Update – I removed the company name – I don’t want to use this blog to single out other companies strategy.
XXXXXXX (at the time of writing) seem to have lost their authority status for their trademark term, “XXXXXXX“, in Google at least.
An “authority” site is one which Google values, and Google provides extra linkage to from search engine page results -
(see Hobo Web in Google).
Update 5/03/2008 – oops – it’s happened again!
How safe is your brand for your trademark terms, in Google?
XXXXXXX Results in Google
Nowhere to be seen in the top couple of pages. Have they been banned by Google? Well it’s kind of hard to track when and where, and of course they’ll not confirm it.
As you can see, at least for the term “consolidation loan”, they’re not to be seen (although Google serps do change all the time)!
Now what could have caused this? Some sort of unethical seo (search engine optimization)? Annoying adverts all day long on afternoon telly – wait – I can’t blame them for them all!)?Who knows, but it definitely looks as though something has happened to them.
Before you shoot off back to whatever cool social network you’ve visited from, take another look at that google serp for “XXXXXXX“.
Nice bit of marketing there, by money supermarket, or lucky! Not only does it look as though XXXXXXX are gone for their trademark term and at least a couple of other keyword terms, but now Google’s just turned into a bad press nightmare for them! And MoneySupermarket cleans up.
So if they have been banned (and only Google could confirm this) – it must be that they have broken Google’s webmaster / seo guidelines in some way. I’m not going to start slagging off they site or any unethical on-site seo practices they might or might not be doing, but a quick check at Yahoo shows the site has (wait for it):
Pages (327) | Inlinks (3,729,832)
……wow, that must be a very popular site with a lot of really good , useful information on it to generate that amazing number of natural links! I’m not suggesting this penalty is because of any aggressive back link generation or unethical link buying (neither of which Google approves of) or indeed any other form of black hat seo, but lets put it into perspective.
- Disney – http://www.disney.com Pages (1,761) | Inlinks (304,144) (soon to be plus this one!)
- Enron – www.enron.com Pages (2,016) | Inlinks (20,745)
- Nike – http://www.nike.com Pages (606,623) | Inlinks (575,894)
Can a loans & remortgage company in the UK generate more organic / natural back-links than Disney or that screw-up Enron? Obviously you’ll need to make up your own mind here as we cannot possibly say!
Funny thing is, though, even with all those links – (for those of you not in the “seo know” a lot of seo’s think that a high number of links pointing to a site will ensure high positions in the search engines for that site) – they still didn’t top Google.
Haven’t their search engine optimisation company read Jim Boykin? :)
UPDATE – After a bit more research it would appear they have not been “banned” as such. The domain is indeed in the index, but would seem to be suffering from some sort of “filter” at least which has seen it lost it’s authority position in Google for it’s trademark term.
So rather than a Google ban it would seem that ineffective seo is to blame, rather than unethical seo. Exactly what has caused this – purely conjecture. I’ve never had it happen to me. Google doesnt seem to like either:
- Their link generation strategy
- Their on-site seo (which I don’t see much wrong with per se)
….or perhaps someone at XXXXXXX ran over somebody’s dog at Google. Who knows? Only Google, I would think, and they’re not telling.
UPDATE – Hurrah! This page now tops Google (at least in a few countries) for the term XXXXXXX, at least until Google forgives them or they sort out their seo / sem issues.
To be clear – it might not be a ban, it might be just Google has turned the dial on a certain filter which has hit this particular site very hard. If that’s the case, unlucky old XXXXXXX! There are ways to prevent this……and stop people topping Google for your brand name!
Effectively, if we were an unscrupulous or unprofessional seo, we could do anything with this particular page to harm the company’s reputation, automatically redirect traffic or worse. Which we absolutely won’t of course! That’s not the point of this article, at least!