Your Natural Health Supplements Superstore
An Open Letter to Google CEO, Larry Page
Google fined $500 million for illegal business practice:
In August 2011, Google agreed to settle with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and pay a $500 million fine for the way it allowed Canadian online pharmacies to use Google's AdWords system for selling in the US prescription drugs such as Viagra and Vicodin without a prescription.
According to Forbes Magazine, there appeared to be evidence that Google was actually encouraging the use of its system:
"Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft all banned the ads in 2003, in response to a crackdown by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, Google lifted the ban a year later. It also offered the pharmacies advice on how to optimize their Google ads and improve their websites through its Adwords programs, despite repeated warnings by US regulators that it was at risk of aiding illegal activity by doing so."
No one knows how long prior to 2003 and after 2009 did Google carry on its online illegal business activity, solely to make money regardless of the consequences to the lives of American adults and children until finally DOJ woke up and fined Google $500 million.
On ABC World News Tonight, on or about Thursday, October 3, 2013, one father said that American children are dying because of illegal drugs. See a partial video clip below:
Google does not have time to block illegal steroids that earn it a huge ad revenue even when they kill American children but has time to block legal products made by the reputed US companies for over 30 years because they eat away Google's Adwords profit.
Google abuses its monopolistic power while FDA and FTC are asleep
Immediately after settling with the DOJ in 2011 while ignoring steroid sales, Google and monopolistic abusive manner blocked, on its Merchant Center where merchants upload their products for organic search, even the innocent products made by the highly respected US companies for over 30 years under Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) mandated by FDA that millions of Americans depend on for their health from showing up on Google search/internet.
During the shutdown of the display of dietary supplement products Google did not respond to any inquiry except for the vague reply that Google is enforcing its 'Program Policies'.
Months after this shutdown of online merchants' sites, Google demanded that online merchants selling dietary supplements must get an approval from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacies (NABP) as a part of their 'Program Policies' to be able to upload their products to Merchant Center -- an organic service by Google -- and make their products searchable, even when the dietary supplements are not pharmaceutical grade prescription products and are not restricted by FDA in any shape or form. The NABP was clueless at that time and took some time before asking for an advance of $2000 for the review and approval for online advertising or feed by the online merchants of dietary supplements on Google search.
"NABP has completed its review of the application information (including web sites affiliated with your business) submitted in consideration for e-Advertiser Approval and determined that your business does not require e-Advertiser Approval in order to advertise via Google, Yahoo, or MSN. Therefore, NABP will:
- Notify Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft's bing.com that the advertiser can advertise without receiving e-Advertiser Approval, and
- Issue a partial refund to your credit card in the amount of $1,250."
Google, an abusive monopoly, a culprit itself (by virtue of paying $500 million in fine to DOJ for violating American laws), carries on as a de facto FDA and FTC. In the meantime, we lost 90% of our business due to Google shutting down our site, and the real FDA and FTC are asleep at the wheels.
Does Google block products of those that do not pay Google? Google refused to answer questions.
In 2011, about the time Google settled with DOJ, it launched Google Shopping where merchants advertise their products for a fee. Simultaneously, Google used the need for worthless NABP approval as an arbitrary requirement for compliance with its 'Program Policies' as a front to block dietary supplement websites or several of their products on its Merchant Center and to carry on its deceptive business practice to earn money.
While on one hand, Google blocks hundreds and thousands of US companies made products uploaded by merchants on Google Merchant Center -- an organic service -- on the other hand, Google pushes the exact same products on its Google Shopping where it charges fee for showing the products. Simultaneously, it continued to ignore steroid sales.
So when a customer searches for a specific US Company made product, Google will show the advertised product from its Google Shopping while blocking the exact same non-advertised product from the Merchant Center, thereby making money from ads. Google knows that if this customer were to buy the same product from a website that showed up organically in response to tis specific search, it will not make money.
How is it that the products made by the reputed US companies and advertised by the advertisers on Google Shopping meet the Google 'Program Policies' but the exact same products organically sold through Merchant Center -- a Google organic service -- by other websites that do not advertise on Google Shopping fail to meet Google's 'Program Policies'?
The answer to this question is a counter-question: Does Google want kickback from websites to show their products on internet?
