Social Media, SEO
& Your Business

by Mitch Mitchell




Using Your Website
As A Marketing Tool

by Mitch Mitchell


Pages




Follow Me On Twitter;
Click The Bird!



Add me on Google Plus!


Embrace The Lead
by T. T. Mitchell




mailwasher


Free Download; right-click on book



Leadership Is/Isn't Easy
by T. T. Mitchell


«
»


Ken’s Googlebomb Post – My Head Hurts

Posted by on Sep 9, 2011

Last Sunday I got myself hooked into reading a blog post by Ken Evoy of Site Build It that was titled Proof That Google Has No True Googlebomb Algorithm. I have to say that I knew nothing about Ken Evoy other than being the top guy there, and I didn’t even know he had a blog until this post. After reading the post… my head hurt.

I have kept the post for a while now because I wanted to read it again. The first time I read it I actually knew overall what he was talking about. But it’s quite a long post, so much so that I’m going to tell most of you that if you’re not into technology and a lot of that kind of talk don’t even bother checking it out. I’m going to touch on some of this though, because it’s interesting stuff.

What the Site Build It folks were able to do was prove that the Google system could be gamed. They have all sorts of documentation from someone who made it their goal of showing just how they could fool Google and get to the top of the rankings right under Google’s nose, even telling people what was coming. Site Build It tried to tell Google what was happening and, instead of addressing it, pretty much ignored it.

I say “pretty much ignored” because there were a series of form letters Google sent to Ken, and apparently Ken didn’t like that. At one point Google seemed to tell them they were going to do something really positive, but then didn’t do a thing.

Let me step back for a quick moment, if I may. A “googlebomb” is usually where a bunch of people get together and create a ton of links to something to skew search results so they’ll take you to a specific page for a search term, whether they’ve earned it or not. The most famous google bomb (you can write it as either one or two words) was when you’d put in “miserable failure” and George Bush’s name came up; so wrong! lol

Another google bomb was perpetrated by John Chow when he was able to get something like 85,000 people to keep linking to his name to drive him up to the top in Google’s search engines and in page rank. At least at that time Google hated it so much they delisted his site (that’s bad), but for whatever reason it didn’t end up reducing his visitors, and he still made a ton of cash online. He’s now back on Google after a 3-year absence with a page rank and listing after they kissed and made up (pays to have a direct connection to Matt Cutts; but I digress…).

Anyway, what it’s all boiling down to is, in his own way, Ken is going for his own google bomb, though he wouldn’t call it that. He’s trying to rally the troops, who would be us, to support his cause by going to this link and joining him in kind of a protest. He’s also declared that he won’t write another thing on his blog until Google fixes this algorithm.

I have some takes on this; otherwise, why would I have written this much?

One, Ken has a pony in this race which slightly colors his anger here. Seems there were some folks who google bombed his company with negative reviews, not because they didn’t like him or the company but because they wanted to prove they could do it. That doesn’t sit well with him.

Two, I can’t understand how not writing any posts on his blog will help push his cause. To me, if I had a gripe about something I’d want to write almost every day about it, or at least often. Who does him not writing on his blog anymore help? Google won’t care, people reading his blog that agree or disagree with him won’t go back because they’ll have no idea how long his boycott is, and thus his message will get lost.

Three, I’m not sure all that many people will get enthused enough to join a movement to get Google to take care of this problem of google bombs. I mean, Google did take away the page rank from this blog for a little while, but my posts were still showing up on Google, sometimes in the top spot for certain terms (you want to see something neat?

I could say more, but I think that’s enough for the moment. I guess I’ll just put the question out there and ask who’s angry enough at Google to even think about joining a movement against them? Actually, I hope you go check out what he wrote, but be warned, it’s almost 5,800 words. Good thing I speed read! πŸ˜‰
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell
Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn1Tweet about this on Twitter10Share on Facebook0

Tags: , , , ,

42 Comments »

Mitch, I’m not that angry with Google! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing this in short, means I don’t have to go read all that to know, as you summed it up already.

PS Wanted to make sure you saw your blog on my new CommentLuv enabled blog list!

September 9th, 2011 | 1:00 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Ana; always great being on a good list.

September 9th, 2011 | 4:13 PM
danika:

I would join this just out the annoyance of them closing my adsense account for no reason! Definitly, I hold a grudge

September 9th, 2011 | 4:48 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

I understand that Danika, but in a sense you’re already protesting them. But if you want to do more you can go to that article and click on the link that allows you to officially join the protest.

