Note: I wrote this post with light hearted humor, and I don’t mean any offense to the respected bloggers.
Ever since Google came out openly with its stance about advertisers and link sellers who try to manipulate Google’s PageRank algorithm, there has been a great deal of unrest in the blogosphere. You can hear angry voices coming from virtually all directions.
I really find it laughable that many of the well reputed bloggers have succumbed to the temptation of crying foul against Google. They think Google has penalized them for selling links, OK fair enough. Wait.. they also think that Google is manually penalizing their site to rank low in SERPs, and that Google has unleashed sinister spies to trawl through the world wide web to catch the criminals red-handed. This is where their paranoia becomes evident.
Here are four reasons why their concerns are unfounded.
Google isn’t God (or a Satan) – Even though it feels good to think of Google as an omnipresent cyber entity, this really isn’t true. For one thing, human beings have the tendency of idolizing and demonizing certain individuals to the point that they lose their humanity. They become super-humans or sub-humans.
While Google isn’t an individual, and this whole argument isn’t taking place in the real world, our tendency to demonize an entity is still very much alive.
So why do you think Google would take the trouble of manually manipulating their algorithm to throw your site in the dark pits of obscurity? Google has better things to do than mess with individual bloggers who think very highly of themselves. Really, Google doesn’t care about you. All the ups and downs your site has seen are algorithmic changes. Don’t forget that, for Google, your site is just another site out of millions of millions of sites on the net. A few thousand subscribers do not make your site a pivotal point of Google’s decision making.
Warning: Google PR is updating – Wait till the update is over before you declare an all out war against Google’s evil regime. It is commonly observed that while Google PR is updating, the PR of many sites changes rather erratically. Heck, on the last PR update, one of my sites plummeted from PR4 to PR0, stayed like this for a whole week, and came back with PR5.
It’s a lot wiser to stay quiet and wait for things to settle down than go crying on webmasters forums that you have been penalized by the evil Google.
You don’t have evidence to support your claim – and personal experiences don’t count as evidence. You suddenly started ranking low for a keyword you always ranked high for? Nothing unusual. This happens all the time with thousands of sites, and they aren’t necessarily being penalized. Google gives everyone a fair share of traffic, and unluckily your turn is over.
Long nights at computer are taking their toll on you – You need a break. This has worked for me many times. Whenever I feel desperately paranoid and pessimistic, I unsticky myself from the chair, get out, and shut off any kinds of thoughts about my online life. Fresh gusts of outside air work wonders. When I come back, I am less paranoid and more willing to improve my sites, because, obviously, while I was being paranoid, my competitors were improving their sites.
The long and short of it is that Google changes its algorithm from time to time to deal with new black hat SEO techniques of mischievous webmasters. This, in essence, means that Google may actually be penalizing you for going against their policies, but it’s no warrant for you to start making premature claims about.. bah – getting manual penalty from Google?