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Is Google Trying to Destroy Small Business?

Sam Pizzo

By (President)

Rochester, New York

Posted on June 4, 2013

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.

What are Google's Real Intentions?

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!

Can Small Business Survive Google's Changes?

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?

Google bad search result

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".

How can it be possible that, on "Page 1 of Google", 18 total search results... and ONLY one organic result!?

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.

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"Don't be evil", "You can make money without doing evil" - Most of the time, what we see inside corporate offices as their "motto" are just their imitation and not real-thing; and the "imitation runs-out over the time!"

8 months ago


this is why, I've been saying for 4 years now - STOP OPTIMIZING FOR GOOGLE! For 7 years on Squidoo now my lenses EACH get between 300 to 7,000 visits PER DAY with only 2 to 40 of those visits coming from Google, and 70% of my traffic coming from Yahoo Search, Yahoo Answers, Yahoo Voices, Yahoo Groups, NaNoWriMo, and backlinks from bloggers who have reviewed my articles; the remainder coming from social networks, esp FaceBook and Twitter; this is also why when Panda and Penguin hit people hard, (including Google blacklisting and unidexing Squidoo) my traffic was NOT affected - I was not relying on Google traffic to begin with; I've been building websites since 1997, I remember SEO before Google, it worked fine than and guess what, it still works fine today; Google is only one of more than 30 high use search engines, but guess what, even considering that my websites only get 2% of their traffic from ANY search engine; I have a high rate of direct url traffic - people who typed my url rather than found me via a search engine, I get that from good old fashioned businesscards and my website painted on my car (of course my car has 2.5million rhinestones on it, so every one stops to look at it and posts pictures of it on Tumblr, etc, so even more people online see it.) You can't rely on SEO to get traffic and if you do, you'll crash whenever the search engines change their algos; if you want to succeed you need to do good old fashioned OFFLINE gurella marketing

10 months ago



thanks 4 your info.

8 months ago


The article is on point. The whole situation is quite sad. The result is the web is coalescing into a handful of large corporate run websites. It is virtually impossible to discover good content anymore. In the book world results from amazon, B&N, social media even Google itself crowds out virtually all independent book seller sites. Over the last couple of years many sites have simply folded or have been crippled to the extent they can no longer afford to be updated. Personally I've jumped through every hoop Google put up. Honestly the advice has improved my site but not my ranking in search.

10 months ago


This is a well written, finger on the pulse article. Two years ago, I had the same thoughts when I needed to make a last minute hair appointment. You should have seen the search results. I thought there had to be a better way to access cleaner search results. I just wanted to know the local salon & spa; get the information directly from them! That's how was created. I love my site and the results it brings. We will focus on the independent salon & spa owners to give them the workaround to search engine clutter.

10 months ago


The latest thing Google is doing is ranking too many sites the local Map section that are not even relevant to that keyword & category!

11 months ago

Great to see this as Google just "offered"to "help" me with our campaigns....which was a big surprise!!  I know it is because we small fish, with small businesses, who cannot spend big money with them have taken a back seat to the companies with big pockets.  We used to show up on the first page easily, I am not even sure where we show up and business has decreased a SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT.  They shot themselves in the foot and I bet that is why now they are "offering to help" us spend MORE MONEY with them.  Everybody BING please.

11 months ago

This all sounds quite alarming for indie small business, but there seems to be another side. As a consumer searching a supplier, I don't want to be pointed first to businesses simply because they have a stronger web presence, I don't see that alone as any sort of recommendation for one business over another (kinda ironically, unless they're providing web services :). If I'm hunting for a car mechanic or hair stylist or restaurant or whatever, and have no word of mouth, reviews or other leads to go on, I'd rather see a directory, YP-style listing of a few competitors I can look into (I still also use the printed YP as well). It means more work for me, doing the research, but what is the alternative? Better advertising - shouting the loudest - does not equal better quality and service. At this point, perhaps our expectations of the level of consumer cconvenience that search engines can provide are a little ahead of the reality.

1 year ago

Similar problems in Australia where Google has over 95% of the search volume.

'Monopoly' seems to be the elephant in the room.

1 year ago



Well said in a single word!

8 months ago

Agreed. Most search results these days for generic keywords show the top 8 retailers in the county. Add Amazon at the top spot, spice it up with one or two smaller retailer. It is ridicules.

The smaller retailers can't afford the PPC the big retailers can so if Google were smart they would favor organic results over the larger retailers and let them pay the bill. But no.

We have the largest selection of products within our category. Much larger and wider and better priced than any at Page 1. We used to be on page 1 but are now at page 3 with our top key word. Of cause our site is much smaller but we are real product focused on what we do and we do it good.

For PPC the real bad part is that the same add that has been running since 2005 will Google not display anymore. Asking them why the answer is that the landing page has bad ranking. Sorry we can help!

Now Google will show some of our long tail keywords ad’s when what really should be shown is the more generic ad as people are not so far in the decision process. Out best keyword has been ditched !

At the same time Google e-mail us and say that the number of PPC is down from previous months. No wonder its your own fault Google. But we are paying the price as a small retailer.

Hopefully people will find with time there is no need to make a product search on Google because they can just as well take the car down the road to one of the big box retailers we all know already.

Google, they don’t care before it hits the bottom line. They are just another product of Corporate America.

1 year ago

My business has been struggling with this this new Google since it was phased in in 2011. Our traffic decreased by 60% literally overnight after having dominated organic search for over a decade... no amount of optimization or new content has made the slightest difference in the 2 years since. We allways grew, slowly and steadily but traffic has been stagnant since that day. Not only that but google seems to have directly pulled away the paying customers & the job ofers etc. leaving us only with the 14 year old kids and casual browsers.

1 year ago

I have been thinking the same thing for a while, watching page one go from something with a decent number of genuine results, to something that looks utterly ridiculous.  It never dawned on me until reading this, that there are only 1-2 truly organic search results on page one.  Thank you for calling this to attention, it will be interesting to see if they respond by giving the top listings back to those who've worked hard and invested heavily to get there.

1 year ago

Spot on, man. This new super penguin will be the nail in the coffin that finally gives corporations full reign. I'm worried about what we're going to do just to stay viable. Great article.

1 year ago

I agree with your article 100%, Google is no-longer the great leveller. So many search results in the UK are dominated by big brand sites all selling exactly the same products for exactly the same price, how does this provide an enhanced user experience? I feel over the past 12 month’s Google has become possibly the worst search engine for delivering user focussed results that are diverse. So many times you visit a ‘big brand’ website and the on-page optimisation is awful with little, no or duplicated content. The sooner Google loses a higher percentage of the market share the better it will be for not only SEO’s people using the internet.  

1 year ago

I'm not a Google hater but I have to agree with you, the bigger they get the more it seems to forget about the smaller guys, it's not like they don't make enough money to have so many ads... If it was our sites with so many ads and BS content they would definitely downgrade us...

1 year ago

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