September 10th, 2011 | 12:07 AM

Interesting thoughts Mitch and well worded. I’m with you on the point of what good it is to stop blogging. It reminds me of all the “last” blog posts out there that read all dramatic like: “I must tell you this is my last post, I’m fighting with the wife every day etc.” Why not just stop! People that declare they are fasting, really aren’t fasting. In this case he isn’t claiming to fast but the principle is the same.

September 9th, 2011 | 10:11 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Damien, it’s that kind of convoluted thinking that sometimes confuses me. Protest, got it. Fuss, got it. Say you’re quitting something that will ultimately hurt your cause… makes no sense. I understand his frustration also; the post, though long, was a great rant. Well, okay, a good rant; it still hurt my head. lol

September 10th, 2011 | 12:30 AM

Okay, I just learned something! GoogleBomb, hmmmm. I knew about John Chow but he was still so successful when Google delisted him, it actually helped him. There was a guy that Google brought to the A-list when he’s not that much of a blogger.

September 9th, 2011 | 11:38 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Yeah Barry, some people know how to game the system, but it’s really not worth it. For instance, in this post by Ken, two guys were caught & delisted, but the other site wasn’t touched, which doesn’t make sense. It takes a lot of effort & bodies for a true bomb, though; I don’t have the time nor inclination.

September 10th, 2011 | 12:32 AM

Hey Mitch,
Yeah, that is crazy man. I recall doing Google searches for various topics and the first site that I get has an Alexa ranking in the millions and the post was written at least five years ago.

There has to be some way of fixing the way the Google algorithm works.

September 9th, 2011 | 11:43 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

I’d think so Justin, especially since they seem to find ways to ban some of us regular people from doing stuff that makes no sense. Ken kind of has a point, but the way he’s closing his deal makes no sense.

September 10th, 2011 | 12:34 AM

Mitch, he thinks he’s going to stop writing and Google is going to care? Nope, I can’t see that happening at all.

That’s a pretty good ranking with the GASP term, and you weren’t even trying huh? πŸ˜€

That’s the same as “best wordpress commenting system” where I come up #3 πŸ˜‰ Too bad I can’t rank as well for those terms I’m trying to rank for.

September 10th, 2011 | 10:43 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Sire, sometimes you’re just so confused over these things. With all the people that write about GASP, how did I end up at the top spot? Will wonders ever cease? πŸ™‚

September 10th, 2011 | 10:47 AM

Man, it doesn’t matter how you got there, it’s just good being on top for a change πŸ˜‰

September 10th, 2011 | 11:06 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Yes, I’ll take what I can get.

September 10th, 2011 | 11:22 AM
Carl:

13 years in SEO, 12 years as a professional, the first year Google even didn’t existed. I am not 100% sure, but SiteSell affiliate program and all its branches were there. Nothing have changes, they always relay on HYPE and misleading articles, good theory which rarely works in practice, most case studies very well calculated human psychology. For those 12 years Google screwed up algorithms many time, there was a period when Matt Cutts was writing another hype post on his blog to tell something amazing, if it sounds too good, this definitely mean that there is an error in algorithms. 2011 changed everything, Google started talking! And many things are clear for bigger part of the market.

John Chow, well I will tell you why he disappeared, SPAM! He still shows his reports for one particular months telling wow $40k blogging, well it will be good if he show how much he made last month. Algorithms doesn’t stay still for more than a week, competitors doesn’t wait. I am not defending Google, but try to search for anything on Yahoo or Bing, I doubt that in top 10 results you will find more than 4 which are even close to the topic that you looking for.

September 10th, 2011 | 9:45 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Wow Carl, I think that’s the most I’ve ever seen you write about anything! lol There are a lot of questions about Google algorithms, especially earlier this year after the Panda updates. And we can complain about it and write about it to our hearts content. And it’s great that Ken Evoy has lots of proof and has even shared it with them. But one doesn’t start a crusade and then say “I’m leaving until it’s fixed” if it’s one’s own home. That’s like you announcing at home “until the office fires my manager I’m not eating”, but no one at the office knows that.

September 11th, 2011 | 9:55 AM

Trust me your blog is not affected by Panda update at all, nor from v1, v2 and v2.4. Things about SERP are moving into good direction, well it is normal to have errors in algorithms which usually get fixed in a couple of days. One thing about SEO, Google and algorithms – there is no prove and it have never existed, it is all based on personal experience and knowledge. There are many branches of how one website develops, how one website function, how online marketing campaign is handled. One more thing, because huge part of the topic is related to blogging. Why blogs became so popular? This is another Google mistake, does any blogger blame Google for this?

