Google is a bit different from Apple and MSFT. Those two sell a product. Google gives everything away. The users dont have to even create an account to use Google Search. They even give away one of the most popular mobile operating systems in the world. Google is the top of the heap, everyone is their customer. If you aren’t using their search you are trying to be found on their search and everyone has to pay to be on Google search.
If you want to be found organically you need to have a website that is well curated and linked to. This takes at a minimum time and upwards of lots and lots of cash. You can be white hat or black hat about your technique here, with the former generally costing more than the latter. Google gives excellent guidance here as well: “Just adhere to standards and create compelling content regularly.” Oh really? Thats it huh? Super.
If you want the shortcut you can pay Google directly to show up on AdWords. This is probably gonna be even more expensive naturally since the profits go straight to Google. For a company that looks at marketing as lying they sure do make a lot of money from it.
Everyone and their mom signs up for AdSense and makes Google tons of income. You see these sites with ads all over the place, some of them even have useful content. Naturally Google doesn’t give precedence to sites with AdSense on them, just as a mother feeds everyone else at the same time she feeds her children…
Google controls all access but uses their whole Don’t Be Evil sermon to show us that they have the best intentions in mind. Just don’t try to step outside the rules. After talking with multiple representatives of the company it is very interesting how insulated and protective their Organic side of the house is.
Whats the line in Usual Suspects? “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” In Google’s case it might also be that the Devil fooled himself.
In business Googlers are infuriating to deal with both because there is no option but to use them and also because of their religiosity. As an Adwords customer I have heard the word ‘miracle‘ and basically been told: “These are not the droids you are looking for.” in regards to an issue I have with their Places product. (Which is one product that I don’t personally use, I find Yelp to be much more helpful when looking for something local.) Comparisons to the Organic side of the house as a ‘Cathedral’ was uttered in the most recent meeting.
Is Google what religion is going to look like next? Holy towers of algorithms collecting and distributing human knowledge all in the best interests of man. Sounds laughable at best and apocoliptic at worst. Just like the Patriot Act and Google is another man made system that is prone to human faults and tendencies. Faith that they are anything otherwise is not only folly but exactly what they want.
I believe or at least I walk the company line. My email is all hosted at the G. I use their search hourly and I make a living off of consulting for them. Just like Obama there is no better choice at the moment but that doesn’t mean I can’t be critical and suspect.
What’s that behind you now?