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Google Caused a Ton of “Hurt” for Webmasters in 2012

spn_exclusive1Google unleashed a ton of “hurt” for many webmasters and site owners in 2012. It seemed like every other day there was a major change to their all-important algorithm or the formula Google uses to rank content on the web. The previous year’s Panda Update and its countless follow-ups, which went after low-quality sites, wasn’t enough for Google’s engineers and execs. They next attacked “webspam” with a vengeance using the Penguin Filter and its subsequent updates.

Needless to say, the fallout and casualties were enormous. The Penguin Update proved quite severe and all encompassing for many sites. If Google found your site’s link profile to be “unnatural,” then you were left scrambling to fix the issues. To be fair, Google did send out over 700,000 emails to webmasters who use Google Webmaster Tools, warning them that their sites had too many bad, low quality links.

Google didn’t say exactly specify the problem, just noted that there were unnatural” links coming into a site which put that site in a bad light. Webmasters were left wondering just what links were in play and how to fix them. This was extremely torturous for site owners who wanted to do the right thing and in many cases, simply couldn’t figure out what they were doing wrong or what exactly Google wanted?

The simple truth is that Google won’t provide webmasters specifics, because then those webmasters and other ruthless individuals could use the information to “manipulate” Google’s rankings. Transparency has its limits, especially when obtaining top keyword rankings can mean thousands, if not millions of dollars in the bank.
Many SEO experts believe Google created a simple link profile using the “anchor text” in backlinks coming in for each site. If this profile didn’t conform to the standard norm, your site drew a Penguin Penalty.

Most sites not trying to manipulate Google’s Search Index with keyword targeted backlinks or link schemes, have a certain ratio of “keyword backlinks” with most of these via the URL or brand name of the site in the anchor text.

In addition, a natural link profile has a certain ratio of backlinks with neutral anchor text, such as “click here,” “try this site,” “click this link” and so on. Of course, there will be a certain ratio of backlinks which target your “keyword,” but if you have 60% or 70% of your total backlinks containing the same keyword you’re ranking for, then something is certainly not natural about those links. Also, in a natural link profile, most sites will only have one or two links coming from another site. If you have hundreds or even thousands of backlinks coming from certain sites, this may draw the Penguin’s attention.

The Penguin Update, which Google launched on April 24th of 2012, created complete chaos for many webmasters who have been “over-optimizing” their sites and actively building links to boost their Google rankings. Other sites and webmasters simply got caught by pure accident – their backlinks may have been placed in a blog footer, resulting in the same keyword backlink turning up in hundreds or thousands of links – drawing a red flag from Penguin and causing a major disappearing act within Google.

For a while it seemed like Penguin would destroy the web as we know it since many webmasters and site owners stopped linking out to sites, even ones they thought valuable for their visitors, simply because they feared retaliation from Google or from the site owner. Millions upon millions of links, disappeared from the web overnight. Some site owners even took Matt Cutts’ advice and simply abandoned their domain and started over with a new site or a new domain. Ideamarketers.com is one site which comes readily to mind.

Penguin had a snowball effect. Many good sites lost valuable links because other webmasters feared Google’s wrath, and either removed the links or “no-followed” them en masse. Even if a site didn’t draw a penalty from Penguin, many still suffered a major downgrade, especially if one had a small “mom and pop” operation and not a big brand name site. The true devastation caused by Penguin and Google in 2012 may never be known but the damage is huge and long-lasting.

As a result of webmaster complaints about the difficulty of contacting thousands of sites to get links removed, Google introduced a Link Disavow Tool in GWT. Now webmasters can easily disavow any bad links by creating a simple text file with one URL per line and submit it to Google via Google Webmaster Tools. This has calmed the masses somewhat and help dispel the whole notion of negative SEO.

Another major area of damage was to SEO and SEO firms. Many webmasters wrongly believed Penguin killed SEO in 2012. SEO firms no doubt lost some customers who believed SEO no longer worked and link building, even strictly white-hat linkbait, is now dead and a waste of time.

However, many SEO experts now believe (and granted they’re a little biased), webmasters and site owners shouldn’t stop building high quality links to their content. Actually, the opposite is true, they just have to keep the right “anchor text ratio” so these links appear “natural” to Penguin and Google. Depending on your competition, some suggest using the following ratios: 35% for your URL as the anchor text and other brand keywords, 20% for your main keyword, 25% for related LSI keywords (just use Google search and take note of the keywords which pop-up when you’re typing in your main keyword) and 20% for generic/neutral keywords.