September 12th, 2011 | 4:34 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Carl, something had to happen to this blog. There I was, on the brink of an Alexa ranking of 80,000, then I jumped all the way up to 120,000 in a couple of weeks. And it was at the same time that Panda update came out; things added up for me.

September 12th, 2011 | 8:54 AM

Alexa is nothing to do with Google, calculation there are based on much different things. Rankings can easily jump if traffic is coming from referrals for example social bookmarks!

I hope many people are reading this, but next week I will bust one myth regarding duplicate content, Google rankings and Panda update. I will show a website, which is 100% based on duplicate content, I will publish snapshots from Google analytics, reference to copyscape and if anybody does not believe, I will invite them to share actually GA stats – 84% of traffic is coming from Google!

September 13th, 2011 | 4:27 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Carl, indirectly Google and Alexa do have a relationship. See, Alexa measures traffic; maybe not to the perfection some wish for but it does regardless. When the Panda update went through my traffic numbers dropped drastically, along with my Alexa ranking. I was looking at my Analytics and I knew I’d been hit, since at least half my traffic comes from Google. So yes, I know I was affected negatively by it all.

September 13th, 2011 | 11:01 AM

Yesterday I tried out a couple of the latest startup search engines, Blekko and DuckDuckGo.

Blekko is a true geek search engine, with grep-like slashtags that allow you to do advanced filtration of results. Also, they have human spam police that have banned 70 million URL’s so far. However, I’m a bit prejudiced against them because none of my sites are listed in the Blekko results, and they don’t allow you to submit your site manually to the index; you have to wait for it to be found.

DuckDuckGo is a much friendlier, everyman search engine with an emphasis on privacy – they don’t report your search term in the HTTP Referrer, or track you in any way apart from what’s absolutely necessary. And, they’ve got my sites listed (though not as highly ranked as they are on Google).

If Ken really wants to stick it to Google, I agree with Mitch that he should resume writing – and his first post should be about switching to DuckDuckGo…

September 16th, 2011 | 4:37 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Jason, I had to go look at both of those search engines, and I must be the lucky one because my main search terms on both of those rank me higher than Google does; I like them! lol The thing is, there are tons of search engines out there but Google is the big dog. I love that my sites rank higher on other search engines, but I’d best be hoping to rank relatively high on Google first.

And it’s funny because I remember the days before there was a Google, when I was using AltaVista while everyone else was using Yahoo and I felt like such a rebel; I wonder if I’ve sold out.

September 16th, 2011 | 10:16 PM
John Dilbeck:

Hi Mitch,

I’ve been following this particular Googlebomb fiasco since it started several years ago, so I know the backstory and watched it in action. And, it still makes my head hurt.

I can’t speak for Ken, but he says the reason he has stopped writing on that blog is so this article and the three preceding Googlebomb posts will stay at the top of the site, instead of scrolling off, out of sight.

That makes sense to me.

I don’t fully support this protest, because I think Google will do whatever is best for Google, and Sitesell — even with 40,000+ customers — is small potatoes, in comparison.

I do agree with Ken that Google should abide by their own rules. They’ll drop us without a second thought when they think we’ve violated their terms and guidelines, but they won’t abide by their own.

Ken is a great fan of Google and what it provides for people who search using their system, he’s arguing that the results should not be so easily manipulated.

I’m pretty sure that Ken is fighting a losing battle here and I just don’t think he’ll be able to rally enough support for Google to care or change anything.

I do think he has provided a good service by clearly documenting how Google does not always do what they say they do.

I think we take these things more seriously when our “friends” don’t live up to their own standards to which they hold everyone else. I think that’s what really has put the burr under his saddle, but, again, that’s just my opinion. I can’t speak for him.

(By the way, I unchecked the CommentLuv box before submitting my comment, because I just disabled it on my blog. I just wrote a post about why I did it, and I thought it would be hypocritical on my part to make use of something on your blog that I disabled on mine.)

Act on your dream!

JD

September 11th, 2011 | 3:00 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

John, I agree with Ken on that one as well. You know that Google banned Adsense from this blog because of only one of my posts. Yet they allow advertising from people who pay for that sort of thing to show up on other people’s websites, and my post was harmless.

