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Google no longer penalises?
Its fairer not to
MHes




msg:134788
 6:06 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

We all wonder why some sites seem to get good rankings when they have used obvious spammy and illegal tactics.... hidden text etc.

Reason? They get the rankings because of all the legal stuff they have done, not the illegal. Google identifies optimisation tactics and ignores them.

The reason for this is because many companies employ a third party to optimise their sites. As we all know, many of these optimisation firms do dodgy tactics or are plain stupid. So why should the company suffer for ever more just because they have the misfortune to use a dodgy optimiser? Seems a bit unfair.

I think we all have a culture of "Google will penalise" or "google will ban" when in fact the truth is "Google will ignore" and "Google only deals in plus points, not minus points"

Thoughts?

 

Shakil




msg:134789
 6:14 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

sorry, that does not go down with me.

As a webmaster we are responsible for the people we employ.

Shak

Nick_W




msg:134790
 6:17 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

erm..... where did this info come from? - Last I heard G still banned sites...

Nick

jeremy goodrich




msg:134791
 6:29 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've got 1 site that google has banned for more than a year.

Last I checked, it's still pagerank 0 - despite links, odp listing, etc. From all that I understand from reading their research papers, this site *should* be listed, have pagerank, etc.

But -> they penalized it. Google decided - for some reason - that site deserves the 'permanent white bar of doom'.

So, like Nick said, I'd really like to know what - or where - you got the idea Google doesn't penalize sites.

Cause I, respecfully, beg to differ on that score. :)

Yidaki




msg:134792
 6:30 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nick, i think he's guessing...!?

MHes, if google would ignore se optimizations, their algo would become useless and the search quality would drop drastically. Since every seo targets parts of google's algo and therefor gets top positions. If google would ignore that, searches would return 10 result pages full of garbage first and then the rest of the show. I can't see any benefit ... not even for seos. ;)

Mark Candiotti




msg:134793
 6:38 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

yes, i think it's because some of the most culpable perpetrators exist within a culture of "wow" where negative thoughts merely contrapositate the positive ones to where G accounts for this formulatically to where you can, if you look closely, notice a trend to w a rd . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Nick_W




msg:134794
 6:40 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

What?

jeremy goodrich




msg:134795
 6:46 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mark, could you explain that last one - just so the rest of us can understand?

I'm sure that the thousands of lurkers that just read your post didn't get it either. :)

MHes




msg:134796
 6:58 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yup I'm guessing big time.

And yes, sites have been banned.

But Google WANTS to list sites. It is possible a company can have a bad SEO and be innocent. Google does not want to lose the site, just list it for all the right reasons, not the wrong ones. So perhaps they now have a better way of identifying spam and ignoring it, hence the posts... "this guy is position 1 and he uses white text on white". Sure he does, but that does him no good. In the past he may have been banned, now the spam is just ignored.

Google wants to list all sites, and even some spammy sites have relevant content for some searches. So the logic is they don't penalise, but just cherry pick the good points, ignoring the rest.

Shakil, I work for companies that trust me, they really don't know or want to know the details. I could make a mistake or deliberately spam for a quick effect. It would be unfair and possibly terminal for them if I screwed up and they got banned. These are big name companies who, if they are not in the serps, makes Google look bad.

So the logic is, Google deals in pluses not minus's. Googleguy has basically hinted that the best optimisation is no optimisation. Do the basics, let the spider in, and let them work out what is relevant.

I'm out on a limb here but its just a thought! :)

Nick_W




msg:134797
 7:02 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm out on a limb here but its just a thought!

Yep. ;)

Nick

jeremy goodrich




msg:134798
 7:04 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Actually, I think you are right, after a fashion. "Big time" companies should be in Google's serps, but not because Google perhaps forgave their spamming ways. :)

The reason for them to do this - only with bigger sites, recognized brands, fortune 500 companies, etc - would be that, consumers who look for 'brand X' has a reasonable expectation of finding 'brand x'. If Google took all those sites out of their SERP's, people might start to think - Google is bad, I can't find insert mega corp name here. Even if 'mega corp' was spamming the hades out of Google - inflated link pop, hidden text, duplicated content on multiple domains, etc.

But - there is a different set of rules, imho, for smaller sites. If they don't have a big name, then Google loses nothing by banning these sites. Those are the ones that need to be careful. And, those are generally speaking, that benefit the most from SEO - because they don't have an established 'brand' or name that people will type into the search box.

MHes




msg:134799
 7:05 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

So you guys are going to carry on doing optimisation?

