Is Google Ethical & Moral For Penalizing Webmasters? One SEO & Ethics PhD Says Absolutely Not.

May 1, 2014 • 8:50 am | comments (105) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

Google Dr EvilJosh Bachynski is a name many folks who are involved in the SEO community, attend the conferences, are on Twitter or the forums, have heard of. He has always been a skeptic of Google but recently he was able to speak one-on-one with Google's Matt Cutts and address his problems.

The honors with a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, and (half) a PhD specializing in Ethics and Rational Decision Theory, went ahead and posted much of his private conversation with Matt Cutts on a site he created named It is an incredibly long read but in short, Josh Bachynski aims at proving, at least based on rational theory, how Google is being immoral and unethical by penalizing sites, at least the way they do that.

His three points, although I am sure he has more are:

(1) Google does not have the "moral authority or justification" to penalize sites, specifically with algorithms such as Penguin.

(2) Google is stealing content from webmasters through what they call the Knowledge Graph.

(3) Google penalizing webmasters using humans or as known as manual actions.

Those are his complaints and he makes strong and clear arguments for why there are issues with it.

Now, he then goes on to explain how Matt Cutts responded and ultimately, it made it look like Matt Cutts admitted Google was mostly wrong.

Now, of course, this is Josh's version. This also may be Matt just listening and not responding too much to his questions or issues.

Josh notified Matt after he posted it at:

Then Matt confirmed:

Matt also confirmed speaking with Josh at SMX:

The questions is would Matt Cutts agree the conversation went this way exactly? I am not saying Josh is lying, not at all. But sometimes people take one conversation and take two things out of it.

Like I said, Matt may agree with Josh or not.

Anyway, it is worth a read and I'd love to see if/when Matt Cutts responds. I doubt he will but who knows.

Forum discussion at Black Hat World (which has a ton of fun takes on it alone).

Previous story: Massive Google Webmaster Tools SSL Warnings?



05/01/2014 01:06 pm

To be ETHICAL about any subject you first must have ETHICS. Google has none. The way Google arrogantly calls it´s tax avoidance tactics CAPITALISM is beyond gross. Google have no business claiming morality or ethics on any subject. Google or a bullying monopoly with more power than any one business should be allowed to wield.

Yo Mamma

05/01/2014 01:18 pm

Google setting rules 'not to' then not enforcing them for a decade is no different to the federal government not enforcing emigration laws. Its also no different to trademark enfringement. Just because you made the law/rule, doesn't mean its valid until its enforced. Google is evil because it waited to enforce the rules AFTER businesses became reliant on them not being enforced. Google = Gotcha


05/01/2014 01:27 pm

I liken Google to the Police enforcing a speed limit. in the UK the motorway speed limit is 70mph. If you go 75mph you will never get a ticket - as the police dont seem to care for that amount of infringement (or dont have the tech to measure it that accurately). They could start giving everyone a ticket who goes .1 mph over 70. The law has not changed - just their enforcement of it. In Google terms many of us have been driving at 74mph and just got a ticket.

Dr Do Little - PHd in MDF

05/01/2014 01:49 pm

If Google even cared about this which I doubt they do, then they could pay 100 EXPERTS who have the opposite opinion to come out on their side. When you are Google, you can ride rough shod over anything without giving a toss.

Durant Imboden

05/01/2014 02:20 pm

I don't know if Google is being unethical, but "immortal"? That sounds optimistic--or pessimistic, depending on your point of view. :-)

Jérôme Verstrynge

05/01/2014 02:27 pm

Barry surely meant 'immoral' lol...

Michael Martinez

05/01/2014 02:34 pm

"Josh Bachynski is a name many folks who are involved in the SEO community, attend the conferences, are on Twitter or the forums, have heard of. " Who?


05/01/2014 02:55 pm



05/01/2014 02:55 pm

I think the most unethical behavior of Google is the way how they penalize. Being penalized by Penguin or Panda is like being arrested by the CIA, detained in Guantanamo, and all without a trial and without even knowing why you're there. After 6 - 18 months they (might) let you out and still won't tell you why you were arrested.

Durant Imboden

05/01/2014 03:23 pm

I think Barry knew exactly what he was saying, and I'd remind him that corporations are people. (I know because Mitt Romney told me so.) That means Google's life expectancy is around 70 to 90 years, depending on whether or what Google has been smoking.

