Google Sitemaps Catch 22


From Google Blogoscoped

Apparently, in order to submit a reinclusion request, one has to acknowledge violating Google’s quality guidelines, even if they do not believe they did so.

.. under this system if a site has been dropped from the index, the owner is forced to admit wrong doing (even if they didn’t) and at the same time clear Google of any wrong doing (even if they did).

Google into improving Webmaster communication? Hummm....


Better be full and frank too...

They probably use it to measure "true repentance", my guess is that a lot of people just confess their latest wheeze and gloss over the other stuff they had going on, so no absolution for them....

What's the direct URL? ???

- I never expected the Spanish Inquisition.
- NO-ONE expects the Spanish Inquisition...

aw well....

Like I have proven with my own domain recently, reinclusion request is not the only way back into G's index...

The problem with this...

is that Google has kept a bit vague about some of their quality guidelines. For instance:

If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.

Henk van Ess managed to out a document that contained instructions that Google used to guide some of their quality evaluators on deciding what sites are "good" and what sites are "bad".

In that document, Google gives guidelines to their evaluators on whether an affiliate site should be considered as having "value-added" content. The problem is that this is extremely subjective, and two different evaluators might have radically different interpretations of whether a site has added some value on top of the affiliate content.

It's understandable that Google doesn't want sites/pages that contain identical content displayed in all other pages showing up for a particular SERP, but their quality evaluators are using extremely subjective means to decide this, and the guidelines would apparently lead them to be perhaps overly ambitious in penalizing sites. How much time does an evaluator have per page to really tell if the page has "added value"?!?

Under the circumstances, admitting wrongdoing when you aren't even told a clear way to decide if your site "adds value" or not seems terribly unfair and arbitrary. Not to mention, it's completely unacceptable to have to "admit to wrongdoing" if you're not sure what was wrong under such subjective and fuzzy guidelines.


Nope. Find another way.

Was it Matt Cutts who commented previously about some original G employee from way back having a heavy hand on bans? He added the comment to my discussion about getting an IP block ban of *using* Google, because someone had used Webposition from that network.

Matt seemed to suggest those were the old days. Same as it ever was?

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