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This must have been discussed before but I guess I just missed it. I guess this is the beginning of the end to free rank checking tools on the web.
This must have been discussed before but I guess I just missed it.
Most recently it was discussed in this thread [webmasterworld.com]; WPG comes into the discussion at message 20 and it's worth reading through to the end from there if you're interested in the issue.
Fact: Automated "ranking checking" programs clearly violate Google's terms of service. If you use such programs, you may have your access to Google terminated, your site removed from our index, or worse.
Egads! what could be WORSE than being removed from the Google index! :)
Google doesn't like any automated form of rank checker. People who use these tools put their domains and IP addresses at risk. Many people think that Google can't detect queries from the top rank checker programs. They're welcome to believe that.
Googleguy, your statement really doesn't add factual insight to this growing problem and Google's Information for Webmasters doesn't clearly state factual information either.
A violation of "terms of service" or not you are inviting misuse.
Your statement "If you use such programs, you may have your access to Google terminated, your site removed from our index, or worse."...
This can be saying... that all someone needs to do is automatically check their competitors pages in google, daily and google will remove the competitor's web sites?
This can be saying... that an outsource company which uses these tools to show client results (without the client knowing the potential results of such use) can get their client's site(s) penalized, while at the same time the outsource company's own site is perfectly safe.
The fact that the manufacturers of these devices are spending marketing resources and clearly abusing Google's rights, but also enticing people to buy anyway. These manufacturers are inviting consumers to unknowingly violate Google's "terms of service" by using these products yet google doesn't penalize these same companies, seems kind of backwards.
I can see banning the access IP for which the offending auto processor is on, but exactly how can a site get banned since the web site generally is not directly associated with the accessed IP.
Why are all of these offending products found in google anyway, as they are clearly the problem. Remove these from your archive and most web users will never ever hear about them.
This is very misleading... allowing a product that will clearly get you banned if you use but it's perfectly exceptable to google to openingly allow these product owners in google results, just so more people can get banned.
Doesn't this make Google part of it's own problem. Quite unfair, IMHO.
Just another deep thought from Fathom,
Here's an earthshaking idea - if Google can "detect" the rank checkers, then when one is used ====>>> IGNORE IT! Bring back a message that simply says "Sorry, Google does not support the use of rank checking tools". No one is "banned", "punished", or "terminated". And soon, guess what - people stop using them and life goes on....
what could be WORSE than being removed from the Google index!
Answer: having a penalty applied that lowers, but doesn't zero, the PR. At least if you are out of the index, you won't have low level Google techs telling you there's no penalty.
Google would never ban the site being checked
Actually, that has happened to at least one WebmasterWorld member. Plus, GG has said it can be done, but that they take precautions to avoid sabotage. My guess is that the domain banning occurs only when a preponderance of evidence points at a particular domain, e.g., presence of WPG tracking code or WPG doorways, etc., or the same IP address for the domain and checking inquiries.
How is Google going to associate a 'rank checker' coming from IP #######312 or a dial up, with a site hosted on ######456?
OOPs just read that whole thread, interesting, missed it before, still seems a bit hit and miss, if you are selling WPG, and you have tracking code on your site, and you offer free reports then it must be you running the reports on your site?
WPG references reasons for unindexed, removed or not listed, but of course no mention of their software use.
reference to sites being unindexed in google [marketposition.com]
In addition, WPG uses google's own references and omissions to solidify the need for customers to purchase WPG products.
Google Webmaster page 2 [google.com]
In this "specifically chosen" context Google's lack of comment (on this page) allows WPG to mislead potential purchasers of Google's acceptence of WPG products.
I don't think it's analogous. It's not a morality thing, but rather more in the nature of self-defense.... These automated position checkers, so I understand, can put a heavy load on a search engine's servers. This is closer to spam email or spam faxes, where the receiver ends up paying.
WPG-generated doorway pages so overwhelmed AV a few years back that they banned a huge number of sites... a warning shot to eliminate such pages. At that point, over 99% of what the engines were getting via "add url" was machine-generated spam.
I'm very sympathetic to Google's point of view on this one.
My problem with all this "punishment" stuff is that it can be devastating to innocent people. We are talking in many cases about livelihoods here. The webmasters who frequent this forum are very knowledgeable about the minutia of search engine behavior - most people are not so well informed.
To have your site suddenly "banned" because you come across a feature or a freeware program at a webmaster tool site and use it periodically to see how you're doing is, to me, analogous to pulling someone's driver's license because they take too much free coffee at the rest stop. If you don't want them to have more than 2 cups, then don't give them more than 2. If Google doesn't want to have people use automated checkers, then deny these tools access to the database (again, assuming that they can detect them, as GG said).
But certainly don't suddenly "terminate" the inclusion of people's sites in the world's biggest and most important search engine just because they used a legal and widely available piece of software. I am sensitive to the need to keep the load on the servers at a manageable level, but surely there are less drastic methods available to accomplish this.
My comment was intended to be about use of search engine resources, not about doorway pages per se.
>>My problem with all this "punishment" stuff is that it can be devastating to innocent people.<<
I agree with you. This is a valid concern, and I know that I've had some worries about legitimately cross-linked sites, for example, and PR0 on Google.
With the automated rank checking, I don't think that Google can identify the domain you're checking... at least, if I were building rank checking software, that information wouldn't go to Google. As I understand it, Google bans access from IP addresses that really abuse their system. You're suggesting they do this in real time. I don't know whether it's something they can see in real time, or whether it's something that's cumulative.
I doubt that somebody who casually runs WPG to check their ranking gets banned. I suspect it's got to be a lot of searches from the same IP number.
But yes, it would be nice if Google fired some warning shots before sinking the ship.
Or, it was featured on a popular Internet property relative to the SEO/SEM industry. It may be time to stop advertising those tools that put the average person at risk because they are not keeping up with the minutia of search engine behavior. Reno, gotta love that phrase!
People, educate yourself on how to make your site rank high, do your best. Then let the forces of filters and algorithims shake out the spammers as your site rises then drops from the top ten or twenty.
YES, your site will rise and drop. Get over it. The spammers come and go. Well built web sites endure.
Don't have a hissy fit because someone's above you and you rank 11 or 15. Most of those sites are junk anyway and surfers are resilient, they will find you. I know because my customers keep telling me how they saw so many sites that were junk until they found mine (Subtext to SE rank worriers: Build a better site that people will like!)
Those business owners I've come across that use WPG had TRASHY web sites and believed in "Alexa rankings" and other superstitious notions about SE positioning to begin with.
I would NEVER consider using WPG because it doesn't help. It's like obsessively checking the mirror to see if your hair is in place. If you look good, you gauge it by how many suitors are coming to you. NOT BY CHECKING THE MIRROR.
I repeat: CHECKING THE MIRROR DOESN'T MAKING YOU MORE ATTRACTIVE.
AND TO GOOGLEGUY I SAY THIS: I WOULD HATE TO HAVE A COMPETITOR STING ME BY WPG-ING GOOGLE WITH MY SITE.