Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Manual Action Penalty And Censorship By Google

For long Google denied the concept of manual action penalty against websites. Google maintained that websites are only algorithmically demoted if they are found violating the guidelines and quality standards of Google. However, this assertion of Google cannot be trusted if we analyse the numerous cases of websites delisting and demotion that is frequently conducted by Google.

The real question that must be analysed here is there a system to uncover what a rogue employee of Google is doing under the garb of manual action penalty? Clearly either Google or malicious competitors are manipulating websites and blogs.

Even Matt Cutts has publicly acknowledged that Google uses whitelists as well as manual actions penalties to demote and delist websites and blogs. This contradicted the earlier stand of Google and this acknowledgement is a direct result of the antitrust investigations from the EU, the Texas attorney general, and possibly the US Federal Trade Commission.

Matt has provides examples of cases where a manual action penalty can be imposed by Google. It includes cases where Google receives reports of spam, off-topic porn, things like that, etc. This list is not only vague but is also a potential source of imposing censorship and websites filtering by Google without following the due process of law. Surprisingly, after Google even Facebook used censorship to block my Facebook account without citing any reasons.

There is no doubt that whenever companies like Google or Facebook have to adopt measures that are neither strictly legal nor in conformity with their own policies, they always invoke the trump card of “spam communications”. Of course, spam is a violation of terms of services (TOS) of any company, including Google and Facebook, but a resource must actually be spam to invoke such penalty. Both manual action penalty and algorithm demotions methods of Google are prone to misuses and they may actually be misused in many cases by Google employees.

There is no second opinion about the fact that manual interventions are an important part of any search engine. The problem is that for so many years, Google has largely avoided acknowledging that these interventions exist, and it has said almost nothing about how they work. So the question why has Google censored cyber laws in India blog would remain unanswered by Google.