Well, I can't pass this thread up....
life existed for many many centuries before the Internet existed.
NO! I don't believe it, and I refuse to believe it. You can't make me believe it. And you'll pry my high speed connection from me only from my cold, dead, hands.... re: compassion
I'll readily accept an argument that Google (or any search engine) should be focused on relevant results. I'd even accept arguments that they should focus on profitable results, charitable results or bad results, if that is what their mandate is. In Google's case, it's relevant results.
Therefore, arguments that center around the relevancy get my (and Googles) notice, but ones centered around issues that are not their mandate would not, and should not. This includes arguments for special treatment based on issues not connected to relevancy, like marital status, race, religion, income, etc.re: small business
1. Almost all spammers are fall into the "have no money, and are a small business" group as well. So saying that Google should avoid harming anyone in that group would not be a very effective anti-spam tactic, I think.
2. How on earth can anyone tell who is a small business or not on the internet? I've seen sites owned by multinational, multi-million dollar corporations that, frankly, suck. I've also seen beautiful and incredibly professional sites owned by people working out of their home. You can't tell based on the site, and short of requiring everyone to send in their tax receipts there is no way or Google to know (or care) who is big or small. If sites owned by small business got a break, then you could expect all the spammers in the world to suddenly become "small businesses". Don't blame Google, blame spammers, they are the ones messing things up.re: free, tax-payer supported, etc
First, different tax payers support different areas of the internet. Canadian taxpayers support the Canadian sections, etc. Second, small businesses tend to pay very little tax, especially compared to what Google and big companies pay. If paying tax has anything to do with it, small business would not even be allowed on the internet, and forget kids and the unemployed. Third, I suspect Google pays a LOT of money for the bandwidth they use. It most certainly is not "free". According to their financials, it looks like millions. And yet I can compete on the internet for $40 a month (or less) if I need to. re: business
If you are running a small business, then it should be run as a business, not a charity. And business is not always nice. There are some nice business people, though, including members of this forum who donate time and effort (for free) to help people get (free) rankings.
I'm rather disappointed that is being interpreted as not being compassionate. I help here in the HR forum for free, but I charge big business clients $200/hr. I think Jill is even more expensive, yet I see she has more than 18,000 (free) postings in this forum, compared to my measly (but free) 2,600 or so.
It's not that we don't care, or sympathize. We do. But the way to help someone achieve their goals is through tough love, good information (whether you want to hear it or not) and coaching, not "awww that's too bad, come cry on my shoulder".
That doesn't help anyone, other than enforce a culture of victim-hood. Personally, I'd rather see people succeed in life and business than succeed in feeling sorry for themselves. Shoulders are nice, but even your best friend will usually eventually tell you to stop soaking her sweater and go fix something. At least, they will if they are really your friend.re: the good news
The good news is - it's not personal. It's not about you. There is no evil person at the Googleplex bent on your personal destruction. It's more like a force of nature. Hurricanes tend to hurt the poor more often than the rich because the poor are living on the edge already and it takes very little to push them over. But they don't "go after" the poor.
Small businesses that are barely making it are more at risk when something happens than larger or more mature ones, but that's not Googles fault or problem. You don't tell the hurricane to behave and play nice, or to only pick on rich people, you avoid getting in it's way and make sure that you have a plan to deal with it.
There is a lot of great information on this forum about exactly that, and the members and mods are here to help people who wish to take control of their own destiny.