When Google acquired DoubleClick Larry Page wanted to keep the Performics division offering SEM & SEO services just to see what would happen. Other Google executives realized the absurd conflict of interest and potential anti trust issues, so they overrode ambitious Larry: "He wanted to see how those things work. He wanted to experiment."
Webmasters have grown tired of Google's duplicity as the search ecosystem shifts to pay to play, or go away.
Google's webmaster guidelines can be viewed as reasonable and consistent or as an anti-competitive tool. As Google eats the ecosystem, those thrown under the bus shift their perspective.
At this point, Google should just come out and be blunt, "any form of promotion that does not involve paying us is against our guidelines."— Rae Hoffman (@sugarrae) November 5, 2014
Within some sectors larger players can repeatedly get scrutiny for the same offense with essentially no response, whereas smaller players operating in that same market are slaughtered because they are small.
Scraping? AOG (unless we do it) Affiliate? Fucking scumbags mainly AOG (unless we get into the space) Thin content? AOG (unless we do it)— Rae Hoffman (@sugarrae) November 5, 2014
Access to lawyers, politicians & media outlets = access to benefit of the doubt.
Lack those & BEST OF LUCK TO YOU ;)
And most of all, I'm tired of having to tell SMBs that Google gives zero fucks when it comes to them— Rae Hoffman (@sugarrae) November 5, 2014
Google's page asking "Do you need an SEO?" uses terms like: scam, illicit and deceptive to help frame the broader market perception of SEO.
If ranking movements appear random & non-linear then it is hard to make sense of continued ongoing investment. The less stable Google makes the search ecosystem, the worse they make SEOs look, as...
- anytime a site ranks better, that anchors the baseline expectation of where rankings should be
- large rank swings create friction in managing client communications
- whenever search traffic falls drastically it creates real world impacts on margins, employment & inventory levels
Matt Cutts stated it is a waste of resources for him to be a personal lightning rod for criticism from black hat SEOs. When Matt mentioned he might not go back to his old role at Google some members of the SEO industry were glad. In response some other SEOs mentioned black hats have nobody to blame but themselves & it is their fault for automating things.
After all, it is not like Google arbitrarily shifts their guidelines overnight and drastically penalizes websites to a disproportionate degree ex-post-facto for the work of former employees, former contractors, mistaken/incorrect presumed intent, third party negative SEO efforts, etc.
Oh ... wait ... let me take that back.
Indeed Google DOES do that, which is where much of the negative sentiment Matt complained about comes from.
Recall when Google went after guest posts, a site which had a single useful guest post on it got a sitewide penalty.
Around that time it was noted Auction.com had thousands of search results for text which was in some of their guest posts.
About a month before the guest post crack down, Auction.com received a $50 million investment from Google Capital.
- Publish a single guest post on your site = Google engineers shoot & ask questions later.
- Publish a duplicated guest post on many websites, with Google investment = Google engineers see it as a safe, sound, measured, reasonable, effective, clean, whitehat strategy.
The point of highlighting that sort of disconnect was not to "out" someone, but rather to highlight the (il)legitimacy of the selective enforcement. After all, ...
But perhaps Google has decided to change their practices and have a more reasonable approach to the SEO industry.
An encouraging development on this front was when Auction.com was once again covered in Bloomberg. They not only benefited from leveraging Google's data and money, but Google also offered them another assist:
Closely held Auction.com, which is valued at $1.2 billion, based on Google’s stake, also is working with the Internet company to develop mobile and Web applications and improve its search-engine optimization for marketing, Sharga said.
"In a capitalist system, [Larry Page] suggests, the elimination of inefficiency through technology has to be pursued to its logical conclusion." ― Richard Waters
With that in mind, one can be certain Google didn't "miss" the guest posts by Auction.com. Enforcement is selective, as always.
“The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.” ― Vladimir Lenin
Whether you turn left or right, the road leads to the same goal.
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