Of course, you have to gradually create these quality links over a period of time and it would probably be best to keep that exact keyword ratio of 20% much lower, so as not to draw attention to one’s site. There are those pundits, however, that argue webmasters and site builders, shouldn’t be building links or optimizing their sites in the first place. Everything should happen naturally and your site, if the content is superior, will rise to the top on its own accord. Good luck with that strategy.

Keep in mind, Panda and Penguin weren’t the only Google Updates, causing headaches for webmasters and site owners this year. For some webmasters, the EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update was just as devastating. If your exact keyword domain had poor or little content – it would no longer rank high in Google for your chosen phrase.

Then there was the Top Heavy or Page Layout Update. If Google found your pages had too many links (especially ads) and too little content above the fold, these pages were dropped in the rankings. Finally, there was the Pirate or DMCA Penalty. If your site had repeated copyright violations such as DMCA takedown requests, it may have suffered in the rankings.

Forget SEO and rankings for a moment – what was even more painful for many webmasters in 2012, was the move to make Google Shopping a paid service. This caused a major upheaval. One webmaster even went so far as comparing Google to a drug dealer. First supply it free, then start charging for it. This view may be a little extreme, but the switch took away another revenue stream from many small sites and businesses who couldn’t afford the extra costs.

However, a more far-reaching change may involve Knowledge Graphs and Google’s bold move to becoming the destination, rather than a means to your destination on the web. If Google is serious in becoming a publisher, rather than just a search engine, it could spell disaster for all webmasters. This change could mean every webmaster and every site could potentially have Google as their main competition. At the very least, this new direction could present another major hurdle before a web searcher clicks through to your site.

Overall, for the embattled webmaster and online marketer, it seemed like Google really took the gloves off in 2012 and came out swinging. The fallout and devastation are real and have proved fatal for many small businesses and site owners who depended too heavily upon search traffic from Google. Most learned a very brutal lesson – never put all your eggs in the same basket – always diversify your traffic sources.

Just makes one wonder what Google has in store for 2013? Will we all be feeling more lucky next year? Don’t count on it. Even webmasters and site owners who have been left unscathed by the countless recent updates and changes, shouldn’t become too complacent and smug. While this may be just short of fear mongering, everyone has to remember that until Google is no longer the dominant search engine with control of the majority of the web’s search traffic, it can inflict as much “hurt” as it wants to deliver and your site may just be in the crosshairs next time.


All opinions and views expressed in the article above are solely those of the author – Titus Hoskins. He has been a full-time search engine marketer for the last eight years and has several sites on the web. His main site offers free marketing guides/resources/tools and is located here: www.bizwaremagic.com. He has also written a very informative online report on the Google Panda/Penguin Updates, probably worth a read if you or your site have been affected by these recent changes. You can find it here: Click Here for Free Penguin Report.

About the author

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Titus Hoskins

Titus Hoskins, a former artist and teacher, is now a full-time web marketer who regularly sells 1000's of dollars worth of affiliate products/services online each day. He owns and runs numerous websites, including two sites on Internet Marketing. You can contact him thru his main website - www.bizwaremagic.com

48 Comments

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  • Well, thanks Google!

    It’s a good thing that without even knowing, I recently started a backlink campaign and changed my anchor text and description often.

    Not too much will be the same on the linked sites.

    Cheers!

    HomeInspectorGuy

  • Google can go stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. If enough people STOP using Google, then where does Google’s income go? Right down the drain with MCI and all other corporate failures.

    Too big to fail. Nope, you are not, Google. You are putting yourself on that path. Good luck in that path.

  • Google has been brutalizing spammy websites for the last year with several aggressive updates. Penguin and Panda are the two most notable. This is meant to help the content creators and it really boils down to this: creating value for the web.If you can do that on a consistent basis then you’ll rise in the rankings, get the exposure you deserve and succeed in your online business in 2013! Thanks for the great post.

    • No, this is just not true. Google has punished ‘some’ websites. Perhaps they have punished ‘many’ websites. But they have not punished ‘all’ websites (that have not played by the rules).

      Therefore, Google has not equaled the playing field – they have made it more difficult to compete in. There is NO way a new guy coming in can make it AT ALL against older businesses. At least in a brick and mortar store, a small business person just starting out has a half a chance with good products, services, and prices and a good location. In the virtual world, Google has screwed over this segment of business, good content and appropriate links or not. That’s because they did not clean out ALL the crud and some of that crud still places highly in the SERPs.

