This Cesspool We Call the Internet

...as Google CEO Eric Schmidt Puts it.

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Eric Schmidt

Google CEO Eric Schmidt called the Internet a "Cesspool" Wednesday in reference to the quality of content and the amount of false information residing on it. This according to AdAge is a subject he spoke about with an audience of magazine executives at Google’s campus, where an annual industry conference was taking place.

Schmidt stressed that "Brands are the solution, not the problem…Brands are how you sort out the cesspool." 

I couldn’t agree more.

In response to an inquiry for advice about appearing more popular on Google, Schmidt told the magazine publishers, "We don’t actually want you to be successful…the fundamental way to increase your rank is to increase your relevance."

Branding and relevance. Hmm. Could it be that proving your content to be relevant  could increase the credibility of your brand, or "the authority" perhaps? Would it be safe to say that reader engagement is a reflection of relevancy as well? If more people become involved in a discussion, is that not a sign that it is more relevant? This sounds familiar.

OK, I’ll come right out and say it (yes, I’m going to bring up Bankaholic yet again). Take Bankaholic, the financial blog that was just sold to Bankrate for $15 million. Part of the reason Bankrate bought it was because it ranked well in search engines for hot key words the company was going after.

Johns Wu, the guy that sold the blog has acknowledged that user engagement was a huge factor in its success. It’s obviously relevant if it’s creating a good amount of discussion. And it’s ranking well. The name Bankaholic works as a pretty solid brand as well (some have speculated that this was also another factor of the purchase).

Schmidt is absolutely right. The Internet is a Cesspool of garbage, and relevancy and brands are the way to filter out what’s good. It’s no different than it’s ever been. Think about classic print publications. You’ve got trusted magazines and sleazy tabloids. You were always taught not to believe everything you read. The same principle applies online, it’s just that the amount of content is much greater (on both sides of the spectrum).

When discussion is taking place, relevancy is easier to pick out, and brands represent authority. Authority and engagement. Those are the keys to success, and that is the reason why new media is still a legitimate source of information despite people gaming the system to try and take advantage of it in unethical ways.

It Doesn’t Stop with Content Sites

Let’s look at the concept from a broader business standpoint, because these principles don’t only apply to content sites. They also apply to eCommerce businesses or even the web aspects of traditional brick and mortar businesses. I don’t care if your site only leads to selling products on eBay or Amazon, you must have ways of establishing your authority, which creates trust with potential customers. A blog or even “expert articles” that give tips and advice can be a good way to accomplish this. When a customer senses that the people running a site know what they’re talking about, they are more likely to purchase products from that site.

You can use blogs to engage site visitors and you can also integrate Web 2.0 type apps. For example, Best Buy has just launched an "enterprise-Twitter"-style application called Mix aimed at employees. Similar tools can be available for customers that will create an interactive environment that helps build a bond with customers, often prior to the sale. Anything that can help you develop a dialogue with your potential customers is going to help inspire trust.

A recent survey found that 81% of consumers don’t trust small online businesses. Authority and engagement are ways to overcome this. For more on earning customer trust online, see my seven steps for small businesses. How do you earn trust from your customers? What methods do you employ to engage users? How do you gain authority in your niche? Share your ideas with the rest of us. Engage!

This Cesspool We Call the Internet
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  • http://www.fourthfloormarketing.com James Spinosa

    I fully agree with you that the quality of content is on the decline as many people are entering the market hoping to get rich quick.  The great thing about the system is that poorly managed sites will typically not get much traffic, and therefore the people clogging the arteries will quickly lose interest.

    As for content, I feel that blogs are without a doubt the best way to get high quality information as they typically encompass a small niche.

  • Underdog

    As a journeyman online marketing specialist, I’ve been reading WebProNews since it’s inception. I gotta say here – people take off the blinders.

    My experience with Google is that it remains the most unethical, double standard, peddler of false propaganda out there. On one hand it says "we are not evil", on the other it is structuring internal government archives and affairs and sharing data with the most sinister big brother movement one can find. All the while scamming the investment community into the most absurd profit versus earning ratios that have set new realms of lunacy for stock valuations versus common sense. (Note to Google: be happy your adoption rate outweighed the negative churn rate for dissatisfied clients for so long!).

    On another it is stressing neutral kindness to all political wise – while it greases the Democratic wheel for $500k to $1m in return for preferential billing (in ridiculous amounts) for letting our government use it’s simple archive and indexing methodologies to improve "our lives"

    With respects to their cesspool comments – their disease goes one step further if you want to see an example for yourself. My last battle with them (ironically on behalf of a US Government entity) they refused to let words related to combat offer up training and battalion regiment information that was saving lives behind the scenes.

    BUT – (no pun intended) they stood on their high horse and yelled why they should be allowed to get paid for a word like "scat" by advertisers. A fairly unknown (but highly profitable looking at search intel of past) fetish involving appeties for fecal matter. Check for yourself….. then scratch your head in disbelief and ask yourselves "what is wrong with these people".

