Did Google provide approval for Ecocho to use its products or not?

By now, most of you will have seen that Google has withdrawn their service on the site. Because there is an element of contention, we thought we’d simply give Ecocho users a summary of the dates that we met with Google.

Executives at Google have been aware about our intention to launch Ecocho since January 2008. Approval was given in early February 2008.

18/01/08: We had lunch with a senior Google executive during which we outlined the Ecocho project in detail.The Google executive asked us to email a Powerpoint presentation of the project so that it could be passed on to the relevant people.

21/01/08: We emailed the Powerpoint outlining the project to the Google executive.

23/01/08: We receive an email from the Google executive suggesting that we catch up with another senior Google executive better suited to discussing Adsense implementations. In the same email the Google exec suggested that there might be an opportunity to discuss this project with their green team.

23/01/08: We sent an email to the Google exec better suited to discussing Adsense implementations, asking when would be a good time to meet to discuss Ecocho in more detail.

23/01/08: Google exec replies that they are free to discuss this ‘tomorrow’ (24 jan) at 2pm.

24/01/08: We have a meeting with Google in their Sydney office and discuss Ecocho in detail.

04/02/08: We email Google exec to find out if we can go ahead with Ecocho.

05/02/08: Email from Google exec saying that they are still traveling and will call tomorrow.

06/02/08: Google exec calls and says that we can’t get Adsense premium, but recommends we use standard Adsense coupled with Google’s Custom Search Engine product on Ecocho.

06/02/08: We ring Google exec to ask if Google can provide technical assistance if we have problems customising the “look and feel” of Ecocho.

06/02/08: Google exec rings back to confirm Google can provide technical assistance if implementation problems occur.

For Google to say that we had no approval to use Adsense on Ecocho is inaccurate.

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31 Comments »

  1. Ask MSN to support you.
    They probably will enjoy the google discussion and want to work together with yahoo and you guys. I personally still support you and I am ecochoing more than googleing 🙂

  2. Jelle Meurrens said

    I can only say booh to google. very lame of them to sack such great project.

  3. Ron said

    I don’t understand why they don’t want to work together with Ecocho.com.. their energy use is huge, and so is the cO2 they produce. I really hate companies being ignorant as they are. Can’t we set up some petition ?

  4. Silex said

    Really love this concept! I really love the black version as well! Though I really do support you, at the moment I’m using Blackle more, why? Because Google is still the better search engine. Sorry for that guys. Good luck in getting Google back! I really think this is kind of bitchy! Don’t be evil Google guys!!!

    @Alexander: Oh, please, I would certainly not use Ecocho is Live Search would be on it instead of Google, no, really, live search makes me vomit!

  5. TRON said

    😦 No matter what happens I suggest you to abandon Google and Microsoft. I personally don’t trust both of these companies. Google is an information superpower and Microsoft is just a pirate of silicon valley. Better use local search engines like metager or fastbot. There are also lots of different search engines out there whose search results in collaboration equal the results of google. This applies to quantity as well as quality.

  6. Sweety said

    Hi ! What a strange company google is ! I read many bad news about google, and now google shows itself, that it is worse than ever thought ! I’m happy to be able now to avoid google ! Let’s plant a lot of trees ! :-))

  7. nonex said

    Yeah, I mean, google is agreat project, but is not the only one, besides I think this is for the trees, and everyone who lives in this planet should support that, we need trees!!!!!!

    Good work ECOCHO.

  8. Bas said

    Yeah, in the past I heard people being negative regarding Google, but I was always sceptical. Now I am starting to understand them.

    It’s wrong for people to assume that Yahoo! is a good company, because Google is showing their bad side. Just do some research into Yahoo! and see how unethical they are (look into Yahoo & China for instance).

    I hope Google will submit though.

  9. Tony said

    I don’t know a lot about Google.com as a company, but I will say that I know for a fact they are involved in TONS of charitable projects and donate tons of time, money and resources to good causes all over the world.

    I think ecocho.com is great and I hope Google comes around to help out again.

  10. Peter said

    Its pretty simple,

    Google got big, they think they can run the show, a bit like Microsoft have tried to do.

    All you have to do is make it so successfull that Google beg to come back, then you can give them the finger! Probably worth going to all the people Google hate as well and trying to do deals with them.

    Google searches these days are becoming more diluted with poorly target adverts and results that are way off the mark, who needs them?

    Keep up the good work.

    Pete

  11. herbert said

    but you understand the issues here?

    If i offer an incentive to use my website to search Google, there is a problem for all the advertisers on ad sense as people may be searching and clicking on their ads just to get the incentive.

    Also lets say on my website i say i will plant a tree for every 1000 searches. It may only cost £2 to plant a tree but the revenue from a 1000 searches could be be over £1000 in revenue. Is that fair?

  12. Edward Bui said

    this sucks screw ecocho google for life if u cant get google back then from now im not using this site yahoo search is lame.

  13. Marcus said

    Herbert,

    Yes, but up to 70% of this 1000GBP revenue goes back into the green initiatives Ecocho is involved with. And they’re backed by KPMG, a world renowned audit firm.

  14. Maarten said

    This really does suck balls..
    I don’t like searching with Yahoo, it gives different searches than google and sometimes when I type the name of a website, the link to that website is on the second page..
    Google must come back!

  15. Narges said

    Hi…. thank you for your admirable activity, i am Iranian, and when i understood about your site, discribed it on my weblog , this weblog is farsi but is about global environment
    sure, friends of environment will be encourager and sum of your activity.

  16. zupakomputer said

    I’m surprised at Google, usually they are supportive of ecological projects.

