Ciml <Or maybe they're attempting a renaissance, back to the days when webmasters didn't control the results?
So why does Google give any advice at all to webmasters?
"Do this and you will be OK, Unless we change the rules", and then we don't care one bit what happens to you. The "links issue", has to be a classic. Google suggests "finding quality links from subject related sites" but now it turns out that the "quality links" from sites who call their links page LINKS.HTML are worth nothing, at least in terms of PR or backlinks. Imagine calling your links page something like LINKS, must have caught out 1000's with that one Google.
With reference to the OED.com site, anyone looking at this can see that something is not quite right. I thought there was a problem with www and -www, Google was counting this as duplicate sites and you better get a 301 done quick or you are next to get hit. Guess you can't beleive what you read here anymore.
I agree that nobody except Google themselves now exactly what is going on and that we all just play a guessing game hoping we don't fall foul to next algo change. I do prefer the term "filter" it is much more fitting.
Someone recently pointed out to me that Google can change its algo but exclude certain sites from the changes. A kind of "just in case we look stupid" for excluding major sites clause.
Sorry to go on, side effects of being out of Googles index and quitting smoking.
[edited by: ciml at 12:03 pm (utc) on Jan. 19, 2004]