Double Dipping in Google’s Organic Results

    June 19, 2007

Subdomain Spam

Since Google has been over-representing site authority in their relevancy algorithms many sites like eBay have begun abusing the hole with the use of infinite subdomains. These techniques not only effect branded search results, but also carry over to many other competitive keywords. 

Creating Shadow Brands & Buying Top Ranked Competing Sites

While small businesses are worried about the risks of buying or renting a few links, some large corporations are launching shadow brands or buying out competing domains en mass. There are thousands or millions of other examples, so it is unfair for me to point any out, but here are a few for the sake of argument.

  • has a near unlimited number of education related domains, with a near identical user experience at almost all of them.
  • Bankrate has a double listing at #2 and #3 for mortgage calculator. They also bought the #1 ranked site.
  • How many different verticals does Yahoo! cover the Nintendo Wii in? Off the top of my head, at least 9: their brand universe, yahoo tech, yahoo shopping, yahoo news, yahoo directory, ask yahoo, yahoo answers,,, etc. (and that doesn’t even count geolocal subdomains for answers, shopping, etc.)

What happened to result diversity? When and why did Google stop caring about that?

Is Buying Links Ethical?

Some people may report paid links, but the fact that there is a mechanism to do so shows how effective link buying is.

Why is buying links bad, when using infinite domains or buying a bunch of sites are both legitimate? Why is it ok for the WSJ to publish this type of content, but wrong for me to do whatever necessary to compete in a marketplace cluttered with that information pollution?

The point here is not to say that big businesses are bad or doing anything wrong, but to show the stupidity Google is relying on when they scaremonger newer and smaller webmasters about the risks of buying a link here or there. The big businesses do all of the above, gain more organic links by being well known, and still buy links because the techniques works. Whatever Google ranks is what people will create more of, so long as it is profitable to do so.

If you create a real brand you can buy more links and be far spammier with your optimization with a lower risk profile, because Google has to rank your site or they lose marketshare. Create something that is best of breed and then market the hell out of it. If marketing requires buying a few links then open up the wallet and get ready to rank.