Niche marketers in trouble? Google update to target over-SEOed sites!

51 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Google's head of spam fighting, Matt Cutts, has announced Google action against over-optimized web sites.

What about the people optimizing really hard and doing a lot of SEO.

We don't normally pre-announce changes but there is something we are working in the last few months and hope to release it in the next months or few weeks.

We are trying to level the playing field a bit. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO - versus those making great content and great site.

We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect.
I found it on Google plus:
https://plus.google.com/115106448444...ts/9yqXd5bFbbx

The original source is here:
Matt Cutts: Google Update To Target Overly SEO'ed Web Sites In Upcoming Weeks

That could spell 'TROUBLE' for all niche businesses who rely on aggressivly optimized sites.

We don't know of course, what exactly Google has in the making, but I tend do believe they are not stupid, and whatever it is, it could shuffle the search results quite a bit.
#google #marketers #niche #overseoed #sites #target #trouble #update
  • Profile picture of the author Arowana
    I am sure we can all figure out how to redo your Onpage SEO fairly easy but I think this update is targeting low quality backlinks such as too many unrelated blog comments, profile/signature links and social bookmarks etc. We all know backlinks from related authoritative websites are the best but up until now, any backlinks even from foreign countries worked. This update will be nightmare for all SEO companies and websites relaying only on SEO companies to do their SEO.
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  • Profile picture of the author NicheDad
    Originally Posted by illinimatt81 View Post

    I welcome it! All authority sites that are creating, unique, fresh, epic content will be rewarded. Thin squeeze page type sites will be banished.

    More profits for the true businesses and less "spammy" middleman sites on the way to redirecting to Amazon or elsewhere.

    IMO, if you have a real business, Google changes will further bolster your profits.
    Agree. If your site adds value, i.e. truly looks at the keywords you're targeting and tries to give the user what they are looking for, you have nothing to worry about.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ralf Skirr
      Originally Posted by profitmotive View Post

      Agree. If your site adds value, i.e. truly looks at the keywords you're targeting and tries to give the user what they are looking for, you have nothing to worry about.
      What about sites that add value, and -in additon to that- have actively SEOed?

      They might get screwed big time, without deserving it.

      I heard Panda hit a few good ones, too.
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      • Profile picture of the author MagicWhisper
        Originally Posted by Ralf Skirr View Post

        What about sites that add value, and -in additon to that- have actively SEOed?

        They might get screwed big time, without deserving it.

        I heard Panda hit a few good ones, too.
        I guess it's more blissful to be in denial.
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      • Profile picture of the author cashcow
        Originally Posted by Ralf Skirr View Post

        What about sites that add value, and -in additon to that- have actively SEOed?

        They might get screwed big time, without deserving it.

        I heard Panda hit a few good ones, too.
        Some good sites always get unjustly penalized with these updates, its all part of depending on Google for traffic. You can do everything by the book and still get whacked.
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  • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
    There's a big difference between GOOD ON-PAGE SEO and excessive on-page SEO.

    We'll be fine.
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    • Profile picture of the author onSubie
      Originally Posted by JSProjects View Post

      There's a big difference between GOOD ON-PAGE SEO and excessive on-page SEO.

      We'll be fine.
      I agree. After reading the information at the links, I don't see anything new that Google hasn't proclaimed before. Maybe this time they will make some changes.

      Google has mentioned that they target "over optimized" sites before. But that really targets keyword stuffing and SEO tricks from the 90's. Most tools now give great information about keyword density and other on-page SEO factors.

      Backlinks seem to be the biggest factor affecting rankings that Google hits. After the Panda update many sites lost rankings because thier backlinks were mostly article directories and web 2.0 properties that got devalued.

      It wasn't that their site was specifically targeted but the links they relied on were suddenly not providing as much of an SEO boost.

      There also seems to be less emphasis put on Exact Match Domains in favour of domain age.

      All you have to do is some basic keyword research to see that Google still ranks one-page wonders, keyword stuffed and low-value auto-blogs on their first page.

      I doubt that every niche is suddenly going to be laden with content rich sites just because Google changes the algorithm. They can't rank what isn't there.

      Mahlon
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  • Whenever I read these articles I feel like an outcast on the forum, because my gut instict is always "thank God."
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    • Originally Posted by Andy Button View Post

      Whenever I read these articles I feel like an outcast on the forum, because my gut instinct is always "thank God."
      I never say "Ditto", but well...

      Ditto.

      I've had people rip off my domain, my content, my ideas and even try to mimic my writing style just to build some thin affiliate site.

