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This 49 message thread spans 2 pages: 49 ( [1] 2 > >     
Google now manually cleaning their index?
European SEO has been banned from Google

 10:38 am on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

The follwing article was recently brought to my attention:

For all who don't speak french: Netbooster is a rather well known european seo agency who also offer keyword advertising and paid inclusion. Now they have been sanctioned by Google, accused to have been using spamming techniques to improve their position on the serps. Without a warning all pages of Netbooster and the pages they put online for their clients have been removed from Google.

Of course Netbooster says they haven't done anything wrong and Google wouldn't even explain to them what kind of spamming technique they base the exclusion on.

I think more important than the question if was spamming or not, is the question if Google now has changed the policy in their fight against spamming. As far as I know the policy has been not to manually exclude specific websites from the index. All exclusions due to spamming were based on the Google algorithm. So this isn't the case anymore? What also makes me wonder is the fact that the established SEOs have been using the same techniques for a long time, without being sanctioned. Why the sudden change of mood? What is the motivation behind it? If Google now starts to manually remove specific pages / companies from their index.... what's next? Cleaning result pages for competitive keywords, so you have no choice but to book Google adwords?



 7:10 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I dont think its just happening to them.

I know people that have been reporteed to google and must of been manually removed.


 7:28 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

What's wrong with Google cleaning spammers out of their index manually?

It's their index and they can do with it as they please.


 7:32 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's not the norm, but Google does indeed remove sites by hand sometimes.

It's not something new; I'm aware of one operator whose network was manually banned a couple of years ago.


 7:49 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have no problem with this.


 7:58 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>the fact that the established SEOs have been using the same techniques for a long time, without being sanctioned.

GoogleGuy 6/24/04:
I know that we pulled the plug on some specific spam pages recently. If you paid an seo and they somehow convinced you to put spam like sneaky redirects using an obfuscated JavaScript onMouseover on the body tag on your pages, or other stuff like links to their doorway domains or their other clients...


>> If Google now starts to manually remove specific pages / companies from their index

They've been doing it for as long as I've been around.


 8:35 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

>They've been doing it for as long as I've been around.

Yep. While Google prefers automated solutions, they do hand zap sites on occasion. Also, how are you sure this ban wasn't by the algo? Google may have analyzed exactly how Netbooster was scamming the SERPs, and wrote a filter that would whack Netbooster and their client's sites, or any other SEO that was using the same scheme.


 8:57 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

IMO, Google cannot be cleaned their indexed manually because currently they still cannot remove the junk website for their index at all. There are still some problem now.


 8:57 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah they've been doing this since forever. I worked for an SEO firm for about 2 years, and we had one of our sites pulled. We had a strict anti-spam policy, so we were kind of confused and hoped to get details out of Google.

They never responded about how we could FIX the problem, but they did email me a message about how their bot red-flags certain pages, and then those pages can undergo human review.

My opinion on the SEO scene is pretty cynical, though. To do really well, your best bet is to learn how to SEO your own site and put the effort into making it happen. It costs a LOT of money for the amount of time it takes to legitimately get rankings off of quality alone. Quality, in and of itself, costs a lot of money. Time is money, so better to use your own, and keep some of the other.


 9:07 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Good for them. I really believe Google should place more effort in hand reviewing and manually axing while at the same time relying heavily on the filter. By having manual removals it keeps us all guessing: Was that a new filter? Or was that a review? It makes it harder for us to game the system.

Oh but there are billions of pages! True, but a manual review of sites with over X#*$!x pages per domain (some number but I am not sure what) could really help to get rid of automated crap. Sure that would mean more domains but that adds to the cost of spamming. And that is the big problem with controlling spam is that it is cheap to produce but pays well.

Chicken Juggler

 9:12 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

It would be manageable to do if you only went after successful spammers. There is no point in going after somebody that used spam but was not ranking for anything. I could come up with a pretty good algo that would give me a manageable list of spam sites that are doing well. Plus they have money now to hire people to look at them. They have a ton of server it would be easy to use some of the off time to chew on the data. Not to mention the complaint department. If you do well your competiters will turn you in for sure.

The Grizzler

 9:35 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

If Google manually removes pages why is it that they have an Adwords ad apologising for their search results for a certain keyword?

This is something that I have just come across today and I must say I am amazed.

Will post the keyword with the mods permission.


 9:43 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I used to be a member of an Italian SEO forum, and was constantly amazed at their predilection for doorway pages, seems it's a Euro thing... ;-)


 9:45 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

It is a paradox.


 10:08 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I did a little experiment a while ago to test if google would remove a spammy site from its index. For the experiment I reported two sites.

Site A: Keyword spamming site, nothing but keywords, and BANNERS on each keyword-spam page, no content.

Site B: Keyword sapmming site, ntohing but keywords, and ADSENSE on each keyword-spam page, no content.

After about a month Site A was penalized, completely removed from the index, while Site B is still in the index right now (its been about 6 months).

So could it be that google wouldn't penalize spam sites which have adsense on them, because they're making good money for google? (i'm talking about keyword spam sites, no other spamming techniques involved such as cloaking, hidden content, heavy interlinking etc...)


 11:21 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

They will ban a site with AS but the funny thing is they will still send you AS money because said site is still getting hits from Y and type in traffic.


