Both major search engines admitted today they have 'white lists' of sites that won't be impacted by changes to their algorithms. During the Spam Police session at SMX, Google's Matt Cutts and Bing's Sasi Parthasarathy both confirmed this, the UK Register noted.
"Google has admitted that it uses whitelists to manually override its search algorithms, more than a year after its European corporate counsel denied the existence of whitelists when defending the company against antitrust complaints in the EU."
Cutts said there were no global whitelists -- just "exception lists" for certain sites impacted by certain algorithm changes. There is no whitelist for the recent Panda update, he added, not at this time -- suggesting it could implement one in the future.
This admission contradicts what Google's lawyer told the EU investigators that Google had no such lists and did not manually interfere with their search results.
So there is a naughty or nice list, and as I have long suspected Matt Cutts is Santa Claus. Now everyone will be scurrying to find out how to get on the list.