Why Rap Genius and other sites who build quality links should not get penalized by Google for SEO

Of course, Google is at it again playing God with recent start-up and awesome annotated-lyrics music website Rap Genius. If you haven’t already heard, people began questioning Rap Genius’ offer to use Facebook and Twitter to promote blogs in exchange for placing hyperlinks at the bottom of blog posts to boost their Google SEO rankings for certain Justin Bieber song titles with the keyword “lyrics” at the end. (An example of how this would work for the song “Baby” is to get a link “Justin Bieber Baby lyrics” to compete for that exact match phrase)

When Google learned of this behavior, their web-spam team led by Matt Cutts took serious action on Christmas day. (I know, Merry Christmas to you too, don’t you have family or something better to do during the holidays?) Overnight, Google stripped two-thirds of Rap Genius’ traffic from 1.5 million to a half a million visits per day. Google demoted Rap Genius’ rankings for song titles with keyword “lyrics” after it, but the part that I find to be awful is that when you search Google for “Rap Genius” or even “rapgenius”, RapGenius.com is no longer the first result. (Or the front page even)

Let’s reverse the tables for a moment. Pretend Rap Genius was the search engine and Google was the lyrics site. I would assume that Sergey Brin and Larry Page’s perspective would change very quickly if they were all of a sudden nowhere to be found in “Rap Genius the search engine” when people were looking for “Google” or even “Justin Bieber lyrics”, etc. Quite frankly, history suggests that it’s not up to Google to decide who to show for a trademark search. Google’s BS stance that allowing other sites to bid on trademarked phrases only goes so far.

What about organic search? What makes Rap Genius all of a sudden no longer Rap Genius when people are looking for Rap Genius in Google? NOTHING. Rap Genius is still Rap Genius and Google can’t change that. So why should Google be allowed to profit off of the phrase “Rap Genius” as it gets searched in Google? They shouldn’t. It’s pretty insane to think that when you search for a company whose trademark does not belong to Google, the founders of Google and their Board of Directors have decided that USERS SHOULD NOT FIND THE BEST RESULTS.

Barack Obama, please wake up on this. What if Google all-of-a-sudden decided they were anti-Barack? How would you feel if your website was NOWHERE TO BE FOUND when people typed in Barack Obama? Don’t be afraid of Google. Please realize that it is your responsibility to rise to the occasion. It’s very clear that the Obama administration used link-building and search engine optimization heavily not just to elect the President but also throughout his presidency.  Look, I’m not saying that Google should stop their “fight” against web spam. But Rap Genius, c’mon?

Why is it that companies like Expedia and CheapoAir are allowed to pay bloggers to create content and seed text link ads in their articles for SEO, but Rap Genius can’t tweet out a blogger’s site after they’ve linked to a Justin Bieber lyrics page? Rap Genius is not the only victim here. They’re just one of the few companies worth millions of dollars to get fucked over by Google. And the worst part? This was not a natural algorithmic SEO penalty. Think about it, Matt Cutts makes a comment on how he’s going to look into Rap Genius link building practices and then all of a sudden they’re gone.

What ever happened to Google’s Sergey Brin saying that Google was made to show the best search results at the top. How in the heck is Rap Genius not the best result for searchers when they’re looking for “Rap Genius”? Why aren’t they #1 for every single song title + lyrics in Google? They’re the undisputed best source for not just lyrics but annotated by fans as well as the actual artists who wrote or said those lyrics. It seems that Google has abandoned the philosophy of showing the best results for searchers to showing the best results for Google. (In other words, Google doesn’t profit from Rap Genius organic search engine rankings)

What about all the other tens of thousands of small businesses that get boxed out by Google? You know, if I had a dollar for every article written condemning Rap Genius for trading bloggers exposure via social media to give them links… Give me a break. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, please take a moment to reconsider your strategies to penalize sites for SEO and link-building. These are the type of monopolistic moves that will inevitably jeopardize Google’s future as one company. You all are rich already. Consider it charity, giving back, or just plain right! Why hate on start-ups and entrepreneurs similar to y’all back in the day?

Remember that time back in the day in 1998 when you guys were nothing but a couple of young and ambitious tech entrepreneurs hoping to get funded? How quickly we forget. Get it together, fellas.

Why Google will lose the war against SEOs as time passes

Obviously, Google is the leading search engine market share holder still. Nobody is debating this. However, what many people are talking about more so than the obvious these days is how Google’s market share of the search engine pie is gradually and continually shrinking. In 2010, Google’s piece of the pie was estimated to be around 75%, which is just an enormous part of the pie. Now, that number is well below 60% just 2 years removed from when they had 3/4 of the market.

