Rand Fishkin @randfish Founder @SparkToro, husband to @everywhereist, feminist, he/him, author of Lost & Founder. Formerly @Moz. I tweet ~40X/wk on marketing, tech, & startups. Aug. 07, 2019 1 min read

I think Google is an amazing company, filled with wonderful, caring, thoughtful people who want to do the right thing for their business and the world.

That's why I think they should be PISSED OFF when their leadership lies to Congress and the American people. /1

I don't say this lightly. @davidcicilline asked Google a straightforward question and got BS responses. So his office sent a written request for more details. Here's how Google responded.

This is intentional obfuscation. It's misleading. It's not an answer. It's a lie. /2

Let's break it down:
A) Congressman @davidcicilline did not ask about a study. He asked about where clicks go. Google refused to answer.
B) In the "answer" they did give, they say the author (me) did not provide methodology in my report ( https://sparktoro.com/blog/how-much-of-googles-search-traffic-is-left-for-anyone-but-themselves/ ). That's false. /3

C) Google's responses irrationally focuses on featured snippets for no discernible reason. There are dozens if not hundreds of features in Google's results that bias searchers not to click non-Alphabet-owned properties. The misdirection is so blatant it's embarrassing.

Honestly, if I were a Google shareholder or employee I'd be angry not only because this is ethically wrong, but b/c it's so potentially damaging. We KNOW the DOJ & Congress are investigating Google. Why risk angering the folks who are deciding whether to fine/regulate you? /4

There's only one conclusion: the truthful answer to @davidcicilline's question is "Yes. Less than 50% of searches result in a click to a non-Alphabet website."

And Google's embarrassed to reveal that. FWIW, I don't think they should be. It's OK to solve searches w/o a click. /5

They could add: "But, we still send more traffic than ever before to non-Alphabet websites, and more than anyone else on the web."

I hope for more honesty from them in the future. I want to unabashedly cheer for Google again. /6

You can follow @randfish.


Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Threader is an independent project created by only two developers. The site gets 500,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Running this space is expensive and time consuming. If you find Threader useful, please consider supporting us to make it a sustainable project.