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Google Debunks Link Sabotage Theories

Poor quality rather than bad links causes site ranking woes, they claim

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The search engine thinks the apocryphal talk about webmasters being able to wreck their competitors by creating bad links to them is just a bunch of talk.

One webmaster who believes he has suffered at the hands of such "Googlebowling" tactics isn’t convinced that Google looks closely enough at potential abuse coming from specially crafted inbound links.

At Search Engine Roundtable, the assertion exists that a little sneakiness by a webmaster will be the only item needed to build and target a rival, and drop it from Google’s rankings. A post at Google Groups detailed how the targeted webmaster would experience such a sudden loss:

 

Create a bunch of links pointing toward of all your enemies and competitors’ websites then use some really nasty porn Anchor text Keywords. Don’t link the porn keywords to the site’s main or index page, DO link the porn to a single specific page on the site and use that same page as the only page to link the porn too. Googlebowling works better if you embed the links into a video or flash (please note the example).

 

A Google staffer followed up on the post, claiming the site targeted by the Googlebowling ought to be looked at more closely, and in the context of Google’s quality guildelines.

"Looking at the site that you mentioned, I could imagine that studying our Google Webmaster Guidelines, in particular the quality guidelines, would be time well spent," Google’s John Mueller said.

"Most of these guidelines involve the content on the site itself, something which generally can’t be changed through links pointing to the site."

In a mildly direct way, Mueller suggested the site’s low quality, not the inbound links, needs work. As far as evil linking and site rankings go, Mueller said in a follow-up that in theory the linking cited could cause a problem in some "borderline situations," but still suggested the webmaster in question needs to study Google’s quality guidelines.

Google Debunks Link Sabotage Theories


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  • http://www.edwinsdesignlab.be Edwinsdesignlab

    So when did they decide that the quality suddenly changed to  poor  ?

    So the seoblackhat people who provide google bowling services are just full of crab ?

    So the google bomb phenomena earlier this year placed on the scientology church just exsisted in our imagination ?

     

    • Christine

       I have had the WORST experience with Google I have a client that has had hundreds of hit’s and not one email to them????

      I have had clients on Google Adwords and spent $$$$$$ of dollars and all of my clients at least 20 of them all had terrible results, but google showed hundreds of hit’s but no emails or products bought from their campaign???

      I have addressed this issue with Google and they have yet to answer me????

      I am totally through  with Google, I truly believe they do bomb you big time and are a very poor service. 

      I think they can scam anyone of us.

      No More Google for me…
      thank you

      • http://www.seo4china.com Hong Kong SEO

        Your problem is with your site usability and conversion rate, not with the traffic Google is bringing to you

        • http://www.sourcesurge.net Bryan Siegel

          Does anyone remember the Bush ranking number 1 in Google for infinate failure? There are two things Google did to fix "Google Bowling".

          1. Chances are if the content on page doesn’t match the inbound link + anchor text of the "bad sites" then you’re okay.

          2. Don’t link back.

          Chances are if you don’t have conversions from Google you don’t know what your doing. I’ve built, managed, owned and done SEO for hundreds of websites and to this very day I fail to not see Google at top with lots of calls and email.

          It’s the nature of the biz. If you can’t convert off Google maybe you should try web design.

  • http://www.torontoSEOfirm.com SEO Agency in Toronto

    I don’t think the information you provided shows that Google is debunking this myth.  I think the exact opposite, Google is confirming that it is ‘possible’ for this technique to work.

  • http://www.thekosloffgroup.com HHI Golf Guy

    I can’t say that Googlebowling works now, but it did work in the past. One day I noticed one of my sites plummetted in the rankings. After some research, I found a ton of spammy links pointing to the site. I notified Google of what I found and the site came back.

    But that’s not the end of the story. I had a hunch which competitor planted thousands of spammy links. So as a "test" I did the same thing to them. Their site took a nosedive in the rankings for their primary KW.

    It should be noted that the KW was a competitive local term, but daily searches for that phrase were only 800-1000 per day and there were only 4M competing pages. IBL’s for the sites in question were only 5k-6k to begin with. It’s not like this was a top 50 KW search phrase and sites with 50k+ links.

     

     

     

  • http://the-morning-woody.blogspot.com Poker MySpace Britney Spears Paris Hilton Golf YouTube Na

    Ok, I am gonna share this information with some of you out there. And, yes there is a way to take out the lesser competition.

    You take a program like Traffic Seeker Lite, add some keywords and generate 500 doorway pages to your intended victim/target/.com.

