"Site Build It! Scam" as Case Study
The previous 3 posts of this blog reviewed the 10+ years of Googlebomb history (over a 3-part series). Two conclusions are inescapable…
Google has systematically misled the public about the Googlebomb, including the very existence of a "Googlebomb" at the beginning (when many knew otherwise) up to today's sorry policy of manually fixing only those highly publicized bombs that risk the public's confidence in the quality of Google search.
For those thousands of little-known or unknown bombs that don't make it to "prime-time CNN," Google ignores them. In doing so, Google puts their users at risk of bad, fraudulent results. And Google fails to defend its own "Google Guidelines," the principles upon which they claim to base Google Search (and which they insist we all live by).
Google's "Detect and Defuse" Algorithm Today?
This is the final post of this blog until Google truly fixes the Googlebomb.
This post will be updated when a Googlebomb algorithm is truly "detecting and defusing" Googlebombs as Google claims to be doing. When that happens, expect behavior to satisfy a minimum of the requirements in the 5-Minute Bomb Algorithm, whenever it is run ("infrequently" or automatically).
We use our own 2.5 year experience as the innocent target of a Googlebomb to illustrate the dangerous user experience that results…
The Googlebomb that impacts SBI! is more obvious (crude, even, but very successful) than any bomb that we examined in the previous 3-part series. It serves as a powerful case study and effective, ongoing "algorithm test."
The previous 3-part, 10-year history built an overwhelming case about Google's dishonest handling of the Googlebomb. This final post pushes the proof beyond "the history of others" into our own current, corporate experience as a Googlebomb victim. There can be no stronger proof.
This is actually the story of the thousands of "private bombs" that don't make it to the mass media, the stories that Google collects, but does not handle in the same way as those that make the front page of The New York Times.
While Google penalizes small business websites for a violation of one Google Guideline or another, this final post will stand as a real-time test of…
- the status of their so-called Googlebomb algorithm and how much they truly care about the user who is fooled by these manipulations
- how seriously Google takes its Guidelines (when applied to Google's own handling of flagrant Googlebombs).
On both counts, as of this moment, Google scores an "F." We describe below how to help push Google to do the right thing and earn an "A".
The "Site Build It Scam" Googlebomb
Ten days ago, Google announced a new, improved form for reporting webspam. They closed that post as follows…
"At Google, we strive to provide the highest quality, most relevant search results, so we take your webspam reports very seriously."
Keep those words in mind as you read this real-world report. The "site build it scam" Googlebomb is so massive, happened so quickly and was so effective in modifying search rankings, that there is no doubt that it would have been detected and defused if Google truly had a Googlebomb algorithm.
Given the failure of their algorithm, we reported it. Google knows about this bomb, in detail. Its reaction calls into question Google's sincerity about providing "the highest quality" results for its user.
Google does not seem to mind that users of its Search service receive a poorly written, inaccurate review of SBI! ("Site Build It!") (as publicly admitted by the author herself). This leads to missed opportunities for those using Google to search, damaging Google's users who perform due diligence on SBI!.
NOTE: It also damages SiteSell's reputation and growth, but we must put that aside since it is not of relevance to Google or its users.
What about Google's Guideline regarding links? The guideline is clear… "Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking."
Google does not hesitate to penalize sites for violating various Guidelines. A Googlebomb is massive, organized webspam, the extreme link scheme. Why does Google not accord its guideline an extreme defense? Again, the only conclusion must be that a Googlebomb algorithm does not exist.
A Call to Action
The goal of this post is to mobilize all responsible Web users (who want quality search experiences) and all webmasters (who want to see consistent application of the Guidelines). Push Google to come clean and fix all known Googlebombs, manually if they cannot do so algorithmically.
After you read the proof provided in this post, please let Google know that the #1 ranking for a search for "site build it scam" delivers a bad user experience, a false review written by a Ms. Sowerbutts, due to webspam. (Instructions are provided at the end of this post.)
If you are a webmaster, call on Google to enforce their guidelines on themselves with the same vigor that they apply them to you.