      It never works -- but seeing them Google-hammered is even more satisfying.

      fLufF
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  • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
    Seems pretty stupid if you ask me.

    Google themselves created the standard for what SEO is. Now they're going to punish SEOs for understanding and capitalizing on that.

    All in the name of finding some sort of magical, perfect content that, for 99 percent of search terms, DOES NOT EVEN ****ING EXIST.

    Have fun figuring out what the perfect level of optimization is after optimization becomes over optimization, then optimizing again and hitting page one as usual. That's what I'll be doing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Arowana
      Originally Posted by Cataclysm1987 View Post

      Google themselves created the standard for what SEO is. Now they're going to punish SEOs for understanding and capitalizing on that.
      I totally agreed.

      Google provides so many SEO friendly tools like Google webmaster tool, Google Insights and Google Analytics. I feel like Google trained us to become better SEOers.
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  • Profile picture of the author KevinW
    Squeeze page type sites have plenty of value for the visitor.

    Does every website need tons of content or can they just deliver one message to the visitor?
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    • Profile picture of the author MagicWhisper
      Originally Posted by KevinW View Post

      Squeeze page type sites have plenty of value for the visitor.

      Does every website need tons of content or can they just deliver one message to the visitor?
      They do? :confused: I thought a squeeze page was nothing more than an opt-in box and bullet-pointed information on what you'll get if you opt in.

      Google loves content. The more content, the better. The quality of the content is just as important, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobuddy
    Even after Panda updates, I have no problems with my serp rankings and I won't worry for this update as well!!
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  • Profile picture of the author IMSince2003
    I focus on building websites with value and avoid those excessive techniques like 20 articles with this format:

    Main keyword phrase: "red microwave ovens"

    Article Titles:
    Red Microwave Ovens - What to know when buying red microwave ovens
    Red Microwave Ovens Online
    Red Microwave Ovens Cheap
    Red Microwave Ovens On Sale
    Red Microwave Ovens At Walmart
    Red Microwave Ovens Reviews
    ...

    I think we all know who's putting themselves in Google's cross-hairs. Also, an important lesson is to have a newsletter and to build a list with your sites. After all, if you build a list over time, your site can still be profitable and weather a rankings decrease. Many very smart people seem to ignore this bit of advice even though it's been mentioned many times before.
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  • Profile picture of the author WarriorDiscount
    if we are seeing from the google and visitor point of view than full content is better than squeezepage
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    As usual, this is something that will affect only the worst offenders, in my opinion. Google's looking to take down the really bad apples. It does not serve their purposes to cast really wide nets that might snare too many good sites. They live and die by the perceived quality of their search results.
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    • Profile picture of the author petelta
      Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

      As usual, this is something that will affect only the worst offenders, in my opinion. Google's looking to take down the really bad apples. It does not serve their purposes to cast really wide nets that might snare too many good sites. They live and die by the perceived quality of their search results.
      uhh, whatever John... My best friend's girlfriend's cousin told me any site that uses their keyword twice is a goner on this one! :p




      FWI for newbies, that's a joke
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      • Profile picture of the author goldog
        Is this really new? Keyword spamming has been a no no for a long time. Besides, IMO, there is no such thing as "over optimization". If optimum is best you would be hurting yourself to go beyond that. In other words, keyword spamming.
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Google themselves created the standard for what SEO is. Now they're going to punish SEOs for understanding and capitalizing on that.
          [chuckle] Rationalize much?

          Google looked at what real users do for a popular site, under normal circumstances. They built their algorithm around that. SEOers figured out what they were looking for and gave it to them in an unnatural fashion, which distorts the SERPs.

          It's been an arms race ever since.

          And you claim this is what Google asked for? Gaming the system is the fault of the developer of the system?


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  • Profile picture of the author Genycis
    I guess it varies... what is the actual "keyword optimization" density rate best at? I've seen some state (online on various sites and in some WSOs) that 1-3% is good... but others have stood strong by 2-5% keyword density rate.

    Also, would things like keyword twice in the description are things some sites recommend, and others frown upon (these are sites and posts within 2012 or at latest, late 2011).

    With back and forth information, I just try to stick to about 2% keyword density as well, as well as a Meta Title mention, description mention, a keyword mention on the H1 tag if it fits normally with what I'm writing, and the keyword at the beginning sentence and last sentence if possible... everything else is content and an occasional keyword here and there.

