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GoodRelations - The Web Vocabulary for E-Commerce

This is the archive of the goodrelations dicussion list

GoodRelations is a standardized vocabulary for product, price, and company data that can (1) be embedded into existing static and dynamic Web pages and that (2) can be processed by other computers. This increases the visibility of your products and services in the latest generation of search engines, recommender systems, and other novel applications.

[goodrelations] Overstock Google penalty thread

Aaron Bradley aaranged at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 25 16:34:16 CET 2011

I can verify that Google's penalty against Overstock is unrelated to its use of 

Overstock was penalized for its purchasing of links (and, apparently, another 
violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines that has yet not been disclosed, but 
is according to sources another standard and established spamming technique).

That the links in question were chiefly from .edu sites (particularly effective 
in passing PageRank to a target site) is interesting but irrelevant.  Google's 
Webmaster Guidelines forbid the selling or purchasing of links to pass PageRank, 
regardless of source.

Just for clarification, Martin, while only 0.0001% may have been targets of 
purchased links, Google's penalties for such violations (if and when detected) 
tend to be meted out at a section, subdomain or domain level:  when discovered 
buying links, Google depresses rankings at a broader level than that of the 
relevant pages.  This is not an "overshooting" by Google - think of this a 
punishment rather than a "correction."  In extreme cases of Guidelines 
violations Google may remove a site from its index altogether.  However, again, 
any rankings drop you may observe for any Overstock page is unrelated to it's 
use of RDF triples or GoodRelations.

Further reading:


In a related note, I have discussed with colleagues in both the SEO and semantic 
web fields the possibility of structured data being leveraged for spam, but as 
far as I know it hasn't happened yet:
In any case, in the context of enterprise search, Google and other engines do 
not take any data at face value, but filter it for spam, and use a multitude of 
factors when assigning ranking to a resource.  This is why you may not see your 
products being returned as rich snippets in search results, even if you have 
product pages marked in in RDFa, GoodRelations or hProduct.

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