Knock it on the head, Google.

There’s a great post by David Harry over on Search News Central that takes a look at Google responses to reconsideration requests. That in and of itself makes for a really interesting read, but David makes a really good point at the end of his article. One which is so obvious it’s possible Google missed it completely. Well, they shouldn’t have because it’s common bloody sense. Here’s what David said:

If Google can and has removed the value from the suspect links, why not just do that and call it a day? Inform the webmaster of the types of links which aren’t passing value, instead of penalizing them. This would surely end a given link building tactic in short order without the risk of ‘negative’ SEO.

As logical arguments go, that’s right up there with the best. So Google discounts a big chunk of your backlinks because they’re crap. Fair enough. Surely then, the Google algorithm would knock you back a place or 10 in the rankings too. There’s no need for Google to then manually penalise you and it does completely remove the possibility of negative SEO in the form of building spammy links to a competitors site as they just wouldn’t count. And, of course, SEOs would have no choice but to abandon those types of link building practices as they’d have no effect and be a waste of time.

As David so eloquently put it, manually penalising a site after you’ve already discounted their spammy backlinks is akin to:

…changing the speed limit on the street in front of my house and then giving me a speeding ticket for last year when I was driving the old limit.

So come on, Google, knock it off. You know it makes sense to do it this way. And while you’re at it, give us SEOs, webmasters and site owners the ability to discount links we don’t want in Webmaster Tools. We can fight our own negative SEO and and any previous unethical  SEO practices ourselves then, saving you quite a bit of time!

Ben Greenwood
  • Written by on 21st June 2012 at 16:19
  • “Ben Greenwood is an SEO & social media consultant at Fluid Creativity. Ben can regularly be found blogging about all things digital and is a self-confessed Twitter addict.”
  • Google+
  • http://www.bantermedia.com/ Liam

    Very interesting and very true… the other thing to consider however is if Google is implying a slightly different tact… 

    They may have decided to hit everyone hard with the latest Penguin and Panda updates to get everyones’ attention and now be planning to only disallow dodgy links in future.

    I think, personally, if Google and just used the above method then it would have done little to detract from bad link building practises. We, for instance, still get plenty of spam links in comments to no follow blogs… 

    • Ben Greenwood

      If people continued to use bad link building practices post-Penguin/Panda then they would be shown up for the con artists they are as by discounting spammy links Google has already rendered that ‘work’ pointless. The manual penalties for sites just seems like overkill. Though I do agree that they could well be getting everyone’s attention with this approach – I just hope they will remove the penalties in due course once their discounting and the algorithm as truly cleaned up the SERPs.

  • http://www.bantermedia.com/ Liam

    Very interesting and very true… the other thing to consider however is if Google is implying a slightly different tact… 

    They may have decided to hit everyone hard with the latest Penguin and Panda updates to get everyones' attention and now be planning to only disallow dodgy links in future.

    I think, personally, if Google and just used the above method then it would have done little to detract from bad link building practises. We, for instance, still get plenty of spam links in comments to no follow blogs… 

    • Ben Greenwood

      If people continued to use bad link building practices post-Penguin/Panda then they would be shown up for the con artists they are as by discounting spammy links Google has already rendered that 'work' pointless. The manual penalties for sites just seems like overkill. Though I do agree that they could well be getting everyone's attention with this approach – I just hope they will remove the penalties in due course once their discounting and the algorithm as truly cleaned up the SERPs.