Isn’t it great when the authorities in your field pick up on something that used to be such a hot topic within a much smaller community. I remember the last time round (must have only been a year and a half ago) when GoCompare incurred their last ranking penalty that it was only really picked up by the SEO community. This time round it was Econsultancy that broke the news which inspired Hitwise to release free data (wow) backing the story up!
The great thing about stories like this in the SEO community is that it defines boundaries. We all know how crappy Google has been at imposing it’s own ethical policies and that SEO is all about testing and pushing limits (not on client sites of course!) but it’s always a good thing to see just how far you can go before you get noticed.
What’s so funny about the story this time round is that GoCompare are going to suffer much worse than their 6 month drop first time round. This time their media spend is going to have to be enormous to counter their lack in visibility on brand terms. Hell I might even have a bid myself! Thanks again to Google’s relaxation in trademark bidding policies every man and his dog can bid on GoCompare’s brand terms and get away with it, making competition all the more expensive.
You’ve got to love them – Google and GoCompare too! Here’s a lovely graph for the wall courtesy of Hitwise.