 11:32 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

If they have the resouces to do some scrubbing manually, good for them. It's their index, they can control the quality any way they want.


 7:04 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, I think removing spammers from the index is really a good thing.
I needed to deal with those Netbooster guys, because one of their client sites beat mine from an #1 position. I have no problem with that, but the sites was pure crap. I tried to find out how they do linking. They had put a marquee - text on hundreds of sites (most of them free hosting yahoo.fr) and somehow interlinked all those sites. In the marquee there were hundreds of links, but they were not visible, because the visible part of the marquee was only about 20px.
Really ugly, I don't have pity on them!



 8:40 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Of course we always knew they were removing websites manually as well, especially if the had been reported. But as far as I know, this has been the first time Google admitted to the press, that they were doing it. I'm not sure if this could have a legal implication as well. Although it's their index, I don't believe they can do with it what they want anymore.

I don't have anything against a manual removal of spammers, BUT we should be aware of the fact that we are talking about the jobs of quite a lot of people and family incomes. In this respect, I think the "shut-down" procedure should show more responsibility. I think, Netbooster would have deserved a warning... In the long run search engines (including Google) will profit more from working with seo's than from working against them. In France this issue has started a discussion where Google is already being compared with Microsoft: "Big, wealthy american company is destroying poor french agency". I don't have to explain the negative effect on Google's image. The point I want to make is, that Google would have saved themselves a lot of trouble with a simple phone call.


 8:41 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

It is not just spammers tho is it... Some very ethical type seo's have had it happen to them also. Were they using spammy techniques? I highly doubt it.

Bet when they get to your sites, all of a sudden your tunes change a bit :)


 8:45 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Big, wealthy american company is destroying poor french agency
It should read "Stupid French company destroyed online business of many international companies with unnecessary well known risks"

 8:57 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

PowDork do you know this personally? I dont know anything about netbooster myself, so i will refrrain from saying they did or did not use risky methods. I do know several who definately would never use the riskier ones that had this happen to their clients also however.


 8:57 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Most likely you are right... unfortunately for Google this is not how it will be percieved by the public. And now since the have made tons of money with their IPO, Google is risking to loose their image...


 9:13 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google would have saved themselves a lot of trouble with a simple phone call.

Oh Puhleeeze! Google publishes their webmaster guidelines for all to see. Those who choose to play outside of the guidelines do so at their own risk and with the knowledge that they could face penalties or exclusion from the index!

Playing the "big, bad American" card is as low as using the race card in any discussion which does not involve race nor nationality. This is strictly business!

Google have terms of service just like anyone else. You don't like their terms ... go elsewhere.


 9:53 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I always assumed that Google would manually remove or change results if a site was reported as spam.
I can't see how else they would deal with reports.

I suppose they could just use them for R&D and look how they have fooled the algo. But why not penalise them at the same time.

Bit embarassing though if you're an SEO company and you get banned - should know better.


 10:08 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Playing the "big, bad American" card...

I don't think they have been deliberately playing this card. It's more like people have been commenting on the issue in forums. And to make this clear: this is not my opinion, I am just describing the situation.

Even though Google might be right in what they did, it doesn't matter, if the public percieves it differently. And that's exactly the problem with manual removal. It's not an automated procedure like the algo, it is a judgement by Google employees followed by deliberate action. Google will always be in the need to justify themselves when they pull a companys plug like this.


 10:25 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

The "public" won't shed a single tear over a website kicked out of Google.

Let's face it, it's an issue that doesn't resonate with the average user.


 11:22 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)


as I stated above they user VERY risky methods. So they deserved it.


 11:23 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hello all: In my niche, there is a site that rates #3 (three) out of 4.48 million. Here's the <title> and I kid you not:

<title>[deleted -LH] UFOs UFO News UFO Sightings UFOs UFO Pictures UFO Videos UFO Reports
Flying Saucers Ufos aliens alien abductions ufo sightings UFO Folklore ufo news ufo
sightings ufo reports xfiles roswell area 51 ufo sightings ufology ufo news ufo
conferences ufo symposiums mj12 majestic 12 Extraterrestrial visitations ufo pictures ufo
videos flying saucers ufos ufo pictures ufos aliens ufo research ufos aliens ET ET ET UFOs
UFOs UFOs NASA area 51 Disney unidentified flying objects astral projections paranormal
experiences abducted by aliens conspiracy flying saucers Disney Disney cydonia mars
cydonia mars mj12 mj12 extraterrestrials ufo pictures ufo pictures ufo pictures ufo
pictures martian martians conspiracies NASA NASA extraterrestrials martian martians
conspiracies extraterrestrials martian martians conspiracies ufo pictures unidentified
flying saucers nasa nasa nasa disney disney disney mj12 seti seti seti unidentified flying
saucers area 51 </title>
- - -

The HTML description is very similar. A third dose of this garbage is hidden in small print, dark grey type against a slightly darker grey, at bottom of some pages.

Should this be reported to Google?

Can't the Goog easily and automatically find it for themselves?
Its been this way for years. I'm leery of reporting this personally, for fear that might backfire somehow.

Any suggestions appreciated. -LH


 11:41 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

what ever Google does and make some of us here go %$^&*
...i tell you ,the average user and many of us will use Google Search for the next 5 years ...or more ,until another comes up like they did some years ago ,personally i believe Yahoo and MSN have no chance overcoming Google.

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