    Hopefully Google doesn't think I'm overdoing it either. lol. I was never an advocate of doing 5% keyword use or more especially... how normal could your content sound if you were using the same keyword in every sentence? lol! Who talks like that in real life or online? Just my thoughts.
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    • Profile picture of the author Isaiah
      Originally Posted by Genycis View Post

      I guess it varies... what is the actual "keyword optimization" density rate best at? I've seen some state (online on various sites and in some WSOs) that 1-3% is good... but others have stood strong by 2-5% keyword density rate.

      Also, would things like keyword twice in the description are things some sites recommend, and others frown upon (these are sites and posts within 2012 or at latest, late 2011).

      With back and forth information, I just try to stick to about 2% keyword density as well, as well as a Meta Title mention, description mention, a keyword mention on the H1 tag if it fits normally with what I'm writing, and the keyword at the beginning sentence and last sentence if possible... everything else is content and an occasional keyword here and there.

      Hopefully Google doesn't think I'm overdoing it either. lol. I was never an advocate of doing 5% keyword use or more especially... how normal could your content sound if you were using the same keyword in every sentence? lol! Who talks like that in real life or online? Just my thoughts.
      No one talks like that, I think it's the quality of the writer that can blend that keyword in naturally, its a real art. Id say step up your game on articles including the price you pay and charge.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tadresources
    This is why it's important to have quality content and products to back up all your hard SEO work. Personally I'm not too worried about it, SEO is a process of evolution IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author NACAdam
    Well just keep it relevant and build high quality backlinks I guess
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  • Profile picture of the author Hardik Jogi
    Who cares about that as long as you are not dependent on google as a primary source of your traffic.

    I think there is a word called "article syndication"
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  • Profile picture of the author Halcyon
    Yes, Google has the right to do whatever they want with their algorithm.

    No, I'm not going to slap'em on the back and thank them for keep the internet safe for all of us little people. Anyone remember Dr Cocteau from Demolition Man? Pretty soon Google will only allow sellers offering family friendly broccoli pops.

    Yes, I think there's crap on the net that isn't worthy to become birdcage liner.
    No. I don't think a few employees from one company should have the power to unilaterally decide what's acceptable.


    Yes, I know the adage "if you don't like the rules, don't play the game"
    No, I don't think following the rules is enough to keep you in good graces when the rules keep changing.

    Analogy:
    What if you local grocery store started refusing to service to anyone with an ugly shirt? While you may be thankful for the aesthetically pleasing shopping experience, it wouldn't be so great once your favorite college t-shirt became one of the forbidden.

    What would you do?
    Would you buy shirts pleasing to the store? Go to another store and let someone else worry about it? or Would you protest the store's unfair policy?
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    • Profile picture of the author jerry310
      Like the old saying goes..."Don"t put all your eggs in one basket" :rolleyes:
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      • No, I don't think following the rules is enough to keep you in good graces when the rules keep changing.

        The rules have never changed.

        Google has always been crystal-clear about what they want to see: great content, logically organized, a fantastic user experience.

        fLufF
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        • Profile picture of the author Halcyon
          Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

          [I]...
          Google has always been crystal-clear about what they want to see: great content, logically organized, a fantastic user experience.

          fLufF
          --
          Ahhh...but what you think is great content I may see as crap and vice versa. My point is that these decisions are made by a handful of people and a basket full of rear smoochers. Yet some are accepting their swats screaming 'thank you may I have another'.

          Personally, I would never rely on Google for traffic but I have a problem with any company trying to become the "keepers of the internet fort"
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
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    • Ahhh...but what you think is great content I may see as crap and vice versa.

      Oh, come on. Really? You know, I think you're smarter than that. I think you recognize good content even if it's content you're not interested in.

      Rand Fishkin did an experiment designed to produce "great content." He asked his followers what they hoped to find when they did a Google or Bing search on "office chairs":



      What really jumped out at me was:

      Editorial reviews of those chairs from a source I trust. Not fake reviews from someone trying to bag an affiliate commission.

      Also help on how to pick the best office chair. Ideally a fact based how-to written by an impartial source or authority.

      A good chair at a good price with free shipping. Let your readers sort selections this way as well as other ways -- sometimes free shipping really matters.

      These are examples of great user-oriented content.

      fLufF
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      • Profile picture of the author Halcyon
        Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post


        Oh, come on. Really? You know, I think you're smarter than that. I think you recognize good content even if it's content you're not interested in.
        I know what I like and what I don't like and this does not necessarily equate to good content or poor content. I like some really low brow, slap stick, poor content and I hate some high quality journalistic content. My opinion of content is irrelevant to the point was trying to make in my post.

