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Was SEO Inc. banned from Google?

We can not find the top ranking SEO company in Google?

     
6:23 pm on May 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Don't know if anyone has heard, but one of the opt ranking SEO companies, SEO Inc. has recently been banned from the Google search engine? It does still remain, however, on Yahoo and MSN, etc..

Can anyone speculate as to why an SEO company was banned from Google?

7:17 pm on May 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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> PR0 Is not a bug - GoogleGuy

[webmasterworld.com...]

> banned

This is kinda moldy news..

Google has 2 red herring NO NO's in the seo world:

1- Claiming you can get client rankings and specifically mentioning Google (eg: if you claim you can manipulate search results on Google - you are toast!).
2- Magically getting 10's of thousands of backlinks in a few months.

Which one did the Inc boys break? Who knows... Pick a card...any card.

I do know that if you break rule 1, it is not a time frame ban, but a manual "beg and plea from your knees to get back in" ban. It is the one golden rule of google and seo firms.

SI made up for it, by bringing the booth babes to AdTech last week ;-)

Any seo firm worth it's salt, won't put all it's eggs in one basket. I'm pretty sure the seoInc boys will survive and be back. On the other hand, they broke the pro seo'ers survival guide rule #1: stay off the radar!

I sure look forward to seeing them at the next show too ;-)

7:48 pm on May 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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They also employed a company in India to send out spam email saying that some worthless links directory would link to them if they linked to the SEO Inc website. Now that is sleazy.
7:59 pm on May 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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That's kinda harsh g1smd. There are a kajillion sites doing said same now. It seems I run into someone employing a team of russian programmers or a whole office full indians to surf and do something...
8:03 pm on May 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It wasn't a reciprocal link, it was a three way link, where you get an incoming junk link, while they get to accumulate a massive amount of inbounds targeted at one page. The sheer number and irrelevancy factor of those must have triggered the alarms.
8:18 pm on May 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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...but linking irregularities are handled by the algo. This looks like a manual job.
8:21 pm on May 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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At AD:TECH in SF last week I was wondering how the big player SEO companies seem to successfully stay in Google's good graces and whether I should assume they can do better than our own "home grown" SEO approaches based simply on G's webmaster guidelines - this deletion indicates SEOinc has failed at the most basic SEO essential - a Google listing.
8:39 pm on May 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't think it would matter one way or the other if they are banned from Google...

Their business model is extremely well developed and they have very aggressive sales people and many business building channels active or in the works...

They have built out an excellent internal system for doing all the SEO stuff...

They simply violated Google's terms and Google finally caught up with them...possibly devalued their link structure...
Google shows 33,000 inbounds
Yahoo shows 12,000,000 inbounds...this means that the links themselves will drive huge volumes of leads their way....

I don't think it will affect their ability to generate business...they just won't be able to show their own sites listings in Google any more...they can simply show the "excellent" listings of one or more of their clients sites...

8:56 pm on May 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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> most basic SEO essential - a Google listing.

No I don't think they failed at a listing - they were quite good at that. They were listed fine for a couple years. What they failed at, was something more difficult to succeed at - a business relationship with Google that could weather some storms. There is a major difference between the following:

a) make money off Google by getting rankings.
b) make money off Google listings by getting clients well ranked.
c) make money WITH Google by getting clients well indexed.

If you are going to be a big seo player, you have to come into compliance with the se's guidelines and live and breathe C above.

9:04 pm on May 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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they still a PR and have pages on the database. What does it mean?
11:55 pm on May 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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> what does that mean

It means the story was talked about a month ago and the case has changed considerably since then.

12:03 am on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I guess I'm missing something :). Was it explained here a month ago, google decided to ban them a month ago...?

"It means the story was talked about a month ago... "

12:10 am on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It means they have a few pages back in the index, but they still aren't back wehre they were - we think they are playing in the adreaded sandboxed. They used to be #1 under all the top seo terms.
1:26 am on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I doubt they will get any traffic from their links unless there are a lot of purchasers of SEO hanging around on the <snip> or <snip>. Google opened the door to link spamming with their link based algo SEO Inc took advantage went too far and got canned. I was very surprised they canned such a high profile Company but I guess it pulls the other SEO's going down the "rank with links" route into line. Its good news for good organic SEO since that ultimately leads to a much better site for visitors and a side effect is the SE's like the site too. It just takes longer.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 11:50 am (utc) on May 3, 2005]
[edit reason] no specific sites please [/edit]

6:52 am on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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They also employed a company in India to send out spam email saying that some worthless links directory would link to them if they linked to the SEO Inc website.

Beg to differ. They had few US based wannabie SEOs who employed south asians for a pittance to do the solicitation (3-way as you said). Side with the big guy was the motive for those SEOs.

7:42 am on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"Side with the big guy was the motive for those
SEOs."

I wonder if they still do :).

what do you guys think, was this manual, algo because of so many inbound links or just a minor G burp and they'll be back in a week?

If it was a penalty: In their case they can never remove all the inbound links, but if they could, would they be back?

