How Would You Undo the Google FUD and Brainwashing


Since the Getting Brainwashed By Google commentary got rather bogged down let's try something different. How would you undo the Google brainwashing and overall FUD campaign. How would you educate the web publishing community and maybe even the more sophisticated users that what's in Google's best interests isn't necessarily in their best interest, and just maybe they should look the Google trojan horse in the mouth.

You're all a smart bunch of people so let's try and make this a healthy discussion and keep it from descending into some moral/social/economic/ethics quagmire.


I don't know that you can

I am sure this could be stated better but heres my go at it...

I don't know that you can get people to realize it until they have some of their own money on the table. Most people, even sophisticated users such as developers, don't have anything invested in actually understanding how google works.


It should be sufficient to simply know that Google is a 'for profit' company and not a charity which implies that they must look after their shareholders first.
Surely the world is not so stupid that they cant understand that?
Those who chose to ignore it are idiots who deserve all that they get in due course.

Just reading Matt's blog

Just reading Matt's blog should be enough to demonstrate that any educational campaign of this sort is doomed from the outset.

from the department of redundancy department

graywolf, i'll bite. all this has been said before, but if i had to tell a wet-behind-the-ears webmaster why they might not want to start using the google soup-to-nuts solution (all for free!!!), i would summarize:

    - google is a for profit company

    - in order to fulfill their mandate to shareholders, google has to do a better job than the competition of providing services that will improve their ability to sell advertising

    - google provides "helpful" tools like the toolbar that allow them to gather anonymous user data, allowing them to improve their products and increase ad sales

    - that said, an anonymous user is not as valuable as a registered user

    - google wants to entice registration

    - to do this, google provides an increasing number of free services that touch all points of a user's online experience (gmail, analytics, webmaster central, google reader, personalized search, web history, et. al.)

    - getting you as the webmaster to conform to their standards simply makes google's process of monetizing your content easier. using nofollow on all your paid links? Huzzah!!! now they can make more dollars off of adwords.

    - google is not a "search" company per se. they're a data-mining company. the data that they gather about search habits in general, and especially specific users and businesses, are what give them a competitive advantage over the long haul when, theoretically, the switching cost between engines is low. it's what makes google stock worth $470 dollars a share

registration and participation in google's programs means surrendering a *staggering* amount of personal / business data to a corporation that does not have your best interests at heart. they have profit at heart. and because they have profit at heart, it'll be much easier for google to fuck you if you give them easy access to all your data - should google decide that your business interests are not aligned with theirs.

if i had to put a bow on it, i'd say that i don't know many people who tell their shrink as much as they're willing to reveal to google through their searches.

ta-daaa!!! have fun with that, kids.

You can't stop the FUD and

You can't stop the FUD and brainwashing that comes from the engines. As grasshopper states Yahoo, MSN, and Google are all For Profit companies and their business is endangered by spammers and spam. That said you may be able to limit its effect through education. The difficulty is that this education and awareness needs to come from the well respected public figures from various industries and niches. Many times this doesn't happen because people are too afraid to speak out against the engines for fear of losing their place, or actions taking against their sites, or some other adverse reaction.

What's interesting is that when we speak of brainwashing and FUD we typically discuss Google and not Yahoo, MSN, AOL, etc. Yahoo and AOL are worse than Google in certain aspects since they are a portal that attempts to have their pages rank in the engines. They employ SEOs....they buy links....etc. But I digress.

So, back to the original question I do think that part of this FUD and brainwashing could be eliminated if the industry leaders would be honest with their readers. Get over your fears. Don't be a puppet.

google is not a "search"

google is not a "search" company per se. they're a data-mining company

!!! Exactly !!!

I do think that part of this FUD and brainwashing could be eliminated if the industry leaders would be honest with their readers. Get over your fears. Don't be a puppet.

I suspect many are more than just 'industry leaders' and actually investors in Goog stock who have something to gain the bigger Google gets.

In answer to the question: I really don't know. I wonder if things are too far gone and there's no turning back. People didn't want to hear it (past) and people just don't want to hear it (present). But there are some brilliant folks in the game, maybe the train can be kicked off the tracks.

It's not like you can evangelize new tools or services offered by other companies--Google is so huge now it just buys the companies up once they reach a certain point. Gobble gobble more data.

Maybe the answer lies in education:

google is not a "search" company per se. they're a data-mining company

For most there's a bigger payoff to stick with goog (adsense earnings, rockin ppc sales, free organic traffic, free tools, etc.).

What's the incentive to kick Goog to the curb? Figure that out and maybe things can get switched up in a hurry.

Google Toolbar.

