• Pat Grady

    Gotta say, your personal disclosure completely altered my perception, without it, this article is junk. With it, you’re a genius – healthy skepticism + being aware of their influence + not avoiding them just based on their “excessive” (bad word choice perhaps) influence is exactly what we all should be thinking. Thanks for sparking good thinking David, without being a “hater” (also a poor word choice, hope you know what I mean).

  • http://www.facebook.com/gohawks David Rodnitzky

    Thanks Pat. I fully admit I am under the spell of Google’s influence! :)

  • http://twitter.com/Kevin_Lee_QED Kevin Lee

    Of course many CMOs and CFOs consider the bulk of t heir Google spend to be a tax on the Internet, particularly if their campaigns are weighted towards brand keywords. ;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/gohawks David Rodnitzky

    True Kevin, and I tend to agree with that perspective!

  • Wahid Noman

    Agreed with you. I listen what Google says, and apply only if it passes my own justification.

  • Chris Hall

    We spend an enormous amount on Adwords but only answered yes to one of the questions above; analytics. We completely agree that most Google products, services, white papers, etc. are biased toward behaviors that Google wants, rather than behaviors that make good business sense. Also, because we have an account team, we can say that the account teams are set up to sell products and services rather than address customer needs. Every other vendor we work with treats us as though we’re a valued and valuable customer – not so Google. They don’t have a clue for how to foster a good business relationship – because they simply don’t have to. Their employees aren’t taught retention, ethics, ROI, or any other business practices that are meaningful to the types of business relationships they have. Google needs more competition, the bigger their slice of the search pie, the less effective they are at serving the needs of their customers.

  • Steven Lockey

    Woot, I’m free from Google! Only scored 3 :)

    Gave up with the Adwords presentations/news/alerts. I generally get a better and more in-depth view of any changes from other SEOs on Google+

    Other than the first two (and not altogether my choice on Analytics) the only one of these I’ve done is the Google Adwords exam. Don’t know if its changed since when I took it (I took it when it first came out) but it was quite difficult and intresting when I took it. Didn’t see any of the ‘advertising’ questions. Only fault I found with it was stupid questions that take 2 seconds to look up (how many letter on the 2nd line of a text ad for example).

  • http://twitter.com/IamMichaelOwen Michael J Owen

    I have been trying to break my reliance on the steady supply of Google Kool-Aid for some time now, but it is so difficult! A great open-source free analytics option I’ve been using for several years is Piwik.org – but I still use G.A. alongside it. I’m also Bing Certified and encourage clients to consider advertising on alternative channels but most only rely on Adwords.

    On the publisher side, I have yet to find an alternative to Adsense as a revenue source. I’ve tried carrying other ad feeds but the revenue and variety of advertisers just isn’t there.

    It really is scary the level of power, control and influence one company has on the entire industry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gohawks David Rodnitzky

    Michael, as far as I know, there aren’t really alternatives to AdSense that have the same eCPMs. The top alternatives I hear about are OpenX, AdMarketPlace, Yahoo Content Network, and that’s about it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gohawks David Rodnitzky

    Wow, a three is very impressive! I need to go into some Google rehab to get to that point!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gohawks David Rodnitzky

    Thanks Chris. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Google employees aren’t ethical – they seem like a pretty morally upstanding bunch! – but I do agree that with your other comments!

    In terms of competition, I think the biggest competitor looming is Facebook. Time will tell if they are able to wrest away Google revenue, particularly from the GDN side.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gohawks David Rodnitzky

    Good article Russell, thanks for sharing. As you note: “Let’s face it; Google knows who I am, what I like, and where I am in the world at any given time.” Kinda scary!

  • Dylan

    It requires a thought leader to shift his/her viewpoint from inside of the Googleplex to above the Googleplex and to come up with a unique perspective. This article has demonstrated that ability.

    I’d also say if you scored more than you wanted, don’t worry! As long as your answers remain “yes” after removing “primary” from question 1 and 2 and “only” from question 9, then you are probably doing a good job meeting the minimum requirements of having a “check and balance” in place.