diberry - 5:58 pm on May 26, 2013 (gmt 0)
In the niches I have experience in, brands invest plenty in inorganic links. Just higher-end ones that "indies" can't afford.
And many indie sites do not build links at all. But there's no point telling Fathom this, because in many threads Fathom keeps making arguments that rely on the "just world fallacy" - the assumption that anyone wronged brought it on themselves by doing something risky. Also known as "victim blaming."
The problem with this approach (aside from the fact that we all know it's not a just world, I mean, c'mon) is that it relies on the idea that Fathom's understanding of how the algo works is perfect and complete, and if you get into it further with him, he will insist you take his word and refuse to provide any evidence to support his claims. And his understanding of Penguin is that it's all about spammy backlinks, and if you got dinged you must have built spammy backlinks, and that's the end of it. Logic and evidence have no place there.
I'm just trying to establish if others are seeing a clear line of demarcation where every. single. result. is a brand until #X, and then the indie sites begin. If so, this tells us something about the algo and what it's doing, which I thought is what we're all here to learn.
And for all the Google defenders: if Google actually is putting brands up front on purpose, it does not necessarily follow they are "being evil." If you followed how Congress grilled them about piracy links and links to businesses that ripped off consumers, it sounded like Congress expected Google to drop the algo altogether and personally screen each link with a thorough private investigation into their business practices before indexing it. I can totally see Google responding with, "Good grief, guess we'd better make sure the domains that wind up at the top have been thoroughly screened and can be thoroughly trusted."