      That’s what happens when you screw around and try to ‘fix’ things that don’t need to be fixed. It really unbalances the playing field, and that is exactly what happened.

  • Thank you for this article, it brings a lot of light to me. And as webmaster i know if we like or not Google gives the pace and rules. I am afraid that there will be no alternative search engine in the nearest future. So deal with it.

  • “Google Caused a Ton of “Hurt” for Webmasters in 2012”
    Its not the webmasters I feel sorry for, but the thousands of SMEs that have gone bust as a consequence.
    Maybe ‘Panda’ and ‘Penguin’ should be renamed ‘Agent Orange‘.

  • Lets just hope that Google is a bit easier on us in 2013, i cant see it myself though, we shall have to wait and see which black and white animal the decide to inflict on us next, maybe a skunk as what they do stinks.

    Happy Christmas to all at sitepronews and i will look forwaed to reading your articles in the new year.

    • If they didn’t cheat in obtaining their rankings by using spammy link building techniques, they wouldn’t have fallen victim. So…..in reality, they are victims of their own dishonest link building techniques…..

  • Great post! Accurate beyond belief!

    My website for my small business was white hat all the way but it took the wrath of Google for reasons I can’t figure out… Just let my last employee go (I had 4 employees at the start of 2012).

    My small service business is now gone thanks to this.

    I figure I will probably loose my house in the coming months.

    This stuff effected real people in very real ways.

  • Google is only interested in making money now. Personally I’m using Firefox and Bing from now on in protest. My email address is Yahoo and I didn’t buy a Nexus 7 for Christmas. I haven’t logged into webmaster tools for over a month now and nor will I. They keep sending me free Google Adwords letters and I’m ignoring them.

    Their algorithm changes affected a perfectly healthy website because their algorithm did not consider the simple fact that the title of a website is usually what is entered into an online search directory. i.e. “The Blue Widget Manufacturing Company” is a perfectly acceptable name to call a company but because it has keywords in it….. Penalty.

    It’s a waste of time trying to “fix” the problem too – you’re only wasting resources on something that will inevitably change again next year no matter what the reason is. Let’s face it the only reason they did this was because the organic search results were not making them any money, and who better to pick on than those that are already befitting from organic results? As soon as the serps plummet, Adwords is the next obvious choice otherwise you go out of business – or is there another way? Yes!

    We have gone back to the old fashioned advertising in newspapers, leaflet drops in targeted areas and promotion from word of mouth (Tell an friend and get 20% off your next order). And guess what? It works just as well. So far our rankings in Google have not returned and we are just as successful as we were with them.

    So from a practical point of view, if Google has dumped you in it then dump them in it and try other methods – they’re just as successful and give them a taste of their own medicine.

    Once they realise they are not making as much money from Adwords they will have to come around to the conclusion that they are not invincible nor do they have a monopoly.

    Good Bye Google,

    I’m never using you again.

    • I agree with you and would like to add that Google’s greedy ways must stop before the fall comes for it. Many big brands have suffered when they tended to be too self-centred at the cost of those who had had faith in them.

  • I was severely affected, received no email from google, and have no idea why my site dropped like a stone in water. Original content, but every term that generated money I found my site removed from 1 st position to like 60 to 600 or seomehwere in between. Still rank well for non-money making keywords for my site. Honestly it is like Google figured out I made money from certain words and then stopped those searching those keywords from finding my site. Honestly, Some of the keywords that made money I didn’t even know about until the main ones were first taken. I really get the feeling that Google has acted to alter serps results to push people into product sites that make money for Google.

  • Allthough all of these algorithm changes occured have the Search Engines Results pages produced any better results ? for the honest webmaster or small business owner it can mean hours of reworking of SEO. Google must realize that most websites and blogs are not backed by the resources and huge teams these BIG websites have, the BIG websites are the ones that seem to be breaking the rules the most. Answer = Penalize them only and not everybody !

  • Im glad to see that after months of data coming in on Google that SPN actually spoke out

    However, I think this article is a bit relaxed on Google and maybe to be politically correct in fear that Google would attack SPN if real data and result were posted.

    With the exception of 1 wall street journal article on small businesses being destroyed by Google very few sources are willing to report.

    PRweb will not release any press releases and says that anything speaking negatively about Google is considered a hate piece.