I will neither mention nor link to the actual "site build it scam" article by Ms. Sowerbutts, neither by name nor URL, here. Mentions and links only push it higher. You can find the top-ranked article easily by searching for "site build it scam" at Google.
Should you visit the review, please do not post a comment to it. Please do not link to it, not even with "nofollow" links. Don't even refer to it by name. It only helps that low-value post, solidifying its search rankings.
Ready? Let's begin with the events that led up to this post…
"If This Googlebomb Is So Blatant, Why Not Tell Google?"
Good question. For more than two years, we have been presenting complete documentation to Google about this classic link-bomb case. A bad-quality (admitted by author) webpage has been pushed to the top of the SERPs by a link-spam scheme (also publicly admitted by author).
The "site build it scam" bomb happens to be an extreme example, the largest and best-orchestrated "living" Googlebomb that we have ever seen. It may be the most extreme bomb on the Web.
We have worked with Google via every channel possible… through a Google employee who presented the information to the Google Spam Team and Matt Cutts. We asked Danny Sullivan to relay it to the right people (which he confirmed). We have presented through "regular" channels, too.
No reaction other than form letters. No evidence of "we take your webspam reports very seriously."
Finally, we discussed it through legal channels after the author herself admitted the existence of the bomb and how it was responsible for her #1 ranking. Our attorney contacted Google's immediately after that.
We provided incredibly detailed documentation about the exact timeline of the Googlebomb, the clear collaboration of the two "splogging" (spam-blogging) gurus (at the time) and how they had their large followings do their bidding.
The real-time documentation is clearer proof than Google could ever hope for. Google did not have to deduce or figure this one out…
The perpetrators could not have been more obvious, with crystal-clear Googlebomb/link spam instructions and public discussion of their collaboration and intent.
And, of course, there was the clear confession some time after the fact, by the #1 beneficiary of the Googlebomb, Ms. Sowerbutts.
So there was no possibility of any confusion regarding motive. For example…
"Could the Author Have Believed the Review Was True?"
Do not confuse "commercial Googlebombs" with genuine bad reviews.
Honest bad reviews, if they have enough honest support, deserve, of course, to rank highly. Shine a light on a weak product, absolutely.
Dishonest reviews, however, do not come with large, coordinated smear campaigns designed to beat Google's "non-algorithm." These are campaigns that are intended to damage for financial gain. Where's the gain?
Splogging gurus earn income by providing "how to splog" content. SBI!, with its "keep it real" philosophy, threatens that income. Sowerbutts herself earns by being an affiliate for competing products. The result?
At the behest of the gurus, hundreds of "slam reviews" were created within days, thousands over the following months, all linking to the review. They interlinked elaborately. As lesser gurus joined the bandwagon, other hurriedly written reviews started to rank in the Top 10 for various related terms.
How can we be so sure of true intent?
We pointed out inaccuracies. The author used a "strikethrough" (leaving the inaccuracy), and added even more inflammatory accusations and claims. There was no doubt at the time of her intent… financial gain by damaging SBI!'s reputation. She affiliates for competing products.
Our detailed, real-time documentation shows that this was an intentional manipulation of Google's Guidelines to push a badly written, low-value review to a high ranking.
And finally, the author's own admission sealed the intent and confirmed the existence of the Googlebomb.
The result? Google ignores the manipulation and takes on a new role…
Google as Willing Partner in Misleading Its Searchers
The person seeking information about "site build it" is unknowingly misled by Google every step of the way…
At the moment of searching for "site build it," Google Instant suggests "site build it scam." To the searcher doing due diligence by searching for a product name, Google seems to be suggesting that a product is a "scam." The intensity of the bombing efforts pushed "scam" to the top of Google's suggestions.
The customer clicks on the "site build it scam" suggestion and gets search results for "site build it scam" that include the #1 ranked false "review" that has been pushed to the top of the search results.
The extremely negative review earns commissions by linking visitors to a competing product (for a product that costs more, delivers less and fails to deliver proof of success).
