Is Google Shadow banning AINIRO.IO?

Is Google Shadow banning AINIRO.IO?

The peak you see in the image for this blog was the 14th of June 2023. We were doing "the hockey stick thing" and everybody were talking about our product. We've got 3 products being.

Most people having tried our products tells us it's the most amazing thing they've ever seen in this space. Below are some actual testimonials from happy clients.

  • "The chatbot you have created is leaps and bounds ahead of other tools I have engaged with!" - Chris Wiggins, Director of Training, Resolve Systems
  • "This is absolute genius, I haven't seen anything like it before" - Anthony Redmond, CEO GlobeShip
  • "We have seen a 30% decrease in support tickets since we implemented the chatbot" - John Gorham, VP of Software Development at Resolve Systems

However, it doesn't really help if nobody sees our products, does it?

SEO and Marketing

We started AINIRO.IO based upon the assumption of that our product was so good that all we needed to do was to show it to people, and people would buy. We're a tiny mom'n'pop startup partially from Norway and partially from Cyprus, with literally zero funding, so we had no means to buy expensive marketing campaigns or run expensive Ads - So our strategy was Search Engine Optimisation by creating huge amounts of high quality content, such as the article you're currently reading.

This is the way Google tells you they want you to sell your product, by creating and publishing high quality content, resulting in people wanting to read it. Their own statement here is that if you do this, they will make sure your content ends up at the top of the search engine result page, resulting in you getting "traffic for free".

It's the bootstrap edition of online marketing, because all it needs is for you to be willing to spend your time, requiring nothing besides your time and effort, combined with some skills. It's the promise of that "the American dream is real", because you can work hard and achieve your goals ...

Some of our articles took hours, and sometimes days to do research for, and although not all articles are super high quality articles, a huge chunk of our articles are definitely high quality if measured neutrally and compared to what our competition creates.

Mid June we finally struck it, and we started getting huge amount of organic traffic from Google, as you can see from the following screenshot.

Search engine result from Google

Then immediately within a couple of days traffic sinks to rock bottom, and we lose practically all traffic from Google. Since that day we've published 100+ high quality articles on subjects people care about, still our traffic is only decreasing, even though we've improved the quality of our website 100x, and improved the amount of articles and their quality 100x.

It's as if we've fallen into a black hole ... 😞

According to Google's own accord, our website scores 100% on SEO, and there are no "manual actions" on our site, which means that Google claims they have not been taking special actions towards our site in any ways. Neutrally comparing our site's technology towards our competitors claims our site is 10x "better" than most of the sites we compare ourselves with. We also have 10x as much high "quality content" as our competitors, and there's really no explanation for why we're getting almost zero traffic from Google.

YouTube shadow banned us!

However, last weekend I spent some few hours creating WebGPT. As I did, I created a YouTube video about it. When I released the YouTube video it became an instant success, and within 48 hours it seemed it was destined to become our most popular YouTube video ever. However, once it reached almost 500 views, views went from 10 per hour to zero instantly!

YouTube shadow banned our video

We had another video before that which used to generate about 2 views per hour. This video too dropped like a stone in water. It was as if they had "flagged" our YouTube channel.

Schwoogle, Open Source AI search

In anger, realising what they had (probably) done, I created Schwoogle, to simply "send them a message", realising that we had probably been somehow "secretly flagged" for whatever distorted reasons they have for doing such things. Then I created a YouTube video about it you can see below.

At the point of this writing, the video is generating ~25 views per hour, and seems as if it might become our most popular video ever.

Schwoogle Open Source AI search

However, will views on this video too drop like a stone in water? When the WebGPT video dropped most of its views were coming from Browse Features and Suggested videos. It had a fairly good watch ratio too, and quite a lot of likes (for us that is).

Now views on this video too is starting to drop, and it seems as if it too might end up in a "black hole". To illustrate the severity of the effect, let me show you a screenshot of how the original WebGPT video performed over time. I cannot explain this graph using any known knowledge I have, can you? Within 20 minutes the video completely flat lined! Yet again this was our most popular video ever, generating lots of likes and comments, and people generally enjoyed watching it.

WebGPT video going flat

Are we a threat to Google?

It might sound ridiculous, especially since we're a tiny startup with 3 employees, not even able to pay ourselves salaries, but I have to ask the question due to how I see Google and YouTube is treating us.

Are we seriously a threat to Google?

All we want is the ability to deliver great products and services to clients in need of our products and services while earning some salary. We're not looking to become the next "billion dollar startup", in fact I wouldn't even want for that to happen, because I know the price we'd have to pay to achieve that.

Is Google seriously trying their best to drive us out of business, a small family startup, delivering AI-based products, because they see us as a threat to their business? It's seriously the only explanation I have ... 😳

Our products

There are probably 10,000 companies out there delivering ChatGPT-based AI chatbots. I haven't seen any of these experiencing similar things to what we're experiencing. Sure, everybody tells us our stuff is better, but that shouldn't matter, quite the contrary. We do however have one additional product most others do not have, which is AI Website Search.

Of course, everybody having played with OpenAI's embeddings API knows it's a million times better than Google's search algorithms, implying our AI search product literally is better than Google's search product. Not because we're such a fantastic team, but simply because we've got better "semantic search" than Google due to using OpenAI. In fact, "Better search than Google" is one of the product's slogans, and we firmly believe in that statement.

However, our product is not a global search engine. Creating such a thing wouldn't even be possible in theory. We're using SQLite as our VSS database, so putting billions of pages into our search database wouldn't even be possible in theory, and we've got no plans to ever do such a thing. In fact, we have turned down clients asking us to "build the next Google". All we want for the product is to provide website search for your website, allowing your users to locally search your website. Try to click the spy glass icon in the top/right corner to understand what I mean.

How this became a threat to Google is quite frankly a mystery I don't have an answer to ...


Google has a lot of valid reasons for fearing AI, something they've clearly demonstrated through their own actions. I even wrote another article earlier today asking the question; Will Google survive AI.

The paradox is that we're a customer of Google. Even though we've clearly had to suffer unfair business practices from Google's side, we've spent about 1,5000 EUROs on ads with Google, after having struggled to get any income at all due to Google's practices.

This implies that Google is not even "fighting the competition", they're literally fighting their own customers. Google is destroying those paying salaries for their fancy developers and fancy managers. Google is destroying the ground they stand upon themselves. Don't believe me, let me prove it with a final screenshot driving home the point. Divide by 10 to understand how many dollars we've spent on Google Ads the last month ...

Google Ads

But then again, maybe that is the problem, and we should start "voting with our feet", and give our money to Facebook and LinkedIn instead. I'm sure Zuckerberg would be more than happy to take our money ... 😕

Thomas Hansen

Thomas Hansen I am the CTO of AINIRO.IO AS and the CEO of AINIRO.IO, Ltd. I am a software developer with more than 25 years of experience. I write about Machine Learning, AI, and how to help organizations adopt said technologies. You can follow me on LinkedIn if you want to read more of what I write.

Published 6. Nov 2023

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