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The way I see things now: Six months ago I got "caught" linking in a legitimate business fashion- I have 8 domains, most of them high-content multipage sites- but also one "blue-widget" site the main page to which I linked from most all the pages of my other domains. The main reason for these links was that I WANTED TO SELL BLUE WIDGETS to those visitors! Why Google could not just stop counting links (from a particular domain greater than one or ten or whatever number Google might select) is beyond me. Instead, Google seems to have opted for being the judge jury and executioner and given my "blue-widget" site a permanent ban.
Why is the ban for linking patterns I might have had six months ago permanent? Such permanency feels arbitrary and capricious given that other bans have been only temporary. Yes, I know that Google needs to protect their results; but when Google installs filters that effectively (and permanently) kick sites out of the database for reasons such as the above, Google would seem to create a reservoir of ill will that no company can long afford. And it is so unnecessary when a temporary ban would likely serve as well.
The amount of "ill will" Google creates with penalized webmasters is far outweighed by the goodwill it creates with searchers. That goodwill is Google's greatest asset: goodwill is marketable to advertisers and other companies (like Yahoo). If Google's users are happy without seeing your site, it doesn't matter how upset you are.
Beyond that: It's Google's database. They can be capricious as they want with who gets included.
The amount of "ill will" Google creates with penalized webmasters is far outweighed by the goodwill it creates with searchers.Exactly. Unless your site is extraordinarily in demand or incredibly unique, it's not all that important to Google. And any ill will is only among the very small minority of site operators who get directly penalized; those who do not may feel some sympathy but just the same are happy to see you gone, and their own sites moved up one spot in the SERPs as a result!
Anyhow: here's a new statistic [net4nowt.com], based on results from OneStat.com.
7 largest search engines on the web are:
1. Google (51.07%)
2. Yahoo (19.88%)
3. MSN Search (8.43%)
4. Terra Lycos (4.34%)
5. Altavista (3.81%)
6. Ixquick (2.34%)
7. AOL Search (2.18%)
added: anybody know the original quote from Churchill?
added: anybody know the original quote from Churchill?
The only reference to Churchill and statistics that I found was:
I gather, young man, that you wish to be a Member of Parliament. The first lesson that you must learn is, when I call for statistics about the rate of infant mortality, what I want is proof that fewer babies died when I was Prime Minister than when anyone else was Prime Minister. That is a political statistic.
Not sure that's what you're thinking of, but it fits the concept.
This month I've been pro-active. I've waited 6 months for my sites to re-appear and you know, some have come back with 2-4 pagerank on the index but 0 on the interior pages. But there are some that won't budge off that damn 0!
How can I blame Google when it was my fault when I did the crosslinking back in Dec/Jan? I have no ill-will towards them. I love them. They are cool and groovy, and they know it.
But plan B is now in operation: Ask Mr Googlebot to not visit my 0 rank sites and hopefully I will be removed from the index.... then the following month when I'm deleted I will remove the bugger-off robots.txt file get myself crawled fresh..... and yep, be back big and proud in Google at around... Christmas time.. Doh!
Of course they are, the real question is will it hurt them?
If you want my personal opinion then yes it will. One of the most destructive forces on the www is an SEO savvy webmaster with nothing to lose, how can they be hurt? Once you are effectively banned then the gloves are off, fight as dirty as you like when already banned because the_worst_that_can_happen is you get banned again, nothing to lose.
I think they are overly concerned about how sites get ranking as opposed to search quality, it's a sutble difference but important all the same.
Have a quick look at the [brief] history of SE/Webmaster relations and see who wins out. Remember AV's black Monday of 99 [AV who?], Inks summer 2000 fit [Ink who?]. If you look back the most sucessful search engines have been the ones that SEO's have targeted most or to put it another way SEO's improve the SERP's[;)]. I think it's about time some of them said thank you.