Once the searcher is on the top-ranked "review," s/he is drawn into an endless vortex of made-on-demand, interlinked fake reviews, all negative and part of the bomb.
Bottom line? At the very point of purchase-readiness when the Google user is ready to make a positive, life-changing decision, Google pushes that user to bad information that…
is filled with mistruths and false innuendo
links to inferior products that, at best, deliver no proof of success and, at worst, are outright scams.
The outcome? The Google user misses an opportunity that was exactly what s/he needed… a product that has changed thousands of lives.
Google knows this. We've told them about the negative user experience and extreme abuse of their Guidelines. How do they reply?
Google's Focus Is on Business Instead of the User
Google's standard answer to a "not-covered-in-the-mass-media" Googlebomb victim amounts to, "Sorry, you'll have to sue the author for defamation and then let us know when the page has been removed from the Web."
This reply puts Google's problem back into the victim's lap. Our business end of the "site build it scam" Googlebomb should not be Google's concern.
Google's concerns should be (if it is the company it claims to be)…
- user experience
- defense of its Guidelines.
Google does strike down Googlebombs when they "make the front page of The New York Times." Our 3-part series showed that they act fast and hard when publicity may damage its own business. Suddenly, in these cases, Google publicly cares about "the user experience."
Google should react identically for private Googlebombs due to…
its self-declared obsession with the user experience
its supposed dedication to the Google Guidelines
the fact that the sheer effectiveness of this type of commercial Googlebomb guarantees that there are thousands more, all inflicting bad results on its users.
It should react identically, but it does not.
Instead, it is knowingly complicit in drawing people to bad decisions, spending much time and energy and money on poor products. THAT is a bad user experience, about as bad as it gets.
Google hides behind "It's the algorithm, not us."
But it's their algorithm. The poor user experience is Google's problem because that experience is caused by the manipulation of their algorithm.
Google's 10 year history with the Googlebomb shows that it has not, and does not, communicate the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about these types of link schemes.
Could such a massive, coordinated anti-SBI! Googlebomb exist if Google really could effectively detect and destroy Googlebombs?
No. Consider this… Google claims to run their supposed Googlebomb algorithm "infrequently" (5-6 times per year). So it has been run 10 or more times since their announcement of the "infrequent algorithm."
And yet… the "site build it scam" bomb, as obvious as a bomb can get, still stands. How can that be? With the big picture in mind, it's time to reveal…
The Step-by-Step Story
You are about to read the first, exact account of how to build a successful Googlebomb.
In March, 2009, thousands of sploggers ("spam-bloggers") created made-on-demand, negative/hysterical SBI! reviews (pure pap, all of them). The goal?
To push a badly written, low-quality (by admission of the author) negative SBI! review to the top of the search rankings for certain well-chosen keywords (ex., "site build it scam," "site build it review," etc.).
Two "splogging" (spam-blogging) gurus, Vic and Griz (the two most prominent "gurus" at the time), publicly orchestrated this scheme. They had large, fervent followings at the time (no longer, as we shall see).
Their followers were told to write fake reviews about SBI!… negative ones. They were told to link to Ms. Sowerbutts' "review" with specific keywords (such as "site build it scam") in the text of those links.
Hundreds of made-on-demand negative reviews were written in a matter of days. Virtually all had no factual information about SBI!. They were made up.
They generated thousands of links to Ms. Sowerbutts' review over the following weeks and months, approximately 8,500 currently.
All of these superficial, know-nothing, zero-value-added "pap reviews" linked to the review in question, pushing it to the top spot for "site build it scam" and other similar keywords. It has even managed to push the "review" into the Top 10 for "site build it" itself.
"Splogging" itself was later dismantled by Google, as we had predicted at the time. Vic disappeared and Griz honorably confessed to the errors of his ways after Google removed his main blog from Blogspot.
Still, Ms. Sowerbutts' review (and a few others that "rode" the bomb) continue to benefit enormously, misleading those Google users who search for "site build it" as part of their due diligence.
Why? How? Let's continue, but first let me emphasize…
This is a summary. It is all documented in near-infinitesimal detail, which was all presented to Google.
