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  • robertfarago1

Google Must Die!


“You’re your own worst enemy.” Possibly the most disheartening thing anyone’s ever said to me. Coming from my father no less.


I’m not saying the admonition burrowed into my subconscious, triggering if not creating Mariana Trench-level low self-esteem. But I’m not not saying it either.


I entered adulthood wearing that label, looking for enemies worse than myself. Of which there were many. Hypocrites, liars, blowhards, con men, users, authoritarians, cult leaders, zealots, useful idiots and the rest.

The world is literally full of them. I’ve spent my entire career confronting The Powers That Be and n'er do wells. As a journalist, hypnotist, blogger, novelist and, on more than one occasion, live and in-person.


I suspect my 'tude also had a little something to do with my abusive mother. Daphne Farago created a desire for revenge. Which I actualized by exposing “the truth” about, you guessed it, everything.


Many Snares and No Real Benefit


This did not make me popular. Not with the people I lambasted. Not amongst my peers.


I’ll never forget walking into a dinner for gun bloggers - who went silent when they saw me. Or the car bloggers who were shocked at my temerity and ingratitude (for press cars and junkets) when I asked GM product hero Bob Lutz “Is your pension bankruptcy proof?”


I understand why my father tarred me with that brush: my tendency to walk away from a given path. Peter Farago’s success, indeed his survival as a Nazi slave during the Holocaust, came from sheer bloody-minded persistence. He considered me a quitter.


Fair enough – in my early years. But once I was empowered, once I had a platform, I was like a dog with a bone.


I spent years targeting the obscure objects of my ire. Leaving them bloodied if not bowed. And then, battle weary, after what Brits call “a proper go,” walking away. And starting again. From cars to guns to watches to this, The Truth About Everything.


The world has changed since I started blogging. Specifically, Google. The search engine that delivered an audience for my work, that allowed me to sneak by and middle finger media gatekeepers, has launched...


A War on Truth


As bbc.com reports, Google's new search ranking algorithm (as of 2023) has decimated small publishers.


The updates had some surprising consequences. For example, data from the analytics tool SEMrush suggests that the website for New York Magazine lost 32% of its Google Search traffic in the past six months, while GQ.com shrank 26%.
The data indicates Urban Dictionary, a wildly popular crowdsourced dictionary of English language slang, dropped some 18 million page views, amounting to more than half its Search traffic. OprahDaily.com was down nearly 58%.

No sympathy for mainstream media big dog kvetching?


Auntie Beeb's article leads with the sad tale of an air purifier review site called HouseFresh.com, whose home page promises "Our tests reveal what manufacturers won’t tell you."


The second Google algorithm update came in March, and it was even more punishing. HouseFresh's thousands of daily visitors dwindled to just hundreds.
"We just got absolutely crushed," [co-owner Gisele] Navarro says. Over the last few weeks, HouseFresh had to lay off most of its team. If nothing changes, she says, the website is doomed.

As I've pointed out in Google AI Overview – Harakiri?, the search giant's new AI Overview takes webicide to the next, scorched earth level.


It all but completely eliminates the need to click on links. It's what millions of Google-dependent websites like HouseFresh rightly consider an "extinction level event."


Perfect time to launch a new website, right? Especially one posting an article entitled Google Must Die! I wonder how that will get ranked...


Google is rank. In its original incarnation, it was a blessing. You could even say it created the web as we know it. Sorry, knew it. An information free-for-all on every level. Now, Google's a curse. But there is hope...


The DOJ vs. Google


On October 20, 2020, the Department of Justice and eleven state Attorneys General filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Google from "unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets and to remedy the competitive harms."


Earlier this month, the government and Google presented their closing arguments to U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta. His decision is expected in the late summer or early autumn. If Mehta rules that Google broke the law, there'll be another trial to determine how to rein-in Google's market power.


Let's hope that happens. So we may one day enter a world where Google doesn't control 90 percent of the U.S. search market.


The Forgotten Blogger?


Whether that world will be favorable to the little guy – the "forgotten man" of the information age – is an open question. It ultimately depends on users. Like you. Coming here. To read this.


For my part, it’s taken me 64 years to come to terms with the upside of my father's “own worst enemy” diss. If I’m my own worst enemy, other enemies are small beer.


You think you’re bad? Hey Google! Get a load of me and my 28 subscribers! My own best friends.


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3 Comments


robertfarago1
May 27

And this? This is funny!



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Unknown member
May 26

Google giveth and Google taketh away.


Living with the behemoths of big tech is not for the faint hearted! I consider myself lucky that my main income has never been dependent on the algorithms. I do maintain a website for my side gig that has had big ups and downs in traffic over the years. I used to think that better search engine optimization was a good idea, but from what I've heard, the algorithms are no longer affected by such efforts.


The big tech companies are basically playing god now, and they are concerned only with their own fortunes. Concepts like fairness and neutrality are things of the past. There is no way I'd deliberately start a business th…


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robertfarago1
May 26
Replying to

I can't say I disagree. In fact, I wrote an article on the topic: America - The Bland of the Free.


As I tour the American backroads, I'm interested to see just how bad it's become. Watch this space.

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