backdraft7 - 11:30 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0) [edited by: backdraft7 at 11:34 pm (utc) on Apr 17, 2012]
First off Oimachi2, join the club and we feel your pain.
What's been frustrating all along with Google is that they first encourage things like link exchanges then change the rules midstream once that has been gamed to death by the bad guys. The really sad part is when they make the slash & burn assumption that YOU are a bad guy too, just because of your honest link exchange.
It happened with meta tags, keyword density, and other SEO metrics they encouraged but got abused. You can't blame it all on Google though, it's the miscreant black hatters who are really to blame.
I see the same thing happening eventually with this whole social network garbage. People are already gaming the system and once Google's + project folds (it will, trust me) then you'll be penalized for having social links.
They just keep moving the carrot here and there and you better be able to follow or you'll be out in left field. It's a shame. If they want user love, this is not the way to court us. This is more like the fmita federal prison kind of love.
You'd think by now they could soften the blow of these so called "quality updates", but it seems they take one step forward and two steps back. I just switched to BING today and my searches are much more productive. I suspect more folks will be doing the same soon.
I think I'll dump my Google stock now that I'm thinking about it. I invested in them because I believed in them. Considering all the events of post May Day, I gave them the chance , but they've let many of us down.
[edited by: backdraft7 at 11:34 pm (utc) on Apr 17, 2012]