Barry Schwartz

05/01/2014 03:38 pm

ha, nice catch. sorry.

Barry Schwartz

05/01/2014 03:39 pm

if only


05/01/2014 03:46 pm

Some people have lost money because of Google. Some people have lost their jobs because of Google. Some people have lost their businesses because of Google. It is not just SEOs... but whole sectors of people. After mayday/caffeine update GAP downsized brick and mortar business as a result of slumping online sales. It is arguable that in some sectors Google's actions can impact the unemployment rate.


05/01/2014 03:49 pm

or employment rate... some have a job/career because of Google.


05/01/2014 03:50 pm

probably hasn't heard of you either.


05/01/2014 03:54 pm

Well... these days in spite of Google.


05/01/2014 03:55 pm


Yo Mamma

05/01/2014 03:56 pm

You're just another hardcore Google supporter - This based on a handful of your comments. Hitler was evil and had people loving him too, just like you. But where you fall short is your blindness to truth and common sense. I on the other hand will jump on your neck when you mess up but I will be there for support if you're worthy. Google: YOU'RE NOT WORTHY

josh bachynski (SEO)

05/01/2014 04:26 pm

ah no I know Mike - we go way back... ;p lol (I was going to say "Mike doesn't know me but his wife does" but i thought that was too mean so i won't say it)


05/01/2014 04:36 pm

very well said


05/01/2014 04:38 pm

Michael was being funny? my world just collapsed.


05/01/2014 04:40 pm

your writeup was awesome by the way... thanks for doing what ya do.


05/01/2014 04:53 pm

lol homeboi, you have no idea who i am or what i do... not fan of google but i do know that over the past 8 years in search i have made thousands off of google as well as made dozens of business thrive because of google and the traffic they bring. but your "hardcore" rant is laughable. "jump on my neck" what are you talking about... "not worthy" ok tough guy.


05/01/2014 05:03 pm

hitler loving huh... who the black sheep fool!


05/01/2014 05:04 pm

The worst part is spam is still ranking, while those that were penalized are still in limbo. Basically small businesses got screwed and the true spammers are doing the same old churn and burn.


05/01/2014 05:05 pm

agreed, i have seen some of my clients from 4 and 5 years ago get hit because of things that were allowed then... totally dont agree with the whats good today will get you dinged tomorrow... much rather see a link demotion instead of a penalty. so messed up and crooked.


05/01/2014 05:10 pm

true. I spend a lot more time these days grappling with negative SEO attacks. Google Penalties = New Black Hat Attack Vectors... Which is why I really like the letter to Cutts... reward the Good... it is harder to game than punishing the bad.

Rick Jones

05/01/2014 05:14 pm

Yeah, and what's up with his picture. Is it from 1983 at Olan Mills?


05/01/2014 05:19 pm

Thomas are you saying if google didn't exist you wouldn't be making money from the search engine that everyone would then be using?

F1 Steve

05/01/2014 05:28 pm

Its interesting to note that not a single "fan boy" has said Google is Ethical or Moral in the comments. Makes you wonder why they spend so much time defending an entity they don't think is moral....Maybe time to find a worthy cause to champion for a change boys? P.S I would give me left nut (the smaller one) to see matt do a video dressed as doctor evil, swing around in the chair and be stroking a certain someone’s beautiful white head, anyone good with photoshop? ;)

F1 Steve

05/01/2014 05:30 pm

hopefully his account was hacked or something?


05/01/2014 05:31 pm

nope i make money and generate leads from bing and yahoo and ask, and forums/blogs... etc. im just saying that there are business out there that wouldnt exist if google wasnt around. some of my clients heavily rely on G. It is crap that Google has no qualms tanking the little guy and cater to big brands so much... or so it seems (letting them use widget link spam, sell links, (incert hot method of the week) etc.) im straight no matter how they shift and dont believe G owes me anything... but the fact that so many people dont understand that you shouldnt put all your eggs in one basket is a shame. its utter bs, there should be a standard that everyone is held to, even big brands, but i dont expect anyone to change their business for me... although punishing ma and pa for things that were done years ago is crap.


05/01/2014 05:33 pm

i could find a foot print if i were that invested... i could have posted worse but that fit his comment pretty well. EDIT: i tried to remove the comment and the image but it will not let go.... sorry dude. that sucks.


