Yeah, exactly. The tone of the article is a little off. Fundamentally, these guys were advertisement parasites. They added almost no value to the internet, offered no meaningful products, and the world is frankly better off without them.
And yet I get the idea that we're supposed to be sorry for them because they're just a poor canadian company unfairly crushed by the american giant.
I especially like the use of the euphemism "search arbitrage" to describe their business model. :)
So you can say hand on heart, if you worked out a way to 'game' a couple of systems, in order to make money with little or no effort, you wouldn't do it? Just a little bit?
You could say the same about "direct to advertiser PPC" - people who use adwords to bid on keywords, then drive the traffic straight to other affiliate programs, and skim off the profit. Yes, on the one hand they are parasites, but on the other, they are doing keyword research, generating more sales for the merchants, etc. They are value adding.
Granted though, search arbitrage is not in the same boat, and doesn't really benefit anyone.
That's not what I said, though. The fact that I might be tempted to break a rule doesn't mean I'm morally obliged to shed tears for those who break it and get burned. The folks who were most hurt here were the investors, who clearly bought into the scam not realizing the risks involved. So if any tears are shed it should be for them.
But what really irked me about the article was the pseudo-nationalist tone. "Who cares if they were parasites? Those were canadian parasites that Google killed!"