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« So Where is Kyrgyzstan, Anyway? | Main | A Living Will for These Times »

March 24, 2005



I agree that Google should make it easy for us to find out who they are crawling for news sources.

On the otherhand, Jeff the BuzzMachine was typically lazy. Google makes it very easy to complain about the quality of their sources, and Jeff didn't bother with that, he didn't bother with like, uh, calling them up and asking them for more information (that would have been a true "value add"), he just went direct to blog.

Jeff isn't so much worried as hysterical.

Thomas Hawk

Dan, there are other areas where Google needs transparency as well. Starting with AdSense. Until just recently, and most likely due to VC Fred Wilson's publishing his Google AdSense financials and John Battelle blogging about how they should not have such a restrictive TOS on AdSense, you could not share how much money you made from Google's AdSense program.

Now Google has lifted the requirement that AdSense blogger partners keep quiet about how much they make but they still refuse to disclose how much of every AdSense dollar goes to the blogger vs. Google. Is it a 50/50 split? Is it 90/10? Is it 98/2? I'd suspect that the non evil (i.e. good) thing to do for Google would be disclose the split and explain why it's fair.

Would you take a sales job where the company said trust us, we'll pay you a fair share of the revenue that you generate for our company? No. Typically sales people know exactly how much the company makes and what their split or cut of that is.

Google needs bloggers for AdSense to work and AdSense is a great program for bloggers seeking to eek out a living. Why though is Google so secretive about the split that they pay their blogging partners? Is it perhaps due to the negative PR that might arrise if some perceived an "evil" split between Google and their bloggers? Are there those within Google that do not want to risk killing the goose that lays the golden eggs?

Transparency is not a bad thing and Google should spell out exactly what that split is. It would be the good (i.e. non-evil Sergey) thing for Google to do.


The best advice I am getting from folks, it would seem, is to actually change the name of the site and move to a new domain name. To give up on getting Philly Future indexed.

I'm hoping it's not going to come to that though. It doesn't seem fair since I didn't do anything to get myself banned as far as anyone has been able to tell me.

But ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I hope it doesn't come to that though.

If anyone can help - please let me know. Google is too imporant a resource to not have indexing us.


I'm gotten some interesting feedback.

For the record - I have never employed tricks or SEO techniques to improve's standing in Google. Ever.

The domain was taken by a porn spammer for a time and that is why I believe it has gotten blacklisted.

I'll repeat what I said at Metafilter:

Google, in my experience, has never given me cause to complain. You post good content, you build a community, people link to you, you follow guidelines, don't try any evil tricks, and Google indexes you. Usually its that simple. It's one of the reasons why Google has been so terrific.

Getting a new domain, because a previous owner abused it - seems to me not only a partial loss of identity (partial I realize - it's our community that counts - just like at Metafilter) - but an admission that Google is creaking, cracking and growing bureaucratic as it grows older. I'd like to think there is a solution that is less severe.

Matt Cutts

Hi all, I'm an engineer at Google. I just wrote to Karl directly, but it might help the conversation to share what I said:

Hi, my name is Matt Cutts and I'm a software engineer at Google. I
wanted to write to you about As I'm sure you know, was used by a pretty bad porn spammer for quite a
while. That spammer was bad enough that someone actually wrote an
article about them:

I checked our user support queue, and it looks like you starting writing
to us about starting around 3/2/2005, with a reinclusion
request on 3/18/2005. I wanted to let you know that someone here checked
out the site, verified it's good, and submitted the site for reinclusion
on 3/21/2005. It will take probably up to 2-4 weeks, but you should see
the site entering the Google index pretty soon. Feel free to email me if
you have any questions at all and I'll try to answer them.

Best wishes,
Matt Cutts

Karl did the right thing with a reinclusion request on 3/18/2005 to us, because that goes to someone who can verify that the site is now good. Because of the large volume of correspondence we get to user support, it really helps us to send the request with the right terms if you suspect a domain has been spamming in the past ("reinclusion request" in the subject is enough). After getting that reinclusion request it was approved in under 72 hours, but I understand that we could have done better in this case, because Karl first wrote us more than 2-3 weeks ago. Karl, I understand your frustration because you just bought a domain and wanted it to rank where it should. I'm sorry that the previous life of this domain as porn spam affected you.


Hi Matt,
This is pretty much a copy of what I am sending you in reply but I wanted to share it here:

Thank you very, very much. I figured it was that porn spammer that got the site blacklisted. Good to know it wasn't anything that we did at PF :)

I've been trying to get the site indexed again for around a year now, using the standard methods everyone uses. But the reinclusion request was recent - not many people know about it - and when I got the automated reply - I thought I was out of options. Hence my call for help.

I really appreciate the help and will send along the good word.



I think if enough developers (and non-developers too) ask Google to open up Google News to their API that we might actually see some really exciting apps.

Having a hole card on this for "competitive reasons" is absurd considering that Yahoo opens up their news via API.

More on this is available on my blog at the URL in my signature and I did trackback but Dan must be moderating his trackbacks because it doesn't yet show. Dan, if you got two trackbacks then please use the second one (#1620), as (#1619) is invalid. Thank you :)

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