When I think about Google three things spring straight to mind. These are things that Google has carved into the brains of its user’s over many years:

  • FANTASTIC USER EXPERIENCE.
  • INNOVATIVE SEARCH TECHNOLOGY.
  • EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH QUALITY SEARCH RESULTS.

A 2013 article by Forbes states that “Google Posts 36% Revenue Increase YoY

Google seems to ALWAYS be pushing organic search to be “better”, “cleaner”, “more valuable to users” – I mean this is what makes them the best search engine in the world, right?

It was the morals of Google’s founders around user experience that brought them from this (Google’s/BackRub’s First Machine):

googles-first-machine

 

To this… (You can still see that first machine at the back of the setup!):

googles-first-server

And on to this… :

googles-first-production-server

 

And now on to the epic data centers of today:

google-data-center

It’s what brought them from a handful of employee’s working out of a small garage at the home of Susan Wojcicki, who is now the CEO of YouTube, to a corporation with an annual revenue of $59.8 billion dollars!

But over the years has Google lost sight of its aspirations to be the best search engine in the world? Have they slowly become blinded by all these dollars and hindered by the involvement of external investors getting their money making hands all over everything? 

A Google employee said to me only a couple of weeks ago “We have two types of customer to keep happy now, Advertisers & Users” – This statement alone seems so far away from Google’s founding morals that focused so much on user experience. It’s also a long way from the policies of organic search that penalise heavily on spam & excessive advertisements.

So why have I mentioned exceptions and deceptions?

We have a client in the airport parking industry – They have a competitor that is TRIPLE serving adverts for the keyword “airport parking” – This means the same entity is taking up 3 of the 10 available advertising slots. It’s a direct violation of Google’s Advertising Policy and also provides a very bad user experience. The company has registered 3 domains names with different details, even different company names, but the company names on the WHOIS are all managed by the same directors & secretaries – It’s the same person that owns them all.

We reported this issue to Google and provided all the evidence they needed (and more) to clearly see the advertiser is breaching a policy that protects user experience – Google completed an investigation into the matter and what do you think happened? Nothing. They have continued to allow the advertiser to continue advertising. Why? Well, I think I know why – Revenue! They’ve got to keep advertisers happy and keep them paying for clicks – Google’s main source of revenue is Google AdWords. The advertiser in question is a big spender (The moment they appeared on the SERPS, I could tell its not an ad of distinct, but a real big spender… Hey! Big Spender! Save a little space for me…! ).

They are allowing blatant violation of a policy that is designed to protect user experience and keep a “fair playing ground” for all advertisers – It’s funny how these are two of Google’s main focuses for organic search! 

Personally I think that this illusion of free choice is deceitful and should not be allowed by Google. But is this the only “exception to the rule” I’ve seen this month? ….No!

There’s another policy that protects users from being misleadingly directed to a different website than the one shown in the URL of an advert. If I create a website on the URL htttp://rocketmill.spike.com/ I wouldn’t be allowed to show the ‘Display URL’ in my advert as rocketmill.com – It’s misleading and confuses users, but another agency have been given an exception to the rule! They have been allowed to create duplicate copies of client websites on sub-domains and set the Display URL as the clients original website – Why? Because Google have got to keep the advertisers happy – The agency in question spend a lot of (their client’s) money with Google AdWords.

So that’s why I think Google’s revenue increases have caused the inception of deception, ‘exceptions to the rule’ and a general loss of the original ambitions that were set in place Google’s founders.

– And that’s the end of my rant on this subject. I hope you enjoy reading this article, please follow Rocketmill on Twitter for regular industry updates and great new content. http://www.twitter.com/Rocketmill