For some time now Google have been facing growing criticism for their cumbersome and scattergun approach to punishing website owners it perceives to have broken its webmaster guidelines in relation to their link profile. This was compounded by recent Google webmaster tools updates which have been reported to contain sample unnatural links citing sources as bizarre as the BBC and DMOZ. Interestingly enough Google’s European ‘friend of the webmaster’ John Mueller jumping into at least one blog post to address concerns.
Whether its coincidence or not remains to be seen but I’ve heard of several sites involved in drawn out battles to revoke their manual penalty get theirs suddenly removed this week. As criticism grows that Google’s erratic approach makes their algorithm easier to manipulate than it ever was before (using negative SEO), could the world’s most influential tech company be backing away from a touch paper they’re not sure they should have lit? With confidence from digital marketing experts and business owners alike worryingly frail it would certainly do the Mountain View based company no harm at all to put some trust and stability back into the world of organic search.