When questioned repeatedly, Google product engineering team and customer reps refused to:
- provide any details as to how and which of their specific 'Program Policies' have been violated by non-advertisers and why are the non-advertisers' products being completely blocked from showing up on the Google search while Google continues to promote the exact same products by the advertisers at the same time;
- produce a report of the blocked products for the merchants to take necessary actions. The only boiler plate email we receive is, "Because we share proprietary technology with other Google products, we are unable to comment on specific aspects of the Google Shopping algorithm that may affect your products. However, please know that we're still evaluating and improving our policy enforcement."
Google blocks products of non-advertisers while earning billions of dollars from advertisers of the exact same products as well as illegal steroids.
Google's 'Program Policies' are arbitrary, inconsistent, deceptive, abusive and ever-changing given that the number of products blocked for a website varies from day to day; 500 products blocked one day, 800 products blocked the another day, 600 products blocked the third day while at the same time showing the very same products on Google search from those sites that pay Google for advertisement via AdWords. See attached five examples.
What sense can a merchant make out of Google's 'Program Policies' that vary every day.
After my repeated complaints to Google AdWords customer service about illegal blocking of products sold by www.drugnatural.com in October 2013, Google Merchant Center arrogantly, completely stopped organic display of drugnatural.com products through Google Feed as can be seen from the chart below. See Paid click (Google Shopping ads) v/s Free clicks (Google Merchant Center).
Shown below are the glaring examples of Google's monopolistic abuse. Online shoppers, in most cases, not knowing if a particular display is an advertised display or an organic display, will click on the display they are interested in for a purchase and yet, from the chart below one can see that shoppers, unbeknownst to them, seem to click only the advertised product displays and not organic displays - a clear manipulation and abuse of merchant data by Google: if online businesses do not pay business protection money to Google, Google will block their products:
A SAMPLE OF FIVE PRODUCTS BLOCKED ON MERCHANT CENTER under the pretext of not complying with their 'Program Policies':
However, theEXACT SAME PRODUCTS are HEAVILY PROMOTED BY GOOGLE on its search on October 18, 2013. See below:
Oscillococcinum 6 doses by Boiron - advertised by Google but non-advertiser's product blocked
Pregnenolone 10 mg 60 vcaps by Pure Encapsulations - advertised by Google but non-advertiser's product blocked
Tyler Lipotropic Complex 90 caps by Integrative Therapeutics - advertised by Google but non-advertiser's product blocked
Valerian Root Alcohol-Free 2 oz by Gaia Herbs - advertised by Google but non-advertiser's product blocked
Google mining merchants' proprietary business data?
From early 2000 until 2011 about the time of settlement with DOJ, Google offered merchants 1) Product Feed uploads of their products for organic display onto Google Search and 2) Google Analytics that provides merchants with insight on customers' purchases, buying patterns, preferences and product specifics. During this time, Merchants' products rose organically on internet.
Google appears to have mined and analyzed merchants' business data for all this time and started suppressing or blocking non-advertising merchants' high volume products while pushing the exact same products of advertisers to maximize its own gain. For example, suddenly, the sales of our top selling products plummeted to next to nothing because we do not subscribe to Google demand for advertisement dollars while the same products continue in heavy demand.
It is time, Google stop this monopolistic abuse deceptive business practice, be ethical in its dealing with online merchants.
It is time Google spend its monopolistic resources on blocking illegal steroid products on its properties - You Tube, Search results, and advertisements - rather than blocking non-advertising merchants' products.
A version of this letter is mailed to the following individuals:
ABC World News Tonight Anchor
ABC News Headquarters
47 W 66th Street
New York City, NY 10023
US Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001
Eric Holder, US Attorney General
FTC 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20580
Edith Ramirez, FTC Commissioner
Julie Brill, FTC Commissioner
Maureen K. Ohlhausen, FTC Commissioner
Joshua D. Wright, FTC Commissioner
Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043
Larry Page, CEO, Google Inc.
Eric E. Schmidt Executive Chairman, Google Inc.
L. John Doerr, member, board of directors, Google Inc.
Diane B. Greene, member, board of directors, Google Inc.
John L. Hennessy, member, board of directors, Google Inc.
Ann Mather, member, board of directors, Google Inc.
Paul S. Otellini, member, board of directors, Google Inc.
Shirley M. Tilghman, member, board of directors, Google Inc.
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