And even if his idea is to allow his last 3 posts to sit in the top spot, it’s a stupid move. He could just permanently pin those posts to the main page and continue writing. It’s convoluted thought and, in a weird way, kind of a conceit to think he has the kind of following and power to get Google to acquiesce to his wishes. I think he could work on creating a movement in a much more effective way. However, it’s a great statement to make if he really wants to just take a break for a while. Heck, maybe I need to find something to fuss about. lol

September 11th, 2011 | 4:12 PM

Hi all,

Actually, there’s a 2-step goal here. Since Google actually responds to public pressure, we’re hoping to build enough of a presence that a CNN or NYT journalist finds my Googlebomb post the next time a “sexy” bomb makes the front pages (like the Vitaly Borker story).

The 10-year history that precedes the personal experience is excellent resource material. And our own “bombed” experience is simply the best documentation of any bomb.

The documentation is exhaustive (and exhausting! πŸ˜‰ ).

Then the author admits it… twice (she recently re-confirmed).

At some point in time, when the next bomb goes public, journalists will dig deep. They have been LIED TO all these years. And, as we all know…

It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature… or Google.

The thread grows steadily. When it gets prominent enough (and it’s not going away, not with a steady stream of traffic from a variety of steady traffic sources), it will reach a tipping point and be found.

Even Google has a pain point. “Google” is not some monolithic, impersonal giant. No company is. People “live” there. And they make decisions. When they get sick and tired or embarrassed enough, or if a journalist finally tweaks to this…

Things will change.

David and Goliath? Yes.

But I’m not cynical enough to say we don’t have a chance.

I’d love your support.

All the best,
Ken Evoy
Founder, SiteSell.com

September 11th, 2011 | 7:54 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Hi Ken,

Thanks for stopping by; honored by your presence. I think what you see is that there are a number of people who agree with part of what you’re doing and may disagree with part of how you’re handling it. For me, I’ve never seen Google ever respond to pressure on anything in a positive manner. What I’ve seen them do is shut them down and de-list them in some manner when they don’t like the criticism.

Now, overall I’m not scared of Google, but I don’t go out of my way to antagonize them either. I’d like a little consistency from them, and I’d certainly like them to be more consumer and customer service friendly. I understand they gets tens of thousands of requests a day for information; well, they asked for that in my opinion so they should figure out a better way to deal with it.

I don’t like the concept of Googlebombs. As you saw in my post, I also hate the concept of calling something a scam when the writer knows it’s not. However, I still think you’d exert more pressure by continuing your writing about this and popping that link in that you want people to go to as often as possible. If you stop writing, you lose any momentum you might gain; that’s never good, especially when it comes to blogging.

Thanks for stopping by and adding your voice to this discussion. I appreciate that and the chance to see how you’re thinking process is working. Time will see how visible your support ends up being; good luck on the crusade.

September 11th, 2011 | 8:19 PM

Thanks very much, Mitch.

A quick note, there’s a typo in my post above. It should have read…

“It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature… or journalists.”

Sooner or later, my 3 posts outlining the 10-year track record of disinformation and my final post will (hopefully) put an investigative journalist on the hunt. If and when that happens, Google will be compelled to write a real Googlebomb algorithm… one that does more than manually dig them out of the latest public embarrassment.

This is a real problem…

Commercially-motivated bombs are growing. Black hats hire themselves out for both corporate profit and political gain. There has been a political one (Rick Santorum) that didn’t gain much traction, but expect to see more leading up to the elections. In other words…

What used to be perceived as a “prank” is now business.

Google has a strong algorithm, but like all algorithms, it’s exploitable for keywords with relatively low supply (competition). This simple set of requirements would locate them…

http://blog.sitesell.com/sitesell/2011/06/the-history-of-the-googlebomb-and-googles-reponse-to-it-part-1-of-3.html#5MINUTES

Once you find them, defusing is simple. It’s just not high enough on Google’s priority list to bother. I’d have nothing to write about if Google just came clean and admitted that.

The 10-year history and the “grand finale,” our own 2.5 year history, puts the lie to Google’s claim to having an algorithm, except for one that the claim to run infrequently run (which seems to be run when Google has a public mess on its hands and which only catches the one bomb that is embarrassing it — even Danny Sullivan has called them on that).

I realize that our campaign it not going to convince Google tomorrow. They don’t anything because it’s right (not anymore) and we’re way too small to bother with, directly.

But creating a well-documented resource for journalists to quote (hopefully contact us about the next time a bomb embarrasses them on CNN… and another bomb WILL make the news… well, that’s our best hope).

