Is Google Ever Wrong About Links?

    August 28, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

In case it wasn’t bad enough that fear of Google has kept people from linking to other sites, and got them requesting legitimate links be pulled down, Google is reportedly sending unnatural link warnings to sites based on links that are actually natural.

Is Google ever wrong about links? Does Google ever really look at legitimate links as bad? Let us know what you think in the comments.

It’s hard to say if this is happening often, or if with 100% certainty that it is happening, but Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable appears to have found at least one example in a Google help forum thread.

The webmaster says he received a warning in February, noting that this was “understandable” because he’s worked with SEO agencies in the past that did advertorials, and was spammed with “really bad links” by unknown individuals.

“So we spent the last months, contacting webmasters, getting links removed and nofollowed and we disavowed around 500 Links,” the webmaster writes. “Next to that we stopped the redirection from our old domain to which there are quite some spammy links pointing.”

“I think we have done everything within our ability, at considerable time and cost to our company, to comply with Googles guidelines,” he adds. “We have completely stopped working with agencies and we pursue a quality approach.”

He says after his last reconsideration request was declined, Google gave the following URL as an example of one of the bad links:


“This is a completely legitimate post and it was not influenced by us in any way,” he says. “They are writing about a campaign we are running. I have the feeling this sometimes is completely random. I am even unsure if it makes sense to take the time to actually file another reconsideration request under these circumstances.”

He later notes that there is no relationship between his company and the blog with the “bad link”.

Another discussion participant suggests that the “money” keyword link “Guide To Recycling” in the article, which points to the webmaster’s page, could be the problem.

“Well the so called ‘money keyword link’ was chosen by sustainablog itself, probably because they thought it would best describe what we do,” the webmaster responded. “We have no influence on this, and we certainly have no interest in ranking for ‘Guide To Recycling'”.

So yes, this sounds like a natural link, at least from this side of the story.

Interestingly, the person who suggested the “money keyword” issue said the same thing happened to one of their clients – also in the furniture space.

Schwartz suggests the webmaster is “better off disavowing the link, and also finding links like it,” and doing the same for them. This might be good SEO advice, but it also highlights a possible issue in webmasters being forced to have Google ignore legitimate links.

If this is really what’s going on, it’s pretty sad.

It does, however, come at a time when independent reports are finding strong correlation between Google+ and authorship and search rankings. You have to wonder if links are simply starting to play less of a role in Google’s algorithm than in the past. Even if they are still playing a role, it’s possible that they’re not being given as much weight. Following a recent Moz (formerly SEOmoz) report about +1s and rankings, Matt Cutts set out to “debunk the idea that more Google +1s lead to higher Google web rankings.” But if you think about +1s like links, it’s not necessarily link quantity that really counts either.

There’s also question about whether Google is going to continue to update Toolbar PageRank. It’s not the same as pure PageRank, but it’s still a de-emphasis, if they’ are in fact killing it.

Either way, Google has been changing its wording related to link guidelines, putting out multiple new videos about “unnatural links” and suggesting webmasters use nofollow on more types of content.

Do you think Google is capable of making mistakes like this? If so, do you think it happens often? Share your thoughts.

Note: This article has been updated from its original form.

Image: ThinkStock

  • John

    Two Penguin updates ago, Google destroyed my business. I lost everything. I had gradually built my service over 8 years of hard work. Then overnight my website and the customers it provided were gone. I had grown too dependent on her search engine traffic. It was a tragedy I’m sure Google has perpetrated upon many Americans. As with all things Jewish (the Federal Reserve, the media, Israeli-controlled US Congress, bankster-financed military, the Holohoax, 9/11, Communism, Zionism, etc.), the answer why this fate has befallen our country can be found in the Protocols and the Talmud. Like wars waged against other countries, Google profits from the destruction of independent American businesses. Google is a parasite. The fix? Adopt a marketing strategy independent of this monster.

