I had a call from a nice gentleman working for Google called Shabhaz today. No, he wasn’t about to tell me that I wasn’t on the ‘first page of Google’: he worked for Google My Business, where they want to verify businesses and suck them into the ecosystem, complete with dashboard and social features.
I’ve always ignored the postcards that come and the one time my curiosity was piqued, the blasted site didn’t work anyway. I can’t remember the specifics now, but I recall my usual reaction: ‘What Google says and what Google does are entirely different things.’ You come to expect it from US Big Tech.
I suppose if you ignore it for enough years, the Big G phones you.
I proceeded to tell Shabhaz all the reasons I hated (actually, that’s not strong enough a word) his firm, but kept repeating, ‘I’m not angry at you, only at your employer.’ And words to the effect of, ‘A man has to make a living, so I don’t have a problem that you work for them, but this is a firm with highly dubious ethics.’
He did say, ‘If I had that experience, I’d hate them, too,’ and I had to correct him and expand on the stories: ‘It’s not just about my experience—it’s all the things Google does that violate our privacy, not just mine, but everyone’s.’
Nevertheless, you can’t stay angry at a guy who has had nothing to do with his bosses’ incompetence, greed, avarice and tax avoidance, and is only trying to collect a pay cheque, so I agreed to help him out.
Of course, it didn’t work as planned, as updating the address leads to this:
The house has only been there since 1972, and Google Earth has it, but then we all know that Google Earth operates in some kind of parallel universe—parallel to even Google My Business, it seems. One day, I suspect Google will catch up with houses built in the 1970s.
But seriously, with three businesses all linked to my email address (Heaven knows how) I wonder if anyone has ever got any business through Google My Business.
I’ve been on Linkedin longer than most people I know and I’ve never received any work enquiries from it.
And I’ve yet to have anyone tell me that they found my business through Google, so I’m tempted to delete the listings for Jack Yan & Associates and Lucire from the My Business dashboard.
The thing is, I don’t want to read your reviews about my businesses on Google. I don’t want to risk getting piled on by unethical actors, which totally can happen in this day and age. If you want to reach us, there’s a good contact form with all the addresses on our sites.
So what’s the prognosis out there? Since I actually don’t use the site except as a last resort, and have little desire to, your experience far outweighs mine.
On a related note, this also made me wonder about competence.
I’ve never given my permission to be in the Yellow Pages. And the fact that Lucire does screen printing is news to me. Who makes up this bullshit and tries to pass it off as authoritative?
A Tweet to them is so far unanswered, so I may get in touch with them to have this listing removed. This one I can answer: since I’ve never been in the Yellow Pages, I can say, hand on heart, that I’ve never had any business from them. By the looks of it, they’ll never send me anything relevant anyway.
In summary, today’s thought about Google:
With any other business that screws people over this badly and this often, we’d avoid it as much as we could. Instead, most go to Google, pull their trousers down, and bend over.
— Jack Yan 甄爵恩 (@jackyan) August 22, 2019
PS.: Yellow has deleted our entry (done within hours of my complaint).