We’ve left it as THE last post on the blog to keep it as high profile as possible. We reach our customers through our forums and everyone else through our FB page. Leaving the bomb post as “the last post” is a calculated risk, I realize.

Time will tell. Thanks very much for giving it even coverage. πŸ™‚

All the best,
Ken

September 11th, 2011 | 9:50 PM

“Seems there were some folks who google bombed his company with negative reviews, not because they didn’t like him or the company but because they wanted to prove they could do it.” It’s hard to believe there are people mean enough to do something like that just to prove a point. Surely they could have picked something harmless? Didn’t it ever occur to them that they could be destroying somebody’s livelihood?

In any case, this was quite an interesting post. I think I had heard of the “googlebomb” concept in connection with the 2008 presidential race, but I couldn’t have told you exactly what it was. Personally, I think people should cut Google some slack when it comes to things like this. Site owners build 1,000 links to their site, and then complain when they don’t get to #1. Some crowd of google-bombers builds 10,000 links to their site, they get to #1 for something they don’t want, and they (understandably) complain about that, too.

Google crawls millions of sites every single day. Their algorithm has to be the ultimate one-size-fits-all, which is essentially impossible to do. The only thing that will ever provide consistent results for humans is human ranking, or a computer that has “learned” enough human knowledge to think like one. This is almost certainly a long way off, if it ever comes at all. For now, this is the system we’ve got, so we have to work within it.

September 16th, 2011 | 10:57 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Zach, when people decide to be malicious, they don’t care who they hurt or how they hurt them.

As for Google, I think Ken’s point overall is that there are people who do know how to game the system that Google has stated can’t be beaten. Things like what happened with President Bush were supposed to have been fixed and altered, and at least as it regards Ken’s site it didn’t happen. If you had the money, time and the chutzpah you could do it to almost anyone, fair or not. I guess Google, like other entities, wouldn’t want to come out and tell everyone “sorry, we told you we fixed something but found out we can’t control it”, but they said they’d fixed it, so that part is on them.

September 16th, 2011 | 11:11 AM

In a nutshell, that’s exactly the point, Mitch. They said it was fixed and it’s not.

If Google simply admitted there was no such algorithm, I’d have nothing to say. But they mislead the press with their fictitious algorithm which, they say, is “infrequently” run.

That “infrequent” occasion, by the most amazing of coincidences, happens when the media jumps all over a Googlebomb that they find sexy (most are not).

For example, the tragic victims of Vitaly Borker. THAT type of coverage is a threat to Google.

Suddenly, the “infrequent” algorithm is run, the embarrassing Googlebomb is “fixed,” and the media goes away. Here’s the part that is hard to figure out…

It’s not hard (by Google programming standards) to write a REAL algorithm to pick this kind of thing up. Here are the basic specs I came up with in 5 minutes…

http://blog.sitesell.com/sitesell/2011/06/the-history-of-the-googlebomb-and-googles-reponse-to-it-part-1-of-3.html#5MINUTES

It’s simpler than Panda, that’s for sure.

So why don’t they do it?

Priorities. Even if there are thousands of Googlebombs, if only a few make the media per year, they have higher priorities. (I don’t usually speculate, but this seems like the most likely explanation.)

If that’s the case, they should not give the impression that it’s fixed. Bing (and Yahoo! when it was not owned by Bing) are just as vulnerable. But they never denied it was a problem and they’ve never misled the press and public about its status.

Naturally, we’re not going to change Google’s mind, not by ourself.

We’re hoping that the 4 blog posts (which make up the definitive resource on the Googlebomb) get the attention of journalists the next time a Googlebomb hits the media.

And 5 weeks ago, Google announced a new, improved form for reporting webspam…

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/08/new-improved-form-for-reporting-webspam.html

They closed that post by saying…

“At Google, we strive to provide the highest quality, most relevant search results, so we take your webspam reports very seriously.”

Well, the author and beneficiary of the “Site build it scam” Googlebomb has clearly admitted it. You can’t beat a confession when it comes to proof (I learned that watching “Law & Order” πŸ˜‰ ).

That trumps our own extensive documentation (including archives of evidence since removed) that proves it, too.

And, as you can see from the comments in my post, MANY people have reported this Googlebomb using their new form.

So how “seriously” does Google take webspam? No one has received so much as a reply.

We, by the way, have written to Google to inform them of this post and to request their reply for official publication.

No answer.

