marketingmagic - 3:27 pm on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)
Ok gang, once more... it was NOT all about the EDUs. I can confirm this, but I cannot give details as it was given to me <off the record>. And I can also confirm that the other item they were caught doing is most CERTAINLY in violation of the Google guidelines.
I was also confused somewhat as there was no 'smoking gun' with the EDU stuff. I've gotten clarification and most certainly ANY website would have been nuked if caught doing what they were. I wish I could tell you more, but I respect my sources.
I knew it couldn't have been because of the Uni links - those are legit non-paid links and if Google was/is going to start banning businesses over how they choose to market themselves online, it would only be a matter of time before one of the banned companies decided to sue them over it - and if there was any doubt as to who bought the links, Google will lose.
Google needs to be very careful with these manual penalties and make sure that they are only penalizing for what would be very obvious link buying - anything less and they are crossing the line.
I know they want to put the fear of god into us all with respect to paid links - but they better tread carefully.
As for big brands being on the first page contributing to a positive user experience - I think that's BS.
If BB or any other brand doesn't have unique content, or has a poorly optimized site - dup content scraped from manufacturers, etc... then why should they be on the first page for tvs or any other term?
They have to earn it like the rest of us by providing unique content that users want. And for the record there are plenty of consumer electronic terms that BB doesn't rank well for.
Just my 2 cents.