    I hope that the editors here do not censor this, and some level of common sense and accountability can be re-rendered into society. Personally I grow sick of the hooligans who are running this country, manipulating consumer attitudes, and controlling free press and accountability.


    – American Conscience

    • Chris Crum

      Schmidt did say that Google is guilty of “many things” according to the AdAge article, though he didn’t elaborate on that. :)

    • Wubbi

      I suggest if you are unhappy with the people elected (um that is the official name for what happened in 2004 right) that you get out and vote to change them and their illness spawned party from running our country. The best thing about being in America is we can actually make a difference, as long as all of us stand up and use our given right to vote. The same can be true with many facets of the internet, if you find a bad site – don’t go there again and pass it along. I think the internet was a cesspool back in the 80s/90s and has yet to recover from the spawn of filfth thrown on to it from conception. I remember a time when Yahoo was king, and they didn’t want to take over the world…. good times. I hope that there soon comes another better, faster, smaller mouse trap for us to use and possibly grab the attention of the scammers and bad executives, but that day may be far off – or maybe it will come from one of our outsourced allies, after all we are not too bent on getting the job does as long as profits are made with the current status quo.

  • Guest

    OMG You are so right, That is absolutely the most disgusting thing I have seen online.. Google are among the biggest hypocrites and biased crooks out there.. Great articulation journeyman!


  • http://www.theSugarRefinery.com Nick

    Surely Google created the mess?

    Their original concept was that a back-link counted as a vote of confidence in the same way that a citation counted as a vote of confidence in a published scientific paper.

    However, getting links is way easier than getting a citation and requires no due-diligence. That’s a simple flaw. Anyone can get masses of links but it proves nothing.

    Instead of complaining about the state of the net, why don’t they put their pointy heads together and come up with a decent solution that filters out the rubbish – most of which is just there to make money from their flawed system (oh and which lines Google’s own pockets and accounts for most of their profit).


    • Fred Sarhadi

      Well said and expressed…

      I guess google sees itself outside of the world. I guess the world isn’t a cesspool where they sit… only thing is… they be an AUTHORITY too!… by making more money than anyone online so far… doing it!

      GIve us a break.. let the truth rise and the evil content beares and false "product profits" fall as they always do. Not everyone is dumb.



    • http://hamiltonmontana.com Connie Delaney

      I totally agree. The internet is a cesspool, and that’s because Google created it that way. The idea of backlinks was flawed from the very beginning, and cause people to create pages and pages of junk just for links.

      Now they say that content is key. But it’s easier to create junk content, than to create well-thought, critical prose. So people are pumping out content like crazy.

      The whole internet mess we have today is Google’s fault. I’d love to see them go down.


      • http://www.italiaspy.com Guest

        Google is actually both the cesspool and the would-be-janitor. They dictate how a website has to be done, what a content must it have, what title must it have, what time we gotta go to bed and how many cigarettes we gotta smoke per day.Since yesterday they told us webmasters "yeah, guys, a link on a directory is top important for your websites" and today they say"ouch, mates, we’re sorry but we ‘re going not to consider directories anymore".
        The problem is that the Web has been created to be a free and global tool of data exchange , social communication , business and entertainment, and not as an enslaved monster  mastered by a single search engine.Who they think they are, the new Goebbels?

  • Chris

    Personally, I feel that Google really doesn’t care about quality when it comes to ranking websites.

    I have come to believe this because I have a website that has over 30 pages of high quality content.  And yet, a site that is nothing more than a multiple page sales letter has the number spot  for the keywords that I am targeting.

    Note:  I don’t sell anything on my site.  I don’t even ask for donations. 

    What’s even more interesting is when you see a bookmark ranking higher than the site to which it points!  I have seen and experienced this many times.

    Even worse, I have reported sites for spamming and Google has done nothing about it as far as I can see.

    No, I don’t believe Google plays fair; nor do I believe they care.  And frankly, I would like to see someone take their place because they are not meeting my expectations; and I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way about them. 

    Google is undeservng of the glory that they have on the Internet.



    • http://www.efabe.co.uk eFABE

      Regarding blaming sites for spamming, I feel that a lot of sites are blamed for spamming when infact they had nothing to do with.  I have been a victim of this and basically there is not much I could do, nor for my host or ISP.  I wish someone would fix the problem of pointless spamming, phishig and what ever else this robot things can do, why do they waste their time, I dont understand what they achive by sending a lot of rubbish in an email!!!

      I wonder, where would the internet be without Google?

  • http://virtualxoffice.com Guest

    Google will be replaced like Yahoo and others. Technology  runs faster and sometimes in different direction than current search engine provider mention.  As soon personal data collection, profiling and missuse of personal information impact us more and more, the internet will change fast.  You pay every day for the free service, like email…, mabe more than you think.