    Then, you use a page uploader like Gpage software to upload all 500 pages at once to Googlepage. Cheap, easy, and clandestine.

    This takes all of about 5 minutes and if you did this all day long I think you could do serious damage to even the most powerful amateur sites.

    Please don’t do this but maybe let Google know to be on the look out for such illegal actions.

  • http://businessblogs.us Business Blogs

    Yes, I also think they are confirming that it has some value, though not giving us any idea just how much.  Only that a good review of the Google quality guidelines is in order.

    If they had said that it had no weight at all, then I think your headline would be fitting, but they didn’t say that.  Only that you should consider quality as a priority.  Which is always true. 

  • http://www.lightingsupply.com tom

    I think the personal at google two stepped around the answer to the question. IMHO

  • http://djam-promo.com Rich Brunelle

    All Search Engines Are Flawed, and . . . They do not give a damn, nor care to do anything about it.

    I have stated my opinion on  numerous occaissions, but as of yet have not gained much of a following. This doesn’t mean my opinion is wrong. It simply means that we as a society are sheep and easily follow regardless of expense to ourselves.

    All of the Search Engines have one major flaw. They expect the Internet to march to their drum, instead of accurately indexing the Internet. When you look from cyberspace you should see the Internet as a library of information . . . written by many different writers with individual styles and personalities. When a Writer authors a book, he does not re-write the book for Search Engine optimization. Nor does he check his book to ensure it has the right amount of keywords, meta-tags, or anything else to ensure the Library index his book. So, why the hell do we have to spend all this money to get our books fairly listed in the Search Engine library? And, why is it possible for someone to stuff their web site with Search Engine Optimization tactics not even remotely relevant to the topic, and obtain a higher Search Engine Ranking than the actual on-topic site for the applicable topic? And, why are we allowing the Search Engines to dictate how, the content of, the linking methodology, the appearance of, or any other aspect of our web sites?

    The Search Engines need to take all that money they a raking in and do the job expected of them. Give it a moments thought. How much money has been made by the major Search Engines over the past few years? How much have you spent trying to get high rankings over the past few years? Now, go do a search on any major Search Engine . . . Results for almost any topic suck. Why? Because the Search Engines are failing to properly index the Internet.

    When will the Search Engines properly index the Internet? When we quit following their lead and putting up with their failures. If I write a book and Google fails to properly index it, then Google needs to fix their problem.

     

     

     

  • http://bleuken.i.ph/ bleuken

    can anyone tell me how could the Googlebot determines "quality content", by checking the spelling and grammar of the content?!  I have read their guidelines and keep on following them but it seems that those who did not follow are still on the top of the ranks.

    I guess Googlebowling is really possible, Bots are just programs and it follows a certain algo when someone knows about it then someone can do something as link sabotage.

    • http://www.reaseo.com reaseo

      Well, no one really knows for sure but there are some speculations and observations.

      Yes, grammar is a speculation that may determine quality but not likely.

      Here are some likely reasons to determine quality.
      1) Who you link to? and who links to you. – if you link to what google has flagged as bad sites. It will hurt your site. If bad sites link to you – there will be no benefit or negative impacts.

      2)Duplicate/useless content. Is you site adding something or just a copy of others material. Check your site through linkscape and find out if you have copyright issues.

      3)Google hires quality reviewers. These are temp positions generally given to people going through college. They get a guideline pdf to help them score sites. Then they go to sites that google specifies and score them. How this all works I’m not to sure… but, There has been a leaked google quality scoring pdf you can generally find by searching in google.

      Some reasons your site can get penalized.
      -hidden text or links on your site
      -keyword spamming/stuffing

      Ultimately if you want tot rank in the SERP’s you need to get links with the words you want to rank for in the link text. And you want them to be diverse(from lots of sites on different domains and IP’s).

  • http://www.asian-inspiration.com Nicolas

    As far as I am concerned and through what I read, the real concern good webmaster good focus on is creating a quality website. What the personal at Google try to explain (in my understanding) is that as long as you create a real website following their quality guidelines, you’ll never have to worry about anything like that.

    We know that Google is using some kind of network association between the website that are linked together, and thus if your website is properly linked to relevant and similar websites as yours and if your onpage content is of high quality, no link can really be harmfull to you, in fact in can even be positive to you: as some people say, a link is better than no link.

    Now, if the nature of your website is already unclear to the search engine, and your link network made with unrelevant websites, in such condition, getting linked from a nasty place with bad keyword could affect you by misleading the SE that you belong to the network of this kind of website.

