Why Google is the WORST Kind of Evil

Jul 25

Why Google is the WORST Kind of Evil

I am an unapologetic capitalist.  I think that most things are totally fine and fair in a company’s pursuit of making a profit.  If you screw your customers you’re not going to be around for very long, so the market really takes care of itself for the most part.  Don’t break the law, and have a decent set of ethics…and ALL else is fair game.

HOWEVER, hypocrisy from supposed “do gooder”  companies that are embarrassed and try to hide their efforts to make a profit drive me INSANE and I believe they’re the worst kind of Evil.

Three things have happened recently that, at first, appear unrelated.  A closer examination shows that the may very well be yet another hypocritical move by Google to present themselves as the “good guys” while breaking the rules it’s trying to enforce on others.  Let me explain.

Fact # 1 – A week ago, Google reported earnings to Wall Street.  They were NOT good.  Wall Street has certain expectations of public companies and Google missed those expectations on both the revenue and profit numbers.  Pretty much the WORST case scenario for any public company and it sent their stock down 5%.  Most of the “miss” was due to lagging advertising revenues (well..that’s really all they do that makes any money).

Fact #2 – Right around the time that their disappointing earnings came out, Google quietly started to change everyone’s inbox.  They suddenly created 2 new filters and categories (promotions and Social).  Without users’ consent, emails started disappearing from the main inbox and going into these other “inboxes”.  Unsurprisingly, it is now difficult to see “promotional” emails and emails from Facebook (a competitor…hmmm?).  It seems pretty random as to how they determine what promotions are.  Check it out if you’re starting to miss emails.  I only noticed it after not seeing a few very important ones…that were NOT promotions of any kind.  Of course, Google’s position on this is that they’re protecting peoples’ inboxes.  That the people have cried out for this protection and need them to censor emails.  It’s just odd that these emails seem to be from their competition…again, hmmmm… If it were only this, I’d probably let it go, but this brings us to:

Fact #3 – UNBELIEVABLY Google ads are now showing up as EMAILS! It’s unreal.  Let me show you a picture



They are inserting THEIR ads into YOUR email box.  Frankly, this is brazen even for Google.  It even gets worse.  These ads stay there until you click the “X” off to the right of them.  You have to actually acknowledge them and delete them to get rid of them.

This company has, at least, been consistent.  They continue to claim “do no evil” and try to take the moral high ground…all the while they’re simply being the worst kind of hypocrites.  Protecting your inbox…yeah right.



  1. Kin Shaun /

    Hi Steve,

    Great post as always, was wondering on this issue and it’s impact on email marketing overall, realise it won’t be a huge change (definitely not the DEATH of email marketing) but there possibly will be drops in open rates, perhaps not so much on conversion rates. Could you address this issue regarding the “Promotions” tab? Big fan of your strategies to not succumb to google’s “nerf bat” and find ways around it outside the box. I’m assuming mobile marketing will start playing a much bigger role as well, condering Facebook’s changes in their advertising strategies and searches are really getting better, beating the market’s predictions on their advertising sales. Just thought I’d share my thoughts, looking forward to the webinar!

    Warm regards~

    • thanks for the comments Kin!

      I think time will tell re: what it’s going to do to email marketing. It’s already kind of dying a bit. Well, it’s sort of hit bottom I think…like direct mail. It’s going to be interesting to see if we can move marketing like this to mobile. We’re going to experiment a bit with that.

    • Hi Kin,
      I give you an answer because I’ve read an interesting article recently just about this issue on HubSpot. It seems it’s too early to say whether the open rate will increase or decrease, data are still inconclusive. It seems that someone is seeing an increase while someone else is experiencing a decrease.
      They (HubSpot) are not quite negative about the change. In their opinion the new setup will make email marketing more effective because you click on the promotions tab only when you are in the mindset of looking at promotions. On the other side the competition will be higher because your email will be packed with dozens of other promotions, and only the most engaging companies will survive in the long run.