    Peter Koegel

    • Chris Crum

      Interesting take on the subject with Google having such a huge majority of the market share.

  • http://cozumelrentalvillas.com Bob Rodriguez

    I am the author/owner/webmaster/SEO/Marketer of cozumelmexico.net; your complete vacation guide.

    Under the search term "Cozumel Mexico" we are in the number 2 position on Google. The number one slot is taken by the official governement site for Cozumel Mexico and sometimes we take the number one position on Google; I am currently working on changing this as well.

    We also dominate the number one position on Yahoo and MSN under the same search term. We have three brands, Cozumelmexico.net (our landiing page), Cozumel Concierge, and Casa Colonial (our profit centers).

    Cozumelmexico.net was founded over 8 years ago on the premise that we wanted to curb the commercialization of the internet (the "Cesspool") as well as Cozumel Mexico by not accepting paid advertizement from ANYONE; and offering objective, unbiased information that is highly relevent to visitors wishing to know more about Cozumel Mexico while planning their next vacation.

    Indeed cozumelmexico.net does deliver! Just about everyone on the island has asked me at one time or another if  they could pay me to advertize on my site. I alwasy refuse becuase we pride ourselves on representiing only the best that Cozumel Mexico has to offer. Casa Colonial (which is our bread and butter) is the only vacation rental on Cozumel that is featured annually on CBS Televisions "The Price Is Right". It is also written up in many travel guides as the number one specialty lodging in Cozumel. In other words, independent sources also see our brands as being highly relevent and representative of the best of Cozumel Mexico.

    The upshot is this; stay relevent, and become the authority in what you are writing about, do your research and write about things that your target audience wants to know about. Do not write "flowery" web sites. Be rich with facts while being engagiing, speak clearly, and in plain terms, so that people can understand you, and relate to you as a REAL human beiing. Gain their trust with "White hat" tactics; not key word stuffiing, and be true to your brands. In this way you not only become the authority but you will convert your visitors iinto buyers. Casa Colonial, and Cozumel Concierge, which we own, have an incredible conversion rate. Not only because Casa Colonial is truely a beautiful place to spend your vacaiton on Cozumel Island Mexico at a great price; but more importantly people convert to our vacation rentals and our concierge service because we are not only the authority in Cozumel but because we do not dilute our brands with irrelivent information.

    I hope that you will find this information useful.

  • http://www.edwinsdesignlab.be/blog/ Edwin

    Is Google disappointed in their own abbility to determine relevancy ?

    Do they need an excuse to manually shuffle the organic results

    If the internet wasn’t a cesspool, did we still need search engines rather than some quality brand directories .

    Don’t forget that a majority of the population likes to use internet because is has the abbilty to interact or to create personal webpages or communities. Lots of people gathering on the same location means, lots of trash left behind..

  • Guest

    Google are like the state traffic authorities continually changing the speed limit and then never telling the drivers that they have made changes.

    Everytime we have complained to Google about certain aspects of the internet they showed no interest at all while they were reaping in the profits of Adwords via a flawed system.

    The scammers still continue however let a site of relevance and ligitimacy make a mistake by trying to profit off their hard work and the mighty hand of Google will smack them all the way to a sandpit if they could


  • Guest

    I can’t believe that anyone from Google would call the Internet a cesspool when they are as guilty, if not more, than anyone else!  My company pays for a sponsored search, and Google is one of the search engines on which we appear.  I have been fighting with Google through my sponsored search rep for six months now regarding truth in advertising.  Google insists on showing one of our websites under a specific search term when I have been very clear that we are under a contractual obligation to make sure our company does not show up on a sponsored search using that term.  Of course, if it shows up under that term in an organic search, we have no problem, but we CANNOT show up under a sponsored search!  Another thing is that Google insists on putting my company in a geographical location that is not where we reside!  I have had customers question our truth in advertising practices because of it.  If anyone from Google wants to discuss "cesspool", then I figure they must have their hair on fire and are trying to put it out with a hammer.  Duh!

    • http://cozumelrentalvillas.com Bob Rodriguez

      We no longer use PPC ads. One of the reasons is that we are finally after many years appearing at the top of Googles organic search under our most relevent key words.

      However, I have noticed an incredible change in their approach to pay per click and it centers around greed.

      When I first started with them was when they FIRST started their PPC program. If your ad was not relevent to the search term submitted a human editor would deny you the use of that search term. In more lay terms; if you were trying to reach people that were  interested in Cancun Mexico and your ad originated in Cozumel Mexico which is still part of the "Mayan Riviera", your ad using the term "Cancun Mexico" would be denied (by the way Cancun is 45 minutes from Cozumel’s’ ferry crossing.

      Now I see that PPC has been basterdised for purposes of boosting sales. If you put in the search term Cozumel Mexico now you will see everythng from ads promoting Cancun to Papua New Guinea!! Now all I can say is "WOW, what people will do for money!"

