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14 posts

Geek
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Topic # 114188 11-Feb-2013 14:37 Send private message

I am a professional website designer here in NZ.
I have built over 200 sites in the past few years.
Most of my clients want to be 'at the top' of Google for their main search terms of course, so i have spend most of the last 3 years helping them with this - closely following Google's own advice on how to get a site to the top of search results. This has been thousands of hours of work and many 10's of thousands of dollars invested by my clients in achieving front page status - all following Google's own advice/ documents as well as other experts and blogs etc. 
Today I spoke with one client who we have had on the front page of Google for their main search terms for the past 3-4 years - but suddenly, they have dropped right off just in the past few months.
We were both at a total lose to understand this as we have followed the book now for years and done everything possible to achieve top spot. We link the sites up at least twice a year, carefully refined meta data and keywords, careful updated and managed content etc etc etc.....extensive!
It got interesting when we started to realize that there were at least two new companies that were now on the top page - and have suddenly just arrived, whereas the client's site had disappeared!
It got even more interesting when we realized that BOTH of those new sites were "Powered by Yellow".
Just in the past few months, I have been made aware by my clients that Yellow have been out pushing their  latest 'package' around the market - making all sorts of what I thought were elaborate promises, and typically over priced, given Yellow online has been failing each year in my opinion to achieve much for their clients, then each year, repackaging their offer and hiring new sales reps to push it.
Now it seems they have suddenly hit the jackpot, and despite competing against well established and built sites that have been around for years, they are somehow able to get their new "powered by Yellow" website customers to jump right in front of the leading sites almost overnight.
THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE IN MY PROFESSIONAL OPINION - AND IT SEEMS CLEAR THERE HAS BEEN A SPECIAL/ UNDER THE TABLE TYPE DEAL DONE.
I immediately recalled an article I read recently in which Google has been accused of "favouring" their own partners and content on search results. This has resulted in class action and anti-trust law suits overseas (you can search for these articles online, one of them here: http://www.theage.com.au/it-pro/business-it/regulator-defends-google-bias-settlement-20130114-2colu.html)

It seems very clear to me now that this is what is happening in NZ- Google have apparently struck some sort of deal with the increasing failing Yellow Group (or their incredibly large and powerful corporate owners) - where by some of Yellow's brand new website customers, who are asked to pay thousands of dollars, can suddenly 'jump the queue' on other website owners who have invested years of time and money following Google's own promises and advice to steadily climb to the top. 

In my view, this is a clear breach of trust (and possibly contract) and an even more clear abuse of monopoly power.

A class action/ anti trust law suit is the answer (possibly also a Commerce Commission complaint, but like most things in Government these days, they seem to favour big business, not Kiwi tax payers). 

If you are a smaller website company that is now experiencing the same breach of trust and under handed tactics - and find yourself at a loss to explain why your customers have lost ground and are now coming runner up to new/small companies/websites in your industry that have just 'sprung up over night', despite having spend hundreds of hours (and thousands of dollars) on your efforts - then I would like to hear from you.

Please take screen prints of the new search results, and save PDF's of any falling visitor numbers as your prized site is pushed off the front page by some newbie who just had to pay off Yellow Pages to get there (it appears).

There needs to be a class action lawsuit taken against this monopoly abuse - equal in value to the amount of money the deal has been worth to them (and Yellow, if I am correct in my assessment), plus punitive damages paid to insure it doesn't happen again.

Given the huge number of website designers and small business websites in this Country, most of whom are apparently now adversely effected by this underhanded tactic (I would say bribe) - this lawsuit could well be in the Billions of dollars - and could then be distributed back to the parties affected by this scam.

Please Private Message me or send emails to: [email protected] in full confidence - and lets start building a clear case to file in the Auckland High Court against this clear abuse of monopoly power - which is rendering years of work and thousands of dollars by good honest, hard working Kiwis, almost worthless overnight - despite having believed and trusted Google's own advice and docs on SEO. 

