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For all who don't speak french: Netbooster is a rather well known european seo agency who also offer keyword advertising and paid inclusion. Now they have been sanctioned by Google, accused to have been using spamming techniques to improve their position on the serps. Without a warning all pages of Netbooster and the pages they put online for their clients have been removed from Google.
Of course Netbooster says they haven't done anything wrong and Google wouldn't even explain to them what kind of spamming technique they base the exclusion on.
I think more important than the question if was spamming or not, is the question if Google now has changed the policy in their fight against spamming. As far as I know the policy has been not to manually exclude specific websites from the index. All exclusions due to spamming were based on the Google algorithm. So this isn't the case anymore? What also makes me wonder is the fact that the established SEOs have been using the same techniques for a long time, without being sanctioned. Why the sudden change of mood? What is the motivation behind it? If Google now starts to manually remove specific pages / companies from their index.... what's next? Cleaning result pages for competitive keywords, so you have no choice but to book Google adwords?
>> If Google now starts to manually remove specific pages / companies from their index
They've been doing it for as long as I've been around.
Yep. While Google prefers automated solutions, they do hand zap sites on occasion. Also, how are you sure this ban wasn't by the algo? Google may have analyzed exactly how Netbooster was scamming the SERPs, and wrote a filter that would whack Netbooster and their client's sites, or any other SEO that was using the same scheme.
They never responded about how we could FIX the problem, but they did email me a message about how their bot red-flags certain pages, and then those pages can undergo human review.
My opinion on the SEO scene is pretty cynical, though. To do really well, your best bet is to learn how to SEO your own site and put the effort into making it happen. It costs a LOT of money for the amount of time it takes to legitimately get rankings off of quality alone. Quality, in and of itself, costs a lot of money. Time is money, so better to use your own, and keep some of the other.
Oh but there are billions of pages! True, but a manual review of sites with over X#*$!x pages per domain (some number but I am not sure what) could really help to get rid of automated crap. Sure that would mean more domains but that adds to the cost of spamming. And that is the big problem with controlling spam is that it is cheap to produce but pays well.
Site A: Keyword spamming site, nothing but keywords, and BANNERS on each keyword-spam page, no content.
Site B: Keyword sapmming site, ntohing but keywords, and ADSENSE on each keyword-spam page, no content.
After about a month Site A was penalized, completely removed from the index, while Site B is still in the index right now (its been about 6 months).
So could it be that google wouldn't penalize spam sites which have adsense on them, because they're making good money for google? (i'm talking about keyword spam sites, no other spamming techniques involved such as cloaking, hidden content, heavy interlinking etc...)
I don't have anything against a manual removal of spammers, BUT we should be aware of the fact that we are talking about the jobs of quite a lot of people and family incomes. In this respect, I think the "shut-down" procedure should show more responsibility. I think, Netbooster would have deserved a warning... In the long run search engines (including Google) will profit more from working with seo's than from working against them. In France this issue has started a discussion where Google is already being compared with Microsoft: "Big, wealthy american company is destroying poor french agency". I don't have to explain the negative effect on Google's image. The point I want to make is, that Google would have saved themselves a lot of trouble with a simple phone call.
Google would have saved themselves a lot of trouble with a simple phone call.
Oh Puhleeeze! Google publishes their webmaster guidelines for all to see. Those who choose to play outside of the guidelines do so at their own risk and with the knowledge that they could face penalties or exclusion from the index!
Playing the "big, bad American" card is as low as using the race card in any discussion which does not involve race nor nationality. This is strictly business!
Google have terms of service just like anyone else. You don't like their terms ... go elsewhere.
I suppose they could just use them for R&D and look how they have fooled the algo. But why not penalise them at the same time.
Bit embarassing though if you're an SEO company and you get banned - should know better.
Playing the "big, bad American" card...
Even though Google might be right in what they did, it doesn't matter, if the public percieves it differently. And that's exactly the problem with manual removal. It's not an automated procedure like the algo, it is a judgement by Google employees followed by deliberate action. Google will always be in the need to justify themselves when they pull a companys plug like this.
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The HTML description is very similar. A third dose of this garbage is hidden in small print, dark grey type against a slightly darker grey, at bottom of some pages.
Should this be reported to Google?
Can't the Goog easily and automatically find it for themselves?
Its been this way for years. I'm leery of reporting this personally, for fear that might backfire somehow.
Any suggestions appreciated. -LH