In the SEO world, many people view Google as an unapproachable force. Google owns 85% of the search traffic, making them king in both the SEO and PPC advertising industries. Many search optimization projects view good rankings in the Google search index as their primary object. But there is also a bit of fear around Google. I think this is natural. We have some clients who run entire ecommerce businesses based on SEO and their position in Google. It's natural for them to be a little fearful as a sudden change in search enging ranking could mean the end of their business. This fear is amplified by the bad information that is floating around the Internet in regard to SEO. I think that fear tactics are used no matter what the industry.
We are in a unique position because HubShout does both SEO and paid search (PPC) advertising, as well as running an SEO reseller program. As a result we actually get to talk to Google. Many people don't realize this, but when you have accounts of a certain size, Google opens a dialog with agencies and SEM firms. It's only natural. We are Google's client - at least on behalf of our clients. And we spend significant amounts of money with them.
There are other reasons to be talking to Google when it comes to search marketing. Specifically, the issue of click fraud. There are, unfortunately, many folks out there who would try to game the PPC system. Just like in SEO, there are those who would rather not play by the rules. This can be extremely costly. People just don't realize how fast a bill can run up when you are paying $18 per click. In today's world, clicks are becoming a type of currency. Just like links have value in SEO, clicks are extremely valuable in PPC.
Google pays close attention to the issue of PPC click fraud, just like they police SEO spam very closely. And we've had several occasions to talk to Google when we've seen click fraud on our clients accounts. In our experience, Google has been extremely responsive and has always made things right.
In summary, Google is not the secretive king of search engines people sometimes make it out to be in the forums. They are a business. And they know who their customers are and make great efforts to reach out to them just like any good business should.