Google has become a very powerful company over the very short 14 years it’s existed (although it is now looking like it’s weakening due to strong competition from companies like Facebook). All this power can get to one’s head and make them think that they are invisible. Power can actually change people and it can change companies. Google was once an idealistic company that wanted to be different from all the other companies when it first came to the scene. Google did not want to follow traditional ways of doing things and they even had an unofficial motto, which was “don’t be evil”. However, Google is not the same company it was when it first started. It got more powerful, it’s loaded with cash (by selling your private information to advertisers), and its priorities changed.
With so much power, Google thinks it can bully the weaker man or woman into submission and arbitrarily punish or reward people. It is very difficult to fight such a powerful company and it can be intimidating if you do not know how to go about rectifying wrongful treatment by Google against you. However, one man in Australia was not going to let Google walk all over him. He fought the Goliath of a company and won!
As I explained in previous posts, Google has an AdSense program which lets website owners put Google advertisements on their website. The money that comes from people clicking on those ads is divided between Google and the website owner. Google makes billions of dollars from this program and the AdSense advertisements apparently cover 70% of the Internet.
In September 2011, Mark Bowyer’s two year old travel website, Rusty Compass, which advices people travelling to Asia, had his AdSense account terminated by Google. Google claimed that his website ”posed a risk of generating invalid activity”, which means that the clicks on the advertisements on his site were not legitimate. Google was accusing him of fraud and dishonestly. To make matters worse, after Google’s serious accusations and termination against Mr. Bowyer, Google would not let him appeal the decision nor did the company provide him any evidence they had against him.
Needless to say, Mr. Bowyer was devastated by Google’s hurtful actions against him and his small Internet company – he called it a ”reputational slur”. For four months he was left in the dark about what happened and Google would not do anything about it. Mr. Bowyer knew that Google was just going to keep ignoring him, and while most people would have just given up at this point, Mr. Bowyer was not going to let Google bully him. In December 2011 he filed a complaint with the New South Wales Fair Trading, which later investigated Google. After the investigation by Fair Trading, Google was forced to reinstate Mr. Bowyer’s account and offer him compensation. A Fair Trading spokeswoman said
”full redress was provided to the consumer following our intervention”.
Bravo to Mark Bowyer for not letting Google bully him around. This should serve as an example to others who are in similar situations as Mr. Bowyer, that you do not have to let Google treat you that way. What happened to Mr. Bowyer is not rare, it happens quite often. Google shows little to no respect to its advertising “partners” (as the Google likes to call them).
As long as Google can use you like some sort of parasite to latch onto your site to gain advertising money from you, that is all that really matters to them. They will suck you dry and when they are done with you they will dispose of you like you never had a relationship together.
Do not let Google victimize you. Speak out against the company if you have been wronged. You have got to speak up against abuse or it will never be fixed.
The story appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, you can read the article they published today by clicking here