Official Site Myth: No Panda Penalties For "Official" Sites

Jan 8, 2013 • 8:18 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

official siteI love how SEO rumors and myths get started. A possible new myth is to label your site "official" or "original" of product X or on the topic of Y. By doing so, the myth is that you will escape Google's Panda algorithm because it looks for unofficial sites to harm.

A HighRanking Forum thread has a person who heard from someone else that maybe if you had an official site, it would not get dinged by Panda. Taking that one step further, how does Google know which site is official and which is not. Can you put the words official on the web site to trick Google?

See where I am going?

The truth is, Google knows official brands and it knows the link structure a brand web site will have compared to those reselling those brands. It has nothing to do with Penguin or Panda. And slapping on an "official" logo on the site won't matter because most of the official web sites do not have an official label on their web site.

Forum discussion at HighRanking Forum.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: January 7, 2013



01/08/2013 01:28 pm

one of these days, SEOs will understand correlation and causation. At least, I keep telling myself that.

Steven Lockey

01/08/2013 03:19 pm

Is that before or after humanity does? :)

Google God

01/08/2013 03:23 pm

so you are saying there is no truth to the rel="original" meta tag then? Damn!


01/08/2013 03:51 pm

Also relevant (because I know somebody will go there, and because it already went there in the high rankings forum...) Google doesn't reward sites because they're brands. There's no coded in google brand bias. The reason brands perform better is because people prefer brands, and that preference is reflected in what sites they visit, what sites they link to, what sites they talk about on social media, etc. People prefer brands. Google prefers people, so it's algorithm tries to reflect that preference.

Michael Martinez

01/08/2013 06:34 pm

Causation studies have shown that correlations often line up with expectations far better than the causes.

Bryson Meunier

01/08/2013 07:02 pm

I thought we didn't agree on anything, Ryan, but I was wrong. Spot on here.

Jaan Kanellis

01/08/2013 11:13 pm

So is this true or not true in your opinion? "Google knows official brands and it knows the link structure a brand web site will have compared to those reselling those brands."


01/09/2013 03:16 pm

Kind of. I don't think there's anything inherently built into Google that says "this is a brand." there's no flag, or variable, or anthying like that in the algorithm. What I think Google DOES do though, is a good job of determining authority. Brands, because they already have that customer base and following and history and reach, usually have a much easier time building that authority on the web - and Google does a good job of filtering the more authoritative websites.

Emma North

01/10/2013 02:06 pm

This sounds like the kind of myth I might have expected five years ago, but not today. With the advances in Google's algorithm over the last few years, to think that adding one word to your site in various key places would beat the system is... well, interesting(?!) I wish those people luck... because luck would probably be their only way to SEO success! Nice post, thanks Barry.

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