Implications of Being Fair

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Posts about large companies overstepping the boundaries of search engine optimization and openly spamming search engines with doorway pages and cloaked content have been popping out for as long as I can remember. Finally, on Saturday, Google took notice and the BMW Germany site and now Ricoh Germany have been banned as a result.

So why has Google waited so long to punish these violators and why are there dozens more that go unpunished? Are they not aware of what these sites are doing? Well, cloaking keywords using JavaScript redirects is nothing new and can be considered as SEO violation 101. Try doing something like that on your site and I can guarantee that in a week or two you won’t find your website on any of your keywords. So what’s going on?!

The truth is, Google is well aware of what is going on and is willing to overlook spamming in order to preserve the quality of search results. A couple of years ago, I remember seeing Microsoft doing cloaking with some of their pages. Now imagine for a second that they are caught and banned. That would mean that the whole domain would be gone and when you search for something like “Windows Vista” it would give you windowsvista.com and getyourvistahere.com instead of Microsoft.com. I would probably do the same thing if I was in their shoes. Yet it looks like the sites of Porsche Denmark and Chevrolet Sweden might be the next on the list.

The bottom line is Google does not care much about what webmasters find fair or unfair. They care about the quality of their results – that’s what their business is based around and their competitiveness depends on it.

About the Author

Andrey Milyan was the first editor-in-chief of Search Marketing Standard, the leading print publication covering the search marketing industry. He has been following and reporting on industry developments for over 10 years. Andrey now works in the paid search sector of a prominent search marketing agency.

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