Google Hates You!

Blackhat or WhitehatGoogle Hates You!.. They do, they loath you and spend all their massive resources trying to stop you earning money online, They hate they way your sites clog up their nice databases… well at least it seems that way.

I really do wonder if sometimes they have completely the wrong idea about what should rank in the indexes.  Last week i was doing a search for a particular golf club I wanted to buy, I typed in the club makers name and model and added review to the end , as I wanted to see what everyone else thought of it.  Almost every site on the front page was an online store.

 

The reviews were generally just a picture and the makers blurb about the club. I had to get right down to below 50th place to get a decent review by someone who had used it… how does that give a good customer experience?  The guy who wrote that review had spent sometime giving his impressions and his experiences , the content was unique but because he didn’t have a big budget SEO company working 24/7 to get his site ranking high he was virtually ignored.  Why So low ? probably because he had a link to the club on amazon.

 

 

One of my members at WordPress Goldmine recently had a whole heap of trouble with Google all to do with a DCMA notice that was filed against her , her crime? To add a youtube video to her site that had a share and embed link available. Sorry Mr Google if someone adds the ability to share a video then complains the problem isn’t with the people who have used the videos. The worst problem she had was actually getting anyone at google  to respond to her.

 

Almost everyday I see people with 100% white hat sites who write lots of original content get penalized, the problem is it’s impossible to be 100% White Hat. In an ideal world google wants you to build a site then leave it and hope people find it naturally,  if you get people to like it, post links to it then you no doubt breach their terms and conditions which are incredibly broad and contradictory, for example this is taken from the Webmasters help page at google (https://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=66356)

 

Examples of link schemes can include:

  • Links intended to manipulate PageRank
  • Links to web spammers or bad neighborhoods on the web
  • Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging (“Link to me and I’ll link to you.”)

 

 

The quote above from Goolgle’s guide to what it considers link schemes implies that reciprocal links that aren’t excessive are ok (point 3) ….  but the first point says that any links intended to manipulate page rank are not allowed..   Now call me stupid but doesn’t every link you get manipulate page rank.

 

It’s this lack of clarity thats is infuriating. Whats more it punishes basically good web site builders and leaves the door open to blackhat site builders.

 

 

I did a another search over the weekend and virtually the who top 10 consisted of baldy spun content that was taken from the 1 good article there , it was the same content just 9 of the sites were unreadable. Surely this isn’t acceptable or an example of what Goolge is trying to achieve.

 

I consider myself to be a white hat site builder so I and every other white hat site builder are more likely to feel the wrath of google for getting a few links or having someone “like” our pages or commenting on a few blogs because we don’t feel the need to cover out tracks. We are easy picking adding penalties to our sites is like shooting fish in a barrel. With a manual review almost everyone of our sites would probably be penalized because we will have broken some google rule.

 

On the other hand the Blackhat site builders take lots of precautions, use private networks, pump out 100′s of thousands of profile links like via tools like xrumer as a result of the precautions they get away with it.  Is there really any point to being a White hat site builder anymore? Maybe we should all just just take Adsense off of our sites, remove our sites from google analytics, Use privacy when we register our domains and spread the sites among lots of small hosting accounts then turn to the dark side?

 

 

 

So the Question I wan tho pose to you today is, Are google’s current methods forcing intrinsically white hat site builders to start to adapt black hat methods?

 

Let me know what you think.

Comments

  1. says

    Mark in my opnion, they dont want anyone except big business, if you are white hat though your a easier target. The sad fact is that the net will go the same way as a high street-big business only leaving everybody else in secondary positions. Of course this was at the start what was so attractive about being on line , the level playing field, well thats well and truly gone. Does that mean you give up? No but I think it will be tougher, and quite a learning curve for new people comimg into the industry.

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  2. says

    Hey Mark,

    I wholeheartedly agree with everything in this post.

    I searched for reviews of a particular product some time ago, the first 2 sites that showed in the search results were forums, and site #3 had a banner on the page, and nothing else.

    So where’s the good customer experience big G keep taking about?

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  3. says

    Mark, Google adwords would provide you with the same opinion. They do everything they can to make it difficult for the small business person. If you are in the affiliate sales business, you’re in for a rough ride. Quite different than it was in the beginning when we were all encouraged to advertise our affiliate sites.

    Check out http://playingbogeygolf for your reviews.