      I also noticed the “problem” of the Google promotions disguised as emails. Here in my opinion we fall in the same problem of the ads in the organic results put above the fold and with a liiiight pink background that in my laptop it’s hard to notice, so that you believe they are actually results of your search and not ads.

      I also think that these continuous big updates are made by purpose, and not really to improve search results, but to make the organic results unpredictable, so that if you want traffic you are forced to buy ads. So, I expect a big update every year that with some excuse will shake the Google rankings. Do you really think that only the evil SEOers have been and will be hit?

  2. I find Google an incredibly annoying company. It is the hypocrisy that gets me too. Films like the internship to present a hippy image but they are in truth increasingly hardnosed. A lot of the information they put out is frankly disingenuous.

    Googles attitude has already tripped them up with collecting every one’s personal phone data illegally in the UK. Microsoft has obviously noticed this and is branding themselves as the company who will keep your personal data safe in UK adverts.

    I watched an interesting TV show a few years ago that suggested that the bigger a company got the more it acted like a psychopath. There is some truth in this.

    The reason all these big internet companies are doing so badly in the stock market is that they were ridiculously over valued when they floated.

    The principle thing they own is people’s attention and that is a pretty fickly commodity. Yet they were valued at multiples of their income that a company with physical assets could not command.

    All these changes to peoples in boxes etc are bound to be counterproductive at some stage. If they muck about their service too much, people will not want to use them. I guess people who have an established email will be stuck with them.

    By the way I don’t agree direct mail isn’t working – I am doing great with it!

  3. “the bigger a company got the more it acted like a psychopath.” – LOVE THAT

    Understand about direct mail. I didn’t mean to imply it doesn’t work…just that it’s hit bottom…a century ago or more…it was more effective. People then got accustomed to “junk” mail…just like email. Now it’s a 1-2% ish response rate medium. Which, there is nothing wrong with. It’s just not going to get better or worse probably. Still makes economic sense for lots of stuff!

  4. Steve, you’re certainly right about the split and tabs in the Inbox. That is recent5 and it’s definitely un-needed (there were filters already before that for whomever wanted filtering based on sender)

    The ads, though – that’s strange that you haven’t notice them before. Maybe you had some nice setup where they were not showing, but in my Inbox they’re nothing new. They’ve been there forever.


  5. I have never met or even come close to seeing a Company behave like Google. How they can manage to open their mouths to change both feet whilst in the process of trying to shoot themselves in the foot without blowing their brains out at the same time is a wonder to me.

    The “Do Not Do Evil Boys from the Plex” are an amazing operation. I never thought I would find myself coming out with this but you do kind of hope that MS get their act together with Bing and give these boys a good run for their money.

    They should repackage their image as the “Don’t do what we say but watch what we do” boys.

  6. Google has not cared about it’s users for a long time. If it did, it would have anonymous searching at a minimum. But no… There’s too much power to be had by knowing everything about everybody.
    Thanks for exposing yet one more reason to distrust them.

  7. I saw that function in my gmail inbox earlier this month and i was like whats going on with google. The bigger a company becomes, the more evil it gets indeed. No consent whatsoever was sort from the users before they forced it upon us.

    I am yet to notice the ads though.

  8. Steve and Everyone:

    Why is collective Humanity and Google so shallow and devoid of any Edifying Human Character Value ???

  9. I used to tell everybody to google it up to about 18 mths ago, now Im firmly Bing it :)

    Google are more and more trying to impose their control and will on everybody without consent.

    To be honest this last tab thingy which it sprung on me is the last straw. (i,ve deleted it, just remove the tabs and i’st gone, as its such a stupid idea anyway much harder and time consuming to manage my inbox)and will gradually move to another companies email account. cannot do it immediately as everybody knows this email address.

    They Lie by dressing changes and stealing your data as protection, believe me Google I do not want your protection as the only reason Google does anything is to promote its own agenda to make more money.

