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Google Adwords discriminating against small businesses for slow loading?

In thinking about my recent post about how Google Adwords now formally discriminate against slower-loading sites by raising their minimum bidding price, I realized that small businesses and the "long tail" are probably most hurt the most by Google's new "quality score" policy.

  • As I previously explained, Google has a subjective, non-transparent, non-auditable, or non-appealable "quality score" variable whose purpose is to maximize Google's revenue -- not to award the keyword to the highest bidder.

This new Google policy discriminates most heavily against small businesses because they:

  • Have relatively the least resources, time and ability to technologically redesign their website to adapt to Google's arbitrary changes; and
  • Are least able to afford adapting their business model to Google's favor -- away from slower-loading display ads -- to faster-loading search ads.

Bottom line: Google is well aware that small or "long tail" businesses, for all practical purposes, have no other comparable choice for online advertising, so they believe they can safely exert their market power here with impunity. 

Google Adwords not neutral -- charging more for slow loading sites

Google AdWords announced a new net neutrality double-standard that may also be an anti-competitive practice, in that Google will start discriminating against slower-loading websites by charging them higher prices. 

Google CEO: 'The One Sentence Manager' accountability system

I had to chuckle when Google CEO Dr. Schmidt publicly explained his management system for Google last week -- I 've dubbed it -- 'The One Sentence Manager.'  

  • In a speech to Washington insiders at the Economic Club where Dr. Schmidt exhorted how the world could learn a lot from Google's "scalable values"...
    • Dr. Schmidt actually admitted how hard it was to get Googlers to be accountable to his minimalist automated reporting requirement of writing a one-sentence summary by email of what that person did that week.
      • He further explained that his automated system would "harass" the people with ever increasingly funny prods -- until they complied.

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows one of my pet beefs about Google is how completely unaccountable Google is and how they go out of their way to remain unaccountable to anyone or anything.

Google not so neutral in blocking Paypal from Google's App engine

More evidence comes to the light that the "neutral-ier-than-thou" Google does not in fact act 'neutrally' on the net itself. Reportedly Google has blocked eBay's PayPal offering from Google's app engine, according to both Techcrunch's Michael Arrington and ZDNet's Garrett Rogers.

  • Google's Checkout service conveniently is a competitive offering to eBay's Paypal.

It will be most interesting to see if Google's poodles in the public interest community (i.e. Public Knowlege, Free-Press, Moveon.org, etc.) will jump up and down and scream crisis that a dominant Internet access point, (Google's search engine with ~80% revenue share), is acting anti-competitively and violating the FCC's net neutrality principles, which in fact apply to Google (Check out the actual text in Principle #4).

  • I won't be holding my breath.  

It would also be interesting to see how Google's poodles spin that this Google content blocking is any different from the instances that they have claimed... threaten... the very future of... the Internet!!!!   DUNDUNDUN....DONNNNE! 

What's Google got to hide? Google's CEO Schmidt ducks questions from the real free press

I couldn't help to notice yesterday that Google CEO Schmidt didn't take any questions from reporters who were in attendance or meet with the reporter pool afterwards, which is customary for speaking venues like Dr. Schmidt's speech Monday at the Economic Club of Washington.

What's Google got to hide in Washington?

  • Could it be that Google does not think that questions of a leading corporate CEO, who is now Chairman of the New America Foundation think tank concerning: antitrust, privacy, consumer protection, good government, transparency, openness, tax, net neutrality, and broadband Universal Service -- are not considered legitimate questions or fair game in Washington?
  • Do public questions of public leaders seeking ambitious changes in public policy and public discourse, not warrant an open forum for questions from a free press in a democracy?

Bottom line: It appears the only kind of "free press" that Google embraces is its advocacy group ally that calls itself FreePress, which is the operation which de facto runs point for Google's net neutrality public policy agenda in Washington.

Relevant Washington questions to ask Google CEO Schmidt at his speech Monday in Washington

Given that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is delivering a major speech at the Economic Club of Washington Monday June 9th lunch, given that Google's business model is all about delivering "relevancy" to users, and given that Google's public policy mantra is "openness," I have assembled some suggested Washington-relevant questions for reporters and others to ask Dr. Schmidt at and after this open forum.

  • The subjects of the questions are: antitrust, privacy, consumer protection, good government, transparency, openness, tax, net neutrality, and broadband Universal Service

Antitrust: 

  • If, per the FTC, search is a "unique" or separate market, why wouldn't a search-partnership between #1 Google and #2 Yahoo be illegal collusion when Google already partners with #4 AOL and #5 Ask.com -- and when the four search partners would comprise a de facto search cartel controlling over 90% of the revenues in the U.S. search market?

Privacy:

  • Should consumers and Congress be concerned with Google exploiting a privacy regulation loophole to offer personal health records management, when independent watchdog group Privacy International ranked Google worst in the world on privacy and Google refuses to comply with California law requiring posting Google's privacy policy prominently on its home page?  

Consumer Protection:

Unleashed: Transcript of Griffin/Cleland talk on Google, net neutrality, monopolies, click fraud, privacy

For those who like the written format, here is the link to the transcript of Chip Griffin's interview of me on all things Google.

This interview turned out to be one of the most comprehensive and in-depth discussions I have had on all things Google -- that's been captured for web listening or reading.

We discussed:

Google's free speech double standard "for the good of humanity"

A Bloomberg article highlights yet another Google double standard.

  • A Bloomberg article by Janine Zacharia reports on how Google takes down content that is found objectionable by individual countries in: "Google Diplomats Bend Free Expression to Preserve Global Power."

The Google double standard is that Google takes down content objectional to other countries but refuses to largely comply with the legitimate bipartisan request of the Senate Homeland Security Committee to take down terrorist branded content designed to incite violence against Americans and others around the world. 

Why a Lack of Openness Sullies the Integrity of Google's Ad Auctions

Does Google warrant the current exceptional leap-of-faith in the integrity of its dominant ad auction model, given its near total lack of openness, transparency, independent auditability, or third party oversight? There is a growing body of evidence that Google does not.

  • The New York Times article today by Miguel Helft: "The Human Hands behind the Google Money Machine" is a must read for anyone following Google or concerned about the openness and transparency of public markets. It is also a little treasure trove of fresh information on Google.

Why a lack of openness sullies the integrity of Google's ad auctions.

First, it is widely accepted that public markets operate best when open and transparent.

Google's ad auction model has become one of the world's most important public markets. Google is increasingly becoming the world's primary public information broker. Google brokers: 

  • Information for over 700 million search users worldwide, over three to six times their nearest rivals;
  • Advertisement placement for over a million advertisers several times more than their nearest competitors;
  • Monetization for over a million websites several times more than their nearest competitors.

Google is also not open or transparent.

More evidence on "Can you trust Google to obey the rules?"

The New York Times' Hansel followed up on his Google privacy policy post that prompted my broader analysis "Can you trust Google to obey the rules?"

After I finished my "Can you trust Google to obey the rules" analysis, I realized there were past posts and examples that I could have included but didn't. 

  • For those who are new to this topic or those who want to further explore if "Google is accountable to anyone" I have included a smattering of additional evidence for my thesis that Google systematically chooses to not obey the rules that others are expected to follow -- that you might find eye-opening...

 From my earlier post of 1-18-08: 

"Google.org Tax Treatment?

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths