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Google: End of results penalty also called -950 penalty here to stay?

Google has introduced a penalty to optimize its earnings? Or is the famous Google algorithm broken or unstable?

Google earns 99% of its money from Search through the AdWords and AdSense programs. Most of that comes from users clicking, often by accident, on sponsored AdWords links. To secure the earnings Google has introduced a fiexd penalty, or oscillations, which often hits smaller websites using commercial keywords. Seemingly, Google does not want to deliver more than a minium number of visitors to such sites even if they take part in the Adsense ads program. Only a small fraction of the traffic to a website should come from Google. There will be no open doors at Google anymore for smaller sites even those with good ranking. Naturally, there are some sites spamming Google. However, seemingly the algorithm also kicks out or down a lot of good sites in the process.

We are running a site allamedia.com, in Swedish, with a technology profile. Since end of December most of our recent detailed articles from 2006-2007 about lcd-tv, and some other technical subjects, have been consistently listed just above end of results. For example, this penalty applies to our articles below, for the keywords lcd tv, with very good Swedish Google ranking PR=4 and PR=3:

LCD TV 40 TUM: Samsung, Sony, Sharp mfl. LCD TV ...

LCD TV koepa eller vaenta?

On the contrary, using Microsoft Live Search they are consistently listed among top 10. Our articles are well researched and works well according to Google Analytics.

After complaining to Google many times in different ways and without rewriting (de-optimizing) my articles, I finally saw a dramatic improvement for a short period of two days 2007-02-24 and 2007-02-25. However, the next day our articles were kicked down again and buried 200 - 700 positions down, always at the end of results (see screenshots from 2007-02-26 20.11 GMT and 2007-02-26 23.14 GMT ). Now remember that Sweden is a very small country with very little competition compared to USA.

Independent of the results displayed 381 and 216 respectively in the two examples above, our two articles are shown as "end of results". This pattern is typical for the "end of results" penalty or -950 penalty. Whatever number of results displayed your article will end up at the last position. Clearly, this is not possible to achieve with an algorithm dependent on very many variables as suggested by Google. It can only be achieved if a penalty flag is put in always sending the article to the last position.

After complaining to Google again, I saw the following dramatic improvement half a day later (see screenshot 2007-02-27 07.22 GMT).

However, in the middle of March the problem came back with the exception for a few day at the end of March. These oscillations in search results positions affect even those articles with very good ranking. The picture below illustrates the resulting strong square-wave oscillations in total Google visits to our site.

Using Microsoft Live Search many of the articles are normally listed among top 10 without any oscillations. Seemingly, this is the same phenomena as reported by many other sites in for example at http://www.webmasterworld.com/.

Seemingly, the -950 penalty or oscillations does not apply big sites like eBay. They can do whatever they want without any penalty from Google. For example, eBay.co.uk even sold the dead explorer tv-journalist Steve Irwin via a Google Adwords sponsored link.

"eBay has a penchant for slipping plugs for itself into your Google search results page, invariably offering to sell you whatever you type into the search field, regardless of plausibility."

Google AdWords Sponsored Link: Buy Steve Irwin dead on eBay!

Compare the discussion above with the boasting statements at Google.com

"Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

"Google is the closest thing the Web has to an ultimate answer machine."

Read also:

Google Search Critics: Google is broken by purpose!

Google's Advanced Search by date is broken!

Google spams itself with eBay!

Google optimized for bad search results? 

by Jim Olsson
Published: Mar 29, 2007

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