Ok things are starting to look ugly. Google just rolled out another update today and many business owners lost their livelihoods literally within hours.
I am taking these recent changes very seriously. It definitely is going to affect my future marketing plans of my sites.
Matt Cutts announced the new update on Google Webmaster Central blog and then later tweeted it too. He also tweeted a very interesting video which I am going to get to in a minute.
First of all, let’s talk about the new update and how it’s affecting people in a major way.
In my honest opinion, Google is making their search results look worse and worse by the day. Sites that actually provided good user experience and value got hit hard while sites with poor quality content from the 90s are starting to show up at the top. Of course not in all verticals but in some.
It seems like the Googlebot is basically penalizing sites that have any kind of links that look unnatural (every time I think about the word “unnatural” I want to throw up).
Matt Cutts says:
We want people doing white hat search engine optimization (or even no search engine optimization at all) to be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling web sites. As always, we’ll keep our ears open for feedback on ways to iterate and improve our ranking algorithms toward that goal.
But then he shows examples of links that can trigger a penalty which only fuels the negative seo even more.
Now you know what kind of links you need to build in order to get your competitors penalized by Google. What a joke!
After the new update was rolled out many webmasters reported sudden drop in rankings. Some quality content sites and even “mom and pop” type eCommerce stores got nuked.
I took a screenshot of the Google Webmaster Forum after the panic broke out.
People are talking about it all over. Just visit some popular forums like Warrior Forum or Traffic Planet.
I seriously don’t know what to think about all of this. How can they do that and just act like nothing happened?
What’s worse they treat webmasters like shit over at the Google Webmaster Forum.
Instead of giving the attorney some advice on what could have caused his site to drop or what he can do to fix it, StevieD_Web just assumes the person is guilty without any proof whatsoever.
But it gets worse…
People actually depend on their sites. Their families depend on the income it generates in many cases. For Google it’s ok though. Who cares that someone won’t be able to provide for their family now right?
Not good at all.
In some extreme cases it might even lead up to this:
All this stuff is alarming and should be looked into by authorities to be honest. I never in a million years would have thought that I would be all for the government to take action against Google.
What’s also surprising is that not a single news network picked this up yet…or maybe Google is preventing that from happening?
Anyway, Matt Cutts also talks about keyword stuffing. He shows a blatant example of this abuse but hints that other sites will be affected as well.
For example, I think Google thinks my site does keyword stuffing because of the “make money” keywords. But in my opinion my blog is structured for the user not for the Googlebot, so I probably won’t be making any changes soon.
I will just concentrate on marketing my blog the way I feel is best and drive traffic to it. That’s it lol
I don’t care what their robot thinks, I care what users think and what’s best for them.
Another very interesting thing that popped up on Twitter from Matt Cutts is this video:
In general if someone comes to Google and says I don’t like that page if it’s a “she said he said” we really don’t have the resources to investigate and it’s a little risky for us to pick sides because we don’t really know what the truth is. Even if it looks blatantly obvious to you, we really don’t know what the truth is..
Why isn’t Google applying the same reasoning to their latest changes? Why penalize webmasters if you really don’t know the truth? It’s possible that someone else and not the owner of the website you are throwing out of your search results built all those spammy links.
Matt just admitted that they really don’t know the truth but in their eyes you are guilty regardless if you did it or not.
Also, if Google itself doesn’t like the page they don’t have to pick sides, they just remove you silently lol
Ok, I know that spam needs to be removed for better user experience. I think most webmasters will agree with Google on that one, but the collateral damage is too great right now.
Something went totally wrong or they really don’t know how to handle it. Why judge a site based on links that are pointing to it? If you can separate the good backlinks from the bad ones then why issue penalties?
Just discount them completely and problem solved! Or give us the option in Google Webmaster Tools to nuke those links.
By the way, I just did a search for “seo” on found this:
I guess all those small businesses Google just penalized that are about lose everything should now hire another SEO firm to get their rankings back.
One piece of advice I can give Google is this: “Never EVER mess with another man’s livelihood or it will come back at you”