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Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Google Dichotomy

I left the following comment to a post on Aaron Wall's SEO Book site:
Aaron, I wonder if it's more a case of different groups at Google having different values. It seems like the organic search staff like Matt Cutts and Adam Lasnik (and previously Vanessa Fox) act like they're working on an academic project that's not a business. They seem naive but genuinely interested in limiting search engine spam.

OTOH, the people on the paid ads side seem to be going after revenue at all costs. That's actually what they're supposed to do. However, that's sometimes at odds with Google's stated values. When looking at Google, I think it's useful to think of it as separate companies - the organic search company and the paid ads company. They need to work together better and share the same set of corporate values.

For example, I find this quite amusing. Try either of these Google searches:

What do you make of that? Anyone using AdWords and opted into *either* the search network or content network is going to see traffic from which is powered by DomainSponsor. DomainSponsor (part of is clearly a major partner in the AdSense for Domains program. However, the organic search people are blocking

Any idea what's going on? Somebody's not on the same page.
Nobody answered the question. I'd really like to know the answer. I think the possibilities are:
  1. Google's algorithm is broken and the Domain Sponsor site should be included in the index.
  2. Google has a company-wide policy of keeping parked domain sites out of the organic search index, including domain parking companies.
  3. Google's organic search team views Domain Sponsor as spammers. Google's paid team views them as partners.
If #1 or #3 are true, then Google is broken and perhaps this dichotomy between organic and paid teams exists. Which is it? Or, are there other possibilities to explain this:

domain sponsor site

Incidentally, that site: search command is useful to check which pages from a site have been crawled and are present in the Google index and how the html titles and meta description tags display. Example of how this kind of search should look, using a client's site, Longlifeā„¢ Pet Supplements:

longlife pet supplements site

Does this Google dichotomy exist? Is Google essentially operating as two very different companies (organic search and paid ads) with very different corporate values? Is one of them sabotaging the Google corporate mission? More specifically, why is not included in the organic search results? Anybody know the answer?

Related Posts:
Google AdSense for Domains + = Fake Searches Click Fraud
Meta Description Tag Tips from Google

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Blogger MR said...

I agree that the academic algorithm is entirely separate than the media network Google is now creating around its original service.

"Of course a distributed systems like Gloss [Gravano 94] or Harvest will often be the most efficient and elegant technical solution for indexing, but it seems difficult to convince the world to use these systems because of the high administration costs of setting up large numbers of installations. Of course, it is quite likely that reducing the administration cost drastically is possible. If that happens, and everyone starts running a distributed indexing system, searching would certainly improve drastically."

- Page and Brin, talking about the inherent limitations of a centralized index, advocating decentralized indexing.

This is impossible for Google Inc to implement in spirit, even with their Mascots like Matt Cutts.

Mon Nov 05, 06:04:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Sheila Lindsay Martin said...


I really appreciate your well-researched, well-reasoned articles on topics like this.

I hope your voice becomes much more widely known.


Thu Nov 22, 05:22:00 PM EST  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks, Sheila. I really appreciate your kind words.

Sat Dec 01, 10:53:00 PM EST  
Blogger Richard said...

MR (are you a WS?), interesting quote you've dug up. BTW, your "Mascots like Matt Cutts" phrase is quite funny. I do think he's genuine. I don't think he understands the business side of Google and how that alters the appearance of the academic side of Google.

Sat Dec 01, 11:03:00 PM EST  

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