      Google has changed their criteria on PPC for the sake of boostiing profits and from Shareholder pressure to iincrease their P/E (profit and earnings) pure and simple.

      Look for this to get much worse as the "global financial meltdown" and dwindeling expenditures in PPC start to critically affect P/E. They will be force (and I use that term loosly) to allow this kind of crap to enter their sponsored search.


  • http://www.keithseldon.co.uk Keith Seldon

    I know little about websites, put a few pages up recently for contact as much as anything. Just happened to see this on a friend’s PC and can’t help wondering if anything has really changed. My work is as an enamel artist, often for the jewellery trade and that functions entirely on trust.

    Preserving this has been at the core of my business for many years and the internet alters little. If search engines did not exist, my customers would hopefully still come and others by recommendation. If any business sets out to maintain reputation from day one and is always prepared to go the extra mile, the type of media is not so important. Except of course that finding information, good or bad, is easier.

  • http://www.theoracleofomaha.com Value Investor

    The Internet is no more than a reflection of the real world, you get the same cowboys, crooks and saints on the Internet as you do in real life. How many people trust bank managers, or car mechanics, dentists, plumbers etc…? I know from bitter experience good ones are rare and when you find one you need to hang on to him/her.

    Having said that, the Internet does make it easier to be dishonest, simply due to the distance involved, which is why I never buy from people otuside my own country. My in-laws are all French and they NEVER use the Internet to buy anything, unless there is absolutely no other solution.

  • GoogleAdwordsRipoff

    Well if there is a dirty side to the internet it’s google adwords. There service is such a scam. They provide 50GBP vouchers to try their service through new ISP domain signup customers, then when you use the vouchers, they make sure that through their ‘recommended keywords’ that you are charged over the 50GBP. They must be making millions from this scam, and when you challenge them on it they just refer to the terms and conditions. Google are so far away from the common man, that they have forgotten that the internet is a tool used by real human beings.

    hypocritical of google CEO to say trust the brand, when its in fact the smaller online businesses that provide the real customer care

    beware the brand (especially google) because their customer care is run by a bot…. :)

  • Guest
    Google can say anything they want, and get away with it.
    If mainstream media pick up on stuff like this it just makes it harder for all the hardworking (and honest!) webmasters out there…
    Thanks Eric, and even if it is such a ‘cesspool’ you seem to be very happy playing in it!!
    Alex S.
    • Anonymous

      You are so right. If he really feels this way then he should quit and find another line of work. I have been working in the Valley for almost 2 decades now if the internet has become a Cesspool, it is people with these types of additudes out to make a buck that have done so.

      Way to keep it classy Eric; you scumbag cess monger you…

  • http://www.vegaswebdesign.org/webdesign/ Las Vegas Web Design

    I completely agree that there is a lot of crap online and sometimes it is hard to find good information. I do think that people trust name brand clothes over non name brand and the same goes for everything else.

  • http://www.protection-direct.com The Pepper Spray Guy

    I agree with the cesspool comment 100%.  I have been marketing online for years and everyday that goes by there is more and more junk being put out there.  There is such a huge amount of people out there trying to make a quick buck it clogs up the net. 

    These people are just throwing up the same stuff availiable on 50 other sites or worse yet they are using automated programs to scrape the net and the put together useless random jiberish information that is of no use to anybody out there. 

    It’s people like this that make everyone elses life’s online a living hell.

    As far as Google goes, I don’t agree with the way the run their business at all.  I personally think there are some very shady things that are taking place in the background.  They are collecting people personal information every single day.  When I say personal information, I’m talking about their search habbits, viewing habbits, and buying happits among many other things. 

    The fact that they are not will to release this information and will fight to the death over it throws up some red flags.  All the other search engine companies are happy to comply with requests but Google will fight tooth and nail over it.

    There is something seriously wrong there.  They are positioning themselves as a future superpower all over the world and something really needs to be done about it.

  • Google

    Google needs a good kick in the balls and I hope I’m gonna be the one to do it.

    Apart from that, and with regards to this story, it’s obviously Shmidt causing trouble and shirking his resposibilities in providing relevant content OR Brand.
    Kind of either/or.

    Google just wants to suck the testicles of industry.

    A statement like this is technologically shamefull.

    Shmidt is a liar like the rest of the people in power in the US.

    • SEO Addict

      @A statement like this is technologically shamefull.

      I couldn’t agree more. Who says that major brands are better? Think about the absolute choas that came out of the Bloomberg timestamp screw-up. I can also think of about many instances where major news sources in my country stuffed up because of information they sourced from the internet without fact checking.

      The whole meme of the internet (and Google for that matter) is supposed to be the decentralised sharing of information. I’d prefer to get very specialised news  from an industry professional’s blog rather than some news site journo’s version which is wrong because they don’t understand the finer issue of the topic, and I expect Google to help me find this information when I look for it.

      This was a very stupid thing for a Google representitive to say and I really hope it causes harm to the company as a result. As an aside does anyone else think Google taking on the "Microsoft" attitude?

