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September 23, 2007

Google Slaps Tim Nash | Paid Link Penalty?

Well folks, I have a bit of discerning Google news to scoop you on today. You might remember a few weeks ago, a friend of mine Tim Nash did a great article here "psst Want to buy a Link?". Well, Google has assessed a "John Chow" caliber penalty against Tim. So you see, Tim Nash no longer ranks for his own name...Just everyone else...Including me. Some things to consider, first of all this is most likely a manual edit. More than likely there is a whistle blower involved here, and Google...without trial nor inquiry assessed a penalty against Tim's personal Blog. In other words, they decided there were most probably paid links, and assessed the penalty without jurisprudence. OK in all fairness, Google is NOT a government body and does NOT have to enact such policies....But seriously in this age one sided disciplinary processes are not part of what we commonly call the "SOP" (Standard Operating Procedure) in America.

Don't mistake me, I really have ZERO issues with Google administrating the quality of their index as they see fit...As long as the apply the "standards" (HAH) equally and fairly. A perfect example is paid directories...In this post in SEOmoz you can see a sampling of the great number of paid directories that were penalized in the same manner as Tim Nash and John Chow...They no longer rank for their names. Rand did an excellent job of pointing out the problems which most probably led to the penalties. However, many directories of this caliber...Generally smaller still exist in Google's index. Google, excluded some and failed to include some smaller less obvious ones. This is just not how I would expect the "mighty Google" to behave.

This penalty of sites not ranking for their own name is really quite small, mostly boils down to a pride factor. Head games, even if you will. We have even seen it basically blow up in Google's face, as in the case of John Chow. He gained so much exposure from his penalty, even more than Google would have even provided him organically.

So Tim, his personal space...Not so much for business, but rather a place to hang his hat is now cannot rank for it's own name..HIS. Maybe you can find a paid link ? With the serious spam, malware, and pop up porn still remaining in Google's index I find it a bit hard to swallow that time and effort was taken to impose such a stupid penalty on a harmless site. Isn't that like putting out a 5 alarm fire with a garden hose?

For the record, I do not buy, nor sell links and I have been trying to tell people the same. However, linking with a paid or reciprocal link for advertising or traffic is OK IN MODERATION, and with the proper precautions....I HOPE. The fact is, right now as you can see, piss someone off and they will turn you in..Maybe you don't even have to piss anyone off at all...Just climb them in the serps. Then, no judge....No jury....No protocol that we can discern you get (hopefully) investigated and judged. Someone who knows NOTHING about your site, or it's links makes a decision whether or not to screw you. I won't go as far as to say Google owes these webmasters a "day in court", but I do believe there can be extenuating circumstances that some programmer viewing a site for the first time will not see, or may miss. I was a restaurant manager for 20+ years, when I was at the unit level I hated when my district manager came in on a bad day and took a "snapshot". Many times, he/she would think this was the "SOP".....People need to be smarter than that! When was the last time you did anything, that some damn thing didn't screw up?

As far a Google, I support what they are trying to accomplish....I do however think they need to sink some manpower into supportive services and protocols for the execution of penalties and investigations. The penalties, if applied manually should be under only the most serious of situations....It in all honesty makes Google look bad, even if they are trying to do a good thing.

EDIT: Here is Tim's Blog's PR 4 checked with Smart PR I originally had PR0 on my toolbar, I am still not sure why it was messing up but...I edited this post @ 6:44 pm EST. I guess I certainly should have checked the datacenters earlier..Duh. However, I uninstalled and reinstalled...So hopefully it will work OK now. Apologies....

Peace and SEO

Melanie Prough

DIY Your SEO With The SEOCog
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DazzlinDonna said...

PR0?? I see a PR4 on his home page.

Tim Nash said...

Nice write up :)

Sadly I think my penalty was less about webspam more about some one with a grudge. However I think it shows just how easily it is now to manipulate Google and Google employees and that opens far greater chance of paid link issues occurring.

Melanie Prough "Baby" said...

Hi Donna,
Mine is showing zero. Might be still updating. Or in the infinate Google flux of recent. I'll check it in a tool. I hope it is flux...Would be a positive in this mess.

Melanie Prough "Baby" said...

Hi Tim,
It is sad, like I said..Google can do as it pleases with it's own index, but it doesn't make it right. I live in Ohio, I can fire employees for no reason (at will), but that doesn't make it right.


GiorgosK said...

I see PR4 for his domain ... but definetelly can't see the site in the SERPs ... what position did it use to be in ?

Melanie Prough "Baby" said...

Hi GiorgosK,
I am actually showing a 4 now...but before was zero...then was not avail...Who know what Google is doing these days. I believe Tim was ranked first for "Tim Nash".


Doug Heil said...

Hi all, Let's see; Google stated about two years ago they were going to start cracking down on sites who buy and sell links. Specifically, Matt Cutts stated this "on his blog" directly. Why the seo community all the sudden is surprised that Google does not want sites to manipulate their SERPS by buying and selling links is something I do not understand. All you have to do is "read the guidelines". Who cares if a penalty is given manually or automatically? Were you or were you not selling links? Goodness.

Also; since when does looking at the little green bar mean anything at all? Do you all realize that Google might update that green thang about twice a year now? Do you realize that even turning on your green bar helps you for nothing? I really wonder what's wrong with this industry. Google practically gives you all a step by step guide about how to do well in Google. Why not follow and implement what the heck she tells you?

Melanie Prough "Baby" said...

Hi Doug,

My biggest issues are..first of all how does some tech at Google know for sure that a link is paid for and used to manipulate PR, not just for traffic or an honest organic link? Secondly, if they are so worried about it, why don't they just shut the link juice of as always, a penalty is unecessary. I think Tim at least deserved a communication regarding the incident...Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Easy... the link is unrelated to the site and it just floats there on the blogroll, on the footer, or on the header. Maybe it's even a Russian site or other country. Apparently, Google has not figure that one out yet.

Melanie Prough "Baby" said...

Well...I do not see any unrelated links on his blogroll as you say. I even checked the Internet archive. Who is to say what is or is not related to a "personal"Blog in any case? Tim is in the UK, I am in the is in now inappropriate for me to carry his links as well?

The point was, I believe they probably have some decent tools to investigate, but they can never really know...and there is much at stake for some sites.

I don't make a habit of publishing Anonymous comments, only because I prefer to answer you by name =-)