Quantcast

Google Webspam Update: Where’s The Viagra? [Updated]

Poor results immediately spotted, following big Google update

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:
[ Search]

Update: Viagra.com is back at number one.

As you may know, Google launched a new algorithm update, dubbed the Webspam Update. According to Google, it’s designed to keep sites engaging in black hat SEO tactics from ranking. The update is still rolling out, but it’s already been the target of a great deal of criticism. You can just peruse the comments on Google’s Webmaster Central blog post announcing the change, and see what people have to say.

I can’t confirm that Viagra.com was number one in Google for the query “viagra,” but I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t have been. Either way, viagra.com is not the lead result now. That is, unless you count the paid AdWords version.

Google Viagra results

As you can see, the top organic result comes from HowStuffWorks.com. Then comes….Evaluations: Northern Kentucky University? Interesting. Here’s what that page looks like:

Northern Kentucky University

You’ll notice that this has absolutely nothing to do with Viagra.

Browsing through some more of the results, there are some other very suspicious activity going on. Look at this result, which points to : larryfagin.com/poet.html. That URL does’t sound like it would have anything to do with Viagra, yet Google’s title for the result says: “Buy Viagra Online No Prescription. Purchase Generic Viagra…” and the snippet says: “You can buy Viagra online in our store. This product page includes complete information about Viagra. We supply Viagra in the United Kingdom, USA and …”

If you actually click on the result, it has nothing to do with Viagra. It’s about a poet named Larry Fagin. Not once is Viagra mentioned on the page.

Larry Fagin

Also on the first results page: aiam.edu. That’s the American Institute of Alternative Medicine. At least it’s semi-drug-related. However, once again, no mention of Viagra on this page, though the title and snippet Google is providing, again, indicate otherwise. Google also informs us, “this site may be compromised”. I’m not sure what about this particular result is telling Google’s algorithm that it should be displayed on page one.

The next result is for loislowery.com:

Lois Lowery

You guessed it. Yet again, nothing to do with Viagra. And once again, Google displays a Viagra-related title and snippet for the result, and tells us the site may compromised.

Note: Not all of these results indicate that they’ve been compromised.

A few people have pointed out the oddities of Google’s viagra SERP in the comments on Google’s announcement of the webspam algorithm change:

Sean Jones says, “There is something wrong with this update. Search ‘viagra’ on Google.com – 3 edu sites are showing in the first page. Is it relevant? Matt you failed.”

Lisaz says, “These results have to be a complete joke, so much unrelated content is now surfaced to the top it’s sickening. As a funny example check this one out….Search VIAGRA and look at the results on first page for USA queries. Two completely unrelated .edu’s without viagra or ED in their content. Another site about poetry with not even a mention of viagra anywhere to be found. Then two more sites that in google that have this site may be compromised warnings. LOL what a joke this update is. Sell your Google stocks now while you can.”

ECM says, “Google.com. buy viagra online. Position 2… UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND lol. I have seen a big mess in results now. Doesn’t this algo change just allow spammers to bring down competitors a lot more easily, just send a heap of junk/spam links to their sites. Nice one google, you’re becoming well liked. Enter BING.”

How’s Bing looking on Viagra these days?

Bing Viagra Results

Yeah, I have to give Bing the edge on this one.

And Yahoo:

Yahoo Viagra Results

And Blekko:

Blekko Viagra Results

And DuckDuckGo:

DuckDuckGo Viagra Results

We’ve seen people suggesting that the new Google update had a direct effect on exact match domain names. That could explain why viagra.com is MIA. However, it doesn’t exactly explain why some of these other results are appearing.

Google Webspam Update: Where’s The Viagra? [Updated]
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • STR82U

    The larryfagin.com/poet.htm link I got in the SERP redirected to a pharmacy site, allpillsshop dot com. That happened in FF; In IE the url takes me to the page you show above and so does the homepage but the Goole results took me to the spam site.

  • http://www.legal-marketing.co.uk D Swede

    One word for this update – “joke” but it’s not funny. Same situation in legal sector. Google has gone way over the top this time and there should rightly be a backlash. A campaign should be started to go to bing. Google has become increasingly aggressive. Their agenda, despite the PR from Matt Cutts et al, in my view is :-

    1. try to force google+ on people
    2. make seo so uncertain people use ppc

  • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

    That’s interesting. I never saw any redirects (using Chrome). Will look into this more.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      The larryfagin.com result is mysteriously gone now, even though the other weird ones are still there.

      • https://plus.google.com/117895169424507660944 STR82U

        Mysterious you say? I can see in both personalized and anonymous results that Viagra dot com is back on top. One result on both, aiam dot edu, is “compromised” and the link gets highjacked in Chrome but not in IE.

        • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

          Yeah, viagra.com is back…already updated.

  • http://twitter.com/parveshsareen Parvesh Sareen

    It easily can be concluded from the above post that the Webspam Algorithm is not accurate somehow and there might be chances of rolling it back soon. Those who had been targetted by mistake and are sure of themselves that no blackhat or spam strategies have been taken aid of, will soon be rolling back to the same or better rankings hopefully. Certain flaws had been detected against the update and it should be great if Google guys will get back to fix it asap.

  • http://www.computeradvice.info/ Mike Rothwell

    The serps are all over the place at the moment from what I have seen.

    As for going after exact match domains, I am not so sure…

    I am searching in Google.co.uk and for the term “make mony online” and the No2 spot is a blank wordpress install on a EMD.co.uk

    • Callum

      Ha i tried make money online here in Aus, #3 wont even open, this whole update is a joke!