Cheers!


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1545 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 759537 11-Feb-2013 14:43 Send private message

Google have changed their ranking algorithm in the last few months, blocking a lot of SEO methods developers used to get sites up the rank quickly.

I think the reason you will find these "Powered by Yellow" sites getting high PR, is because Yellow's network of sites is still has high PR and they are using these sites to raise the ranking of other sites.


I highly doubt you have any leg to stand on when it comes to how Google lists websites on its own search engine.




14 posts

Geek
Inactive user


  Reply # 759544 11-Feb-2013 14:51 Send private message

Then you must highly doubt all of the other successful complaints being made overseas also?

It is far to easy an excuse for Google to say "oh we changed our algorithm".

You cannot even begin to compare 200 hours work on one website over 3 years, getting it to the very top, to a brand new website that sprung up over night, and has only ONE linked site to it, compared to 30 or 40. 

That is a joke. 

Please note- there will be Yellow Online and Google associates who will post discouraging (and rather vague and meaningless) replies to this post - but rest assured, this appears to be a scam and a clear abuse of monopoly power. 

Please take your screen shots and get your reports - once we have 20 or so similar cases, it will be easy to file this in the High Court and get the ball rolling.

Cheers!




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  Reply # 759551 11-Feb-2013 15:02 Send private message

I would think you're not going to get very far in NZ with this, there have been numerous complaints about pageranking overseas and only few gain traction.

I'd like to see how you go with it though out of curiosity however.

BDFL
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  Reply # 759555 11-Feb-2013 15:07 Send private message

I see Geekzone is now #1 for "Class Action Lawsuit Against Google NZ" 30 minutes after you created the discussion. How is this for fast ranking?

Seriously though, it's their business, it's free to show up in their results, so they can do as they wish.

;-)

googleantitrust: Please note- there will be Yellow Online and Google associates who will post discouraging (and rather vague and meaningless) replies to this post


I doubt it. We do not accept astro-turfing practices here.








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Geek
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  Reply # 759558 11-Feb-2013 15:19 Send private message

I am not sure you guys have actually read the link i posted - just one example.

http://www.theage.com.au/it-pro/business-it/regulator-defends-google-bias-settlement-20130114-2colu.html

Google were forced to "settle" and agree to certain terms in this case - on the condition they didn't have to admit this "bias". (because admitting such would open them up to numerous other suits) 

This is called a victory - forcing them to adjust their behavour and make an out of court settlement - is called a victory for all involved in the suit.

Why would we expect anything less than this as an outcome here also? 

It is clear as day what is going on 

For example "We agree to spend $50,000,000 on Adwords if you give us top spot for 2-3 sites in each trade category.

Which is a clear breach of Google's own "service" and its own docs/ advice. 

They even call it "organic" search results - it is not organic when only Yellow sites pop up on front page. 

:)







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Spark NZ

  Reply # 759562 11-Feb-2013 15:29 Send private message

[grabs popcorn]

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  Reply # 759565 11-Feb-2013 15:34 Send private message

googleantitrust: I am not sure you guys have actually read the link i posted - just one example.

http://www.theage.com.au/it-pro/business-it/regulator-defends-google-bias-settlement-20130114-2colu.html

Google were forced to "settle" and agree to certain terms in this case - on the condition they didn't have to admit this "bias". (because admitting such would open them up to numerous other suits) 

This is called a victory - forcing them to adjust their behavour and make an out of court settlement - is called a victory for all involved in the suit.

Why would we expect anything less than this as an outcome here also? 

It is clear as day what is going on 

For example "We agree to spend $50,000,000 on Adwords if you give us top spot for 2-3 sites in each trade category.

Which is a clear breach of Google's own "service" and its own docs/ advice. 

They even call it "organic" search results - it is not organic when only Yellow sites pop up on front page. 