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  4. Rita says

    You can’t compete if you are 100% white hat. Your site will not show up anywhere.

    Then of course, everything that was black hat, eventually becomes gray hat, so there is a lot of confusion.

    I would never have Google analytics put on my site unless you are an ecommerce store and need to track conversions. If you are an affilate marketer, I think that’s just asking for trouble.

    I would also now recommend adding privacy, especially if you have multiple sites. If Google has it out for you, they will check all sites that have your adsense ID, check registrar information, and try to match up hosting information. ( I know from experience).

    I would also think twice about adding Google +1 to your site. I think that’s playing with fire.

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  5. says

    I’ve been bothered by this whole White Hat/Black Hat/Grey Hat thing since I first discovered it. Isn’t the web supposed to be about sharing information, providing value and a good dose of entertainment tossed in?

    People who game the system to get ahead really bother me — online or not. Unfortunately, Google and the other SE’s just don’t seem to be able to punish them without hurting the good guys even more. The Panda update was supposed to reduce the amount of poor quality showing up in the search. Obviously, from your example Mark, it has done the opposite (or at best nothing).

    The problem that I see is that most people who are White Hat are tempted to slide to the Grey or even Black. Watching the scummy sites consistently out rank the well written ones is so frustrating and I’ve been tempted to do it myself.

    One of the biggest problems is that we don’t see natural links anymore. So we look for artificial links, like comments in blogs and forums, guest posting and submitting our posts to the social media sites.

    What we need more of is links relevant by one blogger to another. It shouldn’t be something that we ask for either. It should just be part of every blogger’s repertoire to find one or two relevant posts by someone else to link to in their articles. Maybe not every article, but at least 25%. Hmmm … I think my next entry is being born.

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  6. says

    After five years of building and promoting niche web sites, here are my observations …

    1). Age of domain seems to weigh heavily with Google. My sites seem to bounce around A LOT less after the 18 month mark.

    2). I’ve had best results with slowly adding pages to new sites, i.e. 3-4 pages per week until the site is more or less finished. Then, new original content twice monthly (after the 90-120 day mark).

    3). S-L-O-W link building the first 120 days. Yes, it annoys the hell out of me to go this slow but I always get better results. 2 articles to EzineArticles first 30 days, one article each to 5 other article directories … doesn’t really matter which … IdeaMarketers.com, ArticleCity.com etc. in the first 60 days.

    4). Maybe do a Blogger blog on your niche at the 60 day mark, point one link to main domain and one to an internal page. At 60-90 days after site launch do a Squidoo lens and maybe a Hub Page. Get links from other blogs 2 per week first 90-120 days your site is live, then as much as you want afterwards. Maybe a few directory links too, but don’t overdo it. 20-25 first 120 days maximum.

    4). Minimal affiliate links for the first 2 months. Maybe a banner and a text link or two, that’s it. After 90-120 days it doesn’t seem to matter as long as the above is followed.

    5). To be frank I don’t use any outside content … no YouTube videos. Maybe it’s just my niches, I don’t know, but I’ve had better luck this way.

    It’s not a perfect formula and yes it drives me crazy to go this slow on sites. However, it is manageable and it seems sites do better (and stay relatively strong in Google) doing it this way. Bottom line, I have found Google to be fussy about building links super fast. Slow link building and consistent quality content seem to be keys.

    PS – Biggest mistake I made … trying to start too many sites at once. It set me back two years. I have 29 active sites and that’s a huge handful. Start with maybe five and work them slowly and consistently.

    I know this plan flies in the face of what others do … just my own experience and what has worked in general for me. Good luck!

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  7. says

    Hi Mark-

    I have similar experiences. It seems that every time I start making money with my sites (all hand written), some black hatter comes along and blows me out of the water.

    I am sure I have lost thousands in earnings because of black hat link builders.

    Barry
    PS. Thanks for the post, I hadn’t stopped in for a while and I really should stop by more often.

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  8. Graham says

    Excellent article Mark and so true. Also some really good readers’ comments. For page 1 on Google try press releases – I have just watched an excellent video by Sean Donohue on this subject.

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    What i’ve noticed about a lot of press releases is that the links aren’t live..which is a worry!

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  9. Keith says

    I really think that Google has the right and left hand doing two completely different things, and they have no idea what each other are doing.

    I have white hat sites that I just cannot get indexed at the moment, nearly a month now for a site that has original articles and a decent look. Whats that about?