All the best,
Ken

September 16th, 2011 | 2:58 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Glad I got it right Ken. lol I tend to think their customer service issues disappear the more money someone puts into it, such as their big advertisers and the like. So, I’d expect them to be gotten to first before any of us. That’s too bad, but it’s a capitalist society to the end.

September 16th, 2011 | 3:32 PM

You know what would be awesome? If Mr. Evoy spent more time running his business and less time running around the web, commenting (at length) about this issue. Do Googlebombs exist? Sure. Fine. You’re proved it. The best thing you can do now is to concentrate on getting positive reviews of your business online. Make your customers happy. If there are 100 positive reviews for every bad one, well, you’re doing just fine.

Interestingly, what Ken has managed to do is draw more and more attention to Ms. Sowerbutts’s post. The more attention he draws there, the more Google believes it’s a legit post.

To be honest, it sounds like Ken doesn’t like the content of the post, and doesn’t want people to read it. Whatever the case, he’s made himself look maniacal with the number and length of comments he’s made regarding the topic — not someone I’d want to give my money to.

September 16th, 2011 | 4:25 PM

Dan,

My main focus, in fact, is not on “running the business.” SBI! owners seem quite happy with the way the company is run by CEO Daniel Kornitzer and other senior managers.

My main role is designing the next generation of tools and updating the current ones to keep SBI! owners ahead. It’s about getting “process and tools” right. And we do tend to get it right. Since you asked for happy customers, here you go…

http://proof.sitesell.com

We’re well over the 100:1 ratio you note, excluding the thousands of Googlebomb non-reviews that were literally “made on demand” to create the bomb.

Dan, I’m not worried about drawing more attention to the post in question. If I was, I’d not have written about something I feel strongly about, Google’s systematic misleading about the Googlebomb. Our experience is essential to that post, that’s all.

I don’t believe that my roles at SiteSell preclude me from writing about things I feel strongly about, Dan, even if it is not the most leveraged use of my time. I will continue to write about issues that strike me in the future, as I have in the past. For example…

My last series of posts like this (both in the forums and in the blog) was about what we called “pap” (regurgitated content) which later came to be called Content Farms. Long before that, though, we were telling SBI! owners and readers of the blog, and yes “maniacally” if you like (one man’s “passion” is another’s “maniacal”) to stay away from hubpages and the wide variety of similar sites as SEO vehicles, even though many gurus were strongly touting them (including Sowerbutts). I criticized Google for allowing Content Farms to grab a disproportionate share of search results. And I advised readers on the correct course of action.

Panda came along later, of course. That, of course, had nothing to do with me. Many others had made this a very loud issue over the years. SBI! owners, though, were well prepared, so our overall traffic jumped more than it ever has in any comparable period post-Panda.

So, Dan, I’ll write about what I care to write, as well as perform my functions at SiteSell.com. If you choose to believe it’s about the post itself, I can’t help that. All I can say about the post itself is that we’ve been there, done that debate and it is what it is.

But the goal here is raise the profile of “the Googlebomb is NOT fixed” and hope that someone with more clout than us starts asking the hard questions…

If journalists do spot my Googlebomb posts while researching a future Googlebomb embarrassment (the type that the mass media love to cover), and if they should happen to understand how they’ve been manipulated by Google, and if they choose to start asking HARD questions the next time Google pretends to have “fixed the Googlebomb”…

Well, maybe, just maybe, Google WILL be put into a mass-media corner that forces them to REALLY fix the bomb.

If and when they do release a definitive fix, THIS particular bomb would disappear too. That won’t make me sad, if you’re wondering. And let me answer you before you say it…

“No, I won’t hold my breath.” πŸ˜‰

But I’ve had my say. It’s out there for others to do with as they may.

All the best,
Ken

P.S. As for my lengthy posts… I tend to be complete. I’ve made close to 8000 posts in the SBI! Forums, many of them lengthy. I like to cover all the bases. SBIers seem to find value in them.

September 16th, 2011 | 5:58 PM
Dan:

Ken,
You’re obviously welcome to write anything you like. Even if it’s bad for your business. Frankly, I heard about the issue by investigating your service for a client. I wasn’t turned off by Ms. Sowerbutts’ post; I was turned off by reading your countless, rambling rants on the subject — many of which read like lunatic conspiracy theories.

Your problem isn’t Google, Ken. It’s you.

Now…commence with your long-winded nonsense. Perhaps I can quote it in a blog post, which I will title “How to ruin your business by not knowing when to stop posting long-winded comments.”

