Possible?

As the saying goes, "Anything is possible"... Probable? Not freakin' likely. I think if you go read through the comments, you'll see that Barry uncharacteristically was a little quick on the trigger.

From a quick glance, I'd say

From a quick glance, I'd say its more due to SEO factors like links and optimization than anything nefarious like CTR bots. Plus, CTR bots impact your paid ads by eating up your budget but I don't think would have much impact on organic rankings.

You may want to visit forums.seochat.com for some more guidance.

Barry Schwartz on

Barry Schwartz on SERoundtable.com just recently posted an article with his impressions of the change: https://www.seroundtable.com/google-ecommerce-update-19832.html. It seems like it has affected branded searches and misspellings. The "austin mini" search example used in your article seems like it could support the theory.

Shelly Johnson on

Shelly Johnson on resource9.com.

Yes. there is some shuffling going on regarding the Google update for rankings. But at present some Google's eCommerce update is on the roll.

https://www.seroundtable.com/google-ecommerce-update-19832.html

People vs Search Engines

I've seen positive results with relevant and irrelevant subjects in links, a lot of factors influencing these results, which I wish I had the time to drill down into and investigate fully! But as a broad rule, I stick with the Big G's basic advice of focusing on people as well as search engines and aim for relevant subjects and assume that it if it hasn't already, it will soon find a way to determine relevance of topic and adapt link value accordingly.

People vs Search Engines

I've seen positive results with relevant and irrelevant subjects in links, a lot of factors influencing these results, which I wish I had the time to drill down into and investigate fully! But as a broad rule, I stick with the Big G's basic advice of focusing on people as well as search engines and aim for relevant subjects and assume that it if it hasn't already, it will soon find a way to determine relevance of topic and adapt link value accordingly.

Mobile ready

I can never figure out why people can't slide into the shoes of Google and see everything from their perspective.

When everyone was putting W3C badges all over their websites to show that they could write code according to the latest standards everyone thought this would have to be a major determining factor in Google's algo. Someone finally asked Matt Cutts, and he replied, no, a huge percentage of the web is non-compliant. Do you expect us to deny all that good information front page placements because they don't meet some coding standard? Then he said, Heck the Google front page isn't W3C compliant, and we made it that way because it loads faster.

The key has always been INFORMATION. You can have the crappiest website in the world, but if it is the only one supplying some piece of knowledge that Google thinks the world should know about, then it is going to rank.

I'm sure Google decided that those websites that don't embrace mobile will only be penalized by the public. We are not going to have a hand in removing a 10,000 page government website because it isn't mobile friendly. Nowhere in our algo will we prevent the public from finding information they need based on some standard irrelevant to the quality of their information.

It is just common sense. Content is king! Always has been.

 

 

 

Google maps is changing

Google maps is changing constantly and is almost unusable now. I would prefer yahoo stayed in business. I suppose I need to find an alternative that is free and widely available from the open source community. Any suggestions?

Google has a really poor record

My honest opinion @annadmin is that if they did not get outed,they'd be fine....and even though they got outed based on the history sites like thumbtack that get hit issue an apology and then they get out very fast...same thing for bigger companies...I will say that in general, they don't go back to the same level but get out fast....two non-google examples are rap genius and interflora...they got out in about 10 days! As far as google properties retail me not is one of the few success stories out there of fast panda recovery...they were only hit for a couple monthsAlso, for a number of these sites, they got outed or lets just say it was *very* well known by players in their respective niches what tactics were being used.I am sure that thumbtacks tactics were very well known to their competitors and the people following their niche...

Trying to discern between what % of this is pr and what percent of this is real ...i don't think you can ever really know...To googles credit, they're a big organization...how is their webspam team supposed to know what their acquisitions do? Also to googles credit, in some cases, there may be a sense of too big to fail on the internet (and I say this as a point of discussion) ...is it a bad user experience for when a user searches 'buy washing machines' to not see Sears in the results or when you search or with some of the deeper penalties when you don't rank for your brand name any more..one can argue that when you search 'rap genius' looking for the site and you don't see it...that that may be a bad experience for a Google end user

now I will sit back and wait between a week and one month for thumbtack to recover...rapgenius was using the same tactics and was out in 10 days after issuing their sorry but we're not sorry public statement :P

Interesting!

I agree with you that their record isn't the best. Those are some good examples of what's happened in the past and what will probably happen here.Interesting thoughts in the rest of your post! Lots to consider...I think that finding a company when you search for its brand name is good user experience. It's the rest of it, the keywords that the site ranks for, that is questionable to me. There are any number of places that sell washing machines, and it's big business to be high in the SERPs for product searches like that. If someone starts playing dirty to sell more of their stuff, it's only fair that when they get caught they should be punished for breaking the rules. That's the risk that comes with doing shady stuff - if they were willing to take a risk to turn a buck, they need to be willing to take the penalty, too. And at the same time, I can see that when a company is punished it might reduce the quality of experience for a Google user. But still, in a business system, if the rules aren't adhered to and enforced, the whole thing falls in on itself - and Google is not just a search engine anymore.It must be a hellish task to simultaneously be a public service like a search engine...and also have the power to push so much money around. What we see as gray areas must be where those two philosophies slide over one another and clash.On another note, I've been reading a bit about how Thumbtack users have been reacting to the penalty. Some of them posted in the comments over on the SEL article - check them out.

Damon wrote:
Was wondering why I suddenly can't get work/leads...thanks, nitpickers. My starving kids thank you. :/ Sorry, but this is nonsense.

Kristi Hines wrote:
As someone who also uses Thumbtack for leads for a local business, I have noted the decline in leads. No, they are not the only service we use for our business leads but we do have an outstanding credit with them that will take longer to deplete. Was Thumbtack's link building approach wrong? Sure. But this will affect more than just them.
Damon" again wrote:
Well, the problem is that no other advertising source gives a return for investment like thumbtack. Do you know any other advertising that results in a $800- $1500 job for every $20 spent? Because I don't. And I have tried. With the exception of referrals, every job I have gotten has been from Thumbtack, despite spending money in other mediums.

Thumbtack should have known better. Now its greed is costing its users dearly - and they're probably the ones who will really feel it.