:)


You interpretation of that article isn't quite right.  Here's the FTC ruling on that investigation.  Specifically

The FTC conducted an extensive investigation into allegations that Google had manipulated its search algorithms to harm vertical websites and unfairly promote its own competing vertical properties, a practice commonly known as “search bias.”
In particular, the FTC evaluated Google’s introduction of “Universal Search” – a product that prominently displays targeted Google properties in response to specific categories of searches, such as shopping and local – to determine whether Google used that product to reduce or eliminate a nascent competitive threat. Similarly, the investigation focused on the allegation that Google altered its search algorithms to demote certain vertical websites in an effort to reduce or eliminate a nascent competitive threat. 

According to the Commission statement, however, the FTC concluded that the introduction of Universal Search, as well as additional changes made to Google’s search algorithms – even those that may have had the effect of harming individual competitors – could be plausibly justified as innovations that improved Google’s product and the experience of its users. It therefore has chosen to close the investigation.


Edit - line spaces added for readability



14 posts

Geek
Inactive user


  Reply # 759567 11-Feb-2013 15:35 Send private message

This is the crunch:

"if you do this and that....and follow our advice  [over a 4- 5 year period], your site will perform better on Google and rank higher on ORGANIC search results"

"Opps hang on, we have now sold your spot and efforts to the highest bidder, now that you have helped us build a product of value here in NZ"

Clear as day.



544 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 759568 11-Feb-2013 15:36 Send private message

BTW - I'm not saying your personal examples aren't necessarily valid, just pointing out that citing that article isn't a great idea.



14 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 759572 11-Feb-2013 15:42 Send private message

It also suggests Google paid off the investigators and made an out of court settlement doesn't it mate?

Read between the lines.

The goal of any out of court settlement (and / or bribe) is to insure the final "formal" press release looks squeaky clean.

What they had to pay/ bribe to get that final report is the big question. Out of court settlement terms - "no admittance of guilt". As is often the case.

Look - are we/ you seriously suggesting Google is innocent of manipulating their monopoly?

We have cases going on World wide now - and a brand new website in NZ, with one or two links to it, cannnot jump in front of a 4 years old site which has followed all the rules, been at the top for years and has 30 or 40 good links set up to it.

Oh "they just changed the algorithm " - yes, to include Yellow sites.

And their are now two Yellow sites, both built in the past 2 months, which are now in front of all other sites which have been their for years - my client's site being just one of them.

It is no coincidence. 

Lets see how many other website designers are seeing/ experiencing their hard work and good faith being demolished overnight by some secret deal.

I might email this to 20 or so direct this week actually - many are probably not quite aware yet - it has only happened "over night" type thing/ just stared happening. 

Yellow have paid them off/ bought their way in - seems clear to me. 





 



14 posts

Geek
Inactive user


  Reply # 759573 11-Feb-2013 15:45 Send private message

Can anyone here name ONE other monopoly that has existed in the history of mankind that didn;t abuse its power and get sued and/or broken up?

Is Google the first one ever?

Rose tinted glasses - or Google staff members ? 





14 posts

Geek
Inactive user


  Reply # 759575 11-Feb-2013 15:49 Send private message

Thanks guys - the debate - and soon the class action lawsuit is well underway

There are obviously questions here.

Please pass onto other website companies and designers.

$100 each for the filing fee maybe - and we have an trained expert in Monopoly Law (and websites oddly enough) to represent us - already organised. 

:)



BDFL
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  Reply # 759579 11-Feb-2013 15:50 Send private message

An out of courts settlement doesn't mean a payoff to investigators. That is bribery.

Take your tinfoil hat off if you want to continue this discussion here.




BDFL
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  Reply # 759581 11-Feb-2013 15:52 Send private message

Also accusing people of being on the pay of other companies just because they disagree with you is against our rules. Read the FUG again if you must refresh your memory.






14 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 759586 11-Feb-2013 16:01 Send private message

Freitasm :

The article I posted makes suggestions of bribery/ pay offs. 

That is where that comment came from.



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