Just wondered how many here had installed the toolbar and kept it?
Quite a lot I would guess.
Its not as if theyre secretive about the info it collects. They tell you clearly.
I cannot imagine why anyone would be happy about providing Google or any othe business for that matter with a load of free info that goes to the heart of their business and personal life.

No toolbar, no analytics, no

No toolbar, no analytics, no adsense, no more adwords, gmail is throw-away account, youtube watching occasionally, conscious effort to search on yahoo and wikipedia before google, no blogger except one sitting (grabbed an abandoned), ummm, nothing else that I can think of. Been my MO for at least a year, maybe even two?

Yahoo, MSN, and Google are

>Yahoo, MSN, and Google are all For Profit companies and their business is endangered by spammers and spam.<

Yahoo, MSN and Googles businesses are NOT endangered by spam. They are supported by it, they profit from it and they define it. Published guidelines don't have to be a vague and open-ended catch-all. They are that way for a reason. There is no such thing as spam as it is referred to above.

The only person or persons who can manipulate a search engine, are the persons who have access to the admin panel and/or source code of that specific search engine. If you can't get to the admin panelor server, you can have no effect whatsoever on what that search engines does. All you can do is construct data that you feel is most likely to fall within the parameters of the algorithm. That is NOT manipulating search engines, that is learning how search engines work and then manipulating your page. No matter how vehemently some may disagree, that is a fact! No one can "help" a search engine find what they are looking for anymore than anyone can "make" a search engine do what they want. Search engines just do what they do. They are just a machine!

Consider how different FUD would be if we could accept that a search engine puts what they want where they want and if results appear that they do not want, then it is not the people that is broken but the engine itself, then we could all agree that there is no such thing as spam as we are referring to it here. That would make the engines responsibile and not allow them to shift the blame for their machines weakness onto someone else.

We all have no problem accepting that they have a right to manipulate results as they choose because it is their business, but we can't seem to accept with that right also comes the responsibility and that unless someone is breaking into their property and altering results without permission, then all anyone did was alter THEIR OWN WEBSITE, and if the engines have the right to do anything legal they want because it is their business, then why don't webmasters?

The way to alter perception is exactly the way Google does it and the way Aaron has been trying to do it. Historical reference.

If you notice in posts by engines reps, there is always statements pointing to past documented events. If there is no one to counter those statements with different views or contradictory events, it makes it easier to have the first persons FUD appear to be factual and historically correct and beyond reproach.

When you throw in the added benefit of others who may be inclined to disgaree to be frightened of the consequences of speaking out you have one powerful public relations, FUD spreading machine.

Historical reference + fear of disagreeing = powerful FUD

The quality score

was/is a good way for Google to make some extra cash. They are getting power hungry buying anything that could be useful for them or could be used as a good advertisment medium and people above have made some more good points about the big G and there power madness

Now, how to stop Google from brain washing people... it's like trying cut limbs off an octopus. There are so many reasons why people do use Google, the only way to stop people from using these features are to make better ones which is extremely costly and time consuming. Google's loved by the public and are getting more and more popular every day, what is it...80-odd% now!?

Google is a giant, Google has many arms, is Google the Flying Spaghetti Monster!?

@Terry SA, I think that's called having your tin foil on a bit too tightly ;)

Why would you want to dispell the rumours?

I like it when 95% of my competition are eating shit in the dark.

Viable alternative...

1. It's easier to counter FUD if there are some viable alternatives. When they are the only game in town people tend to kowtow.

2. Ban Google reps from posting in SEO forums and blogs. Cut their propaganda platform out from under them and force them back to their own blogs. Or short of that, require every post from a Google rep to have a sig. saying: "The previous statement was made by a paid Google agent, and represents the views of Google and may not represent the best interests of individual webmasters or the web." Note: I'm not sure I like this idea but I'm trying to answer GW's question.

3. I agree, Google is vulnerable on the data mining issue.

4. Google is vulnerable on the issue of monopoly. It does not matter if it is true, all it matters is to get enough people to believe it and fear it. They become more vulnerable to this every day.

Fud in action...


"...Do not use unauthorised computer programmes to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programmes consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service..."


"...In our view, the broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content..."

""Allowing broadband carriers to control what people see and do online would fundamentally undermine the principles that have made the Internet such a success...A number of justifications have been created to support carrier control over consumer choices online; none stand up to scrutiny." Vint Cerf - Google Chief Internet Evangelist and Co-Developer of the Internet Protocol"


Google is also a broadband carrier/isp.


... disingenuine much? I would have sworn that Vint Cerf or some one of similar caliber was featured in a video on PBS or a german video about search engines talking about how use of a single search engine was bad because it limited ideas. As in, if a single search engine has control, we hear only what that engine wants us to hear.

