Do You Trust Google?

Recently Google announced that they are implementing a sort of “over-optimization” penalty for sites that try to artificially game the search engine results. This announcement, like all Google announcements, sent the SEO world scrambling to their clients’ sites to try and determine if they would get hit or not. Turns out many site owners did get hit as seen in the forums of Google Webmaster Help. There were lots of people complaining about the over-optimization algorithm after seeing their rankings drop right off the first page.

Google Admits a Mistake

Many businesses and SEO agencies are dependent on Google rankings and spend a great deal of their time and resources trying to gain or maintain rankings. What is especially frustrating for these people is the fact that after they think they have pinpointed their websites problem such as with the claims of over-optimization, Google comes out to publicly state that many of these rankings drops were due to an internal problem related to a “classifier for parked domains.” So this brings us to the question, ‘Do you trust Google?’

(A parked domain is a domain that is registered but not used for e-mail or websites and is generally purchased for future development or to prevent a competitor from purchasing it.)

Here is what Google’s Matt Cutts had to say:

I saw a recent post where several sites were asking about their search rankings. The short explanation is that it turns out that our classifier for parked domains was reading from a couple files which mistakenly were empty. As a result, we classified some sites as parked when they weren’t.

I apologize for this; it looks like the issue is fixed now, and we’ll look into how to prevent this from happening again.

What Are Your Other Options?

If you were a website owner or SEO agency who was hit by this mistake, you might be pretty upset. For starters, you probably spent a great deal of time trying to remedy a situation for a reason that you thought was due to the algorithm change. Second, if you ran a site that was ecommerce and your rankings dropped for major sales products, you probably took a pretty substantial ding in your recent sales. So if Google is screwing with your bottom line do you have options? Seeing how they are still the leading search engine- not really. People will still continue to use Google and although mistakes like these may see SEO agencies mistrusting them, it is not likely that you can compensate for influence Google has over your business as related to organic search.

Eggs in One Basket

If you are a business owner who is affected by algorithm changes and place all of your trust in Google rankings or your SEO agency you may want to consider other mediums such as pay-per-click, placing ads on your website, or looking into advertising on sites like Facebook. While it is great that Google admitted its mistake how many times can you scramble to salvage your revenue when mistakes like this are simply out of your control?

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Posted in: Blog, Google by on April 26th, 2012 Comments (0)

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