Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Google Is Taking Artificial And Unnatural Links Seriously

Spam blogs (splogs), content farming websites and bad neighbourhoods are big nuisances for not only the blog and websites owners whose copyrighted contents these splogs, etc pick but they are also greatly disliked by the people looking for relevant and authentic results through search engine results placements (SERPs).

This is the reason that search engines like Google regularly take action against splogs, contents farms and bad neighbourhoods. Till now Google’s strategy in this regard was to silently demote these splogs, contents farms and bad neighbourhoods either through algorithms like Panda update or through manual action penalty.

However, by and larger, Google has been defeated by these splogs, contents farms and bad neighbourhoods. If this is not enough, the genuine, hard working and original content producers are punished for the evil deed of these splogs, content farms and bad neighbourhoods. Presently, Google cannot differentiate between original content producers and splogs and at times punishes the original source in its SERPs and search results.

Even after a valid DMCA notice to Google in this regard, Google takes 5 to 7 days to resolve copyright violation claims. This policy and method of Google needs to be changed as soon as possible. Even this policy of Google is illegal as per the Indian cyber law that does not allow such long period to Google and other Internet intermediaries to take corrective and appropriate action.

The only good thing about this entire episode is that now Google has started sending warning messages to websites/blog owners about artificial or unnatural links pointing towards their websites/blogs. We have been doing a herculean task of doing this on our own so far regarding our own websites/blogs and this notification system of Google may save many hours of labour on our part.

Google has recently sent such messages to many webmasters informing them of the Google’s Webmaster Guidelines violations. The idea is to check manipulation of Google’s PageRank. For example, buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link exchange schemes violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

However, Google is still unable to punish splogs, contents farms and bad neighbourhoods that deliberately use negative SEO to harm genuine websites/blogs. Even if proper DMCA complaints and link removal requests are made to Google, it refuses to tale proper action against the offenders and recommends contacting the owner of website directly.

In the Indian context this violates Indian laws and amounts to lack of exercise of cyber law due diligence. Google must seriously think about its Indian strategy in this regard as soon as possible to avoid civil and criminal liabilities.