As a continuation of Brett Tabke calling out Google for stiffing webmasters over the Christmas gift this year, Brett explains more of why he is a bit upset with Google in 2009. Brett lays out what he believes Google is moving towards and it seems to really upset him and other webmasters. Brett explained:
- Google retracts almost every webmasters/siteowner outreach program it had in 2009.
- They left the trade show circut. Other than what they had contracted a year earlier, they eliminated their participation in trade shows.
- Left their own speakers to pay for their own way to industry conferences. (denying expense receipts).
- Eliminated AdWords account support.
- Layed off hundreds (thousands according to some reports) temp advertising support reps.
- Canceled the Google customer support party (Google dance).
- Eliminated the vendor appreciation programs for AdSense and Adwords.
Brett said "Everything Google has done in the last year has screamed, 'AdSense and AdWords markets are maximized or tapped out. Put it into maintenance mode and lets go see where else we can make money.'"
Is it true? Well, Google only held one Webmaster Chat session this year, which was last month, before that, in 2008 and 2007, they held tons of these. It seems like Google limited their sponsorship of conferences in 2009, including not sponsoring PubCon and did limited sponsorships for SMX and SES events this past year (i.e. sponsored sessions) I believe. I also know they cut back on sending representatives to shows, but I do not know the extent of that. They have cut AdWords rep support, laid off temp workers, did not hold the annual Google Dance, cut gifts in exchange of the donations they give anyway, and so on.
However, I did notice a step up in the support forums. They upgraded the support forum software (slowly) and added representatives to them. They added features to Webmaster Tools, posted a ton on the Webmaster Blog, Matt produced tons of support videos and so on. So it does seem like overall, they may have spent a lot less money on webmaster/advertiser relations and focused on the less expensive routes. 2009 was a recession for many businesses, but was Google recession proof? Should they have not made these cuts? I am not really to judge.
I do believe Google will be sending more reps to conferences this year, and that they are less concerned about the economy in 2010 then they were in 2009. Maybe sponsorship of events will grow in 2010? Maybe the Google Dance will come back? Maybe?
I hate to judge how other companies use their money. 2009 was an extremely tough year for many businesses. It seemed to us that Google sailed through the year with no problems at all. But who knows what decisions they made early on to help with that? This is a very sensitive topic but being that Google is a public company, I guess these questions can be asked.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.