• daveintheuk

    Of course they are. Google’s stated objective is to “find and organise the world’s information”… but it is starting to feel more and more like their objective is to “take and control access to the world’s information’.

    Webmasters should stop feeding the hand that bites.

  • Ajedi32

    Who are they biting? The webmasters? On the contrary, the whole reason that webmasters are willing to provide this information to Google is because Google is helping them by helping other people find their website.

  • daveintheuk

    All webmasters with “not provided”. Any webmaster/business owner in travel, local, shopping, finance by either forcing to “pay to play” or shaving off any profitable traffic for their own products.

  • http://twitter.com/Greekgeek Greekgeek

    All webmasters for whom Google refuses to accept standard, semantic markup for authorship unless they have a Google plus account. Google’s ever-changing rules for authorship now ask us to use email validation and/or the nonstandard ?rel=author syntax in order to get our authorship to appear in search results. In effect, Google is holding our online identity hostage, forcing us to use Google Plus for our online profile. If we don’t, or if we don’t use Google’s ?rel=author code instead of regular, standard semantic markup, it may even put someone ELSE as the author of our articles and work in search results (as it has on many articles of myself and many others, as noted in a searchengineland article last month.) The effect of this is to make sure our authorship is only visible through Google’s tools and is not visible on other search engines.

    The scary part is that Google actually did a bait and switch on this. For 2011 and most of 2012, standard semantic markup to indicate authorship worked fine, and our author names and photos appeared in Google search results. So we got used to it. But starting last fall, Google started removing our author names and photos and replacing them with popular Google Plus writers who use the same publishing platforms that we do, so that, for instance, Seth Godin is now listed by Google as the author of the majority of my work. I get it: Google wants me to upgrade my account to Google Plus. But I refuse to be blackmailed. Hey, maybe all those fans of Seth Godin will be tempted to read my stuff?

  • Ajedi32

    …I literally didn’t understand a word of what you just said.

  • Ajedi32

    What’s wrong with using `?rel=author`? I realize that it’s non-standard, and I agree that Google should be using standardized markup (http://schema.org/), but how is that “holding our online identity hostage”?

  • ChrisFree

    “it means you can get into Google Shopping free using Structured Markup”
    While a wonderful thought, I believe that is a misinterpretation of the Webmaster Tools statement.

    “Submit your product listings for free” means submit your product listings for free … to Google search for possible inclusion on search results pages (not on Google-Shopping).

    Structured (product) data remains as potential enhancements to organic search results.

    Google Shopping (Product Listing Ads) remains as separate paid ad space.

  • ScottyMack

    There are tons of things we may not like as far as what Google is doing (and in everyday life), but there are battles worth fighting and ones
    that you have lost before you have even entered the fray. I guess it all
    boils down to whether you want to adapt and prosper or rebel and fail
    with your principles in tact.

  • http://www.esocialmedia.com Jerry Nordstrom

    Well sure kind of – You find, organize and then put your ads in between the users and access to the data. What I find most interesting is how many people so willingly give away their personal information with little regard to its value.

  • http://alexwebmaster.com/ Alex Garrido

    I see your frustration, yet as with the FTC antitrust case… you are not forced to be on Google. You have the freedom to leave Google if you are not happy with the service they are providing you. Of course, no one will argue that Google is manipulating its service to benefit themselves, but again, Google is a private business that offers a near stationary product/service for free. If someone gives me a plate of soup, I do not complain about it being cold. I can choose to eat it or throw it away.
    Just a friendly thought :D