WebmasterWorld's Tabke: Google "Stiffed" Webmasters on Christmas

Dec 23, 2009 • 8:45 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdSense

Yesterday we reported that Google donated $20 million to charity instead of giving out their typical holiday gifts to publishers. We initially thought Google would not send out gifts this year, and we were somewhat right. They did not give publishers, advertisers or webmasters anything really - outside of what they earned.

Brett Tabke, the owner of WebmasterWorld, commented in a WebmasterWorld thread with his true feelings. He felt Google stiffed webmasters, advertisers and publishers this year. Let me quote him:

Lets get real. A $20m tax write off to charity has nothing to do with AdSense or AdWords swag gifts. If you were expecting a gift from Google - you got stiffed. Your "gift" did not go to charity. If it did go to charity in your name, then ask Google for documentation to that effect so that you can take it off your taxes. To even mention the two in the same breath is a disservice to the charities and to AdSense operators. Google gives money every year to charity - so do alot of businesses. $20 million isn't even good pocket changes to google. These two events are totally unrelated. Nothing but political pr slight-of-hand at work.

Do you agree with this?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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12/23/2009 02:12 pm

If that $20 million would not have gone to charity, and someone in the Adsense dept or similar managed to negotiate that... then wow! I know if I managed to get a company, any company, to donate $20mil to charity - I would die a happy man!

Barry Schwartz

12/23/2009 02:22 pm

What I found interesting, but left out in my original post, was that on the page that lists the charities, it says: "Current list of intended recipients" INTENDED i.e. the $20 mill was not yet given out.


12/23/2009 02:48 pm

I believe in charitable work but not in giving blindly to charity. It's best focused on those who genuinely need it. One of the charities listed, "Loud Against Nazis", wound up catching my eye. A Google search yielded very little information about this charity, who they are, or what they actually do. Wikipedia had nothing at all. I never qualify for their gifts, so it didn't bother me on the surface. Still, I don't feel easy about blind charity to begin with - let alone to apparently obscure charities.


12/23/2009 03:13 pm

This is not the first time it happens to me (that a company who was expected to send a gift unilaterally decides to make a donation "on my name") and I always thought the same: let me decide myself who, when and why has to receive my donation, and let me do in my name. In brief: give the money and I'll decide myself. I donate from time to time, as well as I do some small monthly donations, but come on, I'm an adult, I can decide.

Chris Beasley

12/23/2009 03:44 pm

Hey, I got stiffed last year too, no idea why, but I never got the donorchoose thing even, and I do six figures with them. Really though, what is up with all this entitlement? Are we entitled to gifts? Is anyone? Did anyone send a gift to Matt Cutts? Eric Schmidt? Sergey and Larry? What if you had a friend you gave a gift to last year but didn't this year and he came up to you and said he was felt stiffed for not getting his entitled to gift? Getting something from Google is nice, but no one is entitled to anything except a 1099, and if Google chooses not to give a gift, that is their choice. Honestly, complaining about it makes one come across like a petulant child.


12/23/2009 06:25 pm

When I received the email from Google I had much the same thought as Brett. It has nothing to do with a sense of entitlement. I really don't care about the Google gift. It just struck me as charitable donation / tax write off that they probably would of given anyway, but decided to spin for PR and to save money on sending out swag. If they want to act like this is a gift to me they should at least let me choose the charity. Otherwise this feels a whole like Homer buying Marge a bowling ball that says "Homer" on it.


12/23/2009 06:29 pm

I think that's exactly the point: why all the entitlement? Google only owes me the service they are paid for, and they deliver that service. Likewise, if Google had perhaps purchased blankets and food with this money and seen them distributed properly to people with genuine need then that would been wonderful. Those are real results. Why are these charities entitled? What do they even do? Google's search engine yields very little on some of those charities, and Wikipedia shows absolutely nothing on a number of them. A simple link out from that list on the page would be very, very useful. To that end, the message no doubt read to many of us in a manner similar to this: "Merry Christmas. We may or may not write checks to organizations who may or may not use the money wisely for the betterment of people who may or may not deserve it. Please feel good about that." It was insulting to receive a Christmas gift of maybes and feelings.


12/23/2009 07:15 pm

I just want my membership to the Jelly of the Month Club. I feel like I'm at least entitled to that this time of year. ;)


12/23/2009 08:00 pm

Not all charities/organisations have a website or marketing team to get them a web presence. Some charities survive on a shoestring budget with barely any staff. They simply dont have the time to set up websites etc. Hopefully the extra cash will allow them to do that, so do the same searches in a year and tell us the results :)


12/24/2009 06:44 am

It is just a slow cultural transition within Google from whatever it was (was never sure) to a typical corporate behemoth in the lines of IBM and Microsoft (and Sun Microsystems a long time ago?). Schmidt can only take it in that direction.

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