Is Google getting greedier?

Over the past few months I’ve noticed Google becoming more and more greedy with data. A few examples:

  • October 18, 2011: (not provided) – Google announces that users logged in to their Google account will be defaulted to the SSL version. This was done for the sake of “user privacy” and Google said it would affect While this initially affected less than 10% of searches, it has been escalating. Recently Mike Blumenthal reported that 60% of his keywords are now not provided.
  • SERPs with only 7 organic results – This week I read posts from Larry Kim of Wordstream and Dr. Pete of SEOmoz about the increasing number of SERPs that only display 7 organic results on the first page. While most users may never notice, there are 3 sites that can’t be happy about getting knocked to page 2. But Google is happy because that’s 3 less chances of a click not generating revenue.
  • September 5, 2012: DoubleClick Ad Planner loses data – Per the email Google sent me, this is what the change means for me “You can no longer research domains or ad placements that are not part of the Google Display Network and some demographic data will not be available including Keywords Searched For, Videos Also Watched, HouseHold Income and Education.” Of course that information wasn’t helpful Google. Argh.


Why This Bothers Me

Google is famous for the motto “Do No Evil”.
Avarice (greed) is one of the 7 deadly sins.
In my mind sin involves a certain level of evil, therefore Google getting greedy represents a breach of their company motto.

Would Google Violate Their Motto?

Usually I would have said no, but the reasons are just too simple here to ignore. You just have to follow the money:

  • Obfuscating search query data through (not provided) means that site owners can no longer leverage their analytics for keyword data. How CAN they get keyword data? AdWords.
  • Reducing the organic listings on page 1 of the SERPs means 3 less opportunities for a click to leave the page without Google making money on it.
  • Taking information out of the DoubleClick Ad Planner is the same idea as (not provided). Instead of giving the data away for free, you tuck it away and provide it, through advertising reps, to paying AdWords customers.

There. I said it. Google is being greedy and evil. What do you think?

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