  • Guest

    Google is a business, first and foremost.  It is not altruistic so it should not be expected to judge sites on an altruistic basis, however much it might want you to think otherwise.

    If you don’t pay, Google will try and ensure you can’t play, at least not on a level playing field.

  • http://www.yahrpsblog.com Jaap (Yahrp) Verduijn

    Google is nothing more for the internet than what a telephone directory is for the telephone net: a directory. Googles only function is letting us search for whatever we want to search for, and it should refrain from making public any judgement or opinion regarding the content of the internet and whatever happens to be part of it.

    I don’t want the publishers of my local phone directory publicly stating that the calls from and to my telephone number tend to contain more bullshit than useful info (even though it’s true: I have two teenage daughters – grin!), or that the conversations via our local exchange are no better than a cesspool. Of course they’re clever enough to keep their trap shut: if they flapped their gums too much, such a phone directory would pretty soon find itself without advertisers and other means of income – and so should Google. It’s not up to a fugging directory or search engine to judge whatever people are looking up or searching for. Google should make it easy for us to find what we want, and refrain from getting out of line by negatively judging their customers – to wit us. They should do their frigging job, and nothing else.

    Jaap ("Yahrp") Verduijn.

    • Chris Crum

      I don’t think Google is going to be finding itself without advertisers anytime soon.

      • Guest

        @ I don’t think Google is going to be finding itself without advertisers anytime soon.

        Maybe not soon, but this may be the start of a long slide downhill. Advertisers will use whatever method makes them the best profit.

        I agree with the comments that the content of the internet represents a good spread of good businesses, average businesses and dodgy guys. Usually there is very little difference between the branding of all of these since the dodgy guys will copy the branding of the good guys to appear less dodgy. The fact that they have a good site and good content doesn’t change the fact that their business is dodgy.

        A real world example of why you shouldn’t rely is Fitness First. They are probably the biggest fitness chain in the world with a very aggressive marketing team. However, whenever I hear about Fitness First the feedback is always negative, and I have even heard them referred to as "Finance First" due to the hard sell tactics. Nonetheless they are almost universely in the top 3 results for "fitness".

        How is this relevant? Because without this grass roots feedback through friends / forums etc. I don’t go to Fitness First. This feedback is the kind of information I need to be finding in Google, not an endless endorsement of brands which are "quality".

  • Guest

    Yes, there is a lot of garbage on the internet.  But one man’s trash may be another man’s treasure.  Let’s face it, without this so called ‘cess pool’ Google would cease to exist and be relevant.  Case closed.


  • http://www.goldendoodleworld.com Goldendoodle World

    I absolutely agree that the internet is full of cesspool garbage….mainly from forums that lure potential customers in that fill their heads full of utter untruthful garbage…..there are so many scams going on over the internet that it is no wonder so many do not trust small businesses.

    However, as the article said… creating presence through articles and writing about things you know about helps show what your area of expertise is.  People just need to learn how to filter through the cesspool to find what it is they are looking for.

  • http://www.ScentedCandlesAndOils.com Scented Candles and Oils

    I’ve quickly read the responses to this amazing blog posting and am almost disgusted with most of the comments…

    AdWords Rigged? Give me a break! It’s the same as almost any other PPC website, and all additional/sharing functions are pretty much optional. Don’t like it? don’t use it! pretty simple! sounds like common sense to me. it’s too bad more people are worried about their dollars and cents than their common sense (sorry, only 2/3rs of a pun, I know – P.U.)

    Collecting information for sinister purposes? Wow, can we get any more conspiratorial?  Where do people draw the line between protection of privacy and "big brother’s secret spy"? Consider this, not only do they not SHARE their data, they don’t SELL it either, which is more than I can say for many other websites out there. (and good luck finding out where your long-lost cousin with an inheritance in Nigeria found your email).

    Sounds to me that some people feel cheated by Google, but I find their tools to be VERY useful and MUCH MUCH MORE than just searching online. In fact it helps my small business work between MAC and PC formats (Google Docs), makes my products more available (Google Shopping Cart, Google Base), and Gmail has performed as-good or better than most ISP email addresses I’ve had with as much or more storage space. There are many more services I use that are either essential or complimentary to my needs or are great resources when comparing similar results.

    Just throwing this out there, but I think there are alot of people trying to get into the website marketing and the e-retail aspect of the internet and feel that their efforts are fruitless. Well guess what – welcome to the real world! Wake the @#$K up and realize that it’s the same as advertising in the same magazine as Walmart. First you have to AFFORD it, then you have to advertise better, offer better deals and higher quality products and involve your customers. (mental note: check keywords "better than walmart" haha)

    The internet DOES NOT offer freedom from competition – and in this day an age where one can simply start a free webspace and add "Buy Now" buttons, that makes even MORE competition for the same customers. Selling Stuff Online is not an over-night retirement plan or something you can quit your job to do in 1 or 2 months.

