Monday, January 6, 2014

Extortion in the 21st Century? - More

Don't pay Google for advertising and see if you can find your business with a Google search. We couldn’t find ours after we declined advertising with Google. All traces of our company were removed. We searched for Yoga For Every Age, even the active web site at using Google search. Google had no listings, not one trace what-so-ever of the yoga class or even the multi-page, active website. But we found our listings using Bing, Dogpile, Yahoo Search, Infospace, or Webcrawler – which uses both Google and Yahoo – and everything popped up normally.

For several years, Yoga For Every Age was at the top of the Google search results list for yoga classes in the area, North Port and Punta Gorda, Florida. My wife decided not to advertise her yoga classes with Google, even though they sent registration cards and special offers for over eighteen months. But without warning or fanfare, Yoga For Every Age simply disappeared from the face of Google's universe. Gone, with no trace. Yet, the other listed search engines will find the pages and the website with no problem.

Will Google be the arm-twister of commerce, especially small businesses who can't afford Google's advertising? Apparently, it appears if you don't advertise with Google, they won't find any trace of you. Get ready for the newest version of guys in black shirts and white ties, but this time they are wearing cutoffs and drinking custom coffees. The concept of a free, unbiased Internet search engine vanished today. You pay or you go away.

[Author's note]  It was brought to our attention that Google Maps had marked the business "Yoga For Every Age" as closed or moved – without any explanation – so we contacted Google Maps and reinstated Yoga For Every Age, at the correct address that was submitted to them two years ago.  Google Maps now has Yoga For Every Age at the proper location, but a Google search still does not find any trace of Yoga For Every Age or the web site. The web site is an active, popular website with over 83,000 hits, and an average of 11 hits a day.  The count for this week so far is 77 hits.
 I'll post any updates as they occur, but Google can't find Yoga For Every Age as of this update.
Update 1/10/2014 – After 4 days of non-existence, Yoga for Every Age has reappeared on Google's search results. We filled in a comment page for Google on 1/8, but had no response from Google.  The site has been added to the search results, however.  GM


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