I must say when I saw what I’m about to show you in this post I had to check it twice as I didn’t quite believe what I was seeing at first, but sure enough Google has stooped to a new low today in their never quenching thirst for more profit. I can’t confirm that this has been rolled out across the world, but it is happening where I live in New Zealand anyway.
Before I show you this I first want to lay down a little background. We all know that Google makes their money when people click their ads listed on a Google results pages and on other websites that are opting into the Adsense program. So obviously Google’s agenda is to get as many of these ads clicked as possible.
However stop for just a moment and remember what Google is useful for and why it has become such a popular tool for people to use in the first place. Google is a search engine, not a giant advertising billboard, let’s get that straight to start with. People use Google as a gateway to the internet, and Google is supposed to be showing a list of the most relevant websites related to a user’s search queries.
This all sounds well and good, what a great service, Google makes it easy for us to find websites right…well sort of, but over the years Google has taken advantage of their popularity and slowly but surely are moving towards being one giant advertising billboard and that’s it!!
What Happened to the Organic Listing?
Yes the organic listings, the websites that Google lists that DO NOT pay Google to be there. The ones that do SEO (search engine optimization) and get ranked on the front page of Google, what did happen to them? The way Google is going you might have to scroll to page 3 to find an organic listing soon.
Let’s take a look at a typical Google results page below that I see when I search in Google, so you can see where I’m going with this. This might not be the same for you, as possible Google is testing this out in some countries, New Zealand where I live being the perfect test place.
So you can see from that image that above the fold of the page now 95% of the real estate is taken up by NON ORGANIC listings. Google has now added an extra listing for “Searches related to KEYWORD” just below where the Google Ads finish, thus pushing the organic results even further down the page.
When people click on these related results, it will load a new Google page which will of course show more Google Ads, and give Google another chance to get them clicked. This is just another aggressive trick from Google to stop people from visiting websites that are not Ads.
This is not the first time they have done dirty tricks like this, in fact Google is slowly but surely doing more and more of these cunning techniques. Don’t believe me? Well think back to 12 months ago when the background color of ALL ADS where a pink color that was obvious, so searches knew if they were clicking on an ad. Well Google went from obvious pink to a light pink that was hard to distinguish without tilting your screen, to now being WHITE so you can’t tell at all!
But there’s more, Google use to make it very obvious what listings were ads by telling you, as they were say “Ads by Google”, but I guess that was being too helpful so now they just have the words “Ads” and I wouldn’t be surprized if they remove even that soon.
What amazes me is that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) comes down on affiliate sites who don’t make it obvious that they make a commission from links on their sites, but they let Google continue down this aggressive and somewhat deceptive path of advertising.
Do No Evil….As Google Do Plenty For Us All
I get sick and tired of listening to garbage from Matt Cutts at Google telling us all to be transparent and put up QUALITY sites for the user experience when I see Google turn around and pull moves like this latest stunt.
One of Google Panda’s penalties was for sites that have too much advertising above the fold!!!!!! Can you see the irony in this, when a Google results page is essentially nothing more than one giant ad, as they push the organic results below the fold.
Google’s motto is “do no evil” yeah right, you have to be kidding me, Google is shown quite clearly that they have no interest in helping people find the best website that meets their search query and instead want to show you the results that make them the most money.
I hope this latest move by Google annoys you as much as it has me. I would love to hear from you all below in the comments. However like I said Google might not have rolled this out globally yet, so you might not see it when you use Google, but I can assure you that it is there when I use Google, so something is going on.