A Google Nightmare
Jeremy! Oh no it's happening ..... to .... me .....
I had a talk a few weeks ago at WebmasterWorld Las Vegas with the most excellent Mr. Jeremy Zawodny. We were concerned about the way people are starting to change their writing styles and subjects to comply with search engine preferences.
Today I noticed this happening to me as I was about to NOT POST this note critical of Google. I almost thought "hey, I'm beeing too hard on Google. They are a suberb company and the most excellent Mr. Matt Cutts, Google's new uber blogmeister and global search guru, could not be a better spokesperson for the company as well as being a really great fellow.
Matt was also at Webmasterworld Las Vegas where he went out of his way to answer complex questions and treat everybody with great respect. I've talked with him at some length and Google should be simply thrilled to have him out and about making friends and keeping Google tops on the "coolest company/coolest people" list for many technology watchers.
BUT, greatness brings great responsibility, and here is where I think Google is falling short right now big time. So with apologies to the most excellent Googlers I've met I offer this in the spirit of constructive criticism:
My great fear about Google:
First, massive spam onslaughts cause Google to accept huge amounts of collateral damage for legitimate sites.
THEN, Google's market share insulates them from the needs of the web community and makes them immune to criticism.
THEN, Google fails in their OBLIGATION as a MARKET LEADER to provide basic and thorough support for sites they have delisted or downranked.
THEN, People accept all this and fail to rant against it because people are sheep, sucking up to Google and thinking stupidly that search rather than content is what the web is all about.
THEN, even otherwise intelligent people often argue, in dumbfounded ignorance of historical precedent, that Google has no obligation to the community to work hard to identify the damage it has caused and to effectively deal with the problems it's dominance has created.
Wait - this is not a nightmare - it's happening RIGHT NOW!
Yes, Google has a new program to communicate with damaged sites but it's weak and small. The support system does not provide access to problem solvers, rather to canned info.