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Traffic Power WAS Banned by Google.
Denials Scotched by Matt Cutts in His Blog Today....

 10:51 pm on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

This just in.... [mattcutts.com ]

>> I am speaking in my official capacity as head of the webspam group at Google, and I’ve had this post reviewed by Google’s lawyers.

>> I can confirm that Google has removed traffic-power.com and domains promoted by Traffic Power from our index because of search engine optimization techniques that violated our webmaster guidelines.



 12:00 am on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I loved reading this in Matt Cuuts' blog. Imagine how much Traffic-power must have annoyed the good folks at Google to provoke such a reaction? :-)


 2:59 am on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Or maybe Matt Cutts (and Google) are just nice guys who wanted to help Traffic Power's lawyers catch the error in their lawsuit. :-)


 3:07 am on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Excellent move on Google's part.

Now, let's see Traffic-Power/First Place turn around and sue Google. I wouldn't put it past them (TP that is).

This has been a long time coming and I'm sure there are a few who are sweating big bullets right now.

A personal thank you to Matt Cutts for stepping up to the plate. Kudos!


 4:11 am on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Are these the guys that through a script, installed pages on their customers sites that linked to all of their other client's sites?

Matt Probert

 9:14 am on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Interesting. May I mention this site:


No, I probably shouldn't mention a specific URL. Suffice to say that a search of Google for traffic-power reveals some interesting sites about that "SEO" company that make some allegations against Traffic power, that make for interesting, and plausible, reading!

Good on Google for banning this type of scam.



 4:59 pm on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

For those that don't know what Traffic Power was doing. Originally they would create hundreds of keyword stuffed nonsense doorway pages and use a mouseover redirect to a normal page. Then, G caught them and removed the sites that were doing this. So what was their reaction? They left everything the same and changed the mousover redirect to ascii charaters so G didn't see it.
IMO you must blame the clients for this. The ones I know were well aware of what was going on and elected to stay with TP even after the first ban, kmnowing full wel what was going on.

There may have been other types of abuse as well.


 5:35 pm on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

270 sales people of 300 employees? That can't be SEO but marketing.


 6:15 pm on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

The truly pathetic part of this story is that these simple methods worked. I applaud Google for taking this action, but they really should look at why their algos are so vulnerable that actions of this sort are necessary.

I was doing some searches a while back on a term that, unfortunately, is also used in adult entertainment. I was absolutely gobsmacked by some of the top results - keyword stuffing gone absolutely mad. Still, looking on the bright side, it did provide me with a quick selection of words to use for exclusion purposes.



 8:53 pm on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Kaled's right.
linking schemes still work unfortunately.

BTW: hey Brett! WebmasterWorld was not pointed as the proper place to discuss the issue :P


 3:29 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am speaking in my official capacity as head of the webspam group at Google...

If that were completely true, would it not be on google.com?


 3:47 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Err, I am trying to read between your lines and I just don't get what you might be implying...

I can think of many Microsoft comments and announcements (for example) that appear on employee blogs rather than on microsoft.com...


 5:03 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

If that were completely true, would it not be on google.com

No, because he doesn't have a blog on Google.com.

We don't get to decide where Matt Cutts should make his official announcements--Matt Cutts does. :-)


 6:33 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Official company announcements (any company, not just Google) should be on the company website. However, in some cases, I can see that a blog might be quicker, neverthless, it should later be announced properly. Routinely announcing company policy, etc. on an employee's blog may appear uptodate/trendy to some but it also appears amateurish to others.

Having said that, it seems to me that this particular announcement was not so much official as approved, so criticism probably needs to be circumspect.



 6:42 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, if you people don't choose to regard it as official, they can always ignore it.


 7:22 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Way to go Google..Tell it how it is.
We cleaned up some TP sites after the first ban and what they were doing was appaling. Any Company who stayed with them after the first ban deserves to be banned now. Until clients do their due diligence and stop going for a quick fix for a minimal investment the bad SEO will not go away.

