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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Is Matt Cutts Honestly Clueless?

Interesting debate between Matt Cutts (of Google) and Michael Gray (of Graywolf's SEO Blog) on Matt's Selling links that pass PageRank post. I left the following comment:
@graywolf - Hey MG, I don't think you're going to get MC to resolve the Google dichotomy. I honestly don't think he understand that it exists. Remember when AdWords changed color from blue to yellow? Was that to improve search results relevance or blur the line between paid results and organic results? That had nothing to do with anything Matt's team did. They seem to operate in a vacuum, unaware how the business side of Google creates a conflict of interest with what they're attempting to do.

MC, if you really want to tackle search engine spam, coerce the AdWords team to display the parked domains from the AdSense for Domains program in reports. For a company whose mission is to organize the world's information, those selective omission of that crucial information undermines your work. Think about that.

I bet you're not even aware that your company chooses to hide this information from advertisers, your company's core customers who provide 99% of your revenue. This is what I'm talking about:


Also, if your read the announcement about the launch of the Placement Performance Report:


you'll notice this section: "The report also provides a new level of transparency for traffic you accrued from sites in our network that are participating in the AdSense for domains program. Currently, AdSense for domains statistics are collectively reported, but we are working to give you site-by-site level statistics soon."

That was 6 months ago. How soon is that? ;-)

A more recent post on your company's Inside AdWords blog regarding invalid clicks (and I know you've posted about invalid clicks and Shuman's efforts in that regard in the past):


refers to the site exclusion tool which "can be used to prevent ads from appearing on certain Google content network websites that advertisers don't feel are appropriate for their ads. Advertisers can get an idea of where their ads are showing by running a Placement Performance report."

Umm, how can you block individual sites when they're lumped together into a single "Domain Ads" category? Yes, I know an AdSense for Domains opt out exists. That's not what advertisers or domainers need. Advertisers need to actually be able to see where their ads run and pick and choose individual domains to block.

Now, can you see why people are having a hard time listening to you talk about paid links and transparency?

Good luck. Seriously. Others at Google who aren't as honest and open as your are going to make it difficult for you to be trusted.
Will be curious to see a response from either Matt Cutts or Michael Gray. This is a complex situation. There are no simple answers. I do think this Google dichotomy exists. If so, can it be resolved?

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Anonymous graywolf said...

I'm never going to convince MC to change his position nor is he ever going to convince me to change mine.

My goal is to get other people thinking about these things.

Sun Dec 02, 08:52:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are your comments? Are they on Cutts' blog, or on graywolf's?

I couldn't see them at either of the links you posted above.

Sun Dec 02, 12:29:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see your comments on Cutts blog -- don't know how I missed them!

Cutts responded to you asking if you'd seen comments in two links -- both of which included posts by you (which is a pretty clear indication that you've seen it)!

I guess a lot of us are guilty of "reading" too fast what's posted online.

Sun Dec 02, 12:56:00 PM EST  
Blogger Richard said...

@graywolf - Ahh, playing devil's advocate, to some degree? That's a useful role. This is a complex issue and needs open, honest debate.

@anon - My original comment is here. I've posted about Matt's reply here.

Sun Dec 02, 02:24:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fri Oct 30, 03:51:00 AM EDT  

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