    When I hear Schmidt say the word Cesspool in this context, I agree with him 100%! You want to know why? probably not, but keep reading if you do:

    When I was… oh.. probably 10 years old (boy i feel old now), I taught myself HTML. I made a geocities website to practice and wrote COMPLETE NONSENSE, gibberish about my classmates, outright lies about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and how I thought that Patrick Swayzee was Gay. I took pride in the final product, even though it was just things I typed out of my head and didn’t reference anything.

    Why do I bother to tell you this? The content is still online! It’s still searcheable on most search engines (with certain keywords, i can even find it in first place!), and it had ZERO FACTUAL CONTENT OR VERIFIABLE RESOURCES. This should tell you something:

    There’s alot of people of all ages and ALL AROUND THE WORLD, NOT JUST AMERICA with too much spare time and quick fingers creating content, responding to posts (see other posts for example), or otherwise inflamatory, opinionated, and fictional information and try to make it look official.

    To all those who says that "Google should stfu" or whatever: First off, it’s just Schmidt saying that. He isn’t the end-all be-all final say in absolutely everything offered at google, and even if he were – he has a point. Secondly, try not to take things so personal (unless you’re one of those that makes 10 copies of the same website in an effort to smother the competition, then go ahead and take it personal because you’re adding to the cess of the pool). His statement was not toward any specific individual, but about the state of the internet in general. There will always be quality content, the trick is to sift through the bull dung to find the juicy meaty content you need or want.

    now that i’ve ranted, I hope I haven’t ruined the latest Alex Jones podcast for those ranters who are all "big brother" on Google, and I hope the milk in your bottle is warm.

    Take Care, Best Regards, and try something else if Google isn’t working for you. Don’t hate: Participate.

    • Chris Crum

      You make some pretty good points here. Particularly about being ten years old and first stating out with HTML, and the “all ages and all around the world” factor. You have to consider that everybody’s first attempts at websites are out there (unless they by some chance got rid of them) along with every other thing they’ve done since then. The “cesspool” isn’t all about unethical people and people “gaming” the system. It’s far deeper than that.

    • http://www.theanaloguerevolution.com Funny T shirts

      I agree mostly, the internet is a cesspool but hidden in that stinking cesspool is some really great content. Google isn’t perfect but it does the best job out of anyone of finding that good content, which is why people use it and why it is so popular hence can make bucketloads of cash.

      Google is a company thtawants to make money, but how many sucessful businesses don’t, you may disagree with them ethically ona some things but generally you would have to say they are better than (less evil?) most. I don’t think it deserves to rule the internet and I see no reason why it is guaranteed to do so over the next 5-10 years, it has all of it’s eggs in one basket financially which is why they are happy to invest in all sorts of weird projects, one of which could be the next big thing.

      All it would take is for Microsoft to put an add blocking feature which blocks out PPC adds inot the next IE, then it is in serious trouble!

  • http://website-related.com/BotStufr/ Stop Spambots!

    That ‘cesspit’ has made him a very wealthy man!

    I would call it a pretty awesome cesspit myself!"

  • Guest

    you people are idiots. Plain and simple. Wake up sheeple!

  • Guest

    In this case "relevant" has become a weasel word. There is perhaps a connection between brands and "authority", but in way is there a particular connection between brand and relevance. Relevance has everything to do with the quality of information and absolutely nothing to do with branding.

    As others have said, Google is basically an intelligent directory, and it is not their role or place to tell us about the state of the internet.

    • http://truefinance.nowblogspot.com/ truefinancenow

      I agree that relevance may have no connection with branding.

      There’s a lot of big branded companies that are full of weasels that are dumping their ways and will on us with a lot of crap we don’t need and telling us it’s good for us…

      This country is made up of primarily small businesses, and the majority of large branded companies started small, so let’s not discount alternative voices just because they’re not behemoths. 

      I think the people at Google must know this–otherwise why would they want everyone to use their products?

      Innovation is what will keep us alive and ahead of the curve, and that happens before the branding, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

      Branding is not coorrelated with relevance. 

      It may coexist sometimes, especially as something "catches on", but usually at product maturity, the relevance is way gone before the brand is…

    • http://truefinancenow.blogspot.com/ truefinancenow

      I agree that relevance may have no connection with branding.

      There’s a lot of big branded companies that are full of weasels that are dumping their ways and will on us.

      This country is made up of primarily small businesses, and the majority of large branded companies started small, so let’s not discount alternative voices just because they’re not behemoths. 

      I think the people at Google must know this–otherwise why would they want everyone to use their products?

      Innovation is what will keep us alive, and that happens before the branding, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

      Branding is not coorrelated with relevance.  It may coexist sometimes, especially in the beginning, but usually at product maturity, the relevance is way gone before the brand is…

  • Guest

    Google has finally realised what the rest of us have known for ages – they’ve got it wrong. Their model is totally wrong. Linking does not reflect popularity. Find a way instead to register Favorites – then you’ll know what people like.

