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Journal Journal: Google's Philosophy: a love and hate relationship

I submitted this today... and I liked it a lot so I'm reposting it here in my journal. I'd post it in my web page as well but I'm afraid of a Google "copy" penalty.

--Matt Wong

Gone are the days when Google was just a tadpole startup company with little more than a unique name. Over the years, the company has proven its worth time and time again with technology advancements cool new features. Until very recently I too was a hardcore Google fan... I was in love with the company that vowed to change the world, and succeeded.

We're all familiar with the recent news about Google's policies on privacy, finance, and the Department of Justice. And, it has admittedly made a few mistakes. But who are we to argue? Isn't the company successful? Aren't they doing what the set out to do -- change the world? In a nutshell: YES... I may be disappointed that Google does things a little differently than I expected, but isn't the end result that I have cool new and "free" technologies... and isn't their stock still work a lot more than their IPO days?

All of these thoughts are SOMEWHAT comforting... but I've started to develop somewhat of a love / hate relationship with them. Very recently (a few days ago) I fell into some sort of keyword promotion site over-optimization scam. There is a company that wrote code that a person can insert into their websites in order to "show the location" of who's browsing their sites. This code had a cleverly embedded keyword in it that made a vague reference to "" As a result of including such code on my site, I was getting A LOT of Google hits.. and people were asking me how they could do the same thing. I answered by posing a copy of the code on my website... and then I got hit by a Google Site Ranking Penalty... something that I did not know even existed! Now, I am trying to recover my site's ranking and I'm not even sure how to do this.

Prior to this experience I thought Google was great... but it appears to me that much of their company is "automated" and that my site somehow tripped some automated flags and hence automatically punished me... for something someone else did. So, in the end isn't it Google's responsibility to protect the small end user from abuses of their automatic systems?

I personally won't suffer any great loss from my sites loss in status, but its just that -- a loss in status... and frankly its quite annoying. Luckily for me there were a few lessons learned:

1. I enjoy posting on Slashdot more than on my blog because people actually read it. 2. I now know how to avoid Search Engine Optimization Errors.

So, there you have it... that's the story of my love / hate relationship with Google.

--Matthew Wong

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Pohl's law: Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere, will not hate it.