In analyzing what Google has done and continues to do to so-called “improve” Google’s search results, it’s hard not to pay attention to the fact that more and more people are abandoning Google’s search results in favor of Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, Baidu, and many other new aspiring search engines who simply provide better search results than Google does. When I think about what’s changed in Google’s organic search results, one word comes to mind. Quality.

Google’s search results are absolutely pathetic this day and age. You may be asking yourself how these crappy results are an improvement in search results in Google’s eyes. It’s a very valid question. The answer lies in Google’s definition of “better” search results. To Google, the best search results for any and all keywords are those that make Google the most money, period. To us, the best search results are the results that are most applicable to the search phrases being used. The conflict of interest is clear.

Since Google began changing their search algorithm heavily in 2010, the consensus is that Google is mostly targeting well search engine optimized sites including sites with many back links and the best domain names. Specifically, Google has used publicity statements such as Penguin being “the SEO killer” and representatives from Google have been quoted saying that “exact-match domain names will be most effected by recent updates.” (paraphrased, of course)

The problem with this philosophy is that the best sites on the web are the ones that actually took the time to link-build like Google’s very own Matt Cutts instructed us to do for so many years. The same is true of exact match domains. Powerful dot com domain names with the right keyword work for all the search engines of the world. Website owners will continue to seek the absolute best domain names for the best companies. So why is Google all of a sudden targeting the best domain names and the best websites with all their hard work in building links to get to the top of Google? It’s simple. Greed.

Google is trying to sabotage the best companies thinking that those companies with money are going to switch to paid Google search marketing instead of the free traffic that they used to get from organic search rankings in Google. Instead, Google has pissed off hundreds of thousands of companies small, medium, and large. Google is losing everyone’s trust on the internet. And rightfully so, too. Rather than trying to help the economy by pushing free traffic to local, national, and international businesses like Google has done for so many years, they’re taking the traffic away instead!

Google has become the laughing-stock of internet marketers, web designers, and website developers in recent years because it’s so blatantly obvious that Google is messing with the financial growth and prosperity of all online business presences in order to increase Google’s revenue stream via Google Adwords. However, the opposite effect has occurred. Companies are refusing to work with Google ever again. This includes that one company that makes all of our iPhones, you know, Apple…

Google does not care about you. They don’t care about us. They don’t care about playing fair or by the rules. All Google cares about is money, which is why SEOs will absolutely destroy Google over time. I’ve noticed a coalition of sorts on the internet, website owners who are now promoting Bing, Yahoo, or an alternative search engine absolutely for free. Bing and Yahoo are actually getting more and more search market share as we speak absolutely free of charge. The web world is sick of Google and most of us can’t wait until Google is the next story of a search engine that once was.

Eventually, the Federal Trade Commission will step in and realize the biggest problem, which is that Google gives absolutely no “rights” to a website owner. Google can remove websites out of their index at will without any explanation or valid reason. Barack Obama and the United States government will realize that it’s time to take control and break up Google the company due to anti-trust laws that are part of the foundation of our country.

Right now, Google is laughing as they continue to do everything they can to sabotage your SEO as well as mine and the rest of the world’s Google search engine optimization. However, as an SEO, we’re all laughing at Google because we don’t use Google products anymore. We’re phasing out Google Adwords in favor of Bing ads, Yahoo ads, and Media.net. More and more Google Adsense alternatives will be created and used. We use Bing and Yahoo now, not Google. And most importantly, we’re doing just fine without Google! ;)

Here are a few words of advice to those who are experiencing difficulty getting through to Google. Stop caring. They stopped caring about us years ago. Instead, embrace Google’s wonderful competition such as Bing and Yahoo, companies that continue to reward the hard work of SEO, web development, and your exact-match domain names that should always be on the front page of search results for your desired keywords. Over time, Google will loose this battle and you’ll get your free traffic back. By then, it’ll be way too late for Google to ever win our trust back and there will be a new Goliath in the search engine market who deserves our loyalty unlike Google.

 

Google continues to do what it can to hurt your SEO

As a blog or website owner, it is a must to know and care about where your Google search engine optimization stands for particular keywords. This is especially the case when your company has become dependent on Google SEO traffic over the years.

However, Google has been focused on turning your SEO efforts against you as of late, riling up website owner’s feathers across the globe. So how is it that Google is able to take what used to work for SEO in Google and turn those techniques against you so that the opposite desired search engine placement effects occur?

Well, it’s simple. That’s Google’s MO right now. All they care about right now is making money. Since Google is in such a hyper-monetization stage in their company, they have essentially ignored whatever would help website owners in Google at the expense of implementing whatever helps Google help Google.

