Poll: SEOs, Do You Trust Google?

May 21, 2012 • 8:51 am | comments (30) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Engine Industry News

Trust GoogleCommunication, transparency and outreach by Google is at an all time high but it feels as if trust between SEOs and Google is at an all time low.

Maybe I am wrong but the more I read the discussion forums, the more I go to conferences, the more Google shares, the less SEOs trust Google. At least that is how I perceive it.

This pops up in the forums all the time, several times a day. In fact, the ongoing WebmasterWorld thread has one SEO saying:

If you trust what Google says today, you're just setting yourself up to be burned in the future. Beware!

This is then followed up by Tedster, the WebmasterWorld administrator, as saying:

Also, if you trust what other webmasters and bloggers THINK Google is saying today, you may also be setting yourself up to be burned.


We covered normal Google users trusting Google less and we discussed the concept of why you shouldn't trust Google.

So please take my poll, do you trust Google? Personally, I do more than ever but what about you?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Image credit via ShutterStock for trust blocks

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Jesse Friedman

05/21/2012 01:02 pm

Something we have been pondering for some time now. Do algorithm updates benefit the end user or do they increase profits for google? One flick of the algorithm switch to make a better performing adwords client rank higher could mean billions for google.

Daniel Frank

05/21/2012 01:24 pm

I have to ask, trust Google to do what? Give good advice on ranking? not really. To try and get good results for searchers? Yes... but less than I used to.


05/21/2012 01:45 pm

If Yahoo can serve as an example here of trust and honesty vs making money, I would share from experience this fact: I lost a lot of faith in search engines in general when Yahoo basically cut off the majority of the largest Black Friday websites from even being indexed just days before the biggest traffic day of the year for that niche. They basically diverted that traffic to their own version of a black Friday site within their own system, which was a near copy of just one of the major Black Friday websites. This made me fearful of the fact that perhaps this year Google could do the same thing, as they are serving up more and more content in their 'answers' / knowledge graph without the need for a user to go to the source website. This equates to lost adsense revenue for the publishers, though, so the good news is that Google might think twice about doing what Yahoo did, or they could loose a LOT of money, as Black Friday is a HUGE advertising time, and if they cut off these major sites like Yahoo did, they would be loosing Billions of ad displays!!! Here's hoping for the best.


05/21/2012 03:05 pm

Most of the SEOs are out of business already. More are coming. Sure they will not trust Google. You'd better make a poll : "Why Google don't trust SEOs anymore ?"


05/21/2012 03:13 pm

This Disqus script is full of bugs. Edit function doesn't work properly. Sometimes messages disappear and you have to refresh several times to get it back. Not good at all. You have a full staff Barry. Why can't you create your own script ? It would definitely provide better user experience. Remember about Panda otherwise )

Barry Schwartz

05/21/2012 03:14 pm

You seem very upset. I really like the Disqus user experience. Why replicate it. The whole site was built by my staff and we even use the Disqus API tightly .


05/21/2012 03:20 pm

Don't see the charity organisation in search engine. Google (or Yahoo) owe you nothing. Build your own brand, so visitors come to you directly. Can't ? Change profession.

Lyndon NA

05/21/2012 03:30 pm

That are an autonomous entity - answerable to no-one and accountable for virtually nothing. They are free to do as they please, when they please. They can literally cause thousands of sites to loose traffic and revenue, with no real mechanism to rectify any inaccuracies, inconsistencies or errors. A simple error on their part may result in legitimate businesses losing thousands. They make changes to improve the results for users - which seems to result in more than a few blatantly low-value, low-quality, low-relevance sites sitting higher, whilst some honest, standup sites seem to disappear. Trust Google Corp? Not on your nelly! Please Note: The sentiment pertains only to the corporate entity, not it's staff. Though I may have personal issues with a few (and a few may reciprocate) ... the vast majority are reliable, honest and decent people. Do not mistake my dislike/distrust of the business as reflecting my view of the people.

Lyndon NA

05/21/2012 03:32 pm

@Anti-SEO : You realise that "SEO" means optimizing stuff for Search Engines, right? So telling people to go Market (which is not the same thing, though it may relate/pertain) is somewhat irrelevant/pointless (esp. as this specific piece and vote deals directly with SEO).


05/21/2012 03:39 pm

Don't want to flood here, but sure I'm upset if I can't edit the post because Edit form doesn't work for me.

Barry Schwartz

05/21/2012 03:41 pm

I reported it to Disqus.


05/21/2012 03:54 pm

@google-9f0f9ab3e63bc0e8125fb2daae7954f4:disqus : You realise, that russofford 's post I replied, is a general observation and isn't related to SEO, right ?


05/21/2012 04:01 pm

You realise that russofford 's post I replied, is a general observation and isn't related to SEO (though it may relate), right ? (have to repeat since the first post disappeared)

John Wieber

05/21/2012 04:34 pm

Jesse you hit the nail on the head. I often think that Google is not most interested in giving the best results, but instead giving Google the best opportunities to make money.

