On those rare occasions when a corporation announces that it is penalizing itself, I get suspicious. Self-abasement should be voluntary, humiliating and one would think, painful. To gain, there has to be pain.
When Google penalizes businesses in search, it results in loss. Visitors, leads, sales or ad revenue. This puts partnerships, contracts and relationships at risk. Companies even layoff employees. More serious consequences are felt at the human level. Deserved or not; it hurts.
Danny Sullivan chronicled five well-publicized Google’s self-inflicted penalties that occurred over a decade showing when, the violation, type of penalty and period.
- Chrome paid links that resulted from a “sponsored” links
- The Beat That Quote acquisition of a site violating it’s guidelines
- AdWords cloaking of support pages
- Japan site paid blogger services
- First cloaking of AdWords support pages
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Remember the old If Microsoft Built Cars meme that imagined a hypothetical vehicle built by the company that brought you the Windows operating system and all its annoyances? A car available after the year it was named for that you’d have to periodically restart? That you’d be constantly pressured to upgrade? That came with new features like the “General Car Fault” warning light which competitor models already had for years? And so many faults that people just accepted?
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Are you worried about enlisting the services of a SEO company because of all the bad things you’ve heard they do? It is understandable that you would be a little hesitant, however, as long as you are aware of the major tactics that some SEO agencies use to swindle businesses, you should be on your way to eliminating some of these bad actors. Just know that there is no shortage of SEO scammage out there, but those who utilize these shenanigans prey on beginners looking for quick results. We see them nearly every day on the Internet, in our inboxes and yes, even creeping into traditional marketing like radio and phone. This is not to say that all agencies are prone to scams. There are good agencies. But, as Google warns “some unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways.” This is why Google pushes so hard for consumer education. Learn More »