://www.mydomain.com/my-pages/this-is-my-page-2/, you could simply use “this-is-my-page-2” as the Link URL.

    You can also use “../” in front of a link URL when the linked-to page is in a higher directory than the current page. For instance, if you are linking from http://www.mydomain.com/my-pages/this-is-my-page/ to http://www.mydomain.com/another-page/. That URL would be like “../another-page/”. You can add as many of these as necessary i.e. “../../../some-other-page/”.Women Nike Dunk Low

  112. Regardless if John Chow’s blog is in the sandbox by Google, his backlinks are still there and permanent and the thousands of readers visiting his blog daily.

    Now he is quite popular offline aswell where he is invited to talk about his success on shows and recently, helped launch the Apple Ipad in Canada.
    Besides, his name still pops up in the search engine anyways.

  113. To me it looks very clear, that John Cow is setting the rules and not Google….He has managed to obtain exceptions for himself.

  114. great post. “a brand don’t need google to survive” I agree with you. 🙂

  115. […] now that Google has changed their SEO policy over the years. I found this link to be very helpful: John Chow (and Googles Dilemma) – ShoeMoney Internet Marketing Blog Reply With Quote « Previous Thread | Next Thread […]

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  117. Sometimes, i wonder how he can dot it? as newbie internet marketer, i learn much from him. can you help me too? thank you

  118. Repeat after me. “Google doesn’t exist.” It’s really a healthy exercise for anyone. So much dependency on Google and a lack of other marketing strategies and offline and online marketing ideas leads to paralysis by what Google doesn’t does not do with your website.

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