    To me, the best defense against such potential attack is to build high quality website for the visitors, and the search engines through their quality guidelines of SEO.

  • http://sewhaa.com/ Sewhaa!

    I do not uderstand much about how these things work. But are you trying to tell me that if I should get a link in the top ten somebody could just by devious means cause me to fall out? That kiso really not fear.

  • Guest

    We are amazed that you guys are still scratching your heads wondering if this ("Google Bowling") really exists or not!

    Our 4 ecommerce sites were specifically targeted by, what turns out to
    be, a jealous, malicious family member, whom has been identified by
    several witnesses. The witnesses have signed affidavits which discuss
    how a group of criminally minded (one of them is already a four-time
    felon) individuals cheered every night when they got us out of another
    keyword ranking, (through Google Bowling techniques) until we were virtually non-existent in Google at
    all. (we would be #1 or #2 and then just dissappear!). No need to go
    into the painful details of staff firings, huge, unneccessary, losses
    of income and pending bankruptcies. Our sales went down 50% then 100%
    within a two year period, in direct correlation to the activities of
    these few people.
     

    We have hundreds of screenshots of the individual Google results and
    the spam, porn and malware pages they associated our site names, urls,
    keywords to. There are also details and evidence of "fake" stores with
    pages optimized for our keywords, redirects to competitors through
    "Share-A-Sale" and "Commission Junction" and other "real" stores which
    scrape our content and are now capitalizing on our absence (through
    the use of Google Bowling) to take our traffic for those very valuable
    keywords that we worked hard and invested to rank for over the last 7
    years.
     

    Sad thing is that as we continue to struggle with this (many staff
    members are purely volunteering at this point because they are so
    incensed that something like this can continue to happen without
    recourse or penalty for the perpetrators), now in the form of more
    benign "review sites" or "comparison shopping engines" which are pages
    and pages of links to our comptetitors for keywords we start to rank
    for. There are also spam Blog entries as well as deliberate "PPC" sites that suddenly appear on top of our previous ranking, as our site is submitted to hundreds of porn directories daily.

    We have also been subject to a search engine hack that injects code at
    the front of index.php to redirect searches elsewhere. It was somehow
    cookie dependent, so we couldn’t see it.
     

    The perpetrators also send out spoof mail from bots that try to get us
    black listed, daily.
     

    It is not right for a small business to have to spend their time
    dealing with criminals who are using Google to destroy and steal from
    legitimate businesses. Yes, we bear much responsibility to keep our
    site secure, optimized and aware of any possible black hat technique
    attacks (which we’ve reported, and made endless submissions to Google
    for over the past 6 months), however, Google results are Google
    territory. Google should bear a fair amount of responsibility in this,
    if not with a true understanding of the current ability for lives to
    be ruined by these tactices, but at the very least, for the damage it
    does to the quality of the results for users (why should they have to
    look through pages of spam to never find a good site! And yes, we have
    heard the "your site could be better optimized" denial. Most likely it is a buy of time until Google figures this out (our positive thinking at work).
     

    We saw what was going on in the search engines, but when we received 
    a phone call from witnesses whose conscience would not let them hold
    silence anymore, it directly corroborated with what we were seeing in
    the search results at Google and helped us to know how to collect
    further evidence of what they were doing. All of the evidence is there. The daily submissions to porn directories, the links to porn movies and malware sites, and the fake store/compteting site/spam/PPC pages optimized well for our new ranking keyword, submitted just in time to take our place.
     

    Google Bowling is real and could easily (if not so already) become
    rampant. As it does not take a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon to
    figure this out, or to perform the deed. Just an evil mind, maybe one
    Google never anticipated when configuring their algorithms.
     

    Ultimately, Google Bowling will destroy their brand name, and
    credibility as a quality search engine and everyone will lose. It
    looks like we were one of the first to experience this menacing issue,
    so we will also encourage anyone who would like to know more about how
    and what did happen to our business, we are more than happy to provide
    more details in the spirit of enlightening and possibly preventing
    anyone from having to go through Google Bowling hell, and all the
    devastation and frustration that goes with it.
     

    • Guest

      Sounds like you guys really upset the wrong person(s).  I have seen these type of vendictive missions and business is war.  Good luck in the future!  You to not be desrving of this.  Best!

  • Guest

    We had a ten year ( since 1997) "quality" business that was one day just removed from Google results. Google Natural traffic accounted for 40% of our traffic so when we were removed for 6 months it was a downward spiral. Before this happend we were a 10,000,000.00 in sales per year company and were profitable. A year later I was out of business oweing 1.5 million and lost everything.

    • http://www.free4thofjulyrecipes.com Guest

      Sorry to hear that. I hate hearing about this kind of stuff happening. It scares me.

      Good luck

       

      Jay

      http://www.free4thofjulyrecipes.com

       

  • David A. Utter

    Brad Bristol said in an email he could not get his comment about this story to post. I’m reproducing it here verbatim:

    It is my site John Mueller is talking about on google groups, www.lots0cash.com.

    John Muler from google also said I had virus’s on my site and in effect told people to stay away from my site… when in fact there there was (and is) no virus at all on my site.

    So far Mr. Mueller has not bothered to apologize for making such an outrageously false claim. I hope the the other search engineers at google are a little more grown up than Mr. Mueller.

    Googlebowling as I describe it does work. You can see it for yourself, right this minute on my site. just take a few minutes to read through the thread at google groups so you understand what is really happening to my site.

    As far as the site being low quality, well the site has been good enough to still maintain top rankings for its primary targeted keywords, [lottery information], [lottery websites] for years. The site is (as of this morning) still number one in google for those keywords.

    So if in fact it is a site “quality” issue, then why is my site not only ranking for it’s chosen keywords, but google has selected my site to be a google ‘site words’ site… see the query [lottery information].

    However, the keywords that the spammers don’t want my site showing up for (keywords my site came up in the top five for before my site was googlebombed) keywords like [lottery scam], [email lottery scam], [microsoft lottery] keywords my site is no longer in the google search results for, after the googlebombing.

    Obviously, by claiming my site had viruses and was low quality was this google employee’s way of explaining his way out of a sticky situation and not having to deal with the problem.

    I never said my site was the greatest, to be honest I really don’t have enought time to devote to it to make it really good, the site does not make any money and never has, This site was never about making money, more like just trying to pay for it’s self and it usually does not do that… But it sure is not as bad as some folks are making it out to be.

  • http://www.hemroidshelp.com hemroids

    Unfortunately this is totally incorrect on Google’s part to not addess a known problem in the mechanics of it’s own algorithm. It is unfortunate that they could not simply be honest about the fact that throwing 10,000 adult or pharmacy links at a wesite is going to hurt that website substantially unless its Web MD or Wikipedia.

    Unfortunately these statements dont work at the ground level where most of us webmasters reside – and see the changes daily. Like Google does not want to admin this, since it would likel result in lots of people unethically ‘unboating’ their competitors rankings.

  • http://blog.forrestcroce.com/ Forrest

    I think most of the commenters here (1) have no idea about logic, and (2) bitterly hate Google.

    Most people seem to miss the fact that there’s more than one variable at work.  The comments in here basically say "gravity doesn’t exist because birds don’t fall out of the sky."

    The first comment suggests that anyone can fall victim to 10,000 malicious links … that’s a fairly large number.  It’s not impossible for a person or a team to create that many, but the amount of effort involved is significant.  Most web sites don’t illicit enough passion to encourage anybody to put in the work to create 10,000 porn links from enough domains, to a page on your site.  It says only Wikipedia could survive this … only a site as popular as Wikipedia is likely to become a target of a large attack in the first place!

    • lots0

      >"…only a site as popular as Wikipedia is likely to become a target of a large attack in the first place!"

      Well your wrong on that, just take a look at what is happening on my site right this minute.

      My site is being attacked by criminals that don’t want the information I have about their ripoff activities to be found by the public at large, so they can keep stealing. This is not about "emotion" it is about me exposing their criminal activity to the public and the criminals doing what they can to stop me from giving that info to the public… Good against evil, as simple as that.

      I will say in google’s defense that I am now starting to see the effects of the thousands of links with p0rn anchor text slightly diminished (of course that could just be whishfull thinking on my part.) But I am still not in the index for the keywords the criminals are targeting.[lottery scam], [email lottery scam], [scam lottery].

      I would also like to point out that ranking for the lottery scam keuwords is not difficult at all, those keywords are about as non-compeditive as they get.

  • http://www.hemroidshelp.com hemroids

    First off, getting many links from pages is much easier than you think. Using 5-8 pharm websites and placing sitewide links on those websites is easy. Obviously you are not undertanding the scope of what it talkes for this to work. It does not take 10 000 seperate domains. Once you understand this, the idea will become more palatable for you.

    Secondly, of course we fully understand the logic. It would appear as if you are not undertanding how easy this is to do, or the effect it has on websites. If it was not a factor, then we would not comment on it.