8:50 am on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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..In their case they can never remove all the inbound links...

sounds like a business oportunity nowadays ;)

Widget Company Inc. 'de-optimizing search engine spamming'

remove links, modify code & move forward...

4:45 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Tough break for sure, but kind of ironic.
5:34 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I am still seeing PR7 here! seo inc does a <snip>. Most their link buys are run-of-site ads. My guess is that Google found out about this, either their algo detected it or someone reported them or maybe even someone at Google is checking this sort of stuff manually.

But I also noticed couple of other SEO companies dropped from Top 10 at the same time, that were doing a lot of link buys. One of them has a side business of selling Text Link Ads, that many here might know. He used to be Top 10 and now he is Top 30.

My guess is that Google is detecting certain link buys or giving less credit to unrelated links than before.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 6:52 pm (utc) on May 3, 2005]
[edit reason] no specifics please [/edit]

5:45 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If you are going to be a big seo player, you have to come into compliance with the se's guidelines

You're not really "optimizing" the site to do well in the SE's if you do that. You're "optimizing" the site so it will rank exactly where it "should rank" according to the SE... and if that's all you're doing, I can't see you charging any real money!

A search engine guideline promoter does not an SEO make.

6:39 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I bet the drop in traffic must have been shocking, it is amazing the amount of traffic google can send and end.
6:45 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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They also employed a company in India to send out spam email saying that some worthless links directory would link to them if they linked to the SEO Inc website. Now that is sleazy.

Well, actually there was a long running flame by Gary the CEO about someone doing that in an attempt to $#@% damage their rep and possibly their rankings. Their claim is that they had absolutely no part in that. You can check their blog...

6:55 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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> A search engine guideline promoter does
> not an SEO make.

Absolutly it does. Half of the web designers in the world don't know what the se guidelines ever are or how to even get indexed. And these are the people selling sites left and right to newbies. There are a bazillion things you can do within the guidelines. We all know todays game is a links and qualty links gathering is all within the guidelines as I read them.

6:55 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If you are going to be a big seo player, you have to come into compliance with the se's guidelines

You're not really "optimizing" the site to do well in the SE's if you do that. You're "optimizing" the site so it will rank exactly where it "should rank" according to the SE... and if that's all you're doing, I can't see you charging any real money!

A search engine guideline promoter does not an SEO make.

I think you missed the end of his quote.

IMO they were trying too hard for someone already in the lead. A company with their stature could have supported a much more intelligent text link advertising strategy, as well as a much better natural link development strategy. Instead of spending XXX a pop monthly times who knows how many for some irrelevant PR7's and 8's they could have developed killer tools, resources or something of the like.

Anywho, old news as Brett said.

7:25 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I am still seeing PR7

I guess it's up to delayed toolbar PR update - the actual PR may be already 0, while toolbar keeps showing 7. Am I right?

If you are going to be a big seo player, you have to come into compliance with the se's guidelines

Breaking the guidelines means sooner or later the site shall be banned. Until it's not so much important, it can survive unnoticed, but algo keep going smarter and also someone can finally notice the site breaks the rules.

At the same time, there are ways to make good ranking within the guidelines, and they are the only solution for long-term web projects.

And considering how much importance Google gives to the age of your site (sandbox, if exists, and many more sophisticated possibilities described in the patent we discussed a month ago), using throw-away domains means losing most of site's potential, not mentioning the ethical aspect.

7:33 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My conern is this: If a top ranking SEO company is able to get banned from Google, how will their clients, past and present, feel? If SEO Inc. was using 'blak hat' SEO techniques to optimize their own website, it is more than likely that they were utilizing the same methods for their clients. So what is to say that their clients won't follow suit?
7:34 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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<<There are a bazillion things you can do within the guidelines>>

...but it really only takes 26. ;)

7:40 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I really wouldn't go so far as to call their methods black-hat. It's insulting to the real black hats ;-)

The bottom line is that whatever methods an SEO company uses... as long as they clearly explain the potential consequences and have proper agreements in place, they're doing what the client wants and that's what they're getting paid for.

I'd also say to those thinking this won't affect their bottom line, to think again. I would imagine one of the sourest notes from losing their positioning is the opportunity cost of losing all those press calls/interviews and speaking engagements that were resultant.

6:44 am on May 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If SEO Inc. was using 'blak hat' SEO techniques to optimize their own website, it is more than likely that they were utilizing the same methods for their clients.

Not necessarily, but definitely a possibility. Plans for their site was held hostage by "be my friend" wannabie SEOs who stretched the limits too far in their quest to achieve 3-way links, often diluting the theme and doing all that is required to come under G's radar.

7:09 am on May 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The guidelines, if you start to seriously think about them, are vague. The furthest Google goes to giving any proactive advice is to create content and to make it spiderable. What many consider white hat isn't even mentioned as being approved.

>>>If SEO Inc. was using 'blak hat' SEO techniques to optimize their own website

Hey, he who has not sinned and lives in glass houses and eats tofu etc... The moment you do anything from collecting links to putting a bold tag around your pet keyword you're blacker than coal.

I think the real news is that anyone would WANT to rank for seo terms in the first place.

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