    • http://www.n0t.info Luana S.


      is your website still online? I’d like to take a look at it. :)

      Anyway, if your business is still breathing, albeit in the struggles, it would be wise not to let it die just because of Google, but to focus on other search engines (Bing, DDG.gg, etc.) and on word of mouth.

      ~ Luana

  • http://www.blippitt.net Blippitt

    If this is actually true, it represents a sad state of affairs. We too were decimated by a Penguin update two years ago. After switching to the .net version of our domain name, we’re finally starting to see some search engine traffic again. If we’ve now got to worry about disavowing totally legitimate links, then it’s time to stop paying attention to Google altogether.

  • http://warrenwhitlock.com/social-media-expert Warren Whitlock

    This is a common recipe for a myth about Google. The person you refer to appears to have take a list of facts and constructed a persona for the search giant… almost as if it was a competitor across the street.

    I see no reason to doubt the facts, but also no reason to assume that Google will attack my business. I’ve not had warnings, I’ve not bought from shady suppliers, and if one Google unlisted everything tomorrow, my business would not be destroyed.

  • http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk Alex

    This is worrying – I hope it’s just a mistake on Google’s part. What makes matters worse is they remain reticent about their decisions and don’t respond to any queries businesses have.

    There are other search engines out there, it’s just a shame Google has such a vast monopoly. It would be better for so many reasons to even it up with Bing and Yahoo! a bit.

    • Steve

      Yer, you go Alex – Googles world control / monopoly is too great making them dictators – how do we get the public to move away from Google and use Bink or Yahoo?

  • http://easyonlineclassifieds.com/ John Hogan

    Without Links to resources,information,businesses, the web is DEAD and so is Google. I feel another set of anti trust issues ahead for Google maybe. One thing is certain and Google has every right to initiate it in full most do now consider. Page coding, Speed are ranking factors too (always has been to some degree). Google COULD take down 99% of sites listed in Google in a single DAY and do so legally as 99% of sites are poorly coded and this has been rule for over 15 years.

  • https://www.ubuyandsellwebsites.com/ websiteflipper

    The fact there are not threads all over the major forums moaning would suggest this is a storm in a very small tea cup.

    • Conran

      Unless you’re the business it’s happening too, then you would be out there screaming about it.
      But it’s okay, Google hasn’t screwed you over – yet. When it does (and it most certainly will) you’ll be wondering why they’ve been allowed to monopolize power over hundreds of thousands of small and medium businesses.

      This is what Google hasn’t figured out yet. With every change they make, and every field of online business they screw, they’re gaining another few hundred thousand enemies who want to see them collapse.

      What started as one update turning a few thousand webmsters and businesses against it has become another update and another, disenfranchising hundreds of thousands more.

      It’s not going to be long until Google has attacked everyone (but the massive corporations it undoubtedly has million dollar deals with) and the entire global market place is calling for regulation, breaking it up, anti-corruption laws, anti-monopoly legislation…

      With each passing month Google has screwed another hundred thousand businesses, and we are approaching saturation point.

      Go back to a blog post about Google from just five years ago and you’ll see glowing support in the comments. And now, it’s 90% hatred and anger.

  • http://www.actions4photographers.com/daycare-classroom-photo-montage.htm Daycare classroom photo montage

    Google says add fresh content all the time…. do it for readers they say not Google and maybe we will rank your site near the top. But…. if you sell digital products like Photoshop actions and group photo templates, just photo products what do you do, rewrite your descriptions over and over not really making the description any clearer or better just doing it so Google will see fresh content? This does not make sense and really isn’t for the readers at all its just so Google will not take away MORE traffic. They are making site owners jump through hoops for no reason and eventually Google will change their minds and say everything were doing now is wrong and we are just trying to advertise our business and now… you will get you penalized. What is and entrepreneur supposed to do? Why Google Why?

  • http://nfanflorida.com/ NFAN

    Google is giving us free traffic to our websites, and yet we rant and rave over “unfair” practices. I would not be surprised at all if a positive relationship exists between plus ones, PPC ads and rankings, after all its their show!

