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Matt Cutts "In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. While we can't divulge specific signals because we don't want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics."
Sites affected by this change might not be easily recognizable as spamming without deep analysis or expertise, but the common thread is that these sites are doing much more than white hat SEO; we believe they are engaging in webspam tactics to manipulate search engine rankings.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 4:31 pm (utc) on Apr 25, 2012]
[edit reason] added quotes - updated link [/edit]
using the names of the products I'm selling on the page,
On the other hand, there is no other advertising model in the world that gives it away for free. This is just google going traditional - we will now just simply pay for visibility.
There is no logic in Google killing so many white hat small business sites.
The whole poor quality SERP drives people to click the ads and for me to buy them.
I don't think this problem with Google search is related to penguin though. Google appears to have really started ignoring words in queries around August.
[edited by: tedster at 1:57 am (utc) on May 10, 2012]