    First, nobody is reporting on the Google = Amazon relationship in which 3 former board members from Amazon are on the Google board.

    Then nobody will publish the results that shows how Google shifted all product search to Amazon including xxx thru imdb and terms such as “sex toys” to “candles” to basic niches such as “silverware chests” “jewelry boxes” and so on to cover all products.

    The Kindle fire is one of the key reasons n which the Google platform is on every new Kindle shipped which automatically comes pre set with users Amazon account for shopping

    100,000+ small businesses in the USA were crushed and put out of business in the click of a mouse that did nothing wrong. They follow Matt Cutts and do everything and above to the “T”. But Google is now a hybrid search engine manually overiding.

    A) Google has shown they can drop sites with manual penalties and automatic penalties. (webmaster have no recourse to appeal with a dept or real human)

    B) Google has shown they can manually and automatically raise sites to the top like AMAZON and companies assoc with ChanelAdvisors

    Companies dont have a chance to recover form Googles changes. These are changes specifically made to give companies of their choice an unfair advantage to displace their competition.

    Google owns stock in those companies directly or indirectly

    I think everyone would consider unfair for Google to own stock or and interest in a company and then use its power to up the rankings so the stocks or sales increase.

    Google is the biggest greed machine on the planet.

    America was the testing ground and they won.
    Now they are going after the world.

    They have 22 lobbist firms in Washington DC helpng them – and here is a basic rule. Any company that needs that many lobbyists in Washington are doing something wrong and unfair.

  • Just how many sharks does Google get to jump before their show becomes stale with the general public?

  • Great article – you’ve really nailed all of the major points.

    Google is no longer a search engine, it’s a greedy ad casino. As an at-home entrepreneur or an internet marketer, you’re basically praying that 2013 is the year where Google stops becoming a monopoly and people either start using Bing (considering they get their act together), or Facebook become a major player in the search market.

    Having Google continue down this path is absolute murder for small business. Nobody making under $100k per year with their small business can afford a substantial daily allowance for AdWord$. Nobody dropshipping or doing wholesale from home can afford to compete with Target, Buy.com and Walmart for Google Shopping.

    And, how long can you keep hoping and dreaming your new website is ever going to have a chance to hit Google page 1 for any 2 or 3 word keyword, considering those were all “given away” to Fortune 500s and big brands? Google has become the ultimate enemy of small business, and it has to stop.

  • I don’t get why people are complaining about Google. All I gotta say is, “stop trying to cheat.” Let’s be honest, 99% of SEO’s out there use backlink automation tools….so why are you mad about Google’s updates? Google wants to clean their index of spam, unorthodox rankings. They have a mission to provide the relevant CONTENT to the searcher. So quit whining, and DO THAT! Create good content with RELATED quality links and quit trying to cheat the SEO and webmasters doing it the right way. Give me a break. The truth is that a very low percentage of good sites got hit hard. A vast majority of the penalized domains were cheaters. So how could anybody be upset with Google for making people be honest in their acquisitions of rankings?

  • I once made enough from Adsense to pay for my wife’s anti-rejection medications each month. They dropped me and I have no idea why. The other sites do some but very little. One of the problems I see if everyone says keep writing good content and your site will be fine.
    Not true. You can write as good a content as you can and unless you know how to do seo your site will go nowhere.
    I got tired of the whole thing. I now have sites I simply write for readers of the books I’ve started writing. It’s harder to attract traffic but I just don’t see a reason to bother anymore. I’d rather spend my time trying to please my loyal visitors and not Google.
    It’s a shame. I started one of my website way back when and Yahoo was king. I was one of the ones who recommend people try the newcomer – Google. Ironic huh?

  • What started out as a revolutionary Internet tool that won over it’s vast audience by providing people and small businesses a platform to the World. A leg up if you will, has turned into a bunch of Fascist Rat bastards. Nerds gone wild! Geeks turned freaks. I hope this evil company goes the way of Compuserve, AOL, My Life and other internet companies that just lost touch. Forget the liberal company shelters paying taxes in Bermuda, forget they are pompous know it all’s who don’t have the slightest understanding of customer service, it’s the reality we trusted and they ruined a lot of innocent people’s lives and income. Shame on the ugly monster. But the bigger they are the harder they fall and with Bill Gates and his billions targeting Google and with Yahoo making another run at in and with millions of satisfied, injured people I believe the descent has already started. Google to me is just a bunch of greedy thugs.

