turbocharged - 12:55 am on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)
ohno pretty much summed up the frustration I am seeing with many small businesses in the USA. I assure my UK friends that Google's marketshare here in the United States gives them the ability to make or break businesses in most industries just as they can do in the UK. Although we can blame Google for much, it's poor government regulations that allowed Google to grow to the point to where they have a stranglehold over ecommerce.
As it relates to the topic of this thread, on some sites I see absolutely nothing to "clean up." If being in business for decades, an A+ BBB rating and an abundance of positive reviews from Angie's list is to be penalized, we are all in deep trouble. In the absence of anything to clean up (no keyword stuffing or spam links which anyone could send to a site anyway), I feel that the majority of the dirt that needs swept up and tossed in the garbage is the code used to construct Google's current algorithm.
Fact: Very few websites that do clean house ever see any kind of recovery. At most, the recovery they see is not having a nagging message in webmaster tools about something unnatural. Most who do clean up fall farther into the abyss and are even harder to find in Google. If content was truly king, this would not be the case and the playing field would be level for all.