05/01/2014 05:43 pm

OMG... my mom used to take me there in Ohio when I was a kid... I could prolly dust one off with me rockin a velour butterfly collar long sleeve. lol classic

Steve H.

05/01/2014 06:18 pm

To reason ethics and morality with Google is as futile as to have an adult discussion with a person that suffers of autism spectrum: 1. Larry Page vision: Google’s search-advertising profit margins are the cash-generating machine that his hero Nikola Tesla would have used to fund his vision. In fact, He is now the Hero that will change World…Whether the world wants it or not. 2. Does it matter? For example, in the past he thought a good idea to destroy the advertising agency industry, an inefficient system that could be erased …A technocrat with no regard of consequences to the community. This is common in brilliant minds with difficulties in social interaction. Usually they are great inventors but rarely CEO’s or Politicians…Still, a legal department and strong lobby can make the difficult easy... 3. Google main competitor is not any other search engine or Facebook, it’s the organic traffic with commercial intent that is “misdirected” by others advertising platforms…This is just an undisputed mathematical fact. 4. As a matter of act, in the same year that we witness Panda, apparently a leaked Google rater document stated: “Note:Major cosmopolitan cities are preferred targets for spammers, especially hotel affiliates. Such results should be flagged as Spam, even if they are related to the query and helpful to users. For example, a hotel affiliate page with a list of Chicago hotels may be assigned a rating Relevant, but also receive a Spam flag…” To be fair, those sites are bridges that users don’t like, although they tend to click more in spam…Hmmm, but how do you define spam? 5. Shortly after, Google launches Product Listing Ads - automatically show the most relevant products along with the associated image, price and product name in commercial queries. In essence, a Bridge… Now let’s talk about ethics and morality. Pay your taxes, love your family, help those in need in your community and respect the law. You should be fine.

Yo Mamma

05/01/2014 06:35 pm

What's the bet none of the top Google executives walk around with body guards or even body armor. There is obviously no need for concern. No nuts with AR-15's ready to take down a few on their way to nirvana. But I'm smarter than that. I know karma is a beach and doing bad comes back ten fold for me, maybe not to me directly, but to those I love. So I wish these smarty pants geeks will wise up some and stop being such a-holes. Being evil like little Hitler fans is no way to live a life let alone run a company. There is no goodness or morality to lay claim to this sordid track record. To be continued

Yo Mamma

05/01/2014 06:39 pm

Would having your business ruined, your life set ablaze, be a defense against the death penalty for what Google has done to the defendant? Is that a reason to blow someone away? Is that as bad as finding your wife in bed with the neighbor?

Durant Imboden

05/01/2014 06:58 pm

The story's headline is deceptive, or at least incorrect: As Barry notes in the body text, Mr. Bachynski has only "(half) a Ph.D. specializing in ethics and rational design theory." On the other hand, it appears that he spends more than half of his time on SEO, which an ethicist might call a conflict of interest for someone who's preaching ethics to Matt Cutts and Google.


05/01/2014 07:03 pm

What do you think of Googles ethics and morality Durant?

Durant Imboden

05/01/2014 07:14 pm

I certainly think Google has the right to penalize people who violate its guidelines, although if I were in charge, I'd make manual penalties more draconian and longer-lasting than algorithmic demotions. The current system encourages SEOs and marketers to view shady SEO as a game. ("Oh, well, I got 10 minutes in the penalty box, but maybe the referee won't notice the next time I flaunt the rules.") BTW, I wonder how many people would have bothered reading this story if its headline had said "SEO complains about Google penalties." That's what the story is really about. Not exactly newsworthy, is it?


05/01/2014 07:23 pm

You failed to answer the question. I asked you what you thought of Googles ethics and morality and you went on to talk about their rights to penalize. Is it ethical for instance (in your mind of course Durant) to employ aggressive tax avoidance while small businesses pay their fair share. Or, is it moral to advertise to children who are forced to use google apps in school. So, can you answer the question. How do you feel about Googles ethics and morality?

Durant Imboden

05/01/2014 07:25 pm

I don't have strong feelings one way or the other, although I will say that I'm inclined to think Google is more ethical and moral than most of the SEOs and site owners who find themselves on the receiving end of Google penalties.


05/01/2014 07:34 pm

He might have a better chance of a career in ethics if more companies had an interest in practicing them. I don't see a conflict... especially since he is speaking on behalf of others who couldn't get a sit down meeting with Cutts. Now your defense of google only makes sense if you are somehow invested in them... Now that would be a conflict of interest.