    On the other hand, some of my ermm.. darker hued sites are doing ok. Google can only ever play a catch-up game. There are a lot of extremely savvy people out there that are pushing the bounderies of what works every day, and making great money doing it.

    I personally don’t blame anyone now for moving more to the dark side, if Google continues to bugger people about the way they are doing, it will only get worse…..or better depending on your point of view!

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  10. Michael H. says

    I disagree.

    Perhaps, just perhaps there are just too many affiliate web sites out there with much too poor content who spend most of their time back linking and too little time writing great content.

    Perhaps Google only hates affiliate sites that concentrate mostly on making money and not on what value they can bring to the world. My guess is that the person who wrote the decent review that you found Mark would move to the top to the SERPs for his keyword if he would write more great content that just wasn’t linking to Amazon to make a sale. They could write great content that was truly interesting, that engaged those who found the pages and that provided an important service.

    Perhaps an in-depth series on golf clubs on how they improved his game and why instead of just a description of a golf club. Is that really what the web is about?

    I create informational content web sites that are educational, enlightening and entertaining and I SEO them to the nth degree. All white hat. Straight from the Google webmasters toolkit.

    I monetize with Adsense and CPA offers and I have Google analytics on every site. I have basically used the EXACT same methodologies for the last 5 years.

    I don’t use any black hat techniques and all of my important keywords regularly rank in the top 5 of the SERPs. I get lots of traffic. This brings me a very comfortable full-time income with a part-time work schedule. Hello 20 hour work-week. There is no such thing as a 4 hour work week – so forget about that, even though there is that book that promotes it.

    So I think it is true Google does not like all the affiliate web sites out there that have such poor content so those that black hat them to infinity go to the top because basically Google has given up on them and are diverting users to good content pages.

    I never even bother with looking for product X – reviews anymore except for on forums or on topic based web sites as I know that affiliates have pretty much destroyed that as a place for information.

    However, I am more than confident that I could out rank all of the affiliate web sites you found with good content pages that were not just affiliate product pages. Google LOVES you if you write good quality content consistently and so do the users that find the information.

    So please don’t disparage Google they don’t hate you, they want to help you. They only make money if you make money. But please just work with them not against them. They can be your best business partner ever.

    [Reply]

    Jim Hofman Reply:

    Michael H.,

    Best reply so far. And totally true. Good informative content is the key … 400+ words as a general rule.

    Your last paragraph should be required reading for everyone.

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  11. says

    I agree with you that it’s totally frustrating. On the other hand, it’s important that people doing work for local companies don’t get discouraged. My white hat techniques are still working like magic with small, local businesses, with both long and short tail keywords.

    On the other hand, I’ve been banging my head against the wall competing with, say Amazon, for larger clients and more popular keywords.

    Thanks for making me realize it’s “not just me.”

    Great article.

    [Reply]

  12. says

    Now you need deep pockets and a lot of patience to succeed online. Lucky guys came in early and made millions. Sometimes i feel online business is worse than offline. It is much easier to work with some good guys in your neighborhood, help them go online…..

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  13. Bart Murray says

    Just recently we broke into $5/day with one of our blogs using adsense. This was a big deal for us as we have been working hard to get traffic. It was only a week at $5+ aday that our site was taken down. Seems they are really cracking down on “app software” sites like the one we had!

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  14. says

    Another interesting article. I have noticed for a long time that google is becoming less and less useful to real people trying to find specific information and services. Most of the good information I’ve found is through connecting with people like yourselves rather than via google search. One thing that depresses me about all the google information though is the contradictions. There are loads of people out there shouting about, and selling information on how to get your site on page 1 of google quickly. I have almost given up trying to figure out the good from the bad – the rules seem to shift as randomly as Howarts staircases. I will just draw your attention to a blog post reviewed by Keith Baxter of affiliate radio during a webinar last week. Keith referenced this post on a site called SEOptimise.com titled “30 (New) Google Ranking Factors You May Over or Underestimate”. Here is the link – there are a few interesting factors especially in the negative ranking list:-
    http://www.seoptimise.com/blog/2011/06/30-new-google-ranking-factors-you-may-over-or-underestimate.html
    Some of the factors mentioned directly contradict what Rita and others I have come across have advised concerning avoiding google analytics and other google tools. It’s a very confusing world…

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  15. says

    My last site, i did everything right – original content, went super slow on targeted links. everything was working, Google updated pagerank and gave me a 2PR and many PR1 inner pages ( for a 2 month old site !)