September 16th, 2011 | 8:03 PM

Dan,

No, there’s no need for me to “commence with my long-winded nonsense,” not after that last post. We’re not conversing. I’m just defending myself against unfounded insults that ignore the facts.

For example, “lunatic conspiracy theories” do not feature confessions by the principles.

Regarding your planned article that you will entitle “How to ruin your business by not knowing when to stop posting long-winded comments”…

A suggestion… try to rise above the conjecture that caused you to deny your client SBI!. That is a disservice, considering the track record of sites that you choose to showcase in your portfolio at codemunkeys.com (ex., kathysfitstop.com, expressionsofgratitude.com, tbwsolutions.net, journeyline.biz).

Readers can compare track records with SBI! sites (ex., results.sitesell.com) at Compete.com, Alexa.com, Ranking.com, SEMrush.com, and Doubleclick Ad Planner). SBIers do it themselves, without paying pros, even though they often start with near-zero knowledge.

Many readers actually do follow the logic and documentation of my posts and replies, so the business is far from ruined. And this is hard to fathom…

“Your problem isn’t Google, Ken. It’s you.”

Most SBI! owners seem to be happy with what they accomplish with SBI!. And I’m as passionate about eradicating the Googlebomb as I was about eliminating “pap.”

If that makes me “the problem” in your mind, Dan, instead of someone who pushes for solutions, well, I can’t help that. I’ll let our track record speak for itself.

I’ll leave you with the last word now, Dan. I know you need that. And I really do need to move on, so I won’t be back to rebut whatever comes next. I enjoy a good debate, but this is neither good nor a debate.

-Ken Evoy

September 17th, 2011 | 11:43 AM

P.S. Sorry, that’s about as short as it gets. πŸ˜‰

-Ken

September 17th, 2011 | 11:45 AM
Dan:

Actually, you did commence with a long-winded rant — again proving my point. As for my clientele, and the comments you’ve made, well…further reason why folks shouldn’t use your service: Your lack of understanding of how the Internet works.

None of the sites you mentioned needs to be ranked highly in Alexa. They are all geared toward highly specialized audiences — not the general public. If I concentrated on Alexa rank for a small health club in a little village, I’d be doing my client a disservice, because most of that traffic would be worthless.

I apologize for the long response, but this is a subject you clearly don’t understand. You also seem to have trouble with reading comprehension, since nowhere in my literature do I claim to offer SEO.

Any time you want to compare the track records of our clients, Ken, I’m happy to oblige. I’m certain the combined total revenue of my clients far exceeds that of yours. All without me ripping them off.

You are right, though: This is not a debate. To make it such, you’d have to be capable of matching wits. You are not.

September 17th, 2011 | 12:21 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

And that’s the end of that… I assume.

I decided to let you guys kind of go at it, and now it seems to have reached its conclusion. I now want to give my brief take on the matter.

If I’d felt that I’d been wronged as Ken had I’d go after whoever allowed it wholeheartedly; I don’t take that kind of thing well. So I applaud Ken for sticking to his guns… at least on that point.

From where I sit, going after Google might not be the best course of action, not specifically because it’s Google but because I’m not sure they’re the real target. If it were me I’d go after the guys who admitted that they set you up. I’d haul them into court and sue them for defamation because they owned up that they lied just to mess with Google. I’d not only sue them but I’d bring down the full weight of my backing and castigate them until they were absolutely nothing online anymore; that is, if I had the power to do so. I hate people who decide to ruin someone else’s lives in some fashion without a reason except “because they could.” In a weird way, that could have been any of us; nope, don’t like that.

Still, everyone gets to make their decisions, right or wrong, and I’m impressed by the passion both of you showed here. I’m also glad it’s ended before one of you called out the other’s mother. lol

September 17th, 2011 | 12:50 PM

Ha ha Mitch! πŸ™‚

Thanks very much for your constructive criticism, as well as your support and your ideas. We’ve looked at litigation and while there’s no doubt we’d win, there’s little point when you consider how complex it would be to get a decision that would make Google drop a page in each and every country. Also, Google may choose to act in concert in the defense should they fear this case becoming too public.

The distraction of all this would be onerous, compared to the action we are taking… use the Web.