05/01/2014 07:35 pm

This is why Google brand is turning to sh!$. Well done.


05/01/2014 07:36 pm

Amazingly selective vision.

F1 Steve

05/01/2014 07:48 pm

So a cooperation with buckets of cash to spare, buckets, that avoids paying taxes, taxes that are used to support social cohesion support the disabled and sick, that company is more moral than than some guy who buys a couple of back links to help get his family off the social security your corporation doesn’t want to fund? I love this guy ;) What side were you on in world war chance out of curiosity?


05/01/2014 07:48 pm

I think that says a lot more about your own ethics and morality than you wanted to divulge.

F1 Steve

05/01/2014 07:56 pm

dr evil lol

Durant Imboden

05/01/2014 08:14 pm

Sleazy SEOs are supporting "social cohesion, the disabled, and the sick"? Next thing we know, you'll be saying that Blackhat SEO, Inc. is a registered charity.

Durant Imboden

05/01/2014 08:18 pm

I'm not "defending Google," I'm defending common sense. An SEO complains about penalties, and we're supposed to think his complaints have special meaning because he apparently got halfway to a "ethics and rational design theory" before he went over to the dark side?

F1 Steve

05/01/2014 08:19 pm

Sleazy SEOs are supporting "social cohesion, the disabled, and the sick"? lol fact, they are if they are paying taxes!!


05/01/2014 08:21 pm

Are you not concerned about the "collateral damage"? Who are you to judge others based on their acceptance or refusal of Google's ever changing webmaster guidelines? Awfully broad stroke you're painting with on the slippery slope.


05/01/2014 08:28 pm

His complaints have special meaning because they are well formed, shared by many, and Google refuses to even discuss them publicly. "The dark side"? really... How would you describe a "shill" for Google? Claiming to not be defending Google is a LIE... anyone who reads your comments below will see that.


05/01/2014 08:33 pm

Sleazy corporate shill... as long as we are name calling now right? A lot of the SEOs I've known are charitable people. So I give your comment THE FINGER.

Michael Martinez

05/01/2014 09:11 pm

I'm curious -- who are the "fan boy" group members?

Michael Martinez

05/01/2014 09:12 pm

The Vulcans have a saying: "'Tis better to have sat before the photographer than to never have a picture to share at all when you Disqus things."

F1 Steve

05/01/2014 09:17 pm

Not you if that helps?

F1 Steve

05/01/2014 09:20 pm

I consider you to have a balanced view Michael, shocked?


05/01/2014 09:24 pm

I agree with Josh Bachynski on this, but I also want to remark - as I've been doing lately - that morality has nothing to do with business. And Google is a business, not a deity nor a governor. The real thing here, IMO, is the way Google's webspam team applies manual actions -- oftentimes they are not supported by enough proof for 'spamming' and other times they are just false positives (or maybe just big bias?). Lack of consistency, too. Building links, adding your site to directories and writing on Ezine are NOT spammy practices just because Google says so. And spammy doesn't mean immoral anyway. In this sense, I find that too many wrong words are used in the industry.

A humanist

05/01/2014 09:28 pm


05/01/2014 09:30 pm

so you do have photoshop skills after all lol

Michael Martinez

05/01/2014 09:44 pm

Well, given my humorous mood today, I was kind of hoping to be included. :)

Durant Imboden

05/01/2014 09:50 pm

Your comment is a perfect example of the "groupthink" that Matt Cutts mentioned in one of his videos a while back. Again, I'm not "defending Google." I don't work for Google, I don't own stock in Google, and I don't have any bias for or against Google. (My favorite search engine was and probably always will be Infoseek.) But I do believe that the engineers, programmers, academics, etc. on Google's search team are at least trying to create better search results. That certainly can't be said for unethical people on the outside who try to manipulate those results with link-buying networks, ersatz "guest posts," and other schemes..


05/01/2014 09:51 pm

As Danny Sullivan has preached, why doesn't Google just ignore the sites/links they don't like? The answer is likely because they can't. It would be an interesting anti-trust(?) argument that Google wields too much power in destroying businesses of all kinds because of their heavy-handed banning tactics without having to explain their actions. If they don't like the quality of the site where your link resides then don't count it. This seems especially true as they keep changing their rules of engagement as time goes on.