    There are other factors in rankings. They account for about 30% of rankings. Throwing 10,000 links at most websites hurt them, period. If you do not believe me, do an experiment with your own website for proof, I have already tested this several times.

    Your thinking is ‘this phenomenon doesn’t exist because more than one factor influences rankings." Of course, you are not taking into account the weight links are given in the algorithm.

    Furtheremore, there is a million reasons why in the competitive world of Google competitors would want this information verified, and it doesn’t take an incredibly smart person to understand why.

    Noone would bother going after Wiki – they stand nothing to gain from it. The competitive marketplace, however, is a different story.

    If you do not believe this phenomenon exists, go read up on from other grass root level webmasters at Webmasterworld.com

     

  • http://mapstedi.org One Thought

    This has been a severe trouble for many webmasters , who have been virtually ranking No 1 in Gooogle Results. I am no expert but I have seen one of my friends website, which was ranking # 3 in google but suddenly because of all the negative words and Googlebowling destroyed the Search Engine traffic to his site.
     

  • Lots0 – Brad Bristol

    My security settings were not allowing me to post. After the google rep told us we had viruses (incorrectly, I might add), we jumped up all the security and that added security was not allowing me to post here. Thanks for posting my email.

    If you check the yahoo site exploer search

    http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/advsearch;_ylt=AgiI_k_2lcgRYd61oGmjS.jal8kF?p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lots0cash.com%2Fdirectory%2Fthread%2F782%2F&bwm=i&bwms=p

    You will see that new "bad" links are being added on a regular basis. The attack has not ended, in fact it seems to have picked up a little in the past few days.

    I would also like to add that we are not just sitting around and letting this happen. We are taking steps, that we hope will help to correct the problem. WITHOUT having to remove or move the content the criminals are targeting. We feel that removing or moving the content would be admitting defeat to the criminals…and we ain’t about to do that.

    I won’t say everything we are doing, but I will say this. The attack, we believe, is coming out of specific part of the world. More specifically from a small group of countries. We have blocked all access to our server from those countries (A huge pain in the butt to acomplish, as well as a major drain on server resources).

    Thanks to all those that understand and support us.

    To those that don’t understand or believe googlebombing is possible… All you got to do is check it out for yourselves.

    Regards

    Brad Bristol

  • Guest

    Google adword comes to check quality of your page using

    site:<yoursite.com> + keyword

    After 2 weeks my website is removed from google search result , this has happened for at least 3 different type of pages, those pages were indexed for over an year, nor did I do anything like buying/selling links , I just do not have time to so. Even though from same website I have thousands of pages indexed some ranking well in google but the moment I start an adword campaign  .

    The contextual adword is no longer generating any conversion for hundreds of adword users,  most cannot afford to place them on google search page

  • http://texasseo.net Texas SEO

    It is extremely easy for someone to put up this many links if they know how to do it.  I’ve seen software that allows porn webmasters to submit their porn pages to many more sites than that.

    So to the poster that said it would take a team, it’s not true.

    Simple research into the realm will show you the blackhat methods available if someone is looking for them.

     

  • http://www.asseenontvshop.net Guest

    At least after your site sinks, your already 10,000 good links into promoting your new porn site!…

  • http://ArchiveNational.Com ArchiveNational.Com

    I think that most webmasters fails ranking in Gooogle Results

    because they don’t follow all the SEO suggestions

    Google Site sugestions are importants on the selection of keywords.

    On the search bar of the new browsers firefox, or IExplorer with google toolbar.

    As you type, Google will offer suggestions keys to navigate the results.

    Almost any webwebsite, can have a good ranking in google following this instructions.

    Put attention to this kewords and use it on your websites,

    and this will drive more search Engine traffic to your site.

    You can learn more SEO tips on

    http://Tecni.Com/en/seo.htm


  • http://www.blueeyeswebservices.com Guest

    All this chatter about Googlebowling.  I don’t know what it is and I don’t care what it is.  Google is the pits when it comes to the adwords and the adsense. 

    Did the Adwords thing for a few months.  You know where they show you the list of where your ads are showing,  well they had ours on about 25 porno sites,  not good for a company that clearly states they will not host porno sites.  Doesn’t make us look good at all.

    Ad sense, clearly stated in the beginning which type of ads.  Now as a hosting company why would I want ads from other hosting companies on my site.