    Then, the second wave of Panda hit my site really bad – I am nowhere to be found to this day. Google likes me and Panda hates me. That’s just hopeless.

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  16. says

    You have definitely opened a raw nerve for me. During the Panda update I had 28 of my 30 sites de indexed. How did they find them? I played nice and submitted them to Google Analytics and Google Webmasters like a good boy.

    Since they were on the same hosting site it was easy to find them all. I had nothing to hide after all. These sites all had unique content and their only “sin” was being an affiliate site. But I must have hit a reviewer in India who had a fight with his wife and was in a real bad mood when he hit my sites.

    I was referred to their quality guidelines but couldn’t see where I had gone wrong. After several failed reconsideration requests I posted one on the webmasters forum and was told it was a doorway page designed to rank for a particular keyword and send people to an affiliate offer. Duh!! Isn’t that the whole idea of building an affiliate site?

    It is obvious they didn’t take the time to read any of my content. Many of my sites were first page some #1 and although they were not huge sites they did deliver quality unique content and offer value to the reader. Now I see sites that have stolen my content ranking and still indexed and sites replacing mine that are of lower quality.

    It is obvious to me that Google is too big for its britches and needs to be taken down a notch. They are afraid to release info because you may game their system. They can’t keep up quality properly with an algorithm and can’t manually review everything they index. I see a lot less garbage on Yahoo and Bing.

    If they are going to penalize good sites what’s the point of playing by the albeit vague rules they have? May as well build crap automated sites that earn for a while before they get de indexed. If it takes 5 minutes to put one up not much is lost when it goes down, you just move it to another domain or replace it. Unfortunately I believe in being honest and take pride in the sites I create so I wont go blackhat but something here definitely needs to change.

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  17. says

    This will be true until the “next google” comes along.

    There was a show on Alex TV (which I seem to have misplaced link for) about how google, through personal search filters and probably now through google+, and Facebook, through its own filters, are creating a series of walled gardens, which will make it harder for anyone to see great content that is outside of their “usual” returns. I have to wonder if this is somehow responsible for the returns you’re seeing. Food for thought.

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  18. says

    That was one great article. I am not sure what is going on at Google. It is like everything in life, the big boys with the most money, the guys and gals that are corrupt but have the tools and resources to pay and buy there way in win. That is the way it is with everything. If you want to play fairly and above board, you lose. Like I say, you have to cheat, lie or do what ever you need to do to win. That is just the way of society also. Look around you will see it everywhere.
    We are easy to find for Google so they go after us. The cheaters, black hatters try and hide (which they seem to do successfully) and they get away with murder, just like your example search that you mentioned in your article above.
    Not sure what we have to do to succeed, but it is getting harder and harder to be a nice person in this world today.
    Keep up the good work

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  19. Cho says

    I have become totally frustrated with rankings and traffic. I have been creating sites since for over 12 years and used to find it quite easy to rank with content, niche, keywords, etc. Now it seems that even with a content rich – niche site – the rankings have dropped — even on my “aged” sites. It does seem that the Google is working against us – showing big boxes even if they do not provide as much information. I was pleased to see this post, Mark – I was beginning to think it was just me. Thanks for writing it!

    [Reply]

  20. Robert says

    Mmm…. so if we removed every website, forum, directory and search engine that advertises or sells a product from the internet there wouldn’t be much left would there.

    I doubt any one would bother producing content if there was no financial incentive.

    Lets not forget that Google is a huge money making machine that does not get paid for producing content but for selling advertising.

    Walmart does not produce a single product, it is a giant affiliate warehouse.

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  21. says

    I don’t think Google is out to “get” us. I just think they don’t believe anyone should be building sites for the sole purpose of making money unless they’re selling some kind of hard goods through an ecommerce store. That seems to be the only type of commerce sites they “like” and only if you’re selling your own stuff, not someone else’s as an affiliate.

