|I've Been Googled!
Have you had your website disappear from Google's listings? If you have, then you'll know how painful it was.
Well, we've got the t-shirts for you. Let them know that your heart has been ripped out.
It happened to us. And now we get our revenge by using satire applied to t-shirts. That'll make the big guys quake in their boots.
Some people say that satire changes nothing. Prove them wrong.
Googled! - The Image That Brought Down Google
In the summer of 2005, my website, ShirtBloke.com disappeared from the search engine Google's listings. After some four years presence, with a pagerank of 5, and over 1500 inbound links, the website just disappeared.
Google has the largest share of the search engine market by a considerable margin. From personal experience, I would have to say that 80% to 90% of website visitors come from search engines, and 80% to 90% of those visitors come from Google's search results. The sudden downfall in the number of visitors that resulted from this disappearance was no less than disastrous, financially and emotionally.
Had I offended them in some way? I read through the advice for webmasters that Google offers on this topic. There might have been some issues - I'd recently installed an Amazon affiliate script that might have fallen foul of their "cookie cutter" affiliate guidelines. There were other experiments that the recent acquisition of php and a content management system had led a curious mind to. So it got cleaned up, and an apologetic email was sent to Google for re-inclusion.
And nothing. Merely an automated reply thanking me for my interest. So
began the long wait. In December, I sent another email asking for
re-inclusion, and finished it with this seasonally apposite quote....
And nothing. And Tiny Tim finally passed away late on Christmas day. His last words were "Has Mr Scroogle visited yet, papa?"
Now, in the dark backrooms of the forums and chatrooms where webmasters gather, there are those who say Google owes us nothing. They are a private company and can include who they want in their search engine results. And it may come as a surprise, but this is something I wholeheartedly agree with. Google owes me no duty of inclusion. But, when you've been supplying 80% of someone's oxygen for a number of years, to suddenly remove that oxygen comes as something of a shock to the system. But I took it on the chin, tightened my belt, gathered my clichés together and prepared to weather out the storm.
The Final Straw!
And then came the last straw that broke the camel's back.
They sent me a Google Friends Newsletter!
There are names for the type of friends who want you to listen to them, but aren't prepared to listen to you. The type of friends who cut you dead in the street. The type of friends who aren't there when you need them. And none of these names are pleasant, so let's not mention them here, as there may be children reading. I don't much put up with friends like that in real life, and won't in my online life either.
So, I have turned to the only outlet open for a rational man in these circumstances. Because the UK does not enshrine the right to bear arms in its constitution, I have been forced to turn to satire - the second most powerful tool in the arsenal of the ant versus the corporate elephant.
The Downfall of Google Starts Here
You might be interested to know that Google runs an internal betting market in which its workers gamble on future events, using funny money, in a madcap scheme designed to predict the future. In this virtual casino, Google employees have decided that the company's recent fawning obeisance to the regime in China by censoring their search results for political ends, marks their "Jumping the Shark" moment - a reference to an episode of the TV comedy "Happy Days" where any last vestige of credibility is flushed down the pan.
While they have got the timing right, the Google employees have the cause wrong. The downfall of Google will be directly attributable to the release of my "I've Been Googled" image - that's the power of satire for you.
And if you're wondering why, after saying all the above, I still have the Google ads at the top of the page - well that's the power of irony for you.
Feel no guilt whatsoever about stealing the "I've been Googled" image. Put it on your website. Copy it, paste it, distribute it to your friends. Be utterly merciless about your theft of it. If you want to paste it on your forums and bulletin boards, we'll gladly bear the bandwidth. Click the thumbnail on the right for the bigger picture.
The "I've Been Googled" T-Shirt Collection
So, for the pleasure and delectation of all those who web sites have become part of the numbers of the disappeared, I present the "I've Been Googled" T-shirt and sweatshirt collection. Not that any of you will be able to buy them, as you're lucky if you can afford dinner. The t-shirts are also going to be suitable for anyone whose website mentions the three Ts - Tibet, Taiwan or Tiannamen. I wonder if I've managed to get Cafepress' website banned from China, just for putting those words in close proximity to the words censorship, repression, China and Beijing? What a bummer that would be.