GOOGLE Gotcha

by Fred Showker

All those who wanted to monetize their web sites had a big boost a couple of years ago when Google rolled out their AdSense program. I jumped on board, just like I jumped on the new upstart named "Amazon" when they first appeared on the scene. Amazon has cut its affiliates commissions back to near-oblivion, in the interest of their profits -- why did we think Google wouldn't do the same?

But, as it goes on the web, most players weren't content with running an honest web site with honest content. I've complained and complained to deft ears about how so many sites are 'cheating' by stacking their links and all manner of other tricks to increase their clicks. Google finally caught on.

It's actually been happening over the past year. Page rankings dropping, along with Ad Sense revenue. I first became aware of it back in April -- but no matter how hard I tried, I could not get to the bottom of the problem. Unfortunately there are many sites who are caught in the web who shouldn't be -- like ours. We run an honorable web operation, and have resisted "selling" links, or engaging in link-exchanges, 3-way link schemes and any number of other schemes the underworld has dreamed up. We get requests each and every day from sites ranging from travel vacations to home appliances to pet care and even a number of 'illegal' operations -- all wanting to "exchange links" with us to "enhance" our Google rankings. It's a sad note that once again, the corrupt element of the web drags down good people too.

Google algorithm tweak spooks WWW

In the brave new world of online media, fortunes can be won and lost on the whim of Google's key search algorithm. And when, without warning, Google tweaked that mathematical formula this week, there was panic on the world wide web.
But small changes to Google's algorithm that determines how high up in search results a site appears can foil any attempts to game the system in a heartbeat. The worst offenders who are caught trying to artificially boost their search ranking are given the "Google death penalty", whereby they're delisted from search results altogether.
From "The Age" read more

Google's message: Pay for links, risk PageRank.

The value is in relevant links and relevant content. A clear message from Google: Don't pay for links. The value is in the context of each site, the anchor text and other such values. Don't buy links based on PageRank, and don't sell links based on PageRank.

Google confirms that websites that sell links have been heavily penalized. Google's recent page rank update had diminishing results on some very high profile websites. Some (The Stanford Daily and Statcounter) claimed to have dropped pagerank as much as four places - PR10 to PR6.
From PR-USA.net read more

Google's Reputation System Roils Web World

Clint Boulton reported for eWeek:
      The blogosphere erupts with the cries of indignant Web site proprietors who see their PageRank ratings tumble. A drop in reputation scores for hundreds of prominent Web sites this week has bloggers buzzing that Google has tweaked its PageRank algorithm.

Google hasn't admitted to tweaking PR (PageRank), which appears in the Google Toolbar and is Google's system for weighing a Web page for its relevance to a specific query based on the number of links that it has to it.
From eWeek: read more

Then Boulton returns later with :

Google's Dataspaces Technology Dings PageRank

An IT expert who tracks Google says the company's latest search tweaks are dragging some sites' results down. The drops in Google PageRank ratings that plagued the blogosphere last week are a result of a data management abstraction layer Google has implemented to improve its search algorithm, according to an IT expert and author.

Sites such as WashingtonPost.com, Forbes.com and EnGadget.com, which have seen their PageRank scores fall, are seeing the first fruits of dataspaces.
From eWeek: read more

Fallout over Google PageRank update

Google has infuriated many web site owners by tweaking the algorithm for its PageRank feature, which has seen the reputation scores for a lot of big-name and smaller web sites tumble.

PageRank assigns a web site a score from zero to 10. The score is, in part, based on how many other sites are linked to that web page. A page that is linked to by many other pages with high PageRanks receives a high rank itself.
From Rhonda Ascierto, CBR Online read more (spam-free version)

Meanwhile... the bloggers begin their counter-strike ...

More Tips To Survive The Google Pagerank Breakup

Google just broke up with you- after a yearlong pagerank 7 relationship. It's just temporary of course. You'll have her chasing you back with some of these search engine flirtation tips.
From Joseph Plazo and the "Connected Internet" read more

Rebuild from scratch

Between the Design Center, the User Group Network, and the Photoshop Tips & Tricks sites, we are fortunate to have a good, loyal, following -- and honest, spam-clean content. That's what has kept our sites flowing since the early 1990s. I know our rankings will suffer because of this new development. But honorable web sites shouldn't have to worry. Over the months to come, however, I'll have to take a serious look at how to survive, and whether or not the AdSense thing is even worth it. My combined web sites have over 40,000 pages, about 70% of which include Google AdSense links.

Thanks for reading...

Fred Showker

Fred Showker, Editor, Graphic Design & Publishing

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Comments

On June 12th, Gatsy said:

Thank God! Someone with brains speaks!

On November 16th, Rojas28Ladonna said:

Seriously why do they do that ... I tried to get a Google Plus account and it just doesn't seem to work.

don't understand

On June 12th, May32Janine said:

Yes Google gotcha ... got me too! I tried and tried, but didn't have sense enough to know what to do. So, different people in every country get the business loans in various banks, because it is comfortable and fast -- and because they didn't know that Google would get them!

On November 10th, Sarmed said:

Sites that have solid content don't get most of their hits from sercah engines. There are a few exceptions (like Wikipedia, and even actually wikipedia mostly gets hits from itself), but this is the general rule.

Sites with solid content get most of their hits from links. So build it, keep the quality high, promote it (ethically!) and people will discover the value of your web site.

And, most importantly, don't get obsessed about volume.

If 6 people go to your web site, but they find it a valuable resource that improves the quality of their lives, isn't that enough? Can't you take the positive in that? Is that better than 1,000 people who glance at one page, say that's not what I was looking for and click elsewhere?