Secret Societies, High Flier Meetings, Big Agendas

by Guest Author on March 24, 2009 · 1 comment

As part of the ongoing Guest Bloggers series, Rishi Lakhani, a Search Marketing Strategist strategist in the UK tackles one of the hot topics of the moment – that of brands and search engines

Note: The post below is meant to push your buttons, make you think. There are more questions than answers. But there are times when we need to question, and I think this is one of them.

For time immemorial, there have been secret organisations. Some of these organisations are rumoured to have existed for centuries, descending into a mix between myth and urban legend. (Cue: Illuminati).

However, we least expected to find them in our midst. Meeting in secret with one of the world’s most powerful organisation. An organisation that could take down Economies of several countries at one blow. I am not paranoid – it’s true. These meetings most likely decide how you and I work. They probably influence our strategies for the future. We just didn’t know. These societies are by invite only, and no one except for the members and organisers really knows who attends them.

We don’t see any minutes, any updates, hell, not even the agenda. We don’t know how much of our life is being influenced by them.

No I am not going mad and waxing lyrical pointlessly. I am talking about the company that many of us battle daily. Google.

Yesterday Search Engine Land published Big Brand Media Wants A Google Bailout. One of the more interesting parts of the story is that Google has a Publishers Advisory Council. Did you know it existed? What goes on in these meetings? Why do only the big boys get to know? Is this unfair market advantage?

But the GPAC isn’t the ONLY secret council that google has. In 2007, Darren Rowse published Secret AdSense Online Advisory Council Revealed, which exposed the birth or emergence of the GAOAC. I can’t find a members list, an agenda, or any resolutions or learnings from this council.

In Feb 2009, George Michie from the Rimm Kaufman Group Revealed that he had been invited to join the Google SEM Advisory Panel. That makes GSAP, and number three secret society. I don’t know how many more there are.

My question to all of you out there is – Why not keep it all out in the open? After all, the proudly published the formation of the Google Health Advisory Council. Is this unfair advantage for the big guys? Are these the new Illuminati? Do they impact our work?

I reserve opinion, but I am sure my tone gives you an inkling as to what I think. This is food for though.

As a by note – Yahoo has also joined the ranks in forming secret councils

Rishi Lakhani is a Search Marketing Strategist. Feel free to follow him on twitter.

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Tommyofroguestar March 24, 2009 at 1:28 pm

As we move further and further into the future the stuff of science fiction seems to be revealing itself. Maybe not on the same terms as we all thought (i/e Nwo, big-brother etc.) but nonetheless it is happening. Google is our Big Brother, the internet is our Skynet, and the NWO (GPAB?) not to mention that nano-technology is on the rise and human-like conversational AI exists. But that is a wholly different discussion.

The thing I love the most about the internet is that you get to program yourself with the information of your choosing, as opposed to the television or radio where it is only one way programming. I listen to the music that I like, I watch the shows that I want. I do NOT like the thought that even my youtube video could have some sort of subliminal product placement just because the brand hired “real” people to make a stupid video.

The very thought of Google teaming up with Brands and having closed door meetings gives me chills. To think that this very well could mean that the “internet” (I put it in quotes because to a good portion of the public, Google is the internet) can become a one way medium, only further proves that we very well could be living out a science fiction novel.

To continue with the idea that we are living in a science fiction novel, I guess that means people in search have to be leaders of the rebellion to make it so the information passed in the serps isn’t the only thing that people trust. Because if the internet becomes a one way medium, what freedoms do we really have? Where are we safe to find information that isn’t bought and paid for? Hell, with so many sophisticated Bot softwares running a muck out there I don’t even know if my friends and followers are real anymore or if I’m just being served up content from someone is advertising to me because I submitted a query.

I’ll take the paranoid spot because I see this more and more with every day that passes.

Of course, I hope I’m wrong, but with all of the different technologies that exist, and with secret councils being unveiled, and with the global economic situation being in the state it’s in, the world population is going to start wanting some answers and solutions, and hopefully this isn’t the way it begins.

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