    Otherwise they seem to want everyone to just create content for the sake of the content and those who would want to read it. Which of course means creating content for the sake of Google using it to sell ads, considering a large part of their business model is built on scraping our content to use on their own site, a grey-to-black hat technique if I’ve ever heard one ;-)

    I’m sure many will disagree with me on this, but I don’t personally have an ethical issue with the whole grey and black hat side of things. As long as you’re not doing something illegal, that is. It’s really just leveraging Google’s own algorithm in a way to get your site ranked. If you’re doing it to get crap ranked, yes you’re contributing to the amount of junk that’s already out there. But if Google can’t manage to filter it out properly, that’s their problem.

    And if it happens enough, people will start to look at Bing and other search engines which is a good thing, in my opinion. Anything that will help to reduce Google’s control is a positive.

    And of course, many BH techniques take advantage of other people’s sites, but again as long as what you’re doing isn’t illegal it’s really up to the site owner to plug those holes. I don’t like comment spam on my blog any more than the next person, but it’s part of the way the technology works. I can either use plugins that will limit the amount of crap I get or I can turn off comments entirely (or deal with it, grumbling the whole time).

    It’s a little like leaving your car door unlocked with a bunch of stuff in plain view. Yes, if someone steals the stuff they’re in the wrong but if you’d locked the door and hidden the stuff, it likely wouldn’t have happened.

    If you have a site that’s filled with great content you have two choices – stick to the white hat stuff and hope that Google recognizes how great it is or go black hat and get it ranked that way. If the content is truly valuable, your visitors won’t care one way or the other – they’re just going to be happy they found your site.

    The main problem with black hat techniques in my opinion is the rate of change. It’s a bit of a “whack a mole” game – whenever Google identifies a black hat technique and plugs that hole, the BH community has to come up with something new.

    Personally, I’d rather not have to re-tool every few months so I stick to the methods that are considered white hat.

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  22. TravisVS says

    Mark:

    A commenter brought up an interesting point – NOT using Google Analytics or even Google+. What is your take on this?

    I can see not using Analytics but I can’t see leaving Google+ off of sites.

    Travis Van Slooten

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    I have nothing to hide on my sites they all use good quality original content , so i have analytics on there…

    [Reply]

  23. says

    Google…. yeah. They just disabled my adsense account last week. Honestly, I have no idea why… I have two article directories that I run and several niche sites, but I don’t believe I am doing anything against their Terms of Service. They suspended my account a few years ago for having malware on my site, but this was because the guy who built my site put some questionable banner on there. It was removed immediately, and I begged and pleaded with them until they finally re-enabled my account, but this time I am not so sure I want to go through all the hassle with them again for a few measly dollars each month. I get tons of clicks, but they don’t seem to show up in my balance – as in “where is the money???”. I am going to experiment with some other ad networks. Right now I am going with Bidvertiser, they have a minimum payout of $10 via paypal. I have heard good and bad things about them, but I may as well give them a shot and see what happens. If anyone else has some input, let me know.

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  24. says

    I see a lot of markerters transfering these same old techniques to Facebook and fanpages. I think it is only a matter of time before Facebook starts killing off affiliate type pages.

    Google has killed all my autoblogs. BUT the big joke is that Google is just a mashup of other peoples hard work.

    Google has kind of become a victim of its own success.

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  25. Colm says

    IMHO It seems to me that Google just doesn’t really know what it’s doing.

    Regardless of what they’re claiming, every single time they make a change to “improve” things we see evidence of white hat sites being punished even though they follow googles rules.

    I think Google is making the algo changes to look like they’re doing something to keep the bosses happy.

    [Reply]

  26. Rob says

    I agree about searching for relevant stuff. For me, I just hit forum or discussion and read what people have to say. However, that is not how average users do…

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  27. Jim says

    Colm said it best — “Google just doesn’t really know what it’s doing” — that’s correct — and they’ll decide spur of the moment what’s best for it and then deliver you the goods later after they drop the hatchet (or just ignore it like nothing really happened and you figure it out for yourself).

    So the line between black, white and grey is so blurred, that’s why Mark citing to their own Webmaster Guidelines fits every single aspect of all SE marketing disciplines. Might as well just call any type of search engine marketing black hat!

    I can hear Darth Vader’s voice lurking in the background somewhere. :-P

    What counts to Google is making their shareholders happy and keeping that stock price as high as it can be — that’s about it (oh and protecting their advertising system) — anything else that gets in the way of their objectives gets obliterated (think Hiroshima).

    There is NO rationale in anything they do. It’s certainly not for the betterment of the web protecting our online well being, that’s for damn sure.

