The Google Dilemma a.k.a. Biting the Hand that Feeds You

Google Crown Image

For Internet marketers, especially those who rely heavily on article marketing, Google rank can mean the world. The Google rank of your affiliate website or your article can be the deciding factor in how much income your campaign generates. There is a certain tension between Internet marketers/SEO experts/webmasters and Google and both sides are faced with a dilemma. Read on to see how this is relevant to you, as an Internet marketer.

Cashcow vs. Spammer

How far do you go with SEO? SEO can be a harmless and sensible method for making you website more visible to people who are looking for related content. It can also be an attempt to “cheat” search engines and get high rankings even though the whole website is only a sales-pitch. Since so many pageviews and so much money ride on that number one spot on Google for your target keyword, the temptation to go grey- or even black-hat to get there can be strong. Most marketers don’t go to extremes, but most of them go at least mildly grayish-hat in their SEO attempts. Dropping less-than relevant links in a few forums, comment-spamming some blogs, writing articles for the sole purpose of linking to a sales-page and maybe stuffing a few too many keywords into that paragraph – I suspect that most online marketers are “guilty” of this kind of SEO.

Let’s look at this from Google’s perspective: They want to make their users happy. In order to achieve this, their goal is to produce the best possible matching websites for what the user is looking for. Squeeze pages, spammy sales-pitches and websites that are monetized first and feature some content as an afterthought are rarely what the user is looking for. So, Google need to make sure they can somehow exclude all of the spammy material – the sites stuffed with targeted keywords, hollow sites without real content and full of sales-pitches, and generally all attempts by marketers to game the system.

So Where’s the Dilemma?

Here’s the simple one: Google make a lot of money thanks to online marketers. Practically everyone who is using Google Adsense is an online marketer of some kind. Google can’t just completely clamp down on people’s marketing attempts; they have to carefully sort the better kind of marketing from the worse kind. Also, people online often are looking for products to buy. Google have to make sure that they can connect buyers to marketers in a positive way, without connecting too many non-buyers with spammy sales-pitch ridden sites.

Here’s where it gets more complicated: Google is judge, jury and executioner when it comes to search engine ranking. They are the ones making the rules that determine what makes sites rank and what makes them drop. They are also the ones handing out a lot of cash (Adwords) and being the catalyst for a lot of cash being handed around elsewhere (sending traffic to sales-pages and online stores). See the problem here?

On the one hand, you’ve got Google, offering free and paid services, being completely dominant in their market and basically being in a position where they have the financial fates of many Internet marketers in their hands. They have to make sure to serve up good, relevant content to their users and have to fight spam but make sure they never overdo it.
On the other hand, you have thousands of Internet marketers clamouring for good spots in the search results, being tempted to make use of loopholes and try to “fly under the radar” with some of the stuff they do to get there. By working the system, SEOs strive to take the “organic” out of organic traffic, which is very much contrary to the whole point of organic search engine results.

In many cases, Google is the hand that feeds you as an online marketer, but to get good treatment from it, to get to those first pages and to get all that tasty traffic, you almost have to bite that hand a little bit.

I have to be honest with you: I have no grand conclusion for this article. I just see this weird situation between Google and Internet marketers (or article directories and Internet marketers, for that matter) and wonder what it’s going to lead to.

That’s it for now,


About the Author Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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