I only really started paying attention to Google’s Answer Box, Knowledge Graph and Direct Answers over the last year because I started noticing information that we had acquired exclusively from insider sources on people was showing up in their “answers” with out a source credit, as if it has always been part of the public domain.
But it got worse. Suddenly this same info had source links, but they were not to our site. The source links went to big sites like Wetpaint even when Wetpaint was sourcing US. I found countless examples where Google “Answers” had swiped info from our site and given credit to their big advertisers instead.
Needless-to-say I was livid and I realized this was only going to get worse.
I offered “feedback” on said “answers” to tell them they were giving source credit to the wrong sites. Interestingly in a few cases where they “did” something, because it was so damn obvious that their source was not the source, rather than replacing the answer box with the proper link to our site, they merely removed the answer box all together.
In my opinion this is proof the answer box is paid. Why was the question worthy of an answer box before, but now that they had the correct source, it no longer warranted an answer box. Why? Because we don’t pay Google to advertise. That’s why.
This problem seems to be particularly bad with biographical information especially on lesser known celebrities. Google has decided that any information you acquire on public figures is theirs. This is especially bad with C and D list celebs since bio info on them is not in the public domain. We often go to great lengths to get this info from exclusive sources only to have it stolen without any credit. I wish Google would stop assuming bio info is all public domain and would stop stealing.
Google has always been looking for ways to sell the top spots to sites with out having to disclose that it’s a “sponsored” result, and this is it.
Google pretends that they are offering an “answer” to a question—steals the info from the small publishers who don’t pay them to advertise, then sells the link credit to a big site who does.
So how do they get away with it? Easy. As with all things Google does, they use plausible deniability to commit their crimes. These are big advertisers. They know if they bid enough on certain search terms they will suddenly “magically” find that they are the source link in Google’s answer box.
This is why Google wants you to use their “preferred partners” to “manage” your Adwords campaign. It’s why they call you constantly and ask you to raise your bid a little bid for “better exposure” (nice and vague). This is why Google wants you to link your Google Analytics account to your Google Adwords account. That way they can see the terms you are bidding on and if you are bidding more than the competition you get the #1 spot or you get the giant answer link.
This is nothing short of fraud on the part of Google as well as theft. When Google presents something as an “answer” they are implying that they have done their due diligence to ensure that one, the answer is correct, and two that they are giving proper source credit. They are doing neither.
In the forums you will find a lot of angry webmasters replying to articles written by the Google Ministry of Propaganda which insists that webmasters should be celebrating the fact that Google is going to steal your content for their “knowledge graph”. Actually they go even farther…adding insult to injury they are telling us how we should write our content to make it even easier for Google to steal.
I like this guy’s answer. He’s right. Since Google started stealing from my biographical pages I have had to completely change how I present my information to make it a little harder for Google’s robots to steal. It’s unfortunate because the viewers suffer. I can no longer present the information in a clean and simple way because it was far too easy for Google to take.
And check out this great response to the Google troll….
“Just because Google is a search engine they are not entitled to steal. And that’s precisely what Google is doing with the KG.”
EXACTLY! Why does Google think it does not have to follow the same rules of attribution that everyone else does?
Google’s power is growing exponentially. The fact that the FTC buried extensive evidence showing criminal wrongdoing reveals exactly how much trouble we are in…
“Earlier this year every other page of a staff memo written by the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition was mistakenly included in the response to a Freedom of Information request made by the Wall Street Journal. The 169-page FTC document quotes liberally from internal e-mails and memos, during the time when Google’s partners were noticing many of these changes to the search engine—and what they contained seemed incriminating…..
Rivals point to dark conspiracies behind the FTC’s decision. Google was spending tens of millions lobbying the U.S. government; it was unusually cozy with the Obama administration; ex-Googlers worked in the White House.”
In fact I found this funny glowing review on working for Google (as a contractor before she got an FTE job with Google) and how she got to meet Obama. Hmmmm…..
Seriously, when will this stop? Publishers need to raise some hell and demand that Google offer full disclosure with their “answer” box, knowledge graph and direct answers. I hope some of the big guns like Yelp and Expedia will demand this end and Google either offer full disclosure that their “answers” are “ads” or that they stop the answer box immediately.
If you have been robbed by Google too please share your stories. Start a blog and make it public. Report it to your state Attorney General. File a civil suit. It seems like if enough people got together this case would be easy to prove.
I think there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that PPC in Adwords is linked to knowledge graph links. That would prove the knowledge graphs are a fraud.
Let Google know that we will not sit back quietly while they rob us blind. Enough exposure may make them back off. And please demand that Congress break up this monopoly!!!