SearchWiki is the newest Google cloud product foisted upon mules, and like Universal Search before it, there’s been some bucking and snorting from mules, especially those in the SEO and SEM theaters.
Mostly because SearchWiki is not a default, it’s a “no off button” sort of affair. You can log out of Google, and you can use a Greasemonkey workaround loosely sanctioned by Matt Cutts of Google among others.
But you cannot simply turn it off, and Danny Sullivan and others who have spoken with Google folks have confirmed the off button was left off – or is that on? – purposefully.
Immediate reactions aside, negative or positive, SearchWiki is yet another evolution in “quality” search ranking and results for Google. Universal Search, Adwords, unscheduled indexing and algorithm tweaking, all these have come and not gone before now.
The greater portion of the legitimate complaining has to do with privacy, Google’s “let us tell you how this is going to be” attitude, initial bugs, and a foreseen potential for widespread abuse.
While the mules don’t much like Google’s increasingly Microsoft-style steamrolling, there is a great solution out there for anyone using Google in a logged-in basis. Stop.
Google is a quality search engine. It offers a plethora of high-quality, “free” applications. And it is a public company that sacked 10,000 “temps” and even cut-down on some of the Disneyland features of the Googleplex in recent times.
Nothing is free. Among relevant searches will be paid advertising. As long as it’s Google being paid, of course (Google has taken a hard if rather unenforceable line against link-buying to bump organic ranking). Free applications will either sell your data, use your data to sell to you, or make a meta-mountain of data that while not specific “you searched for this” in granularity, will be sold in other ways.
Zoho is a paid option of similar cloud-based applications. There are others. As to SearchWiki, Google has implied they will make changes only based on analysis of some “happy factor” rating, which means metrics. Go do a few searches on Live. Yahoo.
Try a lesser-known engine like Clusty, which is quite possibly better than the other “big three” for select queries. Uninstall Chrome. Use desktop apps. Change your home page browser default.
Do something aside from moan away while signed into the GOOGorilla.
If the herd does – and it probably will – what Google expects the herd to do (read: whatever Google says), then the herd will have spoken soundlessly, and in such submission to tyranny, the gorilla will remain unchecked.
What won’t remain unchecked are nonexistent opt-out boxes.
There’s only one way to truly give pause to Google’s approaching monopoly… vote with your hooves.