>gets THOUSANDS of these e-mails on a daily basis and you really cannot blame them if they don't have the time to answer everyones
Real simple, if you aren't prepared to answer your email then don't publish the addresses.
The webmaster/seo might be a tiny part of the google audience, but its savvyness and leadership far outweighs its tiny size.
let me give u an e.g.
at my university, this year, the computer department decided to install the google toolbar as a default set up. they did it, because they knew google was cool, and they found this out from the webmaster/seo "net savy" world.
now everyone at university uses google because its there. everyone says "oh, did u try a search on google for that?".
BUT i can guarantee you that these 1000's of people are doing this because the google toolbar is there as default. If the computer department got wind that google was no longer promoted so much by the net savy people, they would change it.
Now this could take a year, granted, but the point is this: if the computer department decided to put an msn default search on instead of google toolbar, all the 1000s of people would start using that, and within a couple of months, they would be saying "oh, did u try an MSN search for that?".
MOST people's loyalty to one search engine is absolutely fleeting. Our's isn't - we know the specifics. Where we lead, most people, through these kind of processes i described above, will eventually follow.
And i think with the pr0 penalty and the incredibly short sighted and useless PENALISING LINKS strategy (instead of just ignoring), google might have damaged, to some extent, their "net savy" status for the future.
On one side of the argument, you can say: "Well, Google doesn't owe you traffic"
On another side, the one I stick with, is that Google took traffic from other search engines which not have a PR0 penalty for what I see as valid cross-linking.
Yes, I'm bitter about Google's PR0 penalities and the seemingly impossible task of having those penalities removed.
Quite frankly, I find it somewhat offensive that Google occasionally shows up here and provides direct assistance to a couple of our members, while they have thousands of emails sitting in their inbox that have been completely ignored.
And I fully support that mission. However, when the informal communication comes at the expense of the formal communication, I think it becomes a problem.
Through the course of this thread, thayer had his site looked at, and was then told that the site in question had been penalized because of an association with Zeus.
I know dozens of people who have followed Google's formal instructions for inquiring about a possible penalty who have been patiently waiting for even the inital canned response for months. How is it fair or appropriate for that to happen?
And from a Mod's point of view, where do I draw the line when dealing with all the "Googleguy, please look at my site too" posts that start popping up after you've given a specific answer to an individual member's problem in a public thread?
There have been many "webmaster concerns" mentioned in this thread that provide Google the opportunity to fulfill the mission you stated above. But providing answers on an indiviual basis doesn't get the job done.
How about providing some answers to the broader questions?
How long should one expect to ride the pine if they have been penalized for bad linking?
Why is it that the same cross-linking penalties never seemed to be applied to the big network of sites like internet.com?
Why doesn't Google just ignore intenral/cross links?
What does Google have planned for the future in terms of improving their response times to email?
It's too bad, because the effect on the individual site owner can be serious indeed. It's not dissimilar to the plight of a store owner in the path of a road expansion - everyone is happy about the nice new road, except the guy whose building gets demolished. At least in that case, though, there are legal provisions to balance the scales a little bit.
I can't support the 50% figure for replies to inquiries about sites. Or, maybe my inquiries are just in the wrong 50%. I've had only autoresponses and one very generic reply that said something like "site rankings depend on lots of factors".
It really shouldn't be necessary to abandon a domain, or to set up an alternate Google domain. Does Google really want Acme Widgets to abandon acmewidgets.com or to keep the old domain for everyone else and set up acmewidgetsinc.com to have an Google-unpenalized domain? There's enough junk and duplication on the web already...
1) How long do penalties last, in particular the PR0 that morphs into a low PR situation that might as well be PR0?
2) What is a reasonable timeframe to expect an answer about an individual site? These inquiries, I'm sure, mostly come from legitimate site owners who don't want to abandon their sites - spammers cut their losses and move on. I understand that the volume of questions must be overwhelming, but it seems that when mysterious (to the site owner) penalties get applied there is some responsibility to help site owners sort things out.
Well said, WG.