Google is neither bad nor good it is only a vehicle and for the most part it does what it is supposed to do very well. To the average Joe it is a darned good search engine. To webmasters, online business enterprises and the like it is a morphing complex and ever changing behemoth whose every move must be carefully tracked studied and considered before making any decision to do with online commerce or any major form of web communications.
SEO (search engine optimization) has become the single most important body of knowledge in the cyber world, maybe even the whole world! This is the science of website promotion. The most basic elements are search engine rankings, keywords and advertising. Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines require pretty much the same things as Google in order to be successful but Google is the undisputed champ at the moment.
Google cannot be faulted for running its business like a business but as with so many other giants of industry the human element starts to disappear in almost equal and direct proportion to its own grandiosity.
More then ever warnings are trumpeted about the fatal errors involved in not following the Google guidelines for optimization. The wrong keywords, the wrong number of links, the wrong kind of tags and other elements of website promotion can spell sudden death to any site.
As a writer I have run up against a few of Googles potential shoot me downs. To my chagrin it is a software program that decides my fate and not a real person.
I publish articles all over the internet and by checking sites and data bases that host my articles I can ascertain that about two or three hundred thousand people have read my work and it is increasing daily. I gleefully submitted articles to any decent article base I could find. I always kept in mind that it was the message I was writing that was important to get out to as many people as possible. After all it is those people that are most important of all, I reasoned.
Now if my articles show up in too many places I can get the search engine axe. I cant deny that getting the articles out was always my primary goal. I have no product to sell and Im not hoping for fame but I still have to watch my step. I can readily understand that there are thousands of outfits that are driven by greed or malice and would ride on the backs of the search engines to any place they could. But I doubt that a robot or software program knows the difference between me and them.
I have often pondered what I would do about all this if I were the CEO of Google. The answer always seemed obvious. I wouldnt change the entire direction of Google but I would add something to insure that it could not lose its human element. I would create a department not as a mere appendage but as full blown arm of the company.
My department would be constantly searching for websites that show remarkable qualities. Sites with exceptionality would be chosen and become part of a feature known as Googles Choice. Great web design would be on the list but not limited to that. Real humans would search for not so great designs but with obvious fledgling intuitiveness and our department would offer and provide help to those sites to bring them up to the highest levels.
The department would seek out sites with important content. Sites that contribute to the entire web experience, to their particular area of concern or perhaps to the nation or the entire world at large.
No one would need to apply but rather we would apply ourselves to searching out and approaching these sites. We would develop them, contribute to them and promote them. Their success would be our reward and no more as long as their success was beneficial in some way to the entire web community.
Some mistakes would be made and it would require a willingness to experiment a bit but the rewards would be so great. The bad rap the internet gets now with all the porn and trash might at least be offset by such a truly humanitarian endeavor.
One of the most wildly successful books of the decade has been Rick Warrens, The Purpose Driven Life. It has been said that this book is not the most important book of the decade but behind it was promotional machinery that could have been equally as successful with a book about raising hogs. Just for the shear heck of it our new department would try to simulate this kind of success. Maybe we could take Marthas little home and family pics site and turn it into the most marvelous internet gallery online. Why climb that mountain, to borrow a phrase, because it is there.
The present internet legacy is a draw between a good international business platform and a river of scams, schemes and scum. The bottom line is that it would help an internet giant to make the internet itself a giant contributor to the world at large. If I were the CEO of Google the new Googles Choice would be the first order of business for me.