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When you consider some of the changes that have been taking place at Google recently, it becomes impossible to not to wonder, whether or not they are deliberately attempting to destroy small business in the US? While attempting to address the issue head-on, Matt Cutts of Google's Web Spam team, inadvertently disclosed the sheer volume of people who have noticed this.
You see, there is a massive difference between conspiracy theories and conspiracy facts. The US government covering up basements full of greys is a conspiracy theory. The favoritism given to corporations by Google, and the gross absence of small to medium-sized companies who should be coming up higher in search results, is only as far as a few clicks away.
And make no mistake, this is not your run-of-the-mill speculation. Scores of others have raised the same issue, and still, giant businesses and corporations with lackluster SEO, are consistently soaring above small and medium businesses who have taken all the proper measures to follow Google's guidelines.
This raises many questions, though two really stand out. First, why does Google assume that they're doing users a favor, by inundating them with even more corporate influence, and fewer listings from local sites that are far-more optimized? Is it so they can come back in a few weeks with another Matt Cutts video, talking about a "better user experience". Well, that's great, but most people don't click on the local listings (A, B, C, D etc...) and most people HATE big directory sites. (This is not my opinion, seriously ask anyone!) That is a BAD user experience.
Let the user searching for a business go to the actual businesses website to see really what they are all about, rather than just a 1990's style Yellow page directory website. Not only that but forcing the Place listings to the top of mobile searches is not user friendly. If someone clicks on Places then show them actual "Places" relevant to where they are! Not only is Google making the "Page 1" unfair to small business, but pretend you have a company just outside a major city, the only way they can get to "Page 1" of Google, is literally by cheating the system and using a "fake" address!
Next, how can Google have the audacity to say that it's all about the user experience, when the search results that are there, right now, tell a completely different story. Why would a listing for an international hardware supply corporation, take rank above real, actual handymen in a search for "local handyman"? Why do global manufacturers of highly-chemical cosmetics, often outrank every single listing under the search phrase "natural cosmetics"?
And as evidenced by the screen shot below, why would Google expect anyone to believe them, when they say their only goal is to "provide a better user experience." Facts are facts, when you do the math, it's clear that about 90% of local organic search results, have been replaced by big corporate dollar PPC and a bevy of ridiculous directories.
If these are the new rules, what chance does any small to medium business owner have?
Here is a completely random and routine search for Accountants in Rochester NY. As you can see, the first 3 listings are pay-per-click listings (Google AdWords). Then followed by "useless directory websites". Then these are followed by the Places section (A, B, C, D etc...), and then an additional 4 listings. Of the 7 listings, 6 are "useless directory websites".
It looks innocent enough when you don't pay much attention to it, but when your business is built upon proper, current and meticulously thought-out SEO strategies, you can see why many webmasters and small business owners are outraged.
If the folks at Google aren't intentionally trying to send society into some sort of Orwellian chaos, by making everyone corporation-dependent, then they really need to address these extremely important issues soon.
» This Blog was noticed in the Search Engine Land on June 5th.
Updated on December 2, 2013