    • The Persecutor

      hmm hmm…google provides free traffic yea right….we provide google with free content so they can make money off advertising more like..

    • glover

      just imagine google without human sites & our content? So it not a free traffic.
      But since 2012 it looks like what google want to rank only wikipedia, amazon, youtube and gov sites.

  • http://www.denverinternetmarketing.org/ Ken Fry

    Everyone is capable of making mistakes…. what separates people and companies with integrity is the ability to admit to them and correct them.

  • http://www.riverbedmarketing.com/ Todd Mumford

    After handling a considerable number of successful reinclusio requests for unnatural link penalties, I would suggest the issue lies in two areas:

    1. The post really does look like a sponsored post promoting that company
    2. The blog has a blogroll that seems to advertise websites that are commercial in nature, and uses commercialized anchor text to do so.

    I won’t speak to the ethics of Google link evaluation, but would suggest that those two problems would catch my eye if I were a manual Google reviewer.

    • http://www.sbwebcenter.com Steve B

      You have valid points, but my problem is Google penalizing sites based on their opinion of what is and what is not considered paid links.

      The better option would be to simply ignore links that “appear” to be paid, but not apply a penalty. Because at the end of the day, all Google can do is assume which links are paid for and which ones are not.

      This eliminates the problem of giving link juice where it isn’t deserved, while not harming innocent sites.

    • glover

      it not help. google changes every 5 minutes and new and new penalties is coming out from “do not evil” corporation.

  • Chris

    Google is pretty much a joke at this point. They’re the ones that started this, by rewarding sites that had lots of incoming links. Now they want to punish sites for doing the same thing. Would be nice if they could make up their minds.

    It just goes to show that Google really does not know how to determine quality and rank pages accordingly.

  • http://bestmoviesevernews.com/ Curt

    This has been frustrating for many and we went through the unnatural link message. There wasn’t much to the message so we went through all the backlink looking things and everything was showing up legitimate.

    We did the Recon Request and G said no again and gave one link to a Tumblr site that had linked to one of our articles. That was literally all we found so we put in yet another recon request spelling out everything we had done to find unnatural things. Two days later everything was revoked and back to normal.

    This is the tough part of a giant trying to squelch out those abusing the system in that so many of us just following the rules become collateral damage.

    What’s frustrating is that many of us running sites started them with a passion for whatever we write about and focusing on good content rather than tricks and manipulations suddenly have to take time away from creating the original content to focus on these issues.

    You can be sure that within a few years, backlinks will again be crucial, but everyone will be even more cautious knowing that they’ll probably be considered bad again in another year. Even after all these cute animal algorithms, spam sites are still around and when you do searches most of what comes up first are the Amazons and spam sites sadly. The more things change, the more they usually wind up staying the same and with all the algorithm changes we’ve seen, the search process is still basically all the same.

  • http://corporationsofnevada.com Jennifer

    I think the only way to avoid being a casualty of google’s ever-changing policy is by not being too dependent on google for traffic. There are other marketing strategies, and google isn’t the only source of traffic on the internet. If everyone would stop following after google so much, it wouldn’t have so much control.

    • Steve

      I agree with you – Google wants to play “God” and control the world, they are in the testing stages but getting stronger by the day. Some 500 changes a year? What the hell is going on?? They have destroyed so many businesses. Some folk I have spoken to are also tired of Google, they are just ruining some good businesses and their once good name.
      One day you can have a good prosporous business the next day Google destroys your rankings and you have to retrench staff. Working with Google is like building sand castles on the beach – its not going to last. Once it was all about building links and billions of man hours where wasted, now we throwing all the links away…!!
      Yes find new methods of market

      • glover

        so, following google rules lead to bankruptcy. Peoples need to do what is really work and stop listen matt cutts memes and idealizations.