  • http://www.bankaholic.com/ Johns Wu

    Cesspool or not, I love the Internet and I love Google!

    • Chris Crum

      You heard it from the millionaire!

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/dansharpseo Dan

    "The internet is fast becoming a "cesspool" where false information thrives, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said yesterday."

    Does that mean Google will not keep ranking Wikipedia for everything under the sun?.



  • t bareham

    Considering google among others are responsible for creating the ‘cesspool’, isnt that comment a bit like biting the hand that feeds you Mr Schmidt?

    Dont many of the lower ranked sites pay millions of $ into googles adwords program to get exposure. surely if google was serious about cleaning up the web they would ditch the adwords program?

  • http://www.monkeezemarketing.blogspot.com Marvin

    It is unfortunate and all to true that the internet is indeed a cesspool.  The reasons for this simple, it’s easy to get online, simple to say or do what ever you want and often do so while being anyonomous.  In traditional business cost and competition provide a barrier to entry . 

    Being dishonest devious or mischevious all require more effort offline.  There is also a greater chance of being caught out or called out for misdeeds.  However online, anyone from professional crooks to kids playing around can hide themselves in one fashion or another and reek havoc at will and often with impunity.

    On the internet opinion can quickly become gospel when mis-truths, misinformation or dis-information are taken at face value by those to lazy or dim witted to actually investigate what they read or see.  The truth is rarely as sexy or interesting as something fabricated to entrap the greedy or guilable. 

    There have always been miscreants and malcontents in society.  The internet simply makes it easier and faster for those types to do their dirty work, locally and across the face of the globe.  

    When reading anything online it’s obvious that care and caution are the two most important princpals everyone should observe.                 

  • http://greedy.com GREEDY

    Dear "Mr Google CEO"

    We are sorry that you cant get your "manicure" done this week or go to a fancy resort for the weekend due to your stocks "fall from heaven" but trying to take it out on the web or webmasters is wrong and you know it. 

    You guys purposely screwed up websites PR and rankings so that those "web dollars" would get deverted to "adwords" but as you can see it didnt help any and you only showed your true colors and googles.

    You might want to ask if that "golden parachute" is still available as that stock and the lifestyle you where so accustomed to is slipping away really fast…

    Love Always

    Just Greedy

  • http://www.my-student-loans.com Student Loans

    Yep Content is king



  • http://www.how2makeawebsite.com Guest

    Great article. Point to be noted about not only quality content but relevancy of the content,

  • http://www.movingsnow.com Paul

    Whatever happened to Microsoft being the evil warlord?  Why is everyone beating up one person who works for Google and calling it THE gospel.

    Of course the internet is a cesspool.  A cesspool of everyone’s opinion, just like the corner bar on a Thursday night.  Or the cesspool we still call the nightly news. At least with the internet you can get three or three hundred opinions and use YOUR brain to make an informed decision instead of having some talking head tell you what to think.

  • Guest

    wondeful? cesspool? perception perception perception……………

  • Guest

    Being right is just part of it. Applying what uou know is right to your own business is also  important.

  • Guest

    what is a brand?

    Its a way of charging $300 for exactly the same shirt that costs $2 except its got a ‘brand’ name sewn onto it.

    A brand is an internationally well known company and therefore must be trusted above any mom and pop business. Enron is such an example.

    The economy is in a revolution and first against the wall will be ‘brands’ and all its scamsters who support them.

  • http://www.cooeeonline.com.au/ Guest

     As a directory owner I see a lot of submissions from many sites. Don’t rely on a bot, like some. At least I check each submissions to insure they are usable, and offer a good user experience. 

    Even though Google thinks directories are irrelevant, some of us do try to keep our little corner of the cesspool clean. And do what we can to help maintain quality and relevant content.  

    And just like Google charges for keywords, I charge for position in the directory. I need to put food on the table also. 

    Like any good store owner I like to think the content of my site is quality and work to maintain it.

    And ok I don’t have venture capital to build brand, but it doesn’t mean the quality is less. In some ways its better because I have passion and commitment.  I don’t live by the algorithm, with me its all personal, I see, I touch, I use, the human experience.


    • http://www.packagedhosting.com Mark


      You do a good job to, I use it regularly for myself and clients =)

  • http://www.jamesbull.com.au James Bull

    If we did not have search engines, website owners would not be playing the content creation and linking game in order to be found in them.

    The incentive to create content for content’s sake is one of the big reasons why the web is a cesspool.

    We had the dotcom bubble. We are currently seeing the wreckage of the credit bubble. In the future, the gurus with 20/20 hindsight will be analysing the web content bubble.

    Less is more. In the long run, quality will beat quantity.

