Serious controversy in SEO land. Google is handing out manual penalties by the truckload, and fellow SEO’s are steamed. SEO’s are like soldiers on the front line, we always get hit first and take unrelenting punishment for pushing the line forward.
Ok Google, we understand that you hate paid links and have waged a battle against text link ads and now paid reviews. The problem that the search engine optimization field has is the unfairness with which we are treated – there definitely is a double standard as we are the most visible crowd online.
Some people go way over the line and spam by placing sitewide footer links, paid links with a greater than 15% ratio, 50% sponsored posts, or scraped duplicate content. The SEO field has savvy users, and people know (even if they refuse to admin) if they are whit, gray or black hat optimizers. Don’t throw the white hats and into the same ditch as the cloaking and spamming crowd, I promise we want to work with you, not against you.
Michael asks the question
Matt, why is this? What is it about these people that you interact with on a regular basis that leads you to trust the decision making process of anonymous Yahoo employees over theirs?
As much as I hate to admit it, a Yahoo directory editor is an unbiased reviewer, and likely has a good understanding of quality websites. Also, they have no personal financial interest in the decision, other than they want to perform well so they can keep their job.
Also, kudos to matt cutts for expressing sincere concern and helping individuals who have been penalized. I have worked with people who were in the Google penalty box and it is not a pleasant situation.
The bottom line is that if SEO’s are going to be held to stricter editorial standards, we need a better line of communication with the Google webspam team and reinclusion team.
I don’t really consider this a war unlike some people but all I ask is for a better way than shooting first and making bloggers come begging for mercy.
Google hates paid links, but the only way they can solve this problem is to not use links in their algorithm. Social media is the next wave of ranking signals.