« The Perils of Solar SalesmenOnly YOU Can Save Rooftop Solar! »

Google: You're Being Evil!

08/20/15

  03:26:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 545 words  
Categories: Ranting

Google: You're Being Evil!

Readers of this blog may recall the serious windstorm that we suffered here in Pasadena back in 2011, and Run on Sun’s efforts to help out one victim of that disaster. We received some very kind words from the son of the disaster victim, and he even took the time to write reviews on some of the major review sites.  So far so good, but then Google decided to get involved, and things took a nasty turn.  Here’s the scoop…

Google local listing

It was brought to our attention that if you did a local search on Google for “Pasadena Solar Installers", the first company name that shows up in the organic (i.e., not paid for) search rankings is Run on Sun - excellent! 

As you can see from the screengrab on the left, in addition to showing where we are on the map, it lets you know our hours, provides a link to our website, and reports that it has four reviews.  When you click on the reviews reference, it pops up our Google+ page and presents the reviews, first by providing a summary that Google generates from three of the reviews, and below that it offers the first paragraph from the first two reviews, allowing the viewer to read more of the excerpted review and/or to click through to the remaining reviews.  It is the Google generated summary that is the problem.

Here is the full (Five-Star!) review as authored by Tom McDade:

Earlier this year my mother’s house was hit with the terrible wind storm in Pasadena and her old solar system was destroyed. She contacted Jim Jenal at Run on Sun and he was very responsive to her call; he quickly came out to assess the damage and he removed the old panels from the roof before they could fly off and possibly do more damage to other property or persons. He then proposed a new system that was not only better then what she had but his price was considerably less expensive than another solar company who tried to take advantage of my 85 year old mother. I live in Ohio and Jim still worked with me closely in order to satisfy my mother and get her new system installed properly. I would not hesitate to recommend him. [Emphasis added.]

Needless to say, as a small business, we live for reviews like that.  It was kind of Tom to take the time to write, and more than one subsequent client has mentioned Tom’s review.

But this is how Google “summarized” Tom’s praise:

“…another solar company who tried to take advantage of my 85 year old mother.”

Holy crap!  Google has transformed us from the hero of the piece to the villian!  How many people have seen that “summary” and fled?

So we contacted Google, followed their procedure for noting problems with reviews, and got nowhere.  The Google rep claimed that because the summary was selected by an algorithm, there is nothing they can do about it!  Hmmm… who wrote that algorithm anyway?  What a lame, even evil, excuse that is!

So if we cannot get Google to clean up their act, the least we can do is publish this clarification so that perhaps people searching for us will understand what is really going on.  Isn’t technology wonderful?

3 comments

User ratings
5 star:
 
(2)
4 star:
 
(0)
3 star:
 
(0)
2 star:
 
(0)
1 star:
 
(0)
2 ratings
Average user rating:
5.0 stars
(5.0)
Comment from: Jane Houle!
5 stars
Jane Houle!RUN ON SUN is a highly thought of, and very well run company in the San Gabriel Valley!
08/20/15 @ 19:25
Comment from: Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO  
Thanks, Jane, for the kind words!
08/21/15 @ 07:32
Comment from: Ivor
5 stars
IvorGoogle did something like that to me. I had close to 30 five star reviews. They chopped off 20 leaving me with 10. This was right after one of their sales agents after an hours presentation was not able to convince me to do PPC. I complained and they said it was a glitch and somehow the 20 or so were now lost. A week later and the remaining 10 were also “lost". It seems all review sites can do as they please. So now I do screen captures and place then on my own website. You might want to take this into your own hands in a similar way and ask the customer to change the wording.
08/30/15 @ 12:11
Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
Run on Sun also offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities, and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

Ready to Save?

Let’s Get Started!

Give Us a Call!

626.793.6025 or
310.584.7755

Click to Learn More About Commercial Solar Power!

We're Social!



Follow Run on Sun on Twitter Like Run on Sun on Facebook

Search

Run on Sun helps fight Climate Change
powered by b2evolution