    Before I finally got fed up with them tried to have another web site added.  One that features free classifed ads with no reciprocity,  Told by the mighty google staff they do not allow sites that are constantly changing.  Huh

     

    I try not to put any links on my sites, nor to I put my link in many places.  Rankings are a thing that is so overrated.  You have a million and one people claiming that they are the ones who’s ideas should be followed.  Fed up with it all.

  • http://www.bozboz.co.uk web design brighton

    This is so hard to quantify, but a very interesting concept.

  • Todd

    The method mentioned may or may not work.  But there’s another method thats even more dangerous that I was attacked by.  I will not go in to details, I don’t want to see it happen more.  I notified Google a year and half ago.  As far as I can tell they’ve done nothing.  My site that was attacked is still out of the index.

    After reverse engineering the attack, I tested it myself on a new site, basic drupal site with a few articles, NOTHING against the TOS, in fact I have other sites built with the same platform ranking high… well within a week the site was completely banned from the index and never returned.

    I don’t think Google will do anything about these attack methods until enough fuss is made.  If main stream media starts putting it in the news then maybe we’ll see change.  Currently if you’re attacked Google wont even look into it.  They shoe you off by telling you to read the Google Quality Guidelines instead of actually looking into documented proof of the attacks.  I lost a $6,000/mo+ site from this.  Hopefully no one else will.

     

  • http://www.e-commercewebdesign.co.uk Adam – E-commerce Web Design

    This is quite worrying, I guess it could happen to anybody. I think though, that as long as your site has a good set of links beforehand, Google should be able to recognise any potential sabbotage.

    We have to accept that in today’s world SEO is a corrupt and flawed business and people will do anything to get ahead.

     

  • http://www.crbuses.com used buses

    Google needs to stop coming across as though every webmaster is out to game their engine. Once they can undertand that, they will be able to see out of the fog of believing that issues with ranking are always due to issues that the webmaster or SEO caused. This phenomenon, in various names, has been around in Google for at least 4 years.

    • http://www.lightingsupply.com/incandescent_bulbs/par_br_shaped_bulbs/locomotive_headlight_par_56.aspx Locomotive Headlight

      I couldn’t agree more!!!

  • http://www.unitedworx.com paris @ united worx web design

    well most of the time that i try to figure out if something matters in goole or not i try to think logicaly since thats what the oogle algorithm is all about.

    so logically a buch of guys on the internet bulting bad incoming links to your website whould not hurt you at all since you do not have control on who links to you.

    however you do have control on who you link to! so linking to bad websites throught link exchnage might hurt you rankings and its logical, so if 100 pron sites lik to you it should make no difference, BUT if you do link to 100 porn/spam sites then you certainly are hurting yourself!

    al least thats how things should logically work :)

  • http://RadioTelephoneTutor.com Lassar

    Don’t let google fool you. Google Bowling can still be done.

    All your competitor has to do is create a widgetbait that frames you.

    The widgetbait would link to your website using your keywords. Then after a few weeks, reports you to google.

    I think google should be more carefull on policies that make it possible for your competitor to do negative seo on you.

     

     

     

     

     

  • http://www.filmsgb.co.uk Adrian Adnes

    This has been a very interesting discussion – so i’m going to put in my two cents worth.

    Personally i resent Google for the fact that they’re so damn large and succesful.
    By this i mean ‘successful’ in the sense that they seem to control a very high percentage of search queries.
    However this isn’t Googles fault is it?… they’re simply doing what any company or corporation is legally obliged to do.. and that’s work at exapnsion and returns.

    The problem is that many of us feel uneasy that they control such a wealth of information that they have become the arbiters of what should and should not be found or seen on the net. It all smacks of big brother – and it won’t end well. Note that they were quite happy to accept search restrictions as imposed by The Chinese Govt. – so this ‘who us?…. we just provide searches we don’t have any responsibilities’ attitude they have doesn’t really have legs.

    However the key to competition is with the consumer… quite simply we have to shy away from using Google and take away some of its power. Perhaps as we become aware that all Google throws up is a heap of sites that have been optimized for Google it will become less relevant.

    To get back on thread it seems fairly certain that Google can be bowled – It’s admits to being hard on spammers so how it is able to tell true spammers apart from those that have been framed will be a matter for some algorithm or other…. but it will not be perfect.

    Personally we’ve decided to live without Google… or DMOZ… and it’s actually quite liberating to be outside looking in.
    it’s not a search engine is it really?…. it’s a de facto information and advertising agency that will run out of steam.

    and here’s the inevitable link:
    http://www.filmsgb.co.uk
    See? I love hypocrisy – just as much as Google does.

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