Google & the rise of tiresome (and worrying) link penalties

Google removed a leading guest blogging network from its search results a couple of days ago. What’s next for the search engine giant?

Quite a while ago Google decreed (yes, decreed. Google do that sort of thing now) that guest blogging for SEO purposes was dead. You can look up the ins and outs of that here. Generally I agree, and advise my clients to avoid guest blogging unless they can realistically provide some value and they are posting on is an authoritative, quality site. And make sure links are nofollow.

However – I’m more than a bit concerned that Google is completely obliterating sites from it’s search engine listings when they choose not to comply with its decrees. Fine – their search rankings should suffer but actually blocking the listing from appearing when someone searches for their brand name is a step too far, surely?

As a coherent human being, I would like to retain the right to decide for myself whether to give a site the time of day. Removing it from results is tantamount to censorship.

This is another example of the increasingly frequent instances where Google’s products and Google’s ethos seem to be at odds with one another. Kevin Gibbons puts it well when he says “Google is providing a weaker experience to searchers, in favour of pushing its own products.” Read his post on Econsultancy here. 

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