This is amazing to me, not because it is true but because it is co clearly demonstrated with recorded phone calls. Although I fully expect Google to issue excuses, blame an incompetent vendor, and allude to “beta”, “experiment”, or “brief period of impact..effecting 0.0001% of businesses” maybe this will be the living example the world needs to recognize Google’s intent. After all, through its seo management campaigns, Google taught us all that intent, not actual practice, should often be the cause of scorn and punishment.
Mike Blumenthal brought us the story of a US business that was de-listed by Google local, ostensibly because it did not pass the trust tests for being a truly local business. The reality is quite shocking (but quite clear in the audio recordings of the phone calls) - Google will trust cheap, incompetent, unverified offshore call center representatives over local small businesses.
In this case, it seems a poorly-trained, culturally insensitive and communications-challenged call center in India was given the power to de-list local businesses if they determined — without any apparent oversight — that the business did not have a local physical presence at the address on record.
I repeat - Google trusts it’s obviously low cost outsourced vendor more than it trusts established, US-based local businesses.
I fully expect the usual “it wasn’t our fault”, “it’s a new program only in beta”, and “blame the vendor” excuses from uber-arrogant Google. But the fact remains, we can clearly see Google’s intent with this activity. Google will trust an entity that has a commercial relationship with Google (even if a low-bid one, from overseas) before it trusts those whom it already arrogantly believes is “out to get them”.
Google’s paranoia and arrogance are hurting the US economy. How can this be ignored?
My advice to Google: reach out to that other money-hungry arrogant big entity known as the Chamber of Commerce, and make a deal while you can. They have an edge with small businesses, have demonstrated that they, too will bend all sorts of ways if it means cash for their pockets. You will need that public impression of an alliance with small businesses sooner than you suspect.
My advice to small businesses: start calling your Chamber of Commerce and COMPLAIN LOUDLY about Google. Today. Demand action. You have few other options, and the opportunity for you to have any impact in this conversation is going away in 5…4…3….2….