Damn...... it was worth a try :)

Powdork




msg:134800
 7:17 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

MHes, I agree that Google WANTS to just deal with pluses and no minuses. I think thats what GoogleGuy refers to when he talks about changing the algo rather than manual penalties. Ideally, they would rather filter out spam techniques and make them ineffective rather than penalize sites. To date, they have not been able to do this completely and sites must be penalized, banned.
Google also wants us to make it easy for the searcher to find what he/she is looking for, which is what seo is (should be) anyway.

ciml




msg:134801
 7:18 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

New, "traditional" style penalties seem quite rare IMO. What I see mostly is a page that can't hand PageRank to other pages (and maybe in some cases can't hand PageRank to other domains).

In the case of PageA linking to PageB but passing no PR; PageA wasn't penalised as such as it keeps its PR and ranking. PageB also isn't penalised, as it gets whatever PR and ranking it deserves apart from PageA (which can't hand on PR to other pages). So which, if either, has a penalty?

MHes, did you mean that Google turn a blind eye, or that they'll step in to nullify the spammy tactics rather than hand out an additional penalty? If as I suspect you mean the latter then I think that Google do seem to have swung that way. On the other hand, Google have tended to introduce penalties in waves. Maybe this is just a long calm before the storm...

MHes




msg:134802
 7:48 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

For some time I have been suspicious of some sites high pagerank. I don't think they earnt it naturally, but google cheats and gives them a high page rank because they believe that sites linked to from this site are seriously reviewed and good quality.

I think some university sites get this boost. They naturally do well from other links in, but have inflated pagerank because they are a quality hub.

Example? ... none specific, but looking through the directory certain categories seem to have a load of high pr sites, like 'Colleges and Universities' whose links must be worth a lot and probably there for all the right reasons.

That aside, I think there is evidence that Google is thinking 'positive' whereas before they thought 'we must ban spammers'. This can never work and wastes a lot of effort, they were chasing rather than leading. If they just concentrate on rewarding good elements, like good old visible content, and ignoring everything else, life becomes much easier and the serps improve. Also they don't need to worry about spam, it just doen't get considered.

atadams




msg:134803
 7:58 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Do you think there is a .edu bonus?

BigDave




msg:134804
 8:00 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Universities have no need for a PR boost. Many of them have enough internal pages that point to the university home page that would give it a PR7 on it's own, even without any high incoming links from external sources.

Many of them have tens of thousands of people (students, staff and alumni) actively producing content. Much of this content receive incoming links from highly ranked external sites. MIT does not need a boost to get to PR10.

About the only university that gets a boost from Google is stanford and that would be from any goolge links to them because of their founders and the patent.

The same goes for the big companies, there is no need for them to get a PR boost, they do just fine on their own.

MHes




msg:134805
 8:14 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

BigDave - you're probably right. But if I was Google, any site that is not actively seeking links in, may be worth a closer look, because it IS NOT interested in pagerank or link popularity...... or optimisation.

Sites it links to are not traded but there on pure merit. In order to reward those linked to sites, Google artificially boosts the page rank. Perhaps Universities are a bad example, small niche sites that are not interested in traffic, but part of a small obscure research community, may link to other sites as a point of reference. These recomendations are honest and should carry more weight, than some site trading links with whoever.

vitaplease




msg:134806
 8:53 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mhes,

I've been wondering when a spam ignorance [webmasterworld.com] would take place..

JayC




msg:134807
 9:00 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google artificially boosts the page rank.

You should avoid stating your speculations or "if I were Google" musings as fact. There are enough rumors, misstatements and misunderstandings about PageRank already. :)

There is no evidence that Google "artificially" boosts the PageRank of pages within .edu sites (let's not forget that PR is page-specific).

small niche sites that are not interested in traffic, but part of a small obscure research community, may link to other sites as a point of reference. These recomendations are honest and should carry more weight

One could argue that they "should," but how would that work -- if not for something as clear cut as the .edu TLD? Would you, if you were Google, manually review each site and give a PageRank bonus to those that are judged to be not "actively seeking" incoming links?

cornwall




msg:134808
 9:12 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google decided - for some reason - that site deserves the 'permanent white bar of doom'

I have had that too (and I could never work out why) on one site, though PR did come back after 9 months.

You can look at large sites like TravelNow which have been penalised

Google is at times irrational, certainly not particularly forgiving, and continues for whatever reason to penalise.

MHes




msg:134809
 9:45 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

JayC

"You should avoid stating your speculations or "if I were Google" musings as fact. "

Ouch....!