F1 Steve

05/01/2014 10:02 pm

Sorry dude, I can rag on your photo some more if it helps? But I WOULDNT label you as a Google fan boy at all ;)


05/01/2014 10:02 pm

Your comment is just the "no-think" google wants. Drink the kool-aid and like it. Again you lie about defending Google. It's OK if you want to defend Google. Just don't lie about it.

Durant Imboden

05/01/2014 10:30 pm

Maybe you'd like to tell us what your agenda is. And who you are, for that matter. (I don't think anyone needs an ethics lesson from a person who hides behind a pseudonym and resorts to ad hominem attacks.)

Yo Mamma

05/01/2014 10:49 pm

"I have an Honours Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s Degree, and (half) a PhD specializing in Ethics and Rational Decision Theory from some of the finest universities in Canada, which is why I take that darn “ethics” thing so seriously." Durant, degrees are merely indications of a patient student. Someone willing to spend days, weeks, months & years on end, learning stuff that will never be used and will soon be forgotten. What do you call the student that came stone last in medical school? Doctor Remember that when you get your Colonoscopy

Durant Imboden

05/02/2014 12:01 am

My doctor doesn't have half a medical degree. :-)

Yo Mamma

05/02/2014 12:08 am

And therein lies your problem Durant. Just because you believe that your doctor never started then stopped and never completed A medical course or call it an entire degree, doesn't mean it didn't happen. The degree on the WALL shows what he completed. The wall does not show what he didn't complete and you have no idea and no backing to the statement you made. And therein lies your problem Durant. You believe yourself anyway. Here I've told you of a fundamental oversight on your part, yet I am 100% sure you wouldn't rethink your statement. And therein lies your problem Durant. This is how you handle all debates including that of Google. Your argument doesn't hold water. Its your opinion and its a very minimal one. I love taking people like you down one peg at a time

Yo Mamma

05/02/2014 12:14 am

Durant says "I'm not defending Google, I'm defending common sense." All I ever read in your remarks is always defense of Google. And thats what makes you so annoying. You're annoying because you lack common sense and defend a bunch of horrible personalities, void of any moral compass, including parental religion, with the enthusiasm of a teenage boy after his first under the shirt feel.

Yo Mamma

05/02/2014 12:18 am

The biggest 'group' is comprised of Google brown-nosers. Finding the fringe like this author is a revelation, a bright light at the end of a path filled with disappointment and chaos. So for heavens sake, don't go saying that those Google nay-sayers are a "groupthink" The small group is more like anarchists and revolutionaries

Yo Mamma

05/02/2014 12:25 am

Say the world ended as you know it. Its Armageddon and you have a kid on your doorstep asking for food. You approach is this: Go away. I'm prepared. I've got food for myself and nobody else. Its not my fault you're hungry.... And you will survive for a while like that, but sooner than later more starving people will be knocking and soon it will be just you against the world. And its tough to live another day like that. The point is this Before you get on your high horse claiming your brilliance and foresight in planning the perfect course that causes you to be untouchable by the wrath of G, think about the millions around you that just did what everyone else did. Thats not so terrible is it?

Durant Imboden

05/02/2014 12:42 am

"Anarchists and revolutionaries"? So when is Occupy Mountain View going to take over the Plex?

Seriously Spain

05/02/2014 03:29 am

Bachynski is absolutely correct in all three points. I, and most of the people I know, now refuse to use Google search for anything, as they are doing nothing but penalizing smaller website owners in favor of mega corporations paying them millions of dollars a year in advertising so they can appear at the top of Google search. Meanwhile, websites that have stolen my content are appearing higher in Google search than I am. Google's reputation is in the toilet nowadays. Everybody hates them, and for valid reasons.


05/02/2014 04:25 am

6 hours ago "Maybe you'd like to tell us what your agenda is. And who you are, for that matter. (I don't think anyone needs an ethics lesson from a person who hides behind a pseudonym and resorts to ad hominem attacks.)" Oh the irony. Why don't you post under the name you use on webmaster world forums? Everyone knows you are "editorialguy" who posts the same pro google crap over there. The difference is here you don't have mods moving or deleting posts you don't like. You claim to have no hidden agenda. Well I call bullshit on that one. There is no way on earth you earn a living from that shitty 1990's website of yours. So, take you google ass kissing back to that failed forum where the other pro morons can back you up.


