jkwilson78 - 4:58 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)
I wonder if it makes any sense to draw some parallels with what Google did on the Adwords side of things a couple years ago...ie massive purge of affiliates and sites with business models they don't like?
1) Affiliates got massacred in Adwords, so many switched to SEO. Now that results are cluttered with tons of thin affiliates Google now wants to purge them out of the SERPS
2) Google would issue numerous warnings to Adwords advertisers about low "quality scores". Often these were ignored as they were easy to circumvent...until Google used that against you and banned Adwords accounts.
What about the same thing happening in Google Webmaster Tools? Throw warnings about "unnatural links" if they are ignored or a link profile is not improved at some point down the road could this lead to a site being completely deindexed?
3) With Adwords, if you promoted a dodgy site (according to Google) say 6 years ago but nothing unacceptable since then, Google could and would still ban your account for that past transgression.
What about sites with very old but poor link profiles going against a site now?
4) Lots of legit Adwords advertisers got banned just like lots of good sites are taking hits now while obvious and blatant exceptions to the "rules" go unscathed.
In other words, Google doesn't really care about collateral damage as long as in the long run with a tweak here and a tweak there they can optimize revenue, keep brands and major advertisers happy and have just enough "litte guy" diversity to be able to point to and say "See, even the little guy gets a shot against the big boys"
5) For every site/business demolished with Google's whims there is someone else to fill the slot.