Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The algorithm made me do it

The motto of Google is a simple one: "Don't be evil."

That's why the folks there had to come up with algorithms to do the dirty work for them. That way, it's not you, exactly, who's screwing start-up companies over, it's the algorithm.

Those damned algorithms. Somebody ought to do something . . .

HEY, don't look at me, O Google algorithm! I'm just repeating what was in Silicon Prairie News:
After nearly a year of unreturned phone calls and emails from its Google AdSense account manager, it took a tell-all blog post and an appearance on the front page of Hacker News for Des Moines startup Hatchlings to get Google on the phone.

"The (Google employee) who called me made a comment on the Hacker News post," Hatchlings CEO Brad Dwyer (left) said in an interview on Monday, "and that was one of the things that really struck me about this whole ordeal."

Though Dwyer's post on April 5 encouraged people to "share, tweet, and reblog," he said he didn't expect it to blow up like it did, getting the attention of tech blogs, The Economist and notable investor Paul Graham, among others. But from his business interests – understanding why his company's AdSense account was shut down in 2011 resulting to an estimated loss of $40,000 – and his personal interests – warning others of dependence on platforms like AdSense – he hoped that would be the outcome.

However, Dwyer did not learn specifically why Hatchlings' AdSense account was disabled. During phone calls with Google employees on April 7 and April 20, Dwyer was not told what Hatchlings did that led to the disabling of its AdSense account.

"They made it very clear before I even talked to them," Dwyer said, "they told me to set expectations for the call that they really weren't going to be able to tell me anything in regard to my specific case or tell me why I got banned or tell me what happened or what we think we did."


"They weren't ready to talk about specifics, but they kind of expressed a little bit of sympathy and we had a pretty lengthy conversation," Dwyer said. "I think in talking to me they understood that we're not black hat SEO people, we're not trying to scam anybody out of money, we're just trying to figure out what happened."

Dwyer added: "They said that they're continually working on their algorithms and that my case in particular might be one – they couldn't make any promises – but it might be one in particular that they re-visit later when they have different tools to instead of just taking out, work with people to change."
IT'S JUST LIKE Google to pull a stunt like th

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