This thought comes from Uncommon Wisdom, and it is certainly very wise. They ask, “Are you the Customer? Or, are you the Product?”
Think about it the next time you decide you’re going to go online and search for your next purchase. You may think of yourself as the shopper or the customer, but remember that Google (and Yahoo, etc.) is offering you (yes, you) as a “product” to their advertisers.
Google, nowadays, is really nothing more than a giant advertising channel, and if one of their advertisers can influence your purchase decision, then Google has successfully delivered a product (you) to that customer (advertiser). Hooray. Beyond hat, they could care less if you really find anything that interests you or fulfills your requirements during your stay online, unless it brings you back at a later date as a product for another advertiser.
Google should probably change their basic slogan from “Don’t Do Evil” to something like “Don’t Do Anything to Piss Off the Advertisers”. Or, maybe just “Don’t Do Anything Worthwhile”.
Most website owners feel more like victims in all of this, depending on which Google critter has bitten their ass lately. (Notice how Google uses “cute, harmless” animals – panda, penguin – to represent their slash-and-burn adjustments to their algorithms? Why, how could a cute little panda actually hurt me?).
Affiliate website owners – Amazon, eBay, CJ, etc. – who relied at least in part on their online income – really feel like victims. For years they have been doing what they were told (in most cases) – getting a variety of backlinks with searchable anchor text, placing affiliate ads or adsense around their hopefully decent content, and enjoying generally good rankings. Then, one day, the backlinks are “bad”, the content is useless, and because of no more rankings, the ads generate no income.
So. Are you a Customer? Product? Victim?
The original article that spurred these thoughts can be found here. They talk a bit about another search engine as a “private” alternative to Google. Worth reading.
Bye, Bye Google Keyword Tool
Rumor has it the “Google Keyword Tool’ will be discontinued. In its place they will add a new tool they are calling the “Keyword Planner”. I have no idea how it differs.
- Are You As Satisfied With The Google Experience As You Used To Be?(webpronews.com)
- Pandas And Loyalty(mt-soft.com.ar)