Following on from my blog about Interflora’s penalty from Google, I thought it would be worth following up with a blog about the dozen or so Newspaper websites that have also had a form of penalty from Google.
This includes our local news website: thisislincolnshire.co.uk who found their Google Page Rank demoted from 5 to zero.
Page Rank is a metric designed by Google which essentially demonstrates a particular sites standing or popularity on the Internet. The higher the number, the higher the popularity and the ultimately the better the website will rank on Google.
Potentially this will have a impact not only on the thisislincolnshire.co.uk website (and their traffic from Google) but also the sites that receive links from it – these links will not carry as much “weight” as they once did.
Why Has thisislincolnshire.co.uk had its Page Rank reduced?
We believe this is due to advertorials: paid for advertorials on the website that links to a subjects website. This is a paid link and according to Google is outside of their Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Matt Cutts, the Chief of Google’s Web Spam team tweeted the below message shortly after Interfloras suspected penalty:
Why Would Google Do This?
Simply put, Google want to deliver the best results for searchers. The best results, i.e. the websites that show on top of the search results should be there on their own merit.
To rank a website, Google uses many factors but particularly it considers the number and quality of links to the website it is ranking. These links (from other websites and social media for example) should occur because people want to link to the said website because for whatever reason they recommend it.
Paid for links circumnavigated this natural linking process by artificially creating links that pass Page Rank – in other words, links that pass ranking power.
Google is on a quest to clean up it’s results to ensure searchers do get the best possible results and Interflora along with This is Lincolnshire are just two of several high profile cases over the last couple of years.