We are an SEO company with excellent organic rankings in all the major SE's. We got a call from a TP sales consultant offering us SEO services and top rankings in Google. When I pointed out who we were and we were happy with our rankings the sales consultant literally had no clue who she was talking to or even what I was talking about. I guess my response was not in her script.


 8:28 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> for a minimal investment <<

No. Not minimal. Nowhere near. TP clients paid Top Dollar for the stuff that was done, and had to fork out every month of "lose their positions".


 9:17 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google does not list banned or penalized sites on their site - nor should they, imo. Matt's blog anouncement strikes me as quite appropriate.


 9:47 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

It seems to me that Google is using Matt Cutts as public relations between Google and webmasters. This penalty and the BMW penalty is Google's way of saying to the webmaster community "you will be caught".
I think that finally opening up communication with webmasters is a great idea.


 10:15 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think that finally opening up communication with webmasters is a great idea.

To be fair to Google (and to give credit to Webmaster World), GoogleGuy, AdWordsAdvisor, and AdSenseAdvisor have been communicating with Webmasters here for quite a while.


 11:26 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

To be fair to Google (and to give credit to Webmaster World), GoogleGuy, AdWordsAdvisor, and AdSenseAdvisor have been communicating with Webmasters here for quite a while.

true, but the communication was always very limited and cryptic and answering the same questions over and over is very different to Matt's blog


 1:45 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I used to post in a forum that my client based relied on and they often called my posts "cryptic". However to me the posts were crystal clear.

Some people choose to look at the tip of the finger rather than what it is pointing to.


 2:46 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

they often called my posts "cryptic".
Sounds like you need to work on your communication. Just like Google has.

 12:19 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think most people here are aware that I'm happy to criticize Google when I feel it is deserved, however, I have never found GoogleGuy's posts to be unreasonably cryptic - those that I have read I have understood without difficulty.

Some people don't realise that sometimes it is necessary to choose your words very carefully. Also, for the most part, he's trying to provide hints/solutions/workarounds (as well as gather feedback and calm the panick-stricken sometimes) rather than tell webmasters to do.



 9:14 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm all fine with Google banning spam sites but there are ALOT of sites out there who were damaged and are not spam sites.

Google should seriously develop some way to communicate with webmasters.

They should develop a subscription based system in sitemaps and charge webmasters for priority support and assistance. This would mean all the SERIOUS sites would be enrolled into the program, and spam sites would be locked out because before enrolling, the site would be checked by a Google employee.

Furthermore to keep SPAM out of the index, what they can do is enforce all participating members/sites to have a GOOGLE button at the bottom of their pages, which when clicked would popup a "GOOGLE feedback form" and allow visitors to "dob" in a spam site or even RATE its revelancy!

If a spam site gets #*$! votes from many different ips it would set off a trigger which would de-rank the site or put the site for review.. all without the webmaster knowing.

Then google could official warn the webmaster/member. If they do it 3 times they get LOCKED out of the program. And their CC#, IP and email is banned.

I think a system like this would make Webmaster relations with Google a breeze and would keep spam sites out, and would let REAL webmasters sleep at night!

Also can you imagine if they charge.. say $500/year for this service? Lets see.. 1,000,000 sites x $500 = $500million a year extra revenue.

Also since the service only guarantees priority support, no-one would blame them for "trying to improve" site rankings. People would assume its there just to improve webmaster communications between G* and webmasters. Another bonus is Google gets a million sites showing their "G" participation logo/button.

Oh and when they click on the logo/button, the feedback form could also have an inbuilt "SEARCH SITE" box. That way the button acts as a

1. dobbing system
2. rating/relevancy vote system
3. allow users to search that site/entire Google
4. View similar sites
5. Show backward links for the site
6. Show Google's PR rating of that site.

WHY G*!, why not come up with something like this? You guys SERIOUSLY need to develop better relations with webmasters!

You are making serious money with ads but who is feeding you the content? WEBMASTERS. Therefore they deserve better than this.. They really do.


 1:03 am on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

That's all very well. But what about sites that are *not* commercial, make no revenue and/or are charitable ventures? Why should they pay to be in the index and acquire a rank relevant to their popularity. Other than that, I think your suggestion has some merit.

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