The recent spate of blogger penalties handed down by search engines is, in itself not a problem. Google put out warnings that “cash for comment” is a no-no and warned the blogging community to just stop it. Matt Cutts first warned about this a lonnng time ago. Recently, Google gave bloggers a few weeks to clean up their acts and then rolled out manual penalties to make an example of some of the worst perps. Totally legit.
But where it gets annoying is…
There’s a few annoying things about the blogger penalties.
First, it hit bloggers for using a specific plug in for ad serving. It was the plug in that was naughty – most of the bloggers had no idea. They were punished for trying to make a living from their blogs. Not really cool. It sends a message that bloggers are there to provide free entertainment for the internet.
Second, the blogsphere was thrown into a panic about what they can and can’t do. I get that this is Google teaching them to learn more about their craft and that’s valuable. The issue is that bloggers are all about the blogging. So when some unseen threat comes upon the community, there tends to be a bit of panic. Follow Vs Nofollow is a hotly debated topic and the answer always seems a bit muddy. Even the SEO community can’t agree on what’s the right way to go. Blogger penalties just make that more frustrating.
But the most irritating, frustrating annoying thing about these punishments on blogs?
The attitude of the SEO community. HOLYSMOKE. What a bloody boys club. The forums were filled with complainants – SEO companies who’d had their crappy “cash for comment” PBNs (Private Blog Networks – SEO blog spam) penalised and they were having a bit bitch about it. These dudes were the ones who deserved the penalty. These dudes were the REASON for the penalty. Then a successful female blogger arrived in the forums to ask about why she was hit (it was down to the ad serving plug in). Bam, the blokes had a flag to fly – a way to be outraged. Google was wrong if it was going to punish this “poor girl”. The comments turned to a dirty long list of “Google is punishing the girls”, “Yeah, girls, such bad spammers”, “the girly algorithm”… and the like. This was a bunch of blokes looking after the little ladies where were clearly too stupid to earn a penalty on their own.
So what’s the big deal?
- The male SEOs in this conversation ASSUMED first that there are no female SEOs affected by this update. I was RIGHT THERE in the room! They also assume all non-SEO oriented bloggers are women.
- The conversation was curated a FEMALE Google staffer – the authority in the room answering the questions was a WOMAN and yet these blokes were going to town on “ignorant females”.
- The bloggers were penalised for trusting in a bad plug-in, the SEOs penalised were there because they’d done dodgy shit.
- The only reason that this penalty is in play is bad SEO practices. Regular, authentic bloggers were the victims. So their manipulation caused the problem and then they used their victims to defend themselves.
- In the following days a wave of mansplaining crashed down through forums and blogger groups – which is just plain annoying.