  • http://www.manilacomputestores.com Manila

    Google becomes very hard to webmasters, there must be some checking needed for unnatural link, this becomes problematic specially when somebody link or suggested your where google consider it unnatural and you don’t have control over it.

    • Json

      What the recent desperation shown by G means is:

      – link based search engine algorithm > fail
      – advertisement based search engine / media > fail
      – fiat currency system that made G possible > fail

      > today saw on CNN white house spokes person tell white lies, not a single media reporter present questioned white lies, do we need advertisement based media / search engine? how honest can such a media / search engine be?

      • http://www.ricaris.com Robert

        At this point, we would probably be better off with a public, government-owned Search. At least it would be regulated in some sensible way.

        Of course, there are issues with that, but I don’t see how it could be any worse than the way it is right now.

        Ages ago, people decided to have a public post-office, libraries, water and telephone lines… and then, at some point, they decided that they couldn’t govern themselves, and were instead being governed.

        Don’t pin your happiness on things improving during your lifetime.

        • John

          Deceptions work only until they are hidden from public knowledge.

  • http://www.kingscalendar.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?action=viewnews&id=1552 james

    Anyone who owns or operates a website knows by now that Google’s latest change to its ranking methodology has caused chaos on the web. I had not heard about it until I received a request from ‘Guide to Online Schools, who informed me that Google was punishing them for ‘an unnatural link’ and that that link was on my website. They advised me that it was important to remove the link as the future well being of their website and the entire company was at stake.

    Take that in for a moment. Google has punished a website because I provided a link to it. Actually I wrote an article about what I found there. According to the person who contacted me, my article was one of the better links to their site. But they were punished by Google for what I had done. I’m not being dramatic here by using the word ‘punish’. The polite term as I discovered in one article is that Google penalizes sites for ‘unnatural links’.

    I have had requests over the years to ‘exchange links’ and I don’t do it, mainly because I don’t see the point. I do however provide proper referencing and citations and I duly provide the link to the source in many of the articles i write. Is that manipulation? Is that ‘unnatural linking?’ Is that a scheme to manipulate Google?.

    Check my site link for the full article regarding this recent “insane” Google agenda.

    • http://www.kingscalendar.com R.P BenDedek

      Thank you James for posting this excerpt from my website but I think it would have been better if you had written ‘check this site’ instead of ‘check my site’ – since I didn’t put the post on this page. R.P. BenDedek Author of that article excerpt.

  • http://www.toptv.asia top tv asia

    Google is a system with amazing machine that sometimes need to be upgrade with latest version. Nobody is perfect, and yes they are not always in the right track. One more thing they seems never to apologize for their mistake.

  • http://www.greatwallchina.info great wall

    What google had done before helped a lot of people make a living from it, now it changed the game rules, then many people were affected by it. It is not right or wrong, if you want to rely on google, then you have to follow its rule.

    • glover

      google rules changing every 5 minutes, and even matt cutts still don’t know them. Because real seo rules created by algorithm programmers, not by matt cutts and their legal team.

  • http://www.seventhman.com/ Shaleen Shah

    Good links, bad links… all these news on link building and negative SEO had my head spinning. What I’m curious is why scraper sites are ranking higher in search results over the original source whose contents they have blatantly copied (and most often, without credits). I guess, the days of those who are wanting/trying to game the algorithms are soon to be over? Maybe…

  • Someone who knows

    Here are some questions i would love a Google rep to answer.

    1. Google, you’ve started unleashing your “panda” “penguin” and “unnatural link” penalties around August last year and while millions of webmasters immediately experienced a severe impact on earnings Google suddenly started to enjoy an almost 30% (!!) boost in growth and earnings. Isn’t that a bit strange?

    2. If a site is violating Google’s “guidelines” then how come paying Google for traffic via a paid ad (Adwords) is allowed and makes the site hmmmm… OK?

    3. Why aren’t Google simply ignoring the “unnatural” links and stop using them in rank calculations. Why does Google have to penalize a website and limit its exposure in search instead?

