Is Google Declaring War by Banning an Agency for Mistakes on Clients Sites?

Again the search industry is once again in uproar. Why? Because somewhere somebody took a wrong turn, someone else saw it and told Google. And now Google is upset.

To be honest, it’s like looking at my kids sometimes, but that’s a different story. What is more interesting at this specific point is Google’s reaction yesterday to the alleged buying of links by search agency iAqcuire: they didn’t kick out the clients for who they may have bought links, they kicked out the agency.

It was smart find by Barry Schwartz at Searchengineland last night when he did a site command search for [site:www.iacquire.com] and didn’t get any results back. There was no site there, which usually means either the company has withdrawn itself from Google or has made a mistake (I’ve seen enough ‘no index’ which shouldn’t have been there in robots.txts around the globe over the past few years) or the company has been penalized by Google.

In this case the latter is the case, but something weird is going here. iAqcuire doesn’t seem to be banned because of mistakes on their own site, but on their clients sites, which were left alone by Google.

What is going on here?

 

Mike King, who spoke to us yesterday, responded to Barry Schwartz question saying they were indeed de-indexed, but for the wrong reasons, what he called a “hissy fit.”

It seems that someone at Google, or more people, were upset by iAquire’s actions, and saw no other way than banning them.

Now this is relatively new to the industry. I know off sites being banned because the owner of these sites was in, let’s put it nicely, ‘a bad relationship with Google’. But entire agencies being banned for what they allegedly (it is not proven!) did elsewhere is yet another level higher. What is happening: is Google trying to set an example, or is there more to it?

Google declaring war with the SEOs?

 

Google has always stated it does not hate SEOs, but with actions like this they seem to be giving out the opposite message.

Google seems to be setting up agencies against each other, asking them to rat on each other and ‘punishing’ bad content.

I’ve always given Google the benefit of the doubt, that they are seeking for a better web with better search results, but to be honest, I think Google is pushing this too far. If there is ever an example of abusing the dominant position, this is one of them. They should be really careful in the steps they take here. This seems a lot like sending someone to jail without a proper trial.

Yes, Google should act against those not playing by the rules, but the lines are fine and I’m not sure if Google realizes this just seems like an act of war towards SEOs.

Then again, Eric Schmidt was once quoted:

“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place”

What do you think?

Image sources: Searchengineland (Barry Schwartz) and Mirrorfootball

Bas van den Beld

About Bas van den Beld

Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.