Anyone recall this video, have a link? This is something that should be spread, to help fight FUD.

Quote: . All you can do is

. All you can do is construct data that you feel is most likely to fall within the parameters of the algorithm. That is NOT manipulating search engines, that is learning how search engines work and then manipulating your page. No matter how vehemently some may disagree, that is a fact! No one can "help" a search engine find what they are looking for anymore than anyone can "make" a search engine do what they want. Search engines just do what they do. They are just a machine!

Massa's right (again). I don't manipulate the search engines. I exploit them.

Ad Campaign

It might only take one successful ad campaign to start undermining Google. If I were running the campaign, I wouldn't combat the FUD, I'd bring attention to it, and the company responsible for spreading it. Every newsbyte the competing company put out would talk about 'the other search engine' and contain words like Big Brother, 'alleviating privacy concerns, lack of consumer responsibility, thought police, thought control, data mining, data control, secretive, manipulative etc.

Create a little slogan, 'Don't Think Inside Their Box' or something along those lines, then push anonymous search. Just get people wondering about whether Google is really double plus good or not.

A billion or two dollars to plant the seeds of doubt, another billion or two to push that friendly search engine that allows for anonymous searching, and instead of trying to eliminate the FUD, just assign ownership to the right company.


IMO Google has decided that its all about making it "easy" for webmasters to make a very small amount of money each month.

Make it really easy for the webmasters to earn a few bucks and they will stay out of the 'real' moneymaking business on the www.

You can choose to take the "easy" way to make a very few bucks, just throw up some crap clone blog or shitty content management site, copy some adsense code and get a check for $75 (or less) a month.

Or you can actually do some work and come up with new ideas and a site that actually attracts real people with real money. Then you can drive to the bank in style and the Bank Manager personally welcomes you, calls you Sir and offers you coffee... (or you can go deposit your $75 or less monthly earnings in the drive through window).

I guess my point is, that when someone or some business is really anxious to give you a few pennies, WATCH OUT, cuz most of the time the person or business waving the pennies in your face, is hiding the $100 dollar bills from you.

Expose the easy money rip off and qoogle will fall from grace.

You been working for Ask recently DG?

They have been using the Ask logo with the phrase 'the other search engine' on a number of their London underground Ads recently.

Also they have been targetting the phrase 'the online information monopoly'

Also they have this site

Other slogans that have been used

'the internet has another voice'
'should 75% of search results really come from one company'
'know whats really out there'
'should one company really control the web's information'
'who's controlling your information'


No, but I wonder why Ask hasn't paired up its name with "Receive".

>>underground Ads

They need to be ubiquitous. Have to erase the image of the Crayola Google logo and replace it with something dreary and ominous.

One, two, Google's coming for you.
Three, four, fix your 404s.
Five, six, no cloaking tricks.
Seven, eight, don't reciprocate
Nine, ten, watch for Page and Brin... ; )

Pink Floyd/eminem

Pink Floyd/eminem

we don't need no modeled info
we don't need no thought control
leave them kids alone!

Good checklists - two browsers for toolbar issue

Thanks for the checklists grasshopper and Terry.

lots0 is on to it. Don't monetise with adsense (in 90% of cases).

There are so much more profitable ways to do it.

Time to pull analytics off my sites.

Anybody have any idea if there is a Google boost for using Analystics or a penalty for opting out after the fact?

BTW, I have one browser with the toolbar (although the slightly less chatty Firefox SearchStatus extension) and one without. Most of the time I browse on the no-PR version.

> if there is a Google boost for using Analytics

"boosts" and "penalties" are not, IMO, the correct lenses to view google's business through in this case. if they automatically gave sites some sort of +[X] score for using one of their products, they'd be devaluing the investment they've made in their algo.

likewise, if someone stops using one of google's products, it's not in their best interest to automatically penalize them (think of a large, adsense-carrying, money-making site moving to an enterprise-grade analytics provider). why penalize a big hitter that can continue making them money?


I agree with grasshopper on this. It would be counter productive for google to take any action at all for sites signing up or for quiting any of their 'free' programs.

Besides, I have checked this out myself, a few months ago and we detected no real change in indexing or rankings for either signing up or for quiting google analytics. We used four different sites, two signed up and two quit. A very small data sample, but I feel its still valid.

thanks lotso and grasshopper

for sharing your experience.

I think I will drop the analytics. I'm planning to go all first party soon (no third party scripts or cookies) with the possible exception of occasional use of heatmaps (not ongoing).

Top reasons:

The third party stuff can slow page loads.

Second. there are so many third party cookie and script blockers and alerts these days that a site that doesn't set off any warning bells will probably be well received in the high trust areas where I work.

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