        My only point is that we have a company now deciding what is good and what is bad for you.
        And that usually ends poorly.
        I'm not going to go all George Orwell about it but it's all fun and games until you're the one deemed inappropriate.
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        • Ah, but it's crap content written to appeal to a fictional construct.

          These are all opinions volunteered by people who were asked to fill out a simple survey about what they want to see on a site about office chairs.

          The worst thing one can say about it is that it tries to please everybody. But Fishkin wasn't saying you had to do that, only that the framework can help you create something of value to other people who are interested in the niche.

          I realize I'm arguing a losing case with the audience in this forum, which consists mostly of people who want a guaranteed maximum return for minimum input. Like the folks who pay $5 on Fiverr and expect quality writing in return, doncha know.

          fLufF
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          • Profile picture of the author Halcyon
            Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

            ...I realize I'm arguing a losing case with the audience in this forum, which consists mostly of people who want a guaranteed maximum return for minimum input. Like the folks who pay $5 on Fiverr and expect quality writing in return, doncha know.

            fLufF
            --
            I don't think it's a losing case. I certainly understand what you're saying and the appeal of getting rid of the "internet crack dealers". I think I'm a pretty good writer and I hate seeing pages of crap content but I also hate seeing obese women in spandex. But who am I to say anything?

            My problem is that Google has positioned itself as the big man on campus and then hides its totalitarianism under a facade of benevolence.
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      • Profile picture of the author Lenny Winkle
        Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

        Ahhh...but what you think is great content I may see as crap and vice versa.

        Oh, come on. Really? You know, I think you're smarter than that. I think you recognize good content even if it's content you're not interested in.

        Rand Fishkin did an experiment designed to produce "great content." He asked his followers what they hoped to find when they did a Google or Bing search on "office chairs":



        What really jumped out at me was:

        Editorial reviews of those chairs from a source I trust. Not fake reviews from someone trying to bag an affiliate commission.

        Also help on how to pick the best office chair. Ideally a fact based how-to written by an impartial source or authority.

        A good chair at a good price with free shipping. Let your readers sort selections this way as well as other ways -- sometimes free shipping really matters.

        These are examples of great user-oriented content.

        fLufF
        --
        This is an interesting example (if you look past the data about people researching chairs). That infographc/ table/ whatever, is what I'm sure many believe to be good content put out by a well respected industry leader (Fishkin).

        It contains important useful information, but it looks like crap, is hard to read and many people won't read something for those reasons. So on the one hand you can say its good content but many people would say it isn't. The same thing doesn't appeal to everyone.

        It was also mentioned above that squeeze pages are crap and not what people want, with their graphics, bullet points, buy me buy me crap. I would agree and I am put off by them. There are however MANY people who get on the internet looking to buy that special blue widget.

        Those people don't want a bunch of articles or a complex site. They want to get directly to the squeeze page find out the 10 things the blue widget does and then order it. In that case its the highest quality content on the web and a 3k word magazine article is crap.

        It's impossible for google to know who wants to read magazine articles about blue widgets and who just wants to get a blue widget asap.
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  • Profile picture of the author diger
    Google will never quit making changes or hinting enough to scare some marketers to death. The "trick" is to be in a position whereby your business future is agile enough to adjust a little and keep right on profiting. Being in just a niche or two is dangerous because something can always come along and throw your plans upsidedown. You need a profit source in your portfolio that will make you "bullet proof"!
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  • Profile picture of the author Avy Smith
    GoogleBot is becoming smarter and apparently there does not seem anything new in particular just the old thing that Google was not targeting onpage optimization previously.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      It may not have much to do with crap content - but with SEO tricks (and crappy, rewritten, keyword dumping content is part of it).

      Google once valued reciprocal links - and site owners would trade links with similar sites. It involved looking at sites, asking permission, interacting with other site owners. It worked very well - so the trick became to join a program where everyone traded links for any old site they had. Google devalued the process.

      Google then decided one way links were more valuable and people worked to build sites others would link to because of interest or content. Now we have Fiverr people doing thousands of one-way links for $5. The links are spam blog comments, useless forum profiles and general crap.....and they call it "SEO"???.

      When good ideas work they eventually become worthless due to people finding ways to game that system. Human nature.

      Google responds by changing the system. That's business.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    What's the fuss and worry about backlinks?

    ON PAGE issues such as over use of keywords, or link exchanges, are entirely WITHIN YOUR CONTROL.

    But so many are worried about backlinks and if they will get penalized for profile links, low quality links, repeated use of keywords in backlinks, etc.