05/02/2014 04:38 am

"In short, he told me that regarding point 1, his hands were tied by technology, and the admittedly excessive delays were also (perhaps even mostly) in just trying to keep up with spammers while still protecting site owners against their numerous negative SEO attempts." & yet when a large company like interflora gets a penalty they are out of the water in 10 days. Find me one small website owner who has recovered that quickly if at all.....


05/02/2014 06:40 am

Hey Durant, You are nothing but a ignorant old fool. You just support Google for whatever they do. Why don't you just go and lick Matt's A**. He might bless you with a load of cum. Mike


05/02/2014 09:18 am

Now there´s an SEO company to avoid like the plaque. Thick as shite springs to mind.


05/02/2014 09:49 am

Then every Government and Police force in the world is evil, because they ALL do this. Unlike Google they will also apply it retrospectively, IE even if you have stopped doing it now. So your analogy is flawed, badly and actually makes Google look like the good guys there! :) In your analogy, you have been committing fraud for many years. Google have come along and punished you for currently committing fraud. If Google had acted like the Governments do, they would ALSO have investigated and punished you for the previous fraud as well. So basically complaints from people who got caught spamming try to make out it someone else who is the bad guy. Honest!


05/02/2014 11:11 am

Durant use this platform to get his name and his business name famous by talking Google's guidelines and on other hand deceiving his site's visitors with camouflage affiliate links, which in fact is against Google guidelines. He is a cheater and his face tell a lot about him. He talks about ethical SEO, where is his ethics of using SEO to fool its users. His soul purpose here is to act against SEO community and get famous. From a Jack Sparrow Quote: Me Im dishonest(SEOs) and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. Its the honest(Durant) ones you want to watch out for because you can never predict when they're going to do something incredibly stupid.


05/02/2014 11:18 am

Maybe Josh is not famous as you. Since, you are frequent ranter on this site and on your site, people are knowing you very well. Change your photo, it looks like you are hitting punch on your own chin.


05/02/2014 12:37 pm

If a government did what google do in terms of deciding which information, version or site gets shown to the public it would be called censorship and they would be the first to condemn it - specially if it wasn't their version.

Michael Martinez

05/02/2014 02:10 pm

It was a joke. I remember seeing Josh and Matt Tweet about getting together at SMX. And I may never change that photo. It gets too much discussion to justify that.


05/02/2014 03:12 pm

Then use Bing. It's their ball, they can take it home if they want.


05/02/2014 03:16 pm

The whole "I'm busy with negative SEO" thing is really pretty amusing since wasn't Matt C the one who said there was no such thing as negative SEO?


05/02/2014 03:24 pm

"Then use Bing. It's their ball, they can take it home if they want." Which is why a private company with making money as the number one (only) agenda should not in charge of the worlds biggest economy! The whole "Google can do what they like" is so distant from social responsibility it's unreal. Some people are gona have a shock when Google controls everything in their lives. "If a government did what google do in terms of deciding which information, version or site gets shown to the public it would be called censorship and they would be the first to condemn it - specially if it wasn't their version." Exactly. But it's OK. Google can do what they like.


05/02/2014 04:32 pm

I am the guy who is clearly in opposition of some of Google's activities. I don't falsely claim to be otherwise. You however to falsely claim to not be defending Google. Which makes you a liar. I hide behind a pseudonym because I don't need Google to punish my SEO clients for disagreeing with my opinions. Which has happened to many others in my line of work.


05/02/2014 07:14 pm

"But I do believe that the engineers, programmers, academics, etc. on Google's search team are at least trying to create better search results." OMG What a MORON. "But I do believe that the leaders, Hitler, Stalin, etc. as legal representatives of their respective governments, are at least trying to make their countries a better place to live." Jesus. Talk about being ethically handicapped.


05/02/2014 07:39 pm

"I will say that I'm inclined to think Google is more ethical and moral than most of the SEOs and site owners who find themselves on the receiving end of Google penalties." Not that you're judging or anything. Has it even occurred to you that the "sleazy" SEO's are doing just fine? They may have had to change their game a little but now, instead of bumping their clients up the rankings they an use the same tactics and strategies to push competitors down. It's the site owners that have been hurt. And while maybe 70% of those were CPA sites, and most of those were kinda sleazy, a solid 30% (conservatively) were just plain folk trying to run businesses. Some did nothing wrong and just got scooped up in a false positive. Some had no idea the people they trusted to market their site were using sleazy techniques. And some, a steadily growing number of innocent site owners, are falling victim to the natural consequence of Google's actions, negative SEO. These are not CPA sites benefiting one guy (the intended target of these algo changes) who can stand up, dust themselves off, and start over using the same skills. These are real businesses with employees and families depending on them for a livelihood being shut down. When you destroy a mans livelihood you destroy a mans life. Google is destroying lives. All they have to do is stop penalizing links. By simply refusing to count them the problem is still solved, negative SEO stops being a viable tactic, and innocent people no longer get hurt.


