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Did Google just kill PR agencies? (zdnet.com)
13 points by Brajeshwar on Aug 10, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

Betteridge's law of headlines once again.

The article is a terrible piece of writing that doesn't make a cohesive case at all. I can see nothing terribly new in the linked Google page other than the usual mantra of "write content for human's and don't try and game the system".

Lot's of "google could do this" and "the rules could be interpreted like that" - the truth is that Google has no interest in penalizing honest content. Obviously there is the chance of collateral damage but nothing appears to have changed to warrant the hyperbole herein.

Two things:

1. A bit, maybe, for now. And I'd like them to succeed: when I search for something I want to know what the general populous says about a thing, not what some PR company says, so if the effect of PR can be minimised I should get better results for some searches.

2. Note the words "for now" above. the PR people will find other methods to give them the advantage. Google and their ilk can win as many battles as they like, but they'll never win the war.

The author of this article does not seem to understand what good PR agencies do. He thinks PR means 'web spam'. A good PR agency is about human connections: they will get press interested in doing a story, they will get you live interviews, they will provide very helpful advice on how a message will be received.

Article is alarmist and weird. Not recommended.

Tend to agree with that analysis, reading it I had predicted it was going to slide into some sort of innuendo that the only way PR was going to work with Google was if they used Google+ or some other Google product to spread it.

I also wondered if the article was confusing "Public Relations" with "Search Engine Optimization" but its hard to tell.

Laughably bad headline and premise. I don't think this linkbait is worth your time. Headline writing like this should be discouraged.

I wish Google would focus some effort on curtailing searches for "cracks, serial key, activation code" and other nonsense that is killing my software sales.

1. That's not really relevant.

2. It's really questionable whether censoring search results is a search engine's place. It's even more questionable whether they should be doing so unilaterally.

3. You can send Google a DMCA notice. They take stuff down all the time in response to those.

4. Those things are probably not killing your software sales, and if they are, you have no way of knowing that.

It's not Google's job to protect your intellectual property.

It's a slippery slope ... filtering known serial key websites and their patterns. In the offline world you can't buy a magazine from Wal-Mart that tells you where to get drugs. Yet, in the online world, there is no effort to stop being an enabler for thievery?

Note, I sell software and answer support calls from people who are using stolen license keys. I know what I'm talking about. If you don't like my opinion that's fine. You probably don't sell software.

Quit trying to argue from authority. I sell copyrighted works too. It doesn't make my opinion more valid than that of someone who doesn't.

Advice for you: post a cracked version of your software that includes a notice telling pirates that they're leaching off your hard work and giving them a link where they can donate. Nothing works better than reverse psychology :)

Software developers should create a group which would fight for this cause. We can name it Software Industry Association of America or Software Programmers Association of America. This free searching system is killing us.

Whoever down voted me obviously does not sell software online. I lose about 1,000 potential sales a month from entities linking license keys. I personally "feel" like Google could do "something" about it and spend a little less time worrying about known PR sites.

I used to sell my software online (well, I still do, but not very actively). A few years ago, while searching out of curiosity, I found that a cracked license key for one of my apps had recently started floating around. Eventually I got around to disabling that key, but you know what notable difference I observed in sales before and after the cracked key became available? Zero.

Why? Because people either pay for software or they don't. Some people who pay for software also pirate it. I have never encountered such a person who paid for software because they couldn't pirate it; rather, they paid for it because they wanted to support the author.

Probably a few people like that do exist though, so out of the thousands of people pirating your software, you might have lost ten sales. Maybe. Generously. All of the others simply would have used something else if the cracked key hadn't been available.

When many of us see a comment like yours, we feel much the same way that a mathematician probably feels when someone claims they have a proof that 0.9̅ ≠ 1. It's a broken argument that we've encountered many times before, and the fallacy of the argument is not even interesting to discuss anymore. Moreover, none of us have ever seen someone make that argument and then bring up interesting and novel points to the ensuing discussion. We know exactly how the conversation is going to go, and there's little motivation to run through the motions of it again.

As someone who has sold software online and seen license cracks for my product: it is hard to know the impact of cracks on your profit.

Would the pirates have bought your software if the crack was not available? How many customers used a cracked version at one point before becoming a customer? How much profit do you lose by investing in making your licensing scheme harder to crack?

We ended up deciding that our license keys were there to keep honest people honest, not to thwart people intent on abusing our licensing terms. Whether or not that was the most profitable choice is anyone's guess, but it certainly was nice to look at cracks as lead-gen and a bit of a compliment, rather than trying to wage a distracting war against people who were probably not going to pay us anything anyways.

I’m still agonizing over what to do ... thanks for sharing your experience. My first thought is that if thousands of Google links to keys and cracks did not exist, our sales would increase. As you've noted, it’s a time sink to fight it. That's why I want Google to at least "try" something to help us out. I mean, they want me to purchase ads from them, right?

Would someone kindly up vote me so that I feel welcome to have an opinion here at HN? Thank you.

I'll upvote it if you make any effort to explain or defend your position. Right now it's just a somewhat controversial request and a very bold assertion without any support.

Well, imagine that in a very public place, perhaps at half-time during the Superbowl, an announcement is made on how to get free gas from a local gas station. It destroys sales for that small business. How would you feel as the owner? Would you "wish" for the organizers to do "something" to stop such information?

Google, from my vantage point, is the enabler.

One is a person being an asshole. It's like the person who went and abused that shared Starbucks pre-paid card to prove it could be abused and ruined it for everyone.

The other is a company collecting and making available publicly accessible information. These two situations are completely unlike each other.

Why do you place the responsibility on Google? Go send a DMCA takedown to the people providing the cracks. The law provides the tools for you to decide how to protect your creations. It's not the responsibility of Google or any other entity to enforce your copyright or decide how to enforce it. You have the power. Use it.

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