    4. Why is a website being punished for the action of another website for which it has no control?

    5. Why is linking to a product/resource/service being viewed by Google as spam but having a Google text ad on that very same page with many paid links to other product/resource/service is fine?

    The new Google is the judge jury and executioner… they have their hands in everyone pockets and it is just going to get worse without some regulatory intervention. This company must be broken into very small pieces with “search” well separated. The sooner the better…

    • http://www.ricaris.com Robert

      Especially #5. It should strictly be illegal to penalize a company in search for buying an ad with a link directly from a page… it’s monopolizing!

      Unfortunately, this is a political issue, and the US is incapable of dealing with anything right now, even routine business.

      The law is still running 100 years behind the technology and showing no signs of catching up.

      The good news is that lots of people are using Twitter for search instead.

  • http://elainequinn.com Elaine Quinn

    Google wrong? God forbid. They make the rules. Google forbid!

  • Malathy Badri

    Google indirectly forced me to close down my 5 year old general web directory because I received several emails a day to remove their links from my manually updated directory because Google warned them of unnatural links coming my directory.

    Do I need to say more?

  • Steve

    Since the onus is on you, the site own, to pls ask others nicely to remove your link for which you have no control over their compliance – would the easiest and quickest method be to just delete your links page & change the domain name – Google will then see this as a new site and stop messing around with your business & livelyhood ?
    Sure you will have to start SEO of your new site all over again but then Google has already destroyed your original site anyway, so you have got to start fresh anyway …. any comments?

  • http://www.travel-lists.co.uk AlastairMcK

    As I explain here on my website, I’ve had to NoFollow all my listings pages, which is no major problem for me, but it sticks in the throat a bit that Google is forcing me to pretend that my links are ‘un-natural’ when that is the exact 180-degree opposite of the case.

  • Ralphie

    Google WRONG? They would never admit it. They have a broken algo, its a fact and the recent gaming of the payday loan niche proves it so they are too jumpy with links.

    Here is a story, I have a site with very few links, heck its not even ranking for much to be honest. Anyway Aside from a press release and some social sharing the ONLY other link I have is a sitewide link because ANOTHER blog decided to put me in their “Sites Like Mine” blogroll.

    It is a freely given link on a PR 3 blog that is related and has good, real traffic.

    So what is blackhat, manipulative or deceitful about THAT link?

    Nothing of course but Google says it is so I have to spend time checking my links, emailing webmasters when I SHOULD be spending time putting up great content which is what Google says I SHOULD do to get better rankings.

    Well until someone puts me on their blogroll again that is.

    Make up your mind Google, quit punishing webmasters who get REAL links due to good content therefore forcing us to chase down and remove links instead of creating MORE content.

    • Ralphie

      I also saw this in the post-

      “It does, however, come at a time when independent reports are finding strong correlation between Google+ and authorship and search rankings. ”

      This is another problem, notice the Google owned properties and affiliates ranking lately? I have.

      They are biased towards their own properties.

      Use Authorship, better rankings
      Youtube, all over several page 1 results
      Blogger blogs ranking and also passing good Page rank to sites

      You really think these are the “best sites”? Of course not.

      They have fallen far from their “Dont be evil” mantra and their “best user experience” mission.

      I honestly think they are confused. The results were better a year ago than they were today, big brands are not always the best sources and google owned properties are not always the best results either.

      I hope they turn this around soon

  • http://www.digital-zone.org/ Alex S

    Actually is something normal – Google is just trying to clean up the web.

    It is not about relevance of the searches anymore- it’s about tons of money distributed by Google searches. I know niches with 7 figures monthly sales from the Google 1st page – all of them black hat.

    There will be always collateral damages. Google knows it could be wrong, however they don’t have any other choice at this moment but acting aggressive.

