Apparently you can be caught red-handed and still be innocent

Oct 24, 2005 at 7:15 PM
What if you fell completely out of the rankings at Google, presumably due to supposedly "bad" linking practices. But you weren't the one setting up links to those black linking programs? What if you have a site in a highly competitive arena and you've been right on the first page for years much to the frustration of your competitors.

What if a chink appeared in Google's armor?

You'd be knocked off the first page in no time.

It's happening. When I found out that the Jagger update changed the weight of links, I wondered whether they'd thought about what would happen if someone purposefully sabotaged the sites with great linking strategies.

Here's a great explanation of the damage being done, from search engine watch...

We've all been upset that there are unethical ways to manipulate your own search results, but now it appears that you can actually manipulate OTHER people's placement just as unethically! Being upset about search spam seems petty compared.

I sure hope Google closes their trap door soon. I have a large amount of faith in the Google algorithm (built on years of always being able to find what I'm looking for there), but my income depends on it being tamper-proof, and depending only on the factors that the webmaster and SEO control, such as design, coding and natural links.