    I see Google doing all forms of affiliate marketing (or you could term it partnership marketing) when I prowl their engine. Yet, you doing it is an atrocity.

    And it doesn’t stop at search engine marketing in their organic listings.

    There’s no warning even if you are a PAYING vendor of theirs.

    Case in point.

    Just take a look at what they did to search engine marketers that were legitimately using the Google’s own Adwords API for their clients. Just whacked a bunch of them. No warning, no rhyme or reason, albeit their lame excuse was low usage while some were spending $200 – $500 a month in Adwords API requests to manage their clients, their tools. I have my own hunches why they did it, which are probably 98% accurate:

    http://groups.google.com/group/adwords-api/browse_thread/thread/dc957e898d7f2aa5

    And if you’ve noticed lately on the Google Keyword Tool that the results recently dropped from 200 when not logged in to 100 per search. Sorta kinda matches limits some other keyword tools out there have.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing desktop keyword tools falling into disrepair permanently.

    Google has their agendas and they assert when they want, spur of the moment blindsiding you without showing their hand until the change is made and then drop the hatchet on your neck within a split digital second. It’s their strategy and their good at it, don’t expect anything else.

    But I guess that’s the search engine game, ay?

    Counting on the Google for anything, even traffic and making good on its contract for services is the last thing you should ever consider. Just be grateful for what you have today for it could be here today, gone tomorrow.

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  28. Jim says

    Mickey, your instincts are right. You’re better off not re-engaging because right when you hone your strategy in and optimize your earnings, the red carpet will get yanked.

    Work with a company that is more stable and predictable in their decision making.

    Honestly, the kind of erratic behavior that Google exhibits is manic. I think they need to put the whole organization on Lithium to balance the decision making process out. :-P

    [Reply]

  29. says

    I learn so much when I visit your site Mark,

    I think a lot of bloggers and website marketers have a little bit of Fear when it comes to google. they do have very much power. I’m learning by people like yourself and many others to really try my hardest to stay within googles TOS , I find it can be very hard as they are not clear on somethings and good luck on getting a response from customer support.

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  30. says

    I’ve noticed since Panda it all seems to be the same 5 or 6 authority sites shoved to the top of the rankings no matter what you’re searching for. Maybe that’s what google really meant when they said they want to get rid of “thin content” sites, they just meant promote the sites they’re in cahoots with and get rid of yours. I wish the other search engines would get their act together.

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  31. says

    Google have made a rod for their own back by using back links as a major ranking factor. Now they spend all their time policing the ‘wild west’ they have created and from time to time. Ultimately, the votes method of assessing usefulness and popularity must remain, but its just a pity that Google’s measuring systems rewards black hat activities in the short term. Blog networks, article directories and the like are not totally honorable – long term link building strategies and deserve to be penalized.

    [Reply]

  32. says

    Mark,

    How many times do you use Google and how many times are you happy with their results? Same question with the unhappy results, now add these together: what is your general conclusion?

    An easy way of rewriting is adding spelling errors, …”baldy spun content”, “Surely this isn’t acceptable or an example of what Goolge”. I was told that all things equal: a well spelled article ranks higher than one with spelling mistakes :-)

    Anyways: if a person’s problem is that “the problem is it’s impossible to be 100% White Hat”, then he has a real problem and will sooner or later be penalized.

    Do you have any real old sites that were just written because you loved it, and do you have pages that you wrote because you thought that you were doing “good SEO”. Which ones are the lasting ones? That should give you a better idea what google wants or hates :-)

    Don’t be afraid that google will only benefit “the big guys”, as we all know what happened with Yahoo when they added money before information in their engine. When a SE is giving people the results they want to see, the SE shall survive. If Google shows me badly spun sites each time I do a search, I wil look for another SE, and I am sure you would do the same.
    “if the searching stops, the SE will stop too” :twisted:

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    Stef, I have lots of sites i wrote in the past about a pasion of mine, good original long content, no thought of seo just writing for the sheer joy of it… where did they rank no where :(

    [Reply]

    Stef Reply:

    Mark, were these sites about 1 and the same passion or about different passions/subjects?

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    Same or very closely related passion

    Stef Reply:

    And is your passion is a saturated or highly competitive niche?