05/03/2014 04:37 am

"The story's headline is deceptive, or at least incorrect" - There is a conflict of logic in your sentence. It should be "is incorrect or at least deceptive". You need to have the correct data to be able to deceive and thus "deceptive" cannot be used as a lower form of "incorrect".

Bhaskar Dihingia

05/03/2014 04:49 am

Why does the fact that he did not complete a degree hold so much importance you? People like William Shakespeare existed you know, and yes you cannot beat his command over the language with all the (complete) degrees available and imaginary! Just because he has half a degree, his views should not have any special meaning? That's very "ethical" sir!!


05/04/2014 02:15 am

then there should be an independent party from google on the decision of who gets banned or not, when google gets to decide who is right, or who is wrong, then google is the judge, jury, and executioner. If you are going to find me guilty of spam crime, or some reason that I should be penalized, then I should have a right to a review by an independent party that google cant control. I would think when you leverage SE results in this manner, then I surely would think it would be anti-trust issue, after all, google is deciding who should be here, or be gone....

whois Bid

05/04/2014 03:25 pm

This site is free advertising for some. They posts things that annoy people and pretend to suck up to google on every front. In real life, I imagine those folks do not really care either way and its just a function they carry out mechanically and religiously, believing it is integral to SEO.


05/05/2014 10:43 am

100% agree, google not have any moral & ethics and looking only to make more money. It not about penalization of spam sites, it about penalization of all small/medium sites who not pay to google. You can have ideal site, no seo, no purchased links, but if google will see profitable keyword - it will drop your site very quickly to put more their "gold taurus" adwords ads at top of search results and show sites like wikipedia/youtube (with inrelevant info) in the best traditions of MFA websites.


05/05/2014 10:51 am

Also, if you search google for any adult keyword you will see lot of absolutely unrelated youtube videos. Lets check the alexa traffic chart for youtube: So, it easy to see who get benefits from all this "antispam" updates. Their only one reason to send all (even absolutely inrelevant traffic) to google properties. And that google guys tell us something about their high ethics and moral?


05/05/2014 11:04 am

i think before gov pay them to get as much information about people as possibly. But 2 years ago looks they stop paying them. So google start to be draconic in money making. all this spy scandals just confirm that version.


05/05/2014 11:08 am

i think it deeper than in toilet. spyware scandals, their "antispam" penalties, destroying of billions of legit websites. They even unable to determine where is good link and where is bad link, they just penalize all. Like their last "very smart" idea about guest blogging.


05/05/2014 11:10 am

google forget what they was a search engine before. But now they are personal google catalog of sites (mostly google own properties & their ads). It not a search engine anymore, because it unable to separate good things from bad things and just penalizing everything.


05/05/2014 11:11 am

yes, but google not like to think about it. they think what they are best and make everything correct and have license to kill people & websites.


05/05/2014 11:12 am

exactly. may be google pay for some such supporters?


05/05/2014 11:26 am

Yeah, John. That's another reason to push Google to the bottom of traffic and conversion sources when you do business online. You have to give up on too much freedom to please Google, and that doesn't even ensure you're going to stay in the SERPs, because tomorrow Google may come up with a new rule that turns you into a "spammer" overnight.


05/05/2014 11:49 am

do google follow their own guideliness? Not. So, it no guideless, it google advertising guide for Durant. Real google guidelines is private and created especially to quickly get ranking for their own sites & partners.

Barry Schwartz

05/05/2014 11:56 am

Everyone, I posted a poll, asking what you think about Google's ethics at please go there, read it and take the poll. Very curious...

Gracious Store

05/10/2014 02:48 am

I wish I have the time to read Josh' post, but from the synopsis you gave is Josh alluding that Google does not have any moral right to penalize webmasters who violate the rule by using false means to gain high ranking in search results?

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