  • http://tinyurl.com/4bgasw beautifulisness

    You lot REALLY need to STOP the page whizzing down to the bottom. We all know there is a comments option down there. All you are achieving with this flash nonsense is CLIENT IRRITATION. This a shame because your contents is worth a read now and then. Wise up – its worse than those pop-over/under things that drive customers away quickfast and yet PLAGUE the commercial pages. When will THEY ever learn eh?

  • http://forumdirectory.freeforums.org Guest

    Google should not judge ANYTHING!

    Who appointed Google as judge???

    That is NOT Google’s function at all.

    If someone wants to find rubbish.com, than Google should search it out and display the results – Period!

    Google has NO right or function to say what is good or bad on the net.

    It is MERELY a Search Engine and should NOT be anything else!

    Maybe we should all ignore Google and NOT use Google anymore?

    Then Google would itself become a "cesspool" and also "rubbish"! LOL

    • http://briarpatchgiftshop.com Giftshop

      For all of us to stop using google is like i tell other people we dont need to drive cars or buy gas but try walking everywhere you go.  The truth is the web has been a rubish dump for a long time with misleading ads and material that we would not show our kids but that is old fashioned i guess.  I feel like what google is talking about is very true, and hey they are nothing but a search engine, just try and spread that rubish around without them and one more thing they are free to use if you wish to do so and as long as the #1 search engine is free i guess they dont have to list any site if they choose not to.  I recently listened to a web video feed from another search engine on how we can get by without google but the one thing i remeber is the name google must have been mentioned a dozen times in ten minutes so i guess you are right if you dont mind walking every where you go and using your mail box to access millions of people everyweek you dont need google.

  • laserbrain

    Of course the internet is a cesspool. You have anybody and everybody with internet access saying whatever they want just by pounding on the keyboard. You have webmasters throwing up websites riddled with BS information in hopes for an adwords click. Not to mention the idiots that employ viruses, scrapes, cloaking, spamming, and the like. By calling the internet a cesspool I would have to agree. Actually I think the Schmidt’s description is quite humorous. Google certainly has their hands full filtering through all the garbage in order to present their users with good, credible, reliable, and unique information.

  • http://geldlening.wordpress.com Lenen

    He calls the internet a cesspool but he does not offer insights to quality content providers. I don’t think he is serious about cleaning it up, avoiding questions about how publishers could improve their ranking with Google Search.

  • http://www.myrs.info Guest

    It is Google itself that thrives on the cesspool of the internet.

  • https://www.scottydees.com Scottydee

    It’s a cesspool because Eric Schmidt says it a cesspool. If he called it Utopia 3 billion people will think thats true. The problem with the internet is it’s a community of followers. The leaders make money, start trends, and everyone else follows. If google wanted to change the system all they have to do is keep their opinions to themselves, let people make up their own minds. What would the internet look like if everyone didn’t think content or links is the way to a number one listing on google. You would see more originality.

  • http://bodyrockin.wordpress.com/ Body-Rockin Blog Spot

    I think the cess pool itself is not the internet, but like any other medium it’s the content and users that spring up from folks that make rhe world a cess pool in many respects as  the real world…the internet just becomes another usefull tool to expoit just like those offline do..except you can do it cheaper.

    You have main stream businesses still being more concerned with corporate image than they are about staying in business…when your business is failing sometimes you better be ready to do things to save it which means utilizing areas of this cesspool to try to save your business…

  • http://www.SusanGrisanti.com Susan Grisanti Guitarist

    ‘All politics is local’ also applies to your branding~ your internet marketing is ultimately no better than your end game, your consistency of delivery of the final product~ if there are any discrepencies between your internet presence & your end delivery, then your product will not be trusted in the future….the internet is just ‘local’ on a grand scale….lots of people forget that!

  • http://car2be.com/ used bmw 3 series

    You have main stream businesses still being more concerned with corporate image than they are about staying in business…when your business is failing sometimes you better be ready to do things to save it which means utilizing areas of this cesspool to try to save your business…

  • http://sparen.bestelinks.nl/ Sparen

    Can’t we just format the Internet HD and start over? 😉

  • http://easyeditvideo.com John Willman

    Blog entry
    It wouldn’t be right to open Webster’s Dictionary and find the word Bird before Animal. That’s what is wrong with most search engines. You can PAY someone to get your site ranked higher than their competitors. Then they come back and PAY someone to get a ranking higher than the original. Those who PAY get a better ranking. Like slipping the greedy door man $100 to let you into the $5 night club. Alexa rankings, Google rankings all can be “played with” or altered based on how well you can build your site to be Search Engine friendly. If a web site sells antique brass it makes no sense for them to become an expert on optimizing their site, or PAY to have an expert optimize or TRICK the search engine into ranking them higher. They should be ranked on their expertise of antique brass. It makes no sense to polish and shine the brass to be other than antique just so a search engine will rank it artificially higher. Google is wrongly skewed to favor those who know SEO rather than those who know their product. When will they rank a site based on the content alone? Then we all can remove the widgets on our sites and return to making the best antique brass available.

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