I had this blog post sitting in draft for most of this month, but after the second round of PR penalties and bloggers telling it like it is, I’ve been inspired to make it live – if for no other reason than my own amusement
This is Major Tom to Google ground control. We have a problem.
In the washup of penalising sites selling pagerank; penalising sites selling paid-text-links; and penalising sites for just linking (paid or not) Google seems to have missed the worst offenders. Themselves.
On any given day on the Info Vilesilencer site, the adsense ad-block above the fold, which exists in site-wide on every page except the home page, is advertising Guaranteed Top 10 Rankings & PR6 Links For Sale (see image above post), and just about every seriously outlawed type of paid link you can think of…
Hang On! I hear the crowd chant, wasn’t this penalisation supposed to stamp this stuff out?
Errr, It would seem not. Well not for Google anyways. Instead, many hardworking altruistic sites have been tagged with the Google-doesn’t-like-you-brush whilst those that spend money on Adwords, seem to have gotten off scot-free.
So what? Well, consider this for a moment. The paid text link penalties which were issued recently have never officially been sanctioned by Google (to my knowledge). Oh sure, Matt Cutts has made mention of the danger of paid-text-links both earlier this year and as far back as 2005. But, who reads Matt Cutts blog?
Sorry Matt, it’s true, no one gives a flying f**k how many steps your pedometer counted last week or what current “gadgets” you think are cool. It’s the SEO’s that read and comment on your blog, and its the same people that are being “bitchslapped” by G. Bear in mind that these are the very same people that generated the buzz on the web, which in turn lead to Google being crowned King in the first place. (you can almost hear the stock market boys yelling “Sell! Sell!”).
So. SEO’s are gonna get hit, who cares right? Ok. Well, what happens to the unoblivious Mom and Pop sites, who have never heard of Matt Cutts, don’t know what SEO is, and who use these paid-text-links to relevant sites within their network, to pay their bills such as webhosting?
Worse still, what happens to the ones who don’t currently engage in paid-link buying, but who see adsense ads, like those on Info Vilesilencer and probably thousands of other sites, which actively encourage paid text link and pagerank selling and buying and who are now seriously thinking about taking it up? Would it be ok to assume that more people will think it is ok to buy PR, than not, simply because more people will see adsense ads promoting it, than will read SEO websites saying you shouldn’t?
The bottom line is that Google has created a massive problem by penalising some and not all – in particular themselves, the worst offenders of the lot. There is now a massive divide, with some sites 3-and-more PR points below their peers. Until Google rewrites the disparity I believe that many will begin to move on from Google’s hypocrisy, its popularity as the current number 1 search engine will wane, and it will be our next Altavista.