Being "Condemned to Google Hell" and Matt's Rebuttal

May 2, 2007 • 10:37 am | comments (5) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Yesterday, a popular article on Digg (stay tuned for the Digest) was the Forbes article on the impact of Google to search engine rankings and how losing rankings can negatively affect your business.

A Webmaster World forums post discusses the topic of Google Hell, a term that was coined by Jim Boykin, I believe, and links to Matt Cutts's response.

In a nutshell, a jeweler was delisted from Google and people were confused as to why. The article mentions some reasons why you may lose your visible rankings:

Web designers have found that pages with duplicate content, few words or pictures, and a lack of links to other quality sites are the most likely to be pulled in [to the supplemental index].

Matt, however, provides another take. Google received spam reports of link exchange emails and that caused the site to lose its credibility in the search engine's eyes.

Reciprocal links by themselves aren't automatically bad, but we've communicated before that there is such a thing as excessive reciprocal linking.

Still, a few questions remain:

If Google is weighing in on these email reports, did they just admit that they're looking at email? The thought is unsettling.

Did he just let us all know that Google is now looking at emails?

What's the point of the supplemental index anyway?

What exactly is the purpose of the “supplemental” index? Why do they need it? Why do they need to have two categories of results? The index, and then the supplemental index?

Personally I don’t see anything “supplemental” about it. Why not just a continuum of results, based upon relevance?

Another member believes that the supplemental results do serve a purpose:

Supp index exists because of all the crap that is made everyday. Unfortunately a lot of good stuff could get thrown in too.

I will chime in and say that I think ranking for regular results would become all the more competitive if there was no way of filtering out extraneous results and putting them into some sort of supplemental index.

Discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.

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