Blaming Others As A Ranking Factor In Google? No!

Jun 21, 2011 • 8:57 am | comments (25) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Finger PointingEvery now and then I like to point to sad but yet education SEO threads of things you should never do in a Google forum.

The latest example was highlighted by several readers and emailed to me from a person complaining in the thread as well - which makes this even more fun. In fact, I was going to ignore the whole thread but when I got the email, I had to write about it for all to enjoy.

A Google Webmaster Help thread has the owner of complaining his reconsideration request is not getting him to rank well in Google.

So after some time, JohnMu from Google explains that his content was not original and mashed up from other places. John said:

One thing to keep in mind is that our algorithms prefer unique, compelling, and high-quality content. Content which is rewritten, respun, translated or otherwise automatically or manually generated on the basis of other existing content is generally not something that our users appreciate finding in search results.

The webmaster makes his first response by saying, well - other people do it and it works! He said:

But There are a lot of other websites that are mashups, news aggregators, other similar sites that are derivatives and rank well on your search engine. I am disheartened and totally demotivated to see all that rank well in your search engine and not

Of course, Google's JohnMu says he knows and if you spot sites doing this, report them to Google. But John adds that focusing on other sites won't help you. John said:

Ultimately however, focusing on other sites will not improve yours, so my recommendation would be to take the feedback you're collecting here and make a website that is not just "as bad as others" but instead make one that is outstanding.

Now for mistake number two, replying to Google saying "I hope there is some still honour left in google." Wow, did he just say that?

Immediately after that, the webmaster challenges Google to "point me out to some links which according to you are good content."

Advice if you have a site not ranking well in Google.

(1) Don't post in the Google forums if you are doing something wrong, like mashing up other's people content without adding much unique value around the content.

(2) Don't point fingers at competitors, it won't help you.

(3) Don't tell Google they don't have any honor.

(4) Don't challenge Google.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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06/21/2011 01:25 pm

This is just human behaviour, blaming, blaming and blaming.


06/21/2011 03:45 pm

Yes but after reading the full thread I think all blame is in defence. Actually the person complaining is right in saying that no one knows any example of good content. It is actually funny how John has subtly moved out of  the discussion when asked for some examples. This thread at Google is really fun to read.


06/21/2011 04:55 pm

to: Abraham_sam - that's total BS that "no one knows any example of good content". Do you know any? What are the sites that you visit often? This guy is demanding individual articles. Because really, the time that several folks have volunteered to help him is not enough? Does he need individual articles so he can then try to copy those with little variation?It's not John's job as a rep of Google to start endorsing specific articles. He's given some great advice - blame the OP that he can't take that advice and start creating a sustainable strategy. You can't blame the guy for not following the poster down the path he's trying to lead him.These webmasters are acting like spoiled kids; the tantrums, the demanding. It's a made-for-adsense site with a mashup of largely stolen content. Do you really think he deserves great ranking and reward for that?Google publishes loads of info on what they're looking for. BigMBA has the same access as ANYONE else to this info to take it, read it, apply it.

Dheeraj Singh

06/21/2011 05:25 pm

The latest example was highlighted by several readers and emailed to me from the person complaining as well - which makes this even more fun. Hi Barry, I guess you are mistaken. The person who was complaining is Dheeraj Singh (that's me) and I haven't sent you any mail regarding this thread.  Request you to kindly have the lines which say so edited.

Barry Schwartz

06/21/2011 05:39 pm

how is shukla_vikas related to you?

Rick Bucich

06/21/2011 06:25 pm

The first question when submitting a question on the forum: "I have read the FAQs and checked for similar issues:" Unfortunately questions nearly identical to this are posted and answered daily, often multiple times a day. Hence why people who respond often have little patience especially when someone is combative.  John Mu has much bigger fish to fry than to deal with sites like this.  The fact that the uninformed @shukla_vikas answer was selected as best by the asker tells you all you need to know.