  • I’m amazed at the comments made concerning this article. I never thought I would be negative towards G. They truly are becoming too smart for their own good. I offer my sympathy to D.B. I hope you and your family well and to the other small businesses G has trampled I encourage you to continue to work hard and not give up. Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to SPN and all reading this post.

  • Bottom line, Google wants EVERYONE to pay for links. I refuse, I’ll give ANY search engine my money before I’ll give Google 2 cents

  • They kept us on our toes, that’s for sure. But kudos to them for updating their algorithm to help get searchers to more relevant, credible and in-depth content faster.

    Their hush-hush antics protect the white hats. They need to do what they need to do. It’s SEO: Welcome to the jungle.

    • “But kudos to them for updating their algorithm to help get searchers to more relevant”
      Therein lies the problem. Searches are, quite simply, NOT more relevant.

  • Playing by the rules is key. A number of years ago, my webmaster generated a ton of profit for us by using questionable techniques. Google caught on, and we were penalized for nearly 2 years. I eventually rebuilt the site in question, as well as many new sites on my own, all playing by the rules, namely, focusing on creating the simplest and most relevant user experience without resorting to any SEO “tricks”. These sites outrank most major competitors today.

    So while I have first hand experience on how harsh it is to have your site ranking dropped to nowhereland, I also know that Google is relatively fair and objective when it comes to ranking real content above sites that overdo their SEO.

  • Yes, Google did a number on my business and I think they shot themselves in the foot on this one.

    The FEDS are looking at them and how is it that Amazon and EBay have risen to the top of the, niche, keywords. These two are nothing more than a paid link farm.

    AT&T was broke up maybe it’s googles turn. Competition took off after AT&T dropped and service got much cheaper.

    Boycott, a great idea but is Bing still using Google results? I am close to retirement but sure hope The Google will listen to the critics and and quit being such a dictator!

  • There is a lot of truth in this piece. There is way too much collusion at the big G. They know all the money words- from their adwords program- and so they find ways of controlling them and sending us all kind of useless traffic from afghanistan. Since Google cannot produce all the content that billions needs- if they drive SEOs out of business then they wont have anyone to product the content and their searchers will go elsewhere. But in the meantime- they are riding it hard.

  • I agree that the rules and penalties have become so arbitrary and hidden that we webmasters are really powerless now, with no clue how to recover when search results dive. The whitest white hat site I run, with zero things going on that I could see Google objecting to, is the one that got hurt the most. It’s a content site though, and despite what Matt C. says, they’re not rewarding content sites anymore—big commercial brands with one product are now ahead of content sites giving information on a variety of choices. You have to pay to play, over the table or under the table. Why any webmaster still uses gmail and stays signed in to Big Brother all day after all this (letting them track your every move) is beyond me.

  • First of all I would like to thank you guys for giving your readers great content to ponder and see how are we doing in the SEO per se.

    I am looking forward for 2013. I hope to see a fruitful more years to come for my family. For now I have to count my blessings.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  • 2012 go’s in the books as my best year ever,I never made so many money as now.
    I have many websites,but what I do is, I link only to my own sites and promote on many places.
    So if google shows my websites or not I not care, sure when google show not 1 website i will make less the now.
    I not bet one 1 horse, there are many ways to promote your sites where google nothing to do with have, do that first, all what you get from google is extra.
    I do that all years works the best.

  • Thank you Titus.

    This is good, easy to read and touches so many difficult to understand parts of traffic seeking via Google. It seems like Google is going all out to shift the advertisement sites to the top. Used to be a search for Charlotte Roofing Contractor turned up Charlotte roofing contractors. Now the top runners are Yellow Pages and other broker sites. Really chokes the life out of the smaller businesses.

    You did a great job here. Helped clear up several questions. Keep them coming.

    Thanks,
    rmharrington

    Grace, perfected in the person of Jesus Christ.

  • We have been stable in o9ur rankings for many years. 1 man real team building company in South Africa. no black hat – I was too scared to lose my great rankings – see history here… http://www.lifemasters.co.za/penguinsushi.html

    24th April I was CRUSHED from page 1 and 3-5 team building enquiries per day to MISSING and 1 enq per MONTH for my main services team building and team building Gauteng.

    So much for do no harm… As a I man business this was devastating.
    Have to find an alternative…to rebuild my team building services visibility in 2013.