    Is the problem that the Google results returned by Echocho are not including adsense, or is the problem that they do include it? If they’re included then they could be exempted from any redirects with a disclaimer highlighted as to that, so that people do not click them to generate more searches.

    Co-incidently, before I heard about Ecocho the other day, I happened upon the adsense service and was reading about it; it looks like it has a flaw that could be exploited – you could click someone’s advert many times and that causes them to owe more money to Google, but what if a rival or just some destructive person does many clicks but isn’t interested in buying?!

  17. P.H said

    Ecocho is not the only one that Google has stopped serving search results.

    Google have also stopped serving search results to Darkoogle.com which was the second most popular black Google.

    The thing about it is that Darkoogle was exactly the same as Blackle, so if they stopped serving search result to Darkoogle, then they should also do the same to Blackle. I’m sure all Google staff knows about Blackle.

    So why Blackle is still up???

  18. JamesH said

    Where exactly in your summary of dates that you met with Google does Google explicitly give approval for the use of Adsense on Ecocho?

  19. I can use Google engine in my personal/business site. So, why don’t you can use it ?
    Probably only for an economic question about adsense.
    But, how can you pay the trees ? Simply Google has not echologic values, only it has economic values.

  20. Hans said

    I DO NOT TRUST GOOGLE, NO ONE SHOULD!

  21. Kimber said

    I think Google has done the right thing.

    Firstly, even though you say ecocho will use its ad income to plant trees. But have you consider the energy that your website will be using? Extra energy are used to hosting this website ecocho and every time we query a search, your website sends the query to yahoo and then takes that result and display it back on here.

    Secondly, what if no one clicks on those ads ? then does that mean your ecocho will only be wasting energy and money? in this case, everyone should just keep clicking on the ads and have you to make income and then plant trees. Then you will be living off an easy business model where people just help you clicking ads and wasting advertiser’s money while you make money.

    I hope this comment will not be removed, or else it will just mean only positive comments are allow.

  22. Well, on one hand I think it’s a pretty bad decision google made here. On the other hand… how naive must one be to use a verbally agreement with a big company as the the basement of a business? I mean if you had a contract, signed by both, you and google, I would say “right, google is completely wrong”. But the way you describe it, all you had was an agreement from some google employee from the adsense(?!) department…

  23. ecocho said

    Hi everyone,

    I thought I’d reply to a couple of posts. We’re a very small team of people here, so it’s hard to get through all emails and comments, but we do try to get around to answering as many as posible. We do read all your concerns and suggestions however and consider all comments.

    Thanks for your comment, Herbert. Due to Adsense & Yahoo rules we can’t talk about specific revenue generated per search. However, we can assure you that Ecocho earns nothing remotely close to £1,000 per 1,000 searches. If you divided that revenue guestimate by 100, then it’d still be too high – i.e. not even 1% of that revenue suggestion. Please read Tim’s comment below (Tue, 29 Apr) on “Ecocho growing fast!” to get a clearer picture of how Ecocho is doing and the revenue side of things.

    Hope this is a bit clearer. Thanks for all your comments, guys.

    Alex
    Ecocho’s Web Producer

  24. ecocho said

    Hi Kimber,

    Please rest assured that we don’t only publish positive comments. You’ll see quite a few published comments here that demonstrate this. We must reserve the right to monitor comments for spam and/or potential defamation issues etc however, and hope you guys can understand that.

    To answer your specific questions, Ecocho has never enouraged users to click on ads. We won’t be changing our stance on that any time soon. We have similarly never received any communication from Google or Yahoo to suggest that Ecocho users were improperly clicking on ads. Our own data also suggests that nothing untoward was, or is, occuring for advertisers.

    Also, just for the record, Ecocho has made a loss at this point in time, not a profit. Please see Tim’s comment on the post below about this very issue.

    Thanks for your comment though, we appreciate it.

    Alex
    Ecocho’s Web Producer

  25. herbert said

    Hi alex,

    I didnt actually mean that Ecocho must earn £1000 per 1000 searches i was just using that figure as an example.

    Lets say i had a ‘save the rabbits’ search engine, and i built a house for a rabbit every 1000 searches, it may cost £2 to build a house for a rabbit but click through rates per 1000 could be £100.

    So where as i mean well, i know that i can turn a profit quite easily, and people are using my site and clicking on ads thinking they are helping rabbit, which they are, but they are also changing there normal searching behavior and are also helping me buy a Ferrari.

    Im not asking you to disclose your adsense figures or even revenue as thats unfair, im just wondering if you see my point of view how search behavior can change when there is a incentive involved which means the poor guy buying adwords could be wasting money etc.

    But i like your site and wish you the best of luck, you respond to user suggestions and thats the sign of a good company

  26. David said

    Interesting comment Kimber, you wouldn’t happen to be Richard Kimber of Google SE Asia would you?

    http://www.google.com.au/press/pressrel/kimber.html

    Unless you have some hard figures to back up your argument then it’s pretty pointless. I’d be pretty sure that the amount of carbon generated hosting this site and send queries via Yahoo is negligable compared to how much a tree will suck up over its lifetime of many decades. Until you can get figures to disprove that, I’m sticking with Ecocho.

  27. Sebastian said

    Maybe other Search Engines help you, like Wikia, Altavista or ASK.com

    Sebastian

  28. […] Suchfunktion zur Verfügung. Nun kann man also nur noch mit Yahoo! suchen. Näheres dazu gibt es im Blog von Ecocho. Social Bookmark ‘Grünes Suchen ohne Google’ @ Del.icio.us”> ‘Grünes Suchen ohne Google’ @ […]

  29. Manuel said

    before getting disappointed with Google you should check out Google.org, and you will understand how social responsible Google is

  30. Maarten said

    Is google ever comming back?

  31. Keep up the great content!!

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