Google ban on AllJobs. Global blog-hysteria. What's the real story?
Elie said the whole fervor over the AllJobs.co.il delisting is just another overreaction to two of the oldest ...
#1: off-page optimization can hurt sites
#2: there's such a thing as too much SEO, or over-optimization
AllJobs was temporarily removed but went back up quickly. Today -- indexed in both Google and Google.co.il.
Eli noted even Alljobs' top rankings are back: #2 in Google Israel for “jobs” and #1 for “×××€××© ×¢××××”, which means “find work” (a popular search in Israel). Keyword “AllJobs” in Israel returns both the site and the Ha'aretz story about it being delisted.
Why it got penalized is another matter. Blogger Uri Breitman claims the site had too many backlinks (154,311 via Yahoo's Site Explorer). Eli translated Uri's SEO myth: Alljobs was allegedly guilty of “×¢×××£ ×§×××× ××ª×š××”, or “too much SEO.”
An "aha!" moment? Hardly. More like haha.
The truth: Google and other major search engines have stated they'll penalize or punish Web sites that don't follow their guidelines. Web sites that pay close attention to SE guidelines (or too much attention) do not generally receive penalties.
So I asked Eli if he'd share his view on link building for large enterprises. Would a site with, say, millions of inbound links raise a red flag? He said, "Do something wrong on your site—like the hidden text on the BMW site—and you get banned. Do too much of something right—like the excessive breadcrumbing on About.com—and you get rewarded, or at least tolerated."
"No search engine can EVER penalize backlinks. If any SEO firm ever got confirmation certain backlinks hurt or delisted a site, it would be open season for malicious placing of those backlinks to their competitors' and their clients' competitors' sites."
Good point. So the most likely cause for the temporary delisting?
"AllJobs did something wrong on-page. Google called them out with a penalty; they contacted Google and resolved it; and all went back to normal. Most likely, AllJobs tried a new SEO firm who told them to make some spammy, black-hat change to the site (no trace remains, but I'm guessing doorway pages). They did it, got penalized, claimed innocence at the hand of an evil SEO firm, and got reinstated—with a warning to use ethical firms from now on, no second chances."
Key takeaway for CMOs: Worry about what's on your page, and check search engine guidelines before making any change your SEO company recommends. Make sure there's complete transparency and you know exactly what they're doing.
Let me know if you want to hear more from Eli -- one of the rising stars in SEO. What do you think ... should we invite him to join the SEW Experts writing crew?