    • glover

      They have choice. Google pre-2012 was perfect search engine. But they decided to make money and destroy their organic serp.
      Anti-spam cutts need more money to create more damages and create more videos to explain us what we was wrong at the moment when decided to born.

  • John

    Yup, people get messages telling them to remove their link from my site when there is nothing wrong with my site, it’s perfectly within the guidelines. So people send me email saying to remove their link, it’s ridiculous. I’ve had enough of it, you don’t want a good link to you then goodbye, you never get a link from me again and I give my searches to Bing now. I don’t want anything to do with people that are greedy or can’t use their own brain and have to have others think for them.

    • Ralphie

      Great post!

  • http://www.aquatonics.com Dr Phil Smith

    We have a bona fide site, no dodgy links and do really well on Bing, Yahoo and Duckduckgo.We used to be in the top 10 on Google but now we are nowhere. I have spent a long time looking to see what the problem may be but no luck yet. I am beginning to use Bing a lot more for my searches.

    Dr Phil Smith Aquatonics Ltd UK

  • http://Thealphabetdirectory.com tom

    I think google is a joke, it is to bad we rely on them for traffic that supports all of our businesses. They can dictate terms whenever they want whether legit or not. I have a search engine with legitimate links and have been asked numerous times to remove links by webmasters because of google’s bs unnatural links. It is to bad because we are the ones punished by them for no reason.

  • http://www.skymaxmarketing.com Skymax Marketing

    I call BS on the original poster of the complaint. The example bad link given at sustainablog.org is blatantly a paid article. They charge $150 – $300 per article and have a link in their header so you can order yours too. That’s an obvious violation of Google’s guidelines.

  • http://www.besthealthfoodstore.net/index.html Cliff Smith

    Supposedly, in an effort to clean up “spammy” links, Google has penalized almost every small business (and some big ones) that sell anything online. Why? It appears that they want to receive compensation for article creation, press releases and other SEO marketing that webmasters do each day. Rather than allowing us to freely market online, Google has placed so many restrictions on linking that they seem to be working in favor of Amazon or other Walmart size companies that can afford to spend lots of money on paid search. It used to be that Google was a champion of the little guy as they benefited from all this free content being created. Now that they have plenty of free content, they want to collect money for everything new on the net.

  • Bill Maury

    Google in 2013 are all about finding excuses to limit your organic exposure so you have to resort to their Adwords program or close shop.
    Nothing to do with quality and everything to do greed and scare tactics. Just check their growth rates since they started unleashing “panda”, “penguin” and “unnatural links penalties”. More then 30% !!!.

    They are clearly using questionable tactics to force the competition out of business and everyone else into spending more on ads. (your site is fine if you pay them for traffic. No penalties, and no funny little creatures…your site does not violate any “webmaster guidelines” if you pay.)

  • http://trafficmotion.com Nick

    Of they’re going to get some things wrong. I had a real estate site penalized (or whatever the term is for it now) for unnatural links. I disavowed a ton of them and send a reconsideration request. The example websites they sent me to look at links on?

    An EzineArticles article that clearly had attribution back to the original article and links to my site. 2 links. Then a link to the author page directly from EzineArticles.

    Does Google really not know how article distribution works on the internet? Even when it’s clearly attributed and linking back to the original article? Google employees aren’t familiar with EzineArticles at all?

    And the entire rest of the website was highly relevant, with other articles and original writing. It was a decent website that wasn’t clearly spam or manipulating their own rankings.

  • http://pinterest.com/gypsybutterfly9/following/ Laverne

    Nice Web-site, Keep up the fantastic job. Thanks.

  • glover

    yes, google is totally wrong in making decision – is it natural link or not. But I not think they cares, they show their care only for public image of company.