    Well I actually see the end of google in the future with this attitude which has been most noticeable in the last 18months and is getting worse by the month.


  10. The irony in this story is how it all start with google’s revenue and profits being off. Of course their source of revenue is advertising. Does anyone think they could easily show more positive revenue and profits by just being a little bit more friendly to affiliate marketers?

    The mailbox thing has infuriating me. I received Steve’s email about this in my Promotions box and yes all my Facebook email shows up there as well. Ironically, the things I would consider unsolicited promotions are still showing up in my main inbox. So I don’t think they got this right at all.

  11. With a free service like gmail I would think that you would simply have to put up with what ever crap big G threw at you…

    Sounds like they are creating a hidden opportunity for someone!

  12. Nickolove /

    I’ve switched off Google’s tabs. I’m quite capable of managing my own inbox. I found the tab-system more time-consuming and I found I missed important emails as a consequence of the new system.

    What I found interesting is that when I clicked the link to give my feedback the page wouldn’t load and the same thing happened with another Gmail account I manage. It would appear that they don’t want to receive negative feedback.

  13. Peter /

    Why not do what I do, my various Gmail accounts all forward to an email address I own and control (ie: a paid account). That account applies the message filtering to my liking. As long as Google allow fowarwarding, any other changes they make don’t worry me at all.

  14. Last year, Big Brother Google paid me $100,000 in ad revenue. Without any warning or reason, they stopped sending any more ads to my sites. My sites are clean, decent and legal. Earnings form them now? 00000.
    No wonder their ad revenue is now down. I will no longer trust Google or any other large company, to control my future. I’ll build it on me and my abilities.

  15. Terry /

    If you want your old inbox back, it’s easy enough to change it. As for the “evil Google email ads” you describe, I haven’t had a single one in my own inbox.

  16. Matthew /

    “Protecting your inbox…yeah right.”

    Please Steve, since when do you believe a word of what marketers are saying :-p

    Just don’t piss them off too much, could affect our keywordblaze big time.

    And of course, if you find a better alternative than what they offer, please do! At least other companies aren’t that known from using any trick in the book for spying on you. Using Google email? Might as well give them my phone and put their camera’s in my house :-)

  17. “Fact #2″ – I finally noticed this issue about two weeks ago. I had signed up with a new domain register for a .ie domain, but their emails were not showing up in my inbox. It baffled me at first why nothing was showing up, then I saw the “More” drop down menu with the “All Mail” option. And there they were, along with emails from twitter, pinterest and facebook.
    Quite clever filtering, but I’m finding it rather annoying.

    Great post Steve! And continue to “name and shame” them.

  18. That’s disgusting for such famous company to spoil their reputation…

  19. I wonder why so many people doesn’t talk about how things are and what direction they moving toward, but when a sh*t hit the fan anger just not going to do mutch.

    The law created by corporations to make profit, period!
    How? It just doesn’t matter anymore. Giant companies like Google, doesn’t even have to make profit.

    They “TO BIG TO FAIL”.
    Have more information collected than any other entity on this planet. They going to be in a “censoring business” (just like you realized Steve) next, because they can eliminate any competition this way.

    I know you don’t belive in consperacy theories Steve, but that just my opinion and my common sense.
    (I grew up in a communist country and I started to get strange feelings in the US since 2001.)

    Thanks for this great post Steve!

    Ps: May be I’m watching to much Alex Jones channel. :)

  20. If you hadn’t brought this to my attention, I certainly wouldn’t have suspected this underhand dealing. Thing is so many companies feel they can pull wool over people eyes and no one will notice.

    Thank you for being ever so vigilant, Steve.

    The act of integrity seems to be disappearing from policy on way too many so called good businesses.

  21. this is not new google always been evil invading the privacy of users, but we accept its terms and it is clear that they have to block competition

  22. Edward /

    Getting rid of the two new filters in your gmail is as simple as clicking on the tools icon and selecting, configure inbox. You can easily return your inbox to the previous way it looked.

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