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Far From Flatbush

Google Is God

The problem with monopolies is they just don’t give a shit if you’re unhappy with the way they do business. You can try to find a way to complain to them, of course, but what good does it do? A computer-generated form letter or even a phone call from an “associate” who’s well trained in the art of telling you nothing is less than satisfying.

Say, for example, you prefer not to deal with a certain online book-selling mega-conglomerate. Can you can take your business to the independent bookstore that’s been downtown for 30 years, and vote with your wallet. No, you can’t. Because the independent bookstore is gone, driven into bankruptcy by the mega-conglomerate. So, you shrug your shoulders and buy your book from the mega-conglomerate. It’s so convenient, after all, and their prices are… insane. Just ask the guy who used to own the independent bookstore.

This, however, is not an essay about how a book-selling mega-conglomerate has transformed the publishing industry from one kind of terrible to a completely new kind of terrible. Instead, I’m going to say a few words about a search engine monopoly.

For the two years that I’ve been running this site, about a third of its visitors have arrived via a Google search. But if you’re reading this blog today, chances are you didn’t come here via Google. For reasons I can’t explain, one week ago, Google virtually stopped directing traffic to robertrosennyc.com. Obviously, they’ve rejiggered their magic algorithm, and Google now thinks there are nine sites that know more about Beaver Street than I do.

Yes, I’ve done my research, and I know this is hardly the only website that Google has suddenly and mysteriously stopped sending traffic to. But all the reasons that Google gives for doing such a thing—deceptive practices, spam, blah, blah, blah—don’t apply here. Robertrosennyc.com is comprised of good, original material that’s frequently updated, and that you won’t find elsewhere. If you’re interested in me, my books, the pornography industry, John Lennon, or surviving as an author in 21st century America, then this is where you want to be. Just look at the tags in the left-hand column.

If Google were an ordinary company, I’d write to them and say, “What’s up? Why are you doing this?” But Google is an omniscient God, and a mere mortal such as myself cannot ask God Why? So, I will turn to you, my readers, who have arrived here by means other than Google. Some of you, I’m sure, know far more than I do about Google’s mysterious ways. And I ask you: What’s going on and is there anything I can do about it? Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

Allow me to end this post with an experiment. Below are some of the keywords that, up to a week ago, brought a lot of people here. Let’s see what happens if I put them all into the same post. I hope Google doesn’t get mad at me.

Christy Canyon, Ginger Lynn, Missy Manners, Carl Ruderman, Robert Rosen.
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