It’s common knowledge that a good Google ranking can make or break a business, so it’s no surprise that companies regularly get into a lather when they don’t get the results they believe they deserve.
The European Commission Competition Chief, Joaquin Almunia, is currently investigating the claims of three firms who claim that Google, far from sticking to the objective algorithms it is so well-known for basing its results on, is deliberately downgrading them.
The aggrieved companies are Foundem, a price comparison site, ejustice.fr, a French legal search engine, and – most interesting perhaps, given the rivalry between the two companies – Ciao, which is owned by Microsoft.
While we would agree that Google is not always blameless in its various activities, we’d be willing to bet that they will be found innocent on this one. Their algorithms are so complex that we could foresee a situation where sites were accidentally penalized, sure. Plus, Google does also automatically blacklist sites which adhere to any one of several practices it frowns upon, all of which fall under the banner of ‘black hat’ SEO. Might these sites have fallen foul of the sometimes labyrinthine guidelines?
Whatever the case, we’ve seen many a website owner who was convinced that Google had a personal grudge against his site. In every case, it turned out not to be so.
One of our many services for small businesses is checking that your site has nothing in place that might mitigate against your Google rankings. If you are thinking you have a lot in common with Foundem, justice, and Ciao, why not give us a ring and we’ll see if we can get to the bottom of it for you.