The trouble with 'facts' is that they are based on yesterdays index. If you want to do well next month, its helpful to speculate.

"let's not forget that PR is page-specific" Maybe, thats what everyone says, but things become more complex and unless you know the algo are you not speculating?

Speculation and the fantastic wealth of knowledge in this forum has helped me. There are many 'facts' that have been born from speculation and debate. Its very difficult to prove a complex theory on your own.

"Would you, if you were Google, manually review each site and give a PageRank bonus to those that are judged to be not "actively seeking" incoming links? "

A few sites given a boost will effect a community of quality sites. It has a knock on effect.

BigDave




msg:134810
 9:59 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

There is no reason to boost anyone's PR. Small obscure research communities usually have a higher PR than is necessary, considering that they are obscure and there is therefore little competition. They will have a high PR because those obscure research communitites are usually made up of senior academics, students and staff in prestigious universities, labs, corporations and think tanks.

Even the unknown professors of obscure topics at the large universities have PR6+ personal pages. If there are 20 of them involved in a research program, and they link to that program (which they will do) that program would most likely be at least a PR7. It would also have the content and the link text to do whatever is necessary to get good rankings in their obscure field. And that PR7 gives them plenty of PR to pass around.

I do think that if there was a reason to adjust the PR like you suggest, they might do that. But the beauty of the way that PR works, is that it really isn't necessary. PageRank works just fine without having to give out bonuses.

It does not work that well when people start abusing the system from below. That is why they have filters and penalties.

BigDave




msg:134811
 10:07 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

MHes,

He didn't tell you to stop speculating, he suggested that you not state the speculation as fact.

The PageRank documentation (you have read it, haven't you?) states that it is by the page, not by the site. It might have changed, but there is at least ome evidence that it has not.

Your title of choice for this thread is a statement "google no longer penalises" that might convince people that do not know better, that this was a statement of fact. When the *fact* is, that google DOES still penalize sites. They may be moving towards filtering sites, but they do still penalize. This makes your statement wrong.

If you had named this thread something like "Is google reducing the amount of sites they penalize" there would not be this problem.

MHes




msg:134812
 10:13 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

BigDave - Good stuff as usual.

I think they 'ignore' abusers rather than 'penalise'.

As you say, pagerank works very well in looking after itself, If a site has hundreds of links the pr carried by each one is reduced. No need to penalise. If the links out are very varied and off theme, they ignore.

This is an example of where page rank is not necessarily 'page only' relevant. If a site theme is widgets, having 50 pages about widgets and has various links pages off theme, perhaps they count for less? Sorry for the speculation :)

MHes




msg:134813
 10:17 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yup

Maybe a moderator should change the thread title.

wooden




msg:134814
 10:51 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Regarding Jeremy's comment of Google letting household name sites slide despite spammy ways, does anyone have any examples of big sites (TravelNow is not a household name company or in the Fortune 1000, as far as I know -- could be wrong) that have been banned?

jeremy goodrich




msg:134815
 10:53 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

That would be tantamount to a spam report -> something that we don't allow here. :)

If anybody knows any sites, I'm sure a sticky mailed example would more than suffice...

JayC




msg:134816
 11:50 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

He didn't tell you to stop speculating, he suggested that you not state the speculation as fact.

Thanks, BigDave, that is exactly what I was getting at. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see in a few weeks someone posting "I read in another thread that Google artificially boosts the PR of .edu sites..." :)

MHes, I apologize if that last post sounded like a harsh rebuke; that wasn't how it was intended. I was just trying to make the point above -- and to head off confusion when people read through this thread, which contains a mix of what's accepted as almost certainly true, unfounded speculation, and "if I were Google" serendipity, and only a careful reading will reveal what's what.

This is an example of where page rank is not necessarily 'page only' relevant. If a site theme is widgets, having 50 pages about widgets and has various links pages off theme, perhaps they count for less?

Based on the conventional wisdom -- including the Google knowledgebase here -- and on available documentation on PageRank, off-theme links almost certainly do not "count for less" in the calculation of the PageRank value. Based also on that evidence, PageRank is page specific.

Absolutely there's nothing wrong with speculation, but it doesn't make much sense to ignore the existing evidence when doing so.

MHes




msg:134817
 12:40 am on Feb 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

JayC

Thanks, - you are right, I should be more carefull. I tend to throw out statements forgetting that someone may misinterpret it. All I'm doing is provoking the discussion, but the way I did it was wrong and you were right to flag it up.

grovel grovel! :)

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