  • I totally agree with this article, we have about 1 year left to try and get off the ground, after that point i will have to sell my house, and everything i own in an attempt to either sink or swim.

    We played everything straight, frustrating working every hour god sends improving the site and earning absolutely nothing for your troubles, nothing but constant worry for almost 4 years.

    Catch 22, we dont have enough money to promote, and without promotion we cannot be found, it is almost comical if it wasn’t so sad.

  • Great recap, Titus! I’ve felt for some time that I shouldn’t be keeping all my eggs in Google’s basket. For those who have been hurt by these changes, look for the opportunity laced within the calamity. There are other ways to drive traffic and build revenue (social media, joint ventures). Don’t give up. Have faith, keep your visitors in mind, tweak, adapt, and hang in there. You can do it! Let’s show ’em in 2013! 🙂

  • “However, many SEO experts now believe . . . they just have to keep the right “anchor text ratio” so these links appear “natural” to Penguin and Google.”

    This isn’t right. “anchor text ratio” is a signal that a website owner may have engaged in link building with the only goal being to get links to improve ranking. If those links are under “editorial” control, i.e, a blog or website owner grants a link voluntarily because they think well of what you do (and your site reflects that), Google could not care less about anchor text ratio.

    The advice to “appear” natural suggest there exist a ratio one can successfully manipulate while manually building links so as to “appear” to Google that you are NOT manually building links with the sole purpose of improving your rank.

    No true SEO expert would ever tell a website owner to “appear natural” anymore than a dating expert would tell a lonely guy while on a date that he should “appear” sincere” or “appear” interested what she has to say.

    The fact is you cannot game or fool Google by “appearing” to have acquired real links. You’re either getting “real” links or you’re not.

    You have to really acquire them, i.e., convince other site/blog owners to link to you. These are editorially granted links. You cannot hire someone to go out and manually build links while you sleep and, oh, by the way, make then “appear” natural — see 25 Effective Ways to Get Links Post Penguin (some of them are even easy!)

  • It’s a complicated Google world and we just have to live in it, whether we get “hurt” or not. Great article. That’s a lot of things to think about before working on backlinks.

  • Thank you Google for giving me a huge paycut when you stuck it to me. You ruined some of my life but i’ll survive. Google getting some coal in there stocking from me this year. Perhaps in 2013 they might get a real present.

  • “many still suffered a major downgrade, especially if one had a small “mom and pop” operation and not a big brand name site”

    I really do not think that Google want new websites to “make it”.
    They certainly seem to do everything possible to make it extremely hard to get your rank up.

  • Google Dirty Tricks and Dangerous Monopoly

    These NY Times articles are very helpful because they lend credibility to the situation. It’s not just conspiracy theories from webmasters.

    Google Casts a Big Shadow on Smaller Web Sites:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/technology/google-casts-a-big-shadow-on-smaller-web-sites.html

    Google is the most dangerous monopoly ever. They are a dictator and can control everything, influence anybody with search and can kill any business. Many small businesses are feeling the impact of Google and sales have dropped considerably.

    More and more small business websites get punished by Google (no matter whether websites has excellent content or not) and will be forced to use Google’s Adword.

    Google is only big because we still keep voting for it with our keyboards.
    Absolute power corrupts absolutely — It’s time to stop that.

    If all of us Websmaster worldwide launches a campaign against Google and all of us direct our websites visitors towards using different search engines such as Bing, with the power of banners, story lines, accusations, blocking Google bot with Robots.txt and don’t use Adwords, Adsense etc. Google will experience a devastating effect that has a huge chance of going viral trough the whole world.

    Google is neither good for America nor for the Web ecosystem.

  • Shhhh, They are listening. They will sneak into your house and take away your ranking and maybe your wallet if they don’t like what you are saying. Please conform and continue on as a mindless soul.

  • My honest view is Google doesn’t really care about search results, it cares about the perceptions of its search results. Google moving goal posts is nothing to do with quality search results, its about getting the message out there that if your serious about a front page result, you should buy some ad space… Google is looking to discount as many ‘bad links’ as possible, this will lead to a resurgence of on-page seo. But isn’t this where we all started in the 90’s?

  • […] Google Caused a Ton of “Hurt” for Webmasters in 2012 […]

  • “many still suffered a major downgrade, especially if one had a small “mom and pop” operation and not a big brand name site”

    I really do not think that Google want new websites to “make it”.
    They certainly seem to do everything possible to make it extremely hard to get your rank up.