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Babes with Bullets versus the Google Goliath by Lenee Landis

The very last word I would think of to describe Deb Ferns is dangerous, yet apparently Google begs to differ. Deb Ferns is many things: an entrepreneur, a competitor, a straight up woman. She has the energy of two 3 year olds as well as moxie, defined in the Urban Dictionary as sass, courage, spunk, determination and attitude.  She has an MBA, wrote a book titled Babes with Bullets; Women having fun with guns, has been a ceaseless supporter of professional women shooters such as Olympians Tracy and Lanny Barnes, has created a couple business endeavors, and has a day job.  She is devoted to her family, her church, her charities, and her friends.

The nature of the problem is this: in the usual upkeep of a business that has been operating since 2004, when Google was old enough for first grade, Deb’s new webmaster shut down the old website and upgraded the new one. When a business invests a significant amount of time and money, it does not expect to be in a worse position–it expects to get down to business..

Let’s back up: Deb started a company with Kay Miculek and Lisa Munson called Babes with Bullets. This occurred after shooting a firearm for the first time at the age of 45, then meeting these two women who are both several time national and world shooting sports champions. For women who have never shot a firearm, Google her company Babes with Bullets (babeswithbullets.com).  Google Deb, and Kay, and Lisa! These women embody strong American women, dedicated to helping other women overcome their fear of learning to shoot through the mentoring of professional women instructors in this traveling firearms academy. They also learn to shoot safely and accurately. Babes with Bullets has grown to over 6,000 alumnae, has been featured on the Outdoor Channel, and hosts ten camps a year teaching pistol, rifle, and shotgun.

In a male dominated industry, you can imagine the struggle for getting sponsors but Smith & Wesson stepped up and has been the prime sponsor since 2004. Other great American companies followed: OTIS Technology, HiViz Shooting Systems, Howard Leight by Honeywell, and the list goes on.  Not one to sit with her feet up, Deb then founded the Women’s Outdoor Media Association (theWOMA.org) which is a 501c7, all volunteer organization which focuses on women in hunting, shooting, fishing, and archery. She heads the WOMA’s main event She Never Quit in the fall at Melanie and Marcus Luttrell’s ranch where the proceeds benefit Navy SEAL widows.

So, what could go wrong? Deb explains what happened after launching a new Babes with Bullets website. “Google dropped our website from their search engines and we started over in the internet `rankings’ game. Concerned we weren’t reaching prospective new students, we tried to purchase ad words from Google. In a phone conversation with a Google rep, we were told we were not allowed to buy ad words that contained a reference to guns, bullets, ammo, etc.  I did more research and found out that, according to Google, we are considered Dangerous Products or Services. If you want to do the `trust and verify’ method, here is a link for your own research: https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6014299?hl=en ”

She continued, “That Google is far left liberal and anti-gun is one thing; that they feel entitled to suppress access to written content they deem `not good for you’ is frightening. Many countries even today tell women what they can or cannot read or write; women’s rights in the Googlesphere, both our US Constitutional 1st and 2nd Amendment, have taken a giant step backwards.”

In fact, you can Google the countries who have taken away freedom of speech and firearms from their citizens, let alone stopped them from talking about it—you probably won’t like how those stories turned out.

Deb invites Google execs to a training camp so they can better understand the fastest growing segment of the firearms industry: women. My bet? They would be pleasantly surprised.

 

9 comments

  1. Patricia Hawley - March 16, 2017 5:51 pm

    Denying Babes With Bullets their ability to upgrade their business? Sexism and elitism, for sure.

  2. Becky - March 16, 2017 5:52 pm

    Great piece ladies!

  3. Samantha Millett - March 16, 2017 7:38 pm

    Who needs Google anyway?? Deb and Babes With Bullets do everything in their power to make safety the top priority, as does any respectful shooter. Google lost some respect here today.

  4. Lenee Landis - March 16, 2017 8:38 pm

    Thanks Becky! Much appreciated!

    Patricia–yep, last we heard if you had a business in the United States, you are supposed to serve everyone.

    Samantha-you are so right about the professionalism, the safety, and you can’t beat the camaraderie! People have no idea that safety is the number one priority. We do have to say that being on the first page of a Google search does help your business which would mean more camps, and more women who are able to safely learn that a firearm is a tool.

  5. Deborah Green - March 17, 2017 9:43 am

    Thank you so much for posting this. I too have been trying to find out why I don’t rank ANYWHERE on Google, despite having put in a lot of effort into SEO. I even posed a similar question to them to see if for some reason it was because “gun” is in my domain name but didn’t get a straight answer. This helps!

  6. Lenee Landis - March 17, 2017 10:48 am

    Thanks for the feedback! I just looked at your website–looks like you have gone about it in a thoughtful way…I may be projecting here but your comment reminds me of “that feeling when you know you’re smart but was I out of the room when they gave out the answer to this? I don’t get it”- because it looks like you have checked off the logical boxes to establishing a readership. So here’s my assessment of the situation for us all–never give up, do it the old school way–reaching out to one person at a time. And you’re welcome to join theWOMA.
    Keep it up Deborah!

  7. Marsha Petrie Sue - March 17, 2017 11:56 am

    I wonder if the NRA or NSSF know about this? If anyone has a contact, let’s send it!
    Great information!

  8. Pingback: In Gun News This Week | Guns And Gunsmiths

  9. Dr Mick Foster - March 23, 2017 6:03 pm

    Google, Facebook, Apple and many companies are more about spying on your and
    Facebook, without my permission, illegally took over 5000 pictures from my iPhone 6s photo library!!!! They kept posting them!
    I have removed Google from my phone and Facebook comes off next..
    I advise you to find another search engine and do the same..
    The companies I stated above are liberal, anti-gun inept idiots!
    Good luck ladies and please, contact the NRA!!

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