Unfortunately, what this means is that all those recommended practices that Matt Cutts has been spoon-feeding us about title tags, alt tags, keywords, sitemaps, link building and webmaster tools was for nothing. See, Google doesn’t care how your organic SEO is doing. In fact, they’re trying to make sure your SEO sucks…

The reason for this being the case is because Google sees it as Google losing money when your site ranks well for organic search phrases. By altering the Google ranking algorithm at the expense of all those who worked hard for SEO, Google is ensuring that those who listened to Google on how to SEO their site to the top of Google are all being penalized in organic results for the very practices Google told us to do for a decade to rank well.

Google hopes that by sabotaging the organic search results of websites, they are forcing those website owners to engage in Google Adwords. However, in actuality these decisions are having an opposite effect. Google Adwords usage is falling at an all-time rate because people can’t afford to pay Google for every single click, every single time!

Essentially, Google is now in the business of sabotaging people’s organic search engine rankings. It’s their way of bullying people into using Google Adwords in order to penetrate Google’s massive 65% search engine market share. The Federal Trade Commission must realize that Google has to be policed on the organic search results sector to ensure that Google is unable to continue hurting everyone’s SEO to try to make a buck.

FTC closing in on anti-trust case against Google for monopolizing search results

The Federal Trade Commission has been fighting on behalf of thousands of victimized website owners as Google has been heavily scrutinized for recently altering their ranking algorithm to once more benefit Google and it’s own services, entities, and partner websites.

There’s two sides to each story, and Google’s position is that they are a private media company such as a newspaper, with the right to represent search results as they please. The problem is that Google isn’t just a “newspaper” but rather a worldwide internet search utility, the keyword being utility.

Because the search engine Google is a vital part to society, the results for your searches should be plentiful and not limited and over-run by Google products outranking all of it’s competitors. A wonderful example would be a review of the results for the keyword “music videos” on Google for example.

The results are staggering. After page 6 or so, every single result is a link to a random Youtube music video. Think about this for a second. Google is rendering nearly 98% of the results for this keyword linking to their own website, YouTube, literally hundreds of times.

Meanwhile, a collective music video site such as MusicVideos.org can’t even be found in the top 1,000 results despite being front page on all other search engines for this keyword phrase. Prior to the recent algorithm tweaks, sites like these would get hundreds and thousands of hits from organic search traffic.

Google is likely going to lose this battle with the FTC over their right to manipulate search results as they please. It’s the most ridiculous monopoly I’ve ever seen. Google is even getting into affiliate marketing, for example preceding local hotel search results with affiliate deals for services such as hotel reservations.

The reason for all of this comes down to money. Google is greedy and they are in a stage where they are trying to monetize the search engine Google in every way possible. By hijacking all of the prominent search phrases of heavy volume and stuffing the search results with their own sites’ links, they are keeping the traffic internal.

However, the stats will show that Google is losing their following slowly and steadily. Sure, they have a group of loyal followers. But in the end, the biggest loser in Google’s antics is Google themselves. The search distribution is favoring Bing to Yahoo more and more. People are not impressed by the heavily biased search results that Google is pushing.

In the end of the day, I find it comical to review Google’s position on Google search engine optimization. I remember when Google’s position was to “report” SEO companies as if they were bad guys. Google was just making a black-list. Now, they advise you on how to pick the right SEO followed by a message at the bottom to report bad SEO companies to the FTC.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Verdict still not out on .XXX domain names and SEO

With the opening of any new Top Level Domain, specifically a generic TLD or gTLD, much anticipation and speculation arises as to how these new DOT-somethings will perform for Google SEO. What people are interested in is if the exact match SLD of a .xxx domain name will have strength in Google like .com, .net, and .org do.

While I do expect that exact match domains of DOT XXX will have some weight in search engines, I don’t expect there to be as much power assigned to a .xxx domain name as a .COM/.NET/.ORG keyword domain. The reasoning is because (1) they’ve been around for nearly 2 decades longer than dot xxx and (2) the .XXX domain is inherently going to imply sex, even if the site isn’t filled with porn or nude pictures.

I’ve been watching and waiting to see dot XXX domains show up in the Google index for important keywords so that I can discuss Google search engine optimization using a .xxx website. While this has not happened yet, I can say that Bing and Yahoo seem to be weighing a DOT xxx domain name heavier at first glance than Google, or .XXX domains are working through Bing and Yahoo’s search algorithm faster.

My opinion on .XXX domains is that they will do very well in search engines down the road. The reason for this is because .XXX is a gTLD. Yes, with SafeSearch on nobody will even be viewing any .xxx domains at all. However, sex sells and let’s face it this is not a ccTLD such as .CO, .ME, and .WS are for Columbia, Montenegro, and Western Samoa. They will target worldwide search queries eventually I think…