You may or may not be following the SOPA / E-PARASITE controversy. If not, as website owners, you should be. The SOPA/E-PARASITE/PROTECT IP bills, summarized below, are a huge injustice to our rights, and the American way.
I think Matt hit on a couple of key things on this subject that easily translate in to our current experiences with the Panda update. Using words like “trust” and “user experience” tell me that while it may not be a direct ranking signal…. It is being signaled from other relevant areas such as we see in the quality guidelines Google has given us in regards to Panda.
Panda has become such a daunting and distressing word in our world lately. Makes me wonder why such a cute and loved animal such as the panda was used to name/describe the utter mayhem. I mean seriously, isn’t something such as wolverine, crocodile or even tasmanian devil seem more fitting?
I have been building websites and working with SEO since 2003, while that’s a drop in the bucket… One thing as remained true for all of this time. Google hates duplication and crappy content. That being said, I have made dedicated endeavors to point shop owners in the correct direction… Down the path of light if you will.
Google is once again cracking down on paid links. Not only are they cracking down, but they are hitting some big fish. This effort, most likely to set a solid example is quite effective. We know that Google can and will penalize you for paid links that are permitted to pass PageRank… But many seem to ignore this and continue to blatantly buy links.