Should Google Penalize Companies for Their Official Brand Names?

Sometimes when a Google engineer decides he is pissed off at a site he or she may penalize the site in a way that the company does not rank in the top 30 results for any search query, including branded navigational queries. Imagine if you search for SeoBook and couldn't find this site? How is that a good user experience for searchers using Google? It is their index, so I think it is fair if Google nukes sites that they dislike for non-brand queries, but when they do it for brand related queries too, they make their search results irrelevant and provide a bad user experience. What makes the situation worse than it needs to be?

  • the definition of relevancy changes depending on Google's business interests

  • the definition of spam changes depending on Google's business interests
  • Google is unpredictable in their hand editing
  • if Google does not like a particular market they may hand edit the leading company while leaving competitors ranking at the top of the search results for the competitor's brand. in some cases they penalize the cleanest services while leaving dirtier market players easily accessible
  • even if a site is deemed as spam and penalized they can still buy ads on Google, which makes it seem as though it is only spam if Google isn't getting paid

If Google wants to become the default way we access all information can they continue to penalize brands for their official brand names?

Published: September 2, 2007 by Aaron Wall in google


September 4, 2007 - 4:32pm

I had this problem a few years ago. Google marked me as spammer, which I really wasn't.
But this was a good idea for google, because I had to buy ADwords, which cost me up to 15.000 € the year.
I had a hard fight with google Germany, because they said, they didn't through me out of the index - nono of course not, I only was on #1 on a few keywords ;) and then for nearly one year not longer found on google.
But now, after studying the german SEO scene my website stays better than ever.

I haven't read the SEOBOOK until now, because I am a little bit afraid of hundreds of english pages. My english is not bad, but not really excellent!

So, isn't there a German version of the book. Or, are you planning to let it make?
Perhaps I would search here someone for the translation - Germany is a nice market too ;) :D

September 6, 2007 - 1:06am

I don't have any intent on doing foreign language stuff anytime soon.

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.

Gain a Competitive Advantage Today

Your top competitors have been investing into their marketing strategy for years.

Now you can know exactly where they rank, pick off their best keywords, and track new opportunities as they emerge.

Explore the ranking profile of your competitors in Google and Bing today using SEMrush.

Enter a competing URL below to quickly gain access to their organic & paid search performance history - for free.

See where they rank & beat them!

  • Comprehensive competitive data: research performance across organic search, AdWords, Bing ads, video, display ads, and more.
  • Compare Across Channels: use someone's AdWords strategy to drive your SEO growth, or use their SEO strategy to invest in paid search.
  • Global footprint: Tracks Google results for 120+ million keywords in many languages across 28 markets
  • Historical data: since 2009, before Panda and Penguin existed, so you can look for historical penalties and other potential ranking issues.
  • Risk-free: Free trial & low price.
Your competitors, are researching your site

Find New Opportunities Today