Posted by: Marshall Sponder | February 16, 2008

Google’s Penalty or “Good n’ Plenty”

As a kid I saw boxes of Good n’ Plenty at the candy store all the time, and I even liked having some from time to time

But I didn’t think I’d be stuck with it all the time.

Well, now we’ve got Google’s Penalty – and made sure there is no escaping it, according to Matt Cutts, who left a comment on my blog.

Matt suggested I look at the entire thread of this post in SeoScoop – Matt Cutts, Why Am I Still Being Punished?, which I did, as a place to start in figuring out what happened to the Google Penalty (or Good n’ Plenty) for Know More Media’s properties, including

I promised to write about this earlier today (or was it yesterday).   Here’s the thing (or “the Scoop”, so to speak):

“…ensure that….paid posts don’t flow PageRank?”

Pretty much, everyone really has to be careful with this, using “no-follow” on the links that come off of any kind of sponsored post or paid link.

Google seems to be able to find needles in a haystack where most of the content owners can’t so easily do that.   Matt Cutts says:

“….I wanted to make sure that people knew that submitting a reconsideration request while your site still has paid posts that pass PageRank can be a reason why the reconsideration request doesn’t get approved.”

It seems to me that if Google is now playing “hardball” with site owners – aside from all the other things I’ve said about transparancy, they also need to provide us with similar tools to detect needles in a haystack that Google uses to find violations and penalize us in the first place.

Take Know More Media’s case – you have 100+ blogs and 2+ years of content – that’s easy, 30,000 to 50,000 blog posts and Google, with just one or two paid links that pass PageRank, is going to throw the entire blog network out of it’s index over that?

Yep, it appears that’s it – that’s the reason.  But is it fair?  No.

It’s not fair – though I’m glad Matt Cutts is, at least, speaking up.

Have to go to bed – way to late to be staying up and blogging about this.



  1. Well, I think it’s just fair to penalize any site taking part in TLS’s. Think for yourself.

    If someone has a lot of money and is able to buy thousands of TLA’s for gaining backlinks, what about the poor guy who just can’t afford it?

    I think that google tries to give every webmaster a fair chance to reach the top (but with hard work). Yes, we must EARN it.

    To tell you the truth, two of my sites are suffering under google penalties right now, but I don’t think that it is unfair, just have to cerrect my mistakes and wait.

  2. Strictly from a users point of view I think it is very hard to justify technical penalties on good content. Few users know or care what “hidden text” is, so if a mom and pop webmaster uses this tactic and Google deletes the otherwise informative, relevant website it is hard to argue that users are served well. Even if a black hat SEO created a site filled with illegal tricks but also full of highly relevant quality content I think Google’s case against including that site is weak. As a user I want *quality content* and I don’t care about the site’s technical construction.

    However, Google has to manage about one trillion URLs, so obviously they need shortcuts in ranking and one of them is a page from Barry Goldwater’s playbook: “Extremism in the defense of the algorithm is no vice”. I don’t think penalties are generally *fair* or *user friendly*, but I’m willing to concede they may be necessary for Google to function as profitably as they do since it would take a lot of human intervention to help every mom and pop determine what’s wrong with their sites.

  3. […] Marshall Sponder wrote: […]

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