Are Google Rules Made to Be Broken?

March 9, 2011

I am not into financial comparisons in the UK or in the US for that matter. Too many opportunities to fiddle the data exist. Your view of these types of online services may be different from mine. After all, I am 66 and have worked in the commercial online sector for 30 plus years. Yep, lots of looseness exists. Anyone remember the ratings of certain financial instruments coincident with the financial meltdown in 2008?

The story that caught my attention was “Google Buys BeatThatQuote, a UK Comparison Site Violating Google’s Guidelines.” The main idea was that Google acquired a semi-hot company for pocket change; that is, $60 million or so. The SEOBook article asserted:

What is screwed up about this is that Google is engaging in *major* channel conflict. Not only is there some gray area background stuff:’s ad prompted 101 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, with 65 objecting that the commercial “trivialized, condoned or encouraged bullying in the workplace”.”

But now they have to consider SEO as well. I highlighted how it was a bit unjust when Google arbitrarily chose to whack one site while letting another get away with worse just because the founder was good at public relations, but how can Google police Google’s guidelines when Google is the one breaking them?

Now this is quite interesting. Are Google’s rules made to be broken? Heck, when you are a really big outfit operating in post crash America with a great deal of cash, rules are mostly “suggestions” or “hints”.

I think that as consolidation continues in the online space, the spirit of AT&T before Judge Green will influence a number of firms’ acquisition activities. Google is not doing anything much different from some other firms in similar positions. The free market encourages rules that work much like suggestions or hints.

Adaptation is an important attribute.

Stephen E Arnold, March 9, 2011



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