Lee Odden

Google is Dead

Lee Odden     Google, Marketing Industry News, Rant

In this month’s Business 2.0, “2006 Smart List” issue, Google was bestowed “The Smartest Company of the Year” honors. In the ensuing article four scenarios on the possible future of Google were outlined. Three were optimistic and the fourth was doomsday for Google by 2020.

The cause? Hold on to your seat, because this is damn hilarious ….. SEO.

Yes, Rand, you’re given credit – it’s all your fault. And Microsoft.

From the absurd article:

“The once-mighty search engine falls prey to privacy intrusion, optimizers, and Microsoft.”

This article was good humor. The demise contributed by search engine optimization is credited to the focus on Google optimization by so many SEOs, that MSN’s search engine is ignored and that Google search results fill with pron and irrelevant sites. MSN search in the meantime, takes this time to develop without notice by SEOs.

Umm, you’ve got to be kidding me. It’s more difficult to say “Matt Cutts” three times than it is to spam MSN (from what I hear).

Some people continue to miss the point. By a mile and then some. Perhaps there can be a special session at the next Search Engine Strategies Conference, just for people that cover this space in the media, to explain how search engines work, to explain the positive goals of optimizing for search engines that 98% of search marketers share.

How many case studies are there of companies achieving success, especially small mom and pop companies competing with much larger competitors because of good optimization? Plenty.

[ /end rant ]

Tag: Google is Dead

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Hey Cryptblade,

    I think the “real” reason publications present a shady side of SEO is because it gets attention and controversy sells more magazines.

    What I think is interesting is that you don’t see articles in general business publications denouncing public relations as the downfall of print media. Yet journalists rely HEAVILY on stories suggested/spun by public relations firms.

    It’s all part of the fun.

  2. I personally wonder if having this ignorance is not a bad thing. No doubt businesses are aware of SEO and other online marketing and are aware that it is important. When I tell folks about SEO, generally I get a glazed look. Others may know in general what it means. Few really know what I am talking about.

    In my company we deal with realtors – brokers and individual agents – who want SEO. They often are not prepared to PAY for it, but at least they know they want it or need it.

    So, in my opinion, ignorant journalists from Business 2.0 or Newsweek do absolutely nothing to hurt or benefit SEO.

    But then again, how confident can we be of journalists outside of reporting the game score and, possibly, whatever happened in current events. Like for example, I think I can reasonably trust a journalist reporting that Hamas won the Palesinian elections.

    For the most part, I don’t really trust journalists in magazines – and I rarely buy magazines. In my opinion, journalists are scrambling to be saved from the their own ultimate demise. Let’s face it, between Stephen Glass, Newsweek, and the CBS-Blog SNAFU, what substansive credibility do they have? As far as I am concerned, they are spin-artists who take a bit of fact and spin it into a story.

    In SEO, we’ve done the same thing spinning the whole Black Hat-White Hat SEO thing; makes for great stories, useless debates, and SEO services marketing.

    I also find journalists rarely have intelligent insight – and I personally feel that unless journalists went to a school better than mine and prove they are intellectually superior to me, personally, then I discount anything they have to say unless it is pure fact.

    This Business 2.0 article, saying the demise of Google is caused by SEOs completely misses the point of BUSINESS and ECONOMICS which is, supply and demand. IF Google’s demise is because of SEOs gaming them too much – then so be it. If the product is not up to standard, it doesnt deserve to be a player. Why does GM have to discount their cars compared to Hondas or Toyotas? Because Japanese cars have proven to be superior to American cars. IF Google is destroyed because of SEO, it is because Google can’t produce a product that SEARCHERS want. Simple supply and demand – simple Business 101.

    Hence, poor pathetic opinions written by idiot journalists like Christ Taylor and this Business 2.0 article proves why no journalist is worth spit.

  3. If MSN drove traffic like Google drives traffic today, would MSN be ignored by search engine optimizers (of any shade of hat)? How do they know whether MSN is prepared to deal with SEO spam if they haven’t encountered it first hand? Strange.

  4. The issue with Google is that it no longer presents applicable data. Many have notices that they changed one of their ranking criteria about three months ago and the relevant data that the search now returns is very little. I see Goolge either addressing this issue within the next quarter or losing market share to Yahoo and MSN.


  5. That’s a good point Ed.

    I like Matt Cutts’ perspective: Make it easier to do SEO (good SEO) and harder to spam.

    There’s already a shift in the chatter of darker hat SEOs towards “good content for the user – linkbait” and “quality links” and away from short term manipulations.