Google search engineer Matt Cutts has a new video out reminding people that Google can manually remove or demote your site from Google search results if you are caught trying to game the system.
That makes perfect sense.
But it’s exactly the kind of controlling behaviour that Google says is dangerous when it comes from competitors.
For the most part, Google’s search results are determined by maths calculations that weigh a bunch of different factors — like how often others link to a particular site — and then figures out which sites are most relevant. Google often tweaks these algorithms to try and make its search results better.
Google will also demote sites for legal reasons (like child porn), or for security reasons (like a site that tries to upload malware).
But there may be other reasons, too. As Cutts puts it: “We do reserve the right to take action, whether it be demotion or removal, and we think we have to apply our best judgment.”
This is a good reminder that Google Search is a product run by a for-profit company. If Google’s search results get worse, people will stop using them. It makes perfect sense for Google to control results this way.
But it’s also a good reminder how hypocritical Google’s Sergey Brin is when he attacks competitors like Facebook and Apple for creating “walled gardens” that Google’s search algorithms can’t index.
Why the heck should Facebook, Apple, or any other company feel any obligation to make Google’s product better?
Here’s the video from Cutts explaining how Google decides to remove or demote certain sites:
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