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|Is Panda just a smokescreen?|
Google has taken on thousands of new employees lately. What are they all doing? Well there must be an awful lot of them manually checking the SERPs.
Like a lot of people I have had a stack of affiliate sites smacked recently. All of them have been hit after a manual visit from Mountain View by someone on a Mac who's looked at just a couple of pages or so, finishing with the link that takes visitors to a merchant site. In each case the page they have first visited is one that is optimised with a search term that has more than 100,000 visitors a month. Sites only get hit when they get near the top for these terms. Some of these sites have been around for years but as soon as they get too near the top: pop, they are down to -50. I have watched other competitor affiliate sites suffer the same fate: they are OK until they put their heads above the parapet, then they are gone. Competitors that are merchants - even though they act as affiliates for the product they are advertising (and regardless of how thin their content) remain untouched.
My theories from this?
1) Google intends to drive affiliates out of business (but then we already knew that).
2) I reckon they have whole batteries of people doing manual checks on the top few sites for major search terms. So, if this is correct, the Panda just isn't as clever as we were led to believe. If it was so intelligent, Google wouldn't need an army of manual checkers doing a boring job like this. Is Google turning into a glorified DMOZ, with human reviewers making the most important decisions?
One of the affiliate merchants I used began to use Google tracking, DoubleClick (pre Panda). Within weeks I sank, perhaps it was a coincidence, I suppose I will never know. Looking back perhaps the DoubleClick URL warranted an automatic manual check, similiar to when you start running Googl Ads.
|Google runs an affiliate system, assimilate or perish |
If you are an affiliate for another company you are in competition with Google, so take affiliates out and remove the competition. When this happens it will be a sad day for the internet.
Perhaps Google should go down the route where it costs you a monthly fee to be listed in their results and stop all this tinkering.
I guess we would all pay that fee. Or perhaps ppc for organic, maybe .2c a click?
|What was their actual job? To create a quality score for web sites, that serve as a ranking factor? |
Their job was to read a document that Google gave them and than rate sites based on that: if a site is like this, it's good. If it's like this it's bad. Sounds good in theory but it could very well be garbage in, garbage out and in no way means neutrality or "raters check the sites so we're not biased." At best they show whether Google reached their goal with the algo or not. Does not mean that SERPs are 'better' for average users.
Anyway, there isn't much we can do and we have to be careful about mentioning certain events happening in Washington DC with Eric Schmidt but it's good that people are no longer taking Google's "trust us" without questioning. Maybe they increased the special dose and now it's more obvious? My favorite quote:
|Google's paid search service gives the company an incentive to keep its free search results from getting too good, Clemons said at a Technology Policy Institute (TPI) forum on Google and antitrust in Washington, D.C. "I've always wanted to say this in Washington: Follow the money," he said. |
The FTC's antitrust probe of Google, reported in June, will give investigators a chance to see how Google ranks search results, giving the public a "first line of defense" against anticompetitive practices, said Oren Bracha, a law professor focused on technology and intellectual property at the University of Texas.
I'm dying to read the e-mails and memos between different departments on this, gonna be fun. Especially during algo changes. Aren't you interested?
|Anyway, there isn't much we can do and we have to be careful about mentioning certain events happening in Washington DC with Eric Schmidt but it's good that people are no longer taking Google's "trust us" without questioning. |
It would be disgraceful to point out Google's abusive practices at a time when they are about to be investigated for alleged.... erm ....... abusive practices.
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