Evil Google? Come on!Tadeusz Szewczyk, a/k/a Tad Chef, has offered up an eyebrow-raising post over on Collective Thoughts. His “Top 12 Reasons To Distrust Google” post Saturday accuses the search giant of, among other things:

  1. Supporting and implementing censorship measures in nondemocratic countries like China.
  2. Recording and collecting all your personal and private data.
  3. Arbitrarily “kicking out” spammy websites, even if they’re not spam sites.
  4. Being “literally a black box company and accountable to nobody.”
  5. Practicing conflict of interest by owning one of the biggest U.S. SEO companies.
  6. Disclosing your private data to identify you for authorities investigating crimes, particularly in non-democratic countries where free speech is sometimes against the law.
  7. Being a multinational corporation.
  8. Laying off employees.
  9. Being like the Bush administration in claiming they aren’t evil.

Wouldn’t everyone, technically, claim they aren’t evil? I’m just asking.

I’ve long had a distaste for certain types of search marketers. While I’m not yet lumping Tad Chef into this group, his SEO-friendly listing of why we should hate Google is the exact kind of conspiracy theory propaganda one would expect from a black hat marketer trying to drive traffic to his own website. (Tad’s post ends with the non-poetic, “I am Tad Chef and I will enable you to venture beyond Google on my SEO 2.0 blog.”)

Interesting then that his latest post, as of Saturday morning, was a tip article on how to rank high in Google searches.

I’m not about to defend each point Tad makes. Google is a large corporation (I don’t see this as bad) and the bigger you are, the more room there is for imperfection. It is interesting to note, however, that he offers no links or third-party research to back up his claims. And couldn’t possibly confirm any intent behind them if they were true. I’d call and research and all that, but frankly, have better things to do than to try and defray wild accusations against someone I don’t work for.

He doesn’t go so far as to accuse Google of doing anything with your personal and private data, but I thought Google became smarter as a search engine by recording the searches and behavior of its users. Am I confused on this or is Tad just paranoid?

There is one point he makes that I just feel is out of bounds and inappropriate. To quote:

“Google does not communicate its most controversial policy officially but via the private blog of a cat lover.”

That last part links to Matt Cutt’s blog.

I’m sorry, Tad. Calling Google black hat and taking a pot-shot at Matt Cutts for liking cats doesn’t exactly bolster your credibility. I wouldn’t trust you with my searches or, frankly, my SEO advice. No offense.

And to offer disclosure, I competed against Matt Cutts in high school speech tournaments, but don’t know him.

To make matters worse, Tad brags in a recent post that he outranked Matt for the search term “SEO” in seven easy steps. In that tome, he says:

Do you know Matt Cutts? This famous cat blogger with the ugly WordPress theme? Yes, I know he is only famous because he works at Google and he can shatter lives of people who depend on online revenue with one click. While most SEO 1.0 aficionados dread this guy and pray each day not to get penalized (why does this word sound so similar to “penis”? Is it because people do not want to get f****d by Google?) I do not read his blog for at least 10 reasons.”

The list of 10 reasons is another insult spew. In which Tad asserts, “I’m special.” No argument here, pal.

Now, conspiracy theorists and nut-jobs exist no matter where you are or what niche topic you’re discussing. Again, I don’t know Tad at all, so I don’t want to label him unfairly. But this is the type of vitriol and venom that normally results in people being banned from forums, if not wholly deteriorating their credibility.

And unfortunately, as one of the banner carriers for Collective Thoughts, Tad may strip away some of the credibility of others there. Having respect for several of them, a few I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting, that’s a shame.

[tags]conspiracy theory, Google conspiracy, Matt Cutts, Google, credibility, search marketers, search marketing[/tags]

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog and signature Explore events. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.yourprguy.com Rodger D. Johnson

    Jason, Happy Birthday (albeit belated) by the date of this post. Harry’s 9-part series a nice run. And I don’t know if you seen this, but Ning has a web 2.0 social media platform out. Now anyone can have their own social network. Check Ning out. I’m going to try and convince our Hoosier PRSA chapter to adopt it.

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    Hey Rodger — I’m on Ning for the Social Media Club and for RobbysUprising.com, a fan site for Robby Gordon. It’s a pretty powerful tool and simple to use and administer. Good luck getting folks to use it in Indy!

  • Doug Heil

    Good post. Your suspicions of him are correct. I think most of the “social” people out there are simply failed REAL SEO’s. What he fails to understand is that social media is NOT SEO and will never be so. It’s a part of internet marketing just like SEO is a part of it. MANY out there love to criticize and bash and trash Google. It’s fashionable in the SEO and social media sphere these days. The next best search engine will get trashed as well. It’s a form of internet marketing to people like Tad or chad or whatever his name is. Don’t concern yourself with those types as they are not worth it.

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    Doug — Thanks for the input. I normally don’t get concerned with random flamers who are just trying to attract attention, but this post was on Collective Thoughts, a community blog started by a friend and populated by several very smart, very good people I’ve met and become digital friends with. The fact that this type of writing would be endorsed by them (one of them actually submitted his article to bookmarking sites, surely to drive traffic, but still) shocks me. Perspective is one thing, seemingly baseless hate is another. I’m wrestling with whether this post is a slip through the cracks or an indicator of the true nature of the other folks involved with the website. If it’s the latter, I’m really disappointed.

  • http://www.timnash.co.uk Tim Nash

    Collective Thoughts is a group blog made of individuals if we vet or edit each others posts we would never get anything done :)
    This means things will be posted that not everyone within the group agrees with and indeed we have had several posts already where members of the group have gone off and written their own responses to a post (Indeed the recent post on the Venture Skills blog is a good example along with Tads follow up argument).
    Tad has a unique style he is always controversial and he certainly gets people discussing his ideas even if people don’t agree with them.
    Collective Thoughts is a great platform for all of us to get over our points of view but just because we all blog on the site doesn’t make us all drones quite the opposite I’m sure at least one of us will no doubt jump to the defence of Google at some point in the future.

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    Tim — Thanks, so much, for stopping by. I appreciate the Collective Thoughts community stopping over to discuss the issue and certainly recognize that no one voice speaks for all of the community writers there.

    Tad is controversial and that does attract attention, traffic, etc. Certainly those are not bad qualities to have as a blogger. However, there is a difference in being edgy and controversial and being childish and mean. Flamers are the latter. Smart bloggers are the former.

    My knowledge (albeit limited) of you and several other Collective Thoughts contributors is that the group is a complimentary (not drones) collection of voices and perspectives from the world of social media, professionals who enjoy analysis and discourse of the topics. In my opinion, Tad crossed the line in this particular piece to someone spewing baseless accusations and throwing personal darts. Like it or not, that does detract from the reputation of the blog and I hate to see that happen.

    As a reader (community member) of Collective Thoughts, I wanted to make sure the perspective was heard. In my opinion, he was out of line getting personal and needs to be held to a higher standard in terms of backing up wild claims with fact, not just “come to my blog, I’ll show you” propaganda. If we are the new media, there are some elements of the old media we should uphold and pursue, both individually and from the collective. Fairness, accuracy and common decency are three of those.

    Thank you again for coming here and offering the insight and perspective. I look forward to any counterpoint to Tad’s post anyone there might offer.

  • http://broadcasting-brain.com Mark Dykeman

    I’m glad I read your post and Tad’s as well.

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