Google Reverses Link Penalty for its Money Site: Thumbtack
After penalising Thumbtack for buying links just a week earlier, Google drops the penalty completely
Was the manual penalty for link spam just for show? After only a week of Thumbtack’s penalty being issue, their rankings have returned – an extremely quick turnaround for a website that had been caught red-handed buying links.
Thumbtack had been shown to be giving incentives to its users for building links for them – a practice which is against Google’s terms of service.
After receiving their penalty, Thumbtack emailed users a asking them to either remove the link they have created or add the rel=“nofollow” attribute.
Google have quickly removed the penalty, and data from Razvan Gavarilas, an independent SEO, has confirmed that Thumbtack’s ranking and traffic levels have returned almost instantly.
A co-founder of Thumbtack has also confirmed in an email that their request volume has returned to normal:
Is this another example of Google’s monopoly?
For most webmasters, a manual action means months of recovery time. The fact that Thumbtack was able to recover in more than a week, and that Google have money invested in Thumbtack, seems almost too much of a coincidence.
Additionally, Thumbtack’s rankings and traffic levels have returned completely, which implies that they have not disavowed their links, and that those paid links are still contributing towards their rankings.
So it seems that this is yet another example of Google giving unfair priority to websites/online properties that they have a vested interest in.