Since the deployment of Penguin 2.0 on May 23, 20 13 we have seen some radical changes in search engine rank position (also referred to as SERP). Google anticipated that about 2 of pages on the first page will be affected. After only 90 days, it seems this number is as much as 10 to 15%. As stated in an earlier post, it was expected that this new algorithm was going to greatly affect the websites of small businesses but give an edge to larger corporations that engage in every practice Google encourages webmasters not to do. What does this mean? As per Google's Matt Cutts, the objective of Penguin 2.0 was to render a more accurate search and eliminate or rather set back websites that engage in link farming, keyword stuffing, over optimize links and others. It is mind-boggling to think that websites like yp.com, yelp.com, Angie's list.com and others are of better use to consumers than are mom-and-pop small businesses, responsible for bringing character to our communities and cities.
The fact is that Penguin 2.0 has bumped the search engine position of all the above-mentioned websites while they engage in many forbidden link schemes as prescribed on the not to do list of Webmaster guidelines.
Some of this links schemes in Google's not to do list are:
- Pay per link: This means individuals must pay a monthly fee in order to be listed on a website. All of the above websites require you to pay if you want to be shown in SERP
- Over optimize links: This is the practice of using keywords as anchor text many times throughout the page. All of this website have anywhere from 20-40 links of the same keyword within them!
- Footer or branding links: These are defined by links at the bottom of the page that disclose the company who designed or maintains the website. Every single website that AT&T, GoDaddy, lawyers.com and other website cookie-cut mass-producers publishes has this link at the footer!
Even more troubling than this discrimination or should we call it "selective prosecution" are the penalties for what Google calls links on "SPAMMY" websites. The actual definition of a spamming website is nowhere to be found but in some of Matt Cutts videos and in some of the answers throughout the Webmaster forum; the definition of a spamming website is one that has many OBL links (outbound links), over optimize links and paid links; in other words all of the websites listed above.
This practice has led to a new SEO service we are therefore defining as "SEO terrorism"
SEO terrorism is a practice where webmasters and or managers of particular websites are hiring link builders to create low quality links on blogs, directories and other venues that Google has labeled as "SPAMMY LINKS". The effects of this type of practice have proven to be devastating for small business websites. Although Google offers a link removal tool hidden within the cool Webmaster tools website called "Disavow links", the recovery time for a website that has been labeled as engaging in this type of practice can be 2 to 3 months. Furthermore, the actions of Google and Google Penguin (the two Google robots responsible for labeling or identifying these URLs) are way ahead of the link discovery tool also found at the Google Webmaster site.
What does this mean?
In many instances, you will see your website dropped out of Google search index completely or to three pages back from the existing position way ahead of Google listing any links at your Webmaster console. In summary what was supposed to be an algorithm designed to improve the quality of search and to bring visibility to quality websites has turned out to be nothing short of a wrecking ball for website owners that cannot afford to hire an SEO company.
Like always, all questions directed to Mike Cutts on his blog referring to this subject have been deleted and never posted. Other posts on the Webmaster portal have also been attacked. We can only guess it's an effort to take attention away from this political stand Google has taken against the owners of small websites. Knowing most of them are "small businesses" who can afford the outrageous fees of an expert SEO Company; at the same time siding with large website operators and their unethical practices. It seems that to Google, like in government, what's good for them is not good for us.