There's something bothering me with the Google SERPs at the moment. I've been doing a bit of research into the matter, and have noticed that on a lot of the competitive SERPs that I've been monitoring, sites that are participating in well known coop advertising network have started performing extremely well.
This has only started happening since the last few datarefreshes, and it's really frustrating as I feel this is effectively spamming. It's as if Google have recently turned down the quality score when analysing links, and they now prefer quantity over quality. As such, lots of poor online resources that are participating in this coop ad network are doing extremely well.
What are people's opinions on this? Should this be allowed? The links are all unrelated to the content on the site they're linking to, and the ad network repeatedly tries to say it's all about the traffic rather than improving search engine rankings - if that's the case, why don't they nofollow the links?
[edited by: tedster at 8:36 pm (utc) on Nov. 29, 2006]
I am also frustrated by this. I've noticed certain sites appearing in some very competitive SERPs - not just in Google, but other engines as well. These affect a wide range of queries across many different sectors.
I also notice there has been a correlation between the sites coming in, the way targeted anchor text has been used as the linking text across this coop network, and the way the SERPs mirror the allinanchor: counterpart.
I agree - it appears the quality score has been reduced with the quantity score increased. Do you think there is evidence here that and anchor text score for these sites has also increased, therefore anchor text is having more of an effect than ever?
How will Google deal with this? Is this a good thing? Surely Anchor text is not the best measure of relevance? Will G simply roll back the data-refresh or will it take action against the sites in this network? Is joining this network therefore a bad thing in the long term?