Picture this scenario: you’re the CEO of a company and one day you walk in and see an invoice lying on your desk for £33 million pounds from Google AdWords, mostly from keywords that your site is already ranking top spot for. After the shock and near heart attack, you think ‘why don’t we spend a few million on improving the SEO of the site so we rank top for pretty much all the keywords we are buying ads on and make a nice little saving of £30 million, give or take a million (I know right?) And so you start reducing the ads and reducing that £33M tag million by million, as one does of course.
1. Stopping AdWords? It’s penalty time
Now fast forward a couple of months, you have improved your natural listings, your ad spend is down by a ridiculously large amount and all is well in the world. Boom! Google slaps you with a ‘Panda’ Penalty, your organic search traffic drops by over 75% and now instead of having to spend the initial £33M you have to double or triple it just to recoup your initial traffic.
Well sadly this is not a scenario and it actually happened to eBay on the 19 of May, 2014. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t shed any tears over this story and it’s not like eBay couldn’t afford it but it’s just wrong! Wrong I tell you, wrong.., tis tis naughty Google.
2. Authorship, more like abandon ship
When authorship came out it was mesmerizing. The future of search has arrived I said to myself. I was one of the first to board the ‘ship and it repaid me so kindly. It showed my caveman-like bearded face every time my sites came up on G search, it improved my click through ratio probably since people were bemused that a guy with a face like mine could actually put words together and articulate them into a sentence and it also helped push my sites to those number one coveted ranks we all fight nail and tooth over.
Then with the snap of a finger on the 28th of August, 2014 Google authorship was officially pronounced dead never to be seen again and all our pretty little faces disappeared from Google just like that without a sorry or a ‘it’s not you it’s me’. I was sad but I soon became heartbroken once I had found out the real reason they had abandoned ship. And why was that Aires? ‘It’s all about the Money, Money, money’ ‘it’s all about the, xiiiing, xiiiing, Kaxiiiing, Kaxiiiing. So the problem with authorship was that people were clicking more on our faces than on the ads above them which really doesn’t say much about the ads and less revenue means less profit which means laying people off and we were all immediately fired as Google models.
Vic Gundotra, the mastermind behind Google+ and authorship soon quit after 8 years at the company. Mmm… I wonder why?
3. Killing organic search softly
Google doesn’t make money from their organic listings. Fact. So one day one clever little engineer at HQ thought of something so genius he should be awarded a medal. (If you can’t tell I’m being sarcastic here). Why don’t we steal more of the organic space from which we don’t make money from and put more of our own immediate answers so people don’t leave the search engine, promote our own services that always rank first for some reason or paid ads from which we do make money!
Genius, right? No! We use google because it is the best search engine that helps us find the most relevant information we are looking for, quickly and with ease. But if this trend of taking over the above the fold with not one organic listing in sight carries on and paid ads start taking over more and more, we will get fed up and begin looking elsewhere. I mean ones patience starts to dwindle when you search for ‘Am I too old to be getting stress acne?’ and all you see is ads for ‘buy stress now on eBay’ or ‘Fantastic prices on acne at Amazon’.
Marissa Mayer joined Google as one of Google’s earliest employees in 1999. She rejected around 15 other job offers and took a position where she wasn’t sure if things would work out in terms of success but because the other employees seemed so smart and dedicated like herself, she knew she couldn’t afford not to. Her progression within the company was stupendous and she was tasked with looking over the design of the website. Her strict meticulous methods, a design by numbers where every single pixel on the site was studied against user interaction were appreciated by all, well except for the designers with one of them famously quitting and stating that after testing 41 shades of blue, he couldn’t deal anymore with ‘her and her obsession over minor details’ and he soon joined Twitter, funnily enough whose logo is a homage to the colour blue. Let’s hope his boss doesn’t get him testing 50 shades of blue on Tweety the mascot.
Soon after, Marissa began making headlines and being featured in various top 10 lists. At Google she was on the operating committee reporting directly to Chairman Eric Schmidt and was the lead on Google Search’s design. However on the 28 of October, 2010 Mayer’s life turned upside down. She was removed from the top of Google’s search organization and put in charge of Google Maps and other local products. With search accounting for almost the big G’s entire revenue this was technically a ‘demotion’. She was also booted off the operating committee.
Then, to make matters worse for Marissa, another Google executive, was put in charge of Geo/Local the group she had been running for only a few months before and with Mayer now reporting to the executive, who had only joined Google in 2003, a long four years after her. In May 2011 Mayer’s pride took a massive final blow when her name and bio finally disappeared from Google’s management page after being up for almost 5 years.
So what happened to Marissa Mayer’s career? One single man was in charge of Google during this time and responsible for all these decisions that contributed to Marissa’s downfall. Page, Larry Page is the name and getting back at his ex’s is his game. Yes that is correct ladies and gentlemen, Page and Mayer had dated a few years before and I’m going to take a wild guess that it didn’t end that well. Seeing her on the operating committee must have sent him in a state of complete and utter rage, so bad he gave up on golf and midday mojitos to become Google CEO again and put things right. Jealous much Larry?
5. In your Face book, we’ve got Google plus
It is a known fact that Google tried to purchase Facebook and after getting rejected like a freckled ginger* at a college party sourness set in and revenge brewed. Let’s beat them at their own game they thought hence the creation of Google Plus. Nothing really amounted from it in the beginning so Google decided to ramp up the heat and soon a site’s number of google plus ones became the number one correlating factor towards top organic rankings. What a strange coincidence that the number of backlinks, Facebook likes and tweets were all trumped by Google Plus with regards to rankings on Google Search. (See what I did there? With the bold… wink, wink)
That helped but didn’t do the trick so Google Authorship was born with the intent of also boosting up G+ registrations whilst again helping a site rank higher on search,Coincidence again? Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google even admitted in his book that sites tied to a verified authority would rank higher than those which weren’t. Again this helped but it didn’t do the job.
So another little trick was pulled from their sleeves and if a company’s google plus channel ever became well followed it would appear beside the organic listings for the respective company’s name and also prevent other companies from bidding on AdWords – Ding! Ding! Coincidence number 3. Wow, how coincidental life can be. Sadly, this last ditch attempt boosted a few more registrations but in the end Google plus never came close to rivaling Facebook.
However despite having written the above we must come to terms that Google is a company and like any other company the goal is to spend less and make more. Almost every single one of us use their services one way or another and have been for a long time. Analysing the situation further, Google has allowed me to head up a fantastic SEO company and group of extraordinary individuals at the age of 26, a feat I always thought impossible to achieve. So I’m sorry Google, it’s not you it’s me.
*No offence meant to freckled gingers intended, my girlfriend is one of your kind.