Is Google using their algo changes to create anti-competitive trading conditions? In the recent post here about the exact match domain algo update, there were comments like:
Google's intent is to control the travel industry. They have been making moves towards this for some time.
It would be interesting to see how many affected EMD are travel related, I have others in diferent sectors not affected.
All my four affected are in the travel niche.
In my case a travel related affiliate EMD was killed off while a companion destination guide EMD was not effected. We can only believe what our eyes tell us and based on personal experiences plus comments like the ones above there seems to be an obvious attack on EMD affiliate travel sites. There may well be other niches involved, but the common denominator seems to be affiliate sites.
I've always understood an affiliate partnership to involve a merchant agreeing to sell their products through a third party website(s) in return for a percentage of the transaction or some other agreed method of remuneration. It is purely a commercial arrangement between those two parties.
For Google to step in and penalize websites that it deems to be in an affiliate partnership seems to be a wilfull interference in commercial relationships that are none of its business. In short Google seems to be using its influence to effectively drive traffic from affiliate sites .... under the pretext that if they use an EMD, then they must be low quality.
Today it's travel... what other affiliate niches are being cleaned out as Google seeks more ways of driving business through its own properties?