There are a number of markets on the internet that have been publicised through various channels as being some of the most ‘spammy' niches on the internet and payday loans are leading the way, not only being filled with affiliates that are looking to hack, spam and fight their way to the coveted number one position but also having a media wide spotlight placed onto the industry as a whole amid questions over the ethics of providers in relation to responsible lending.
Well one payday loan website looks like it could be about to pay the price for their willingness to engage in the dark side of search engine manipulation after their appointed SEO company reached out to Google in the hope of some guidance to be able to recover their site from a manual penalisation but the message they received has installed a new sense of fear as head of Google Web Spam, Matt Cutts, tells the SEO that the company have an extensive history of "long-standing, mass, duplicate spam".
Marie Haynes, the SEO behind the attempted penalisation clean up, took to the Google forums in a bid to shed more information on what she described as "the toughest penalty" that she had dealt with, a big claim as she has worked hard to establish herself as one of the main figures in penalty recovery attempts, alerting Google to the situation that she is facing at the moment.
Outlining her approach to the clean-up and laying the sites disavow list out into the public domain, Marie explained that Webmaster Tools failed to provide her with example links that could be deemed to be infringing the Google mantra as she looked for guidance towards the direction that she should be looking to take the recovery although she pointed out that her success rate was not about to be tarnished with CashLady.com failing to be able to recover, especially after Google's John Mueller said that "every site with a penalty should be able to get their penalty removed".
Having reached no new ground in the Google forum, Marie turned to Twitter as she reached out to Matt Cutts in the following tweet:
It isn't often that Matt Cutts has the time to be able to guide people on a personal level but it seems that Marie caught him on a good day and he was able to offer a little more insight into the issues that her client is facing, saying that he worried that she hadn't "truly gotten through" to her client as he replied to her call for help:
@Marie_Haynes so I worry that you haven't truly gotten through to your client, who shows signs of long-standing, mass, deliberate spam 🙁
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 7, 2014
As the conversation continued, Marie revealed that she was starting to question whether a recovery was possible for CashLady.com, to which Matt told her that she should "make sure they have a clear-eyed view of the hold they dug for themselves over the years."
Following that tweet, Marie then asked whether there was any chance that they were going to be able to "get this penalty lifted at all", sparking a reply from Matt that seemed to back up the comments that John Mueller had previously said about being able to get any site out of penalisation, however it came with the warning "it could be quite difficult to undo all the spam across the years."
Meanwhile, while the clean-up seems to be still underway on the site, it seems that CashLady.com is now redirecting to CashLady.co.uk in an attempt to be able to gain as much traction as possible but that could soon come unstuck with the belief that 302 redirects, that are designed to be temporary and not pass equity (good or bad), have a certain timescale in which Google are happy to process them as such, before Google deem a temporary move to be a more permanent fixture and begin to treat the request as a 301 redirect, so the time is ticking…
Although the switching of domain seems to be an attempt to escape the exclusion from the search engine rankings, it seems that Matt Cutts was right in his comments about the brand failing to learn from their experience as a look at the links that the CashLady.co.uk site has pointed into it shows a wealth of keyword anchor text links being pointed into the site:
I guess that the saying "You can't teach an old dog, new tricks" applies perfectly in this instance…