In February Overstock.com made news when they were publicly penalized by Google for violating their webmaster guidelines. It is a very interesting story, so go read it over here if you have not done so yet.
What I found interesting is that Overstock.com told Reuters the penalty had a major impact on their earnings. Major? Sales are down 5%! Reuters said:
The lower Google natural search rankings has hurt sales during the penalty period to date by 5 percent and Overstock expects this to continue for the rest of the period.
To be honest, this is nothing compared to what most sites experience when they get hit by a penalty. If any non-major web site was hit by a penalty like this, their sales would be much lower than 5%. This goes to show you, the power of a good brand and alternatives to Google traffic.
I am sure Overstock.com's 5% of sales is way more than a small mom and pop store but still, 5% is 5%.
Are you surprised this Google penalty only had a 5% impact on their sales? Do you think they are fudging the numbers?
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.