  • Phil

    Maybe Viagra.com were doing some black hat techniques. Given the competitive keyword wouldn’t be surprised!

    • Anon

      Black hat techniques? lol. Look at the serps man, google “make money online” and see the #1 site ranking.

  • http://borber.info borber

    One more impressive results of Google’s algo changes: take a look at the query “make money online”. The first place has makemoneyforbeginners.blogspot.com. I think it is +100 to Google’s new relevancy.

  • http://www.linux-hosting.net Khaled

    Check the search for new shoes

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      I think “newshoes” is the one in question.

  • Kevin

    It seems that Viagra searches have officially been hijacked. I would add that if you look at the Viagra SERP you’ll notice EVERY non-informational result is associated with a G e-commerce solution. i.e. G shopping and Adwords sponsored results.

    Sears gained the top 2 shopping result for Viagra, which is actually a viagra-less substitute with the word “Viagra-Free”. not relevant.

    Does it seem like most of these other irrelevant sites (some listed as corrupted) were hacked and/ or cloaked?

  • http://www.top10cloudstorage.com/ Stephan

    I have some bizarre search results, pages on my website that I seo’d and ranked and have disappeared for a specific keyowrd and in return they put up one of my blog posts that have no real connection to the keyword, no social media exposure, and no seo done to it. Weird!

  • http://landscapelightingideas.org Jesse

    So disgusted with Google right now, and that’s an understatement!

    Been working hard on my 30+ sites putting original “unspun” content on there, using only so-called “whitehat” methods (if there really is such a thing), and generally following all of the guidelines set forth by Google to create a “good user experience.”

    Seems all my efforts are for nothing today, as most of my sites have fallen off the map for keywords that have held page 1 position for over a year. Not even sure where to go or what to do right now, as everything we’ve been told by Matt and Co. seems to have been turned on its head. Seems I’m d*mned if I do, and d*mned if I don’t.

    This is just unbelievable!

  • http://www.business-trader.com.au Peter Watson

    After holding the #1 position for my main terms for years, my site also tanked yesterday!

    My site is of the highest quality and we only ever practice white hat SEO. I never built ‘inorganic’ links, but on the 27th December 2011 and the 14th April 2012 my site received an influx of spammy links. I smell a rat!

    We have worked very hard to reach these # 1 rankings since 2003 and the fact that my site is suffering because of ‘unnatural’ links is a joke!

    Now my business has literally disappeared over night! Not only for my main terms, but longer tail terms too!

    I left my day job over 3 years ago to run my website from home with great success, and now I have to tell my wife and 4 kids daddy has to look for work.

    Look, I totally get that Google is targeting the spammers out there, but what about us innocent victims? It is simply not fair!

  • http://lookclassifieds.com Australia

    I think, Now the time to change search engine. As we know that Google has monopoly search engine market, that’s the reason Google makes new changes ever day. Last years panda update reduce my site traffic 50% and now webspam reduce 25% traffic of my site. I want to move on bing. Bing search engine do not change results everyday at least. Google wants promote PPC only on other reason.

  • http://www.hemorrhoidshemroids.com Donald

    My site site also tanked as they say. It dropped a bit after Panda then Google just put all th traffic back plus alot more. Then bang, this update drops my site down from pos 2′s etc to pos 40′s and 50′s . Also, I also found hundreds of spammy links pointing at my site – over 100 from one site alone – links I had nothing to do with. They look paid for. When I first saw them this morning I thought wow, I’m on a non-profit .org Now after seeing my serps results I too am very suspicious.

  • http://www.indovision.asia a

    I lost 100% traffic with zero sales for one top single keyword, usually show up on page 1 Google. This is the worst Google update ever. Many company will closing down their business thanks to Google, the biggest search engine company on earth.

  • Alison

    First of all congratulations to Mr. Cutts and all the members of the webspam team, they surely have rolled out an algo update that will not only kill webspam but also force closure of so many mom and pops stores that depend on SE traffic to bring home the bacon.

    Google clearly wants everyone to use PPC and pay them to get traffic. This is a shady business practice. You may be trying to kill SEO but did you guys realize you are giving rise to a much bigger market of NEGATIVE SEO?

    If not, then check out this little experiment http://trafficplanet.com/topic/2369-case-study-negative-seo-results/#entry33318

    If that does ring a bell of alarm in your ears then nothing would and gaming dumb search engines (read Google in this case) and blasting your competitors out of the SERPS became a much easier task.

    You sure hate webspam but you are the ones who are actually promoting it.

    —===End of Rant===—–

  • John

    Thank you google for making it far easier to anti se0 my competitors to top spot instead of creating wonderful unique content. you messed up huge! what a joke. there is an antiseo war going on and it’s your fault for making it soooooo easy:) lmao thx MAT:)!

  • unknown

    what if spammer use senuke x and xrumer to blast there compertitor website? will google bring them down too? google make things even worse!

  • Sarah Hoffman

    I’ve been doing some searching since my income dropped by half and I realized it appeared to be a result of Penguin. After reading this article, I did a few searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo!. I noticed that while Bing and Yahoo! ranked me pretty high (both were #3 for the test keywords) whereas I was nowhere to be found on Google. Not in the first few pages, anyway. Penguin hit me hard for sure. I don’t use any black hat techniques. I don’t keyword stuff, hide text or any of the other things that are warned against (the obvious no nos.) I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and hope things get better.

  • http://viagrasamples.com/ jerome

    the result is really bad