Let Sleeping MSFTs Lie

Google’s Sergey Brin seems to think that he needs to speak out against the MSFT/Yahoo! merger that may or may not happen in the near to distant future.

“The Internet has evolved from open standards, having a diversity of companies. And when you start to have companies that control the operating system, control the browsers, they really tie up the top Web sites, and can be used to manipulate stuff in various ways. I think that’s unnerving,” Brin said.

I had to chuckle a little when I read that. I agree with Brin, but that could just as easily describe Google as it does Microsoft. The only real difference is that Google doesn’t have a retail version of the GooglOS that they run in the Googleplex. They certainly control some browsers. Just as many as MS does with IE I’d wager. And as far as tyeing up the top web sites, take a close look at the Digital Point forums next time Google does an update of their PageRank. When you tie up 60%+ of the search engine traffic, that affects the top Web sites much more than a simple difference in browser engines. And lets not get started on manipulation that is possible.

All of this is a play on people’s fears of a Microsoft Monopoly. The problem with the logic is that a merger of MSFT and YHOO doesn’t create a monopoly. It eats into one. It creates a very valid competitor in the search venue. And after a few years of Google encroaching on Microsofts territory (see Google Docs), it scares Google to see the giant awakened.

You see, the old business folks know that if you find yourself toe to toe with a competitor and you don’t possess the tools to fight that competitor, you partner yourself with someone who does. Microsoft has been struggling to keep up with Google and other online innovators for quite some time. The problem is that Microsoft had been mostly content to leave Google in it’s place of power for search and go about their business struggling to move into that arena. Then Google started getting into Microsoft’s neighborhood with Google Docs and next thing you know, Microsoft is on the attack.

If you ask me, Google should have just let sleeping MSFTs lie.

Disclaimer: I own MSFT shares, but not enough to care…

Selling Links? Google is Gonna Spank You!

There’s a bit of a dust up going around the techie-seo-search blogs that started sometime Saturday.  It’s been building for a little while now, but is finally getting some talk.  It seems that Danny Sullivan got into contact with someone at Google and confirmed that the recent PageRank drop that many sites have seen is actually a bit of a spanking for selling links and paid reviews.

There are many people talking about it, but I think the person I most agree with is Andy Beard.  In his post entitled “Dancing with the Gevil – Defamed by Google?” (great post title btw) he makes it very clear that he thinks what Google is doing weakens the use of PR and makes a mockery of it’s purpose.

The general public look on the little green bar on the Google Toolbar as a signal of quality, that is what Google tell them.

Here it is in Google’s own words

Wondering whether a new website is worth your time? Use the Toolbar’s PageRankâ„¢ display to tell you how Google assesses the importance of the page you’re viewing.

But a penalty on my visible Toolbar PageRank isn’t what Google are telling their users. Google users think my content is of less value, and has less authority. They don’t understand that Google also apply modifiers to the green bar which may be for reasons other than quality.

I have to admit that he makes a very good point.  Why is a indicator metric like PageRank that is supposed to be all about the authority or trustiness of a site doing using factors that have nothing to do with that into factor? I’m sure that they will say that selling links is a sign of being untrustworthy, but if that is so, then what about sites like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and even Google’s own search results?  Selling ads is the exact same thing.

Sam at ReveNews seems to think that what they’ve done is A-OK.

When you play the Google game, you have to play by their rules, arbitrary or not… fair or not. You’re in their sandbox after all.

Jim Kukral seems to think along the same lines, saying that

You know what I think? I think that Google is gonna get what they want, regardless of what some bloggers or seo’rs say or do or think.

And yet, I still can’t help but feel like the little kid on the playground with blood dripping from my nose because the big bad bully of the school just shoved me into the monkey bars.  I have clearly stated each month for the last three months, what my monthly income is.  Compared to what Google makes from their paid links, it’s minuscule.  And yet,  they feel that I need to be penalized because I’m trying to pay my hosting bill with advertisements?

There’s a word for that.  And whether you like it or not, it’s called dictatorship.  The Golden Rule so to speak.  Google has the market share, so most of us cannot afford to ignore them when they penalize us.  If we want to avoid having our sites show up lower in the SERPs or worse, getting deindexed, we have to follow their rules.

I think it’s time we quit that.  So, for all of you that are willing, we need to brainstorm and find a way to overthrow the dictatorship that is our search world and start fresh with a republic of search.  With real authority passed to sites that deserve it.  And real trustiness conveyed to those that can be trusted.

How?  I’m not entirely sure.  It starts by trying to balance the ship a little and getting engines like ASK.com and Live a little more market share.  I’m going to try and make an effort to use alternative search engines for a while.  It’s not going to change the world, but maybe if we all do it, we can make a bit of a dent in their revenue.

This post was sponsored by: Viagra, Mesothelioma,  Girl taking it Hard, free prescriptions, and Business men needing help to transfer African Millions.

Ok.  I had to do it.  Please take the time before you comment on the sponsored bit to actually hover over the links and see where they really point to.  I’m making a point.  Just because I say that they are sponsors, doesn’t mean that they are.  And yes, I realize that I can be penalized for having those words linked on my site.