We Even Caught the Evidence That They Tried To Remove
The instigators removed much of the incriminating evidence once the Googlebomb had enough self-perpetuating momentum. Instructions included exactly how to Googlebomb for "site build it scam" (and other keywords) and offered rewards when followed (ex., receive "follow" links back).
The removal of these instructions (and collaborative communications) was a clear admission of guilt. However, it was too late. We had downloaded and archived it all, proving every step of the scheme.
We presented it to Google in meticulous detail.
Thousands of links within spam/pap reviews containing "site build it scam" in the link-text all linked to this review, pushing it to #1 for "site build it scam." This was a classic, brute-strength Googlebomb.
It not only violated every Google Guideline, it would have failed the 5-Minute Bomb Algorithm that I wrote about in the 3-part series, or any other real formula meant to find and detect (rather than merely cover up public embarrassments).
And what did Google do?
Nothing, except send the standard form letters.
How Does This "Site Build It Scam" Scam Persist?
It's beyond us…
Google shut down the two splogging gurus, but the Googlebomb remained intact.
Basically, despite providing Google with clear proof of violation of every Google Guideline, we got back the standard "sorry we can't censor the Web" and "it's not us, it's the algorithm" and "we don't do anything in cases of defamation."
We decided to let some time pass, hoping Google's algorithm would improve to the point where this bomb would be detected.
The algorithm never did change. And then…
The Main Beneficiary Confesses/Brags
A big break happened. We figured that it would end this absurdity. In January, 2011, the author of the original "review" confessed. She wrote…
"I wrote a post a review of Site Build It – it wasn't a good post (I've tidied it up a bit over the years) – it wasn't well researched – hell it wasn't spell checked. I would have been turned down by 1/2 of the owners of Postrunner sites!
That post ranks #1 for "site build it scam" to this day.
It ranks because of the backlinks to it – the back links orchestrated by Vic and Grizz. The entire exercise taught not just me, but many others the strength of relevant backlinks to promote content on the web."
Ms. Sowerbutts, in an angry reaction to my conciliatory post to Griz for his public apology, made a 3-part admission that could not be clearer…
There was an intentional, "orchestrated" Googlebomb.
The review was of poor quality.
This bad review was pushed to the top of the SERPs by the Googlebomb ("ranks because of the backlinks to it").
Worse, she teaches her readers that this is a good technique to use.
NOTE: We will not link to her posts in any way. But you can find the exact posts by searching for strings from the quotes. As mentioned earlier, please don't comment there or link to her articles. You will only strengthen the morally challenged.
This author had previously made similar admissions (ex., "Sure there was a coordinated effort to push me up the SERPS."), but she took them down later (we have them archived).
This time, her confession was "live" (and still is at the time of this writing) when we took our next step…
We Re-Contact Google and… Surprise (Good and Bad)!
Surely, this would eliminate all doubt!
Our letter focused on the user experience…
"[She] is causing Google to deliver low-quality search results for certain search terms by artificially boosting the Google rankings of her "review" by involving herself in a link scheme of massive proportions initiated by two "make money online gurus."
Surprise (good one)! Their answer indicated some interest, for the first time. But they still insisted on interpreting our letter as a "defamation complaint!" We wanted it clear that we were not submitting our complaint to them on that basis…
"Dear Google Team,
We note that you characterize our complaint as a "defamation complaint." While SiteSell and its product Site Build It! are victims of a defamatory Link Scheme of massive proportions that artificially manipulates Google Search Results as well as Google Suggest and Google Instant, the core point of our letter was the outright confession by the primary beneficiary of such a Link Scheme that results in a poor user experience."
It is that admitted manipulation of Google's search results, resulting in a poor user experience at Google (i.e. a bad review by her admission which now ranks at #1) which we believe ought to be the primary concern to Google. This successful manipulation directly causes users of Google Search to receive high exposure to a bad review (by the author's admission)."
Surprise (good and bad)! On January 31, 2011, Google replied…
"We have reviewed your case and moved forward with removals of the following URL from our Google.ca search index…."
