Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Google Penalties - Common New Penalty

Okay, so you're hearing about the Google Sandbox, the Google -30 penalty, and the Google -950 penalty, but here's the latest of the penalties: Your Site Sucks and Google Just Figure It Out. Nice post from the fine folks at Threadwatch, and a big hat tip to DigitalGhost for mentioning it. You can also read some fine and thoughtful commentary about this phenomenon over at Aaron Wall's place: New Google Penalty.

Now of course, those guys look at this from a professional SEO consultant perspective more than from an affiliate marketer perspective. And part of their point is to advise SEO's to not take on clients whose websites suck unless they think they can get the client interested in creating a website that doesn't suck. (Unlikely in most cases, IMO.)

But what kind of affiliate websites suck? I can tell you a few things that make up major suckiness in an affiliate website:

- Reviews of products that aren't really reviews, but are instead just sales pages for the product.

- Review of products that do nothing but list of the features and benefits of a product.

- Sites full of lame scraped content and a bunch of random more-or-less on topic links that are trying to manipulate some "hub factor" in an algorithm.

- Websites that have lots of pop-up windows of any kind.

- Websites with multiple flashing banners who seem to have one purpose, and that's to send epileptics into seizures. (Ugh - I hate those sites. They're common in the gambling industry, btw.)

- Websites full of really poorly written "content" that was only posted in order to generate search visitors.

- Websites without a distinctive voice or opinion.

I'm sure I could think of some more, but I'll stop there. I'd imagine a lot of affiliate webmasters will think that this list is pretty lame, or even offensive, but chances are, they're the ones operating sucky websites.


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