  • Shiloh

    The answer is simple. DON’T USE GOOGLE AND DON’T CLICK ON ANY GOOGLE PPC ADS! Bing is now a better search engine. USE BING and take away Googles power!
    They absolutely gain by destroying small businesses in the organic rankings since it often forces the business to purchase PPC ads.
    If Google doesn’t like a link they should have just ignored it. Penalizing sites for links invites negative SEO which is occurring now.
    Matt Cutts is an imbecile that is dictating to web masters what they can do on their own web sites. That’s not acceptable and every web master should tell Cutts to SHOVE IT!
    I would also urge everyone to file and FTC complaint against Google.

    We have filed a compliant with the FTC ( Federal Trade Commission) that this is unfair business practice and a monopoly.
    An FTC Complaint can be filed here, no matter how small or big your business is,


  • http://www.manilacomputerservices.com Manila

    100 agreed – just ignored the links that appear to be paid.

    ??You have valid points, but my problem is Google penalizing sites based on their opinion of what is and what is not considered paid links.

    The better option would be to simply ignore links that “appear” to be paid, but not apply a penalty. Because at the end of the day, all Google can do is assume which links are paid for and which ones are not.

  • http://www.eutouring.com/ Martin

    After reading a lot of different remarks, it really does look like Google has lost it…Sooooooooo thought I would try a couple of different things that knowone has touched on… Started doing a search on Google, and yes as everyone is saying nothing but big boys, some with no information, asking me to be the first to comment, wont say who!! Then thought ok its a smart search engine “supposed to be”, so lets try again with Private Browsing, guess what same results…YES EXACTLY the same….OK lets go further..Lets go through a proxy server in a different country…now we should get some different results.. mmmmm.. well looks like any small business that does not have 20-30 million to spend on branding the company, might as well sing for a good rank in Google for the time being…so it looks like will be moving my searches to Bing.com, at least I get some kind of variety – Do let me know if you lot are having the same problem with Google? Would also like to say can understand how others feel as this has taken 80% out of my family business and now having problem paying bills, not sure how much longer we can stand up to this..NO more free enterprise..good luck to all you bloggers and webmasters – martin eutouring.com

  • http://martinmacdonald.net/should-you-trust-google/ James

    Here is more confirmation to what many webmasters have been suspecting all along.

    Check out this recording of a Google employee wanting to upsale ads to a customer that is clearly braking Google’s own “guidelines” on spam. This advertiser account should have been banned according to Google’s own “Guidelines” and “Term of service”. Apparently their guidelines are quite flexible when it comes to paid ads.

    It is my professional opinion (I’m a webmaster since 1997) that Panda, penguin and the rest of all them draconian/insane recent algorithmic changes are nothing but a poor excuse to limit your “FREE” website exposure to real converting traffic. They want us all to pay for our traffic OR risk closing shop.

  • https://www.searchen.com John Colascione

    Google is taking actions which are simply beyond reason with all of this link nonsense. The bigger Google becomes, the less they will be able to protect themselves from liability for these types of actions with their cloak and dagger canned responses to actions which clearly effect businesses sales volume and revenue. It is interesting from the point of view that Google feels they can take these actions because webmasters are users of a service which are considered optional, but soon not using Google will considered an unrealistic expectation, which at that point, users could never reasonably be expected to not use the service which is slowly becoming more of public utility than a choice.

  • http://www.dcpages.com Luke Wilbur

    I own a one of the first regional directories in the business. It is a travesty that Google’s intention is to kill it. I still remember when the asked permission to crawl DCpages.com when I blocked the business section. They had a good pitch and now I relented. Now they are scaring my business away. What did I do to Google for them to harm me this way.

    If they cannot control or make money from it then it will be considered unnatural.

  • Dave Bailey

    Natural links? They don’t even define them with any real objectivity. The idea that you write a good post and people will miraculously find it and link to it? Never happened, in the history of the internet I doubt more than a few dozen unpormoted posts have ever reached that critical mass and gone viral (maybe that’s why people use video where it seems more stuff is possible)
    Anywho – I read this guys take on natural links
    Thought it was hilarious and saved me writing my own blog post on the topic.
    Also made me think the whole thing was a douche.