We were stunned. They did something! But…
They removed it only from Google Canada? No explanation?
Google Canada only?
Furthermore, her follow-up post (a second "review" by her) now moved up to #6 in Canada, despite the obvious fact that it benefited only due to its connection to the original article. As well, other "reviews" that were all part of the Bomb stayed.
Basically, they were uninterested in the blatant admission of causing a bad user experience. Why they penalized her in Canada will remain a mystery.
Compare This to the Public Googlebomb
When Google itself faces damage to its business due to publicly "loud" Googlebombs, it leaps over tall buildings to manually fix the problem ASAP (even if they don't admit to "manually").
It does not require mountains of documentation, nor a public confession. A short article by a prominent journalist suffices.
Privately, though, Google does the minimum possible, usually nothing at all. No one should ever have to push them to fix this because it is their users that suffer and their Guidelines they impose on everyone else.
Please Take Google at Their Word
As I write this, I think of their statement last week…
"At Google, we strive to provide the highest quality, most relevant search results, so we take your webspam reports very seriously."
Right. Let's see. Please do report this (below).
We stayed focused on the obvious, reminding Google that…
"… our subscribers are located worldwide, and the same principles apply, we ask that you also remove the URL from the other Google TLD's, including, of course Google.com.
The confession by the owner of the offending URL that the #1 ranking of her (self-admitted) bad review was due to an orchestrated Link Scheme clearly justifies the Google Team removing this URL from Google.com, Google.co.uk, Google.com.au, etc.
As you are well aware this Link Scheme creates a bad user experience for Google searchers worldwide."
And that is when constructive communication evaporated. Google behaved as if we had never e-mailed them before, sending us one of their "copy-and-paste" form letters"…
"Google.com is a US site regulated by US law. Google provides access to publicly available web pages, but does not control the content of any of the billions of pages currently in the index. Given this fact, and pursuant to section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act, Google does not remove allegedly defamatory material from our search results. You will need to work directly with the webmaster of the page in question to have this information removed or changed.
If you haven't yet worked with the webmaster, please visit http://google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=508 for more information. Once the material has been modified on the site in question, Google's search results will automatically reflect this change after we next crawl the site."
What the heck?…
They Turned This Back Into a "Defamation" Complaint?
We had suddenly returned to Square 1, "Form Letter 101"… censorship, defamation, work with Webmaster.
The stance itself makes no sense. Since when should a company not take responsibility for an algorithm that it writes? Why are they only interested in the user experience when the bomb publicly embarrasses them?
We continued to focus on Google's Guidelines and on their self-professed obsession with the user experience.
We replied (all of this through legal counsel), expressing surprise about the geographic limitation of the penalty, of Google's sudden re-positioning of this as a defamation complaint, and presenting legal arguments in any event as to why their Communications Decency Act worries were baseless.
Most importantly, we re-restated…
"We therefore wish to bring to your attention again, the point-blank, black-and-white, confession made by [the main beneficiary], the publisher of the offending URL.
When the chief beneficiary confesses publicly about the existence of a massive Link Scheme, which pushes a self-admitted bad review to the top of the rankings, and then explicitly promotes this stratagem as something that works, we trust that Google will penalize this URL in your search index and in your rankings.
You suggest, in your reply, that our client, Dr. Ken Evoy, work directly with the webmaster to have information removed or changed. Although, as mentioned, defamation does not form the basis of our request to Google.com, we do wish to address your suggestion. We can assure you that Dr. Evoy has tried diligently on several occasions to correct the false information on the offending URL.
The offending webmaster has not responded to these efforts in a positive way. Instead she has multiplied her efforts to manipulate the rankings to push her postings to the top.
We ask, on the basis of Google's own guidelines and precedents, that you take the same action on Google.com, Google.co.uk etc. as you have on Google.ca, to protect your users against a manipulated bad user experience."
Google's Final Answer…
On February 8, 2011, we received this reply…
"We thank you for your report and have passed it along to our engineers. While we may not take manual anti-spam action against the sites you've reported, reports like these are extremely helpful in helping us continue to improve our ranking algorithms and improve the quality of our results.