Chris Boggs

06/21/2011 06:32 pm

Thanks for posting Barry. It is scary to think that so many people are out there trying to flood the internet with such crap content on vaguely relevant domains names, and think this is legit.  the excuse of not removing the AdSense because that is the only money maker shows us the problem that has been caused by monetization of content.  the frankly sad attempt by the shukla person to somehow defend the content and to throw accusations of censorship around worries me about the future value of content that ranks.  the saddest part I feel is that these people have obviosuly no angst or guilt about adding this worthless content to the Internet, in hopes of making AdSense money.  really really sad.  thank god the algorithms are getting better at catching and filtering stuff from these types of "web marketers" out.  (my personal opinion)


06/21/2011 06:36 pm

what is funny is that the content is so bad that nearly every piece of content online is probably "better."  this is another reason John doesn't have to waste his time.  in fact I feel like I just got dumber as a result of the last 20 minutes I spent reading the thread and the ridiculous support of the complainer.

Alistair Lattimore

06/22/2011 12:00 am

I agree, the content is crap & the Google algorithms are doing their job not surfacing it. On a completely unrelated note, I love the cartoon of former Australian Prime Minister John Howard (left) pointing fingers to his then Federal Treasurer Peter Costello (right) - fantastic!

Dheeraj Singh

06/22/2011 03:20 am

I know him through the replies he has made on my post at the forums, maybe in the past 3 to 4 days.

Nhance SEO

06/22/2011 05:11 am

HI, I have a question here,  many link builders post same article to 100 or multiple article directories.  So will such content be a duplicate content ??


06/22/2011 05:25 am

Well actually I think yes it will be. But as a matter of fact you see a lot of such results in Google and they seem  not to be penalised. Even I do a lot of duplicate posting across the internet to build links but it always helped me ;-). Don't ask the names of my websites. he he !!!

SEO writer

06/22/2011 06:36 am

This is hilarious! Wow thanks for the advice I shall keep my mouth shut in Google forums and only make little twitching facial hints of my true thoughts and feelings :-)

essay writing service

06/22/2011 07:19 am

Its like always vast companies wright with out any reazons!


06/22/2011 11:34 am

Wow! I love the "everyone else is doing it!" One question - when you report sites to Google through websmaster tools (I have several sites that are a competitor of my clients who ALL have links to bull**** blogs i.e. blog pages created with 4 stories each with anchor text links in the content, all blogs have same stories slightly re-written, and all blogs are called something different and look different - but the 4 stories are always the same "subject") how long do they take to look into it? And does it take more than one person to report a site for it to be looked at? This kind of practice really ****** me off.


06/22/2011 01:08 pm

lol his site is not even optimized to rank high, but I bet he got some traffic from this post.

David Burdon

06/22/2011 02:42 pm

But I can see his frustration. When you're inside Google and drawing a salary it is easy to knock people on the outside doing their. Difficult is a big opaque beast but it has so much power to influence the commercial fortunes of other. Sometimes this power appears to be arbitrarily applied.

Gwyneth Hanssen

06/23/2011 06:07 am

Wow! I bet this guy frequents in a black hat forum too.  It seems like he was ill-advised.


06/23/2011 12:01 pm

I have created a press release and posted to a number of companies. Will this be considered duplicated content if 2 or more use my release? Drachsi

Dheeraj Singh

06/25/2011 06:48 am

Hi Barry, Could you please edit the article and remove the lines that say that I had complained, because I was not the one to have sent the mail.

Barry Schwartz

06/26/2011 01:53 am

The lines were edited days ago.

Dheeraj Singh

06/26/2011 04:42 am

Thanks. Your article is really good.


06/26/2011 11:56 am

I have no idea on this. But according to google guidelines, which are not very clear, it should be considered as duplicate content. I would say that if google should apply its policies evenly. Why punish only small publishers. 


06/28/2011 04:24 am

I had a look at, the content seems to look fine and actually it made sense. I am an MS in Management and the articles made good sense to me, I even used some excerpts in a presentation. A site like BigMBA is a good concept because I was quite fed up of netMBA and quickMBA which have the same old content from years. Why is this site doing bad on Google?


07/04/2011 03:49 am

Has someone read through the complete thread at google webmaster ( It is fun to read....and I understand the frustration of the complainer. I have been through the same and had given up on google after a few months. And as far as a good example of content is concerned there is none I could find on the internet that completely is in sync with what has been discussed in the thread. Sorry Dheeraj Singh, but it is true that google will not let your site pass as you are a very small publisher. And it is true that there is a bit of differentiation in google policies depending upon the size of the publisher. I believe google is right in doing so.

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