Should Google and Search Engine Optimization be Regulated?

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I guess Google was getting so big, so uncontrollable lately, it was only a matter of time before we began hearing words of descent. On July 13th, an unknown poster whose been holding back their frustrations about Google, and SEO in general, spoke out about it.

I stumbled upon an article that was posted on TechCrunch.com about how Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become so unregulated it’s now comparable to “free trade”; with the one controlling all exports and imports being the search engine itself (i.e. Google, Yahoo). The article, which is written by an author who wishes to remain anonymous (for fear of fallout with Google and the SEO industry), makes points about how Google has too much control over search engine results, and the rankings of websites for certain companies and points of interest. This power and control, the author believes, should be regulated by the government and that it’s about time it happens.

“Through an uncontrolled set of factors search engines determine which listings appear at the top and bottom of any individual query,” says the author. “If you happen to own an online business, unless you exist within those top three (search results), the amount of individual traffic you will obtain from organic listings is very, very low.”

He also goes on to explain that these search engines should be required to publicly disclose the rule-based algorithms that determine result sets. This sounds a little like releasing the source code of a program, which would result in Google changing from a unique search engine brand to a common one. His points are interesting and thought provoking, but is government control really the answer?

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A blog post has been made in retaliation to the article on Econsultancy.com by Chris Lake, where he declares that Google and SEO should NOT be regulated. He goes on to list 10 points about how this anonymous author is wrong and comes up with some good arguments.

Let’s say the government does decide to get involved with this, especially if this becomes a hot topic. What happens to the digital agency and digital marketing as we know it? It seems like there would be a lot less calls from people who would love to use SEO for their company, especially if search results were completely randomized. I would especially hate to see sites that contain spam and other junk at the top of Google search listings just because they contain a few words from a search query.

I urge you all to read both of these articles and leave a comment on where you stand on this issue.

The Time Has Come To Regulate Search Engine Marketing And SEO

10 reasons why Google and SEO should NOT be regulated