If you identify sites you believe have achieved a high ranking due to web spam, you can submit that report more directly to the appropriate people within Google at:
You Will Never Find a More Grotesque
"Screw the User" Googlebomb Attitude
Another form letter.
They actually did "take manual anti-spam action" in Canada. Now they send their "we may not take manual anti-spam action" letter?
This was the same team with whom we had excellent communication, where clearly they had read our e-mails and replied to specific points. Suddenly, they are stonewalling again.
The facts are…
The author admitted to the Googlebomb (which we had already extensively documented).
Google took it out of the Canadian index.
Google ignores all of the above, refuses to address it when we ask them to take the logical next step. They return to form letters.
It's been over 6 months since that final reply. We figure that's enough time for them to "continue to improve our ranking algorithms and improve the quality of our results."
SBI! continues to delight its users beyond all other products of its kind (actually, there are no other products as complete, nor any that deliver real success, like SBI!). There could not be a more inaccurate review.
If ever there was a Googlebomb that would be detected and defused by a true algorithm, this is it. The only conclusions possible?
Google is in bad faith with its users.
It is in bad faith with companies that try hard and do good work.
They make manual changes to bail themselves out of public Googlebombs, deflecting attention away from the truth.
They leave the door open for "guns to hire" to attack any company's trademarks and sales through "commercial Googlebombs."
How Does Google Explain the Survival of This Bomb?
Google insists that "it's the algorithm." This means they want to improve the algorithm until it gets smart enough to fix inaccuracies. Fair enough, if the "time to fix" is not excessive.
However, since the "site build it scam" bomb started in March, 2009, Google has run their algorithm 5-6 times per year.
So how does Google explain the following…
Running that algorithm consistently catches Google's "public problem" and yet somehow it keeps missing the much more obvious (to any serious algorithm) "site build it scam" bomb?
This repeated sequence of events is beyond coincidence…
Claim to run "algorithm.
Fix Google's problem.
Miss "site build it scam" Googlebomb.
Repeat for every public bomb outing.
Far more likely?…
There is no true algorithm. Google's embarrassment is fixed manually while claiming to run the algorithm. This has been hinted at by Danny Sullivan in the past. Our experience makes the conclusion inescapable.
Here is the user experience that Google delivers when people do due diligence by searching for "site build it" (or any other Googlebombed product)…
Search for "site build it."
See Google suggest "site build it scam" (raising unfair doubts).
User ends up on fake negative reviews.
User makes wrong decision based on bad information.
Is It Really the Wrong Decision?
Compare the extreme negativity she paints with the uplifting spirit of SiteSell Facebook (which has rapidly accumulated 10s of thousands of fans). Then review the proof of how well SBI! owners really do with SBI!.
It is clear which of the two possibilities cannot be faked.
The review is false, fabricated for commercial gain. But many visitors put stock in Google's "suggestions" and high search rankings. They are not sophisticated enough to see through the review.
They make the wrong decision.
I am not asking Google to remedy our reputation, even though it regularly takes steps to use its "algorithm" to take care of its own reputation. Would I like it to? Yes, but I'm realistic.
And realism stops at Google's interests, of course. Those interests should include the user experience and its Guidelines. That said…
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Google says it cares about webspam, that it takes reports seriously. But what does Google do about a massive Googlebomb that is publicly orchestrated with incredible effectiveness, rapidly accumulating a "link swarm" sending enough signals to be detected by any half-decent Googlebomb algo?
What does it do when the case is supported by…
overwhelming, detailed, near-real-time, step-by-step evidence (including archived documentation of the public orchestration)?
the beneficiary of the commercial Googlebomb, who publicly confesses/brags about the Googlebomb and even explicitly promotes this strategy as something that works?
Google's own actions, which admits it's a bomb… in Canada?
The answer surprised even us. They tell us, um, to… report it to them??
So here's the report. Yes, we'll submit this to their new webspam form. And I'm asking you to do the same.
