Google, You are Not God

Do you ever get the feeling that some mighty power is looking over your shoulder, policing everything you do?

That’s kind of how I felt on Sunday when I attended SMX Israel, a lively and informative Web Marketing conference in Jerusalem.

Along with 350 others, I took dutiful notes as every expert on the podium talked about the Big G. In the world of the Web, the Big G refers to none other than the almighty Google.

I learned that I need to keep up with Go0gle’s ever-changing landscape. I need to do a better job of integrating Google Local and schema.org data, or my listings won’t stand out in search results. I need to delete low-value posts on my sites, or Google will penalize me. I need to become more active on Google Plus or my rankings will suffer.

Last week’s launch of Google’s “Search plus Your World” format means that Search Engine results have been radically altered, as shown in the screenshot on the right. I need to change my strategy to reflect that, or else.

Why? Because the Big G says so.

It reminded me of one of my grandmother’s sayings: “When he says jump, you say ‘how high?'”

It wasn’t long before I had a list of 10 things I had to do for Google.

And that was just the first presentation.

Later, conference convener Barry Schwartz,  from Search Engine Land, presented a review of all of Google’s updates since 2003. It seems that web marketers have been dancing to the Big G’s tune for over a decade, waiting for the word on how high we should jump this time.

barry's schwartz's kippah

Barry Schwartz, Search Engine maven and creator of ShulCloud, the synagogue management software.

It was fascinating… but I must admit that my favorite part was seeing that kippah perched on top of Barry’s head, which is so much a part of his image as a Search Engine maven.  Even in his cute little cartoon alter-ego, Barry wears his kippah.

It reminded me that even though I’m also playing this game of jump rope with Google, I’m not really buying into it.

I’m just a regular Jewish woman, following the rules in pursuit of parnasa.

Corporations like Google are like the Empires of old, rising out of nowhere and taking over the world. The big difference is that instead of laying siege and shedding blood, they conquer us by granting us technological powers we never knew we wanted, but now can’t live without.

But the outcome is the same: Google now rules the world. We web consumers, and certainly those of us with web-based businesses, are all citizens in their empire. We better follow their rules, or pay the price.

Like any other empire, Google is using every means at its disposal to maintain its sovereignty. A mighty battle is being waged between Google and Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, and any other corporation that threatens to topple the crown of world domination from its head.

But we don’t need to be intimidated by Google and their ever-evolving demands. We’ll just be good and loyal citizens in their empire, and benefit from their system too. Like so many people around the world, Google gives me my parnasa through the customers it refers me on my various websites. Far be it from me to bite the hand that feeds me.

But Google, you’re not God. You will fall some day. Just like all the other Empires. And I know that you are just an agent for the Real Source of my parnasa.

It’s important to me to remember that as I go about my business pandering to Google. I just dutifully created a Google Plus page for this blog and my other sites.
But there will always be only One Big G for me, and it ain’t Google.

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Comments

  1. Love it, Naomi! Especially your G–gle logo. Maybe you should submit it as a Google doodle… Important point to bear in mind, though – we can easily forget it in the rush and pressure to please the gods (with lowercase “g”s) of the internet.

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  2. Love it, really clever post!

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  3. I also like the logo! Others have come to similar conclusions and acted on it: http://gizmodo.com/5875571/google-just-made-bing-the-best-search-engine

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  4. Way to go, Naomi – and it ain’t google!

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  5. I love the logo – and what perfect timing, as I’m urging everyone to switch to Bing instead.

    I’ve been all for playing by Google’s rules since it rules cyberspace, but this latest Search Plus Your World way of shoving Google Plus down our throats is disgusting. I’m not googling anymore. It’s time to start binging instead. Or even better, use GoodSearch, which is the doing-good arm of Yahoo. Each time you do a search, you get the same results you’d get for Yahoo (which is now powered by Bing anyway) and Yahoo donates a few pennies to a charity designated by you. At the end of the day, those pennies per search add up!

    Thank you, Naomi for reminding us that, whichever dance we choose, G–gle’s or Bing’s, our success is all up to Hakadosh Baruch Hu!

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    Naomi Reply:

    Thanks Myriam. Like most people I’m set in my ways using Google search, gmail, google docs, chrome, picnik, Adsense, Youtube, etc. It’s not easy to escape Google’s Sticky web! But I am going to try using bing just for search for three days and see how it goes. Anyone else care to try?

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    Myriam @jerusalem-insiders-guide.com Reply:

    Just in case you haven’t heard – one more way in which Google is trying to force us under its wings. It bought picnik and is shutting it down. As of April, you’ll only have access to picnik-like editing through … you guess it … Google Plus. Fortunately, there are many other even better free photo editors out there – but picnik was the most fun to use! At this rate, soon we won’t be able to cross the street without Google’s permission.

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  6. Thanks everyone for your positive feedback and for all the shares!

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  7. Great reminder that we always need to keep the proper perspective.
    We have our hishtadlut, but Hashem is the source of our parnasa.

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  8. I really loved your posts and it helped me start my own website. Thanks!
    I look forward to more articles.

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    Naomi Reply:

    Wow Chava. I just checked out your site and it is really well done. I am very impressed. I wish you a lot of luck and hope we can schooze more soon.

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  9. Excellent post – it is so easy to lose perspective in this day and age. Thanks, Naomi.

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