As for Dan, it’s hard to answer when a party keeps making the type of statements he does, including his most recent post…

Don may have clients with “highly specialized businesses.” So what? So do we, including some spot-on comparisons. They all get far more traffic than his customers’ sites. I was gentle in my previous post about his sites’ traffic. Given his statements, though…

His sites are largely UNKNOWN or NO DATA at traffic metric sites like Alexa AND Compete AND Google Trends AND Doubleclick AND others). SEMrush shows dismal keyword performance. Taking ALL of these sites together (not just Alexa, as Dan seems to focus upon in his post — the composite picture is more revealing)…

The corroboration across all these sites means staggeringly LITTLE traffic. Dan’s clients BETTER be making a TON of money per transaction, because they get very little traffic.

As for his insult and “how little I understand,” I do understand that, APPLES to APPLES, his sites get very little traffic when put beside comparable SBI! sites (created for $299 per year, TOTAL).

Dan then switches to offering the excuse of not offering SEO, but that means that his clients, after spending MUCH MORE than the price of SBI! just to put up a site that gets little or no traffic, those clients then have to spend yet more money to build traffic (ex., SEO, ads, etc).

Meanwhile, SEO is built into SBI!. I’m not sure how that means I have “trouble with reading comprehension.” The whole point of SBI! is that it’s all-in-one, a very threatening proposition to someone in Dan’s line of work. Why?

Building a site is not the goal. Building a site with traffic that generates new customers, that in turn builds long-term income IS the goal. Traffic is obviously part of that process.

The fact is that, even with SEO or whatever other service Don sends them to… they still are not getting traffic.

I won’t descend to trading pointless insults, as Dan has done repeatedly, Mitch. That merely shows that his emotions are out of control. When insults are quashed by facts and data, it’s hard to reply except with insults and vagaries.

Thanks again, Mitch, for your even hand. I know you don’t agree with it all, but you understand the big points, make reasoned arguments where you don’t agree, add some good ideas, and handle yourself with class.

It’s a pleasure communicating with you. Now, forgive me. I really have to leave. I trust that folks will see through Dan’s future comments. He has found and established his level here.

All the best,
Ken

P.S. Yup, I know this was a long post, too. It’s easy to make short posts with insults and a couple of answers that do not address the actual points with any real discipline.

The only one of Dan’s points that we’ll agree upon, it seems is this one of Dan’s…

“Do Googlebombs exist? Sure. Fine. You’re proved it.”

AND we’ve proved that Google misleads the public and journalists about their existence.

Hopefully, we’ll attract some media attention at some point down the road that will push Google into living up to its claims.

And THAT takes us full circle.

September 17th, 2011 | 2:04 PM

No, Ken. You aren’t done. You can’t be done. Because you have no idea HOW to be done.

Here’s what you don’t seem to understand about SEO: It means absolutely nothing to a health club owner in a small town to get four million visits per month from people in Russia. They can’t get gym memberships from her. That traffic means nothing. Do you think the president of Verizon goes to Google to look for a cable installer? No. But my client installs cable all across the country for Verizon, Comcast, Cox and more.

Those clients don’t need to put up schlock websites covered with comic sans (nice touch on your homepage, Ken) to generate fake traffic. They have real businesses and real clients and real relationships. What spot-on comparisons do you have, Ken? Which cable installer do you work with? Which security system manufacturer? Which network monitoring software developer?

Couple quick points:
You have no lawsuit against anyone. What would you sue for? Defamation? Libel? You’d have to proof that your business was materially injured by intentionally erroneous information. That is not the case. Your business isn’t ruined and the writer stands by her work. You know you don’t have a case. if you did, you would have brought one.

I’m not emotional over any of this, Ken. I find the “discussion” interesting, only because you clearly have a single-minded obsession, and seem to have nothing better to do that blat about it. I was trying to give you some healthy advice. Instead, you decided to be insulting, to dig around into my business (of which you know nothing) and spout off at length — all proving your lack of business fundamentals.

So…you’ve said twice you’re done responding. I’m certain you can’t help yourself.

Mitch, I apologize sincerely. You deserve better than such ill-mannered commentary. Lunch is on me, my friend.

September 17th, 2011 | 2:46 PM
Joe Anderson:

I think that people who complain about google like this have a misguided view of the internet and google’s place therein. To many, google seems like a “built-in” function of the internet; it’s what you’re paying for, right? These people need to realize that google is a company offering us a free service and they don’t owe us anythin.

November 20th, 2011 | 11:48 PM

Joe, even free services owe us something if they decide they stand for something. If you follow the rules of a free service along with everyone else and they decide to punish you for it and no one else, that’s not quite fair. Now, how one judges fairness is another thing, which is why I didn’t take sides on this particular issue, just pointed out the controversy.

November 21st, 2011 | 11:26 AM