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Google Adwords discriminating against small businesses for slow loading?

In thinking about my recent post about how Google Adwords now formally discriminate against slower-loading sites by raising their minimum bidding price, I realized that small businesses and the "long tail" are probably most hurt the most by Google's new "quality score" policy.

  • As I previously explained, Google has a subjective, non-transparent, non-auditable, or non-appealable "quality score" variable whose purpose is to maximize Google's revenue -- not to award the keyword to the highest bidder.

This new Google policy discriminates most heavily against small businesses because they:

  • Have relatively the least resources, time and ability to technologically redesign their website to adapt to Google's arbitrary changes; and
  • Are least able to afford adapting their business model to Google's favor -- away from slower-loading display ads -- to faster-loading search ads.

Bottom line: Google is well aware that small or "long tail" businesses, for all practical purposes, have no other comparable choice for online advertising, so they believe they can safely exert their market power here with impunity. 

Flagging the new Palatnik Factor Blog on online marketing

Pablo Palatnik, an online marketing expert, recently launched his own blog, the Palatnik Factor which I recommend; Pablo is also a contributing writer for the Search Engine Journal -- which is where I came accross his work when he wrote a dead on piece questioning "Google Adword's Quality score: affilitates worst nightmare." 

A couple of my recent pieces are particularly relevant to online marketers:

Google Adwords not neutral -- charging more for slow loading sites

Google AdWords announced a new net neutrality double-standard that may also be an anti-competitive practice, in that Google will start discriminating against slower-loading websites by charging them higher prices. 

Google CEO: 'The One Sentence Manager' accountability system

I had to chuckle when Google CEO Dr. Schmidt publicly explained his management system for Google last week -- I 've dubbed it -- 'The One Sentence Manager.'  

  • In a speech to Washington insiders at the Economic Club where Dr. Schmidt exhorted how the world could learn a lot from Google's "scalable values"...
    • Dr. Schmidt actually admitted how hard it was to get Googlers to be accountable to his minimalist automated reporting requirement of writing a one-sentence summary by email of what that person did that week.
      • He further explained that his automated system would "harass" the people with ever increasingly funny prods -- until they complied.

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows one of my pet beefs about Google is how completely unaccountable Google is and how they go out of their way to remain unaccountable to anyone or anything.

Google taking share despite revenue decline in Internet advertising -- new IAB report

Google took substantial market share from their Internet advertising competitors in 1Q08. Google's U.S. Internet advertising revenue grew ~7% sequentially from 4Q07 to 1Q08, while the Internet advertising revenues of Google's competitors fell ~8% during that same period, per newly released IAB figures and Google's 4Q08 figures.  

  • Google's Internet advertising dominance appears to be accelerating as all its sequential U.S. growth is coming from competitors' market share -- not from growth in the Internet advertising marketplace -- which appears to be one quarter into a sequential Internet advertising recession.
    • More simply, if Google was not able to take substantial sequential market share from its competitors in 1Q08, Google probably would not have grown revenue sequentially in the U.S last quarter. 

In 1Q08 Google now controls ~45% of all U.S. Internet advertising revenues, which is up from ~42% in 2007, which is up from 35% in 2006, and which is up from 30% in 2005 -- according to base numbers reported by IAB and Google.

Why not a Marketer Bill of Rights for the Google-Yahoo Cartel?

To the extent Google and Yahoo's new partnership in search and display advertising diminishes #2 Yahoo's viability to competitively discipline #1 Google's dominance of search and online advertising, online marketers and advertisers need Google-Yahoo to commit to respect a "Marketer Bill of Rights."

  • Google-Yahoo jointly control:
    • 83% of U.S. search advertising share per eMarketer; and
    • 64% of all U.S. Internet advertising revenue per the IAB.
  • Google's has ~1,000,000 advertisers in its network, compared to Yahoo's ~300,000 and Microsoft's ~75,000.

Marketer's Bill of Rights for the Google-Yahoo Cartel:

U.S. marketers do not currently enjoy, but should have the right to:

  • Competition among application and service providers of search, display and other forms of online advertising.  
    • Independent third-party oversight, audit and dispute resolution of their auctions, practices, bans, and internal controls.
  • Fair representation and truth in advertising through the open, full and public disclosure of all of Google-Yahoo's joint and individual financial conflicts-of-interests.

Google-Yahoo partnership: Not if, but when it becomes anti-competitive

The new Google-Yahoo partnership to better converge the search and display markets is skating on thin antitrust ice that will only get thinner over time -- unless Microsoft or some unknown competitor somehow starts taking lots of market share from the new Goohoo. 

What are the important takeaways here? 

First, at core, the Google-Yahoo partnership is clearly about trying to snuff out Microsoft as a competitive force on the web. 

Google CEO on Google changing the world with minimal accountability

In two speeches this week, Google's CEO illuminated more about Google's master plan to "change the world" -- with minimal accountability.

To be fair, I am connecting two ideas from separate speeches by Google's CEO Eric Schmidt this week, that were shared separately but need to be connected to put them into better context. 

Googlers in Space!

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has booked a flight as a space tourist on Russia's Soyuz space shot according to the New York Times today.

  • The story behind the story is that Google is finding the earth market too limiting and is planning to expand its mission from organizing all the world's information, to organizing all the universe's information.
  • New Googlers in order to fit in with the "think big" Google culture have recently begun scoffing at the puny size of Earth's wireless market and are itching to conquer new more challenging frontiers in space where an android could be more useful.   
  • One Googler was overheard saying that Jupiter is the next big market on Google's radar screen.

Previously, it was widely reported that Google is working on an inter-gallactic Internet.

What's Google got to hide? Google's CEO Schmidt ducks questions from the real free press

I couldn't help to notice yesterday that Google CEO Schmidt didn't take any questions from reporters who were in attendance or meet with the reporter pool afterwards, which is customary for speaking venues like Dr. Schmidt's speech Monday at the Economic Club of Washington.

What's Google got to hide in Washington?

  • Could it be that Google does not think that questions of a leading corporate CEO, who is now Chairman of the New America Foundation think tank concerning: antitrust, privacy, consumer protection, good government, transparency, openness, tax, net neutrality, and broadband Universal Service -- are not considered legitimate questions or fair game in Washington?
  • Do public questions of public leaders seeking ambitious changes in public policy and public discourse, not warrant an open forum for questions from a free press in a democracy?

Bottom line: It appears the only kind of "free press" that Google embraces is its advocacy group ally that calls itself FreePress, which is the operation which de facto runs point for Google's net neutrality public policy agenda in Washington.