Webdesign & SEO
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Google is broken (28 june 2009)
How broken is Google? And does it stay that way?
We all love Google for its to the point results, don't we?
Well, the truth is, more and more results we get are worthless pages and directory's pumped to no.1 rankings with tactics that Google doesn't realy like.
Tactics like, builing hundreds of sub-pages on directory sites. With one goal, to promote a singel site to get higher rankings. Even old tricks like sneaky redirects, hidden content etc. still work. The risk of being penalized seems to get lower as the number of pages on the net grows.
Google itself says its all about good content and that that will prevail.
Well, its not. I see more and more keywords infected with these technics. Sending in reports isn't working in generall. Once in a while when to many people respond on the same websites, action is taken. Even the algo doesn't seem to be updated effectively, as Google is trying to make us believe.
Lets prove that with a simple keyword webontwerp (webdesign in Dutch). For a long time a site (pretletters dot net) was no.1 for this keyword , then the owner decided it was time to get her religous attempts in the spotlight and her original page begann to drop for a certain time.
All of a sudden it was back not with 'webontwerp' as content, no, her religous site got so much attention by an on page redirect from the old site it got in the top 5 immediately and is on position 2 now. Slow connections show this trick is done with a sneaky redirect on page, probably set with a time of 2 seconds or below. Google fetches the old pages where the old content is still available, and then it gets redirected to the new site.
Google does know that this site was formerly available under 'webontwerp' and even lists it when searched for the keyword pretletters. The name of the old site.
It's okay to redirect when your content has been moved to another URL. Redirecting with the power the old pages had to boost the new with a totaly different content is not!
If Google's algo is that good that content is a major factor as they say, why does it list a site with a completely different content? You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that Zen as a religion has nothing to do with webdesign. And if Google's algo is that good in detecting these sneaky redirects, it would have kicked this site and the original within a split second.
And yet it still is in the results and even getting a high position. This trick is very old and there are more. Google states it will tune its algo to prevent these old spammy methods from happening. Over the years though, nothing has happend when it comes to these tricks.
Large spammers that attract to much attention get caught and will be deleted, but all major cases where responded too manually or even by an upset community that reported it so often Google had to respond. Remember BMW?
Don't get me wrong, Google isn't broken all together, but it does have its flaws (where it is realy broken!) that really should be taken care of.
Not just Google will benefit from it, also the SEO-business that now seems to thrive only on those flaws that are exploited by people for whom only one thing counts: getting to the top at any cost.
They leave huge gaps to spam that frustrate the community of 'white hat' SEO's.
How can i (as an SEO) tell my clients they should not use these tricks when Google does nothing about them? How can i tell my clients they will get caught and over the years these sites still are in the rankings and do cost them a lot of money, even may push them out of business???
Being transparent and propper action taken in these matters, is what we need. Not the tune 'dont be evil'.
Update July 18. 2009
On the keyword 'webontwerp' the site no longer shows up. Still large quantities of other pages on different keywords do. So the conclusion has to be made that Google manualy blocked the site for this keyword.
Still, things are broken!
Update 2. August 2009
The site is back in the results. Google is still kaputt, broken and easy to spam!Any remarks, questions or even a proof for other search engine spam? Please mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org