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    No it’s not thats the stupid thing about it… it was a blog where I wrote about as many of the Isle of Man TT races as possible give details of the tops riders , results etc

    Stef Reply:

    Search in quotes: “isle of man tt races” gives 300K google results: 10 years ago I would have labeled that “quite a number of competing sites” :-) Now if you were at each of the races? taking your own pictures? and interviewing the top riders yourself? then you should be ranking high (unless your blog was not on a bike related domain and you were using WP like me in those days: lots of duplicated wp content). Anyways, with the little info I have, it feels like the blog was a newssite, and google is treating “news” in a ‘special’ manner.

    I do see your …bikes blog on the first google page in google uk, so you do know what you are doing :-)

    Cheers

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    It wasn’t just a an isle of Man TT site it was about the history of the Isle of Man races , I never really targeted keywords, just wrote about the characters and the bikes and about the history.

    All 100% original content (for example one story was about a drinking session I had with Joey and Robert Dunlop and how we had a race to stack empty beer glasses to the ceiling, (another race i lost!) unless someone else had a similar experience then it was totally unique content, the site was also unmonetized, (actually i think i had a banner for one of the riders charities) as i said it was about a passion of mine, it took over a year to write then Google deindexed it.

    I think i have almost 100 number 1 rankings in google for various keywords, all relatively white hat but like everyone else i can’t rely on that ranking because google are a law onto themselves. I know people who have 10 times that number all done with black hat methods, they blast out 100,000′s of spam links each month in the hope that a few percent stick.

    Last month in the forum i highlighted a site that was about 9 months old PR 6 and ranking number one for one of the most sought after keywords…now someone tell me thats done with white hat methods.. it doesn’t matter if google finds it in 2 or 3 months time and deindexes it.. they are probably earning several hundred dollars a week if not a day.

    Im rambling now!!

    Stef Reply:

    I love rambling Mark, that’s the most unique content ever :-) For the fun of it, you should re-post the beer stacking contest, show them derankers what live is really about outside the cubicle :-)

    The spammy black hat loopholes that earn the extra dollars a month: if your business strategy is trying to be one step ahead of Google and find the loopholes before they are plugged, then John Lenaghan’s idea comes into place: as long as what you do is allowed, then go ahead. Although I could argue: if there’s no law, does that really mean it’s what people would have wanted. Ramble e.g: if I borrow your bike and keep driving around with it in another country, I didn’t really steal it, did I :twisted:

    For me the quick bucks strategy is working both hard and dirty, as they have to keep track what’s happening in the SE (that doesn’t want them in the first place), nor do people they steal from want them around: not really good for long term income nor long term karma :-)

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    Karma, is the big thing for me as I know it drives a big truck with faulty brakes ;)

  33. says

    I did a search last week for zero gravity chairs because I wanted information. On the first page:-

    zerogravitychair.org

    zerogravitychair.net

    zerogravitychairsite.com

    bestzerogravitychair.com

    Come on! You know what to expect don’t you. One of these sites has a blog front page with excerpts. The first 3 are spun articles about the subject and a glance at the excerpt tells you not to waste time reading further.

    The rest are totally general news items. They have obviously taken rss feeds from one or more news sites and are pulling in completely irrelevant content.

    Anybody producing garbage like this and gaming the system to get it to rank is part of the problem for the rest of us. It will be a good thing if ultimately this kind of thing is wiped out. It’s just unfortunate that in the meantime there is some collateral damage.

    It is getting harder for new people to get started and maybe that is a good thing too. There will be less of them producing this kind of thing.

    For those already here, keep your nerve and look at strategies to bypass google.

    And if you want real search results bypass google.

    [Reply]

  34. says

    Man this is a tough one. I agree a lot with what John L says above. For my mind I don’t think there is or ever was really any ethical or white hat SEO. You even look up a keyword to guage popularity and you are starting to game the engine. Extreme example but true.

    We have to remember we are in business. Succesful businesses are diverse and have income from many streams and large margins/ROI. As you are seeing now businesses than are a one trick pony or operating on razor thin margins have no room to maneuvre. We have to remain flexible and very persistent.

    To be honest we can’t really bitch at G that much. They are a business and they can do what they want with it pretty much. It is only the fact that we have come to rely on them so much that we feel so aggreived to be ‘betrayed’ if you like. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t like what they have done – they don’t follow their own rules – ranking spam garbage, increasing own ads space in listings, allegedly scraping others content for G Places, etc. Plus they have no customer service to the users of there services and data.

