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Google’s Penalizing Itself in New Penguin Update

I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what Google thinks it fixed with its latest algorithm change, now dubbed Penguin.  Frankly, there are some riotous results.  My favorite being the SERPs for “search engine”.  Google doesn’t even come above the fold.  I love that Bing beats them in their own search engine. And Altavista?  Who the heck still uses AltaVista?



My second favorite search was for “Film awards” – the Oscars website doesn’t appear until the second page of results, and then it’s some weird internal page.

Lots of junk sites have actually benefitted from the update – and in fact on some high-value searches that cost $40 or more in Google AdWords return results where one company has multiple sites in the top 10.

In fact one high-value search returns 3 sites from Narconon/Scientology in the top 10.  Really?   I do know one of these sites is well disguised so the visitor doesn’ t know who they are calling, but if you call they only recommend Narconon/Scientology programs.   Scary.

How to Identify Phony Reviews in Google Places

As more and more people rely on the opinions of others online to make decisions about where they’ll eat, who’ll they will hire to fix their roof, or even where they will go for health care the more critical it becomes for them to understand there are devious people out there trying to trick them into choosing them.  This has become an obvious issue with Google Places, which seems to give preference to sites with lots of reviews. The most famous story around this was of a business owner who purposely pissed off customers so they would write bad reviews. His belief was it was better to show up on the map with bad reviews than not show up at all. Others have come up with more elegant ways to trick the system – so it is important to take reviews with a grain of salt, and if you are making a life-altering decision, don’t base it on Google Places reviews without digging a little deeper. Continue reading →

Like Its 1997

If you were a big web surfer in the 90s you probably remember the browser wars – Microsoft was hell-bent on getting all the market from Netscape (as if there weren’t enough browsers for both of them). At one point there were actually websites that you COULD NOT SEE in Netscape (which I used for many years back then). We all know Microsoft paid dearly for its aggressive grab for 100% market-share, but that didn’t end what I call Browser War Light. Continue reading →

Google Misery on the Horizon

Once again Google appears to be doing some major house cleaning – and generally these housecleanings result in some excellent and valuable sites being dropped (or just as bad, sent to the bottom of the proverbial barrel). Google’s actions have become progressively baffling over the years – and it gets harder and harder to figure out what the hell they want. Continue reading →

About When Do You Think God Started Hearing the Word ‘Google’ in Prayers?

It used to be a relatively easy thing to do…get to the top of Google. But spammers changed all that – they made it so Google has to stay one step ahead of them. Which means a few great sites get filtered out with the garbage because it “appears” to be like something it isn’t.

If you’ve ever had a strong position for years and years and suddenly lost it, you realize how powerful Google can be to destroy a legitimate online presence. Survival of the fittest isn’t a perfect science. We know many lovely species have disappeared off the face of the earth – they didn’t deserve to survive any less, and just as these many species have fallen victim to human greed and indifference, so many quality web sites will fall victim to the indifference of the Google algorithm.