Googlers Not In It For The Money

adam lasnik google employeeMany Google employees spend a large portion of their time personally helping webmasters and SEO’s get a better understanding of Google. They also provide tips on fixing their websites’ problems and clarify Google’s crawling technology.

One of these awesome people is Adam Lasnik, who posted a ton of helpful and personal information at WebmasterWorld. He states that most Google employees really work for love and not money, and the proof is in their actions. No one would spend hours and hours of their personal time blogging and answering questions in the often hostile environment of forums.

Posts from Adam Lasnik:

“And this, indeed, highlights the challenge we face every day. We aren’t going to disengage overall; the core of my job involves finding how we can communicate more, not less. But the venues may change, the methods may change. I know I touched upon this refrain earlier, but my goal is to do the most good for the most Webmasters… a great many of whom don’t even see themselves as “Webmasters” much less frequent quality Webmaster forums. One-on-one e-mail chats are absolutely not scalable, even if we hired a thousand of me/Matt/Vanessa/GoogleGuy/etc. More videos? Webinars? More conference attendance? Documentation in different formats, more languages…? So many options, no easy, comprehensive solutions.

Google is a public company, accountable to shareholders on the whole. But those of us on the Search Quality side of the business are directed and rewarded based upon… the (user-focused) quality of the index. And what actually drives us? Speaking for myself (and perhaps many of my colleagues), it’s not money. I honestly believe that I’m doing Good in that — directly or indirectly — I’m making the world better in at least some small way. I feel it when I chat with someone at a conference and a light goes on — in her head or mine — that results in her previously-all-Flash non-profit site getting indexed. When I’m “off duty” and chatting with the owner of a new restaurant, I get a kick out of helping the guy understand that, no, he doesn’t have to pay to get listed in Google (or the other major search engines)! Info that’s ridiculously basic/simple/obvious to us search geeks… it makes a world of difference for far more people than you may realize.

That sort of passion is hardly exclusive to Google and Googlers. I see it in the eyes of various Webmasters I chat with… who feel that THEY are changing the world… whether it’s sharing their Indonesia photos with people around the world or helping families find a new home or whatever.

For some, money is a passion. But to equate ethics or passion absolutely with money is, IMHO, overlooking the diversity of Webmasters and search engine employees. I would expect (and hope) that most people working for Yahoo! or Ask or MSN, etc., also feel like they’re involved in something deeper than just shifting money around.”

In the past, search engine optimizers had to guess at what would get better rankings at Google. Now we have folks like Adam Lasnik who tell us specifically what not to do. A lot of SEO speculation is history, and we can devote ourselves to making better websites and not worrying about Google’s black box.

How many marketing people can say their work truly helps people and benefits the greater good?


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3 Responses

  1. Adam I’m glad you appreciated the post. It’s nice to be able to deal with a friendly face and not just a huge corporation.

  2. Just recently caught your note here… and it made my day.

    It makes me happy to see my work and my comments appreciated. Stuff like this helps keep me going even after challenging weeks 🙂

    Thanks, and take care…

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