Blimey! this could herald a very rocky road for a great number of sites.
Bobby - A quick devil's advocate question first
if it was deliberate how come TL was back in so quickly? ;)
But really this could cause major ructions to google SERPS:
By moving in to remove espotting & overture listings in UK SERPS (is this to increase adwords revenue pre or post IPO?) they *could* potentially remove thousands of sites completely - save for 10 odd pages (they have to keep partially on the right side of the webmaster?)
Now this poses a few questions:
- is that all sites that have any espotting or overture listings?
- sites where more than 5 results are shown say?
this is very likely I think as shows that there is no affiliate only presence (also stops people like handbag / ivillage et al being dropped)
- sites with mostly or all espotting or overture results?
Most likely - those that are made up entirely of results from either camp beware
As to whether Google can do it pre or post IPO - why not. They can do what they like whilst they have the user base. But if they start to knock the results and get bad press - then that's down to them also.
I am all for ensuring that the results displayed have good quality and provide the user with the right information - if that's via a site like TL that has been around for a while and worked hard on content and it's directory then so be it - it's the information that I am interested in not the way I get it (i.e. don't shoot the messenger!)
I think the real problem lies with sites that have had no presence and BANG within 3 weeks are almost in the top 500 sites worldwide with fairly sh*te results! There are a couple of recent additions to that category that I am sure most of us are aware of!
Anyway enough of my two pence worth - off to the pub for a post Chrissie beer.