    If Google penalized you for that it will be OPEN SEASON on every website since the goal would be to take down your competitors by flooding them crap backlinks, porn backlinks, and so on.

    With the rapid and significant changes this past year, do you get the feeling that Google really doesn't know what it is doing?

    .
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    • Profile picture of the author ibmethatswhoib
      No I don't think they know what they're doing. It's easier than ever now to hurt someones rankings by negative SEO. Look it up it's happening more and more.

      Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

      What's the fuss and worry about backlinks?

      ON PAGE issues such as over use of keywords, or link exchanges, are entirely WITHIN YOUR CONTROL.

      But so many are worried about backlinks and if they will get penalized for profile links, low quality links, repeated use of keywords in backlinks, etc.

      If Google penalized you for that it will be OPEN SEASON on every website since the goal would be to take down your competitors by flooding them crap backlinks, porn backlinks, and so on.

      With the rapid and significant changes this past year, do you get the feeling that Google really doesn't know what it is doing?

      .
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      Leave Google! Pass it on!

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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      With the rapid and significant changes this past year, do you get the feeling that Google really doesn't know what it is doing?
      I've wondered if people at google know exactly where they want to go....or if they are trying to get "there" without the rest of us catching on to the true destination.

      Google doesn't have to penalize backlinks - they can simply devalue them in the SEO process. They've done similar things before.
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    • Profile picture of the author ScrooG
      Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

      What's the fuss and worry about backlinks?

      ON PAGE issues such as over use of keywords, or link exchanges, are entirely WITHIN YOUR CONTROL.

      But so many are worried about backlinks and if they will get penalized for profile links, low quality links, repeated use of keywords in backlinks, etc.

      If Google penalized you for that it will be OPEN SEASON on every website since the goal would be to take down your competitors by flooding them crap backlinks, porn backlinks, and so on.

      With the rapid and significant changes this past year, do you get the feeling that Google really doesn't know what it is doing?

      .
      Wake up and smell the coffee!
      Google IS penalizing people for backlinks.
      People's GOOD sites with great content have been banished to the back pages with the Penguin update of 4-24-12.

      You CAN take people's sites down, now, with negative SEO. Just fire tens of thousands of links at your competitors' sites and find out ... I do not advocate this but if you really want to know look it up on BING right now and read about how it is happening. There is now a new business on Fiverr to do just that.

      I can't figure out if Google is STUPID or CRAZY. But they've definitely screwed up their search results in a bad way for everyone including themselves and they are being sued by businesses who say they're violating FTC policy by artificially messing with the algorithms and skewing search results.

      Personally I'd love to see Google go down in flames, just like my sites did thanks to their bloody Penguin.
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      • Profile picture of the author alamest
        Originally Posted by ScrooG View Post

        Wake up and smell the coffee!
        Google IS penalizing people for backlinks.
        People's GOOD sites with great content have been banished to the back pages with the Penguin update of 4-24-12.

        You CAN take people's sites down, now, with negative SEO. Just fire tens of thousands of links at your competitors' sites and find out ... I do not advocate this but if you really want to know look it up on BING right now and read about how it is happening. There is now a new business on Fiverr to do just that.

        I can't figure out if Google is STUPID or CRAZY. But they've definitely screwed up their search results in a bad way for everyone including themselves and they are being sued by businesses who say they're violating FTC policy by artificially messing with the algorithms and skewing search results.

        Personally I'd love to see Google go down in flames, just like my sites did thanks to their bloody Penguin.
        I do like to see Google go down in flames, working so hard for building quality content and now vanished my ranking, taken out some of my URL indexed and showing crap sites on the top for certain keyword..

        Google they have started there own affiliate program and I think they giving more ranking for those people who are using their own affiliate program..

        They think that they are controlling the whole website in their hand.. I don't know what will be the next update with Google.. I think they don't even know what they are doing..
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        • Profile picture of the author VHSEOMike
          I guess G also has realized that they have ended up killing good sites and are doing something to change this now. Some of our sites have started finding their way back to the front page. But again, there is no clear pattern yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Viramara
    back in 2004, as a student, it's freaking frustrating to find relevant articles from Google I need -- searching A but got B. After Panda, it's much easier. The crap sites are still ranked high, but they're much more decreased. Plus, Panda get rid of my competitors. But Penguin is a folly. They better get back to Panda.

    You CAN take people's sites down, now, with negative SEO. Just fire tens of thousands of links at your competitors' sites and find out ...
    Really? How do you know it? Care to elaborate?
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    Those who have time and search for a better time will lose time (Sufi Proverb)
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