Scott McKirahan

05/21/2012 04:48 pm

Google doesn't care if you trust them. You need them; not the other way around. They will continue to thrive whether SEO's exist or not. Either adapt and move on or be happy with less than half the results from Yahoo/Bing.


05/21/2012 05:25 pm

SEOs/Google trust? - I'd say it is similar to the relationship between man and woman. Sometimes you love sometimes you really want to divorce but worry about the kids (website)..

David L.

05/21/2012 05:49 pm

Ha, I don't trust Google at all right now, and I'm not sure why almost anyone else would, either. They say they're going to make things easier for people who just "produce great content" and I do! But even whitehat techniques have become less effective, and I'm getting slammed in rankings without doing ANYTHING spammy. I hope they fix their algorithms soon because my clients and I are all running out of good strategies for non-spammy SEO. http://www.squidoo.com/google-panda-update-changes-to-seo-in-2012


05/21/2012 06:13 pm

They said "produce great content". It was +/- 8 years ago. Now they're are saying "Your visitors must acknowledge, that the content you produced/published is great". Feel the difference. " ...out of good strategies for non-spammy SEO..." - I'm just curious - and what happen then ? Will you spam Google or what ? ))

Profit Mongers - Im eating

05/21/2012 06:31 pm

If Google cared about good content than ELLE, would rank above FASHION.NET, or perhaps NYMag, or even Vouge, the biggest fashion magazines in the US. But they dont because perhaps A) their SEM budgets are VERY large and Google doesnt want to lose that revenue, and/or B) trust is still built on a site that was registered with a keyword driven domain in 1995. Truthfully, the site got more "resourceful" but when you read its editorials, vs ELLE and VOUGE -- its is still shit! Google is seriously smarter than the SEO, and cares about profit. Profit is made when good content sites arent at the top - cause those same sites that can pay editors ot create good content, can also pay Google to get eyeballs on it. The sites with good content that cant pay Google, well some of them win (cause their domain is old and keyword rich), and others lose cause well, they just didnt pay enough yet! If it wasnt for Google, I would be out of a job -- WE ALL WOULD. So I trust them to keep f--cking with people so I can have a job. Google created a mini economy.

Profit Mongers - Im eating

05/21/2012 06:32 pm

Oh and fashion.net ranks over elle and NYmag for the keyword "fashion."


05/21/2012 07:52 pm

But for "vehicle", "world" and "garden" SERPs are good ....

Ashraful Ayan

05/22/2012 03:32 am

Google has become absolutely untrustworthy, this is what i think, i do also believe that Google is still in beta and there are more nasty updates are about to come...


05/22/2012 05:37 am

The problem is not with google. The problem was with seo's always. They had tried to game the system where they did tried to manipulate the search by easily stuffing keywords. Now when google has become dam strict all those seo activities are not working. We have to trust Google there is no choice. Follow the rules strictly and don't game google. It will be hard but we have to accept it anyhow. Today penguin has done this damage, whatif tommorow some shark type update comes and wipes all out then? So its time to work out on new things, new ideas and creative stuff. The rule is make your site worthy!!


05/22/2012 06:39 am

Google need to provide more relevant results to make more money. If we consistently have to click our way through irrelevant results in our searches, eventually we'll start looking at alternatives.


05/22/2012 11:42 am

It make sense for Google not to be 100% transparent. It make sense for SEOs not to trust Google. Personally I do trust them, sometimes :) Google and SEO are on oposite sides: Google ha sa product that is trying to improve and SEO's are trying to game-in on Google's product. Otherwise it's only about creating content and that's it. SEO is not only about getting content online...

Marc Ensign

05/22/2012 01:07 pm

The idea of whether or not to trust Google is funny. Who cares? This is Google's sandbox and you need to either play by their rules or risk being given a time-out if you knowingly break them. The difference between us and them is that SEO's by nature are always looking at the short term (weeks: how to get ranked high and fast) while Google is looking at the big picture (years: what will search look like 5 years from now). Stop thinking so short term and start building a campaign that is sustainable over the long term. Sure, it's a lot more work than hiring a link building company to build thousands of bogus links and articles but the benefit is that you get to sleep at night when they announce the next update (which they will) and your work is solid.


05/22/2012 02:06 pm

off course everything is focussed to get us pay more ...


05/22/2012 03:47 pm

Make a profitable site so you and Google can make money together. If you have a useless site then what good is it to you, Google or the surfers? Does it make sense in an offline world for you to produce a better product so you and your partners make more money?


05/22/2012 04:15 pm

seriously..the BEST reply I have ever heard. Loved it..

Los Angeles Seo

05/22/2012 07:20 pm

I have to ask, trust Google to do what? Give good advice on ranking? not really. To try and get good results for searchers? Yes... but less than I used to.

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