Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Google Watch Watch

You may have heard of Google Watch, a site which, to put it bluntly, slags off Google because of the way it ranks pages and how it obtains and stores information about its users. I’d always assumed it was set up by a disgruntled webmaster who couldn’t get his pages to rank highly on Google, and instead of changing his site believed that it was Google who was to blame for this.

My theory has been proved by Google Watch Watch, a site which brings some truth into the equation. It explains the background behind Google Watch, and why its existence is generally unjustified. A good, if a little lengthy read for anyone interested in the web’s favourite search engine.


  1. Can this get any wackier? All this complaining about the way Google ranks pages is insane. What is Google doing that any other search engine doesn’t do as well?
    What I find really funny. I was looking at my stats page and saw a Google search referer. I looked at what was being searched for and was amazed to see my site being the top of the “non-paid” list. The search phrase was “Scooter Software’s Beyond Compare”. I have a review of the software on my site because I think it’s one of the best examples of shareware out there and it’s a super directory syncronizer, but to get top billing over the company that wrote the program in the first place? That just seems really weird.
    Me, I don’t have any complaints about Google. I just hope that if I start a business, that they rank the pages there as high as they are ranking the pages to my blog. 🙂

  2. A little chronology behind the site:
    On June 27 on WmW, GoogleGuy jokingly referred to my Google Watch site, and the fact that I have registered and parked the domain, and added, “I fell down laughing at that. Glad it isn’t personal. 🙂 I still want though (kidding!). :)”
    On July 1, the domain was registered. The person apparently behind it is a search engine optimizer and Google worshiper named Chris Beasley. I found this site a couple weeks ago. I thought of sending Mr. Beasley a reply, but since it had to be getting almost zero traffic, I decided to let it slide.
    Now I see that Evan Williams at has linked to it. This is why it’s on the radar, since Mr. Williams is an A-list blogger. He is the co-founder of Pyra, the company that did, and now he’s now a Google employee. So now the gloves are off, and I want to reply for the record.
    It’s almost the first anniversary of that piece by Farhad Manjoo in Salon which has caused me so much grief, and which is the basis for Mr. Beasley’s — and every other — attack on me. I’d like to quote from an email that I sent to Mr. Manjoo’s editor at Salon, Andrew Leonard, on September 18, 2002. Mr. Leonard did not reply, and Salon has not given me an opportunity to answer the insinuations made in Mr. Manjoo’s piece. Therefore, I hope this forum will indulge me:
    Moderator note: Due to the length of the email I have elected to edit this portion out. Sorry. – Neil
    By the way, here are some hints about Chris Beasley’s motives:
    “I am Chris Beasley, the author of this site. Why did I make it? Because I love Google. Google is a great company, a good company, a responsible company. They are in a position of tremendous power and they do not abuse it. They never sacrifice their vision for the sake of making a buck. They are benign innovators, if only other companies (here’s looking at Bill), were this good.”
    Mr. Beasley is hardly an objective critic of Google’s responsibility to the public sector. He doesn’t like Microsoft, but I had an essay criticizing Microsoft up on my site in 1997, when everyone still thought Microsoft was way cool. Is it possible that Mr. Beasley just cannot see beyond his own narrow interests?

  3. Search: Google Calculator

    Google has a new Google calculator function: yet another reason to count on Google!

  4. I know Chris Beasley well (from his online webmaster formus) and I agree with what he has put in google watch watch. Google is a great search engine and without it when people searched they would still be getting pages filled with millions of keywords, but no content.