    I liken it to a bank or insurance company who put up charges or a landlord increasing your rent? What do you do? You look for alternatives or better value. I think this means a lot of marketers will go what many call ‘black hat’. I also think many of us are starting to realise that we need to cut out the bland 400 word posts that say nothing and add nothing to user experience. This doesn’t mean a long post, but one that actually gives the user what they need. Otherwise we are just another smaller version of eHow and About. Engaing titles will grab attention more as searchers get fed up of G’s crap results. They will search down more pages or just go to Bing.

    Now this is where Google are going to suffer in the long term. If you engage your users I think the main way they will (and do) express this is socially through their friends and contacts on the relevant platforms beyond the power of G to get at them. This bypasses G and will develop its own momentum. This is a major reason for G+ I think (They are now putting the button in Adsense ads). I think this is starting to happen with Facebook and G is worried.

    Having said that I have no fear of having Analytics as it is just so powerful with the data mining stuff it gives you. Remember if you have Adsense on your site they know everything anyway and if not can probably find it out anyway.

    But G does need to be challanged for its behind doors approach to some of its ways and it is happening with the Monopoly hearing in US and Trip Advisor threatening to sue and I bet something crawls out from this API withdrawel.

    My rambling 2 pennies anyway and obligatory comment link (lol – Is that white grey or black?)

    [Reply]

  35. Mark says

    Totally Black Hat you naughty man! :)

    [Reply]

    Stewart Reply:

    lol – you got me! – there whiter than white now – honest

    [Reply]

  36. Bob says

    I am done with google. After having an adsense account for over 5 years, and beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel, Google suspended my account for ‘quality reasons”. I have tried contacting them just to find out which site they had a problem with. It is damn near impossible to contact them, and if you do they basically and arrogantly flip you off by saying read the TOS. If I knew which site or sites they had a problem with, I would immediately fix them or delete them. Not possible with Google. Therefore, I am done with Google. Google is no longer even my default search engine. if I see and ad in which I might have interest, if it is in an ‘ads by Google’ frame, I will never clidk on it.

    Done With Google.

    Bob

    [Reply]

  37. says

    If i get lot’s of traffic and make money without the help of any search engine or facebook stuff, will Google take my site off the web? do search engines and other big sites own your domain and decide how good it wil do on the web?

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    No they can’t do that..It’s one of the reasons to generate traffic without using google

    [Reply]

  38. says

    wow some good “stuff” wooh better not say that may get pandad lol
    i do have to agree that when you do a search its really bad and that Google says one thing and does something way different, they are the most aggressive with their advertising. I personally haven’t had a lot of trouble with Google but i also recognize the monopoly that they have and throughout history nothing good has come from that, the best has always come from competition where all have a relatively level playing field. if there is enough people who get disgusted with Google they will have to listen, they will have no other choice but that i believe is a ways away.
    About the the black hat or white hat seo i don’t have any feeling one way or the other, but you need to have good content, that is important, how you get to Google#1 who cares, there are many techniques out there that will get you that all important ranking and once you do diversify into other traffic sources and if people like reading your material they will come back.Google may have got them there but it will be your own content, the reader factor that will keep them there, and to tell you the truth that’s what its all about
    Dave recently posted..Finishing your Woodwork with Wood VarnishesMy Profile

    [Reply]

  39. says

    I really do think Google hates us. Not because you are a bad person or black hatter, but merely because you make money but don’t ‘share’ it with them.

    So it’s like : “I do all the hardwork, and you just come and take all the goodies”… or something like that.

    Not that I resent Google or other search engine, but I must really be smart if you want to get traffic from SEO. And that means going for black hat.

    Not for doing bad things to others, but to really play and stick around in their playing field without getting caught. (Which sometimes, isn’t an easy thing to do either).

    White hat is only meant to be shot down like a sitting duck. Being a black hatter just mean you go anonymous for all the backlink you do, and make everything seems really natural.

    Oh ya… don’t put google analytics and registered with google webmaster if you really want to get traffic from Google. I think its suicide.

    And Yes, they don’t like little guys.
    Again, not because you are a bad person.
    But which one (in your opinion) easier and make more money for Your Business, Handle one big guy who give you $10.000/month or 100 people who spend $100 each month???
    And the answer is the same with Google (and any other type of business).

    Don’t let this discourage you.

    Just sharing my opinion.

    Thanks.

    Hope you all have your Success.

    [Reply]

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