Until the Bomb Is Fixed,
This Is Our Final SiteSell Blog Post
Another Googlebomb will make the news.
When it does, here is the easiest way to "see through" Google's claim that "the bomb is fixed" (i.e., when it runs their supposed algorithm to alleviate their next embarrassing Googlebomb situation)…
Watch how search results for "site build it scam" evolve.
If the same Sowerbutts post remains at #1, you'll know that there is NO true Googlebomb algorithm, not even one as rudimentary as my 5-Minute Bomb Algorithm. After all, running the algorithm should detect and defuse the vast majority of bombs, and certainly one as over-the-top as this one.
This SiteSell Blog post will remain our final one until Google's bomb algorithm is real and it works. Why take this unusual step?
The problem with blogs is that posts scroll out of site (sorry for the pun!). Out of sight, out of mind. I want this page to stand as the lead headline on SiteSell Blog, as testimony to Google's Great Fabrication about the state of the Googlebomb. So this is our final post until Google does the right thing.
Until then, know this…
The Googlebomb is NOT fixed. It's buried, as are its victims.
Google can be fooled by rather primitive, black hat techniques. The Googlebomb is not defeated, as they'd like us to believe.
The "COMMERCIAL Googlebomb" is growing. You can even hire specialists to get found for your competitor's trademark and trash them.
Google won't defend its own "Google Guidelines," its supposed "core," against determined black hats. But it expects you to live by them.
Google's "Instant" drop-down box magnifies the damage.
Google cares more about the public perception of a positive user experience than the actual experience.
Google's incredible market dominance and power, as "judge, jury and appeals panel," carry a tremendous financial reward, and on the flip side, a great social responsibility.
Google must do more than take care of itself.
Let's see how long they take. This post has a built-in timer that debunks all claims that the Googlebomb is fixed, until it really is.
Please make sure they do hear of this post…
Please Do Not Leave Without Reporting
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, Google has launched a new form to report webspam. It claims to be serious…
"At Google, we strive to provide the highest quality, most relevant search results, so we take your webspam reports very seriously. We hope our new form makes the experience of reporting webspam as painless as possible (and if it doesn't, feel free to let us know in the comments)."
Take them at their word!
Please spread this post to friends. Have them report and comment, too. (See the instructions below.)
You may not have the power of The Washington Post, but you do have a voice. As do we. Together, let's insist…
"Google, it's your algorithm.
They are your users. Protect them.
They are your Guidelines. Defend them.
Fix your Googlebomb problem.
If you can't do it immediately via algorithm (you've had more than 10 years to do that), fix it manually until your algorithm catches up.
Dismantle the bombs. Now."
Here's how to report…
Go to Google's webspam feedback page…
Ignore the list of links and click on the "Report Spam" button.
In the box under "Address of specific web page that is misbehaving," enter…
- For the "Exact query that shows a problem" box, enter…
"site build it scam"
Provide additional details (optional), including the URL of this post… http://www.sitesell.com/blog/sitesell/2011/08/proof-that-google-has-no-true-googlebomb-algorithm.html
Once you have done that, please "Like" this page (below) and let Google know by +1'ing it, too. Please add a comment that you have done so, including any thoughts you have on this.
Google does not make public all the submissions made through the webspam form. They claim there are few others. Well, they won't be able to say that they are unaware of this one! 😉
I overlooked an interesting punitive action that you can take if you find the "review" (or anything else that you find at Google search) to be of poor quality. This was reported by Sue Huckle over at SiteSell Facebook…
- Log into your Google account (if you are not already logged in).
- Find Sowerbutts' top-ranked article by searching for "site build it scam" at Google.
- Click to visit that post. Read the "review."
- Click browser's BACK button to return to the Google search. You will see an option to block all results from that site. It looks like this…
- If you found this high-ranking, Googlebombed review to be of low quality, click the "block all" link. Google uses this a signal that you were not happy with this result.
Good point, Sue!
Please note that I am NOT suggesting that anyone abuse this mechanism. Do this if you find the review to be of poor quality and is inappropriately ranked highly by Google.