I believe that Google penalty policies are starting to go to extremes when it comes to their linking policies and what they consider to be bad links. Myself, and a number of other people I work with, have been getting the hated ‘bad link’ messages in our Google Webmaster Tools accounts, and we’re all wondering…where does this end?
To make the point; yes, they’re trying to clean up the internet. I get that. What I don’t get is why exactly they feel that they are responsible. Were they elected to this position in any real way besides many people use their service? Are they consulting net citizens to dictate the policy of OUR internet? Are they even equipped to deal with this job fairly? More importantly, is it time that we all started thinking about not using their service if this continues?
I work with a number of clients all over the world. One such client of mine was looking to increase their backlinks with relevant and related websites. “Perfect,” I thought “I know just where to start!”
I spoke with a friend of mine who had a website that was within the niche that my client was working with. We worked on some content together, posted it to his site and got some discussion going with his audience. Some good old fashion true white hat SEO – friends helping friends.
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Within a month, a Google penalty warning was sent to my client. Google’s opinion was that the links coming from my friend’s website were unnatural. I spoke with my friend. He was furious, “How dare they tell me I can’t link to whomever I want from my own website! Why would they do this to two people who know each other?!? Let me speak with Google so I can give them a piece of my mind!” And that was the printable part of what he said!
He then added no-follows to the links. I notified my client, and he submitted the request for Google to reconsider the penalty. Months have gone by and nothing has happened, we’re still being penalized for it! All because two friends wanted to help one another promote their content and ideas.
As most people who know me are aware, I work as a full time freelance writer. I have worked with dozens of clients, built some impressive websites and made many contacts over the years that I’ve been in the SEO game.
With that in mind, I built my own website with my past work experience included. I provided links from my webpage to the websites I have worked on. This is a great piece of value added linking – my potential clients can actually see things I have worked on. The link itself was not anchor text, it was literally just the website address of my past client.
Two days ago I was sent a message stating that my website was giving them a Google penalty. This piece of definite value added linking was hurting them, the part that really hit me was within the message the webmaster stated that “we will just have to bear it.” ‘It’ being Google’s dictation of what is and isn’t acceptable.
Ok, the above problems were pretty bad. Wanna hear the worst Google penalty story of all time?
A third client of mine received a Google penalty warning in his Webmaster tools about a bad link. He followed up on it and found the website himself. It was a website that neither he nor I had spoken to, they had put the link up of their own free will.
He wrote to them and asked them to take the link down. The response he got back was priceless:
“Yes, we will be able to take that link down for you. The cost for doing so is $65.”
Do you want to guess what their business model is? Exploiting Google’s over-active penalties! They’re purposely building links that lead to these messages being sent and profiting off it. It is almost as if Google is now letting the black hatters in through the back door and giving them excuses to make money off victims!
I think it is high time that us, all of us webmasters, started for one, taking the time to document their unreasonable problems with Google and making complaints. If they continue to fail us, it is high time we stopped using their services and giving a damn about what they think – we control the Internet and we can take away their power by not using their service.
And good luck to us on that.
Feature image via Ollyy / Shutterstock